See How We Work

Sadly, many of the clients we meet during the course of outreach activity struggle to get the help they need. We take pride in tackling difficult issues and aim to fill gaps in local provision. We have experience of working with hard to reach groups such as hidden caregivers, including those from BME communities and clients who are socially isolated due to challenging caring responsibilities. We work with a range of delivery partners and specialists including clinicians, third sector organisations, care professionals, expert advisors, successful businesses, volunteers and others.

We discourage unhealthy dependency; instead helping people to help themselves and one another. We do this by sharing important information, skills and coping strategies and by delivering facilitated group sessions and arranging social activities and other short-term respite. Omega Meeting Point support groups, each with their own identity are led by enthusiastic co-ordinators and shaped by the clients who attend them. 

Omega Care Support    Omega Care Support 

We are keen to reach out in new areas and welcome offers to work closely with others. We receive little statutory support and rely upon grant making trusts, public donations, pro bono support and sponsorship from successful businesses.

If you are in a position to support our important work please consider making a donation or get in touch to discuss how you can help us in another practical way.

Omega's early achievements include:

In addition to managing a growing network of groups and continuing to work in several communities engaging with, and supporting un-paid family caregivers our achievements have included the following activity:

A great deal of effort was made to establish the Omega Chatterbox Action Against Loneliness and Crisis Support programme, a free, confidential enhanced telephone befriending service aimed at socially isolated clients who are not otherwise able to access help. We are grateful to the Wolves Aid Community Trust for their three year grant to help us develop Chatterbox and to Wolverhampton City Council who funded preliminary activity. We are also grateful to the Charles Hayward Trust and Garfield Weston and the Trusthouse Charitable Foundations who invested in the service. In July 2013 we were invited to extend Chatterbox delivery to Sandwell.

Five new groups joined the Network of Omega Meeting Point support groups this year, including two new special interest groups, a legacy from our community learning activity, and a group in South Warwickshire.

Circulation of the Omega Network Bulletin exceeded 6,500.

We continue to host two Carer Forums and regular Outreach and Information Sharing events on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council.

With the support of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education we delivered over 440 community learning sessions and have been able to extend delivery beyond the life of the project.

We also developed Motor Neurone Disease Family Support activity.

Omega allocated more resources to supporting patients suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and their families. Working with the Zion City Tabernacle Church in Wolverhampton, we launched a new carer support group, aimed at carers looking after family members with mental health problems including dementia.

Omega has always been committed to learning and continuous improvement; responding to demand from our beneficiaries, in September this year we began offering the opportunity to attend relaxed Community Learning taster sessions. Topics chosen by family carers included Computing with Confidence, Healthy Cooking and Making the most of your Money. The sessions were very well received. We are delighted to report that we have further expanded our team of talented volunteers during the year and boosted our community outreach and information sharing capacity.

In November 2012 we launched Omega Chatterbox - a free telephone befriending programme. The programme enables us to reach more socially-isolated clients, many of whom are unable to attend support groups and other organised activities.

We devised a group training resource suitable for health care workers involved in supporting people approaching end of life or who have recently faced bereavement. We launched the Wolverhampton Carer Forum with support from Wolverhampton City Council. We also launched a new group for carers of people with autism. Building on our successful track record in developing and testing guidance material we developed a range of resources in response to requests from groups and individuals. We extended the level of assistance we provide to families affected by motor neurone disease by launching the Omega MND iPad appeal.

We developed a number of strategic relationships and expanded delivery of facilitated groups support sessions under the auspices of the Department of Health funded Caring with Confidence programme. We launched an effective bereavement support programme and trialled and developed a successful bereavement outreach approach. 8 members of the Omega facilitator team received coach training and began supporting the work of other delivery partners.

Omega delivered the first national snapshot of End of life care in primary care. This internationally significant survey includes information about 4,487 deaths from 502 general practices in 15 PCT areas. Nine out of ten English Strategic Health Authority regions are represented. Facilitated by Omega, this audit was funded by Primary Care Trusts and the NHS National End of Life Programme and jointly delivered by the Gold Standards Framework national team, The Evidence Centre, and The University of Birmingham. We supported the successful development and delivery of 2 other web-based platforms to host audit/improvement applications of the GSF After Death Analysis tool.

Omega continues to reach family caregivers from across the country

Each year we deliver over 400 friendly group sessions. So far we have held sessions or provided support in the following areas:

  • Birmingham
  • Blackburn
  • Dudley
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hereford
  • Lancashire
  • Leeds
  • London
  • Merseyside
  • Oxfordshire
  • Powys
  • Sandwell
  • Shropshire
  • Solihull
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Walsall
  • Warwickshire
  • West Sussex
  • Wolverhampton

Evidence of need

Omega consulted with over 24 local commissioners. The following responses, identifying issues and gaps in provision, were typical:

  • A need for peer support and advocacy provided at arm’s length from statutory services, to complement the information and advice services provided by local authorities and the NHS
  • Home-based and telephone support is valued by older carers and those who feel unable to leave the person they are caring for: such a service should always aim to find ways to enable carers to leave their homes and enjoy social opportunities to reduce isolation
  • Group sessions which take people away from the caring role are valued
  • Always a need for more support following bereavement
  • Volunteering which matches individuals to worthwhile tasks rather than organisations
  • The recruitment of carer champions
  • A service which enables family carers to receive supplementary support when away from home; such care will not extend to personal care but would, in many cases, provide 'an extra pair of hands' to allow an older or frail carer and the person they look after to lead a more fulfilling life, by being able to do ordinary things with the person they care for e.g. to accompany a couple to enable them to visit a cafe for a meal out together.

This information has helped us tailor our support programmes to the specific needs of our clients, without duplication. If you have identified unmet need in your area or want to complement existing provision, please get in touch.