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Respitality in Shetland

Respitality (respite+hospitality) allows Shetland's hospitality and leisure sector to gift VAS a short break. This is then given to unpaid carers in Shetland 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!

The concept of Respitality began in the USA where it is now well established. In Scotland, Respitality began as a pilot in Fife in 2014 and now 13 local authority areas are participating in the project. During 2016, Respitality offered a break to 271 carers and 275 companions with an approximate value of £32,629. The Respitality scheme is funded through the Scottish Government and co-ordinated through Shared Care Scotland.

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.’’

So far the following businesses in Shetland have signed up with VAS to be Respitality Partners and gift short breaks for unpaid carers : -

  • Drumquin Guest House
  • Busta House Hotel
  • Ordaal Cottage, Unst
  • The Moorfield Hotel, Brae
  • Fjara Cafe Bar
  • King Harald Apartments
  • Clickimin Complex
  • Shetland Arts Development Agency
  • Self Catering Shetland
  • Shetland Motorbike Training
  • Luxury Apartments Shetland
  • Shetland Country Music Club
  • Isles Reflexology
  • Brudolff Hotels

At our Launch Event in November 2017 partners and gift providers received certificates in recognition of their involvement in the Respitality Scheme

At our Launch Event in November 2017 partners and gift providers received certificates in recognition of their involvement in the Respitality Scheme

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

Drumquin Geust House in Brae

Drumquin Guest House proprietors Leslie Anderson and Robert Webster were the first to sign up to the scheme in Shetland. Keen lend their support, 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.’’

To sign up to the Scheme, either as a carer or a Gift Provider, please contact or tel 01595 743980.

Respitality Sign Up Form

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

1. Information about the carer

2. Information about the caring situation

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

Privacy Statement

Here at 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.

However, from time to time VAS 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:

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