Fife tourism businesses gathered at the Fairmont St Andrews recently to launch a new scheme, which will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
‘Respitality’ is originally an American initiative which offers carers a gift of a night away to relax thanks to the generosity of hospitality businesses.
There are an estimated 49,000 carers in Fife, and around 650,000 carers in Scotland as a whole. Their caring commitment to family and loved ones often means that they have neither the time nor the funds to treat themselves to a holiday or a little time away to recharge their own batteries. The opportunity to enjoy some time away is a welcome and valuable break.
The Respitality scheme is a collaboration between Shared Care Scotland, Fife Carers Centre and the tourism sector to provide appropriate interim care while the carer is away and match the carer with a break and location which best suits them.
The scheme has already met with great interest in Fife, with hotels like the Fairmont St Andrews and self-catering accommodation like Fife Cottages already pledging their support. In fact, Fife Cottages have already hosted their first Respitality guest.
Debbie MacCallum of Fife Cottages, who is also Vice-Chair of St Andrews Partnership, said, “As soon as I heard about the scheme I wanted to help. It was a privilege to offer a break to a carer and I was very moved by how much a short break means to someone who spends every day of every week looking after someone else.”
David Cochrane, chief executive of the Hospitality Industry Trust in Scotland welcomed everyone to the reception and said, “This opportunity for both industry and carers is something that all socially conscious organisations should embrace. The outcomes that Respitality can achieve will enhance the lives of many people who put others before themselves. The industry has demonstrated commitment already, through Respitality we can make a difference.”
Jim McArthur, Chairman of the St Andrews Partnership, was also present at the event and pledged that the Partnership would do whatever it could to promote and support Respitality.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the scheme should contact Shared Care Scotland.