Dundee Carers Centre Short Breaks Service
A story by Dundee Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Dundee
What Dundee Carers Centre Short Breaks Service did
Dundee Carers Centre created a short breaks logo, this would encompass all the new short breaks projects that were managed by the centre. We established a simple application form with guidance notes to assist carers and professionals who were applying to the fund. Staff had conversations with carers to find out exactly what kind of short break would benefit them.
If the application was successful, payment would be processed by BACS or paid direct to the provider.
Panel meetings were held on a 6 weekly basis, this consisted of Centre Manager, a representative from Social Work and a carer. This ensured that a fair system was put in place to allocate funding.
We uploaded the information to our website and produced a flyer. Information was available in our reception area, on our Facebook page and in the quarterly newsletter. We raised awareness with other local agencies to make them aware of our new funding for Short Breaks including key professionals i.e Social Work Teams.
As this was a new project, a presentation was given to all teams within the Carers Centre, therefore internal referrals were very high. Staff were advised to include the short breaks information in their Carer Information Pack. There are strong links with existing groups ie BME Carers Group, so this was an ideal opportunity to connect with hard to reach carers. There is also a local BME Forum in Dundee and a specific Facebook page for the centre BME Project for publicising short breaks.
Dundee Carers Centre has many volunteers and "Carer Ambassadors" who promote our services in the community, this involves awareness raising in local GP surgeries, Ninewells Hospital etc.
New Development - The centre has now purchased software to enable carers/professionals the capacity to complete the form online, this will then get submitted straight to the short breaks team.
Dundee Carers Centre commissioned Animate to carry out short breaks research into the current and future provision of Short Breaks/Respite for Adults in Dundee, on behalf of Dundee Partnership.
Both the carer and her mum had a day out to the hairdressers to feel pampered and improve their self-esteem. The grant helped to give the carer a break on her own by undertaking a training course in a very supportive, caring, learning environment which has resulted in the carer achieving a qualification which could lead to employment. This carer has gained lots of confidence and is full of motivation and keen to pamper her mum, so mum no longer needs to worry about her anxiety of leaving the family home to get pampered.
The carers’ centre support worker had a conversation how best to take this forward and a break away was organised. The funding enabled the carer to have the flexibility to choose the date, time and place. The carer felt that having had time to forward plan, could take the break without feeling guilty.
The carer reported feeling refreshed and was able to go further afield knowing that help was in place for the cared for. Coming home to find nothing drastic had taken place, truly made the holiday memorable. The carer added that the funding has shown her that she could have a short break with planning and that it was “okay” to do so.
The carer has enjoyed the freedom given to her by this equipment. She is feeling less stressed, less tired and is able to sleep well. The carer’s mum is happier knowing that she is enjoying the bike and has some more time to herself. Mum has noticed a big change in her daughter and feels she is back to her old self.
What Dundee Carers Centre has learnedWe have learned that many carers have enjoyed the flexibility of the funding and many have chosen to take the break away from the cared for person. We have discovered that carers would prefer help with the decision making and planning of the activity. This is even more evident with BME Carers as they require more support to enable them to identify the right break.
The challenges have been mostly administrative with an emphasis on collating receipts. We will look at the process for applications and adjust if necessary for Year 2 Funding.
The benefit to the centre has been the formation of a "panel". This has ensured that the distribution of funds has been a fair system.
The funding has developed our knowledge and thinking about short breaks and we are working with partners strategically to develop a different approaches to the delivery of short breaks.