Funding boost for Respite and Response

Respite and Response Service is awarded £351,424 from The National Lottery Community Fund

Posted on 10 April 2019 by Alan Cameron


The Ayrshire Hospice is delighted to announce they have been successful in securing a £351,424 National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund.  The significant three-year grant will support the continuation of the existing Ayrshire-wide Respite and Response (R&R) Service currently delivered by the hospice.

Lynne Carmichael, Respite and Response Team Manager commented “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in our National Lottery application.  The Respite and Response Service has been running for over six years now and has been able to demonstrate, time and time again, the meaningful difference it makes to patients and families across Ayrshire who are coping with a life-limiting illness, during times that can be very difficult for everyone. This welcome funding boost secures the future of this vital service for the next three years”.

The Respite and Response Service delivers a range of practical and psychological support to carers and patients with a life-limiting illness who want to die at home. “Respite” visits are provided to allow the carer much needed time out and “response” visits are arranged to offer additional support at times of increased need, such as a crisis or rapidly changing health.  Complementary therapies for family care givers and patients are also provided to promote wellbeing and weekly social and peer support for family care givers is available within the carers cafe.  These activities and the support the service provides help to reduce the stress, isolation and loneliness of the care givers and improve their wellbeing and resilience.

During 2017-18 the Respite and Response Service made over 1,400 visits to 371 patients across Ayrshire and Arran.  The R&R Service was able to help 97% of those patients to stay in their preferred place of care and 92% of the patients who died were able to die in the place they had chosen. 

Over the past few years, developing partnerships and a collaborative approach has been crucial to the expansion and development of the Respite and Response Service.  The team are now able to offer support that helps to prevent hospital admissions - allowing more people to be cared for at home, if that is their wish.  They are also able to help people be discharged from hospital quicker so that they can be at home, often in their final days.  Furthermore by taking on more practical aspects of care (including personal care and psychological support) the team are better able to address the needs of dying patients and their families and carers. 

Feedback from carers has included:

  • “The team treated our mum like our mum not just ‘another patient’ they showed the utmost respect towards her”


  • “my husband was quite relaxed about my going out and leaving him with someone he did not know because they gave him confidence that they would be able to cope with any need he had”


  • “Council could not activate carers at the time of discharge - took 3 days but still couldn't provide help for mornings. Dad would have been in hospital an extra 3+ days if this service wasn’t available”


  • “that was his wish to be at home and I was able to do that for him”


Lynne adds: “This is the second time this vital service has been successful in applying for National Lottery funding - a sure indicator that what we are doing works and is worth backing.  Our team ofeight care assistants and our R&R co-ordinator make a huge difference to the lives of patients and families across Ayrshire and Arran each and every day and I am delighted that the impact of their hard work is being recognised and supported in this way”.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that the Ayrshire Hospice has been successful in securing a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Respite and Response team every success as they go on to develop and expand their project for the benefit of their local community.”