‘Carer Breather’ services to support unpaid carers have been funded in partnership with Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire and VANL, and supported by North Lanarkshire Carers Together. The services were developed and designed based on consultation with carers in North Lanarkshire who told us what they needed to support them to live well.
Crucially, carers expressed that they needed a fresh take on breaks for carers, a move towards locally provided time out of their caring role that could be easily accessed on an ongoing basis. The Carer Breather model provides a regular and sustainable add-on to the more established annual short breaks that take the form of a holiday or short trip.
The Carer Breather projects provide a variety of activities for carers in-person and online. There are also two in-person Sitter Services available, in Shotts and Glenboig, that provide a volunteer in the home for up to two hours per week. This allows carers to take time out while the person they care for gets the support they need from highly trained staff and volunteers.
Organisations in North Lanarkshire providing services are:
- Bazooka Arts – offering therapeutic art classes and carer support
- Glenboig Development Trust – offering a Carer Connector service
- Getting Better Together, Shotts – offering a Connected Carers group
- The Haven – offering holistic support to carers
- The Health and Wellness Hub – offering wellbeing carer hubs in Airdrie
- Parkinson’s Self Help Group, Airdrie – offering a variety of groups and supports to carers
- Parkinson’s Self Help Group, Motherwell – offering a variety of groups and supports to carers
- Watch us Grow – offering a Carers Lounge, time out for carers of adults with additional support needs
Carers can access services via self-referral by contacting the funded projects directly using the information provided on the Carer Breather Referral Guide. In addition, North Lanarkshire Carers Together is distributing this guide widely to partners in Health and Social Care and the community and voluntary sector in North Lanarkshire to enable signposting of carers.
The NLCT team is proactively discussing the available Carer Breather activities with carers accessing our services, ensuring every carer is aware of the opportunity to take some time out of their caring role.