Time to Live
A story by East Ayrshire Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in East Ayrshire.
What Time to Live did
We delivered a diverse range of respite activities from Spa days, caravan breaks for families, hotel breaks, driving lessons, photography course/camera, gym membership, swimming passes, cinema passes, horse riding, climbing wall experience, gorge walking, river rafting, computer, golf membership and city break.
We spent time with the carers to establish what would make a good break from them that would make a difference to their ability to cope and continue caring.
We advertised through our Quarterly Newsletter, social media, linking with other organisations we work in partnership with to identify carers and their families in need of a break.
Our panel was made up of carers, our Short Break Coordinator and our Finance Officer. We had a high demand for breaks and were able to offer more than originally predicted due to securing free gym memberships through East Ayrshire Council's Health Partnership. Many of our carers did not need the full award amount with our grants averaging out at nearer £100 per award. Some carers also contributed themselves to the award to gain a weeks break away for the whole family.
We were able to get funding through her Individual Learning Account to pay for the course and the Time to Live fund paid for her camera. She says losing herself for a few hours taking pictures gives her much needed time out and something that is for herself that she loves doing.
A family went to Solway Village Holiday Park. they enjoyed the entertainment, facilities, nice meals and days out made possible by our staff gaining them additional income and a backdated payment of benefits which gave them spending money while the time to live fund paid for their caravan accommodation.
They returned saying this was the first family holiday they had ever had and felt it did them the "world of good".
We got this for both her and her son to enjoy and something they could do together. They both felt the benefit of getting away together and gives them something to look forward to every week.
An elderly couple took their adult son with severe Autism to an area popular with craft shops, their son engaged with the crafters, showing a real interest to what was going on to the amazement of his parents! On return the parents were very emotional and in tears that on their break their son had came out of his shell and enabled them to have a very memorable experience.
What East Ayrshire Carers Centre has learnedThis fund has allowed us to look at what carers want, to think outside the box, to make a difference to peoples lives to link into other local support available and seek funding, grants and source other ways in which to deliver a respite break to carers and their families.
That demand for the project exceed our initial projections which made us more proactive in looking at other sources. Through this we have signed up to the Respitality programme and hope to secure free local support in the next year.
We have linked in with other organisations we work in partnership with and due to the Carers Scotland Act coming into force next April we have taken on Carer Peer Support Mentors who are working with our carers to establish what support they need and what matters to them which will develop how we move forward in offering respite and breaks in the future,