Renfrewshire Carers Time to Live Fund
A story by Renfrewshire Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who are living in the Renfrewshire.
What Renfrewshire Carers Time to Live Fund did
Deadline and panel dates are set for applications and advertised. 3 members of the panel meet 6-8 weekly to view applications, this is a member of admin staff, our Chairperson and a representative from Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
Decisions are taken via a level of priority, how long is it since the Carer has had a break, if any, have they had any other grants. We check if the carer is known to anyone in the Centre and on our database or if the Carer and has someone (a professional or another Carer known to us) vouch for them in their caring role. A referee and/or a supporter is verified before Grants are awarded. Carers can only apply once per year for the grant.
Advertising is done via our Ebulletin, Newsletter, Website, social media, local press, What's On Renfrewshire and Engage. Details of the deadlines and panel dates are advertised and we try to get a carer's story of how they used their grant and how it has helped them. Carer's word of mouth is a great way of advertising. During Group support sessions one carer may mention to another what they got a grant for and they then apply themselves.
This carer has told us of the benefits of exercise to both his emotional and physical well being, helping with his mental health as well as the benefit of the staff at the gym encouraging him to eat well and lose weight.
Socially, this young man has made new friendships at the gym and gained huge confidence.
The carer would use the therapist as a form of support and could use this private space to cry about her current situation as she preferred not to do this in front of family members. The carer knew when leaving the therapist that staff would also support her until she was ready to go home. The benefits of these two hour breaks once per week encouraged the Carer to get help from other sources and with the assistance of staff she took the decision to get more respite via Social Work and connect with her friends at her sewing group once per week.
The carer also arranged for a family member to come on a Sunday morning for two hours to allow her to go back to her church service.
Now that mum was attending a day centre she also agreed to one weekend of respite care. The Carer went on a much needed spa weekend paid for by her Time to Live Grant and the little left over went towards the cost of residential respite care. The break was such a success the Carer and her mum have agreed to have four weekends per year whereby Mum goes into residential care and the carer can have a mini break.
Having times and dates locked in gives the carer something to look forward to and a life outside of caring and her mum could see the benefits of her daughter having a break away that she was no longer against the option of different types of care from other sources.
What Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learnedAs a Centre we love awarding this funding it gives us joy to help and support carers with their day to day caring role but to go that extra mile to be able to see them go on a holiday, whether it be by themselves or with the person they are looking after, makes the Centre and even more fantastic place. The Time to Live funding almost feels like a new service we offer it has fits in so well to our organisation.
Challenges are definitely getting evidence of the breaks awarded ie receipts and also getting the carers to share their stories - often the carer is happy to have you write about them and take photos but the cared for is not as keen.
We continue to do social media posts, write in our newsletter and if we are lucky get some local press coverage. This together with the adult support team seeing 50 new carers per month has led to a huge demand on the funding, particularly when encouraged to get respite.