Something to Look Forward To
A story by Fife Voluntary Action
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Fife and are caring for someone aged 20 years +
What Something to Look Forward To did
Following on from the last round of Creative Breaks funding, our project continued to deliver direct distribution of short breaks funding to carers in Fife. With the support of our partners on the monthly panel, Fife Carers Centre, Fife Young Carers, Crossroads and an individual Carer we continue to promote the fund and assist with the assessment of applications.
In addition to the usual advertising via our website and partners' publicity materials, this year we designed a leaflet which has been widely distributed to organisations that have contact with Carers as well as centres and other venues across Fife. A press release also ensured that we generated some articles in the local press for the Fund broadening the reach of our project.
Our application form and guidance is available online, and for those who need it our staff and partners are happy and pleased to offer further guidance in completing the form. After each monthly panel meeting our team process the awards and notify all the candidates of the outcome. This year we also tested a new post break telephone evaluation form which has proved very useful in developing our service and guidance on types of breaks for carers.
Mr C fed back that his fitness is so improved that his Doctor has reported that he is no longer depressed and that he, himself, feels "fighting fit" and happy to see his wife so happily occupied, as she is to see him so well. The difference the award made included respite for both carer and cared for leading to improved physical, mental and emotional wellbeing that can be sustained into the future for both of them .
JK reports that her stress levels are reduced and that she is feeling much more relaxed, her friend and cared for person also reports that there has been a "huge positive difference" in JK since their break. JK acknowledges the importance of taking a break and allocates time where the caring responsibilities allow, she really appreciated the value the Fund places on her wellbeing and her ability to continue in a role that she is fully committed to.
What Fife Voluntary Action has learnedOur project has been running successfully for 3 years now. Our processes are now well established but regularly reviewed. The significant learning this year has been around developing new media to communicate the fund to a wider audience in Fife. We have designed a new leaflet which has enabled us to approach a range of different organisations who deal with carers to raise awareness of the importance of carers taking a break and the benefits that such a break has on the sustainability of the caring role.
A press release also generated some local publicity which led to a number of carers with no links to Fife's care services sector applying to the Fund successfully. We hope to build on this interest in the coming year with further local press articles that focus on the importance of Carers taking a break and the benefits that result. In addition we have begun raising awareness of the fund and the importance of breaks within the BME communities through our newly established Equalities Hub.