This summer we want to start a conversation on why holidays matter – to everyone.

 

As the weather turns warmer, many of us look forward with relish to the possibility of a holiday and a bit of time to sit back and relax. Just the thought of a break from our usual routine can sustain us through the winter months, and the benefits are felt long after the suitcases are unpacked and normal service has resumed.

 

However, for many carers and those they care for, having a break from their usual routine is simply not possible. Planning a holiday can sometimes be a stressful process, but when you add in the complexity of personal care, specialised equipment, accessible accommodation, and adapted transport – and the cost involved in sourcing these – it can often seem overwhelming and a holiday remains out of reach.

 

Short breaks, or holidays, are widely recognised as being fundamental to carers to help alleviate the physical and emotional demands of caring and to help sustain the caring relationship. Short breaks can be critical to a carer’s sense of health and wellbeing and, when provided in a way which meets the needs of the carer and the cared for person, can help prevent crisis support being required. But barriers to short breaks remain.

 

A 2012 report* showed that 57% of carers had not had a break, and almost half didn’t know how to access a short break. We want to change that. We want to start a conversation about why holidays are important to everyone, including carers and those that they support. We want carers to have the opportunity of a holiday too, through better information, support and entitlements. We’ll start by talking about it – we’d love it if you would join the conversation too.

 

*Statistics from Rest Assured report

 

57%

of carers have never had a break*

43%

of carers don't know how to access a break*

Get involved

You too can join our conversation on why holidays matter. Here’s how you can take part.

 

Sign up now to join our Thunderclap to kick off the conversation. It’s really simple, just click on the link at the left hand side to add your voice to our supporters. Thunderclap is an online platform which will send a one-off message from your chosen social media platform at a set time –  on Friday 23 June – think of it as an online flashmob!

 

Show your support on social media over the summer period. Download one of our social share images, or our #whyholidaysmatter sheet, tell us why holidays matter to you – maybe its time to relax, time with your family, or just a break from the usual routine? – take a snap and share it on social media with the hashtag #whyholidaysmatter. Don’t forget to tag us @carebreaks.

 

Let us know if you’ve got a story to tell. If you’re a carer and have felt the benefit of a short break and you’d like to share that, we can help. Or maybe you’re a provider of short breaks and you can see the benefits every day in the work that you do too. Get in touch and tell us why holidays matter to you too. We’d love to hear from you.

 

Tell your friends. Please share the conversation far and wide, and keep checking back here – we’ll be adding blogs regularly between now and September.

 

 

Are you

If you’re a carer thinking about a short break, or a holiday, we can help.

Planning your break

Our short break planner is a good place to start. In here you’ll find tools such as ‘My Ideal Break’ which can help you think about what you’d really like from a break and what your ideal break might look like.

Funding your break

We know that sometimes the worry about how to fund a short break or holiday can be too big a barrier to overcome. There are, however, sources of funding available for some people.

Our funding page gives details on how you could fund your short break, including information on self-directed support, our searchable funding directory which lists grants from individual trusts too.

You may also find the website Turn2us.org.uk a good source of information.  As well as having a comprehensive directory of trusts and funds they also give advice about benefits.

Finding your break

Finding a short break or holiday that suits your needs couldn’t be simpler with our online directory. With over 400 short break services listed you can search by location, the type of care need required, age and accessibility.

Telephone enquiry service

If you prefer to talk to someone about finding your short break, rather than looking online, our telephone enquiry service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Call 01383 622462 to speak to Lesley about the type of break you’re hoping for, and we’ll help get you on the right track.

If you’re an organisation providing short breaks to carers in Scotland then there are a number of ways in which Shared Care Scotland works to support you.

Funding

The Short Breaks Fund provides grants to third sector organisations that support unpaid carers to take a break from their caring role. The fund aims to increase the range and availability of short breaks across Scotland, allowing more carers to take the right break at the right time.

Shared Care Scotland operates the Short Breaks Fund on behalf of the National Carers Organisations and the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government currently funds the Short Breaks Fund on a rolling annual basis.

Resources

At Shared Care Scotland we aim to work with organisations that support carers, including those funded through our Short Breaks Funds, to ensure that they also have the information, tools and support that they need to help improve the quality, choice and availability of Short Breaks for unpaid carers across Scotland. We do this through the provision of resources including toolkits, briefings, publications and in sharing research on short breaks. 

Events

We regularly run events and provide networking opportunities top facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice across short breaks provision. We detail all of these through our events page and also as part of our learning exchange.

 

Respitality

Respitality, Respite + Hospitality, originated in the USA and provides a unique way for Carers Centres and the Scottish Hospitality sector to work together to provide short breaks to full-time unpaid carers.

It works through the hospitality industry gifting short breaks –  overnight stays, meals, spa days, afternoon tea -during quieter periods when it suits the business, so that carers can benefit from a break with Scottish hospitality!

Find out more, or make a gift, on the respitality website.

Our online directory

We host an online directory of over 400 short break services in Scotland. Is your organisation listed yet?

Whether you’re a provider of traditional respite care, or a guest house that offers accessible accommodation, we would love for you to be listed. Its easy to register and can all be done online.

If you’re thinking about a short break, or a holiday, we can help guide you through the steps in planning a break that will work for you and the care needs that you have.

Planning your break

Our short break planner is a good place to start. In here you’ll find tools such as ‘Services Explained’. This guide might help you identify the type of break that you are looking for and also the names that are given to certain services, this could make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for.

Funding your break

We know that sometimes the worry about how to fund a short break or holiday can be too big a barrier to overcome. There are, however, sources of funding available for some people.

Our funding page gives details on how you could fund your short break, including information on self-directed support, our searchable funding directory which lists grants from individual trusts too.

You may also find the website Turn2us.org.uk a good source of information.  As well as having a comprehensive directory of trusts and funds they also give advice about benefits.

Finding your break

Finding a short break or holiday that suits your needs couldn’t be simpler with our online directory. With over 400 short break services listed you can search by location, the type of care need required, age and accessibility.

Telephone enquiry service

If you prefer to talk to someone about finding your short break, rather than looking online, our telephone enquiry service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Call 01383 622462 to speak to Lesley about the type of break you’re hoping for, and we’ll help get you on the right track.

If you’re interested in finding out more about short breaks and why holidays matter, we can point you in the right direction.

Research

Shared Care Scotland has a collection of good practice examples in short breaks and respite provision, hosted on the IRISS website.

Holidays Matter

Holidays Matter is a network of different organisations – including Shared Care Scotland – who are committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to benefit from breaks away from home. Their wide ranging collection of research on holidays can be accessed via their website.

ISBA

The International Short Breaks Association hosts a biennial conference on short breaks. More information is available on their website.

Short Break Stories

Short Break Stories offers a collection of inspiring accounts of short break projects funded through the Short Breaks Fund.

Covering all areas of Scotland these stories collectively build a picture of short break provision across the country.

Blogs

Holidays help restore balance

Don Williamson
Chief Executive
Shared Care Scotland
Read more

Why do holidays matter?  Holidays help restore balance in our fast paced lives and give us energy to cope with life’s daily challenges.  Holidays remind us that life is to be lived and that there is a world beyond home and work to be explored and enjoyed.  Holidays are vital for strengthening family relationships and for our children’s development.

Why do holidays matter? Try imagining for a moment your life without holidays and you’ll get the picture.

It wasn’t long after starting at Shared Care Scotland that I came to realise just how much we can take holidays for granted.  1 in 7 people in Scotland are unpaid carers, caring for family members, partners or friends with a disability, a long term condition, or a drug or alcohol addiction.  For many in this situation, holidays must seem a distant mirage.  Having given up work, many carers have given up working because of their caring role and, as a direct result, will struggle financially; making it impossible to justify spending on a holiday.  And then there’s the significant additional costs of a supported break, the lack of suitable, accessible holiday provision, the need for expensive replacement care, or simply the sheer mental effort involved in finding information and getting everything in place… on top of everything else.

In truth there will be many thousands of people across the country who won’t be having a holiday this summer.

Through this campaign we want to highlight that holidays are not a luxury but a necessity and should be available to all.  We want to promote support for holidays as a cost effective way that statutory services can sustain carers in their caring role, in good health.  We want to improve access to information about breaks and other forms of help so that carers are not left to fend for themselves.  Fundamentally, we want this campaign to generate action that leads to more carers and cared-for people getting the break they deserve.  Please join in the conversation and show your support.

 

Important: Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own and don’t necessarily represent those of Shared Care Scotland.

Font Resize
Change Contrast