MND Scotland Time to Live Grants
A story by MND Scotland
We provided grants directly to carers who look after someone with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), and to people with MND who have a carer who will also benefit. The project covers the whole of Scotland.
What MND Scotland Time to Live Grants did
We have developed our process to incorporate learning from the previous year. We aim to maximise access and opportunity to apply; to prioritise those in greatest need; and to achieve effective evaluation and reporting.
We have 3 application rounds each year, open to anyone in Scotland caring for someone with MND. People can apply for a grant of any amount up to £500, for any aspect of cost related to a holiday or any other type of time out. Because MND can develop extremely rapidly, we will fast-track applications if necessary. Grant recipients are required to complete a feedback form when they have taken their break. Decisions are made by an in-house panel of 4 people. This includes our 2 Welfare and Benefits Officers, who have contact with most families affected by MND. Because we are all in-house, we can circulate applications by email, discuss them and make decisions promptly.
Grants are paid by cheque or bank transfer. Our Office Administrator is responsible for the payment and administration of the grants, including sending out and receiving the feedback forms.
Our grant scheme is advertised through our website and our newsletter, and is promoted by all members of staff who have direct contact with people affected by MND. Our Care Team staff and our Welfare and Benefits Officers, in particular, are able to target those they know to be in greatest need.
This year we are asking people to be as specific as possible about when and how they will use the grant. This aims to avoid people asking for the maximum grant and then deciding what they might do with it, so that we can get help quickly to those who need it most.
What MND Scotland has learnedThe fund means we can offer an additional service which directly gives carers and those they care for a happier quality of life, and it has enabled us to reach more people affected by MND.
It can be a challenge to combine the simplest possible application form with gathering enough information to make sure we giving priority to those most in need, so we have tweaked our processes to try and get that balance.
Our clinical specialists and our Welfare and Benefits officers promote the Time to Live grants and encourage people most in need to apply: often they would not have done so without this prompting.