SNAP Short Breaks 2022-23
A story by SNAP (Special Needs Action Project)
We provided a variety of Short Breaks for young adults who have additional support needs in Inverness. These breaks included Weekend Breaks, Saturday ‘Out and About in the local community and also a weekly Youth Club. All of these services offer parents/carers some valued respite.
What SNAP Short Breaks 2022-23 did
We have delivered 2 x 48 hour sleepovers, Badaguish November 2022 8 of our young adults attended. Activities were a pamper day at a local beauty salon and a meal out together. We identified and chose people to attend by inviting 4 of our young adults who had not experienced a weekend break away with SNAP before. For the remaining 4 we chose by looking at the families need for respite and also whether these young adults would enjoy the experience of the activities that were planned.
One of the carers had a weekend planned with her friend which involved eating out, cinema and socialising. We had another family who were going to go away for their own weekend break and another was looking forward to spending quality time with her son. The other carers were grateful to be able to have a weekend of relaxing away from their caring role.
Badaguish December 2022 - 7 of our young adults attended. Activities were the pantomime and dinner at a restaurant. Due to the needs of the group this was a safe and sufficient number. We identified and chose people to attend by looking at our records to see which of our young people had not accessed a sleepover for a long time and we also looked at the need of each individual family.
Carers were able to use their time for much needed respite, time for themselves to relax and have time for themselves away from their caring role. Two of the families planned a weekend away and one of the carers was going to use the time to catch up on her Christmas shopping. We delivered 8 Saturday/Sunday outings which included dolphin watching and a chippy, crazy golf and a pool and darts night!
Our Saturday outings helped our young adults to access opportunities that others take for granted, to be part of the community, to learn new skills, grow in confidence and independence and to be able to socialise in a safe and supportive environment. It also gives their parents/carers regular, planned breaks from their caring role.
The principles of the Creative Breaks programme mirror the basic principles of everything we strive for at SNAP. Personalisation is something that is always at the very heart of planning our Short Breaks.
What SNAP (Special Needs Action Project) has learned
Through delivering this project we have learnt just how vital it is to carers to have a break from their caring role, to have much needed and valued personal time. We have learnt that these short breaks help to improve the well-being of our carers and that the opportunity for respite gives them time and space to be themselves and to ensure we are targeting families most in need of support. As well as reaching out and engaging with new families through the expansion of our new services.
How SNAP (Special Needs Action Project) has benefitted from the funding
Our organisation has hugely benefited from Creative Breaks funding during our exciting expansion of services. We are delighted to have been successful in securing Creative Breaks funding for 2023-24 and to offer more respite opportunities to new families in Highland.
34 carers will have had regular, planned breaks from their caring role.
34 carers have had regular, planned breaks from their caring role through Saturday/Sunday outings and weekend breaks.
We had a young adult who experienced his first 48-hour break with us. He is from a single parent family and his Mum had never had a whole weekend to herself. Although she was anxious about him going away she made plans to go out for a meal and to the bingo with her friend, something she had not done for years. Full time care for her son means that she has become isolated and with the help of the project she was able to think about herself. The time to herself helped her to unwind and have much needed ‘Me Time’ to relax and slow down. Knowing that her son was with staff whom she trusted and his friends from SNAP she was reassured that he was safe and happy. After the weekend she said that how refreshed she felt and how grateful she was that we had provided her son with a fun weekend. For the young adult he was able to have a weekend where he grew in confidence and independence.
34 carers will feel supported by SNAP in aiding to sustain their caring role.
SNAP supported 34 carers to sustain their caring role by giving as much information to carers about where we go, what we do, etc. SNAP staff strive to ensure that activities in place are personalised to the people we support, which ensures that we lighten the load put on these carers. Communication between SNAP staff and carers is paramount in ensuring this outcome is sustained.
One of our carers had the opportunity to go away for a spa weekend with her friend to a lovely hotel as a birthday treat while her daughter was on a 48 hour sleepover. The carer told us that had she not received the respite through our project this would have been something that she would never have had the opportunity to do. The carer experienced massage treatment for the first time and she had her hair and make-up done which made her feel amazing. It was a wonderful weekend for her and the longest amount of respite time she had had from her demanding caring role. The carer said that she felt refreshed and energised.
34 carers will have experienced an increase in their wellbeing.
34 carers were given the opportunity to have much needed and valued personal time, which allowed them to relax, socialise, develop their hobbies, and simply have a well-needed break from their demanding caring role.
A sibling of one of our young adults was treated to a trip to his favourite football club for a tour and a match while his brother was on a 48 hour sleepover. The family were able to stay in a hotel overnight and experience a break from their caring role and spend quality time with their son. They had an amazing weekend and told us that special memories were created.