CoEL has been establish for 22 years and provides advice, information and emotional support to adult unpaid carers in East Lothian. We are in contact with just over 3,200 carers and provide direct support to approx. 40% of them in any one year. The other carers will have received direct support more than a year before but we continue to send regular newsletters and information updates etc. There has been a significant rise in demand for our support with a 34.1% increase in the average number of carers being supported each month over the past 2 years alone. Some of this reflects increased demand following the Carers Act but it is also driven by a growing number of recommendations from current service users. Despite this growth, we have maintained high levels of outcomes from our support with 90.2% of carers reporting feeling better able to cope as a result.
- From 11th August 2019 to 31st March 2020
- Award: £4,890 via Call 3
- Data published on 360Giving
- Charity registered in Scotland SC027000
We are applying to Strand 1 to pilot an innovative project setting up and facilitating carer knowledge exchange forums and connecting them with East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership's Strategic Change Board Reference Groups to enable much greater partnerships between both groups in the strategic planning and development of services. Central to this project will be promoting and embedding the use of agile, social collaboration technology - in particular Slack (see https://get.slack.help/hc/en-gb/articles/115004071768-What-is-Slack-) as the key tool to enable this. CoEL is a member of these reference groups and, following our participation in SCVO's CATS funded digital accelerator course, we proposed to them the adoption of Slack as a much better tool to promote engagement and collaboration on the policy and planning issues the reference groups are working on. This was positively received but at a time of competing demands no action has followed. At the same time, CoEL is in contact with a number of carers who have expressed a wish to be more involved both policy development and forums where they can share knowledge and experiences with others. However, many carers struggle to find the time to be able to participate in meetings which currently are the only forum on offer to facilitate this kind of knowledge exchange and policy collaboration. We are applying for funding to hire a sessional Carer Support Worker to bring these 2 opportunities together and drive forward a step change in the involvement of carers in the strategic planning and development of services in East Lothian. This worker will support both the adoption of Slack within the statutory and 3rd sectors as a tool to enable greater engagement and will work to identify and support groups of interested carers and engage them with Slack as a key vehicle for participation. The key tasks for this post will be: • Engage with the key officers in ELHSCP to get them to act as champions for the adoption of Slack as better tool for co-working in the Reference Groups • Engage with 3rd sector partners to promote the same • Gaining commitment to using Slack – possibly initially within the one or two reference group communities most open to its use • Supporting adoption by demonstrating the intuitive nature of Slack to members of these reference groups with a view to developing a critical mass of early adopters • Building on and developing CoEL's current network of carers interested in being involved in strategic policy and services development • Supporting carers adoption of Slack through group meetings, 1 to 1 support where needed initially and buddying support • Disseminating the lessons from the adoption of Slack across all reference groups and wider into other areas.