Everyone needs a break

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everybody needs a holiday

The health advantages of being able to take a holiday are known and appreciated by all. But what if you are one of the estimated 7 million carers in the UK?

It seems invidious to relating caring for someone to an ordinary job because, unlike a 9-5 hour role for which you are paid, being a carer often means a twenty-four hour role. Having a break can be nigh on impossible for some people but it can be made easier to go away with those that you look after now that more and more organisations in the leisure industry understand this.

Finding suitable accommodation if carers need specific adaptations and facilities for the person they care for can be time consuming and frustrating which is why the internet may have been a boon to some, but some people do not have the time to trawl through hundreds of web pages or visit those few specialised travel agents who are sufficiently knowledgeable to help

Carers Holidays carried out a survey with 285 carers asking what kind of service would be most useful to carers wanting to book a holiday. From the responses, an overwhelming 99% said that it would be useful to have one place they could go to where they could find information about breaks and what special facilities are available, without having to trawl around the internet.

Carers Holidays is a social enterprise which has launched a new online service bringing together a selection of properties/holidays which have a wide range of accessibility features. It includes accommodation in the UK and abroad and discounts for carers are highlighted through the Carers Holidays Membership Scheme where annual membership costs £12.50 Carers can choose to go

To give an example of what is on offer to carers and those they care for here is an example from the St Austell based, Acorn Parks. Rachel Nation, the managing director works within the Carers Holidays scheme and offers a 25% discount to carers. Her own mum uses a wheelchair and her stepson suffers from cerebral palsy. She’s aware that the holiday park industry needs to be more aware of the needs of carers and the people they care for. She said: “I work in the holiday industry; and, believe me, everyone needs a break; and carers probably need one more than most. I think holiday providers can do a lot more for disabled people and their carers. They can provide simple things like accessible car parking spaces, level access and handrails. “I like to think our company is committed to carers; and that other companies will be motivated too.”

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