The Lions Club has a precious gift on offer for carers - the gift of some time out.
This year during Carers Week, October 13 to 19, Lions Carers Cottage is welcoming carers from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven to stay, free of charge.
Located in Kiama, Lions Carers Cottage is one of the few respite accommodation providers in the country that focuses on the carer and contributes to their wellbeing by providing them with respite accommodation, at a reasonable price in a tranquil haven that was created just for them.
The majority of carers in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven are female, caring for someone under the age of 65 and spend an average of 79 hours per week caring for their loved one.
They often receive little or no support from family or friends, and are under high levels of mental and physical distress.
Many carers don't even identify themselves as a carer - meaning they do it all themselves without the support of any services or assistance programs.
A combined project of the Kiama, Minnamurra and Gerringong Lions Clubs and Kiama Council, the cottage was completed using all local funding, donations and labour.
It was a big deal in the Lions world that a project of this magnitude didn't have any grants from Lions Australia or International.
The community is coming together again for Carers Week to ensure guests are treated to an indulgent stay.
Fiona Wilkinson, booking manager for Lions Carers Cottage said she was overwhelmed by the support.
"Our community is amazing," she said.
"Our supporters have come together to provide a truly memorable experience."
Kiama Lions president, Jim McNeilly, said the project was an incredible experience for everyone involved.
"It was made possible with the support of Kiama Council and many local suppliers, tradies and people who contributed time, materials and money to create this wonderful property," he said.
"We're very grateful that the local community continues to support this initiative and has come together to help us celebrate Carers Week."
The following local businesses are donating food, products and vouchers for the invited guests to use during their stay, and take home with them: Parfait Patisserie, Kiama Farmers Market, Coco Chai Day Spa, Flour Water Salt, Meals on Wheels and Posey Jones Florist.
Lions Carers Cottage is now available for Carers to book accommodation from 2 nights up to a week. Bookings can be made at www.lionscottage.com.au.
To find out more, please contact Fiona Wilkinson our booking manager on 0444 555 789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.