Hawthorn Brae Cottage

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Community Support

Breaks Available

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Donations & Partnerships

Hawthorn Brae Cottage

A beautiful self-catering cottage in the village of Blair Atholl, providing unpaid carers and people with life-limiting conditions with a relaxing break from caring routines.

 Hawthorn Brae cottage is managed by VOCAL, through the donation of EMMS International Hawthorn Brae Fund and supported by a generous donation from the Swinton Paterson Trust. The cottage provides free breaks to carers and people with life limiting conditions, and of limited means, living in Edinburgh. It is also available for paid bookings, and the income raised is used to fund the operations of the cottage.

Why is it needed?       

Taking a break from caring routines can have a huge impact on carers’ emotional and physical health, sense of isolation and social contact.

“Completely exhausted and running on empty. I never feel rested, just depleted…I suffer with horrendous migraines and the doctors have told me to reduce the stress levels in my life, but how is this possible?”

Breaks help carers to cope with challenges, impact positively on the caring relationship, and give carers time to rest and recharge.

“A weekend away with my partner and kids would be amazing. I’d still be caring but with my partner there to help, I’d be able to relax. Someone to take over night duties so I can have a decent nights sleep would be great too.

Close to public transport and local amenities, in a tranquil and relaxing location, Hawthorn Brae cottage provides the ideal setting for carers, and those they care for, to take short breaks. For more information about the cottage, location and how to book, please visit the cottage booking page.

 Supporting the Hawthorn Brae project

Many carers can’t afford a break, particularly a longer trip away with family. In order to increase the number of breaks that can be provided free of charge, VOCAL seeks donations to our Hawthorn Brae project, where the funds raised will help subsidise or cover the full costs of breaks at the cottage.

If you are an individual and would like to make a donation, you can do so via our Just Giving page: Vocal – Voice Of Carers Across Lothian – JustGiving

Funders and agencies who would like to get involved or discuss potential partnerships should contact VOCAL’s Partnership Development Officer at fundraising@vocal.org.uk or call 0131 622 6666.

The Hawthorn Brae project is part of VOCAL’s Wee Breaks Enterprise, an innovative response to a growing demand for carer short breaks and a lack of suitable accommodation. Wee Breaks Enterprise has developed from a feasibility study undertaken on VOCAL’s behalf by Community Enterprise in 2020, followed by extensive consultation with over 1,200 carers in the VOCAL’s Carer Survey 2021. Working with partners across sectors, including health and social care, local charities and corporate employers, VOCAL is developing a self-sustaining business model, which will provide a choice of free and affordable short break opportunities to carers of all ages.

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