Kinloch Coach Trip
A story by Cairdean Cordal Cheann a’Loch
Cairdean Cordal Cheann a’Loch provided a trip to visit mainland Scotland for our over 60’s group and people with disabilities and their carers offering a break away from their remote island surroundings.
The trip offered a wide range of activities, experiences and increased social connections.
What Kinloch Coach Trip did
We took 21 people (participants, volunteers, carers and staff) from the Isle of Lewis away to the mainland for a 4 night/5 day trip to Glasgow, offering a packed itinerary, with plenty of choice.
The activities took place from the 24th June to 28th June 2019 in and around the Glasgow area. Participants are all involved with our senior citizens group and face a variety of challenges including mobility, early stages dementia and other life-limiting conditions. Many of these people are cared for by carers, spouses or adult children these carers really enjoyed the time they had to themselves whilst we were away, allowing them to have more leisure time and get things done.
The trip included participation from volunteer carers who allowed respite for the carers at home. Carers enjoyed more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role. The diverse range of activities offered meant that carers could be involved in the planning of and enjoy activities of their choosing with and independently of the person they care for.
Carers and the people they care for enjoyed improved wellbeing, all participants have since reported greatly improved motivation to engage with other activities and events.
What Cairdean Cordal Cheann a’Loch has learned
The people participating in the trip need to be fully included in all of the planning, not to be afraid to try out something new! Many of the participants were nervous about going on the Falkirk Wheel but enjoyed it immensely.
That the trips uplift the spirits of the participants they cannot get off the island any other way and we have learned that we must put in as much effort as possible into securing funding for next years trip!
How Cairdean Cordal Cheann a’Loch has benefitted from the funding
Increased strength and improved morale throughout everyone involved with the organisation and their families. In turn, our reputation in the community has been further strengthened. We attracted new people to the group which was fantastic, this has build momentum and we are fully encouraged now to plan for next year.
Ensure that the people involved in the project are able to plan the trip We will ensure that the trip is well planned with contingency plans in place in case of bad weather, illness etc. Everyone travelling will be fully aware of the itinerary and back-up plans.
The group of carers and cared for people spent quality time with other people out-with their own normal environment. They shared memorable experiences and many laughs with others which strengthened support within the group. There has been an increased sense of ownership with the participants of the group which has inspired ideas for further trips next year. This sense of being part of future plans has encouraged and motivated participants as they brace for the long winter ahead. All of the carers and cared for people involved benefited greatly from the trip in many ways, de-stressing and re-energising before returning back to normal life.
One lady, Harriet, attended the trip for the first time this year and was initially a bit nervous about travelling from the Island all the way to Glasgow, as its a long road trip! Due to the support from the organisers and other participants she felt safe and secure and able to enjoy herself, away from home, for the first time in a long time. In addition to this, Harriet was able to get in touch with family that she hadn't seen for about 20 years and they met up with her in Glasgow to reunite and catch up. This was a pivotal moment for Harriet and had she not gone on the trip, she might never have seen her relatives again as they do not keep in good health and would not ever have travelled to the island to see her.
Allowing the carers to decide what activities would be beneficial for them allowing them to decide what they would like to do. Carefully plan the trip in consideration of the carers wishes. Reducing any worries they may have by providing a contingency plan in case of bad weather, illness etc.
Carers had the opportunity to get away from everyday life and feel refreshed and relaxed in the company of others who are in similar circumstances. This allowed for the development and strengthening of peer support in a relaxed, informal manner. Carers benefited from a trip away from their routine which for many meant a break from 1 to 1 around the clock care. They benefited from new exciting opportunities, visiting historic places, beautiful scenic travel and meeting new people from all walks of life they were also be encouraged to let down their hair and get involved at a ceilidh. These activities allowed for some “me time” for the carers. Sharing fun and laughter with others from outside their normal life gave the carers a much needed and deserved boost which will aid them to continue in their caring roll in the months to come. New connections with others also provided further opportunities for social activities outside of the caring role
One of the carers, Joan, expressed her enjoyment of the trip and in particular, the activities that she would never have been able to do at home, because of her caring role. This meant that Joan was able to attend the museum of art at Kelvin Grove, ride on the Falkirk wheel, visit the Kelpies and the science centre. All of these activities allowed for Joan to take her mind off her caring responsibilities and enjoy herself. This would not have been possible without the trip.