Hi everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of the Respitality Round-Up.
What amazing weather we have had this summer in Scotland! As restrictions continue to lift, we are delighted to see more “in person” breaks happening through Respitality including transport tours, hostel stays and visits to local attractions.
We recently visited one of our long standing donors CLC Duchally Country Estate, of CLC World Resorts to take a gander around the grounds and say thank you in person for their support.
Since donating in 2017, CLC Duchally Country Estate have supported well over 40 unpaid carers to take a week long break in their beautiful hotel and lodges, complete with stunning views of the Ochil Hills and wildlife all around. We even made good pals with the resident ducks!
Graeme MacDonald, General Manager, told us: “We are delighted to be able to give back to charities like Respitality. Being an unpaid carer can be tough, so we hope breaks like the ones we can offer makes a difference.”
What inspires our ambassadors to support Respitality?
Respitality at Home virtual breaks pilot
In our last Round-Up, we told you all about the Respitality at Home virtual breaks pilot we hosted over the summer. We are over the moon to have been able to support 134 unpaid carers benefitted from a Respitality at Home virtual break!
Unpaid carers told us that virtual breaks were suitable for them because they fit around their caring role, as they didn’t have to factor in travelling time and childcare costs. Another main reason was due to their need to shield due to COVID-19.
After taking a break with the pilot, we received positive feedback from carers, telling us:
“It was a distraction from my worries”
“It provided me time together with my partners and/or families”
“It created the opportunity to meet with other carers”
“It helped me to break down myths around using technology”
Furthermore, 66% of carers told us it was likely or highly likely they would visit the organisation who donated the break in future.
The pilot wouldn’t have had such a fantastic impact if it wasn’t for the 15 organisations in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector donating a total of 20 different break opportunities to the pilot. The donations they made were estimated to be in the region of just under £11,000!
We seen some amazing short break opportunities offered, including a virtual tour of the V&A Dundee Night Fever exhibition, mindfulness classes on Largs beach with YES Your Entire Self, knitting sessions with Scottish Fisheries Museum, exploring the deep seas and stargazing with Dynamic Earth and interesting lessons about what lives in the Scottish waters by the Whale & Dolphin Conservation.We also received really positive responses on how the pilot has benefitted their organisations, especially around the feel good factor it brought their staff and being able to use this as a personalised opportunity to show their appreciation to unpaid carers for what they do.
Going forward, although the need for virtual breaks is lesser due to the lifting of many restrictions, there is still a need especially for unpaid carers who live rurally or have other responsibilities such as paid jobs, children etc. We will take on board the feedback provided by carers on what breaks they would like to access virtually going forward and tailor them as best to their needs as we can.
Jade* cares for her son who has a physical disability and sensory impairment. She feeds, dresses and tends to her son’s personal care needs, as well as arranging regular medical appointments. Furthermore, Jade also picks her son up from school each day to provide him with lunch at home.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the time the break was due to take place, Jade was unable to take the break in person – so The Physiotherapy and Pilates Company offered Jade and four other unpaid carers a weekly slot over the month at their online Pilates block! Jade was delighted to be offered this opportunity as she had always wanted to try Pilates.
Jade told us “I feel more energised to continue in my caring role after having attended the classes. I really enjoyed the weekly break as it was something nice to do for myself. It was also a fantastic chance for me to learn a new skill. Thank you to Fiona from The Physiotherapy and Pilates Company for giving me the opportunity to take part.”
*Names have been anonymised to protect privacy.
Respitality goes global!
Many of you may already know this, but the concept of Respitality actually began in the United States of America in the 1990’s so there are many great examples of Respitality around the world. We have felt inspired to find out more about the different Respitality programmes around the world, which has resulted in the creation of the Respitality Global Network.
We finally managed to have a virtual meeting with our Canadian friends to talk about what each of our projects do, how we have responded to the impact of Covid-19 and what our plans are going forward.
We are so excited to keep in touch and share our learning, as we welcome organisations into the network who are building their own Respitality programmes in their communities!
If you know of any Respitality (or Respitality inspired!) projects in the UK or around the globe, please let us know as we would love to welcome them into the global network we are building.
That’s it for now….why not follow us on social media?