For the first time in Perth and Kinross on the 4th of February we engaged unpaid carers in deciding how money will be spent to support them in their caring role. This is Participatory Budgeting (PB) in action, where unpaid carers, the experts in their own field, decided how resources would be allocated to other carers like themselves.
£20K was up for consideration and only unpaid carers could vote. The projects could bid for up to £2000 and they had to give a three minute presentation to the carers on their project or initiative. The carers then voted and decided where and how the £20K would be spent.
58 carers voted with approximately 100 people attending throughout the day. 15 out of the 23 projects who applied were awarded funding after voting from carers and were projects targeting some of our most vulnerable carers. The following is a list of successful projects and intiatives who were awarded funding to support and make a difference to the lives of carers across all of Perth and Kinross:
Feedback from 61 people who attended on the day had this to say:
'Carers Voice, Carers Choice!' was an outstanding first start to PB in Perth and Kinross but most importantly, it gave unpaid carers a voice in shaping services in a way that has never occured before.
Please see a link below with write up about the Carers Voice, Carers Choice! event which is now available on the PB Scotland website:
Full write up here.
Some of the comments made on the day:
"Excellent event giving unpaid carers the opportunity to speak about things that impact on their day to day life."
"Great new concept - appreciated being involved."
"Good to get the decisions today - there are no layers between us and the decision."
"Decisions being taken by the community, not 'handed down.'"
"A great example of taking PB into a new area and seeing it succeed brilliantly."
The Scottish Government has introduced a new benefit called the Carers Allowance Supplement.
We will be holding a Drop in on Thursday 18th October from 9am to 2pm at PKAVS for anyone who would like more info about the 'Getting it Right for Cares Across Perth & Kinross' consultation.
Over the next 4-5 weeks, the Scottish Government wants to talk to older people about their experiences of Attendance Allowance, one of the benefits being devolved to Scotland.