you may remember i wrote a few weeks back i was applying to get away for a few days sometime. i wrote a long letter to my carers assessment social worker (casw in future,its bit of mouthfull ) asking if it was possible to get any help towards a break,financial help that is.when i had my assessment earlier in year,which as my early entries told i had waited for,for 4 months,the casw promised me several things. mum would get a voluntary visitor, that took 3 months. yes C comes now,and i am grateful to her. but it took ages to get set up. i was promised help to fill in forms, i had a letter from the person concerned,he was busy but would be in touch. never heard a word. as i already have said i had a spell of self denial and never did anything about it until the other week. and that was because of my MS nurse giving me different organisation to go to. never heard a word from other. i was promised help from carers organisations,and yes i am now registered, never had to use them yet but they are there. and carers grant. casw told me there is a grant carers can apply for every year,up to £200 for help with things like breaks,doing hobbies etc. i asked for help towards a new bed for mum as hers was broken,and it was making my job hard to make it. i got £150 nowhere near enough for a new bed. so i repaired her old one,and we bought a nice thick new mattress for her with the money. cost £170 but mum is comfortable. now she casw told me this grant is paid every year , just apply,say what you want the money for,runs from april to april. so thats what i had asked for my break. carers grant to enable me to get away for 3 days. hadnt heard a word until wednesday.
i had gone to doctors,got home,mum said social services rang, will ring you later this afternoon. never did. next morning i went up shop to get papers,came home they rang again said mum will ring you lunch time. never did. finally she rang me friday. a new social worker i have never met before, asked me how things were, and when did i want to go away? promising i thought. mid october i said. ok she said,i can arrange cover for your mum,extra carers to get her food etc. blah,blah. no word about money. then she said,oh i am reading your letter, you wish to know if there is any financial help.well there is this charity you could apply to,i will send details, ermmmm just sec.i said i applied for carers grant, oh she said,you have to get in touch with work and pensions carers allowance is nothing to do with norfolk county council now................. whoah, i cant GET carers allowance, the benefit i am on i cant get it. i applied for carers GRANT. i explained it all to her. and she had never heard of it. said maybe it was a one off? no i was told every year. maybe it was a social grant,they have to be repaid but....................NO,ITS A CARERS GRANT. long and short, i had a small bit of paper come, with this charitys address on and phone number to apply to see if i can get any help from them, she will look into carers grant,but couldnt find anything on her computer about it. goodbye mr lake.
i went on the website for carers. and i cant find anything about the grant either. still got the slip that came with the cheque,and sent it to the social worker,but it does look like thanks to cuts in social security funding, carers grant has gone. along with any hope i had of getting away. i havent got money to waste on taking a holiday. i only applied because i thought the grant was available. working on what you never have you never miss,i guess i am not really too surprised. but i am just one carer. there are thousands in the country. and for some, that grant, to be able to go away for a little break is a lifeline. i shall apply to the charity, but i am unpaid, i get little help, surely more could be done to help the helpers? we save this country tens of thousands of pounds,by providing care that otherwise would have to be funded for. a caring society?? take care all. many,many thanks for all the lovely comments and emails i got over the MS entry. mort