Four Years – Respitality Highlights
Respitality has come on leaps and bounds since it first launched in Scotland in 2014. Here are the highlights over the past 4 years – thanks to the businesses and carers organisations that work year round to support the initiative.
UNPAID CARERS & COMPANIONS
- 1149 carers and 805 companions have received a break through Respitality in 2018. Of those companions, 272 were known as the cared for person (34%).
- The most popular reason for taking a break via Respitality in 2018 was as a “one off break” (80%). The second most popular reason was “building a break” (12%). (Building a break is when elements of short breaks options are combined to create a full break opportunity, e.g. a hotel break via Respitality with money for transport and meals via Time To Live.) Other reasons included “regular break”, “rediscovering a hobby”, “starting a new hobby” and “bonding with other carers”.
- Respitality is mainly accessed by carers between the age of 25 and 64 (68%)
- Of the mileage known, the majority of breaks with Respitality in 2018 were taken within a 19 mile radius of where the carer resides (75%)
- In 2018, 237 carers took a break outside of their local authority area – this is 21% of all breaks taken, which is a 3% increase on 2017. The most visited areas outside of the carers local authority was Fife (34%), Perthshire (24%) & Argyll and Bute, specifically North Argyll (14%)
- Carers accessing Respitality has (on average) increased every year by 46%
- In four years, 2156 carers and 1745 companions have received a short break through Respitality.
HOSPITALITY, LEISURE & TOURISM SECTOR
- There has been a slight decrease in new businesses donating compared to 2017, however there has been an increase in the amount of businesses choosing to re-donate to Respitality in 2018. For 2018, the ratio of new businesses to businesses re-donating is 55% (new businesses) and 45% (re-donating)
- For 2018, the average cost of a break through Respitality is £73, which is a £7 decrease on 2017.
- Breaks mainly taken via Respitality in 2018 were overnight stays in hotels (33%), self-catering property stays (17%) and dining out (15%). We have noticed a slight decrease in breaks taken that are classed as dining and bingo (16% decrease), however the self-catering and overnight stays have increased greatly since 2017 (32% increase). We have particularly seen an increase in caravan stays being offered thanks to the strong relationship we have nurtured with British Holidays and Home Parks Association.
- 2018 has once again seen unique breaks offered include tours of Shetland island on the back of a motorbike, group experiences meeting and handling hawks in Argyll & Bute, driving lessons in Dundee & Lanarkshire, and a plane flying experience in South Ayrshire. This evidences strongly how Respitality is helping to create fun and innovative avenues to short breaks for carers in Scotland.
- The Ben society continue to support Respitality every year by allowing us to use one of their self-catered properties in Pitlochry. There was an 81% occupancy rate in 2018.
- Respitality is seeing increased examples of break “packages”, where two or more businesses work together to offer breaks. For example, Respitality were offered 16 overnight stays at the University of St Andrews residence apartments during the summer. As a result of this, two more businesses donated breaks to be taken in conjunction with the university accommodation – these were 8 ice cream vouchers from Jannetta’s Gelateria, and 7 weekend passes to the Crail Food Festival. At the end of 2018, Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery also began offering unlimited cask tasting tours for any carers and companions staying in the self-catering property in Pitlochry donated by the Ben Society. Three of these tours have been taken up so far.
- The number of businesses donating to Respitality has, on average, increased every year by 16%.
- The value of breaks donated has (on average) increased every year by 52%
Feedback from carers and their support workers
A break from routine “They loved the feeling of not having to rush about” (carer from East Ayrshire on an overnight hostel stay)
“I was able to have a break from my usual daily chores….I found time to spend for myself doing things I don’t usually have time for” (carer from Perthshire who took a break at a self-catering property)
Encouraging future short breaks “Loved our visit and will try and save up to return” (carer from Perthshire who had an overnight stay in a hotel)
Time to re-evaluate “It gave me time to think about the things on my mind. I was able to go home with an action plan and with a renewed outlook on life.”(carer from Angus)
Flexible “She would still be able to visit her son at the hospital he was in as he was [in travelling] distance from the caravan park” (carer from Lanarkshire who stayed in a self-catering caravan)
Improved health & wellbeing “She has been very nervous before, but found having some time to relax really helped her mental health” (carer from Edinburgh who went to a self-catering property)
“They said…they’ve never slept so well”(carer from East Ayrshire on an overnight hostel stay)
“Upon return from the break, her mood has lifted, her aches and pains have diminished , she is still attending counselling”(carer from Lanarkshire who took a break at a self-catering lodge)
“I have changed in terms of my own wellbeing…my batteries are re-charged, so I am not as tired as I would normally be. I have more energy to do stuff…I feel more confident and supported” (Carer from Perthshire who went on a self-catering stay in a caravan)
Renewed relationships “She had been losing touch with her friends. She told us that having the vouchers has really helped her reconnect with her friends” (A carer from Dundee who received vouchers for a coffee shop.)
Improved self-esteem A carer whom hadn’t had a haircut in several years received four haircuts to use over the course of the year. She said that this helped with her confidence.
Mutual benefits to carer and cared for person “We both feel relaxed and chilled out now. It really lifted mum’s spirits and that made me feel a lot more relaxed too” (carer and cared for person from Clackmannanshire who went to a self-catering lodge)
“My son was fully engaged and was so excited about everything, making it a good day for him which had a huge positive impact on me” (carer from Midlothian who received passes to a visitor attraction)
Making breaks affordable “She’d previously looked at this, but found it too expensive…carer was delighted that the business were willing to offer a discount on future bookings” (carer from Falkirk who stayed in a self-catering, accessible property)
“They used the facilities on offer i.e. sauna, gym, swimming pool and also took advantage of the 20% discount on food and drink” (carer from Lanarkshire when on a break in a self-catering lodge)
Being a person first and a carer second “Being in a safe comfortable place away from being asked about my mum’s health gave me the space to begin the grieving process [for my dad]” (carer from Lanarkshire who received an overnight stay in a hotel)
Giving the ability to continue caring “I believe I could not have continued successfully in my caring role without this support” (carer from Lanarkshire after taking a break in an overnight hotel stay)
“Having a Respitality break made me feel more supported in my caring role” (carer from Perthshire who took a break via an overnight hotel stay)
Reconnecting to memories of Scottish holidays “A carer was able to spend a week in Speyside. [This was] a favourite holiday area for the carer which she had always wanted to share with her mother” (carer from North Argyll who received a break in a self catering property)
Feedback from hospitality, tourism & leisure sector
Businesses donating to the project said this of the benefits to them:
An avenue to supporting communities: “I feel great being able to help. It’s not a big outlay, but such a big thanks and one day we may be a carer and one day we may need cared for” (hotel manager in Perthshire)
“We think it’s great to be able to say thank you to carers and give them a little break at the same time” (manager of self-catering property in Edinburgh)
Personal connection: “We have a neighbour who is a care and so we have seen how stressful and full time this can be” (owner of guest house in North Argyll)
Feel good factor: “Offering a funded break gives them that opportunity and for some people feels as if you have given them the world.” (manager at accessible self-catering properties in Fife)
Fulfilling their corporate social responsibility: “We are also a charity and wanted to give something back” (manager of accessible self-catering properties in Fife)
Filling low season bookings: “Go for it, there will always be down time in the off season and why not offer a short break to someone who would otherwise never be able to get away.” (owners of self-catering property in Perthshire)
Being able to offer a personal touch: “We felt this way (as opposed to donating to a charity for a raffle or auction) we were not only helping a charity, but that the person or family who came to stay, was also benefitting. So it felt more like a direct contribution, and direct benefit.” (owners of a self-catering property in the Highlands)
Filling cancellations: “We do at times sadly receive cancellations of breaks whereby the full cost of the break has been paid for and the guest is eligible for only a small portion of the money to be returned to them. They are given the option to forfeit the money owed and offer their break up for Respitality. It is good to be able to give this option to people as some feel this is a gift they would like someone else to benefit from and their break is going to a deserving unpaid carer in need.” (manager of accessible self-catering properties in Fife)