Welcome respite to carers at University of St Andrews

Monday 7 August 2017

The University of St Andrews is helping to acknowledge the unsung heroes who provide care for their loved ones 24 hours a day, by participating in a national scheme to provide free holiday accommodation for carers.

Several families have already enjoyed short breaks within the University’s accommodation service as part of a scheme organised through Respitality: Respite and Hospitality, a project that works to provide short breaks to full-time unpaid carers, and which is run by Shared Care Scotland.

The University has gifted free overnight stays in its residences, including the David Russell Apartments, McIntosh Hall, University Hall and the Agnes Blackadder Hall, to carers during the academic summer break.

Tom Watson, Residential Services Manager for the McIntosh and John Burnet Halls, suggested the University become involved after reading about the scheme.

Mr Watson said: “Carers do a tireless job and we wanted to show support for their dedication by participating in this admirable scheme. We have several bookings already and we hope the families who have taken up the opportunity have a relaxing break in the beautiful town of St Andrews.”

Diane Hogg (pictured) from Motherwell was one of the first to take up the offer at St Andrews through Lanarkshire Carers Centre (one of 11 carers organisations in Scotland delivering Respitality locally). The mother of four is full-time carer for her 21-year-old son Christopher who has special needs.

She was delighted to take up the offer of a three night break with her mother while her 28-year-old daughter looked after Christopher.

Diane said: “We had a fantastic time. We even went down to the beach and paddled in the sea. This is such a good scheme and we thoroughly enjoyed our break.”

Kerry Donaghy, Respitality Developer, said: “Having regular breaks is a necessity for unpaid carers to ensure their health and wellbeing is well looked after, so they can continue to support their loved ones.

“We are so grateful to the University for donating free breaks for unpaid carers across the country – the benefits of a short break like this will make such a difference to their lives.”

Respitality is a project which aims to bring together local carers organisations and the hospitality sector to provide regular short breaks for unpaid carers across Scotland. The project is part of Shared Care Scotland.

Photograph shows Diane Hogg on the steps of McIntosh Hall, University of St Andrews.

More information on the Respitality scheme is available on the Shared Care Scotland webpages.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 467310 or [email protected].

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