Flexible Break Fund

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From April 1st 2016 the Personal Budgets fund will be rebranded to the Flexible Break Fund and you can now submit an application online here or download an application by clicking here.

Only apply if you are a registered carer with us, you have had a Carer’s Assessment within the last 12 months or an up to date review, as your application will be refused. 

Please note that Trafford Carers Centre uses a criteria when allocating Flexible Break Funding, to ensure that all allocations are fair, and reflect the impact of your caring role.

The Flexible Break Fund is for people who provide unpaid care or support to a partner, relative, friend or neighbour who is a Trafford Borough resident and who could not manage without their help because of age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.

Carers often have little time for themselves due to their caring role. It is important for us all to have a break, to relax and spend time doing the things that we enjoy so we remain healthy and active. The fund’s purpose is to give carers a break from their caring role, that will improve their general health and wellbeing. This could be an evening off, taking up a hobby or going on a holiday with or without the person you look after. The fund is very flexible and can be used for anything as long as it gives you a break from your day-to-day caring situation or helps keep you fit and healthy.

 

Who can apply to the fund? 

  1. Any unpaid carer who is 18 years old and over and cares for someone who lives in Trafford can apply to the Flexible Break Fund.
  1. Someone else can complete the application form on behalf of the carer but please ensure the carer has given their permission before doing so and the carer signs the form or acknowledges to Trafford Carers Centre via an email to personalbudget@traffordcarerscentre.org.uk
  1. Carers need an initial Carers Assessment and/or a follow up review within 3 months of the application in order to apply.
  1. People who do not have restrictions to the recourse of Public funds.
  1. Funds are limited so priority is given to applicants that have not benefited from the fund before. Grants may only be applied for once every year.

 

What can it be used for? 

  1. The fund can be used to contribute to any break/service (with the exemption of replacement care) or support that either enables the carer to take a break from their caring role or supports them as a carer. For example, the carer could purchase:
  • A series of massages or other holistic therapies
  • Gym membership (first membership only)
  • A trip/break away

This list is not exhaustive – the key is to think flexibly about what support the carer needs.

  1. As funds are limited, we have to restrict the amount that carers can apply for:
    • Carers as individuals can apply for up to £300.
    • If you are sharing a caring role, the maximum amount joint carers can apply for is £300. For example, if there are 2 carers you can only receive a maximum of £150 each. If there are 3 carers you can only receive a maximum of £100 each.

If the fund is oversubscribed in any one application period we sometimes cannot make the full award requested and we may not be able to make all the awards requested.

 

 How do I apply? Guidance with completing your form.

  1. Click here and complete all sections of the application form. Alternatively download the form by clicking here or request an application by post.
  1. Contact the people providing the service or break and ask for a quote. Please do not pay before you receive a decision from the panel as we will not be able to accept your application.
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This page is for you to give details about yourself and the person you care for.

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This page asks if you have had this Fund before (we can check if you are not sure). Please tell us about the type of break or activity you are applying for. Give a breakdown of the costs per person if you are taking someone with you. (Please see Guidance Point 8 above). Remember we can only process applications with a copy of the quote attached.

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This page is for you to tell us about your caring role. 

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As this part of the application involves authentification of the applicant and if you have completed the form online you will receive by email a declaration which must be signed by a professional person who knows you in your role as a carer. This could be, for example, someone from Social Services, a Doctor/other Health Professional, Head Teacher/Special Needs Teacher or someone from a voluntary organisation. (It cannot be signed by a staff member at Trafford Carers Centre). Please note the form will not be processed until this part has been signed.

The last section about your ethnicity helps us to know if we are reaching all the communities in Trafford. It will be separated from your application and kept  anonymously. You can select “prefer not to say” if you do not want to give this information. Again, if you have completed the form online this will be sent via email.

  1. All applications should be submitted with the following supporting documents:
  • Photo ID verification of the person applying for funding.
  • Medical letters or other documents detailing the illness or disability of cared for.
  • A copy of the cost involved e.g. a copy of a quote from a travel agent or service provider or details of the cost of a course or therapy.
  1. Please return applications and supporting documents to Trafford Carers Centre, 19B School Road, Sale, M33 7XX or you can scan the form and send it by email to personalbudget@traffordcarerscentre.org.uk.

 

What happens next?

  1. The panel meets the last Wednesday of each month (except in December the panel meets a week earlier) and the deadline to submit your application is one week prior to the panel meeting.

Applications received after the deadline will not be processed until the next meeting. It is therefore important to plan ahead and make your applications well in advance of your respite break or activity. The panel consists of The Flexible Break Fund Coordinator, Senior Management and a Representative from Trafford Council.

  1. If you are awarded a grant we will contact you in writing or by email to tell you how much you have been awarded.
  1. Any funds that are still unclaimed 3 months after they have been awarded will go back in to the pot and made available for other carers. Please note that neither Trafford Carers Centre nor Trafford Council can be held responsible for any situation that arises in respect of the short break or holiday arranged.
  1. If you are not satisfied with a decision the panel has made, you can appeal within 28 days of the decision in writing to the Flexible Break Fund appeals panel at Trafford Carers Centre, 19B School Road, Sale, M33 7XX.

 

Final point: We are sorry that we have only limited funds and will not be able to award the grant to everyone who applies. We therefore encourage you to see if you are eligible for support through Social Services. You may also find other grants and charities on the Turn 2 Us website http://www.turn2us.org.uk/grants_search.aspx or by calling 0808 802 2000.

We may also be able to provide information on other groups and organisations you may apply to for funding. You can find further information in our Where to find funding information sheet or contact us for more information on 0161 848 2400.