CACE Change of Space
A story by Cumbernauld Action On Care Of The Elderly
CACE ‘Change of Space’ project was a one year program of Community Transport outings for older vulnerable people and their carers, people living in Cumbernauld and surrounding villages within North Lanarkshire, who had expereinced increased isolation and health issues following the COVID pandemic.
What CACE Change of Space did
CACE delivered 28 door to door fully paid for outings using our wheelchair friendly vehicles and dementia trained staff, the costs were covered by Creative Breaks, and this allowed 276 carers an opportunity to socialise and improve their health and wellbeing. Attendees were between 50-90 years old, many of whom are living with dementia and/or mobility issues. we identified these people through our existing older people groups and activities and our local networks.
CACE had originally planned 1 trip a month for 12 months, there were restrictions and challenges with staffing/vehicle availability which meant our start date was delayed and we adjusted the plans; delighted to say that we were able to hold 28 trips between May and September 2022. Venues we attended included cafes, restaurants, garden centres, shops, parks, concerts, castles, stately homes, football stadiums and concerts across Stirling, Falkirk, Cumbernauld, Callander, Gartcosh, Linlithgow, South Queensferry, Tillicoultry, Bannockburn, Garrion bridges, Largs, Aberfoyle and Grangemouth.
Although we didn't need to purchase equipment, our expenditure was on staff costs, travel, transport, food and entry fees. One of the biggest successes was that not only did we increase the number of trips and reached more people that we had hoped, but we also managed to stick to our budget!
We were very proud and grateful of the partnership and support from local eateries and venues. Our favourite outcome has been the excellent feedback from our service users. We have captured some wonderful photos, great quotes and made memories. One of the favourite venues seems to have been Glasgow Concert Hall for a fiddler's rally!
We believe we met Creative Breaks guiding principles through targeted support; making a positive difference to the lives of carers and the people they care for, we improved quality of life and well-being, and provided activities outside of carers role.
What Cumbernauld Action On Care Of The Elderly has learned
This was a great project for the transport team to learn how to use budget tools and plan ahead. They don't usually need to look at the finances, but it was a new challenge and one that helped our team collaborate more.
When identifying carers and cared for we realised just how many of our monthly 300 individuals identify as such, this was a challenge to accommodate and so our learning would be to narrow criteria or plan for the reality of having to let some people down when they can't attend every trip!
Partnership working is something we are proud of at CACE, working with venues and getting service user feedback on venues has helped us learn and identify what/where works well and will help inform future planning.
How Cumbernauld Action On Care Of The Elderly has benefitted from the funding
Expanded our community transport services. Engaged more carers. Strengthened our relationship with venues/partners. Helped to inform our priorities for next year.
Carers have had a break from their caring role
We had 276 occasions over 28 events where a carer attended an outing and received respite from their caring role, these trips also had 256 occasions where people who need care or support were including in these 28 events.
Jim and Irene McGeachy, Husband and wife who both use CACE older persons services. Jim is Irene's carer, Maureen requires a wheelchair and they both benefit from attending CACE outings as the transport offered is a wheelchair friendly door to door service, Jim gets a break from caring role and they both get the chance to socialise and enjoy the activities. Due to transport, costs and the pandemic they were both isolated until CACE were able to help get them out and about again! Their feedback has been very positive and now they always ask, "When is the next trip?"
Carers will feel better supported to sustain their caring role
CACE used our exisiting data and networks to reach eligible people for these outings, they were wll attended and we had a staff resource (transport coordinator) who kept in touch with all the attendees and shared information on outings and support available. We also had attendees of outings who then enquired about joining other CACE groups and activities. We had carers reporting that they had felt supported and were given relevant information from CACE on other forms of support available.
Not entirely sure what to use for this? Happy to provide quote from carer who has fedback on the service and information received from CACE.
Carers and the people they care for report a benefit from the activity (outings)
By using evaluation forms after each outing, we were able to capture outcomes and quotes from carers and people they care for reporting a benefit for themselves. Number of regular attendees or requests to participate has increased - every outing was fully booked, and we are now having to look at plans for next year. We have plenty of visual evidence and nice photos from the outings.