New- Respitality Project in Shetland

VAS recently signed up with Shared Care Scotland to develop a Respitality scheme in Shetland.

Respitality (respite + hospitality) is a new and effective way the hospitality and leisure sector can help their local communities by recognising and appreciating the contribution of unpaid carers. 

Respitality invovles connecting local organisations that support unpaid carers with hospitality providers e.g. hotels, guest houses, restaurants, leisure clubs, beauty salons etc.  The idea is that hotels, for example, become Respitality Partners by making a ‘gift’ of a short break. The breaks are made available during quieter periods, when it suits the business. This enables a carer, plus a companion, to have a break away from their caring responsibilities to recharge their batteries and have a little time for themselves. Respite is historically seen as an overnight stay, but it can be whatever the carer wants it to be, such as a trip to the cinema, a haircut, a concert – the possibilities are endless!

With the upcoming Carers Act and recent research into the State of Caring by Carers UK, it is clear that regular and quality breaks for carers are paramount in ensuring they have a good quality of health and can continue to support their loved ones without fear of burn out.  

The concept of respitality began in the USA where it is now well established.   Respitality in Scotland is run by Shared Care Scotland.  During 2016 this project offered a break to 271 carers and 275 companions with an approximate value of £32,629

Benefits of Respitality

  • Regular, planned breaks be used as a preventative tool to prevent carers from reaching crisis.
  • The break will give carers something to look forward to and a chance to have time out for themselves.
  • Gift providers can increase awareness of their business and their community involvement, and the role of carers is further promoted. 

VAS hope this new project will complement their existing Short Break Scheme.    

Click here for the Respitality Sign Up form which should be returned to Market House, or alternatively use our online Respitality Sign Up form:

Some information about how Respitality will work can be viewed here

Or if you are a potential gift provider please get in touch at or on 01595 743980

So far the following businesses have signed up to be Respitality Partners and will be gifting breaks for unpaid carers : -

Drumquin Guest House          Busta House Hotel          Ordaal Cottage, Unst           

The Moorfield Hotel, Brae             Fjara Cafe Bar          King Harald Apartments

Shetland Recreational Trust          Self Catering Shetland        Shetland Motorbike Training 

Shetland Arts                       Shetland Country Music Club      Luxury Apartments Shetland

Respitality Partners receiving their Gift Providers Certificate from Kirsten Harcus at the Respitaity Launch event on 24/11/17