Tag Archives: respite

Free respite holidays for disabled people and their families

Papworth Trust is offering free respite holidays to disabled people and their families at Kerry Farm in Wales, thanks to a £2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Typical respite is where the disabled person goes away while their family stays at home. The Trust’s respite holidays are unique because they offer a chance for the whole family to together have a supported break, without the pressures of everyday life.

Luke and his mum Jane

Luke and his mum Jane

Papworth Trust ran a pilot for this new service, shown on Channel 4 documentary The Secret Millions. 19-year-old Luke from Peterborough took part in the pilot with his parents Chris and Jane. Luke has Down’s Syndrome and was quite shy at first. Since the respite holiday he has become much more independent, taking part in local amateur dramatics and setting his sights on a role in EastEnders one day.

Luke’s Dad Chris saw some real changes from the respite holiday. He said: “I thought Luke was going to struggle but he just took to everything. He amazed me. I think it proved to us that Luke can do things that we didn’t think he could, and perhaps sometimes we were holding him back slightly. We can now let him go that little bit more.”

Mum Jane said: “It was such a benefit having more quality time together – normally Luke just has respite on his own. It’s really brought the family close together. Anybody that gets the opportunity will have a fantastic time.”

Adrian Bagg, Papworth Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “At Papworth Trust we understand the impact disability can have. It can be hard to have quality, stress free time together as a family. Disabled people and their families can now apply for free respite holidays thanks to the Big Lottery Fund. The pilot shown in The Secret Millions was an amazing experience for the families involved. It is fantastic that Papworth Trust will now be able to offer that farm experience to disabled people of any age, wherever they come from in the UK. We’re renovating a 16th century farmhouse in a beautiful part of Wales and we will be able to start welcoming families from autumn this year.”

Family Link giving family carers a much needed break

A day in the life of … a volunteer respite carer

To mark Share the Care week, Margaret Pedler wants to encourage others to sign up to help families with severely disabled children

Margaret Pedler

Margaret Pedler has been part of Southwark council’s Family Link programme for two years. Photograph: Margaret Pedler

My husband Andy and I have been part of Southwark council’s Family Link programme for two years; we spend one day a month looking after a little girl with complex physical needs.

I wanted to find a way to put my spare time to good use and work with children, but couldn’t sign up to the full-time commitment of fostering. Instead I saw an advert for Family Link, which trains local volunteers to help a family stay together by offering respite care.

Looking after a disabled child is a full time, 24-hour-a-day role and can only be sustainable if parents can get respite, while knowing someone is there to allow them some time for themselves or their other children.

The application process was very comprehensive and took some time. Southwark council takes great care in gauging your ability to take on such a responsible role. People who are parents might have some experience but we don’t have children, so it’s not a pre-requisite.

Carers face New Year struggle after cuts

By Jamie Deasy
Cuts to the respite grant is unfair

• Carolyn Akintola and her mum Elsie pictured with Cathy White, CEO of the Clondalkin Carers’ Association, at the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght where Carolyn was presented with a Dublin Carer of the Year Award in 2010.

SOUTHSIDE carers have spoken of how they are facing an increasingly difficult struggle to look after their loved ones in the New Year as the cuts announced in the budget hit home.

In the budget on December 6, the Government announced that it was cutting the carers’ respite grant, which is intended to help carers take a break or holiday, from €1,700 a year to €1,375.

Many carers will also be affected by cuts to gas and electricity allowances that have been reduced from the current €41 to €35 per month and from €22.60 to €9.50 for the telephone payment.

Medical card holders who previously paid 50c per prescription will now pay €1.50, while the monthly threshold for purchasing prescription drugs has increased from €132 a month to €144.

Des Coffey (48), from Tymonville Park in Tallaght, cares for his 19-year-old daughter Danielle who has Down’s Syndrome, has severe learning difficulties, is severely autistic and has kidney problems.