Time To Live Fund
A story by Inverclyde Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to unpaid carers who live in Inverclyde.
What Time To Live Fund did
Carers were encouraged to complete an extract from Shared Care Scotland's short breaks' planner in order to document the specific break type to suit their needs and the way that they would like this to be carried out. Grant applications were completed by a Carers Support Worker alongside the individual Carer to assist them in their application and encourage an extensive discussion around their break type.
By doing so, Carers were supported in maximising their grant request to purchase aspects which they had not fully considered. Applications were then submitted quarterly to the grants panel meeting, which were anonymised, providing panel members with specific information such as grant request, supporting statement from Carers Support Worker and details around caring role (hours, number of people being cared for etc).
The Time To Live grant scheme has been advertised through our bi-annual newsletter, social media, word of mouth (both staff and carers), partnership meetings, local carer groups as well as flyers, posters which are distributed during carer support meetings. Discussion had also taken place with various local businesses around the scheme resulting in discounts being provided on Time To Live purchases i.e Annual leisure pass.
He has lost weight, has reduced his BMI and risks associated with his diabetic condition through the support and use of a yearly leisure pass. His mental health has also improved due to his weight loss, he also feels more energetic as a result and enjoys time away from his caring role in addition to meeting other people within his local community.
Carer A could not have afforded the cost of this membership due to being in receipt of benefits at this time.
The individuals had met through the support group and had formed new friendships which they hoped to build upon through the support of this fund. As one of the Young Adult Carers had recently passed his test, they agreed to go together, enabling them to spend more time with each other beforehand.
The benefits of this grant have been captured on video as Carer B had popped in to the centre to show us his progress so far. Carer B has was given an opportunity to learn a new skill, take valuable time away from his caring role and has confidence in himself and his achievements so far.
What Inverclyde Carers Centre has learnedThe first year had brought mixed emotions and had some small challenges along the way. Despite having guidelines, publicity materials, advertising the grant and a dedicated member of staff to manage applications the uptake of applications withing the first year had been low. For example, Carers Centre Staff had been unclear about the purpose of the grant which at first had thrown up many questions such as what items would be suitable to apply for or not. The fact that the grant promoted creativity had been a challenge as this was a first for many carers as they had felt shy around asking for what they truly wanted.
The difference the fund has made to Carers despite the initial challenges, clearly evidences the need for more creative breaks. By choosing a short break outwith the traditional model, Carers can have more choice and control around the way they would like to take their break, encouraging varied outcomes and improved wellbeing as a result.
Significantly, the applications received within 2016/17 clearly outline that Carers value being able to take part in sporting or leisure activities, with many highlighting that the choice of the grant was derived from their concerns around keeping fit and continuing to care long term.
In regards to attracting a new range of carers, yes we can confirm that the grant has now reached out to carers who wouldn't normally ask for support. The idea of creating your own break is steadily becoming "the norm" and with the assistance of short break examples, it has encouraged carers to think about their own needs more instead of accepting the traditional methods which are often geared towards the person being cared for.