ScotSpirit Voucher Scheme is part of the Scottish tourism recovery funds.
The ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme (SSHVS) is focused on supporting individuals and families who have been particularly adversely affected by the impact of the pandemic, while at the same time providing financial support to the Scottish tourism sector.
The Scheme is funded by Scottish Government and forms part of the Scottish tourism pandemic recovery programme. It will be delivered by Charity Partners, Family Holiday Association, Shared Care Scotland, and the Carer Centre Network.
Due to pandemic restrictions, we know that many unpaid carers have been left without access to their normal support services. Many will have struggled due to extended periods of isolation and the lack of any meaningful breaks. For this reason, it has been decided that unpaid carers will be one of the key target groups.
The Scheme will enable unpaid carers to enjoy a 2-3-night subsidised overnight break or day out in Scotland. The scheme offers a contribution towards an overnight stay in a bed and breakfast, camping/ holiday park, guest house, hotel or hostel or day visit activities in Scotland.
Carer Centre’s across Scotland have been invited to operate the Scheme locally.
The Scheme will open for applications from 20 September 2021. Breaks can taken up to 31st December 2022.
“Who can apply?”
To apply, you must be an unpaid carer registered with a local support organisation, such as a Carers Centre, or be referred by a health professional in Scotland.
An unpaid carer is someone who provides support to family members, friends, or neighbours who would be unable to manage an independent life without their help due to physical or mental ill-health, frailty, substance misuse, life limiting or long-term conditions.
Each Carers Centre will have their own criteria for how they prioritise applications to ensure this support reaches as many carers as possible, and particularly those more adversely affected due to their caring circumstances over the pandemic.
If your application is unsuccessful to the ScotSpirit Voucher Scheme, your local Carer Centre will be able to advise on other ways they can assist you to access a break from caring.
If you have already received a break through the ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme, you will not be eligible to apply again.
“I am a young carer, can I apply?”
Yes, you can – the Scheme is open to carers of all ages. Please visit the website at the bottom of this leaflet to find out the organisation in your local area that is accepting applications for the Scheme. If the lead applicant is a young carer who is under 16 years old, a parent or guardian must support the application and agree to accept the Scheme Terms and Conditions.
“Is there any cost to me?”
The Scheme will generally cover an overnight stay for two people staying 2-3 nights with an accommodation provider. If breakfast is included in the rate, and arranged at time of booking, this can also be included.
The Scheme does not include additional meals, travel, or any other incidental expenses you may require for your break.
Similarly, for day trip to a visitor attraction, the cost of entry to the attraction is covered by the Scheme (up to a maximum value) but does not include travel, meals, or other incidental expenses.
Please discuss with your Carers Centre if the extra costs might prevent you from taking up a break so they can explore funding options.
“Do I need to book the break myself?”
No. The Carers Centre will manage the booking and confirmation process for you and will provide you with all the necessary booking information.
“Who am I allowed to take with me on the break?”
You can take a companion(s) of your choice on the overnight break or day trip. If you are a young carer under the age of 16, a responsible adult must accompany you on the break. There is a maximum value the Scheme can contribute, and this would generally cover the costs of two people for a 2-3 night overnight stay.
“I want to bring the person I care for, so we would need wheelchair access. Will there be accessible businesses taking part?”
You should include information about your accessibility requirements in your application form so that suitable accommodation or venues can be sourced. Businesses participating in the Scheme are asked to provide a weblink to their Accessibility Guide if they have one. This information can be shared with you at the break planning stage.
“I would require replacement care for the person I care for to be able to take up a break. Is this covered?”
This is not covered under the Scheme. If you need advice on replacement care, please discuss this with the Carers Centre and they can talk to you about what options might be available.
“The accommodation breaks are 2-3 nights. What if I wanted to stay for one night, or for more than 3 nights?”
If you would like to extend your stay over three nights this needs to be a separate booking with the business, once your ScotSpirit break has been confirmed. The 24-cancellation policy has been specifically designed for the ScotSpirit Scheme. Any additional nights booked would revert to the business’s standard cancellation terms and conditions.
The Scheme has been designed to provide breaks for 2 or 3 nights. One-night breaks may be available, but this will be at the discretion of the business.
“Do I need to take the break within my own local authority area?”
No, you can take your break with any participating business in Scotland, subject to their availability.
If you would like to find out more about how you can access a break through the ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme visit: Website: www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk/scotspirit-holiday-voucher-scheme/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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