Short breaks


Jump to: navigation, search

Short breaks

In this section

Short Breaks Bulletin
Related sections
What's on, What we do
Related subsections
Short breaks projects, Leisure & breaks
Related articles
Brandon Trust community team services, Short Break Services Statement for Wiltshire Council, Results

Short Breaks Scheme 2017 - 2018

SB 2017-18 image.JPG

One of the ways that Wiltshire Council provides short breaks to children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disability is through the Short Breaks Scheme.

Designed in consultation with parents and carers, the scheme aims to meet the individual needs and interests of children and young people who require additional support to either access or engage in leisure activities or ‘short breaks’.

UPDATE November 2017 - The deadline for the return of short breaks monitoring forms has now passed and this year's Short Breaks Scheme is now closed.

04/08/17 - Short Breaks Monitoring Form 2017/18
For those of you in receipt of the payment option of the Short Breaks Scheme you will be receiving a letter in the post from Compass Disability. The letter explains how to complete the form online. If you would like a paper copy, then please request one from Compass Disability Services. If you have ANY problems completing it please contact the WPCC office the week beginning August 21st 2017.

Please Note: The monitoring form must be completed before the second payment can be released in September 2017. All forms must be returned by MONDAY 16th OCTOBER 2017 at the very latest when the Scheme closes.

UPDATE 15/05/17 - BOOK NOW! Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme 2018/19 – Review and Consultation
It is now time for the review and consultation of the 2018/19 Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme and Wiltshire Parent Carer Council are holding consultations in conjunction with Wiltshire Council on the following dates:

Thursday 8th June 2017 – Salisbury & South Wilts Sports Club, Salisbury SP2 9NY
Friday 9th June 2017 – Nursteed Community Centre, Devizes SN10 3AF
Friday 16th June 2017 – Fairfield Farm College, Dilton Marsh, Westbury BA13 4DL

This is your opportunity to help review the current scheme and suggest different ways to shape it to meet the changing needs of children and young people from 0-25 in Wiltshire. For more information, take a look at our Consultations page


REMINDER! Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme 2017-2018 Deadline for Applications - February 28th 2017
Applications for the Scheme must be received by Tuesday 28th February 2017. As per last year, applications for the scheme need to be made via the Wiltshire Council online form. Please remember that it is your responsibility to make sure you have received an email receipt for your application. Some people have experienced problems receiving email receipts, especially if they have applied using Hotmail email accounts, iPads or some smartphones. We recommend using a desktop PC or laptop if at all possible to make your application, but if you experience difficulties or you don't receive a receipt following submission of your application, please contact the WPCC on 01225 764647.

If you do not have access to the internet or you need some help to make an application, please telephone us, (WPCC) on 01225 764647 and we will be happy to help you. Please leave a message with your name and telephone number on the answering machine, if you cannot get through.

Please note: applications have now closed. If your child becomes eligible for the Scheme after the application deadline has passed, or you move into Wiltshire after the 28th February, please contact the WPCC to discuss the possibilities of a late application.

About the scheme

The Short Breaks Scheme offers families choice through a menu of options, which means that children and young people, together with their parents or carers, can think creatively about how they want to spend their leisure time and choose what works best for them.

Whilst Wiltshire Council subsidises all options available through the Short Breaks Scheme, families are expected to contribute towards the overall costs of providing short breaks for their children.

Families who choose the payment option through the Short Breaks Scheme are responsible for making sure the money is used to best meet the short breaks and leisure activity needs of their child for the year.

As in previous years, the Short Breaks Scheme will be reviewed to make sure it continues to meet the needs of children and families in Wiltshire. For the latest Short Breaks Consultation Summary Report, please click here and for the latest Short Breaks Survey Report, please click here.


Who can access the scheme

Wiltshire map.jpg
The scheme is open to children and young people who fulfil the following 3 criteria:

  1. Are aged between 6yrs (as of 31st August 2017) and 18yrs (as of 31st March 2017)
  2. Are resident in areas of the county covered by Wiltshire Council - this excludes Swindon
  3. Meet the eligibility criteria

Please refer to the Short Breaks scheme leaflet for further information, terms and conditions.

If you are resident in Swindon, please click here for information about short breaks in your area.

What the options are

Depending on the age of your child and if they meet the eligibility criteria, the following options are available:

  • Short breaks scheme payment up to £500 (6-18yrs)
  • Supported fund up to £500 (6-18yrs)
  • Up to 90 hours of organised Barnardo's activity clubs on Saturdays and during school holidays (6-18yrs)
  • The ‘combo’ – up to 45hrs of organised Barnardo's activity clubs, plus £250 payment (6-18yrs)

Please refer to the Short Breaks scheme leaflet for further information, terms and conditions.

0 to 3 yrs.jpg
For children aged 0-5yrs there are a range of services available across Wiltshire. Contact Wiltshire Council’s SEND Service for more information on 01225 757953, email the team at or visit their [website].

For general short breaks enquiries, contact us on 01225 764647.

How to apply

Once you have read through the Short Break Scheme leaflet, are satisfied that your child meets the criteria for the Short Breaks Scheme and you know which option you want to choose, you will need to register your application with Wiltshire Council. You can do this online or, if you do not have access to the internet, by calling the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council on 01225 764647.

Please note: applications have now closed. If your child becomes eligible for the Scheme after the application deadline has passed, or you move into Wiltshire after the 28th February, please contact the WPCC to discuss the possibilities of a late application.

Please note that eligible families need to re-apply each year for the Short Breaks Scheme. Wiltshire Council reserves the right to close the scheme if the available budget is exhausted. Eligible families are, therefore, encouraged to apply promptly.

Remember your application MUST be received by Tuesday 28th February 2017.

Information about other short break opportunities

FA Football Talent Day 25 Sept 2012 007.JPG

If your child is not eligible for the short breaks scheme, there is plenty more on offer. As well as being able to access opportunities available to ALL children and young people in Wiltshire (referred to as ‘universal’ services), such as play areas, swimming pools, leisure centres and youth clubs, Wiltshire Council also funds initiatives specifically designed to meet the needs of children and young people (with special educational needs/ disabilities) who require some support to enable them to access leisure activities.

Boy drumming.jpg

These are referred to as ‘targeted’ services and include a variety of sports activities, youth clubs, music and drumming sessions. With no assessment or criteria to meet to access these clubs (other than having a disability or special educational need), all you need to do is book a place.

Further information can be found in our signposting section or go to the calendar.

If my child does not meet the eligibility criteria should I appeal?

Appeals for the short breaks scheme should only be made if a child / young person would not otherwise successfully access the other leisure activities available, i.e. universal and targeted services.

About the appeals process

To appeal, please complete a Wiltshire Short Breaks Appeal Form and post it as instructed on the form. An appeal can be made by a parent, carer or professional who works with the child.

All appeals are carefully considered by the Short Breaks Appeals Panel, which is made up of members of Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Parent Carer Council. The panel meets monthly.

Upon receipt of an appeal, if further information or clarification is required before a decision can be reached, you will be contacted. As soon as the panel has reached a decision, you will be informed about the outcome.

Changes to the Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme 2017/2018

Following the series of WPCC consultation events on the Short Break Scheme with parent carers of children and young people with SEND during July 2016 and the subsequent on-line survey, a decision has now been made on changes to the scheme for this year in response to what parent carers told us.

The number of children and young people eligible for the Short Breaks Scheme has increased by approximately 100 over the past 12 months and this means greater pressure on the money available for the Scheme. At the time of consultation last year, parent carers were asked to think creatively about how best to manage the growing demands on the Scheme in terms of increasing numbers applying for the payment option, and the possibility that the funding available for the scheme may be reduced. In recognising how valuable the scheme is to children and young people with SEND, parent carers suggested a reduction in payment amount from £550 to £500 so that all eligible families would continue to be able to access the Scheme, but they wanted the total amount available for the Scheme to be protected if at all possible. Parent carers also suggested that the lower eligible age for the scheme be raised from age 5 to age 6, so that as many eligible families as possible can continue to access the Scheme.

Following consultation, in response to suggestions from parent carers, a decision was made to reduce the payment amount by £50 and the payment element of the Combo option will be reduced by £25 to allow for the increasing numbers applying for the Scheme. In response to what parent carers said about sometimes having difficulty finding activities for children under the age of 8, we are however delighted to be able to announce that eligible children aged 6 and above can choose the Barnardo's option this year.

As in previous years, Wiltshire Council and the WPCC are committed to reviewing the scheme regularly to ensure it remains relevant and affordable, and as such, the scheme may be subject to further changes in future years.

For more information about how the Local Authority meets the requirements of Short Breaks regulations, and how the Short Breaks Scheme has been defined and refined in consultation with parent carers, please see the Short Breaks Services Statement in the Current Projects section of our website.