Short Breaks introduction

These pages contain the Southend-on-Sea City Council Children's Short Breaks statement for 2024/25.

Short Breaks for carers of disabled children

Short Breaks are fun, interesting and safe activities for children and young people with disabilities. Short Breaks benefit both disabled children and their parents/carers:

  • children benefit from new interests, relationships and activities
  • parents can attend to their physical and mental wellbeing and maintain and develop social networks

Short breaks should be used to support the ability of parents/carers to care for their disabled child and any other children they may have.

The purpose of this Short Breaks Statement is to detail the range of available breaks and how to access them.

Who are short breaks for?

Southend-on-Sea City Council's Children's Short Break programmes are open to children and young people who:

  • live in the city of Southend
  • are aged between 0 to 18 years
  • have a disability and may require support to join fully in leisure or other hobbies

The Equality Act 2010 defines disabled as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a "substantial" and "long-term" negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities. Short Breaks are for children and young people who have a disability. This includes:

  • sensory impairments
  • learning disabilities
  • autism spectrum disorder/condition
  • neurodevelopmental disorder/condition
  • communication difficulties
  • physical impairment
  • chronic or life limiting condition.
  • complex health care needs

Short breaks services available in Southend

There are two different types of short breaks which are accessed in different ways:

  1. a local offer of short breaks which provides families with access to some short breaks services without any assessment
  2. package of services suited to the child/children for families following an assessment of families' needs

The Local Offer

The Local Offer is available to all children and their families without requiring an assessment of need. A local offer presents a choice of short break (activities) opportunities to families. Families accessing a local offer are not subject to any extra assessment by Southend-on-Sea City Council.

The Livewell Southend website hosts the Southend-on-Sea SEND Local Offer. The Local Offer provides information advice and guidance on support and services for children and young people with SEND and their families, including Short Breaks.

Is there a cost?

Families will be expected to pay the same as anyone else for all general leisure activities, sports clubs, out of school clubs.

Contact Short Breaks