South West Glasgow Carers Centre on behalf of the Glasgow Carers Partnership
A story by Volunteer Glasgow
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Glasgow in order to allow them to direct and design their own short breaks to meet their identified need.
What South West Glasgow Carers Centre on behalf of the Glasgow Carers Partnership did
PRT South West Glasgow Carers Centre, applies for the time to live funds on behalf of the Glasgow Carers Partnership. Funds are distributed equally to each Carers Centre in Glasgow to ensure that all carers across Glasgow have equal access to short breaks.
Carers are asked to complete a short application form detailing the reason for the break, the outcomes the carer hopes to achieve as a result of the break, details of their caring situation, what other supports are available to them, and what type of break they are applying for. A full guidance note is made available to carers detailing how to complete the application.
Full help and support from a staff member within the carers centre and social work service teams are also made available to help complete the application should the carer require it, whether they are known to the carers centres or not. Applications can be submitted anytime.
Each carer centre is responsible for reviewing the completed applications for their area with their local panel members. This is usually done every two weeks. They will then award funding based on priority of need and available funds. Funds are allocated up to a maximum of £500 (in exceptional circumstances) but usually awards are in the region of £200 to £350. Funds are allocated to carers most in need that fit the eligibility criteria. Carers of adults and older people, BME carers, kinship carers and young carers were the priority groups.
As well as making use of social media, we have an extensive list of organisations that disseminate the Time to Live information. This is in order that, access and information is made available for hard to reach carers and those most in need. This includes organisations specialising in supporting the BME community, the travelling community and Kinship carers. We also offer a translation service.
We have remained committed to learning and sharing good practice and improving our service. This has resulted in us sharing our practice with other areas and centres. This includes sharing our application process, guidance, funding agreements, evaluation forms and recording dataset with other services.
B came to the service feeling increasingly stressed and isolated from friends and family. B’s caring role and his wife’s condition had become overwhelming for them both.
B’s Case Worker undertook a full assessment of B’s needs and recommended that B apply to the Time to Live Fund. He and his wife had lost touch with close family in another part of the UK and, as there was a family event coming up, a grant of £400 was awarded to allow the couple to visit and socialise with their family, attend the event and also take some days out together as a couple.
Family members helped out with caring whilst they were on holiday to allow B to have some time for himself whilst the couple took their break, the Service undertook a full financial assessment and ensured full income maximisation was in place. This resulted in the couple maintaining a social life on their return.
The Award included the purchase of annual rail cards for the couple to allow them to take time out to pursue interests on their return home.
Impact, a break from the caring relationship, carer able to have some personal time, able to do things as a couple, restoring their relationship, increased contact with family and friends.
Michelle stated on her application form: ‘I don’t get out as much as I used to, I am always helping mum keep an eye on Max and my dad works a lot. Since getting the time to live award, I get a break from home. I really enjoyed the fishing program, learning how to fish and enjoyed spending time with other young carers. It turned out I was really good at it and would like to do it when I get time. I also discovered that my dad used to go fishing and it is a way of spending time with my dad’
Stacey reported back: ‘I can go fishing and get a break from home and enjoy quality time with my dad which I haven’t been able to do so before. In the past, I have had little time with my dad so being able to spend time with him now has provided a better balance to my life rather than just being there for my brother. I feel more relaxed and have more patience when I get home’.
Molly stated that she would benefit from a break and added that she has not seen her children for over a year. She applied to the Time to Live fund to enable her to visit her son and grandchildren down south.
On her return Molly stated: ‘I had time for myself to focus on my own family. I enjoyed long walks in the countryside which helped me feel physically and mentally better, a more balanced person. I now know that it is important to focus time on me and that I need space too, this will help me care for my mother. Seeing my family was just what I needed, it lifted my spirits’.
The Centre has supported Molly with some of the issue she has faced, she now feels more confident in her caring and knows that she can turn to the Centre for support in the future.
The carer was feeling tired and stressed as a result of not being able to have any time to himself, unless his sister is able to spend time with his mum at the weekend to enable him to go out. The carer initially agreed to a traditional short break service being put in place to enable him to leave the house and pursue his own interests. However, he later changed his mind and this service was cancelled.
However, as the carer had identified that he previously enjoyed going to the Gym as this made him feel healthier, both mentally and physically. The Carer was given assistance to complete an application for the Time to Live Fund.
He was then awarded £250 which he used to pay for Gym membership for a year, which allowed him to coincide his gym visits with the respite his sister provided at weekends.
The Carer has greatly benefited from a Time to Live award which was flexible and individual to his needs. The carer advised he feels his health has improved since he started attending the Gym, which also provides him with a break in his caring role.
He feels there is now more of a balance in his caring role and his life outside caring, and is more confident in being able to continue in his caring role. The Carer also advised he now feels more confident in who to ask for help if he needs it in the future.
As their son seems settled in adult services and enjoys occasional weekend residential respite the couple decided they would like to have their first break away together for 25 years while their son was in respite. The couple arranged for their family to be on “stand by" while they were away. Mr and Mrs A enjoyed a weekend city break together for the first time in their married life knowing their son was happy and being looked after.
What Volunteer Glasgow has learnedThe Time to Live Fund has enabled us to reach and respond to Carers needs and offer practical, tailored support quickly. It has enabled us to work in an outcomes focused way, looking at the outcomes the carer hopes to achieve as a result of the break. It has helped focus carers minds as to the importance of time out for themselves and how they will achieve that in the short and longer term.
The fund has been instrumental in helping us to support individuals and families who may be less able to access alternative funding and grant options, and those less likely to ask for support. Families who would not reach the threshold for social work intervention, often access the fund for short breaks that make all the difference to their ability to cope longer term. The fund is an excellent example of the early intervention and prevention agenda in practice.
The difference the fund has made has been life changing for many carers. Having this fund enables us as a partnership to respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of carers. Due to how well advertised the fund is, it is often the conduit to carers accessing other supports on offer through the carers partnership.
Some quotes from carers:
“I wish to express our sincere gratitude to the team for coming to our aid. Thanks a million” Just to say thanks to everyone who assisted me during the process in applying for break fund” “I would like to say thanks for every given support during and before submitting my break fund, thanks.” “How grateful I am to be supported by an understanding and experienced group of people in the Carers’ Centre”
“I would like to thank you very much for the kindness you have given us. Without the caring we would not be able to get a break. “I have mentioned the carers centre to my MSP and hopefully he will be putting a motion in Scottish parliament to congratulate you on a wonderful service.”
“Thank you for giving my mum and I this holiday and thank you for funding our holiday. Everything was organized for us (was great being cared for)” "Thank you for the fund to support our break”
“thank you for time and support”, “Feeling the sun on my back, able to do what I want, when I want even if its sleeping. In control again. Thank you very much.”, “Keep up the great work” “Just a wee note to say thank you for my little break I loved every minute of it.”