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Respitality in Shetland

Respitality (respite+hospitality) allows Shetland's hospitality and leisure sector to donate a short break which VAS pass onto local unpaid carers in to have an opportunity to recharge their batteries and take time for themselves.

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 involves 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!

Respitality originated in the US and is currently available in 14 different local authority areas across Scotland. The Scheme is funded through the Scottish Government and co-ordinated through Shared Care Scotland. During 2018 this project offered a break to 1,149 carers and 805 companions with an approximate value of £84,387. In Shetland, since Respitality began in November 2017, 77 carers have enjoyed a break through the Scheme all donated by local businesses, with an approximate value of £7,417.

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

Kirsten Harcus, VAS Carer Support Worker said: ‘’VAS are delighted to be working with Shared Care Scotland to try and offer more short breaks to unpaid carers in Shetland. I am very excited about this project which offers a win-win to both parties : Carers receive a much needed break from their caring responsibilities while Gift Providers give something back to their community and at the same time raise their own profile.’’

Drumquin Guest House in Brae was the first local business to sign up to gift short breaks for local carers Drumquin Guest House were first to sign up to the scheme in Shetland.

Leslie Anderson said : ‘We recognise from personal experience the benefits to the carers from participating in such a Scheme. Having time off to recharge their batteries and relax is so important.’’

15 Local Business have signed Up to Gift Breaks
Drumquin Guest House Busta House Hotel Ordaal Cottage, Unst
The Moorfield Hotel, Brae Fjara Cafe Bar King Harald Apartments
Clickimin ComplexShetland Arts Self Catering Shetland
Shetland Motorbike TrainingLuxury Apartments Shetland Shetland Country Music Club
Isles ReflexologyBrudolff Hotels Brae Hotel

To join the Scheme please complete the online sign-up form or contact [email protected] or tel 01595 743980.

To donate a gift to the Scheme, please contact [email protected] or tel 01595 743980.

Respitality Sign Up Form

The information you supply here is voluntary, the more info you supply us with the more we can tailor our communication to you.

This form should be completed by the carer, young carer or any person supporting the carer.

Personal Information – Information About Carer

Information About Caring Situation

Information About Person Being Cared For

Information About Caring Situation And Caring Role Of Carer

Respitality Information

Please rank from 1 to 8 your short break preference with 1 being your most favoured and 8 your least favoured break:

Data Protection

Here at Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you have requested from us. In order to provide carers with a better service we are now working in partnership with Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (SCAS). We will share your information with this organisation via a joint database. If you have any concerns about this please discuss this with us.

From time to time VAS / SCAS would like to contact you with details of other services we provide. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick to say how you would like us to contact you.

I'm happy for you to contact me by:

Where appropriate we would also like to pass your details onto Shetland Islands council and / or NHS Shetland and other third sector organisations who support carers and will pass information to you regarding being a carer or services to support the person you care for, so that they can contact you with details of services that they provide. If you consent to us passing on your details for that purpose, please tick to confirm:

I agree to share my information with:


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