Our goal is for every full-time unpaid carer to have access to a short break.

The challenge

In the UK, 80% of home care is unpaid. It is provided by a hidden workforce of 9 million remarkable individuals, 2 million of whom provide full-time care. Their contribution to the public sector is worth a staggering £132 billion each year, equivalent to the entire NHS budget, yet the tendency is to see them as somehow different from other frontline workers.

In truth, unpaid carers are an integral, vital and irreplaceable part of the system. They experience many of the same pressures as their salaried counterparts and their need for support is every bit as great. Without adequate help from the state, caring for someone takes its toll. The majority of carers develop health problems of their own. Many struggle to make ends meet. To make matters worse, most of them rarely take a break.

So what can be done about it?

9 million
unpaid carers

2 million

46 %
no break for 5 years

The solution

1 million
unsold hotel rooms in UK every week

5 months
low season vacancy for holiday cottages

20 million
potential 3-night breaks each year

The answer is alchemy.

Excess capacity is a fact of life for every hotel and holiday cottage owner, but unsold rooms don’t have to lose their value. On the contrary, every vacancy is a break waiting to happen.

Carefree’s groundbreaking model enables accommodation providers to see surplus inventory not as a loss but as an opportunity, turning empty rooms into priceless short breaks for those in need of respite.

It’s a simple transformation with a powerful impact; one that is felt not only in the lives of carers but which reverberates throughout the entire social care sector that relies so heavily on their selfless work and indomitable spirit.

How it works

We build partnerships across the business and social sectors, employing easy-to-use, flexible technology to mobilise a network of support for those in need:

  • Hospitality Partners are able to donate rooms through our BOOKING PLATFORM
  • Community Partners are able to refer registered carers using our REFERRAL TOOL
  • Unregistered carers can apply directly using our REFERRAL TOOL
  • Once verified, carers receive a CAREFREE ID and are invited to choose a break on our BOOKING PLATFORM
  • We provide multiple channels of customer support and online MEMBER SPACES for all of our users


98 %
carers report improved wellbeing

96 %
community partners report increased access to breaks

86 %
carers would not have had a break without our help

The impact of a break on a carer’s wellbeing is tremendous, but it doesn’t end there. By joining forces with the business and social care sectors we are not only demonstrating a new way to tackle complex social challenges, we are also building resilience in a system that is overstretched and under-resourced.

The changes that we make now will shape the social care landscape for years to come and, as all of us will either give or receive care at some point in our lifetime, those changes have a particular significance for us all.

This is your story. Or has been. Or will be.

Get involved!

If you’d like to know more about what we do or how you can get involved, click on the button below and send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.

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See Carefree in action

Robin Sheppard

Carefree is a genius concept. Simple, effective and highly motivational. You should get involved if you possibly can.

Robin Sheppard
Chairman / Bespoke Hotels

Ruth McLeod

This is not just about carers. It’s about our whole society and our community all giving something back.

Ruth McLeod
Team Leader / Kernow Carers Service

Kate Willard

As a business trusted to deliver great travel experiences, our partnership with Carefree is a natural fit. Their mission and drive are phenomenal. We love them.

Kate Willard
Head of Corporate Projects / Stobart Group


Priceless and perfect.

Unpaid carer

Sarah Philbrick

This innovative social intervention is a wonderful way of saying ‘thank you’ to carers. It’s something we should all get behind.

Sarah Philbrick
Chair / Carefree Board of Trustees