Grants for charities that support carers

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Harrogate’s health board has given £25,000 to district charities to help people live independently and stop them being admitted to hospital.

The Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (HaRD CCG) has awarded five grants of £5000.

The funds have gone to voluntary organisations which support carers and help patients to continue living in their own homes.

The CCG’s Clinical Chair, Dr Alistair Ingram said:

“We are very keen to work with our local voluntary and charity sector organisations as they are often best placed to support patients and carers.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the funding applications and we look forward to working with them in the coming months.”

The CCG wants to cut down on “unnecessary” hospital admissions by helping people to be cared for at home, Dr Ingram added.

The money has gone to Age UK Knaresborough and District, Age UK North Yorkshire, The British Red Cross, the Carers Resource in Harrogate, and Saint Michael’s Hospice.

The project at Saint Michael’s – the Volunteer Visitor Service – and at Carers Resource – called Supporting Carers through Integrated Care – both aim to help people looking after loved ones.

The Saint Michael’s project helps by giving carers “a few valuable hours respite each week” the hospice’s chief executive Tony Collins said.

And the Carers Resource grant will allow them to provide a Carer Specialist to work in the Ripon Integrated Care Team, to be a single point of contact for carers, and to give them help and support with things like benefits applications.

The grants given to the British Red Cross and Age UK North Yorkshire will both help fund schemes in an initiative called “Social Prescribing”.

They will help people get hold of “non-medical” support they need, including social, emotional and practical support. Age UK North Yorkshire will work with Ripon GP practices, while the British Red Cross will work with Leeds Road practice in Harrogate.

Chief Executive on Age UK North Yorkshire Alex Bird said: “The aims is to reduce the number of lonely and socially isolated older people and promote improvements in emotional and physical well-being.”

The grant given to another Age UK branch –Knaresborough and district –will boost their Support at Home service, which helps older people with things like transport to appointments, shopping, social groups and housework.