Breaks from Caring Fund
A story by Carers of East Lothian
We provided grants directly to carers who live in East Lothian.
What Breaks from Caring Fund did
This has been the first year we have been able to offer small grants to carers through Short Breaks Funding. The successes and challenges both relate to this. We have the scheme up and running and after an initially slow start we have increasing numbers of applications to the scheme. Trying to find a simple and straightforward application process has been difficult and we are not convinced that the balance is right but it is difficult to change due to the reporting requirements. Likewise there is a significant administrative impact of this scheme both for Carers of East Lothian and for Carers, in order to ensure that we can both account for funds spent and outcomes achieved as well as having sufficient information to be able to make informed decisions on applications.
However the process is up and running and as well as making 39 awards to date we have a further 6 applications to be considered later in the month.
It is clear from the content of applications that help with breaks will be of benefit to carers but I would welcome a chance to discuss with you how we can deliver this in a more cost effective manner.
Mrs C used the grant to enable her and a friend to go camping on the West Coast, something she had not done before and was rewarded by beautiful weather. Her daughter stayed with her grandmother to care for her. Mrs C said that " it was good to do things I wouldn't normally be able to do" and that she "felt revitalised having spent most of the time out in the open".
Mr B said that the break was "really good for me" as he did not have to worry about things and they could do new things together as a family. The break helped them "look at life in a whole different way" and that they all felt " relaxed and at ease at the moment and a lot happier in the family household".
Mrs D said the holiday with her daughters gave them all "a break which recharged our batteries". The grant "allowed her and her daughters to take a holiday with no limits even queuing with everyone else at the theme park was nice after years of having to see what the wheelchair set up was". She also said her husband "enjoyed socialising with other people and just after returning was the happiest I've seen him in ages" and that he was planning on returning to Leuchie in the future.