A story by Y sort It Youth Organisation
Our project focused on providing short break activities for young carers to offer a break from their caring at home. This involved engaging activities including day trips, weekly group and 1-2-1 support. These activities were hosted at various locations, such as local attractions, parks, beaches and community centres, scheduled throughout the year to cater to different cater to different young carers needs and schedules.
Y Sort It Young Carers provide practical and emotional support to ensure that Young Carers enjoy opportunities just like their friends by providing weekly peer group support, 121s both in school and out in the community, activities, training and development, respite and residentials.
What Young Carers did
Our project focused on providing short break activities for our young carers to offer a break from their caring at home. This involved engaging activities including day trips, weekly group and 1-2-1 support. These activities were hosted at various locations, such as local attractions, parks, beaches and community centres, scheduled throughout the year to cater to different cater to different young carers needs and schedules.
Our beneficiaries primarily comprised of young carers facing the unique challenges of supporting someone with an illness, disability, mental health issue or drugs/alcohol misuse. We identified and chose young carers to participate in activities through referrals from partnership agencies such as education, social care, and healthcare professionals. This ensured that those most in need of respite were included.
Although our project mostly adhered to the original plan, we encountered staffing challenges, with the team running at less than half its intended capacity. This led to necessary adaptations. We collaborated with our youth work team to address staffing limitations, offering more frequent, smaller trips instead of fewer, larger ones.
While we continued to provide weekly group work, additional weekend activities were temporarily postponed. Specific trips, including the Young Carers Festival, swimming outings, Youth Beatz Festival, and visits to the Heads of Ayr Farm Park, offered unique and memorable experiences to our participants, further enriching their short break activities.
Our project closely aligned with the Creative Breaks Principles, offering a variety of short break options to our young carers, maintaining flexibility in scheduling, ensuring accessibility for all, and actively involving our young carers in the planning and evaluation process. One of the standout successes of our project was the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our young carers. They reported reduced stress and improved overall well-being, underlining the project's impact.
What Y sort It Youth Organisation has learned
Learnings from Delivering the Project: Our organisation gained several valuable insights from delivering this project, including: The importance of adaptability due to staffing challenges and changes in management during the funding period. We learned to be flexible and adjust trips and activities to meet our outcomes while managing a reduced staff.
Dealing with increased costs of living, which required us to design and implement low-budget activities more frequently to stay within budget.
The positive impact of collaborating with our youth work team, as it allowed young people to socialise with peers outside of the young carer service and make new friends.
Lowering the age range of our service from 10 to 8 resulted in a significant increase in referrals, demonstrating the need for our services among younger individuals.
How Y sort It Youth Organisation has benefitted from the funding
Creative Breaks Funding has been instrumental in benefiting our organisation in several ways: Strengthened our organisation's reputation and visibility, as evidenced by increased numbers of referrals and participation. Enhanced our team's skills, knowledge, and capacity in adapting to changing circumstances and meeting the evolving needs of young carers. Allowed us to continue providing vital support and respite to young carers and their families, particularly during challenging times when young carers' needs were more pronounced. The support from the Short Breaks Fund has played a pivotal role in our ability to make a positive impact on the lives of young carers in our community and has helped us grow as an organization, both in terms of reach and capability.
Young Carers will have had the opportunity to try new experiences, developing positive relationships with peers and have time to gain own personal development. Target 1- taking young people on overnight respite stays at echo friend hut Target 2- create team building exercises for young people t
Young Carers will have had the opportunity to try new experiences, develop positive relationships with peers, and have time for personal development. To achieve this, we organized a range of engaging activities, including an overnight Young Carers Festival with team-building exercises like Jacobs ladder, inflatables, and cake decorating. Regular young carers' group sessions, park nights, and visits to exciting places like Heads of Ayr farm park and Dynamic Earth further promoted social bonding and personal growth. These experiences not only allowed young carers to try new things but also fostered strong peer relationships, helping them break away from their caring role and positively impacting their mental health and well-being.
Activities and Experiences: The young person actively participated in a variety of activities and experiences offered by our program, made possible through the crucial funding we received. These experiences included attending the Young Carers Festival, Youth Beatz Festival, visits to Dynamic Earth, and enjoying the excitement of Christmas pantomimes. Moreover, they were committed to attending weekly group sessions that offered a supportive and engaging environment for young carers. Challenges and Personal Boundaries: Before the program and with limited resources in their deprived area, this young person faced several challenges. Caring responsibilities had severely constrained their opportunities to engage in typical teenage activities, and they struggled to balance their caregiving role with personal interests. Access to enriching experiences was particularly restricted due to the financial constraints. Positive Perspective and Growth: Participating in the program, made possible by the funding, was transformative for this young person. They had the chance to try new experiences and broaden their horizons that would have been otherwise unattainable in their deprived area. Attending the Young Carers Festival, Youth Beatz Festival, and other outings provided them with new adventures and unforgettable memories. The team-building exercises at the Young Carers Festival pushed their personal boundaries and boosted their self-confidence. The weekly group sessions, supported by the funding, became a valuable support system, giving them a sense of belonging and an opportunity to share experiences with peers who understood their challenges. According to the young person's perspective, these activities, funded by our program, not only enriched their life outside of their caring role but also supported their personal development. They felt more self-assured, better connected with peers, and capable of trying new things that were previously out of reach due to the financial limitations in their deprived area. This positive growth and the formation of strong peer relationships were crucial elements in achieving Outcome 1. The funding played a pivotal role in expanding their horizons and improving their quality of life.
Regular Group Work/ 1-2-1 Sessions/Completed Young Carer Statement and reviews. Target 1- Ensure all Young Carers registered with project have the opportunity to complete Young Carers Statement Target 2- Organise weekly group work support sessions
Carers will feel better supported to sustain their caring role. Success in this area involves delivering support through regular group work sessions, 1-2-1 sessions, and completion of Young Carer Statements. To achieve this, we ensured all registered young carers had the opportunity to complete their Young Carer Statements and organized weekly group work support sessions. This support system aims to empower carers with the tools and resources they need to sustain their caring role effectively.
Support Structures :Our program offers essential support structures that include Young Carer Statements and weekly group work sessions. The funding we received played a crucial role in making these support systems available. Benefits to the Young Person: In the midst of their caregiving responsibilities, the young person was profoundly impacted by the support mechanisms provided by our program. The Young Carer Statements allowed them to express their needs and challenges, ensuring that their unique situation was acknowledged and addressed. The group work sessions, financially backed by the funding, became a lifeline for the young person when their parent relapsed into addiction. They gained valuable skills, coping strategies, and a sense of community from these sessions, which was invaluable during this challenging time. Testimonials and Feedback: The young person attested to the life-changing impact of these support mechanisms. They shared testimonials highlighting the confidence they gained, the new skills they acquired, and the invaluable peer support that helped them navigate the difficulties of their caregiving role during their parent's relapse. The funding-enabled Young Carer Statements and group work sessions not only provided better support but also played a significant role in helping them sustain their caregiving role during a tumultuous period.
Young Carers will have an opportunity to have a break away from their caring role to enjoy the activities on offer. This will contribute and have a positive effect to their mental health and wellbeing as the pressure of caring will be removed for a short time.
Carers and the people they care for will have improved well-being. The success of this outcome hinges on providing opportunities for young carers to enjoy activities that relieve the pressure of their caring responsibilities. We achieved this by organizing trips like beach visits, zoo visits, and a 2-day overnight Young Carers Festival with various engaging activities. Young Carers were asked to provide impact statements before and after activities to measure the change in their mental health and well-being. Additionally, feedback from the cared-for individuals helped us assess the overall positive effects on both young carers and their families. Collaborating with healthcare partners and local Carers Center's ensured that additional care needs were met, contributing to the overall well-being of carers and those they care for.
Offered Opportunities: Our program provided crucial opportunities for young carers to take a break and engage in enjoyable activities, which was especially vital when the young carer's parent relapsed into addiction. The funding facilitated these opportunities, ensuring that young carers had respite during challenging times. Trips and Activities: The young person participated in trips and activities that not only allowed them to momentarily step away from their caregiving responsibilities but also offered them enjoyable experiences that boosted their overall well-being. Trips like beach visits and visits to the zoo provided a welcome escape, helping to alleviate the emotional strain of their parent's addiction. These experiences were particularly meaningful, offering a brief reprieve from the daily pressures of caregiving. Quantitative and Qualitative Data: We collected both quantitative and qualitative data to illustrate the improvement in well-being. Impact statements from the young person, feedback from the cared-for individual, and collaboration with healthcare partners demonstrated that these experiences, made possible by the funding, contributed to positive changes in mental health and overall well-being. The respite provided during this difficult period proved to be a vital source of support, with quantitative data showcasing improvements in emotional well-being and qualitative data emphasizing the importance of these opportunities for the young carer and their family during this challenging time.