How did Mytime start?
Mytime was developed by the team at Liverpool Carers Centre, which is operated by the charity, Local Solutions. Carers were consistently asking for time away from their caring role and there was a clear gap in the support available for this.
We decided to approach several local hotels in 2015 to see if they would donate a Sunday night overnight stay for a carer and one of the hoteliers responded – they themselves were a carer and understood the need. We started attending the Liverpool Hotelier’s association and very soon had 15 hotels providing an overnight stay for a carer on a monthly basis.
2016-19: Lottery Funding for three years to develop the project
In 2016, we received Lottery funding to grow the project. This funding meant we could employ a small team who could work with local businesses and carers.
2017: Types of Mytime breaks diversify
Following feedback from carers who were not able to leave the person they cared for overnight, we started to diversify the types of breaks to include meals at restaurants, theatre tickets, Football tickets, horse racing tickets as well as overnight hotel breaks. We are always blown away by the range of breaks that are offered to us by businesses – Barista training was a particular favourite.
Several businesses started offering group breaks for carers, for example the Cavern club hosted an afternoon of music and refreshments for 100 carers. These events have given carers the opportunity to meet other people facing similar challenges and have led to carers developing friendships, within the community of carers.
2017: Launch of Mytime Website
We held a website launch event that engaged with businesses who donate breaks, with carers sharing their experiences of the impact of the breaks.
2018: NESTA New Radical
Mytime was recognised as a NESTA 2018 New Radical for its innovative partnership approach to one of the social issues of the day – effectively supporting unpaid carers, which led to publicity in the Guardian and a Granada feature.
2019: BBC Inside Out Feature
We were delighted when Inside Out contacted us to feature the Mytime project and this led to more interest in the project.
2019: Interest from around the country
We have had interest from Local Authorities from around the country and organisations supporting carers and we are continuing to work with them around the potential of offering breaks in different areas.
2020: RSA Catalyst Funding
The RSA awarded Mytime a Catalyst Grant which will fund a project to develop a digital platform which will help facilitate Mytime breaks in other geographic areas.
2020: Launching breaks for carers in Wigan
We are launching Mytime breaks for Wigan carers – watch this space.