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Short breaks and holiday activities for disabled children

A short break gives disabled children or young people opportunities to have fun doing things they enjoy and spending quality time with other young people in new environments. It also provides parents and carers with a regularly planned break from their caring responsibilities. A short break maybe for a few hours during the day, evening, overnight or for the whole weekend but it can't be provided to allow the main carer to go to work.

We have a great range of short break opportunities for children and young people, including direct access holidays activities. The targeted short break activities might include:

  • weekend and holiday clubs
  • enabling support for community activities e.g. Brownies, Cubs  sports, leisure and youth clubs
  • specialist group activities e.g. The Beckly Centre, Devonport Park Activity Centre, Plymouth Argyle.

Specialist services to support short breaks are for disabled children when their social care assessment shows that they:

  • have severe and complex needs
  • need extra support to access a special special range of activities based on the child or young person’s needs
  • are a priority for safeguarding reasons

and may include:

  • weekend and holiday activities in a specialist setting
  • Family Based or residential overnight short breaks    
  • a personal budget or direct payments to employ a personal assistant for your disabled child  to support their independence skills.

Our Short Breaks/AHELP Team work in partnership with families to undertake an assessment of need.  This can include a parent/carer assessment if requested.  The assessment will identify the support needs and consider the level of service required.  Requests for funding are considered at the Short Breaks Panel where they will discuss your child's assessment and will then let you know what type of short break or support has been agreed.

How to request short break support

If you need more information or support contact SEND Access Early Help. Email:

Find out more about short breaks on the Plymouth Online Directory.

Plymouth Information Advice and Support Service (PIAS)

PIAS sends out a regular newsletter of all the activities available for disabled children. We would encourage you to explore and try these varied activities as they are small groups which have high levels of skilled staffing.

Sign up to the newsletter on the PIAS website.

Find out more on the Plymouth Online Directory