an illustration of two people enjoying a cycle through a village
an illustration of two people enjoying a cycle through a village

“Take a break? Me? I couldn’t possibly.”

The idea of going away for a few days may seem like an impossibility but with a bit of planning it may not be quite as difficult as you imagine. The tricky bit is arranging interim care – not easy, we know – but even if there are no respite care options you might be surprised to learn how willing friends and family are to help out. And as of the accommodation has been donated by owners, all you have to think about are the extras…

How it works


The Gift

You are invited to choose one of the following:

  • HOTEL – 3 nights with 1 adult companion. Twin room. Breakfast included.
  • HOLIDAY COTTAGE – 7 nights with 1 adult companion and/or 2 children. Self catering.

If you can’t go for the full 3 or 7 days that’s OK. If you want to travel alone, that’s fine too. There is no charge for the accommodation but you are responsible for all other costs (travel, food etc.) and there’s a £25 admin fee that goes towards the cost of operating the charity.

Care Free

The short breaks initiative is specifically designed to give carers some time away from their caring responsibilities. You are welcome to take a companion with you but not the person that you care for.


Referrals

Breaks are currently offered to eligible carers who have been referred to us by a carer support organisation (see below). In the near future carers will also be able to apply for breaks directly by verifying their identity and full-time carer status online (register your interest below).

Eligibility

To qualify for a break you must be:

  • Aged 21 or over
  • A full-time unpaid carer (35+ hours per week)
  • Able to arrange interim care
  • Able to pay for extras (admin fee, travel, food etc.)

Invitation & Booking

Once we have validated your referral we will send you an invitation with a link to our online booking engine featuring hotels and holiday cottages throughout the UK. Choose your break and away you go!

The Break

This is your time. With only yourself to think about you can do whatever you want. Go for a walk. Read a book. Catch up on some sleep. The choice is yours…

See below for a list of our current referral partners. If there’s nothing in your area you might want to register for self-referral which will be available in the near future.

Fred

I wouldn’t say you should do this, I would say you HAVE to do this. It’s detrimental to your health if you don’t have a break.

Fred
(Carer)

Jason

These breaks are so valuable. We do this because we love the people we care for but you’re no good to anybody if you’re broken.

Jason
(Carer)

Susan

A whole weight was lifted off my shoulders. It felt like freedom.

Susan
(Carer)

Carolyn

This is the best break I’ve ever had. I’m so much happier. It’s a wonderful, wonderful idea.

Carolyn
(Carer)

Susan

Being free of caring responsibilities for a few days has been hugely restorative. I was really struggling but I have come home feeling much more positive about everything.

Nicki
(Carer)

Sandra

Your world is so narrow when you are a carer, so it was wonderful to have space and freedom. It’s made me feel more balanced again, more human.

Sandra
(Carer)

Don

It wasn’t until we had our break that I realised just how much my mental and physical health had deteriorated. The break was a life-saver.

Don
(Carer)

Claire

Go for it 100%. It does take planning but it is 100% worth it. We couldn’t be more grateful.

Claire
(Carer)

Phil

You have to look after yourself before you can look after someone else and I think I had lost sight of that.

Phil
(Carer)

kaffion

I wish I could rewind life and go back to that weekend.

Kaffion
(Carer)

Angus Carers Centre
Blackpool Carers Centre
Blackburn Carers Service
carers partnership wandsworth
Carers Hub
Carers Matter Norfolk
Connecting Carers
Hillingdon carers
Dundee carers Centre
parent to parent
Northamptonshire carers
VOCAL