SDSB Self-directed Short Breaks
A story by East Renfrewshire Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in East Renfrewshire and care for someone over the age of 21, to plan and pay for a short break of their choice.
What SDSB Self-directed Short Breaks did
Applications are made by staff on behalf of carers. Applications are sent electronically on a weekly basis to a panel of 5 carers who make decisions and come back to the Centre Manager with responses within 1 week but in reality this is often the same day.
Availability of the funding is in our publicity information including a welcome pack given to all carers. We also have staffed linked to all the main HSCP teams and regularly update their staff about the funding. We also update other voluntary and community groups that we work or network with information about Creative Breaks funding is also shared on our website.
The carer is a man who enjoys simple pleasures and never wants to be far from his wife, he has a passion for horse racing so funding was given to the carer to purchase two tickets to the horse racing at a nearby track. The tickets were more expensive than the carer could afford as his condition meant that he could not cope with standard tickets which would involve standing all day in a very crowded environment. Tickets were purchased for the carer and his son who drove to the race track, other family members took care of the his wife and the carer enjoyed a day out with luck on his side, not only was the sun shining but he won a modest amount of money.
The carer thoroughly enjoyed the day out, his son supported him but also spent quality time together and the carer was assured that his wife was looked after throughout and he was home in a time scale that did not cause any distress to his wife.
Through Creative Breaks we were able to contribute to the cost of the holiday with the school also providing some funding. The young carers staff secured a further £250 match funding from East Renfrewshire Good Causes to contribute to the young carers spending money and some holiday clothes/luggage.
What East Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learnedShort Breaks and Respite is still a major concern for carers in East Renfrewshire and increasingly so particularly with the closure or threat to day centres and other respite services that carers access.
We still receive applications from Social Workers but have improved our vetting procedures and more often will not accept applications which are should clearly be met through statutory duties.
Identifying carers not known to our service is an ongoing priority for our service and we undertake a range of activities to achieve this including links to HSCP teams, GP’s and pharmacies, community and voluntary groups as well as posters, leaflets, presentations, talks and the use of social media. The ability to offer a short break service and/or funds to manage this definitely improves our profile and the range of services we can provide.
We also draw down funding from other sources such as Support in Mind, Carers Trust & East Renfrewshire Good Causes to support carers and having access to the short breaks fund has been a catalyst for this.