Carers Hub Dalmellington
A story by East Ayrshire Carers Centre
We provided support to carers within our Hub in Dalmellington offering advice, information, support, respite, training, social and leisure activities to carers, their cared for and families living in the Doon Valley of East Ayrshire.
We delivered lunch clubs, coffee mornings, support groups, themed training and one off events.
What Carers Hub Dalmellington did
We recruited a staff member to develop and deliver support to adult and young carers. This includes benefit advice, benefit form completion and maximising carer and their family incomes. Through listening to carers we registered and carers already known to us locally we started a breakfast club, lunch club, come dine with me experience for carers the person they care for and members of their families to attend the centre for a 3 course meal and get a "dining out" experience. Dalmellington is in a rural location with very limited facilities.
To support this work we were able to offer a young carer a year’s Modern Apprenticeship, she achieved an SVQ in Business and Admin. Through our Alpha Venture Employability Programme, we took on a young carer as a trainee and other young carers throughout the year gained work experience as volunteers. The support we provided on a weekly basis was Breakfast Club (approx. 25 attended weekly), Lunch Club (approx. 35 attended weekly), Support Groups, Mindfulness Training, Money Management Training, Art and Craft Club, Knit and Natter, Guest Speakers, one off events (over 980 carers/family benefited), Come dine with Me (50 carers and their families attended monthly), 66 therapies and 16 family respite holidays.
We offer a drop in service and appointment diary for local people to register as carers (197 registered) for advice, information and support (41 appointments). Our Fuel Poverty and Energy Advice Worker has also attended the centre to meet with carers and their families who are in debt or struggling to pay fuel bills (27 benefited). 118 Young Carers have received support through either attending age related group sessions; 1:1 support; employability skill training, budgeting and managing money training, work experience and volunteering opportunities.
3 young carers experienced a flying day out in a small aircraft donated by Aviation without Borders, 2 attended Columba 1400 Leadership Academy in Skye, 1 attended a residential in Ben Lomond through National Trust for Scotland, 8 enjoyed the Heads of Ayr Farm Park and 22 had a week’s respite break. We attract carers by word of mouth, social media and newsletter
12 Carer Support Plans were completed with additional support and services going into support carers and their families to continue caring. Carers have said we have improved their lives and made a huge difference to their income and quality of life.
She attended a 4 day respite in Ben Lomond where she was given the opportunity to learn new skills, worked as part of a team and took part in confidence building workshops. From this she made new friends and has been socialising more in her area and seems a happier person.
During exam time she threw herself into her studies (using our building as a quiet area to study) we were delighted she achieved qualifications. She still attends groups on a weekly basis and takes advantage of any day trips, respite and training opportunities offered to her. She still also receives 1-1 support when required.
They now meet up outwith the support we provide and feel they have someone who understands what they are experiencing as a carer and they can better support each other.