We’ve been wanting to make a film about Respitality for ages. The main audience would be hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, leisure facilities – all businesses who may be interested in finding out about the project and offering gifts. We felt that people would be more inclined to join the project if they actually realised the benefit that their gifts make. We worked with Media Education who would make the film and once we had decided the story we wanted, we set off in a whirlwind of activity.
We decided to do a tour of Scotland, showcasing some of our wonderful Respitality providers and asking carers to tell their stories. Starting in New Lanark, we invited some Lanarkshire carers who have benefitted from Respitality breaks to have lunch and share their experiences. It was a very cheerful and noisy lunch but we did do a lot of work and Aonghus and Aine from Media Education did lots of filming. Thanks to everyone at New Lanark who mad us so welcome. It was a really special day.
The next day we headed to Pitlochry to see Chris Gardner and Hunter Mackay from The BEN. There, we filmed the beautiful bungalow they have made available to Respitality and heard their views as to why they joined Respitality and why they support it. The bungalow is one of 18, set in a small estate in Pitlochry. It’s about a 10 minute walk into the town. The bungalow is proving to be a very popular Respitality destination and the beautiful sunshine really showed the bungalow to best effect.
From Pitlochry, we headed down to Falkirk. Falkirk Community Trust have supported Respitality and many carers from Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre. We were able to thank them and hear why they feel Respitality is such a good idea. Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager was presented with their Respitality certificate by Sharon Campbell from Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre.
Our final film location was St Andrews; home of our St Andrews Respitality Festival. Thanks to Stayinstandrews. In March 2016, 6 hotels and guest houses in St Andrews each kindly gave 2 nights accommodation. Carers together with a companion (or by themselves if they want to) came and enjoyed a couple of days of stunning sunshine and hospitality. It was a huge success and we hope that it goes from strength to strength in future years.
Fife Carers Centre and Rufflets House Hotel
Grace and I would like to thank you for the opportunity you gave us to have a Respitality Break at the beautiful Rufflets House Hotel at St Andrews. The hotel and grounds are truly amazing. The staff could not do enough for us and really went out of their way to make us feel special. We both felt we were treated like Royalty.
We had a nice drive up to St Andrews. When we arrived at the hotel we were welcomed then shown to our room which had a lovely view overlooking the gardens. After unpacking, we decided to have a coffee and a piece of the most delicious shortbread we have ever tasted (homemade). After a read of our books we could not believe we both fell asleep. That was a good sign we were both relaxed.
Dinner was excellent. We decided to go all out and have the Rib Eye Steak (which was cooked to perfection), washed down with a glass of wine. The whole meal was delicious and the presentation was 11/10. After dinner we had another glass of wine, then off to bed.
Tuesday: after a healthy continental breakfast, we had a walk around the gardens and met some nice people out walking their dogs. We then got a taxi to take us into St Andrews for a bit of retail therapy. The taxi driver was a character (Dave). He dropped us off at Clarks Shoe Shop – so of course we had to go in. I bought a black handbag (3rd this year) but after all it was in the SALE. Grace and I took bargain hunting to a new level. As it was a lovely sunny day we decided to have lunch outside. We met a young Spanish couple; they too were surprised by the weather. Their English was much better than my night school Spanish – between us we had a nice wee chat.
After lunch I said to Grace I am not coming to St Andrews without having the famous Jannettas icecream. I had a double rum and raisin and Grace had double chocolate, worth the long wait in the queue. Onward we charged to see if there could possibly be any shops we had missed. After a few more must-have bargains we decided to call it a day and called Dave, the taxi driver, to take us back to the Hotel. We decided to dress up a bit for our last night. I thought we looked pretty good. Dinner was another great success. The pecan pie was to die for. After dinner we had our coffee and petit fours in the lounge with the fire on. It was really special.
Wednesday: again another healthy breakfast after saying goodbye to everyone as it was time to head home. We were so lucky with the weather and have loads of photos (which I will include).
I don’t think we realised how much we needed the break. The Good Lord must have been looking after us (as well as you).
Again from Grace and Martha:-
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU.”
The Ben and Respitality
The Ben, Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, has generously donated the use of one of its one-bedroomed cottages in Pitlochry for Respitality. Over the past few months, the cottage has been painted, a new kitchen and shower room added and furnished. The cottage is ready for use with the first Carers having a break on 21st November 2015.