an illustration of a person relaxing whilst fishing
an illustration of a person relaxing whilst fishing


There are more than 7 million unpaid carers in the UK, yet despite their extraordinary contribution they are largely invisible to the rest of society.

The vast majority of carers develop health problems of their own and many struggle to make ends meet. To make matters worse most of them rarely, if ever, take time out.

Public sector provision is in short supply and private sector alternatives are unaffordable for all but a few. With no chance to look after themselves, their ability to maintain their caring role is severely tested. So what can be done about it?

7 million
unpaid carers

80 %
home care provision

£132 billion
annual saving to the economy


The answer lies in the Sharing Economy and the potential of the private sector to solve some of society’s most intractable problems.

Excess capacity is a fact of life for every hotel and holiday cottage owner. Some of it is seasonal but much of it is year-round. Offering some of this surplus to carers has the potential to generate widespread and long-lasting impact.

Our goal is to enable every full-time unpaid carer to have the chance of a short break at least once a year. It’s a towering ambition but with the support of the hospitality industry and a healthy dose of technological innovation, it’s eminently achievable.

1 million
unsold hotel rooms in the UK every week

5 months
low season vacancy for
holiday cottages

>20 million
potential 3-night breaks each year


The concept is straightforward, effective and thanks to technology, extremely efficient:

  • We invite the hospitality sector to donate excess capacity
  • We invite public and third sector organisations to refer carers in need of a break
  • We manage supply and demand via our our online booking platform

Booking engine

68 %
carers had no break last year

25 %
haven’t had a day off in 5 years

42 %
said break would make biggest difference to their life

Who cares?

If you’re still wondering why any of this matters, consider this: Most of us will be a carer at some point in our lifetime. Almost all of us will be cared for. The predicament faced by carers is not an abstract notion. It’s your future.

60 %
of us will be a carer

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
Carer Support Team Leader

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.


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

Classic Cottages
Holiday Inn
Porthleven holiday cottage
St Aubyn Estates
Budock Vean
bespoke hotels