Laughing Out Loud (LOL)
A story by Helensburgh & Lomond Carers Centre SCIO
We supported Young Carers to get a break from their caring role by giving them the opportunity to attend overnight residentials out with their local area. We prioritised those most vulnerable and targeted Young Carer’s in remote/rural areas of Helensburgh & Lomond to break down barriers to participation.
What Laughing Out Loud (LOL) did
We delivered four overnight residential opportunities for various age groups of young carers 23 participated in a 5-day adventure with The Outward Bound Trust at Loch Eil (11 x aged 9-12 and 12 x aged 12-14) in April & May. 8 x Young Adult Carers aged 16-24 enjoyed a 3-night city break to Liverpool in August and a further 10 x young carers aged 12-17 undertook a 5-day sailing voyage with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland leaving from Greenock to explore different areas of the Clyde in October.
All of these residentials were supported by 2 members of young carers/sessional staff and included travel/food/activity costs. Our project went to plan and we only had 1 young carer not attend one of the trips due to sickness, which was unforeseen. We did however have to ask for an extension on using the funding for one of the trips. This was due to the availability of the provider (as we were unable to book until we received the outcome of our application).
23 of the young carers participated in an exciting outdoor adventure where they were given the opportunity to experience kayaking, canoeing, high ropes, rock climbing, gorge walking, wild swimming, outdoor cooking and much more. 8 x YACs visited a City they had never been to before and engaged in a range of leisure/social and educational activities. A further 12 x young carers undertook a sailing trip where they took part in a combination of shore-based and water-based activities which involved planning, cooking, cleaning and sailing the yacht with the support of Sea Staff over the course of the 5 days.
What Helensburgh & Lomond Carers Centre SCIO has learned
This funding allowed us to develop new short break activities for young carers. We were able to offer an extensive range of overnight residential opportunities for young people that we hadn’t been able to offer previously.
We were able to reach out and engage with new families who had not previously attended our services which included brand new registered young carers. The young carers team leader took lead with planning and budgeting for the project which allowed for staff development.
How Helensburgh & Lomond Carers Centre SCIO has benefitted from the funding
The funding allowed us to deliver an extensive residential program, providing opportunities for young carers to get a break from their caring role. The funding allowed us to book residentials that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to due to the costs involved. As a result, we were able to access additional funding from the providers (OYT & Outward Bound) to receive a grant towards the total cost.
After the successful residentials, Young Carers and their 'cared for' family members will report they understand the importance and mutual benefits of a break.
All Young Carers and their cared-for/families benefitted from the break. Young Carers attending the residentials gained a break from their caring role whilst their cared-for/families benefitted from enjoying time with other family members.
A & B care for their parents who suffer from a neurological condition and substance misuse. They were referred by school who were keen for them to get support with their caring roles. A & B had a block of 121’s in school to help build a relationship with their support worker. During this time, their young carer statements were completed, and it was identified that they would benefit from regular respite. A & B started to attend our weekly youth group sessions and enjoyed it so much that they continued to engage with this on a weekly basis. After several weeks of attending group, A & B felt confident enough to start engaging with day trips which gave them a regular break from their caring role and a chance to meet new young people. A & B continued to engage with our service on a regular basis and went on to attend a 5-day residential to an Outdoor Centre where they challenged themselves to try new things and conquer their fear of heights. Both receive regular 121 support in the school setting. Due to the unpredictable nature of their caring role, both suffer from anxiety, and we have supported them to access counselling/mental health support. A & B attending the residential allowed their parents to enjoy some much needed quality time together. This improved family relationships and allowed A & B to have time away from the home setting.
Young Carers will have recharged their batteries, have time to themselves and build peer/professional relationships which will ensure Young Carers are better supported to sustain their caring role.
This project allowed Young Carers to have time to themselves, away from their home setting. Having a break from their caring role, allowed them to reset, relax and enjoy time with peers, ultimately supporting them to sustain their caring roles.
X is a Young Adult Carer who helps support a family member with mental health issues. X's caring role can be demanding and take it's toll on their own mental health and well-being. Due to this, X, signed up to the opportunity to attend a 3-night break. X used this to recharge their batteries, meet new people and build peer/professional relationships. As a result of attending the trip, X was able to build a relationship with staff members which increased their own confidence to access the service in an on-going basis.
Young Carers and there cared for will report improved wellbeing. They will be more confident to participate and engage with our service. They will feel less stressed and anxious and better able to manage their caring role.
Attendance at a residential will have a positive impact and improve understanding of the importance of Young Carers to have time to themselves and to enjoy a life alongside their caring role. A residential provides Young Carers with a chance to get away from their normal day-to-day lives and enjoy time with similar young people.
Y cares for their sibling who suffers from ADHD and mental health issues. School referred Y as they needed support with their caring role. Y was seen in school where a Young Carers Statement was completed which identified the nature of their caring role and the impact it was having on them. Home life was becoming increasingly hard, and it was highlighted that Y needed access to emotional support, and regular 'breaks' away from their caring role. As a result, weekly 121's with a YC worker were implemented in the school setting and Y was encouraged to access group activities. Y engaged well with youth group sessions and day trips. Later it was identified that a longer break away from caring was something they would benefit from. They attended a 5-day residential, where they challenged themselves to take part in various outdoor activities. This provided Y with a much needed ‘break’ from their caring role, allowed them to interact with peers, meet new people, try new things, and have fun. On Young Carers Action Day, Y, spoke about being a Young Carer in front of their class. It was amazing to see how far Y had come over a period of 6/9 months, gaining enough confidence to be a ‘Young Carer Ambassador’ and promote the support and services that they had been given as a young carer in the hope that it may identify new carers in their class. Y's cared-for enjoyed quality time with other family members whilst Y was away from home, which helped improve family relations.