This scheme is one of the ways that Wiltshire Council provides short break leisure activities and social opportunities to children and young people who have SEND.

Designed in consultation with parents and carers, the Short Breaks 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 and social opportunities (also referred to as ‘short breaks’).

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.

To be eligible for the Short Breaks Scheme, your child must be aged 6yrs (as of 31st August 2022) to 18yrs (as of 31st March 2022), • resident in Wiltshire (not Swindon) and have a place that is funded by Wiltshire Council at a special school or a resource base in or out of county, or • Attend a mainstream school, other provision, or are home educated, and have an EHCP/My Plan with a SEN Banding of Upper Band 1 or above.

Option 1. Short Breaks Scheme Payment. A payment of up to £370 to families to enable children and young people to access leisure activities and social opportunities.

Option 2. The Combo. A payment of up to £185 and up to 42 hours of activity club time.

Option 3. Barnardo’s Activity Clubs Up to 84 hours of activity club time.

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 choosing the Activity Club or COMBO option are required to contribute £10 per 3hr session and £18 per 6hr session towards this heavily subsidised service.

Families who choose the payment or COMBO option through the Short Breaks Scheme are responsible for making sure the money is used to best meet the leisure activity and social opportunity interests of their child for the year. By choosing the payment or COMBO option, you could be selected at random to take part in an interview to explain how the funding was used responsibly to benefit your child and meet their leisure interests.

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.


Further details of this scheme can be found in the explanatory leaflet here.