Build a Break
A story by Carers of West Dunbartonshire
The project acted as administrators of small grants to children with disabilities (o-20yrs) and their carers. The applicants were able to choose between a personalised budget, help from the Carers Centre or a combination of both.
The project will take a flexible, responsive and non prescriptive approach, which will encourage and support the child and their carer to "design and build" their own break.
Tip 1:Do make sure that you plan for additional staffing hours and make as best an estimate as you can.
Tip 2:Keep an open mind. You may recieve some very creative applications and its important to have a "can do" approach.
Tip 3:Be prepared for your everyday workload to increase as the project will attract people that are not known to you and may well need other types of support and interventions.
We were able to support a carer who cares for her son who has Hydrocephalus, hearing and sight impairment and behavioural problems to go to Alton towers for the day. The carers said her three other sons would benefit from being away from the general day to day stress and all four children were able to enjoy the atmosphere and the rides.
A carer who has anxiety attacks and until recently looked after her terminally ill father, and cares for her son who has ADHD, learning and communication difficulties went on a caravan break to Great Yarmouth with her husband , daughter and other son. The carer and her family had not been on holiday for five years and said this would be a much needed break for all the family after such a stressful time.
A grandmother who carers for her husband who has osteoporosis and her granddaughter who is 7 and has Asperger’s Syndrome and has cared for her since she was a year old. The family were able to go on a self catering holiday which would suit all of their needs as her granddaughter finds social situations difficult and a hotel or guest house would not be suitable.
We have been delighted by how creative some of the applications were. The applications reflected the fact that many carers had taken the opportunity to apply for things that they and their child may otherwise not have been able to do.
This has been a very positive experience for us as an organisation as we have made links with a huge amount of services and businesses and during the booking process have been able to raise awareness of what we are doing and why.
The support that Shared Care provides from application point, throughout the life of the project and at the reporting stage is really valuable.
Following the break a volunteer contacted the carer and carried out the evaluation. This is measured against a baseline which is taken at a point prior to break. We have adapted our database to allow us to input this information and produce a customised report easily.