Creative Breaks 2020
A story by Stirling Carers Centre/TA Stirling Carers Forum
The project aimed to increase carers’ capacity to cope with their caring roles and to increase their well-being through positive, effective connections with other people and resources. This project will supported carers to remain well, which in turn hopefully helped carers to avoid crisis situations.
What Creative Breaks 2020 did
Complementary therapies were offered by qualified therapists. Carers will be able to choose from a range of therapies including massage, reiki, nails, facials. For those carers in the urban areas, therapies will be offered in the Centre, whilst in the rural areas, provision will be extended to be offered at two rural locations, where carers can book directly with the therapist.
Yoga classes were offered by qualified instructors and at a level which is suitable for all. These will include gentle stretching, yoga positions and a relaxation at the end of each class. These will be held in urban and rural Stirling.
Walking groups. We are very fortunate that our office is situated beside the River Forth with lots of opportunities for walks which were suitable for all ages and abilities. Adult carer support staff led walking session. These walks provided opportunities for carers to get some exercise and fresh air, and explore the local area.
My Time Sessions on the last Thursday of the month included holistic events including meditation, samba drumming and mindfulness. Unpaid Carers benefitted from these events which indirectly benefits the cared for also as carers are less stressed and more able to continue caring role. We identified carers through the ACSP outcomes and those who identify as needing a break from caring role. We worked with Carers and asked them to complete evaluations after events to see if their was anything to improve prior to next one and advertised events on social media.
Our project aimed to address some of the needs that are placed on unpaid carers every day. These being social isolated, stressed and finding it difficult to cope, struggling to manage on a restricted income, and having low self esteem. The Walking Group has been a great success as this has allowed carers to meet up outside and get exercise also. Complimentary have been highly attended and feedback has been high.
What Stirling Carers Centre/TA Stirling Carers Forum has learned
Fisrtly I guess dealing with unexpected challenges is critical as a lot of groups we planned were cancelled due to the pandemic. Project planning and budgetting was key to ensure that we were able to run groups efficiently and effectively. Reaching out and engaging to new carers was critical as we had a lot of new carers register during the last 2 years.
How Stirling Carers Centre/TA Stirling Carers Forum has benefitted from the funding
The funding and support from Creative Breaks allowed us to expand on a current project and allow us to be more flexible with how we offered Complimentary therapies which allowed us to reach out to more carers. We were also able to start a new walking group which carers love.
45 carers will report feeling happier and having a better life balance as a result of participating in our Carer Holistics Programme
Carers will complete evaluations at 12 months to be able to determine the difference it has made. At the end of the project, staff will engage with a sample of carers who participated for a focus group and more detailed discussion. Carers provided regular feedback to staff advising of what worked well, what they would to change if anything.
A carer who was struggling with dual caring role, began attending our comp therapies and has been coming once a month and really enjoys the hour to herself getting pampered and spoilt.
40 carers will report feeling more able to cope and less stressed through accessing our project
Yoga sessions were restricted due to the pandemic, however these classes were well attended and carers reported that these were a great way to unwind and destress and mental wellbeing was improved.
A person living in the rural felt very isolated due to their caring role and was getting lots of headaches and feeling down due to the stress of caring role, after being referred to us by the GP it was identified through the ACSP that carer would benefit from Yoga as this was a previous hobby, carer regularly attends and reports that her headaches and stress have improved which has meant she has lots more patience with cared for.
60 carers and their cared for will report an overall improvement in their physical and mental well being
Fortnightly walking groups have taken place around the Stirling locality with approx 10-15 carers
A carer who was struggling with dual caring role, began attending our walking group in October, to start with was very quiet and did not engage. After a few weeks began to chat openly with other carers and now attends some of our other groups, at latest feedback reported that she felt less stressed and more supported to continue her caring role.