Short Breaks for Carers Shetland
A story by Voluntary Action Shetland
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Shetland
What Short Breaks for Carers Shetland did
The Carers Support Worker was able to assess the applications up to £200 with regular updates to the Carers Link Group (the Multi Agency group representing the interests of and services relating to carers in Shetland through the implementation of the Carers Strategy). Any applications beyond £200 required Link Group approval.
The Voluntary Action Shetland Finance Officer issued a cheque to the beneficiary and collected receipts. The fund was advertised through our Virtual Carers Centre Website, our carers Facebook page, through our quarterly Carers Newsletter and the Third Sector Quarterly magazine and another local literary magazine, at Community Events including the annual Flu Fair and at Health Centres. Each member of the Link Group was also responsible for promoting the Short Break Fund through their own organisation.
We have seen an increase in applications from Young Carers due to awareness of the fund being promoted through our new Young Carers Group.
The carer cares for her husband and child and to complete the journey they needed to make a number of stops. The money also enabled them to stay in Travel Lodges which best met the needs of the husband and child. The holiday allowed the family to take some much needed time out.
During the days there were invited speakers who came up to give information about their services and there was also the opportunity to try different experiences including massage and reflexology. In the evenings the carers were able to stay in the House and a delicious 3 course meal was provided. This was an ideal way for the carers to come together, relax and also build up friendships and sustainable relationships to help them in their caring role. 14 Carers attended this Residential experience.
What Voluntary Action Shetland has learnedShort Breaks is a good way for carers to be introduced to Voluntary Action Shetland Carers Centre and find out about the other support available to them in their caring role. Face to face discussion and promotion of the Short Breaks Fund encourages carers to apply. We saw in increase in applications as a result of promoting the Short Breaks Fund whilst carrying out Carers Assessments (a new service development under a SLA with the local authority).
Our most popular application was to support carers to have a trip off the island to the Scottish mainland which can be expensive. Most of these were for a break WITH their carer for person.