The health and wellbeing of parent carers is often overlooked. But now, with a funding boost of nearly £40,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, a peer-led support programme for parents of disabled children in communities across the southwest is set to be further extended.
The Healthy Parent Carers programme for parent carers of disabled children (aged up to 25 years) provides information about small steps that can be taken every day to improve health and wellbeing using the acronym CLANGERS (Connect, Learn, be Active, Notice, Give, Eat well, Relax and Sleep). Parents are invited to take part in NHS-funded research, led by the PenCRU childhood disability research group at the University of Exeter Medical School and developed with families in their Family Faculty, to look at different ways of accessing the programme.
Provided in groups or through online resources to help people progress at home, the programme has been trialled with a small group of parent carers who felt it was valuable in building resilience and identifying specific strategies to deal with commonly-faced challenges.
Now, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the National Institute for Health Research (a Department of Health and Social Security body set up to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research), communities and parent carers across the South West can benefit from the programme while generating feedback to help shape it for a future nationwide rollout.
Tom McCulloch, Head of Funding for the South West region at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We’re proud to be funding this project which works closely with parent carers in Exeter. Thanks to National Lottery players, The Healthy Parent Carers programme will benefit families as part of this project, helping them to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Trial Manager Dr Gretchen Bjornstad said: “Healthy Parent Carers aims to provide support for parent carers so they can develop the skills and confidence to improve their emotional wellbeing and physical health. We’re incredibly grateful for this funding, which means we can deliver our programme to parents of disabled children in communities across the South West and find out whether it can be delivered across the country.
HPC is recruiting in locations across the South West now. To sign up or for more information visit the website.