Revitalise Sandpipers guest smiling for camera while reading book on sun terrace

Guest Testimonials

Nobody speaks more eloquently about the Revitalise effect than a guest who has spent time with us. Read about how we are making a difference to the lives of our guests every single day.

Book Now

Grace and Andrew

Grace is 30 years old and has various disabilities and a congenital heart defect. All of this has affected her wellbeing and mental health. Her husband Andrew had a motorbike accident 13 years ago which resulted in a brain and spinal injury. They live at home, but need support to enable them to do this. Grace tells us her story:

“It’s been very difficult having my physical health decline and I haven’t been able to do the things I used to enjoy. It’s very important to us that we keep independent. We are fortunate enough to have carers that come in and help.


We have family that live nearby, and they provide emotional support because it can be difficult living with chronic disability. Sometimes I wake up and I feel so depressed because I’m in pain.

Since I became unwell a lot of things in my life have changed. I have felt quite isolated as I’m unable to go into work anymore, and I’m not able to get out of the house very often.”

The impact of access to a safe respite break:

Grace stayed at Sandpipers, our centre in Southport for 8 weeks, from April through to June.

“Since the day I arrived at Sandpipers I just felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I was so alone at home and coming here I’m surrounded by wonderful staff and other guests, who I can spend time with and socialise.

There’s been an excellent programme of activities each day to keep us occupied and I’ve enjoyed doing the arts and crafts, that’s just been wonderful. I really feel that I’ve made some friends for life during my time here and I just don’t know what I’d have done if I hadn’t been able to come. During this time, I really feel Revitalise has been a lifeline for me, and all the staff have helped me get through this period of lockdown and I’m really grateful, thank you.”

Simon’s story


Simon is a wheelchair user living with cerebral palsy. He spent much of his childhood moving around the UK, as his father was in the RAF.

“I dreamed of following in my father’s footsteps,” he says. However, being at school was a considerable challenge for Simon, and as he got older, he struggled more and more with his mobility.

After his parents passed away, his younger sister moved in to take care of him. Although they have a close relationship, as well as providing for Simon’s care needs, his sister also has a young son to look after. Each day is relentless and exhausting, and the unchanging routine has put their relationship under strain.

“I have found it much harder as an adult with a disability to make new friends, and it can be lonely.”

After months of shielding, the family reached a breaking point. Unable to go out, and with the loss of his independence, Simon’s mental health drastically deteriorated.

“I wanted to kill myself. I can’t get out and enjoy myself as other people can.”

The whole family needed a break. At a crisis point, Simon was able to visit our Sandpipers Centre.

Taking a break with Revitalise has helped him to build connections, feel supported and included. He’s found a place where he can belong.

“I don’t feel like a guest. I feel like part of the family.”

Tina and Aaron

Tina and Aaron

Aaron was born eight weeks premature and suffered a cardiac arrest during an operation to correct birth defects. His mother Tina has been his full-time carer since.

Aaron has never walked and needs some support in his daily routine but has otherwise steadily improved over the years. He spends one week each month at Revitalise, giving both him and Tina a break.

“I’ve just cracked on for 30 years”, says Tina. “I just put everything aside to look after him. So no, I don’t think I’m a hero, I’m just a mum with a lot of love to give.”

Tina stresses how important it is for them to have a break for each other and knows that Aaron is safe hands when he visits Revitalise.

“I haven’t got any worries whenever he’s there. He needs a break from me, and I need a break from him. It doesn’t mean to say that we don’t love each other and miss each other because we do, but a break is good.”

Since finding Revitalise, Aaron and Tina have been able to enjoy holidays both together and apart and have been visiting our Jubilee Lodge centre for almost eleven years.

Speaking during his last break, Aaron said:

“I can’t wait for sailing. I like the fresh air and steering the boat. I really like going away and seeing all the people. It’s hard for her [Tina]. It’s nice to have a break, and I think that she wants a break as well.”

Hilary and Shaun

Hilary and Shaun

At age 19, Shaun had an accident whilst on holiday with friends in Ibiza, resulting in brain damage. Now 32, Shaun’s mother Hilary cares for him full-time.

Hilary tells us: “I received a call from the Spanish police telling me that Shaun had banged his head and that he was in intensive care. I flew out to see him and was told by the doctors that his life support should be switched off and his organs donated.

I was in such a state but knew I was not giving up on Shaun. The insurance company refused to help, so to get Shaun back to the hospital in the UK I had to pay the whole airfare, which was a huge amount of money considering Shaun’s medical needs at that time.”

Hilary brought her son back to the UK where he spent the next 18 months in hospital.

“Every day for 18 months I would go into hospital in the morning and evening to see Shaun and to give him a full-body massage. I’d also recorded some tapes of Shaun’s friends giving him encouragement and put headphones in his ears so he could listen to them.

“For the last 15 years I’ve been caring for Shaun, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a carer, it’s just something I do as his mum. He’s my same old cheeky, cheeky chappy. But of course, it wouldn’t be true to call the last 15 years easy – in fact some were such struggle I can’t even describe. The years 2013 to 2015 were so low that I did some really stupid things, but I’m over that now.

I’m never, ever, going to give up on my son. Life is too short you know; you need to keep fighting.”

Shaun has been taking breaks at Revitalise Sandpipers three times a year, for the last 12 years.

“He really loves going to Revitalise as he gets loads of attention, hangs out with his friends and has fun. He looks forward to his holidays and always comes back with a big smile on his face. He especially enjoys going on the trips to Blackpool and the comedy evenings. Shaun also likes to get space away from me and be an independent young person”

Lin and Steve

Lin and Steve

Just 15 months after their wedding day, Steve suffered a massive stroke and Lin became his full-time carer. Their lives were suddenly turned upside down.

“I had waited half my life to find the man of my dreams and after Steve’s stroke, the simple pleasures that made us a couple were gone in the blink of an eye. There was no communication or sharing a cup of tea or being able to have a hug. You don’t realise how much you’ll miss these things until you don’t have them. The hardest thing is putting Steve to bed at night in a separate room and having to walk away. Even after four years it still upsets us both.”

Day to day life is hard for the couple; they are not able to go away or take a break. Lin wants to give Steve every opportunity to get better and spends her time taking him to appointments, researching and finding suitable equipment to assist him. When they visited Revitalise, she had not had a day off for four years and was exhausted.

“On our Revitalise holiday, Steve grew in confidence and regained some independence as he felt safe. He went to the pool and restaurant on his own – it was wonderful. He even talked to another guest who had had a stroke; he would never have done that before Revitalise. Steve can’t follow conversation and would not have felt confident on a big table in the dining room, so the staff organised for us to eat at our own table. We felt like a couple again.”

Knowing that she and Steve can access much-needed respite at Revitalise is what keeps Lin going.“Revitalise is outstanding; you get treated as an individual. It is like a bubble when you are there — faces light up, a weight is lifted, and it is a bit of paradise. Without Revitalise, there would be nowhere for disabled people and carers to go.”

Book your Revitalise break today

Book Now

You might also like…

Man in wheelchair and woman talking in a garden

About Us

We’re the people who create revitalising holidays for disabled people and their carers. Everything you’d expect from a holiday, backed by the reassurance of expert care support. Explore our history, impact and team.

Learn more
Female guest raising glass of wine in toast while sitting outside at Jubilee Lodge

Respite Holidays

Revitalise currently has three respite holiday centres, each offering their own unique appeal and fully supported with expert care. Discover more about our breaks and how they could benefit you or someone you care for.

Learn more
Man enjoying party at Revitalise Sandpipers

Support Us

Explore how you can help us create vital respite holidays for disabled people and carers. However you get involved, you’ll be helping to create a society in which no disabled person or carer faces barriers to taking a break.

Learn more