The Background – fiction becoming reality
Crossroads is named after Crossroads the soap! The soap ran a story line that involved Meg Richardson, one of the main characters, caring at home for her son Sandy. The story aroused a lot of interest.
Due to correspondence from many real carers, ATV, the production company, donated £10,000 in 1974 to turn fiction into reality. The first Crossroads scheme was in Rugby and supported 28 families.
There are now 200 Crossroads schemes; in fact Crossroads is the largest charity in the world providing care in the home to relieve carers.
All Crossroads schemes are charities set up to meet the needs of carers in their local area. All the schemes are affiliated to National Crossroads Caring for carers. Each scheme is a run by a Board of Trustees, who are all volunteers.
Crossroads in Birmingham
- Birmingham Central/South Crossroads was the first Crossroads scheme in Birmingham, starting in 1984
- Both East and West Birmingham Crossroads began in 1990.
- In 2004 East Birmingham and Solihull Crossroads schemes merged to form Solihull and East Birmingham Crossroads Care
The three schemes work closely together to provide a service that is city wide. The schemes also run the following joint projects:
- The Moving and Handling and First Aid Project
- The DISC Project (Dementia Information and Support for Carers)
- The three schemes also established, support, and line manage the Crossroads Carers Training Development Manager Post.
The ethos and philosophy of Crossroads
- Carers need regular planned time away from their caring responsibilities.
- Crossroads works in partnership with the carer
- Crossroads acknowledges and values the expertise of the carer
- Care is holistic and not task based
- The service is tailored to the needs of individual carers and people with care needs.
- Crossroads offers real choices
- Care should be of a the highest quality i.e. reliable, consistent, and flexible, delivered by the same Carer
Many carers comment “at last a service that listens to what I am saying”