SKYE & LOCHALSH YOUNG CARERS HISTORY
We set up a support group with 6 initial members. We developed our ground rules and plans for how the project would work as well as policies to make sure we had a say in how it would be run.
We decided on the name of Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers Project and we got 3 year funding from BBC Children in Need.
First Project Base
We got our first Project base in Portree, it’s an office above the Bank of Scotland.
We were very busy fundraising and spreading the word about what its like for us being young carers.
We started getting training in things like stress management, First Aid and Moving and Handling.
Our numbers have grown so much we’ve had to split into two groups!
One of our members designed a logo for us, it represents how we’re always rushing off somewhere and on a mission!
We have regular respite outings, training courses and session challenges to help build our skills and confidence.
Our Information Packs were launched during the Queen’s visit and our Guidelines for Hospital Staff went out to every hospital in the Highlands.
We won the National Public Involvement in Health Award against 58 other projects. Two of us along with workers went down to London to receive it (and the shopping and sight seeing were brilliant too!!)
Moving On Up
The S&L Community Care Forum which manages the Project has become an independent charity.
We moved from our office to Victoria Cottage which is a house set in beautiful gardens!
We have more part time workers and groups set up.
Through our Big Lottery and LEADER+ funding our ‘Heart Art’ Project has helped us develop our ICT and art skills as well as our confidence!
Some of us did extra First Aid training with the Red Cross and are now Red Cross volunteers.
We’ve been attending conferences and meeting people from the Scottish Executive to help raise awareness.
Lots of local people and groups now help us with fundraising and in so many other ways and we’ve made Christmas cards to sell this year.
Some of us appeared on TV this year with De-a-nis and the Children In Need appeal.
We produced our Poetry Book as well as our ‘Friendship’ and ‘Dealing with Blame’ training programmes.
We’ve started work on our ‘Alcohol’ training pack for service providers.
We made our first website which two of our members worked very hard on.
Red Cross Humanitarian Award came to S&L Young Carers! Congratulations to Robert, Nicola, Craig, and Ben for winning the Overall Group Award!
We now have 58 members and GREAT NEWS! The Big lottery has awarded us £267,866 over the next 5 years for our ‘Transition Mission’ Project.
We plan to create and produce more training programmes and work with more services who can help support us.
Making an impact
This year we’ve learned about the law and how it can affect us.
We’ve also been working with the Fire & Rescue Service to raise awareness and help improve home safety.
We’ve produced a Service Directory and helped make a caffeine information leaflet.
With family consent GP Practices now electronically flag some of our notes so that they know we’re young carers.
Two of us attended the Highland NHS Scottish Government Annual Review and met with Shona Robinson and her team.
We won the Portree & District Rotary Youth Achievement Award for our Fire Safety work.
Ten of us went to the Scottish Young Carers Festival, it was a long journey but worth it – we even come home with the five-a-side football trophy!
We’ve worked with Teaching Support Staff to create Portree and Plockton High School Young Carer Policies and to finish the year we made a documentary with Iain Mitchell from Don Productions for Japanese TV!
Our first book ‘Angus Puff the Fire Dragon’ was launched at our 10th Anniversary party in May! The Fire Service plan to give copies to all primary schools in Highland.
Thanks to Kati and Hector from Eden Court we’ve produced a DVD and radio advert to help raise awareness.
The Scottish Young Carers Strategy has been launched and the Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers service has been highlighted as a good practice example for its partnership working with GP Practices, High Schools, Fire & Rescue and Police Services.
We worked again with Iain Mitchell and created a short film called ‘I’m Fine’. We had our first ever film premier for invited guests! The film along with its accompanying poetry booklet is going to be used to help train professionals.
Through sponsorship and support for the Great Wilderness Challenge we raised an incredible £27,500 this year! Thank you to the GWC, all our friends, fantastic supporters and young carer champions who have helped us in so many different ways during the year.
We have recently been highlighted as an excellent example of several of the principals of citizen leadership on the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability Leadership Project online gallery.
We were awarded the Community Action Award at the prestigious Scottish Charity Awards 2012 – what an achievement!
The Great Wilderness Challenge was a huge success once again, thanks to our team and all our sponsors we raised £23,800! We are absolutely delighted that our application to the Big Lottery Fund was successful for our Transforming Lives project and in addition, we welcomed Maureen McGinn, the Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, Committee member David Green and Communications Officer Frances Chisholm to Victoria Cottage for a visit. Other exciting news is that we have been chosen as one of two charities to benefit from the mammoth ‘Row St Kilda to Skye’, event taking place in 2014!
This year we completed music workshops with Hector McInness, and a DVD slideshow of donated photos of Skye is accompanied by our own music , we are promoting it to our local hotels and businesses.
Poetry in Motion
Eight of us worked alongside Iain Mitchell and his team to produce the ‘Held Hand Roots’ film. This premiered at Aros and feedback from those who have seen the film has been extremely positive. The film and accompanying poetry book will be used as a training tool for professionals.
Some of us attended the Scottish Young Carers Festival and had a brilliant time meeting up with other young carers across Scotland.
We have had yet another successful year at the Great Wilderness Challenge and a big thank you goes to our team, all of our sponsors and the Great Wilderness Challenge Committee who helped to raise an amazing £22,775.
We Have Wheels
Another amazing year at the Great Wilderness Challenge, huge thanks must go to our sponsors, our team of walkers and runners and the Great Wilderness Challenge Committee who helped raise a fantastic £35,000.
Highland Cross very generously donated a beautiful minibus, which is exclusive to Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers and YMCA Skye. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to help make this happen for us. Respite trips and transport home will be so much easier for us to organise.
Row St Kilda to Skye team did a mammoth row in support of Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers and RNLI. They raised a huge total of £40,000 which was split between us. Not only did they raise money, they also raised valuable awareness and recognition of young carers in our community.
Meeting the Princess
This year again we completed the Great Wilderness Challenge, despite a small team we raised a fantastic £29,500, thanks to all that supported.
We produced an education toolkit “Young Carer Support and Equality in Education”, it has been showcased by E.P.I.C (Equal Partners in Care) and is on the Highland Council’s GLOW site for schools. We gave evidence to Stage 1 of the Carers Bill to help ensure young carers needs in rural areas are recognised.
We had the privilege of being invited to The Royal Caledonian Ball Trust lunch, two young carer representatives were lucky enough to meet and chat with HRH Princess Anne and members of the Trust, our thanks to the Trust for their extremely loyal support!
We’ve had a very busy year which brought lots of adventures and changes. We had invitations to the opening of Parliament thanks to MSP Rhoda Grant and to the Patron’s Lunch in London thanks to The Royal Caledonian Charities Trust! We’re grateful to Columba 1400 for allowing us to try out residential life skill development self-catering stays in Staffin, everyone agreed that we wanted more of these breaks in the future. We all reviewed what works well at Young Carers and what could be improved upon for the future, this led on to us developing our new ‘Accept the Past and Grab the Future Project’ and we’re now in the process of applying to The Big Lottery and BBC Children in Need for funding to help make it all happen for us. Our local support is amazing and this year there was even a Gala Dinner and a 70th birthday celebration Dinner/Dance held to help raise funds for us.
Accept the Past and Grab the Future
Where has the year gone?! We did our very first 5 mile Rainbow Walk to raise money for our 5 nominated charities. We worked with the ‘Good for You’ Aros Project and held an Arts and Photography Exhibition which resulted in our very popular 2018 calendar being produced. We also did our first ever self-catering Seasons for Growth and Life Skills Programme in Staffin, thanks to Columba 1400 for the use of the Lodge and The John Casson Foundation for generously funding it for us. It was a huge relief to us all to have our new ‘Accept the Past and Grab the Future’ Project funded by The Big Lottery and BBC Children in Need for the next 3 years.
A Year to Remember
Marjory who established the Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers service in 2000 retired in October. She will be missed so much. But we welcomed Grant as the new manager of Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers and know that he will continue running the service with the same passion, determination and standard that Marjory set from the beginning. 46 young carers took part in four different activities as part of the Spring respite programme. 39 young carers took part in twelve different activities during the Summer respite programme. 26 young carers along with staff, volunteers, trustees and family members took part in our 2nd annual 5-mile charity rainbow walk to raise funds for 5 charities nominated by the young carers. Our appreciation and gratitude go to The John Casson Foundation and Columba 1400 for enabling young carers to complete the residential Seasons for Growth programme in Staffin, Skye. Huge thanks to The Royal Caledonian Ball Trust, The Big Lottery, BBC Children in Need and two personal benefactors for enabling 12 young carers to have an excellent, long anticipated annual residential respite break in Edinburgh.
A Truly Royal Treat
We have had a very exciting year. We were invited to attend a lunch in Edinburgh hosted by The Royal Caledonian Ball & Charities Trust. It was a truly royal treat because we were able to meet The Princess Royal! We are so grateful to The Princess Royal for taking the time to talk to some of our young carers and to The Royal Caledonian Ball & Charities Trust for their continued support. Nine young carers were given the opportunity to share their views on the Equal Protection from Assault Bill and their views were taken forward to The Scottish Parliament. The young carers enjoyed lots of respite trips throughout the year including trips to Inverness go-karting and swimming, a graffiti workshop and our annual trip to Edinburgh.
The One Where We Were Quarantined
2020 was a very challenging year for the young carers. Coronavirus restrictions increased caring hours and pressures on our young carers significantly. The team supported young carers over the phone, through social media, virtual groups, video chats, and by dropping food parcels and activity parcels to their doors. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers and the young carers designed logos, the chosen logo was printed on hoodies and given out to all the young carers. We will continue to celebrate the anniversary year when it is safe to do so. Our former Chair, Mrs Pat Walsh, was awarded an MBE. Pat was instrumental in the establishment of the Skye and Lochalsh Community Care Forum, which launched the Young Carers Project in 2000. Pat was Chair of SLCCF until February 2018, and continues to be an active member of the fundraising team for the Young Carers Service. We also launched this new website!