Damien joined Revitalise’s team of carers at their Southport location, becoming a volunteer for the day, and gained valuable insight into the vital work they carry out as the only provider of respite holidays with 24-hour care for people with complex disabilities.
Damien also had the opportunity to meet with some of the family carers and their disabled loved ones who holiday at Sandpipers, chatting to them about how important respite breaks and holidays are and how challenging things can be without them.
This initiative forms part of Revitalise’s efforts to highlight how many disabled people and carers miss out on holidays due to the barriers of affordability, accessibility, travel, and the requirement for care support.
Damien said of his visit: "It is always a pleasure to visit Sandpipers, and to speak to some of the regular guests and carers at Revitalise's premier Southport site. It’s no surprise that some guests have been returning to Southport for over 25 years, the dedication and continued hard work of the staff and volunteers is abundantly clear.
"There is a serious need for disabled people and their carers to be able to access regular respite breaks - whether this is to alleviate the daily pressures faced by unpaid carers and the strain this can place on relationships, or to ensure that disabled people have the opportunity to enjoy holidays with friends in a setting specifically suited to their care needs.
"The Government has invested an unprecedented amount of money into health and social care and we must make sure that this funding is going to the right places, to support the millions of adults and young people who provide unpaid care to family members and friends each year. There is work to be done to ensure that this funding for respite breaks can be made more easily available to disabled people and their carers, with no administrative delays.
"That is why I will continue my ongoing work with Revitalise to promote the accessibility of these breaks, and have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to highlight the aims of the 'Give me a break' campaign, in addition to the lived experiences of guests at Sandpipers."
Rebecca Young, Director of Strategy, Impact and External Affairs at Revitalise, added: “Damien Moore MP has long been a supporter of our work at Sandpipers, and I thank him and his team for spending a full day with our guests, carers, and volunteers.
At Revitalise our vision is to ensure that every disabled person and carer can enjoy the holiday they want with the support they need. But the cost of living crisis and funding cuts have, for many, put the prospect of respite care beyond the reach of those who urgently need a break. Disabled people, their carers and their families are at breaking point.
“It is our hope that in sharing our many success stories with Damien he recognises the important lifeline Revitalise offers in the disability and care sector and the acute need for more access to respite care in England.”