A story by Edinburgh Headway Group
Our Supper Club provided carer and the person they care for who has an Acquired Brain Injury to go out in the evening to a social event. To enjoy each other’s company and meet other carers with similar challenges in a relaxed, fun and supported environment. It enabled carer and cared for to make friends, build shared memories and experiences.
Frequently after an Acquired Brain Injury personalities can dramatically change and for carers it is like learning to live with a totally different person than before the accident. We aim to improve quality of life for carers and those they care for and to enable them to feel better supported to sustain their caring role.
What Supper Club did
We organised 10 monthly Supper Club outings. The Supper Club venues were discussed with carers and were selected based on ease of access, good facilities and value for money. A variety of locations were selected to allow carers from different areas of the city to benefit. Supper Club venues have included, Toni Macaroni, Jamies Italian, Frankie & Bennys, Handmade Burger Co. Toby Carvery, China Red.
Carers and cared for attended the Supper Club together which allowed them to socialise together and with others. It enabled carers to share useful information and form friendships with other people with similar challenges to help feel more supported in their caring role. A variety of information was shared including other services available in Edinburgh, short breaks available to carers, tips on saving money on outings and transport, leisure options and local meetings to attend. 4 of our current volunteers helped at Supper Club when there was increased attendees usually one volunteer per event.
Supper Club was advertised to our members and carers by email, through our monthly newsletter which is emailed to all service users and posted on social media platforms enabling the information to be accessible through the Edinburgh Carer's Network (which is accessed by other voluntary organisations and public services). The Supper Club was also once publicised in our local newspaper (Evening News).
It has been great for both of us to go out and meet different people - we both really enjoy it”.
Through evaluation surveys, 100% attendees agreed the Supper Club gave them a break and the opportunity to socialise.
"It is so good to be able to chat with people who understand".
Attendees who filled out evaluation over the last three months, 100% reported they felt more supported in the caring role.
What Edinburgh Headway Group has learnedThe fund has made a valuable difference to our organisation. Carers who were unable to engage in other services or events offered, have managed to attend Supper Club due to the fact they can bring the person they care for. Feedback has universally been very positive.
By the service being so popular, we have learned that it is very important for carers to be able to attend a service with the person they care for, they don't always have someone else to look after their loved one so can't leave them. It allows them to access a break without the stress of organising care and otherwise, in some instances, would not receive any break.
The Supper Club was available to carers in Edinburgh who care for an adult with an Acquired Brain Injury so this made the service more personalised to this group. This was important as all attendees are living daily with the effects of brain injury which facilitates an understanding in the group.
All new carers identified and carers who were less likely to ask for support were encouraged to come to Supper Club and after attending, said it was very enjoyable and said they were extremely likely to attend again.