If you are supporting or caring for a loved one living with dementia, finding time for yourself can be hard.
But thanks to Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, a local charity is now hosting special supper clubs for unpaid carers to give them a chance to enjoy themselves, make new friends and get support.
STAND has started the monthly supper clubs, thanks to money from the Partnership’s Community Chest Fund for Fife Carers.
STAND runs two supper clubs a month in different locations to offer a space for people who support friends or family with dementia or for anyone who has lost a loved one to dementia.
As well as enjoying a tasty meal, those who go along can meet people with similar experiences, get peer support, make new friends and find out where they can get any additional support they need.
Ruth McCabe from STAND explained: “We received £10,000 from the fund, which has meant we’ve been able to offer the supper clubs alongside our regular timetable of dementia friendly meeting places.
“It’s lovely to be able for them to share a meal together. But it’s about much more than that too.
“These new supper clubs give family and friends the chance to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences of trying to support someone or having lost someone to dementia.
“There’s real power in them coming together with others and realising they are not the only one dealing with this, they’re not on their own and there’s other people who understand.
“We have facilitators at each of the supper clubs and although the atmosphere is relaxed, we do sometimes sit people together who have similar experiences.
“But we find that tends to happen organically anyway. We hope the clubs will help family and friends be more relaxed and help with their mental and physical health too.”
Community Chest for Fife Carers was launched in June this year, with 24 projects across the Kingdom receiving funding totalling £150,000.
The second round is open now and has a closing date for applications of January 22024.
It has been set up to fund projects by local groups or charities to create supportive places for unpaid carers, develop their sense of belonging and improve their wellbeing.
The funding is available to any community group or charity based in Fife, who can apply for up to £10,000 per project, for up to two years.
Fiona McKay, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance & Commissioning, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We recognise the huge contribution Fife’s unpaid carers make.
“And to be able to offer something to them – like the supper clubs set up by STAND – gives unpaid carers a chance to connect with others and give them a welcome break from their tireless work.
“We hope to be able to support up as many projects as possible in each locality area in Fife in this second round and would invite anyone who is interested to get in touch with us.”
For further information on how to apply, email HSCPLocalityPlanning@fife.gov.uk