THIS week The Westmorland Gazette's Take a Break campaign has topped £10,000 in donations and gifts in kind, marking the official halfway point of our £20,000 target.

The appeal aims to raise £20,000 to give people who voluntarily care for a loved-one, relative or friend much-needed respite.

This could be a one-night dinner, a bed and breakfast stay at a Lake District hotel, or a day's activity such as a spa break, a day's walking with a fell guide or an adventure trip.

As part of the generous donations we have received, local hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners have also donated in their own particular way.

Caroline Airey, from Kendal, Tony and Caroline Hill, from Burneside and Glynis Capstick owner of Glenholme Guesthouse in Kendal have each given a two night stay at their accommodation for free.

They hope that by donating their room free of charge to carers it will encourage other holiday cottage owners and hoteliers to follow suite.

The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the work of the charity South Lakeland Carers (SLC), which provides practical and emotional support and advice to more than 1,000 unpaid carers across the area.

Mike Seaton, Chief Executive of SLC wanted to share his thanks on behalf of the charity to everyone who has donated so far.

"On behalf of South Lakeland Carers and all those we support, I want to say a huge thank you," he said "to be over half way towards the target at this stage is really fantastic news.

"We are so grateful to all of the Carers that have been willing to share their personal stories, to the individuals that have contributed and to the groups and businesses that are donating monies to support the campaign.

"It will enable us to give Carers a well needed break and is a tremendous demonstration of the generosity and compassion of the people of South Lakeland."

Groups around the area have also rallied together to help give the campaign a well deserved boost.

Kendal Rugby Club has been backing the appeal by doing a number of small fundraising activities on a weekly basis and various line dancing groups have agreed to make the Gazette's campaign their charity of the year for a special one-off danceathon.

Andrew Thomas, The Westmorland Gazette's editor said it was fantastic that the campaign had reached its halfway target so quickly.

"Local people have responded magnificently with donations and with several hoteliers having offered free breaks for carers at their accommodation.

"Carers play a vital unpaid role looking after ill or disabled relatives and we feel it is important that they can be given respite to help re-charge their batteries.

"Please keep your donations coming so that we can reach our target."

As well as providing a break for the carers, the appeal is also seeking to encourage people to volunteer as counsellors or as sitters so that it could allow some carers to have a three hour break each month.

To donate to the campaign, complete the coupon and return it to Mike Addison, Give Them a Break, The Westmorland Gazette, 1 Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal, LA94DP. Make cheques payable to ‘Give Them a Break.’

You can also donate online, simply click here