Highland hospitality for carers

The Ballachulish Hotel

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A family hotel group is helping give Scotland’s army of unpaid carers a much-needed break in the West Highlands.

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, which runs the Isles of Glencoe Hotel at Ballachulish and Ballachulish Hotel overlooking Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven, is supporting Shared Care Scotland.

The national carer organisation is running ‘Respitality’ – a play on words of respite and hospitality.

The initiative involves hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses donating breaks which are passed onto unpaid carers across Scotland. These welcome short breaks are vital to their physical and mental health and well-being.

Crieff Hydro has donated bed and breakfast stays at all eight hotels in its portfolio and is providing 50 family passes to Glen’s Adventure Park at Crieff Hydro Hotel, Crieff, and a group ‘Gin School’ experience at 1881 Distillery, Peebles.

Nic Oldham, the group’s head of customer and commercial, said: ‘We are proud to show our support for Shared Care Scotland and its fantastic Respitality initiative.

‘Thanks to the geographical spread of our properties, we can reach and support families across Scotland with a variety of breaks.

‘We hope our donation will allow many unpaid carers the opportunity to take time for themselves and recharge.’

Kerry Donaghy, Respitality Scotland co-ordinator, added: ‘Covid-19 has impacted on many, not least unpaid carers, where it is estimated that one in five people in Scotland are now providing support for a loved one.

‘With many support services still not operating at full capacity, the pressure on unpaid carers is heavier than ever which is why short breaks are so important.

‘The tourism industry has also taken a massive hit due to Covid-19, so to be offered such a generous package of breaks from Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, particularly when they are still in the recovery period, will mean the world to unpaid carers who need these regular and energising breaks to help them continue caring.

‘We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels and look forward to working closely with them now and in the future.’

Since its launch, Respitality has arranged breaks for more than 3,000 carers with the support of more than 350 businesses.

Funded by the Scottish Government and supported by businesses, the project currently operates in 19 local authority areas in Scotland.

To find out more about Respitality and Make A Carers Day visit https://www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk/respitality/