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Carefree breaks for Unpaid Carers

14th December 2018

At this year’s Carers Conference Marthe, our Respite Development Officer spoke about the Short Break options available to carers and briefly mentioned our involvement with a charity called Carefree. They have over 400 breaks all across the UK ready for carers to access and we are hoping to refer as many eligible carers as possible.  

Carefree was started in the summer of 2016 by two brothers following a series of illnesses in their own family. It is a charity that wants to harness the power of technology and spirit of the Shared Society to support and sustain unpaid carers. They are an online break booking system, where eligible carers are invited to log into their newly rebranded website and can filter for 3 or 7 night breaks that are available (the accommodation is free of charge, except for a £25 registration fee). For more info about Carefree you can visit their website – www.carefreespace.org

Here is 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. Carers 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 Carefree by a carer support organisation (see below).

Eligibility

To qualify for a break carers must be:

  • Aged 21 or over
  • A full-time unpaid carer (35+ hours per week)
  • Able to arrange interim care (because you can't take the person you care for on the break with you)
  • Able to pay for extras (admin fee - £25, travel, food etc.) (PKAVS Carers Hub can help source funding to help carers cover extra costs if needed) 

Invitation & Booking

Once Carefree have validated the referral they will send you an invitation with a link to their online booking engine featuring hotels and holiday cottages throughout the UK. Carers can choose their break and away they 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… 

Interested in a Carefree break?

Please note that Carefree operates an online break booking system and everything is arranged online, therefore to be referred for one of these breaks carers will need to have regular access to an email account. This could be a family members email if they are not online. We can also help carers who don’t have access to an email account but are limited as each referral needs to have its own unique email address. 

In January Carers will be invited to book a break and can choose from 400+ breaks across the UK. These breaks will run from January until May and are booked on a first come first serve basis.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to be sent an invitation to browse the available breaks then please email Marthe (Marthe.Handling@pkavs.org.uk or call 01738 567076 for more info) with the following information: Carer name, email, telephone number, postcode, date of birth and consent to share info with Carefree.

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