VOCAL - Voice of Carers across Lothian - is a carer-led charity and supports over 9,000 carers a year in Edinburgh and Midlothian. VOCAL was established in 1994, today employs 38 staff and is supported by 70+ volunteers, mostly carers and former carers, across the two local authorities. VOCAL manages two 'one-stop-shop' Carer Centres - one in Edinburgh, one in Midlothian - and increasingly reaches people in their localities through staff co-located in local communities, digitally in their homes and through a growing social media network.
- From 2nd September 2019 to 31st March 2020
- Award: £7,000 via Call 3
- Data published on 360Giving
- Charity registered in Scotland SC020755
New methods of carer engagement using video based digital resources to: • Improve self-identification early in the caring role, providing access preventative support • Express complex information/concepts, increasing awareness of the Carers Act and Self Directed Support for carers • Offer more choice, options and flexibility for accessing support • Diversify methods used to capture impact, providing opportunity to capture non-verbal or non-written impact • Enhance existing training programme with new delivery methods This will include newly developed material, alongside use of existing hardware and video, with the following activity planned: • Produce a carer identification video and distribute through social media, GP practices and training sessions. Carer identification is a well documented challenge, particularly for new carers who often wait until crisis before seeking support. This resource will support early access to preventative support. VOCAL's Communication Officer with support from carer support staff will edit existing carer digital stories to produce a short and engaging film aimed at carer identification. Impact: Increased number of new carers access VOCAL, earlier in caring role. VOCAL captures data on how carers heard about us, and when they started caring and will use this data to measure impact. Additional measurements will include social media engagement and views, and carer feedback. • Produce four videos tailored to capture practice in Midlothian and Edinburgh on Adult Carer Support Plans/Carers Act and Self Directed Support for carers. Both topics are potentially complex concepts for carers, and the videos are opportunities to present information in short, visually accessible formats without the need to read lots of information, recognising that both time and literacy will be barriers for carers accessing this information. VOCAL will recruit an external agency to support the storyboard, filming and production of these videos. Impact: Carers are more aware of the choices and options available. In addition to capturing feedback through regular reviews with carers, carers will have opportunities to comment online and via training on the effectiveness of the videos. • Use existing hardware and video software and testing impact (with 40+ carers) of: o video calls and video information messages (as opposed to voice or SMS) o video recording of outcomes or activity/impact that does not lend itself to words or text. This would take place during ongoing support plan reviews with the carer. o webinars enhancing the content and delivery of VOCAL's existing training programme. Time, transport, rural locations and availability during working hours are all barriers for carers accessing support. Undertaking these small tests of change will enable VOCAL to build staff digital confidence in using new channels of communication; prioritise the most effective video options and enhance the options currently available to carers.