The need to “switch off” during this unprecedented pandemic is paramount. A time of tension and uncertainty and fear, disconnecting has been one of the most valuable tools for our wider community to cope with the crisis, as many struggle with mental health and just simply making sense of it all. While most of us are fortunate enough to have the chance to “switch off”, some of us don’t have the opportunity to do so. Our emergency services and hospital workers, for example, cannot, working around the clock in tense environments to make sure the rest of us stay safe.
So to take pressure off – and most importantly to say thank you – Australian accommodation start-up, Unyoked, are gifting the incredible staff at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ICU unit 100 nights to rest, recharge and reset in their blissful country cabins once the travel restrictions have been lifted.
For those fighting valiantly on the frontline of COVID-19, there is no better remedy than Unyoked’s prescription to the wilderness. With a back-to-basics ethos, Unyoked has cabins scattered throughout the New South Wales and Victorian hinterland which provide a temporary reprieve from the ills of modern life. These unique off-the-grid experiences span 1000s of acres of Attenborough-level wilderness to wander in, unwind in, even get lost in – a restorative time to relish the untethered moments of life.
The whole concept originated from the research and proven medical benefits of the outdoors: how unplugging to reconnect with both yourself and nature can help alleviate anxiety, stress and the weight of too much to-do-ness – something healthcare workers know all too well at the moment.
For founders, brothers Cam and Chris Grant, RPA was close to their hearts after talking with their close friend, Dr Jack Purcell. Dr Purcell is a Doctor at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the ICU department and is witnessing first-hand the stress and suffering this is causing all workers.
Like many of the world’s decisions right now, the initiative all came about because of a video-call. “We had a video-call with our mate Jack the other night, a Dr in the RPA ICU,” Cam Grant explains. “And were listening to how intense it is over there at the moment, how everyone’s doing such amazing work but without any time to switch-off”.
Sharing his brother’s sentiments, Chris Grant added: “It made us think about why we created this whole thing, about being stuck in the city with all that stress modern life throws at us, and about how Jack and his colleagues are basically living that every day right now. We thought, we’re not Doctors, we don’t make ventilators, but this could actually be somewhere we can help.”
Cam and Chris Grant will be distributing the 50x 2-night vouchers via Dr Purcell at RPA. Of the current state in his ICU Unit, Dr Jack Purcell notes: “Days are busier, people are definitely on edge, there’s more stress around PPE. It’s hard to turn off. People need an environment away from all this and something to look forward to, they’ll love this.”
In addition to donating the vouchers, Unyoked have set up a special Prescription to the Wilderness with a reduced price (20%) for anyone wanting to gift hospital or emergency workers. Whether it is a friend, family member or neighbour, you will now be able to gift them a space in nature to recharge.
Just you, s’mores and the great outdoors, we can’t think of anything better right now.