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Respitality in Shetland

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

Respitality (respite + hospitality) is a new and effective way in which 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!

Our current eligibility criteria for accessing a Respitality Break can be found here. Respitality Breaks will be subject to the number and type of breaks we receive from our donors.

How to Apply

1. Apply online by accessing the Respitality Break application form here, or call Amanda Brown on 01595 743923 to obtain a paper version of the application form. We can also help you to complete an application over the phone if you prefer.

2. Once Shetland Carers has received your completed Respitality Break application form, we will acknowledge receipt.

3. This will then register you with our service so that we can record you are a carer and send you any new carer information.

4. A panel will meet regularly to discuss all Respitality Break applications. Applicants will be advised about the outcome of their application.

5. After your Respitality Break, we would ask that you write a short ‘thank you’ note to the Respitality provider. We will provide you with a card for this and would encourage you to complete it within five days of your break. This should be returned to Shetland Carers and we will ensure it is forwarded to the provider. If you’d prefer not to use the card provided and send a letter or your own card, then this can also be done.

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. Since launching the initiative, Respitality has facilitated breaks for over 3,000 carers with the support of over 350 businesses. In Shetland, since autumn 2017, we have provided 99 breaks to carers through the Respitality Scheme at an estimated cost to local businesses of £9,961.

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, Shetland Carers Support Worker said: ‘’Shetland Carers 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 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.’’

9 Local Business have Signed Up to Gift Breaks for 2021 - 2022
Brudolff Hotels Busta House HotelClickimin Complex
Fjara Cafe Bar Isles ReflexologyOrdaal Cottage, Unst
Luxury Apartments ShetlandSelf Catering ShetlandSteve Henry Motorbike

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on unpaid carers. In Scotland, the “Caring Behind Closed Doors” research by Carers Scotland estimates there are now 1.1 million unpaid carers in Scotland (which is 1 in 5 people). They also found that a staggering 78% of unpaid carers in Scotland are having to provide more care for their loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak. Reduced care and support services, and paid care workers isolating meant many unpaid carers in Scotland had, and still have, no choice but to care round the clock for loved ones with complex health conditions and disabilities – without any hope of a break. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) of unpaid carers are providing more care as a result of local services reducing or closing.

This has had a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing, with more than half (53%) of unpaid carers saying they felt overwhelmed managing their caring responsibilities during the outbreak and worry about burning out. These statistics are a reality for unpaid carers every day, and why it’s so important that they have access to regular short breaks from routine.

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

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