Space for Young Carers
A story by The Broomhouse Centre trading as "Space @ Broomhouse Hub"
Space Young Carers Project delivered a planned programme of short breaks for young carers living in the South West of Edinburgh, aged 5 years to 25 years. We provided a range of opportunities including: support groups, one to one sessions and residential respite trips.
What Space for Young Carers did
Throughout term time we have provided 5 evening group activity sessions per week. The activities we facilitated during these sessions included: Creative Craft, Games Nights, Disco/Party Nights, Laser Tag, Bowling, Alpaca Walking, Cinema Trips, and Swimming. These activities took place in our organisation's hub and in the Edinburgh locality.
Throughout holiday periods we provided a range of day trips for the 5 groups over 4 days weekly, these included: Beach Trips, Hill Walking, Farm/Park Trips, Time Capsule, Outdoor Laser Quest and a Christmas Pantomime. These activities took place around Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.
Throughout the year we facilitated 6 residential breaks, engaging 73 young carers to attend, in partnership with the following providers: Hebridean Pursuits, Scottish Young Carers Festival, Hopscotch and Honey Pot.
Our young carers participated in activities including: Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Coasteering, Glencoe Walks, Park/Farm visits and Beach Trips. These residentials provided respite breaks for our young carers. Young Carers who took part in these short breaks were identified through various factors including: not having these opportunities with their families and in need of respite from their caring role.
Over the past year we have recruited 2 full time Young Carer Project Workers to meet the demands of our service. We have also recruited a further 3 volunteers to support the service.
What The Broomhouse Centre trading as "Space @ Broomhouse Hub" has learned
It is crucial to plan in advance with budget management in mind. It is important that we stay within our budget whilst maintaining a fun and save environment for our young carers to enjoy. Building professional relationships with our young carers and their families, helps us to identify those most in need of support.
Through our schools work we are able to reach a wider audience of young people who may have a carer role at home but do not know that they are a young carer. Our schools worker will deliver assemblies in school to talk about young carers and what they are, this helps us to identify new young carers and engage with their families.
Reaching out to other providers/organisations to find out what activities they offer. We have gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years in terms of Partnership Working. This has been demonstrated through the amount of partner organisations who approach us with ideas and activities for workshops.
Having a back up plan allows us to deal with unexpected challenges, whilst making sure we have time to deal with any challenges straight away and not to disregard, so that they become forgotten.
How The Broomhouse Centre trading as "Space @ Broomhouse Hub" has benefitted from the funding
A big challenge we have faced again this year has been a significant increase in our referrals for young carers. Our organisation has benefitted from the fund, allowing us to employ new staff members to meet the demand.
160 Young Carers, will have more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role, through activity based sessions.
178 Young Carers have been supported through group activity based support and one to one sessions over the past year. This was achieved by recruiting 2 more full time project workers within our organisation. 103 young carers have given feedback on an improvement in their confidence. 111 Young Carers have provided feedback around positive changes in their life's due to attending sessions. The young carers team gather feedback through evaluation forms quarterly, these forms are created to make them accessible for each age and stage. Staff evaluations & planning sessions are completed with a strong input from the young people/children. Young Carers help to plan sessions, choose activities and look at goal setting.
Kade is a young carer for his Mum who has poor mental health and needs support with translation. His significant caring role has meant he has become isolated from friends and this, in turn, has strained his relationship with his younger sister. Up until recently, we have been able to support Kade with fortnightly Young Carers Groups, this group is a constant with some holidays off, so the access to the group is always there for him. More recently Kade has started to engage more with the group. Previously, his life at home had deteriorated and he was not engaging in the group support. Kade suffers with anxiety and his circumstances at home had a negative impact on his mental health. Kade had attempted suicide at the end of the school year and there was an emergency plan put in for him by the school, which was shared with me. Kade’s group support changed to weekly, this consistency with new friends has brought out a new found confidence in him. He feels comfortable chatting with his new group and is a lot happier with this support. Kade is a recognised young carer and he feels supported in his caring role. He is less isolated as he is engaging with new friends.
160 Young Carers aged between 5 years and 25 years will access weekly short break support from our young carer services.
178 Young Carers are accessing our group activity sessions, this is a short break to provide the young carer respite from their caring role at home. There has been a significant increase in young carers attending these sessions and this is due to careful planning by the team, feedback from the young people on what activities they would like to try and the support the young people are receiving from the carers team. Throughout the past year there has been a significant increase in young carers accessing one to one support, with a further 44 young people accessing this service.
We took a group of 11 children on a weekly respite residential. This was to give the children respite from their caring role and also give children the chance to go on holiday who hadn’t had the opportunity to do so within the last year. We delivered a 5-day residential for 11 children aged 8-12, the children engaged in all the activities offered. We worked alongside Anna who was our activities coordinator for the week. The children particularly enjoyed the beach day, we all got wetsuits and went swimming in the sea and explored the beach. Anna did a lot of group activities where the children had to work as a team and solve problems together to finish the tasks, the children really enjoyed the water pipe challenge where they had to try to get the ball out of the top of the pipe using water working together to stop the water coming out the holes of the pipe and the ball to come out the top. We invited all the children and the families for a few meet-ups before the residential so they could get to know one another, tell them a bit more about the provider, and see if they had any questions. Those who attended all got involved and were happy to share ideas and get to know one another. Some of the children and families were apprehensive at first, it was a lot of the children's first time away from home for a long period of time. After meeting the other children and coming to the information days we organised the families left feeling better. All the children had such an amazing time at the residential and expressed how much they all loved having time away from home and taking part in loads of activities they had never tried, all particularly loving the tubing experience. The experience was something new that the children wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try if it were not for their involvement in the project. The children were sad when it was time to go home and all said they would love to come back if given the opportunity. Everyone involved felt this was an amazing opportunity, there were many friendships formed. The children and staff took part in activities that were out there comfort zone, overcoming fears they had mentioned in groups before we left. We all got together to decide what activities we would like to take part in before we went away and fed this back to hopscotch and also gave them information about the children coming along this made sure Anna the activity leader had everything prepared for our arrival. We also gave the children a chance to come together from different groups so they would get to know one another before we left, and for the families of the children to meet one another. This gave everyone the confidence to engage with each other and made the process easier for everyone involved. This resulted in everyone feeling at ease and forming new friendships in groups that are not usually together, this also helped for after the summer when some children would be moving up to the next age group, as they knew children from the other groups as a result of the residential break. The children felt that they had the opportunity to go away over the summer holidays for a break, giving them a sense of pride that they could go home and tell their friends and family all about their hopscotch holiday. This was the first time the Space used this organisation for a residential break and I believe everything went well. The break was a great success and the group dynamic worked very well.
160 Young carers will have improved well-being. 120 Cared for people will have improved their well-being
173 Young Carers have reported an improvement in their well-being since accessing support from Space Young Carers. Through YP completing feedback evaluations quarterly we are made aware of these improvements, both slightly and highly. 176 cared for people have completed a feedback evaluation form. 143 of these cared for persons have reported a positive impact on their well-being. Many stated that the improvement is due to the knowledge that their child/children are receiving support around their carers roll. 103 of these cared for parents have stated they feel less guilty around not being able to do activities with their children.
Cared for Person Feedback As a parent I feel incredibly guilty that I can't take my child out to do fun activities. Due to being bound to a wheelchair and loosing my sight, it is difficult to get out and about. I have no other family near by to support us and I cannot thank Space Young Carers enough for what they do for my son. My son loves his group support sessions, he enjoys all activities and being around other children in similar situations. He really likes the staff and can talk to them when he needs to. The staff also go above nd beyond to support me also, especially in school meetings.