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Short breaks for your disabled child

Short Breaks are activities that give children and young people with disabilities or additional needs a chance to:

  • have fun and try new things
  • make friends and join activities
  • gain confidence and independence
  • children and young people can enjoy a change of  scenery and a break from the home environment.

They also give their families and carers a break from the demands of caring for their child. This means parents and carers can have time to:

  • spend with each other
  • spend individual time with their other children
  • relax

A Short Break can range from two hours, a day activity, overnight, or longer depending on the circumstances and needs of the child or young person and their family. It can be time spent away from the home, in the community, or in the home with or without the main carer.

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

  • weekend and holiday clubs
  • enabling support for community activities, for example, Brownies, Cubs  sports, leisure, and youth clubs
  • specialist group activities, for example, at The Beckly Centre, Devonport Park Activity Centre, and 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 works in partnership with families to undertake an assessment of need. This can include a parent or 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 then let you know what type of short break or support has been agreed upon.

Plymouth City Council Short Breaks Statement

The Short Breaks Statement gives you information about what is available, who can use the service, how to access services, and how short breaks can meet the needs of disabled children and young people and their families.


How to request short break support

For information about Short Breaks for your child or young person, please email or call 01752 668000.

Plymouth Information Advice and Support Service

The Plymouth Information Advice and Support Service 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.



Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

 Plymouth Local Offer homepage



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Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.


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