The Carefree initiative provides the hospitality industry with an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the value of its unused assets and tackle one of society’s most urgent challenges. Not by throwing money at a problem over which it has no influence but by doing what it does best – looking after people – in its own environment. A chance, in short, to demonstrate the true spirit of hospitality and the real meaning of the sharing economy.
How it works
Owners are invited to offer accommodation at times when it would otherwise be unoccupied. Holiday cottages are generally offered for 7-nights during the low season. Hoteliers are invited to donate 3-night breaks with breakfast included when excess capacity allows. Some owners make one-off donations, others give multiple breaks throughout the year. Whatever you decide, rest assured that your gift will have a profound effect. It is not an exaggeration to say that a short break can be life-changing for someone who seldom has the chance to step away from their caring role.
A portfolio of donated accommodation is hosted on our booking engine, which is accessible by invitation only. Once the carer has selected his/her preferred accommodation a booking request is automatically sent to the provider who is asked to confirm the booking and send arrival information as normal.
Following the break we gather feedback from the carer to assess the impact of the break on their wellbeing. A bespoke impact summary is sent to each accommodation provider at regular intervals.
This is the generation of ethical consumers. Participating in an initiative of this nature strengthens community ties, motivates staff, builds customer loyalty and encourages footfall. It also provides powerful marketing opportunities. Accommodation partners will be featured in our promotional materials and a PR toolkit will be provided. We will also be developing opportunities for collaborative fundraising campaigns, branded merchandise and media exposure.
A few of our partners
Classic Cottages has been with us from the start, encouraging its owners to offer their holiday cottages to carers during the low season. This year more than 50 owners have donated a one-week break. Classic Cottages makes a contribution to each owner to cover the cost of cleaning and laundry.
Our partnership with Bespoke began in 2017 with 5 hotels from the group taking part. This year our portfolio includes 11 of their hotels across England and Scotland, each of which is donating two rooms per week from January to May with breakfast included.
The Holiday Inn in Southend is owned by the Stobart Group. Our partnership began in 2017 with a large number of carers enjoying breaks throughout the first half of the year. This year they are donating 5 rooms per week during the Winter months with breakfast and dinner included.
In the first half of 2018 Strandpark donated 2 rooms per week with breakfast included in 5 of their hotels in England and Scotland. Having witnessed the positive impact on carers, they decided to make the same offer this year.
Carefree is a genius concept. Simple, effective and highly motivational. You should get involved if you possibly can.
This was a no-brainer for us. I dearly hope the rest of the hospitality industry follows suit. Collectively we can make a huge impact.
Carers give their time freely and make a massive difference to the people they look after. We are delighted to help in a small way by giving them a holiday.
We’ve been so pleased to be involved with Carefree and have really seen the positive impact that a mini holiday in a beautiful location can have.
Delivering the joy of travel is the sole purpose of our brand, so the opportunity to reward these remarkable people with a short break was a perfect fit for us.