Self Directed Short Breaks East Renfrewshire
A story by East Renfrewshire Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in East Renfrewshire
What Self Directed Short Breaks East Renfrewshire did
This is the third year that we have been able to provide Grants to Carers through a Time To Live Fund. One of the strengths of the process is the speed in which decisions on applications are made. Applications are submitted to a panel of 5 carers/former carers who review applications with most decisions being made within 24 hours and the outcome communicated to the carer.
As well as making a direct recommendation on the outcome of the grant application, the panel can and do share advice and thoughts on how support to the carer could be improved. Applications are made by a staff member from the Carer Centre who knows the carer and the caring situation well. If made the Time to Live application is likely to complement a range of other support provided by the Centre.
Different types of short break are explored and if required the carer can get further information from our in-house self-directed support information service. During conversation with the carer it can be clear that further statutory support is required and a referral will be made to the relevant HSCP team. During the reporting period all but two applications were approved. The 2 applications in question were from parent carers of a child/young person too young to meet the eligibility criteria for the grant these were redirected to other funding opportunities.
In addition to the Time to Live grant, the staff of the Centre secured and additional £5000 in grants to carers from sources such as Support In Mind, Carers Trust, East Renfrewshire Good Causes, Cash For Kids and Chest Heart and Stroke Foundation. The ability to offer financial assistance to carers for support such as a short break is valued by carers and staff. It is a support that we are able to highlight when we promote the overall service to carers and referral agencies.
We anticipate that in the near future the Carers Centre will have a main role in providing adult carers support plans and we hope that this will allow us to draw in additional financial support from statutory services for short breaks for carers that will complement the Time To Live Fund and the other financial support we can provide carers.
Going back to Ribby Hall their daughter had good memories, was not anxious and looked forward to taking part in activities. The holiday also allowed the carers to access relaxation treatments and sports and leisure pursuits but importantly their daughter
The carer would love to be able to spend one Sunday a month at Bo’ness to take part in his hobby and enable him time out from his caring role and relax in his own way. Being with his friends and catching up on what has been happening at the station is important to the carer as it allows him to switch off from his responsibilities and focus on something other than being a carer.
What East Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learnedOne lesson would be to engage with carers to explore short break options. Many come in a distressed state and immediately just want any form of support, often additional home care but if time can be spent with the carer, exploring options and possibilities around their interest and hobbies then this will ultimately be more rewarding.
We also need to work at broadening our understanding about what is a short break. Using the purchase of a fried freezer as an example that some of our panel originally struggled with but the benefit to the carer (and cared for) are clear.
We also used to receive referrals from statutory services which were their statutory responsibility. It is important to challenge these if and when they are received and that the Time to Live Fund is complementary and in addition to any statutory support.