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Choosing the Dundee Gift Card means the money stays in the city.

Marthe Hastie is the Team Leader at Dundee Carers Centre Short Breaks Service and explained more about how they used Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards.

What support does Dundee Carers Centre offer its service users?

“Dundee Carers Centre aims to make a difference to the lives of carers of all ages and disabled people in Dundee. We have around 60 members of staff and over 70 volunteers, many of whom are carers or former carers . We offer a range of services for unpaid carers and disabled people covering Carers Support, Locality Work, Group work, Short Breaks, Counselling, Self-directed Support and more. I work within the Short Breaks Team which supports carers to take time out, perhaps reconnect with a hobby, spend quality time with family and friends and ultimately recharge their batteries.”

What are your key support objectives?

“Our main objective when supporting a carer to access Short Breaks is that the break has to be personal to that carer. Caring means something different for everyone and so it’s no surprise that ‘breaks’ mean something different for everyone too. A short break does not necessarily have to be a break away from the home, it could perhaps be to discover a new hobby, quality time with family or friends, time on their own, a night away or even just lunch with a friend. The Short Breaks team supports carers to access available funding to help make a break a reality.”

Why did you choose Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards?

“We started using the Dundee Gift Card (part of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative) when carers identified they wanted to do something that was available through the card such as going for coffee and cake at a local café. There are a wide range of places where the card can be used which means we can offer our carers choice and flexibility. Our goal is to make the carer’s short break as stress free as possible and having the gift card supports that, especially in the case of young carers or older carers. Another reason for choosing the Dundee Gift Card is that it means the money stays in the city.

“Dundee Carers Centre is a Respitality Delivery Partner (Scottish Government supported project coordinated nationally by Shared Care Scotland). We connect with hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses who are willing to donate short breaks free of charge to carers. These businesses support our carers, and it is important to us that we support the businesses in return. Many large brands are part of gift card programs, but we like the fact that the Dundee Gift Card includes smaller businesses who would not ordinarily benefit.”

What was your experience of using Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards?

“It was easy. To order the cards we went onto the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card website and ordered what we needed with delivery either direct to the carer or to Dundee Carers Centre. After placing a few orders we were informed that we could order a stock of the Dundee Gift Cards and issue them when needed by letting Miconex know the amount to load onto the card. This works well for us as it saves on postage and is easier for accounting purposes, with one invoice at the end of a set period, rather than a number of transactions. Even though the list of where to spend the Dundee Gift Card is online, we took the step of printing out the list for carers if we felt that would help them.”

What feedback have you received?

“We had some funding that was ring fenced for carer Short Breaks, with the criteria that it was to be spent locally. We used a portion of this funding to purchase Dundee Gift Cards. This was much easier than buying vouchers for specific businesses and it was better for our carers because they had choice and were not tied to one business. The feedback we’ve had from using the Dundee Gift Card has been positive. In the cost-of-living crisis, people are struggling and knowing the card can be used for the things our carers want and need, with nothing going to waste, is vital.”

If you are an unpaid carer living in Dundee please visit: for more information and to see what support is available. If you are a local business interested in finding out more about the Respitality project please call 01382 200422 or email [email protected]