In 2017, the State of Caring Survey from Carers UK shared some startling findings. 40% of carers said they hadn’t had a day off from caring for more than a year and 25% said they hadn’t had a day off for more than five years, yet 2 in 5 (42%) of carers said that regular breaks from caring would make the most difference to their health and wellbeing.

 

Short breaks are fundamental to carers. They can help alleviate the physical and emotional demands of caring, help sustain the caring relationship and can be critical to a carer’s sense of health and wellbeing. But, when provided in a way which meets the needs of the carer and the cared for person, a short break can also play a vital role in enabling a carer to build a life alongside their caring role.

 

The importance of breaks from caring is also highlighted by the prominence of short breaks support in the new Carers legislation which will come into effect from 1st April 2018.  Amongst other things, local authorities will have to publish clear, accessible information about what opportunities are available both locally and nationally for carer breaks.  This is a positive development and we hope will lead to more carers accessing the breaks they need.

 

At Shared Care Scotland we have the privilege of hearing directly from carers how much difference a break can make. So often we hear things like ‘I felt like I was not just a carer, but a wife again’, or ‘I’m not just a carer, I’m a golfer too’.

 

‘Not just a carer’ might be just four words, but those words can be incredibly powerful in demonstrating that carers are individuals with hobbies, interests and skills too. Our #notjustacarer campaign is about telling the story of how a short break can help a carer lead a full and vital life. Not only can stories provide evidence to influence decision-makers, but can also create a sense of shared experiences and communities.

 

Through the campaign we’ll be asking people to share stories of what helps them be ‘not just a carer’, through images, stories or captions shared across social media. In doing so we will be able to build a collection of snapshots of short breaks. This will be a way to share good practice, to inspire creative thinking about short breaks, and to demonstrate that small amounts of money can make a big difference.

 

*Figures from State of Caring 2017 Survey

 

 

 

40%

had not had a day off in more than a year*

25%

had not had a day off in more than 5 years*

42%

said a break would make the most difference to health & wellbeing*

Get involved

 

Join our Thunderclap to launch #notjustacarer

 

We’re launching our #notjustacarer campaign with a Thunderclap on 26 January 2018 at 10am. Thunderclap is a platform which allows people to pledge a tweet, Facebook post, or Tumblr post that will be posted along with all other supporters messages at the same time. It’s described as an online flashmob!

 

Thunderclap is completely secure and will post a single one-time message on your behalf. We need to reach 250 supporters to have our message go out, so please pledge your support and share too.

 

It’s really easy to do – just follow this link to join in.

 

 

Share your stories of #notjustacarer

To tell the stories of how a short break helped someone be ‘not just a carer’ we need your help. And we hope that, over time, this will become a useful resource you too. Here’s a quick guide to how you can get involved!

 

What makes a good story?

A #notjustacarer story could anything from a few sentences, to a few words, or just a picture with a caption. Some suggestions are: a few words describing what the short break and what it meant to the carer e.g. ‘I went to the cinema with some friends. I’m #notjustacarer but a film buff too’; a photograph of something that represents a break – cinema tickets, a henhouse, some sports equipment, a cup of coffee and a book – with a caption; a photograph of a carer on a break with a longer caption describing it

 

Share on social media

Share your story on your own social media platforms. Don’t forget:

 

  • Use the hashtag #notjustacarer – this will help other people find you too
  • Tag us in – we’re @CareBreaks on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram  too
  • Add the hashtag #shortbreaksfund if this short break was funded through Time to Live
  • Make sure you’ve got permission if you’re using a photo with someone in it!

 

Send your post to us

Send your image and/or text to us. We’ll collate them and add them to our Instagram grid to create a collection of short break stories for everyone to use. We can, of course, anonymise them if you prefer. Simply email communications@sharedcarescotland.com

 

Check back and get inspired

Search across social media for #notjustacarer.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram  @Carebreaks. We’ll be curating our grid of #notjustacarer  where you will be able to see the collection of short breaks ideas building over time.

Are you...?

If you’re a carer thinking about how a short break might help you build a life alongside caring, we can help.

Planning your break

Our short break planner is a good place to start. In here you’ll find tools such as ‘My Ideal Break’ which can help you think about what you’d really like from a break and what your ideal break might look like.

Funding your break

We know that sometimes the worry about how to fund a short break or holiday can be too big a barrier to overcome. There are, however, sources of funding available for some people.

Our funding page gives details on how you could fund your short break, including information on self-directed support, our searchable funding directory which lists grants from individual trusts too.

You may also find the website Turn2us.org.uk a good source of information.  As well as having a comprehensive directory of trusts and funds they also give advice about benefits.

Finding your break

Finding a short break or holiday that suits your needs couldn’t be simpler with our online directory. With over 400 short break services listed you can search by location, the type of care need required, age and accessibility.

Telephone enquiry service

If you prefer to talk to someone about finding your short break, rather than looking online, our telephone enquiry service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Call 01383 622462 to speak to Lesley about the type of break you’re hoping for, and we’ll help get you on the right track.

 

Get inspired

Our #notjustacarer campaign aims to provide a snapshot of short breaks ideas to inspire. Search for the hashtag #notjustacarer across social media, or have a look at our social media accounts: we’re @CareBreaks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

 

Get involved

You can share your stories of #notjustacarer too. Have a look at our Get Involved <link back> section to find out how.

If you’re an organisation providing short breaks to carers in Scotland then there are a number of ways in which Shared Care Scotland works to support you.

Funding

The Short Breaks Fund provides grants to third sector organisations that support unpaid carers to take a break from their caring role. The fund aims to increase the range and availability of short breaks across Scotland, allowing more carers to take the right break at the right time.

Shared Care Scotland operates the Short Breaks Fund on behalf of the National Carers Organisations and the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government currently funds the Short Breaks Fund on a rolling annual basis.

Resources

At Shared Care Scotland we aim to work with organisations that support carers, including those funded through our Short Breaks Funds, to ensure that they also have the information, tools and support that they need to help improve the quality, choice and availability of Short Breaks for unpaid carers across Scotland. We do this through the provision of resources including toolkits, briefings, publications and in sharing research on short breaks. 

Events

We regularly run events and provide networking opportunities top facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice across short breaks provision. We detail all of these through our events page and also as part of our learning exchange.

 

Respitality

Respitality, Respite + Hospitality, originated in the USA and provides a unique way for Carers Centres and the Scottish Hospitality sector to work together to provide short breaks to full-time unpaid carers.

It works through the hospitality industry gifting short breaks –  overnight stays, meals, spa days, afternoon tea -during quieter periods when it suits the business, so that carers can benefit from a break with Scottish hospitality!

Find out more, or make a gift, on the respitality website.

Our online directory

We host an online directory of over 400 short break services in Scotland. Is your organisation listed yet?

Whether you’re a provider of traditional respite care, or a guest house that offers accessible accommodation, we would love for you to be listed. Its easy to register and can all be done online.

 

Get involved with #notjustacarer

We’d love it if organisations working to support carers would join in with #notjustacarer. We want you to tell the stories of how a short break helped someone be ‘not just a carer’ and we hope that, over time, this will become a useful resource you too. Our Get Involved section <link to> section will show you how to take part.

If you’re thinking about a short break  we can help guide you through the steps in planning a break that will work for you and the care needs that you have.

Planning your break

Our short break planner is a good place to start. In here you’ll find tools such as ‘Services Explained’. This guide might help you identify the type of break that you are looking for and also the names that are given to certain services, this could make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for.

Funding your break

We know that sometimes the worry about how to fund a short break or holiday can be too big a barrier to overcome. There are, however, sources of funding available for some people.

Our funding page gives details on how you could fund your short break, including information on self-directed support, our searchable funding directory which lists grants from individual trusts too.

You may also find the website Turn2us.org.uk a good source of information.  As well as having a comprehensive directory of trusts and funds they also give advice about benefits.

Finding your break

Finding a short break or holiday that suits your needs couldn’t be simpler with our online directory. With over 400 short break services listed you can search by location, the type of care need required, age and accessibility.

Telephone enquiry service

If you prefer to talk to someone about finding your short break, rather than looking online, our telephone enquiry service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Call 01383 622462 to speak to Lesley about the type of break you’re hoping for, and we’ll help get you on the right track.

If you’re interested in finding out more about short breaks, we can point you in the right direction.

Research

Shared Care Scotland has a collection of good practice examples in short breaks and respite provision, hosted on the IRISS website.

 

ISBA

The International Short Breaks Association hosts a biennial conference on short breaks. More information is available on their website.

Short Break Stories

Short Break Stories offers a collection of inspiring accounts of short break projects funded through the Short Breaks Fund.

Covering all areas of Scotland these stories collectively build a picture of short break provision across the country.

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