Self Directed Short Breaks East Renfrewshire
A story by East Renfrewshire Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in East Renfrewshire.
What Self Directed Short Breaks East Renfrewshire did
We have recruited a panel of 5 carers who receives applications weekly by email and who share their views and make recommendations to the Centre Manager.
As well as providing emotional support to the young adult carer through the Time To Live Funding we were able to fund a holiday abroad for the young person to go on with her friends. It was the first time the young person had ever been abroad and provided a fantastic break away from the caring role but importantly allowed the young person to have the same opportunities as their friends. The situation at home remained difficult but the break provided the young person with a chance to reflect on things, recharge her batteries and face the challenges ahead.
The young people themselves came up with the proposal of going on a group holiday without their parents. The young people identified an adventure weekend that could meet their needs and worked with Youth Services from the Local Authority in order that they could provide staff which meant the young peoples parents did not come on the visit.
Through Time to Live Funding including the allocation from The Autism Strategy we were able to provide funding for 20 young people to go on a residential outdoor activity weekend. The young people had a fantastic break and their parents had a weekend break from their caring role although many worries common to all parents with a teenagers or young adults being away on holiday with their friends remained.
What East Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learnedUndoubtedly we have received many new referrals as a result if the Time To Live Fund. Originally this would have been to access the funding but over time services referring to us have became more aware of the other services the Centre can provide and have made referrals to the Centre for wider support.
Reviewing the applications made to the fund has highlighted the range of poor health and illness that carers suffer. Although we obviously knew that carers own health was affected seeing the conditions and illness highlighted in relation to the need for a break was really quite surprising.
Unfortunately we find it difficult to engage the local authority health and social care services in continuing to support the carers in relation to short breaks after the Time To Live support has finished.
This is particularly relevant when some carers were supported through home care services which gave them the opportunity to attend social or leisure activities in the community. The benefits of the support are highlighted by the evaluation process but unfortunately there are no instances when this support has continued by the local authority after the Time to Live Fund support stopped. Some carers have received support from the SDS Forum to take this on and work with the local authority.
Conversely the local authority do see acknowledge the benefits of the the Time To Live Model and are currently using the exact approach and learning from our project to pilot a project which will provide people with mild mental health problems with a small amount of funding to access social prescribing opportunities.