Breaks, holidays and experiences for disabled people and their carers
Holiday centres in Chigwell and Southport offer fun and relaxing supported breaks.
Revitalise, the national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and their carers, is expecting high demand for its 2022 breaks after two years of COVID lockdowns and shielding.
Guests are being advised to book early to ensure they are able to get their preferred dates at their chosen centres rather than risk disappointment.
The group has two centres across the country catering for adults with a variety of different disabilities and aims to provide a refreshing alternative to traditional residential respite care – a proper holiday. A third centre, Netley Waterside House, is currently closed for major redevelopment work.
Each centre offers short breaks in a relaxed, holiday-style environment, with a variety of trips and activities. There are opportunities to visit new places, make new friends, participate in wellbeing activities like manicures and massages, learn something new or just enjoy some much-needed time off.
Thousands of disabled people and carers have spent the last 2 years shielding, longing for a much needed break. However, these vital, stress-free holidays are more difficult for disabled people and their carers to find. Accessibility, affordability, and stigma are major barriers that are often found when booking a holiday.
Research from Revitalise has found that 22.5% (1 in 5) of disabled people and their carers are not able to go on holiday because they struggle to find accessible holidays and 34% (over 1 in 3) are unable to afford to go on holiday. Revitalise is a critical lifeline in the disability and care sector, with a vision to ensure that every disabled person and carer can enjoy the holiday they want with the support they need.
Revitalise provides nearly 5,000 breaks every year but the number of people and their carers who would benefit from respite holiday breaks is far higher.
Rebecca Young, Director of External Affairs at Revitalise, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that after more than two years of shielding during the pandemic, our guests can come and enjoy a brilliant, refreshing holiday, and heartened to see the continuing demand for Revitalise’s respite breaks.
Regular, planned respite is absolutely vital for disabled people and carers, increasing well being and good mental health and preventing stress and burnout. Our holidays go so much further than a typical respite break, which is often a bed in a care home. Instead, we offer a proper holiday, filled with activities, relaxation and fun and supported by our expert care and nursing teams.’
Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell, Essex is located on the edge of Epping Forest and the bright lights of London and has a well-appointed entertainment and bar area for those who enjoy socialising, plus a tranquil inner courtyard with a beautiful ornamental pond.
Sandpipers, situated next to Southport’s Marine Lake, offers the ideal location to explore the traditional seaside town of Southport or to relax in serene surroundings and features a fully-accessible, heated indoor hydrotherapy pool.
Guests on Revitalise breaks are supported by skilled care and nursing staff as well as volunteers who provide companionship and assistance. Revitalise breaks are for 3-7 days or more and guests can travel solo, with a loved one, or a carer. The charity also intends to diversify to support whole families in the coming two years.
All facilities are fully accessible with specialised equipment available on request, including hoists, profiling beds, airflow mattresses and bariatric beds. All Revitalise breaks come with full-board dining service including cooked breakfasts, lunch and three-course dinners.
Accommodation is wheelchair-friendly with buzzer systems throughout all facilities. The centres also have hair and beauty salons, porterage of all luggage and fully-licensed bars at both centres.
In keeping with a traditional British holiday experience, the centres both have a full live evening entertainment package throughout the season, which includes singers, comedians, tribute acts, casino and cinema nights. The popular Summer Youth Party, designed for 18-40 year olds, returns on 1st August at both centres, promising late-night parties and unmissable entertainment.
Daytime activities include games such as boccia, arts and crafts sessions, exercise classes, quizzes, bingo and hair and beauty treatments at additional cost.
Guests may just want to relax at the centre, but for those that wish to explore, there are places to see nearby. Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell is working towards offering excursions again in the next few weeks, allowing guests to explore all that the capital city has to offer as well as the beautiful towns, villages and attractions of the South East.
Sandpipers is also working towards launching a full excursions programme but in the meantime can provide volunteers for assistance to explore the town and local area including the pier, arcade, bowling and shopping, subject to availability.
Summer prices start from £849 pp for a 3-night stay and £1339 for a 7-night stay. Care support packages are priced additionally and are based on individual support needs. Prices are for a twin share room but singles are also available at a small additional cost. In order to enable as many people to enjoy a Revitalise break as possible, the charity are able to support those who need some help towards the cost of their holiday.