A story by Renfrewshire Carers Centre
Mind Moves provided a series of initiatives to support people to calm and reset their minds, moving into a more positive and relaxed headspace whilst enjoying activities with others.
What Mind Moves did
We provided the following short break activities for Carers and their loved ones: Seated yoga, mat based yoga and online zoom facilitated sessions
Health focused mindful eating session Gossip and gratitude sessions – reframing negative self-talk and thoughts Personal training sessions Drumming and sound meditations Respite support
Activities took place within our centre and in local community spaces before being relocated online.
Sessions were available to Carers and their Cared For people. We also opened some of the sessions up to extended family and friends to support those attending, and support staff and volunteers also provided respite support, transportation and physical and emotional support as required.
The project targeted mental health, relaxation, physical health and reduced isolation to those connecting through the group activities.
We are delighted that some of the activities are now carrying on as self sustaining groups and the peer support within these groups has supported attendees during the pandemic has been critical to the well being of those attending. Many have reported to feel supported with their mental health and their overall health improved.
What Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learned
Our biggest challenge was moving the content of our sessions online and support participants to gain online access and distribute equipment.
Engaging new participants who had never had any contact with the Centre prior and reaching out to engage these Carer and their loves ones to online.
Once settled, many of the Carers and their loved one have been open about the improved accessibility and ease of attending online, and that a blend of face-to-face and online sessions would be good in the future.
A couple of Carers have also indicated that they would have lacked the confidence to come to a face-to-face session in the first instance, but would now that they've met a few people online. Delivering respite was also very different for us this year due to the quick changing rules applying to health and social care.
How Renfrewshire Carers Centre has benefitted from the funding
The Creative Breaks funding has allowed us to deliver essential breaks for our Carers and their loved ones during an extremely challenging time. The respite component of the funding allowed essential workers to support people in our community and maintain their mental and physical well-being, which has been needed more than ever. We now have two groups that are self-sustaining and have significantly reduced the social isolation for some members of our group during the lockdown periods.
At least 60 Carers will attend the group throughout the year. The group will become self-sustaining and have a number of regular attendees who participation in core group facilitation, planning and hosting. Two of the groups are now self-sustaining.
68 Carers and their loved ones benefitted from attending the various sessions that we delivered. This was achieved by quickly moving sessions online and working with our Carers to determine if the session formats would still work for them; making changes to accommodate needs and delivering any equipment that was needed for Carers to attend.
Mrs T had attended meditation, gentle yoga and mindful drumming sessions, which she reported brought great joy, friendships and relaxation to her. She was able to fully connect during these sessions as she was able to bring her Cared For with her or opt to receive respite support so she could attend; the flexibility allowed co-attendance on good days for the Cared For and time for her self on days that were more challenging. During the pandemic, Mrs T reported that 'I really have enjoyed them immensely & do feel so much fitter healthier & happier as a result'.
Carers will feel better supported to sustain their caring role.
Many of our Carers requested the support of respite to allow them time to attend session in person before the pandemic and, as some of our staff are qualified social care workers, we were able to provide socially distanced respite options during the pandemic. Carers to attend sessions and enjoy their breaks and time to themselves. They online friendships and the weekly sessions gave a 'marker' to the week for some.