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Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities


We've answered some of the commonly asked questions we get. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please do get in touch as we are always happy to discuss and support you where we can.

Who can access Essex Short Breaks Clubs and Activities?

Essex Short Breaks gives children and young people the opportunity to take part in activities away from or with their family or carers, giving them the chance to develop their independence, make new friends and try new things.

There are a wide range of clubs and activities on offer including after school clubs, sport opportunities, arts and crafts, outdoor activities, drama or music clubs and much more.

You can access these services if your child or young person:

  • lives in Essex (excluding Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Local Authority areas)
  • is aged 0-18 years old
  • or is aged 19-25 years old and is in receipt of a personal budget
  • and has a confirmed diagnoses of a special educational needs and/or disability

Children or young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities who do not live within the boundaries of Essex may still access clubs and activities. However, they will not be able to access Essex County Council funded support for their place.

My child has complex medical needs. Can they still access Short Breaks Clubs and Activities?

We understand that each child or young person's individual needs are unique to them.

Our service providers offer a variety of support to enable the child or young person to access clubs and activities in their area.

The service provider will gather a variety of information about the child or young person and work closely with the family to assess whether the club or activity is suitable for their individual needs.

We support our service providers by signposting them to other professional organisations who can provide the specialist medical support needed, to enable the child or young person to attend.

How much will it cost for my child or young person to attend a club or activity?

Families may be asked to pay a financial contribution for their child or young person to attend a club or activity.

This will be set by the individual service provider who will discuss this with you when you contact them.

The funding provided through Essex Short Breaks Clubs and Activities, on behalf of Essex County Council, means that families will not have to pay for the extra support needed to enable the child or young person to participate in their chosen club or activity.

Will my child/young person be safe and will the carers understand the needs of my child?

Yes! All our clubs and activities are run by specialist carers who really know their stuff. They get to know you and your child before the club or activity starts to make sure the young person feels welcome and safe as soon as they arrive. Staff also have training, if needed, in order to support the young person with their medication, feeding and to make sure that you have the peace of mind you need to allow you to relax.

How many clubs or activities can my child access?

We're committed to making sure that every child or young person who is eligible to attend a club or activity, is able to access one. This may mean that we have to limit how many times a child can attend, but the staff running the clubs and activities will tell you about this when you book.

Are there any clubs and activities that my child can't attend?

Some activities may not be suitable for everyone, if you're not sure just get in touch and we’ll be happy to guide you.

How will you know if my child is happy?

The staff running clubs and activities make it a priority to chat to you as parents and carers to find out exactly what makes your child happy, what they love to do and what they would rather avoid. We listen to what children and young people have to say and arrange activities that are truly designed around them. The staff will talk to you about any concerns you may have – after all, this is your short break too!

My child is deaf/has difficulty hearing; will the clubs be able to communicate with them ok?

Our staff will do everything they can to make your child feel included in the club. They will either have staff who can sign or use Makaton, or be able to train staff to do this, or access a signing service to help your child to join in. Many of our clubs also use the deaf blind manual or other appropriate ways of communicating. The best thing to do is talk to the club about how your child likes to communicate and they will do everything they can to support them using their preferred method.