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Leisure Activities and Short Breaks

Since April 2011 every local authority has had a duty to provide a range of short break services for children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.

In Suffolk, Activities Unlimited provides short breaks and leisure activities to disabled children aged 0-25. 

What are Short Breaks / What's available?

What are Short Breaks?

Our activities and short breaks are available for all children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 in Suffolk. They include clubs, sports and other activities that enable children and young people with SEND to make friends, try new things and take part in the same sort of activities as children without additional needs, and can give parents / carers a break from their caring responsibilities or support families to do things together. Short breaks may take place after school, at weekends (including overnight) or in the school holidays. 

Every activity will be able to cater for children with SEND; some may require a carer to attend along with the young person, depending on activity and level of need. All our activities are subsidised, but still charge a fee. This is either because they are a mainstream provider who are already offering activities but would like to offer their services at a reduced rate to disabled children and young people, or because they receive investment from the Local Authority and therefore must adhere to Suffolk County Council's pricing strategy.

What Short Breaks are available in Suffolk?

To find an activity or short break near you, just browse through the lists below, view our calendar or download our provider guide and contact the provider directly to see what spaces are available. 

Mainstream / inclusive providers and activities

Specialist providers and activities

Activity Calendar:

Guidance on choosing a Short Break Provider

The information about our short breaks is supplied by the organisations who provide the activities or breaks and not by Suffolk County Council. Because we rely on others to give us the information, we cannot be sure it is correct and up to date and Suffolk County Council therefore assumes no responsibility for information contained on this site and disclaims all liability in respect of the information. Where we provide links to other websites, Suffolk County Council is not responsible for the content of other sites which are not part of Suffolk County Council Services and, to the extent permitted by law, disclaims all liability in respect of their content and the content of any sites which may be accessed through these other sites.

It is your responsibility to check the information and to find out if the club, activity, break or service is of a high standard and able to safely meet your needs, or those of your child. If you are a child or young person, please ask your parents or carer to help you decide if the standard is appropriate. The information you need to make this decision should be available on the provider profiles and activity pages of the website. If you feel the information you need is not there then you can call Activities Unlimited on 01473 260026 or go direct to the provider.

Guidance from the DfE on keeping children safe

Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe (childrenscommissioner.gov.uk)


Short Breaks Personal Budgets

What is a Short Breaks Personal Budget?

In addition to providing grants to activity providers, we also provide Short Breaks Personal Budgets directly to eligible families. This is a sum of money paid directly to eligible families as a contribution to help your child access short breaks and to give you a break from your caring responsibilities.

Any parent carer of a child aged 0-18 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who lives in Suffolk can apply for an Activities Unlimited Short Breaks Personal Budget, although not all families who apply for a Personal Budget are eligible to receive one; budgets are reserved for those children, young people and families with the most significant needs.

Find out more about our Personal Budgets, including our most frequently asked questions.

Social Care Services

A range of specialist residential 'respite-style' short breaks are also available for disabled children and young people with complex needs who are eligible for support from the Disabled Children and Young People’s Social Work Team. In most cases, families open to this Team have a named Social Worker. 

If you are accessing short break services through Activities Unlimited and feel your child's needs are more complex than can be met through AU's Short Breaks, you can ask for an assessment by the Social Care team by contacting Customer First on 0808 800 4005. 

You can find out more information about Social Care support here: Social Care and Early Help

Contact Us

You can contact us in the following ways:

Email: info@activities-unlimited.co.uk

Telephone: 01473 260026

Facebook: www.facebook.com/activitiesunlimited

Twitter: www.twitter.com/activitiesunltd

Featured Links

AU Provider Guide 23/24

View all our short break providers
Find out more

AU October Guide 2023

Find out more

Apply for a Short Breaks Personal Budget / login to your account

Find out more

Short Breaks Personal Budget Application Form Guidance Notes

Find out more

Activities Unlimited Holiday Lodge

Book our modern, accessible lodge for a short break!
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Behaviour Safe at Home

Supporting parent carers managing difficult behaviours
Find out more

Contact our Family Advice team

If you're struggling to find a short break suitable for your child or you've got any other queries about short breaks, you can contact our Family Advice team.
Find out more
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