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Community Short Breaks

Specialist Groups

Specially designed to be stimulating, enjoyable and fun, helping to promote friendships and peer support. They offer an exciting choice of varied activities at several venues across the city. Club activities including sports, art and music, games, cooking, youth clubs and swimming. Special events throughout the year to celebrate religious and cultural holidays, local carnivals and national events. Day trips are also available and have previously been enjoyed at safari parks, themed picnics and barbeques, chef’s school, Warwick Castle, Alton Towers, Chester Zoo, horse riding, sensory swimming sessions to name but a few. Many of these trips are available for the whole family to enjoy too.


Some children and young people need additional support to access mainstream services such as swimming pools, leisure centres, libraries, playgrounds, Brownies, Scouts, holiday play schemes, cinemas, bowling, dance lessons and much much more. Community Short Breaks can select a suitable support worker to enable the child or young person to attend a community activity of their choice. They will be supported and encouraged to reach their full potential in pursuit of their chosen activity.

Short Breaks Direct

Sometimes parents and carers prefer to arrange support for their child or young person themselves. A Short Break Direct Payment allows families the flexibility, choice and control to choose their own short break activity and employ their preferred carer. We can signpost families to organisations that are able to advise how to choose a suitable carer. Up to twice a year families will need to evidence how the Direct Payments are being spent to support their child or young person to access activities.

There is a high level of demand for this service and all applications are assessed at the Vulnerable Children’s Meeting (VCM). Eligible children and young people are offered 50 hours of funded support per year. However, sometimes children may not receive funding immediately but will be added to a waiting list until funding becomes available. The funding year runs April to March so if you join Community Short Breaks part way through the year, the funding will be allocated pro-rata. Funding is reviewed quarterly and may change if a child’s needs or circumstances change.

Parents will be notified by letter of the application outcome and the letter will also have information on alternative options that could be considered for the child.

Applications for Community Short Breaks are accepted from key professions who work with a child, these could be:

  • Schools
  • Health services – GP, Health Visitors, Specialist Services and Consultants
  • Children Centres – Family Visitors

An Early Help Assessment will be undertaken by the professional and submitted to the Community Short Breaks service. The Early Help Assessment will be reviewed at the Vulnerable Children’s Meeting which are held weekly.

The professional and the parents will receive an outcome letter confirming if the child is eligible for Community Short Breaks or suggesting alternative options when they are not eligible.

A support worker will be provided without cost or can be funded through Direct Payments. Responsibility for the cost of the service such as admission fees to swimming pools, leisure centres, Brownie and Scouts subscriptions and so on, will remain the responsibility of the family. Transport arrangements and any associated transport costs will be agreed between the service provider and the family in advance of the activity.

All families are asked to choose their desired goals from the support. For example, a child or young person may benefit from being more confident or independent. The service provider will work with families towards this. It is also important to remember that Community Short Breaks benefits parent carers too. As well as supporting their need to 'have a break', it gives them the opportunity to engage with other members of the family, one-to-one time with siblings, go on shopping trips or simply relaxing in a hot bath. Families will be encouraged to take part in occasional reviews and this will help the service provider make sure that the child’s or young person's support needs are being met.

For more information on how to access Community Short Breaks please contact: