Short Breaks

Submitted on 24 April 2018 by Charlotte Vaughan

this week's blog is by  
Wendy Davey, HPCN's Communications Officer and a Parent Carer  

Every child is different.  Every family is different.  When it comes to short breaks for disabled children the individual needs of each child and their family really matter.  One size does not fit all.  One child might want to learn to swim.  Another might want to chill out with youth workers or friends.  A young person might have complex medical needs.  Another might benefit from space, quiet and understanding. 

Some families find travel difficult and need to stay local.  Perhaps they have to be close by in case of a health emergency.   Others might be willing and able to go further afield.  But then again, not all children and young people with disabilities are ready to cope with stepping out on their own.  Some families need to access respite together within a relaxed and supportive environment – that is the closest they may ever come to a break from caring. 

So, what will it mean if Hampshire acts on its proposal to reduce short break funding by over 40%?   I can tell you what it will mean to me.   Instead of four Saturdays a term at the inclusive youth centre, it will mean one and a half days. Instead of travelling two miles up the road for one-to-one swimming lessons, it will mean never learning to swim; never being safe around water.  Instead of a family enjoying a supported weekend together at an inclusive activity centre, it will mean staying at home, going nowhere. No longer coping. In crisis.

That is what I think.  What about you?  What do you think?  Do you care enough to protect short breaks?  Do you care enough give Hampshire your view?  Act now.  Go to and have your say.   

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