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I am a Contracts and Commissioning Officer in Bridgend County Borough Council. I have been working with the DEEP programme on the remodelling of our services to carers.

This work commenced with a conference where delegates were introduced to our development work, along with research evidence around supporting carers and good practice examples of services elsewhere.  There were lots of good conversations in the conference, and we collectively developed a vision statement in the form of a poem. You can read a copy of the poem here

Following on from the conference we held two Exploratory Talk workshops with carers to gather their views on respite care. You can read some key quotes from this workshops here.  Through our participatory development work, it became clear that we needed to rethink our respite care services and widen choices for people.

We learnt from the evidence of Shared Care Scotland, and their concept of ‘short breaks’. It was clear that we should strengthen links with tourism and were introduced to the concept of and research around social tourism. In order to take this work forward, we supported Linc-Cymru to apply for a Capacity Grant from the Wales School for Social Care Research to establish a Short Breaks and Social Tourism Network. There has been a lot of interest in this network, which is continuing to develop.

You can read about the activities and outcomes of this network here.

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