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Short Breaks and Social Tourism Practice and Research Network

5th Oct 2018


Short Breaks and Social Tourism Practice and Research Network


 It has long been known that carers provide the bulk of care and support in Wales and that the breakdown of caring relationships can increase demand on services. Whilst ‘respite’ is the most asked for service by carers, when poorly designed it can cause more harm than good. Tourism is a very important element of the Welsh economy and ‘short breaks’ can have a very positive effect on health and well-being.  However, links between social care and tourism are under-developed. In some places, they are brought together through the concept of ‘social tourism’. Over the last 2 years there has been growing interest in ‘rethinking respite’ to make best use of all possible resources, not all of which need to be funded by statutory services. An example of this in the context of people with dementia, is the recent report by Older People’s Commissioner: htttp://www.olderpeoplewales.com/en/reviews/respite.aspx

We hope you might be interested in joining us to take this work forward.


 Local authorities, carers, people who receive care, and service and accommodation providers – including social care services and social tourism stakeholders - are invited to help develop a network of ‘short break’ opportunities across South Wales and contribute to practice and research development in this important area. The first meeting of the Network will take place in Hi Tide Hotel, Porthcawl on Friday 5th October.  Further details available from: Dave Chinnick  –  david.chinnick@linc-cymru.co.uk

Requirements for a Stay Well Network

 Identification of locations willing and able to accommodate day trips, over-night visits and longer stays for people with a wide range of care and support needs;

  • Partners to explore development, commissioning, dissemination of information and linkage between people, commissioners and providers of short breaks.


The project

 As outlined, traditional ‘respite’ services do not offer the flexibility or normality that more mainstream breaks for carers and cared-for people might. Social tourism and supported short break holidays are something that can reduce the risk of a breakdown of caring relationships. They can also be more cost-effective.

Linc-Cymru, an independent care and accommodation provider with experience of social tourism, is working in partnership with Wales School for Social Care Research and Bridgend County Borough Council to develop a register of services that can support individuals to take a short break away from home together with, or apart from, their main carer. The partners are also keen to support associated practice and research development.

The 12 month project will use the new register to establish a Short Break and Social Tourism Network in South Wales. Short breaks can range from day-trips or over-night stays to longer breaks with care and support needs provided for. They can be taken as a group or by an individual.

The project will:

  • Invite stakeholders to help shape the network
  • Research good practice in short breaks, supported holidays and social tourism
  • Develop a specification for inclusion in the network
  • Establish a register of supported short break holidays in South Wales, including city breaks, rural holidays, accessible guest houses, holiday homes and hotels
  • Support agencies will also be included where they can complement an accommodation service (e.g. where a domiciliary care agency provides support in a mainstream hotel)
  • Create a network that can be promoted through health and social care services
  • Evaluate the network to demonstrate potential wellbeing outcomes and cost benefits and inform both practice and research development regarding short breaks


The aim is to grow a new evidence-enriched short break infrastructure that supports and responds to what matters to people in their caring relationships.

By creating a new supported short break network, this project hopes to build capacity amongst providers to deliver an increasingly flexible and person-centred solution to respite needs for carers, to support the people they cared for, and to inform future research and practice development.     


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