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Short breaks for children with disabilities

by Laura Johnston

Do you have a child with a disability? If so, you may be eligible for Knowsley’s short breaks service.

Short breaks give children and young people with a disability an opportunity to join in with fun activities and swim sessions in the community, as well as giving parents or carers a break from their caring role.

And organisers are asking families to get in touch if they think they could benefit from the service.

Short breaks are available to children and young people with disabilities who find it difficult to attend mainstream activities (e.g. the local youth club). It is for those who attend special or mainstream schools and colleges – from reception up to their 19th birthday. The scheme is part of a wider range of services available to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) called the ‘Local Offer’.

Cllr Joan Lilly, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We’re sure that there are many families in Knowsley who don’t know about our service, and could benefit from the short breaks on offer. It’s a great opportunity for children and young people to get involved with groups in their community or activities they haven’t tried before.”

Families can have up to five hours of short breaks a week – and this increases during the school holidays. While targeted short breaks activities are subsidised by the Council, there is a small charge of £1 per hour for activity clubs and £4.50 for structured swimming sessions.

For more information about short breaks contact the Early Help, Children with Disabilities Team on 0151 443 5085 or visit the Knowsley Family Information Service website.