This guide provides general information on various grants available to help fund a holiday or respite break. It includes a range of Scottish and UK based trust funds. Some of them require applications to be made by a third party, such as a social worker or health professional.
All grants are discretionary and subject to available funding. Eligibility criteria may change so please contact any fund that you are interested in before applying, where possible. It can take a long time for decisions to be made and it is important that you do not book your holiday until you have secured funding.
Grants and Trust Funds
Take a Break provide grants to families living in Scotland. A Take a Break grant can be used towards a break, outing or sport activity, or other activity in the UK or overseas. Funding may also be used to purchase equipment required for a break such as bikes or camping equipment.
Applications are accepted from people caring for a disabled child or young person aged 0-20, or directly from disabled young people. Applications must have permanent legal residency in the UK and have lived in Scotland for 6 months. Application form is downloadable from the website.
Provides financial assistance for holidays/respite care for young disabled people aged seventeen and under with either a physical, mental or emotional disability. Funding cannot be given towards the cost of accompanying adults.
Individual families can apply, as well as groups and organisations. Applications are considered all year round, however they only meet four times a year, see website for specific dates. Application forms can be downloaded from the website.
Contact via the webform on their website. Or Contact:
The Administrator, The Adamson Trust, PO BOX 7227, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 9AL
Provide financial assistance for individuals or groups of people with a physical disability who are planning to take a holiday but who cannot afford to pay the expenses of essential helpers.
To qualify applications must be supported by a ‘bona fide’ organisation, doctor or social worker, willing to verify that the applicant meets the scheme’s requirements. Applications are reviewed and funds allocated twice a year. Application form is downloadable from the website.
Provides grants to enable families to go on holiday. Includes funding for one week holidays/short breaks or day trips for families with at least one child of three or over, who couldn’t otherwise afford a holiday. Families must not have had a holiday for 4 years. Families with a disabled or seriously ill child should apply to the Family Fund before making an application to the Family Holiday association.
The trust fund only accepts applications from referring agents. Application forms must be completed online and are available to download from the 1st of November onwards for holidays the following year.
Supports families caring for severely disabled children with grants for family breaks and other essential items such as white goods, clothing, computers and sensory toys. Holiday awards include breaks with Haven or Butlins.
Applications for a Family Fund grant can be made by the parent or carer of the disabled child or young person. Young people aged 16 and 17 can make an application in their own right. Applications form is downloadable from the website.
Provide holidays for women in need of a holiday who are unable to afford one. The Trust aims to provide a break needed at a crucial time. The maximum available for any holiday is normally £350.00.
Must be supported by a sponsoring body or person. Grants are limited to women, aged 18 years or older. Applications must not have had a holiday in recent years. Preference is given to women who are, or have been normally in employment.
Short breaks for carers
Grants are made to support respite holidays for carers. The primary aim is to give a complete break to a carer while the person cared for is receiving respite care. In exceptional circumstances the Trust may assist where the carer and cared for wish to holiday together. Typical grants range from £200 to £300.
Applications must be made through a social worker, community nurse or similar professional agency.
Funding is often available to help carers take a break from their caring role. Carers should seek advice on grants from their local carers centre. You can search for your local carers centre at the Carers Trust.
Respitality (respite breaks + hospitality) is a project which seeks to make connections between local organisations that support unpaid carers and local hospitality providers, such as hotels, guest houses, leisure clubs etc. The idea is that local businesses and organisations are able to make a ‘gift’ to a carer (plus companion). Examples could include a short break away, gift of a day-pass to a leisure club or spa, or a voucher to dinner for two- there are lots of possibilities.
Tel: 01383 622 462
Further information and useful contacts
The Disability Information Scotland helpline can help you find further information- contact us
Disability Information Scotland can also provide information on accessible holiday destinations, hiring equipment when travelling, travel insurance, tour operators and accessible tourist attractions.
You can search for Grants and Trusts and TURN2US
Shared Care Scotland is a national charity that works to improve the quality, choice and availability of short beaks (respite care) provision across Scotland.
Tel: 01383 622 462
Information last updated on 6 September 2022. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Holidays & Leisure, Money, Benefits & Grants:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
How can I appeal a PIP decision?
It is always a good idea to seek advice when challenging decisions. An advice agency will be able to tell you if you have a good case; how to obtain medical or other evidence; and may be able to represent you at an appeal hearing. In some cases there is a risk of losing a benefit if you challenge a decision. You can also search the Scottish Disability Directory to find your local welfare rights service.
You can challenge a decision if you think it is wrong according to the rules. The decision about your PIP is set out in a letter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) send you. This is called the decision letter. The date on the letter is the decision date.
A Mandatory Reconsideration is the first step when challenging a PIP decision. It is asking the DWP to look at the decision again. You must normally ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision date.
Appeal to Tribunal is the second step of challenging a PIP decision. You can normally only do this after you have got a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.
For more information see our Benefit Appeals & Reconsideration Guide.
How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter. Eligibility to use the Motability Scheme is based on receiving one of the following benefits.
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
For existing Scheme customers, their eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme will depend on the outcome of their assessment for PIP. If you are awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you should not experience any disruption to your lease as you move from one benefit to the other.
NOT awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
If you are not awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you will not be eligible to use the Motability Scheme. Being forced to leave the Scheme will be a difficult transition for you and your family.
The Motability Scheme has put in place a one-off package of transitional support to those customers who can no longer use the Scheme as a result of their initial DLA to PIP reassessment. This transitional package will include guidance on your mobility options and next steps, financial support if eligible, advice on buying a second hand car, information on insurance, maintenance and other mobility solutions, as well as the purchase price of your vehicle. You will be able to keep the car for eight weeks after the DLA payments stop.
In addition, if you first joined the Scheme before the end of 2013 you will have the option to keep the car for 26 weeks after the last DLA payment. If you choose to keep the car for this extended period your transitional support payment will be reduced.
For further details of the transitional support process please visit the Motability website. Their website has a useful section with more detailed information on the transitional support package. You can also phone the Motability Scheme helpline on 0300 456 4566.
Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?
You might be eligible for a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you are disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated driver’s name and must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs.
You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
For more information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9962.
How can I find out what benefits might I be eligible for?
A good first step to see whether you are eligible to apply for certain benefits is to have a ‘benefits check’. A benefits check is a calculation that will include an estimate of what and how much you might get. You can get a check at your local welfare rights project, local Council Money Advice or Citizens Advice Bureau. Some housing associations and GP surgeries might also offer them.
You can also use the Turn2us benefit calculator online.
Before doing a benefits check, you will need information about any savings, income, pension, childcare payments or existing benefits (for both yourself and your partner).
To find your local welfare rights service search our Scottish Disability Directory. or contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
What support is available to help keep warm this winter?
At this time of year fuel costs increase and it can be difficult to keep yourself warm and cosy!
The good news is there are different grants and schemes available throughout the country to help people improve the heating in their homes and keep heating costs down. Check out our Help to heat your home guide for more information on what you might be eligible for.
Home Energy Scotland is a free impartial energy advice service to help people save money and keep their homes warmer. They offer simple energy saving tips, make referrals to funding schemes and can arrange benefits and tax credit checks to help people access available assistance.
If you would like more information about how you can help heat your home then please call Home Energy Scotland’s free helpline on 0808 808 2282 to check what support you might be entitled to. You can also text WARM to 60163 for a call back or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From layering up with fleeces and blankets, to keeping refueled with hot drinks, there are ways that you can help keeps yourself cosier and keeps fuel costs down. For some extra tips check out our Get Winter Ready blog and/or the Home Energy Scotland ‘Keeping your home warm this winter’ blog.
Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?
In general, disabled people do not have to pay VAT on goods and services that are designed/ or adapted solely for use by disabled people. These goods and services are often called ‘zero-rated’ or ‘eligible for VAT relief’.
The majority of suppliers will know if their product has been specifically designed to help disabled people. They will offer their products free of VAT at the point of sale.
You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions. Your supplier may give you a form for this.
Most suppliers will use the Notice 701/7 VAT relief for disabled people form.
For further information see our VAT Exemption for Disabled Goods Information Guide or call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
I am going on holiday, how do I hire a mobility scooter or wheel chair when I am there?
If you are staying within the UK you can search for a Shop Mobility local to where you are going. Another option would be to search for local mobility equipment providers.
The Mobility Equipment Hire Direct is a one stop shop to hire a wide range of mobility equipment in a variety of destinations from anywhere in the world using your chosen currency and in your chosen language.
Helpline: 0300 323 9961
For further information on hiring equipment away from home check out our Accessible Holidays Information Guide
Holidays & Leisure, Money, Benefits & Grants:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.