What is the initiative?
Macmillan Outreach and Support Worker
Who runs it?
The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove, a Network Partner of Carers Trust
Who does it benefit?
People who are caring for someone who has cancer or another life limiting illness
What does it do?
The Outreach and Support Worker post provides one-to-one emotional support, information and advocacy to carers of people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses.
When did it start?
Why was it started?
The Outreach and Support Worker post developed as a result of lessons learned from The Macmillan Cancer Carers Project which was funded by Macmillan for seven years previously. The current post was designed to offer more in the way of one-to-one support and emotional support than was available through the previous project.
What are the aims and objectives?
The general aim of the service is to ensure that anyone who is caring for someone who is at any stage of a cancer diagnosis has access to relevant emotional support, information and advocacy either to enable them to continue in their caring role or to empower them to make other choices (for example to find residential care for person they care for).
Specific aims are as follows:
- To develop a contact and support service for cancer carers in deprived areas of the city
- To identify and support male cancer carers
- To continue to build links with BME communities
- To work with mental health and cancer services to see how carers can be better supported when there is a dual diagnosis
- To ensure that carers who have their own mental health problems are properly supported and have access to services
- To deliver training for health and social care staff on supporting cancer carers and to increase referrals to the service
How is it funded?
The funding comes from Macmillan Cancer Support. The current grant covers the period up to October 2010, and it is likely that after that time the service will be absorbed into a more general end of life project that will be funded jointly by Macmillan and the PCT.
What has it achieved?
One of the main achievements of the service is that it is able to offer a very flexible and truly ‘carer-led’ service. This ensures that the support provided is relevant and has a genuinely positive impact on the carer.
Feedback from carers and outcomes from support work confirms that the aims and objectives are being met.
A number of hidden carers have been identified through the outreach work, and a range of new activities for cancer carers have been set up including three monthly pampering sessions, a male carers activities group and a monthly cancer carers support group. Access to a Carers Garden is also offered once a week.
As a result of the project, a life limiting illness group has been set up and time limited support is now being offered to bereaved carers, along with a series of bereaved carers' activities.
Setting up a project like this?