Creative Breaks 2014/15
A story by Western Isles Community Care Forum
We provided grants directly to carers who live in the Western Isles.
What Creative Breaks 2014/15 did
Western Isles Community Care Forum maintain a Register of Informal carers, so have a good database of carers. We also run a project where we visit carers in their own homes and staff were able to advertise the Short Breaks Fund and give ideas on ways to utilise it. Through this project we were able to identify some carers who were desperately in need of a break. We also advertised via our web-site, Facebook page and through our newsletters. Other agencies we work alongside were aware of the fund and signposted their clients to it.
Our panel consisted of 3 members of staff - Co-ordinator, Clerical Assistant and Trainer. The panel met 4 times during the lifespan of the fund to make awards, in order that as many carers as possible could have an opportunity to apply. This year we were able to provide some assistance with travel costs, due to our geographical location and the carers found this very useful.
The course wasn’t just classroom based, we went outdoors and I even went to a place I had never been. I learned new skills and gained confidence in art which was part of the course. I’m a volunteer in a community group which enables people to access archaeology, so this course will be useful. An old school friend of my husband’s was staying with us and he took care of him whilst I went on the course. They thoroughly enjoyed each others company and it was good for my husband to get a break from me too
My time was my own for a change. I never thought about taking a break away before I got this award and it’s opened a door for me. I will try and take regular breaks in future as I now recognise the benefits.
What Western Isles Community Care Forum has learnedThis Fund has enabled us to identify more carers which has led to us supporting more. Other agencies have been prompted to make referrals to us as a result of the Short Breaks Fund.
Carers are more likely to refer others to our organisation, when there are financial benefits available. Promoting the Autistic Spectrum Fund, although small, increased our profile among that group of people. Carers feel more valued when such funding is made available to them. Carers begin to recognise the importance of taking a break from their caring role