Me Time for Carers
A story by Voluntary Action Shetland
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Shetland.
What Me Time for Carers did
The Carers’ Link Group offer carers in Shetland the chance to benefit from a short break from their caring role. They aim is to work in partnership with the VAS Carers Centre and Crossroads to allow carers to access carer cover for the time that they are receiving their short break and support if needed to plan their break.
Each summer Voluntary Action Shetland also arranges a set of outings for carers. Some are all day trips and some are shorter, lasting for only a few hours. This means that carers can choose the most appropriate type of break, trip, day and time. This year we introduced our first residential at Belmont House, Unst.
The carer support worker can assist carers with possible Ideas for short breaks or help carers access the Shared Care Scotland national database of short break (respite care) services and accessible holiday accommodation.
Carers can apply online through the online form on our virtual carers centre www.shetlandcarers.org or by completing a paper application form available through carers packs held at health centres or from Market House reception, Lerwick.
Funding Your Short Break: Short breaks will be subject to funding. The link group has currently set a limit on the cost of sessions to allow as many carers as possible to benefit from the scheme. However, if is worth remembering that travel cost can be over and above this and if it is to attend training VAS hold a separate training budget. To start with, we offer up to £200 per carer (on production of invoice or receipt), towards your chosen holiday, activity or therapy. This will be on a first come first served basis. Take up will be reviewed after six months and we will then feedback to carers.
The Link Group appreciates that Shetland’s geographical spread can make access difficult at times. A small transport budget has therefore been built into this project to help carers with travel arrangements where necessary.
Make a Request - it's Easy
1) Call Jo McPherson at VAS to obtain an application and to discuss the different options available to you (01595 743923) or you can use the online form by clicking the 'Short Break Form' button at the top of the need a break page on the virtual carers centre
2) Register with the confidential VAS carers database. This enables us to record that you are a carer and send you any new carer information
3) Once VAS has received your completed application form they will either book your short break choice or send out a cheque
After Your Short Break
We ask carers to complete either a telephone, email or written short break feedback interview or complete our new feedback short break postcard with one or two lines or a drawing that best sums up how they feel. This helps us to monitor the success and take-up of the project and make improvements where necessary. If carers requested a financial amount to use to make their own short break arrangement then receipts for anything purchased must be sent to Jo at Market House, 14 Market Street, Lerwick.
" Hi Jo, We had a fantastic day-does wonders for us! we've booked again for October!"
" Really enjoyed the day out at … the other week, Thanks"
" Our trip to Bressay was magic! We'll be going again I think!!"
What Voluntary Action Shetland has learnedThe fund has shown our organisation how successful a more creative and flexible approach to grant funding can be.
The launch of our Virtual Carers Centre www.shetlandcarers.org has helped promote the grant further and enabled carers to complete applications online which in remote areas has been beneficial as it can be quite some distance to the local post office.
Carers have started to discuss the benefits of the grant at support meetings which has lead to some shared trips which gives carers an added social bonus.