Time 2 B
A story by Highland Community Care Forum
We provided grants directly to carers who live in the Highlands.
What Time 2 B did
In the last year we have refined the application process, ensuring it is straightforward and simple for carers.
Our decision making panel is diverse and includes a representative from NHS Highland, a member of the HCCF board and usually two volunteer carers. Our fund is advertised in a number of ways, including via our network bulletin, on our website and via our Carer Liaison workers who provide the front line support to carers in Highland.
Our pot is always oversubscribed and this shows us that the word is out there.
Mrs M cares for her husband who has MS and 2 children with Autism.
She enjoyed everything about her day including the train journey, Mrs M rarely gets a break from caring. Mrs M came away from the conference more confident about her children’s future, most of the speakers and stand holders were autistic this has helped her put thing into perspective and made her more confident that her children will make a future for themselves, find employment, get an education and make friends.
Mrs M would not normally read leaflets but she read over 20 that day and took a lot of literature home which she has since read. Mrs M has kept in touch with some of people she met at the event this carer can’t wait for the next one.
A took his time deciding what would be a good break away from caring and spoke to the Young Carer Workers about a recent archery club he had been encouraged to attend one week by a friend. He decided that he would like to be able to go to the club on a weekly basis and was interested in buying his own archery equipment so he could practice in his spare time. A was awarded funding to pay for his yearly fees and purchase his own bow and arrows.
A now attends weekly along with a bunch of friends from school and has started to compete locally. He is also working towards his helpers badge so that he can teach other young people who join. A has told us that “it was really quite easy filling out the form and now every Wednesday is my time, my time to spend with friends and do something just for me”
The Wee Treat enabled these carers to access a small amount of funding for a one-off activity or time out. Wee Treat has proved successful and the use of this small grant has become more innovative, one carer applied for a Fishing License which enabled him to enjoy his hobby at his leisure. Several carers have applied for relaxation and holistic therapies, these short activities have had the benefit of giving carers a short time out, and allowing them some time out side of their caring role and helping them recharge their batteries to enable them to continue their caring role.
As an organisation we have taken this learning and good practice to our funders and NHS Highland, to illustrate the different ways that short breaks can be meaningful to carers. Our Time 2 B pot is a micro model of how personalisation and the Equal Partners in Care agenda should progress.
What Highland Community Care Forum has learnedWe have learned that respite provision and support to enable carers to have a life outside of caring, is desperately lacking in Highland. Our Time 2 B pot has been oversubscribed and this has partly been due to the lack of other provision in Highland. We are seeing an increasing number of young carers from disadvantaged backgrounds struggling to meet the basic levels of inclusion, for example attending school trips etc. Our fund had enabled 5 young carers to take part in this kind of activity.
Respite provision is very outdated and rigid, meaning carers are often not able to access it. Our pot allows carers to decide, plan and organise their own respite that suits their own needs. This has allowed and enabled a large number of Highland carers to access respite and design a break that is personalised and meaningful.