Leadership Equalities Communities Management

Manchester Asian Parent Carers

Background History

Our service started in 1997, with funding from the National Lottery, and operated for five years with full-time professional staff. It originally addressed the lack of services for the Asian disabled child and the emotional and practical difficulties experienced by their parents, particularly their mothers, who bear most of the responsibility. It provided a home-based information and advice service to parents and organised regular self-help group meetings in Longsight and Cheetham Hill.

In 2002, after the National Lottery funding expired, telephone support was provided by parent carers on a voluntary basis, proving the need for the services and the commitment of parent carer volunteers.

After 2003, we received funding from Manchester Adult Social Care to provide:

  1. Carer breaks to enjoy quality time away from their children and the opportunity to interact with other parent carers. These were usually visits to public gardens in summer and indoor social or recreational activities in the winter. We usually arrange childcare and transport for these breaks, if required. Carer Breaks are now funded through charitable fundraising, rather than the local authority.
  2. Welfare benefits information and advice services to help parent carers obtain their entitlements and understand and access services. Parents receive home visits from our Advice Workers and we liaise with mainstream financial support and service providers.
  3. Parent Carer support group meetings, with speakers on a wide range of issues from, for example, disability rights to teenager issues. We provided a drop-in information and advice clinic during meetings, so that parents can easily access our Advisors.

We also had a Volunteers’ training programme to support volunteers, who want to help the project. Currently, they are trained to either take on regular project work or to help organise trips and meetings on a casual basis, working side by side with our paid staff.