Patricia Clark from Carers Scotland speaks about their experience of funding through the Self Management IMPACT Fund.
Carers Scotland are here to make life better for carers. Working as part of Carers UK they give expert advice, information and support; connect carers so no-one has to care alone; campaign together for lasting change; and innovate to find new ways to reach and support carers.
Carers Scotland worked with carers to produce a series of simple films about the practical and online support available to help people care and look after their own needs. Each video features a carer talking about their own experiences.
Carers Scotland ensure that carers have access to information in a variety of different formats and knew that carers were looking for information in a way they could do so quickly and in their own time. They had produced films in the past but these had become dated. Carers Scotland were passionate that carers should be involved in presenting updated films as well as developing the themes about practical topics.
“Everything we were hearing from carers was that films would be most useful so they can get information quickly that signposts people to resources – we didn’t want people to be scratching their heads at the end of the film but able to find solutions.” – Patricia Clark
A lot of research from the existing information Carers Scotland had from carers was used to get an idea of what the most important themes to carers might be most important to carers to cover in the films. Carers Scotland worked with Carers Centres across Scotland to speak to carers about the project idea, the themes from the research and to find out what else carers might like to see covered in the films.
“It was important not to go into the project with a pre-conceived idea of what we wanted the films to be. Speaking to the carers changes the way things might be done – we didn’t want to tell the carers ‘these are the films you are going to make’ but let them tell us.”
Due to the nature of caring, one of the challenges was that there were often last minute cancellations due to caring appointments. It was important for Carers Scotland to be mindful of carers and recognise that a lot of time and flexibility was needed to ensure they could work with the carers to present and produce the films. Carers Scotland worked hard to get it right for the carers and not assume that because someone’s life might be chaotic that they did not want to be involved.
“We knew that some of the carers with the most difficult lives were the most keen to be involved. They are often facing an uphill battle so they know that if they can share what works for them and how, this can then potentially help others.”
The structure and ethos of the Self Management IMPACT Fund was helpful in allowing Carers Scotland to know that it was something that would work for them to achieve the objectives of the project. They also found it useful that the ALLIANCE was a relatively “light touch” funder in terms of reporting requirments which they found useful for a short project so they could just get on with the project activity.
“The beauty of being able to access little pots of funding like this is that you can experiment a bit and find out what works. We often find that what you think might work turns out to be something different when you work with the carers.”
Carers Scotland continue to use the films in a variety of ways and now have a method which they know is relatively quick and doesn’t require a big budget production to produce effective films. They plan to continue using this learning to co-produce films with carers in response to the changing landscape for carers.
http://www.carersuk.org/scotland (This link will take you away from our website).