Important information - Short Breaks Activities service

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Cumbria County Council


Short Breaks Activities service

Did you miss out on registration in October or have become eligible since then?

The new SEND Short Breaks Activity service began on 1st February 2022. A big change for this new service is that families need to register each year in order to access the activities.

This is a new approach for Cumbria and we know that some families missed out because they didn’t know about the registration or didn’t complete the registration in time. There are also families whose children have become eligible for short breaks since October.

Therefore, there will be another opportunity for these families to register for the new short breaks activity service throughout April 2022.

Parents and carers not already registered should REGISTER NOW, to secure a place for their child with additional needs and/or disabilities! You must register your child by midnight on 29th April 2022.

+ Register now

This update provides more information about the new service, who is eligible and why you need to register your child.

What are Short Break Activities?

Short break activities are fun or educational opportunities for children and young people with SEND, allowing parents and carers of children and young people with SEND to take a ‘short break’ from caring. Children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria will be automatically accepted into the service and will be able to access a range of free activities.

The new service will provide daytime/evening activities and activities during the holidays. It does not include overnight breaks, which are dealt with separately.

Targeted Short Break Activities are primarily intended to support children with SEND who have moderate needs and are part of a graduated package of measures designed to support children and young people with SEND and their families. If you think that your child or young person’s needs cannot be met using TSBAs, you should contact your Social Worker, or your area’s Child and Family Worker. They will be able to signpost you to more appropriate support, which may include access to specialist short breaks, which are accessed via a child and family assessment with a specialist Children with Disabilities Social Worker. You can find contact details below:

Short Breaks team - 0300 3038165  or

Dianne Huddart – South Cumbria 07500 577575

David Barnes – North and East Cumbria 07717 274834

Adele Hamer – West Cumbria 07776 227261

You can find more information about Cumbria’s graduated response for Short Breaks in the Short Breaks Statement, and view some FAQs on the SEND Local Offer website.



Which children are eligible to access the service?

To be eligible for the new service, all of the following must apply:

  • The child is resident in Cumbria
  • The child has a disability (as defined by the Equalities Act 2010)
  • The child has a current final Education, health and care plan (EHCP)
  • The child is in academic year groups 1 to 13 (or equivalent) 

There is a handy flow chart to help check eligibility on the SEND Local Offer website.


Those who do not currently use Short Breaks, those who also access overnight breaks and those in receipt of direct payments can all register for this new service.

How has the Short Breaks service changed?

The new Short Breaks Activity Service takes a completely fresh approach:

  • The new service has been co-produced with parents and carers. It is more dynamic and flexible, allowing the service to respond to the changing needs of children and young people.
  • All eligible registered children and young people will be able to use the service without the need for further assessment.
  • Organisations that can provide activities have applied to be added to a Provider Framework. The Framework is a list of potential providers, mapping the county in terms of area and type of activity they can provide.
  • The registration process is important, as this is how we will know which families will be using the service, what their needs are, and where they are in the county.
  • Only those who are eligible and have registered will be able to use the Short Breaks Activities service.
  • Once you have registered, the Short Breaks Activities team will confirm your child’s eligibility and contact you to confirm your registration has been successful.
  • We will then send you a link, which will enable you to book using an online booking system.
  • The menu of activities will be reviewed regularly with changes made to the activities available in response to feedback and comments from children and young people who have accessed the activities and their families.

Online registration is live from Monday 4th April 2022 to Friday 29th April 2022 (12 midnight). Registration will not usually be accepted after this date, so it is really important that you REGISTER NOW. Activities will be available to book as soon as eligibility has been confirmed.

You will need to register for the Short Breaks Activities Service for your child each year, but don’t worry we will remind you in plenty of time. The usual registration window is in October of each year.

The registration form allows you to add additional children, so if you have more than one eligible child you only need to complete one form per family. Families becoming eligible outside of the normal October registration window can call the Short Breaks Activities team for further advice (see contact details below).


If you are unable to access the online form, you can contact the Short Breaks Activity Team who will be able to complete the form on your behalf or send you a paper copy for you to fill in and post back to us.



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Find out more about the Cumbria SEND Improvement Programme 

Find services and support on Cumbria's Local Offer

Get in touch here to find out more about how to join the parent and carer Reference Group or feedback about the SEND improvement programme