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Short breaks scheme offers range of opportunities for SEND families

A scheme that provides short breaks and leisure opportunities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities is open for applications until the end of this month.

Published 18 February 2020

The 2020-2021 Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme is designed in consultation with parents and carers to meet the individual needs and interests of young people who require additional support to access or engage in leisure activities or short breaks.

Eligible families can choose from a number of options so 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.

Wiltshire Council subsidises the options available and families pay some contribution towards the overall costs as part of the scheme. The scheme is open for those aged 618 years, and this year's scheme runs from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Options include a lump sum, paid to families to organise their own activities, which could include swimming or riding lessons, trips out or play equipment. The second option is for 84 hours of Barnardo's Activity Clubs, which are held across a range of venues with three or six hour sessions, or day trips. The third option is a combination of up to 42 hours of organised Barnardo's activity clubs with a smaller lump sum for activities organised by the family.

Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: We know families appreciate the flexibility and independence this scheme provides. They know what will work best for their child and this scheme means they can use the funding available to make it work for them.

Details of the scheme, eligibility criteria and the process can be found on the WPCC: Short breaks scheme (opens new window) and in the short breaks leaflet .

Applications for the scheme must be received by Saturday 29 February 2020 and all applications need to be made via the Wiltshire Council online form (opens new window).

People can also use an online tool (opens new window)  that has been developed by the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council to clarify eligibility for the scheme.

If you do not have access to the internet or you need some help to make an application or clarify eligibility, people can call the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council on 01225 764647 and they will be happy to help.

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