Short Breaks Scheme for local carers celebrated

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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Community
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust held a fun-filled day at Gosford Park to celebrate the Short Breaks Scheme, which has been a huge success over the past 18 years. gosford2Short Breaks Carers give parents of children with disabilities the opportunity to take a break on a regular basis, whilst also providing children with fresh experiences and offering them opportunities to build relationships and socialise with other families or carers. Short Breaks has been running since 1987 when it was originally called “Shared Care”. Over time the scheme has developed, particularly recently – six new carers were registered in the last 12 months. Parents and children who use the service enjoyed the day which had plenty to offer – there was a chip van, alternative therapies, ice-cream, children’s magician , face paintings, bouncy castles, live music and pampering sessions for the carers. The Promoting Well-being team also attended and provided information. gosford1Lesley Waugh, Locality Head of Specialist Child Health and Disability Services for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust emphasized the importance of Short Breaks Carers in the Trust. “Short breaks are frequently requested by parents of disabled children to help them deal with certain pressures, so these carers are hugely valued by families. We are very keen to further develop the scheme as the families involved quickly feel the benefits. “We in the Trust feel it’s vital to run events like this, it gives us an opportunity to highlight the work put in by the carers and promote the scheme on behalf of other children and families. “No educational qualification or experience is needed to be a Short Break Carer, just energy and commitment to support a disabled child and their family. She added, “The Trust continues to seek carers, and we are certainly open to anybody getting involved. They may be single or have a partner, be young or older, working, retired or unemployed and may or may not have children of their own. Training and ongoing support is provided to all short breaks carers.” For further information on becoming a Short Breaks Carer, and also the training and support available, please email: christine.hynes@southerntrust.hscni.net or call 028 3082 5025.

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