Short Breaks

Breaks are vital to a carers wellbeing and quality of life

Close up view of a bouldering/climbing wall with lots of different coloured footholds. To the left is a young boy who is climbing the wall and is reaching up to a foothold off camera.
Downward view of four hands each holding a different coloured mugs with a hot beverage in each. They appear to be clinking the cups together is a friendly fashion.
There are an estimated 800,000 unpaid carers in Scotland this includes 30,000 young carers under the age of 18

Caring for someone can be a full-time job, so breaks are vital to wellbeing and quality of life.

It’s important to acknowledge the commitment and support you provide as an unpaid carer. The Short Breaks Team can help you to take steps towards making time for yourself.

What is a short break?

The term ‘short breaks’ is used to describe a service, item or activity that will allow you to have some time and space from your day-to-day routines and responsibilities.

Why is it important to take a break?

Taking a short break can help improve your health and wellbeing and that of the person you care for. A short break can help you as a carer to have a life alongside your caring role.

Woman wearing a red weatherproof jackets sits on a bike. In the background is a view of a small loch/lake.
Close up of a tray. On the tray is a couple of beauty products, rolled-up towel, small vase with flowers, three lit jar candles and lit tealights in the foreground.
Young man sits in a barber and has his head tilted, looking at the camera while getting his hair shaved at the sides by a barber that is off camera.

What can a short break look like?

Caring means something different for everyone and so it’s no surprise that a short break will mean something different for everyone too.

Wordcloud featuring hortbreaks that have been awarded: overnight stay apple pencil arts & crafts basketball books bowling cadet cake coffee camera cinema concert days out driving lessons easel electric scooter electronic drum kit exercise facial fishing break football pc garden furniture gardening karting greenhouse guitar gym membership haircut hill walking equipment horseriding hoverbaord ice skating innoflate journal karate laptop magazine subscriptions massages meals music events nails outdoor activities paddling pool personal trainer sessions roblox ryze sewing spa day swimming theatre tickets yoga classes karaoke machine bingo bike camp tickets gaming

A short break does not necessarily have to be a break away from the home (although it can be!). We can support you to identify the best break depending on your own needs, circumstances, and commitments.

A short break could be spending quality time with family or friends, time on your own, discovering a new hobby, a night away or even just lunch with a friend.

Who can access a short break?

Unpaid adult carers and young carers (aged 8+) can access the Short Breaks service.

Teenage girls wearing a blue life jacket. She is sitting in a relaxed fashion in the back of a sailing boat. In the background is a view of a lake

A carer is an individual who provides unpaid care to a family member or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, mental ill-health, or a drug or alcohol dependency.  Even if you receive Carer’s Allowance for your caring role, you are still an unpaid carer.

How to refer

If you would like to be considered for a Short Break, you can either:

Complete a referral form and email it to [email protected]
Call the centre on 01382 200422 where you can complete your referral over the phone.

Make a referral

Meet the Short Breaks team!

If you have any questions, you can contact us as above, and the Short Breaks Team will be happy to help.

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Donate a short break and make a carers day!


If you’re a business and would like to find out how you can support unpaid carers to take a break please visit our Respitality page.

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