Peer Support Projects:
The core function of Ceartas is to provide Independent Advocacy support to adults in East Dunbartonshire who fall within our target groups.
For some of our target audience, however, we feel that it is not good enough to sit back and wait for them to contact us: we would rather have regular contact with them so that they remember that Advocacy is available to them, and so that we can start early interventions when action is required. This is particularly relevant for people living with dementia.
Peer support is a model where mutual support is offered by people with the same lived experience; where one person with a diagnosis can share experiences with other people with a diagnosis, and where one carer can share experiences with other carers. Professionals can organise and facilitate the setting, but the actual support is delivered by peers.
This is the model that Ceartas uses in our De Cafés and other dementia support projects, and it sits very comfortably alongside the models of Collective Advocacy and Routes Into Independent Advocacy that Ceartas promotes.
With the addition of some generous support from the Life Changes Trust, Ceartas is now able to facilitate five De Cafés across East Dunbartonshire, as well as other short-term Peer Support projects.
The De Cafés are monthly Peer Support cafés. The original Ceartas De Café in Kirkintilloch has been running since 2005, and has since been joined by additional De Cafés in Bearsden, Milngavie, Bishopbriggs and Lenzie. For more information about De Cafés, see the De Café page and the What’s On page.
As well as these cafes and with additional support from other funding sources like The Flightpath Fund, The Kells Trust, and donations from friends of the organisation, we have also facilitated a number of activity-based Peer Support projects like Faces of Dementia, Dementia Walking Football, and Golfing Memories.
There is always someone there at Ceartas for me, no matter who takes the call.
Even a ten minute chat on the phone made me feel so much better. I was becoming frustrated and annoyed at not getting what I needed from services, but talking to my Advocacy Worker kept me grounded and stopped me from losing the rag with anyone.
I live quite a long distance away from my sister. When she needed to get some more support in place for her dementia, the information about local services and support that you were able to give me was invaluable. I can't thank you enough.
Thanks for discussing things and then sending us some information in the post: we have now started the Power of Attorney process.
I can pick up the phone and advocacy support is always there, ready to listen and help me understand things better.
After waiting months, you got the ball rolling with a number of things and for that I thank you.
When I call Ceartas everyone is always so kind and helpful. They are all a really good group of people.
I didn't know that there was anything I could do about my situation, let alone that I had options. I feel so much better knowing that I can turn to Ceartas for information when I need it.
Thanks so much, this is almost a miracle! Can you do anything for Partick Thistle while you’re at it?
It's really nice to know that someone is listening to me and taking me seriously. Other people seem to think that my problems are trivial and aren't worth bothering about, but that is not true. My Advocacy Worker helped me to make my point in such a way that I couldn't be ignored, and now things are starting to improve as a result.
I felt like I was facing a brick wall until I started receiving support and information from Ceartas. The outcome of that has led to a much better relationship with the rest of the family, and now we are all pulling in the same direction.
Absolutely thrilled with the service. I wish my family all stayed in East Dunbartonshire and could access it!
Thank you for your support at the last meeting. It’s great having somebody independent in my corner: not sure what I would have done or where I would be otherwise.
I am usually apprehensive about contacting organisations in fear of being passed pillar to post. I was delighted when I contacted Ceartas: although I didn’t need advocacy, you talked me through local services that I needed.
It’s a really tricky role you’ve had in this case but you’ve done so effectively.
Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. It’s appreciated more than you will know.