SNAP WEEKENDS FOR CARERS OF ADULTS AGED 21 AND OVER
A story by SNAP (Special Needs Action Project)
We provided Short Breaks for adults aged 21 years plus who live in the Inverness area with substantial special needs. Activities provided opportunities for attendees to reduce social isolation, try new as well as favorite activities with support thereby giving their carers a well deserved break.
What SNAP WEEKENDS FOR CARERS OF ADULTS AGED 21 AND OVER did
Between Oct 2019 and Feb 2020 we took a total of 24 adults with additional support needs on 4 weekend breaks. These were at accommodation's in Helmsdale, Boat of Garten, Glenfeshie and Latheronwheel. We also provided 62 spaces on Saturday activities such as Craft days, Halloween activities, Christmas activities, Slumber party, Laughter Yoga and photography days.
The maximum number we took away at any one time was 11 due to the levels of support required by the people attending. These breaks were planned well in advance in order to allow parent/carers and families to plan their time to make the most of their own short break.
What SNAP (Special Needs Action Project) has learned
We have learned that we don't always have to reinvent the wheel - the people we take away and their carers have told us how much they value the short breaks we provide - it doesn't have to be in fancy accommodation - but what they do desire is more breaks, and especially more residential breaks.
We have learned that to get the most from a short break, carers appreciate time to plan their own down time to make the most of their time off. As much as they appreciate any time off from their caring role, it makes such a difference to their general well being and mental health if they can also look forward to their own short break or activity, whatever that may be.
We have learned that there are always challenges - finance, COVID, staffing - but as long as we can keep providing a service for our young people and their carers, that is what is the most important thing
How SNAP (Special Needs Action Project) has benefitted from the funding
The funding allowed us to give our attendees a short break which they hadn't had due to lack of funding in the previous year. It strengthened our reputation as an organisation who provides fantastic opportunities for fun, well planned short breaks. Accessing this funding allowed us to secure further funding but without it we would not be able to provide these short breaks. Creative Breaks funding actually allows us to get to know our young people better, getting to spend more quality time with them. Our staff are truly grateful for the opportunity to do so as it allows them to offer much more of a personalised service which then shows in the care we give and then allows carers to feel more supported in their caring role
44 carers will have experienced increased wellbeing.
41 carers stated that their wellbeing increased due to their young adults accessing short breaks with SNAP. Carers state regularly that SNAP is a "lifeline" to them
Young adults, and older adults with disabilities often feel they are left "high and dry" and without any regular activities, except for those accessed with families/carers, especially in that transition when leaving school. This is why SNAP is so important to the families that access SNAP services. Once a young person leaves school, carers are often left adrift, with no routine to their young persons day. Ensuring that their young adults continue to have some normality ie - the continuation of friendship groups and activities at SNAP is so important to families. X has autism and is a very bright young man who is continuing higher education at college. He struggles alot with low self esteem and even self harm but is fortunate to have a very supportive but small family. Through close ties formed with SNAP, X's parents know we are just a phone call away and we are then able to offer personalised support or just a friendly, caring ear. Just knowing that SNAP is there and understands truly means the world to this close knit family who are so good at putting on a brave face to the outside world when SNAP knows how hard their life really can be. For this small family, knowing SNAP will give their son the care, love and attention he deserves through regular short breaks with SNAP really does help them through and increases their own wellbeing
44 carers will have had regular, planned breaks from their caring role
41 carers were able to receive regular, planned breaks from their caring role while their cared for young person accessed activities with SNAP.
Y is 31 years old and has been attending SNAP for many years. She lives at home with Mum and Dad and whilst her weekly Youth Club at SNAP is the highlight of her week, she so looks forward to a weekend break with SNAP. She relishes the time away from her parents, time spent with friends, both old and new, as well as doing fun activities, getting out and about - things that any young adult would enjoy. Her parents have come to depend on the weekly break that SNAP gives them through Youth club, but love to plan their own weekend whenever their daughter goes on a weekend break with SNAP. It could be something as simple as watching a film together, or catching up with friends, or just recharging batteries and enjoying their downtime.
44 carers will have felt supported by SNAP to sustain their caring role
41 carers whose young people accessed a short break with SNAP during the period of this grant felt supported by SNAP and able to sustain their caring role.
X's mum had a close family member who sadly passed away. Through our close communication with all our families, we were aware of the family situation and were able to offer additional short breaks which not only allowed the family time to grieve and attend the funeral, but just knowing that we were there and able to offer additional support if required meant the world to the family. X has been coming to SNAP for many years so felt at ease coming for extra breaks, perhaps with people he didn't know so well, and this in turn grew his own confidence, something that was much appreciated by his family.