Rest, wellbeing and leisure

It is easy to neglect your own needs and interests when you are busy caring for someone.

Remembering to take time out, unwind and enjoy yourself is a way of looking after your own wellbeing and coping with stressful and demanding circumstances.

Days out

Download this useful guide to days out for people who have a disability and their carers (pdf format, 100Kb)

Holidays for people with disabilities

There are many organisations, which offer holidays for people who are ill, frail or have a disability, with or without their carers.

Their regular newsletters, or travel clubs, will keep you up to date with what is available and their experienced staff will help you make holiday choices that are right for the person you care for. These include escorted day trips or longer holidays in the UK or abroad, which provide a friendly face and a little extra support to those travelling. They will also provide details of specially adapted holiday accommodation suitable for a range of different disabilities, for example, the accessible Vitalise Centres around the UK that offer breaks with or without care provided - see below.

Tourism for All (TfA)

Tourism for All UK (TfA) is an independent charity supporting leisure and tourism opportunities for all, operating an information service to people with disabilities and older people, and working with the industry and government to raise the standards of welcome to all guests.

As well as accommodation, travel, and attractions, TfA provides information about activity holidays for disabled people; equipment hire; places where care is available; escorts and carer services; and sources of finance towards the cost of a holiday for people on low income.

Address: Tourism for All UK, 7A Pixel Mill, 44 Appleby Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6ES
Tel: 08451249971


Revitalise is a UK charity that provides respite holidays for disabled adults and carers. We have been providing holidays for over 50 years and run three holiday centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport. 24 hour on-call nurse-led care is provided and guests enjoy a varied range of excursions, live evening entertainment and activities in the centres.

We believe everybody deserves a break. Our holidays allow cares to take time off from caring and reconnect with their loved ones, knowing they are in safe hands while escaping their daily routine and meeting new people.

Address: Revitalise, 212 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH
Tel: 0303 303 0145



Refresh is a registered charity specialising in respite breaks for teenagers and adults with severe physical disabilities and people on breathing machines. The Refresh holiday centre is at Netley, Southampton. You can take a break with the person you're looking after, or they can go on a Refresh holiday on their own. The charity also runs holidays with the whole family.

The Refresh centre organises trips to places of interest and runs a programme of themed weeks throughout the year including: Country and Western; Museums and Galleries; Seaside; History and Heritage; and Wildlife.

Tel: 020 7188 5643 Tuesday, Wednesday

Holidays without the person you look after

You may want a holiday or short break without the person you care for. This could be with friends or relatives or on your own. Holidaying with friends or family can be very restful and relaxing as you all know each other and can support each other in making decisions.

But you may choose to go on a holiday on your own, where you won't know anybody else. Going on holiday alone is becoming more common, with around four million people choosing to travel alone. There are a growing number of holiday providers offering escorted holiday packages for single travellers.


Saga, the organisation for people aged 50 and older, has a range of holidays and short breaks to suit carers, including group holidays, holidays for single travellers, special interest holidays, and cruises. Holidays are run throughout the year in the UK and abroad. Saga also offers free holidays for carers through the Saga Respite for Carers’ Trust. The carer should:

  • be over 50
  • have been caring for someone for more than a year
  • not have taken a significant holiday away from their caring responsibilities within the last year
  • not be a professional carer

To nominate somebody you know or yourself download form on

Or write to (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope): The Trust Manager, Saga Respite for Carers’ Trust, The Saga Building, Enbrook Park, Folkestone, Kent CT20 3SE

Kiloran Trust – Caring for Carers

Kiloran is specifically for full time carers looking after a relative or friend at home - a husband, wife, child, parent, sibling - who requires full time commitment to their care. They offer subsidised breaks for carers.

To enquire about coming to Kiloran for a break, just telephone 020 7602 7404 and we will send you a booking form and further information or download an application form.


Taking exercise

  • GO Active - working to get adults over 16 doing more exercise across Oxfordshire.
  • NHS Choices - Benefits of Exercise - essential information for people who want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

Flu vaccinations

Flu Vaccinations for Carers - It is highly recommended that as a carer you get a flu vaccination to protect yourself and the person you care for, and to avoid the anxiety caused if you are unwell and unable to fulfill your caring role.

If you are unable to organise an NHS vaccination through your GP surgery then Community Pharmacies provide a convenient and relatively inexpensive option for obtaining this vaccination.

The Local Pharmaceutical Committee has compiled a list of the Community Pharmacies in Oxfordshire (pdf format, 125Kb) who will be providing this service during this season.


Rethink – Time Out scheme for people who care for someone with a severe mental illness includes free complimentary health vouchers, workshops and courses, respite breaks and carers’ support groups.

Tel: 01865 455877

Randolph Hotel spa discount

Carers get 25% off all treatments at the Spa at the Randolph, Oxford. To book telephone the Spa on 01865 256485

Carers’ Week

Each year Carers’ Week shares the positive experiences as well as the more difficult and at the same time raises awareness of the issues faced by carers. During this week, a number of events and activities for carers of all ages take place. The key aims for Carers’ Week are to:

  • Highlight and celebrate the contribution made by carers
  • Campaign for better support and services for carers
  • Promote policies and best practice that can improve carers' quality of life
  • Reach out to 'hidden' carers, ensuring they know where to find help and support

Address: Carers’ Week, 20 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4LX
Tel: 0845 241 2582      
Fax: 020 7378 9781

Age UK activities

Oxfordshire has a wide range of activities for people over 50 throughout the county. These include: exercise classes, holiday opportunities, creative art trips, information fairs, lunches, dinners and drop-in club

Head office Address: Age Concern Oxfordshire, St Edmund House, 39 West St Helen Street, Abingdon OX14 5BT
Tel: 0844 8870005

Looking after yourself

Oxfordshire Public Health has a wealth of information on its web pages.

Walking for Health

Walking for Health encourages more people to become physically active in their local communities. They support the largest network of health walk schemes across England, offering regular short walks over easy terrain with trained walk leaders.



TCV - The Conservation Volunteers Green Gym

A scheme that inspires people to improve their health and the environment at the same time by working outside and doing practical, environmental activities.  There are six in Oxfordshire.

The Conservation Volunteers Green Gym

Clubs and societies in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire county Council has a database of over 2,000 clubs and societies around Oxfordshire. Download details from and type in ‘clubs and societies’ in the search field.

Oxfordshire Skills and Learning Service

A range of courses for basic skills such as writing, reading, maths, communication and computer skills. The service also has an extensive list of courses available through evening or day classes. Find out more.

Two for One – leisure opportunities

For some leisure activities carers go for free if they are supporting the person they care for. In some cases the person with the disability may be asked to prove that they are in receipt of a disability-related benefit in order for the carer to go for free.


Many cinemas in Oxfordshire offer free entry to carers when they are accompanying their cared for. For more information contact:

The Cinemas Exhibitors Limited, The Card Network, Network House, St Ives Way, Sandycroft, CH5 2QS

Oxford United Football Club

Offer free match entry to carers accompanying their cared for.

For more information contact 01865-337533

Leisure centres

Audio guides to boost your mood

Each audio guide takes on a different aspect of your mental wellbeing and gives you some simple, common sense advice on what you might do to boost your mood.

Visit the NHS audio books pages for more information.

Please feel free to contact any of the above organisations yourself. If required, Carers Oxfordshire can also help you further. You can contact them on 0845 050 7666, Monday to Thursday 08:30-17:00, Friday 08:30-16:00


Singing for better breathing

Sound Resource is an Oxford-based charity which runs fun, inclusive and accessible (financially and physically) singing projects for adults. Some participants are elderly, suffer long term illness, dementia or visual impairment - everyone is welcome.


  • There are no auditions
  • no need to read music
  • songs are taught by ear
  • The focus is on the wellbeing benefits of group singing rather than on performing

Inclusive groups
In one of our groups, Barton Sings, a third of current participants are living with dementia or are carers. Singing for Better Breathing uses exercises to open up and strengthen the voice for people living with lung conditions or breathlessness. Participating in singing can elicit fun, confidence, combat loneliness and encourage creativity; which enable people to flourish.

We work in several areas of Oxford

  • Barton Sings! – an integrated group open to all, Barton and beyond, which includes people with dementia and their carers
  • Singing for Better Breathing – for people living with a lung condition (eg COPD) or breathlessness at OXSRAD, Northway
  • Singing for Fun – for people over 50 living in The Leys - run in partnership with The Clockhouse project (This group is currently full)
  • Singing at Ark-T – a new project starting in October on a Friday morning  (in partnership with the Ark-T centre, Cowley)

There is more information on our website

Please note: The organisations listed on this page are not endorsed or recommended by Oxfordshire County Council and the contact details are provided for information only.

Information links

Carers Trust

Help, advice, online community

NHS Choices

Guidance, help and support. Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053 

Oxfordshire County Council

Social and health care information