New funding to help carers take a welcome break

Grants are to be made to around 100 families to allow carers to take a welcome break from their responsibilities.
Grants are to be made to around 100 families to allow carers to take a welcome break from their responsibilities.

Carers in Scotland are set to be helped to take a short break from the stress of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland has been awarded more than £40,000 to help carers - both adults and under 18s - enjoy an activity or short break.

The grant pays for opportunities for carers and their families to meet friends and enjoy leisure activities together or possibly for families to enjoy a much-needed family break away together.

Carers will be able to select from three amounts for an activity or short break: £100, £150 or £250.

Frances Simpson, CEO of Support in Mind Scotland, said: “We are delighted we have received funding once again for this vital scheme as we know that carers can be pushed to breaking point without a break from their caring role.

“We all enjoy having something to look forward to, but for carers a short holiday or time out to do something they enjoy helps them look after their own health and wellbeing so that they can continue caring for their loved one.”

In recent years carers have chosen a range of activities, from buying a cinema pass to enjoying theatre nights out or day trips to the country for photography.  Others carers have pursued their interest in art-classes and learned musical instruments.

One carer who participated in the scheme last year said: “I really enjoyed my time away to recharge my batteries. There was no stress at all. It was nice to be with other carers who understand you.”

There will be four opportunities in 2016 to apply for an award although all funds must be used by the end of September. 

The first round ends on February 6 and the others are 2-30 March 2-30, May 4- June 1, and July 6-August 3.

The project is being managed in partnership with the Carers Trust in Scotland with support from the Edinburgh Carers Council.

The money, from the Creative Breaks Fund and provided by the Scottish Government is to help carers cope with their caring situation through having a personalised break from stress.

In total, the programme has awarded just under £1 million to 68 projects from Orkney to the Borders, which will collectively benefit more than 4000 carers and their families.

This is the fourth year of the Creative Breaks programme, which was established by the Scottish Government and is administered by carers’ charity Shared Care Scotland.

Carers will need a support worker to help them complete applications and should visit Support in Mind Scotland to apply or call Barbara Wyness on 0131 662 2284 for more information.