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Leisure Activities and Short Breaks
Since April 2011 every local authority has a duty to provide a range of short break services for children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.
Short breaks enable disabled children and young people to do many of the fun exciting activities non-disabled children have regular access to. They give parents and carers and their families a valuable break from their caring responsibilities.
In Suffolk we believe the short breaks should also support families to do things together. The short breaks may take place afterschool, in the evenings, at weekends including overnight, in the school holidays, and can offer any kind of activity, or tailored befriending support.
Short breaks are available to all disabled children and young people and outcomes can include; making friends, learning new skills or preparing for adulthood.
To access short breaks in Suffolk you need to register with Activities Unlimited, Suffolk's short break service.
To do this simply visit Activities Unlimited and click join now on the homepage, you’ll be asked to complete some basic details about the primary carer and then the child / young person. If you require help completing this or do not have internet access the team are on hand to help, please contact the team to arrange a time to complete this.
Once complete, you are then able to access the range of short break activities and support on offer through the website.
If your family circumstances change or you need to update your information, you can log-in to the account at anytime to do so.
Every year, Activities Unlimited grant funds organisations/providers to offer short breaks and activities for children and young people in Suffolk. This can include family trips out, holiday and after school clubs, evening and weekend activities as well as overnight breaks.
It is a requirement that these providers register on the Suffolk Local Offer to promote their services.
Every activity will be able to cater for children with SEND however, some may require you to take a carer along with you, depending on your needs.
The lists linked below separate the inclusive providers and activities with the specialist breaks.
(please note – some may appear in both lists and support can be dependent on individual activities)
You can also search our Local Offer directory, the directory provides information on a wide range of organisations who offer services for children and young people.
Once registered with the Activities Unlimited service you'll receive confirmation of Suffolk County Council’s Short Break Offer within 7 days if you have asked to be considered. The offer is informed by your self-assessment of you and your child’s support needs upon registering.
There are 3 short break offers available for children and young people aged 0 - 18 years.
- Membership Offer
- Short Break Offer
- Short Break Offer Plus
The offer is valid for one year and subject to an annual review, families can appeal the offer if they feel it doesn't meet the needs of the child or young person. Full details of each offer and criteria can be found in Suffolk's Short Break Duty Statement.
If you are accessing short break services through Activities Unlimited and feel your needs or, the needs of your child are not being met you can ask for a statutory assessment by contacting Customer First on 0808 800 4005.
Find out more information on social care services.