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Quarriers announce launch of new project to help make carers’ days

By Kirsty Brown

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Social care charity Quarriers will be making unpaid carers’ days in Aberdeen by launching Scotland’s innovative Respitality initiative within its Aberdeenshire Carers Support Service.

Respitality is coordinated nationally by the charity Shared Care Scotland with support from the Scottish Government and delivered locally by Quarriers.

It provides unpaid carers with short breaks from routine that are absolutely vital for their health and wellbeing.

This is achieved by working closely with businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector.

The launch comes as a result of Quarriers’ successful Respitality pilot in Aberdeenshire last year.

Despite the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry, the team in Aberdeenshire were able to build strong relationships with local businesses and create short breaks free of charge to unpaid carers that included trampoline sessions, massage therapies, gym memberships and glamping.

Family wellbeing worker Ann Brodie, who facilitates the Respitality breaks with Quarriers Aberdeenshire Carers Support Service, said: “I am delighted that Quarriers is expanding the Respitality opportunities into Aberdeen.

"Through our work supporting unpaid carers in Aberdeenshire, we know just how vital Respitality is to their health.”

Service manager Joanna McPherson added: “We are very excited about further partnership working with Shared Care Scotland to take this project forward in Aberdeen.

"The breaks donated are so fun, unique and energising that unpaid carers return from their breaks with a renewed energy that helps them to continue in their caring role.”

Donor of short breaks Nicole Gildea said: “We heard about Respitality in Aberdeenshire through the Cairngorms Trust and knew it was something we wanted to support.

"Guests tell us they love 'disconnecting and recharging’ when they stay with us, and so we were inspired to offer this opportunity to unpaid carers.

"We see such a positive impact on all of the guests who take a break with us and get away from it all for a short while – knowing we are helping to make a difference in the lives of unpaid carers by providing something small but valuable is so worthwhile.”

Respitality Scotland Coordinator with Shared Care Scotland Kerry Donaghy said: “Covid-19 has had such a massive impact on unpaid carers in our communities.

"With an increase in caring responsibilities, and support services working on a limited capacity, it’s never been more important for unpaid carers to access a short break for their mental wellbeing.

Respitality breaks are so creative and not always what is considered traditional - yet the benefit to those taking the break, and businesses who donate, is undeniable and we cannot wait to see Respitality take off in Aberdeen.”

Quarriers Aberdeen Carers Support Service is recruiting family wellbeing workers and an administrator to facilitate the Respitality breaks.

Businesses can donate to Respitality via www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk/respitality.

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