Big Lottery funding for ‘My Time’

Local Solutions has secured funding from The Big Lottery Fund for ‘My Time,’ an initiative working to support carers to access breaks from their demanding roles.  Local Solutions is a charity working in Merseyside and North Wales and runs the Liverpool Carers Centre.

The ‘My Time’ initiative connects carers who could benefit from a break with businesses, organisations and individuals offering free leisure activities to the carers.  This initiative started when the Malmaison Hotel in Liverpool offered a free overnight stay for a carer.  15 prestigious Liverpool hotels are now involved and the initiative is extending to other leisure opportunities so that carers can access free theatre, football or cinema tickets; leisure passes, hair and beauty appointments, free meals at restaurants etc.

William, who cares for his son, stayed at the Pullman hotel last week and said:

“One night away helped us amazingly. We didn’t think about anything and it took the pressure off.”

10.8% of Liverpool residents regularly provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour due to problems related to poor health or old age (National Census, 2001).  Carers UK recently identified that 8 out of 10 carers have felt lonely or socially isolated as a result of looking after a loved one and 75% of Carers said it was hard to maintain relationships and social networks because people do not understand the impact that caring has. Feedback from one of the carers who enjoyed an overnight hotel stay during the pilot phase of the project demonstrates the positive impact of a ‘My Time’ break:  

“This overnight stay totally relaxed me, mentally and physically. I felt totally refreshed the  next  day. It was lovely. Best rest I had in ages.”

The Big Lottery Funding will fund a development worker and administration worker for three years to develop the initiative.  It is hoped that innovative approach could be replicated in other areas of the UK.  

Hazel Brown from Liverpool Carers Centre said:

“We are so pleased that the Big Lottery are supporting My Time.  Caring for someone can be very demanding both physically and emotionally and having time to yourself can make such a difference. We have to thank the numerous hotels and theatres that have supported us by providing complimentary breaks and tickets to carers. It a great example of what you can do if you work together.”

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