Short breaks

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Short breaks

In this section

Short Breaks Bulletin
Related sections
What's on, What we do
Related subsections
Short breaks projects, Leisure & breaks
Related articles
Brandon Trust community team services, Short Break Services Statement for Wiltshire Council, Results

Short Breaks Scheme 2021 - 2022

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One of the ways that Wiltshire Council provides short breaks to children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disability is through the Short Breaks Scheme.


Designed in consultation with parents and carers, the 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 or ‘short breaks’.



Wiltshire’s 2021/22 Short Breaks Scheme Closes on 31st October 2021

Please remember that the 2021/22 Short Breaks Scheme will close on Sunday 31st October 2021. No further applications for this year’s scheme or monitoring forms will be accepted after this date and no further payments will be made after this date under any circumstances.

If you received either the Payment or COMBO option this year and you have not yet returned your monitoring form, please do so now before it is too late. Everyone who received either the Payment or the COMBO option of the Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme, should have received an email that was sent on 28th July 2021 with a link to this year’s electronic Monitoring Form. If you can’t see the email in your Inbox, please check your Spam and Junk folder.

If you need help to complete your Monitoring Form, please contact the WPCC and we will do all we can to support you.

It is anticipated that as in previous years, the 2022/23 Short Breaks Scheme will open for applications in January 2022. As always, the WPCC will announce when the new Short Breaks Scheme is open for applications.



Sept 2021: Is Your Child or Young Person Receiving a Short Breaks Payment?
If your child has received a Short Breaks Payment this year (including the Combo option), you will shortly be receiving an email from Wiltshire Council.

We would urge all parent carers who receive the email to read it as it contains positive information about this years’ payments. We would like the views of recipients of this year’s Short Breaks Payments which can be submitted via a short survey link that will be included in the email.

Thank you for your help.


Short Breaks Monitoring Form - Important Update

If you successfully applied for the Short Breaks Payment or COMBO option for your child or young person this year, you can now complete your Monitoring Form. Everyone who has received either the Payment or the COMBO option of the Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme, should have received an email that was sent on 28th July 2021 with a link to this year’s electronic Monitoring Form. If you can’t see the email in your Inbox, please check your Spam and Junk folder.

If you need help to complete your Monitoring Form, please contact the WPCC and we will do all we can to support you.

Please Note: -

  • Your September payment will not be released until your Monitoring Form has been completed and returned
  • The second payment is payable from September, only once your Monitoring Form has been returned to Wiltshire Council
  • If you want to receive your second payment in September, your Monitoring Form must be completed and returned by 31st August 2021 if you need help with your form, please contact the WPCC in plenty of time
  • Any Monitoring Forms completed and returned after 31st August and before 31st October will mean that the second payment is unlikely to be paid until October or November
  • The Short Breaks Scheme closes completely for the year on 31st October 2021 and no further payments will be made after this date under any circumstances



You can contact the WPCC by telephone: 01225 764647 or by email: admin@wiltspcc.co.uk.


UPDATE - Short Breaks Scheme – Payments for Young People over 18

It has been brought to our attention that some parents of young people over 18 who had opted for the Short Breaks Payment Option are confused about why they only received £140 and not the £300 they were expecting. Page 8 of the Short Breaks Scheme leaflet explains that young people who are currently aged 18 and meet the eligibility criteria but turn 19 between 1st April and 31st August 2021 will receive a reduced entitlement. Depending on the option you chose, reduced entitlement is as follows: -

Barnardo’s Activity Clubs 42 hours,
the COMBO 21 hours and £92,
the Scheme Payment £185

If you opted for the Scheme Payment, you will still receive your payment in two parts: £140 from 1st April 2021 and the second payment, (reliant on the completion of the monitoring form) of £45 will be made in September 2021.


UPDATE - Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme 2021/22 Payment and COMBO Option 2
If your application for the 2021/22 Short Breaks Scheme was successful and you chose either to receive the Short Breaks Payment option or the COMBO, payments will be made from 1st April 2021. As Wiltshire Council are administering the payments for the first time this year, it is taking time to upload the individual payment instructions and match them to each application. The WPCC been advised therefore that payments are not likely to start to appear until after the School Easter holidays at the earliest.

Please check your bank account regularly as it may take at least a couple of weeks before payments are processed and appear in your bank account, and don’t hesitate to contact the Wiltshire Council Short Breaks Team on 01225 757988 if you have not received your payment by the end of April.


UPDATE - Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme applications are now closed
Please note: if your child becomes eligible between now and 31st October 2021 you may submit a late application, however a reduced entitlement will be awarded from the option of your choosing as follows: Barnardo’s Activity Clubs 42 hours, the COMBO 21 hours and £92, the Scheme Payment £185. The Scheme closes on Sunday 31st October 2021. No applications will be accepted after this date under any circumstances.


UPDATE - 2021-2022 Short Breaks Scheme is NOW Open for Applications – Deadline Extended
Due to early IT issues and the delay in opening the Short Breaks Scheme this year due to the impact of COVID, the WPCC has been successful in agreeing an extension to the application deadline for the Short Breaks Scheme with Wiltshire Council. This is for this year only, due to the current exceptional circumstances.

Applications for the Scheme must now be received no later than Sunday 7th March 2021.

As per last year, applications for the scheme need to be made via the Wiltshire Council online form: [Application Form]

Details of the scheme, eligibility criteria and the process can be found below.



WILTSHIRE SHORT BREAKS SCHEME 2021-2022 – APPLICATIONS ARE NOW

As per last year, applications for the scheme need to be made via the Wiltshire Council [online form].

When you click on the application link, you will land on a page that looks like this: -


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You must click at the bottom where it says: Create or check your Short Breaks Scheme application.


Clicking on the link will take you to a page that looks like this: -

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You may need to reset your password, this is because Wiltshire Council has had to reset past users’ passwords. To reset you password, click Forgot your password?. You will be asked for your email address, and then click the button that says Send verification code. You will need to check your emails to find your verification code, which you can use on the form to reset your password. Once you have done this, you should be able to proceed with your application. This short video, explains step by step, [how to reset your password].

If you don’t have a Wiltshire account, you will need to set one up by clicking Register now.

On submitting your application, you will get a submission page on screen confirming your application. It should look like this and will confirm the date your application was submitted.

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You will also receive an automated confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your application. The WPCC strongly advises you to keep a copy of your confirmation (print or save a copy) as a record of your application should you need to evidence that you applied before the deadline.

You can also use the NEW online eligibility checking tool to check your childs eligibility for the Short Breaks Scheme [HERE]

If you experience difficulties, do not have access to the internet or you need some help to make an application, please contact WPCC on 01225 764647 and we will be happy to help you. Please leave a message with your name and telephone number on the answering machine, if you cannot get through.

Please note: if your child becomes eligible after 28th February 2021 you may submit a late application, however a reduced entitlement will be awarded from the option of your choosing as follows: Barnardo’s Activity Clubs 42 hours, the COMBO 21 hours and £92, the Scheme Payment £185. The Scheme closes on Sunday 31st October 2021. No applications will be accepted after this date under any circumstances.

About the scheme

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.

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.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE WILTSHIRE SHORT BREAKS SCHEME 2021 - 2022 MUST BE RECEIVED VIA THE ONLINE FORM BY SUNDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2021! (Please note: this deadline has now been extended to Sunday 7th March)

Who can access the scheme

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Children and young people who can access the scheme are:-


  1. aged 6yrs (as of 31st August 2021) to 18yrs (as of 31st March 2021), and
  2. resident in areas of the county covered by Wiltshire Council (i.e. this excludes Swindon), and
  3. meet the eligibility criteria on pages 2 and 3 of the Short Breaks Scheme Leaflet


Please refer to the Short Breaks scheme leaflet for further information, terms and conditions.

You can also use the NEW online eligibility checking tool to check your child’s eligibility for the Short Breaks Scheme [HERE]

Applications must be received via the online form by Sunday 28th FEBRUARY 2021 to qualify for the Short Breaks Scheme. (Please note: this deadline has now been extended to Sunday 7th March)

If you are resident in Swindon, please [click here] for information about short breaks in your area.

What the options are

Depending on the age of your child and if they meet the eligibility criteria, the following options are available:

  • Short breaks scheme payment up to £370 (6-18yrs)
  • Up to 84 hours of organised Barnardo's activity clubs on Saturdays and during school holidays (6-18yrs). *N.B. Virtual support and small group activities will be available if large group activities are not permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The ‘combo’ – up to 42hrs of organised Barnardo's activity clubs, plus a short breaks scheme payment of up to £185 (6-18yrs)


Children/ young people with a residential placement: Children and young people in 52 week placements have leisure and social opportunities provided as part of their funded placement for the whole of the year, so they are not eligible for the Short Breaks Scheme. Children and young people in residential placements of 38 weeks or more can apply and will be entitled to either: Barnardo’s Activity Clubs 42 hours, COMBO 21 hours and £92, or the Scheme Payment of £185. Please refer to the Short Breaks scheme leaflet for further information, terms and conditions.



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For children aged 0-5yrs there are a range of services available across Wiltshire. Contact Wiltshire Council’s SEND Service for more information on 0300 4560108 (Option 2, followed by Option 3), email the team at CentralSENService@wiltshire.gov.uk or visit their [website].


For general short breaks enquiries, contact us on 01225 764647.


How to apply

Once you have read through the Short Break Scheme leaflet, are satisfied that your child meets the criteria for the Short Breaks Scheme and you know which option you want to choose, you will need to submit your application with Wiltshire Council. Please have your bank details to hand as you will need them when submitting your online application. If you have an email address and access to the internet, please click [here] to apply directly online.

If you do not have an email account or access to the internet, call the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council who will make an application on your behalf. Telephone: 01225 764647.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY SUNDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2021 (Please note: this deadline has now been extended to Sunday 7th March)

Please note that eligible families need to re-apply each year for the Short Breaks Scheme. Wiltshire Council reserves the right to close the scheme if the available budget is exhausted. Eligible families are, therefore, encouraged to apply promptly.

You can also use the NEW online eligibility checking tool to check your child’s eligibility for the Short Breaks Scheme [HERE]

Remember your application MUST be received by Sunday 28th February 2021. (Please note: this deadline has now been extended to Sunday 7th March)

Information about other short break opportunities

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If your child is not eligible for the short breaks scheme, there is plenty more on offer. As well as being able to access opportunities available to ALL children and young people in Wiltshire (referred to as ‘universal’ services), such as play areas, swimming pools, leisure centres and youth clubs, Wiltshire Council also funds initiatives specifically designed to meet the needs of children and young people (with special educational needs/ disabilities) who require some support to enable them to access leisure activities.

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These are referred to as ‘targeted’ services and include a variety of sports activities, youth clubs, music and drumming sessions. With no assessment or criteria to meet to access these clubs (other than having a disability or special educational need), all you need to do is book a place.

Further information can be found in our signposting section or go to the calendar.


If my child does not meet the eligibility criteria should I appeal?

If your child is not eligible for the Short Breaks Scheme and would have difficulty accessing universal or targeted services without additional support, you may wish to consider making an appeal. For more information on appeals please contact Wiltshire Parent Carer Council on 01225 764647 or email: admin@wiltspcc.co.uk An appeal can be made by a parent, carer or professional who works with the child.

All appeals are carefully considered by the Short Breaks Appeals Panel, which is made up of members of Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Parent Carer Council. The panel meets monthly.

Upon receipt of an appeal, if further information or clarification is required before a decision can be reached, you will be contacted. As soon as the panel has reached a decision, you will be informed about the outcome.

Please click here to access the Appeals Form.

Changes to the Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme


Budget Implications 2021-2022 - a message from Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Council is fully committed to providing the short breaks service in the county, and to helping to support those eligible children and their families/ carers.

There has been another significant increase in the number of children in Wiltshire with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) this year, which continues to put pressure on services.

Due to an increase in the number of eligible children and young people who qualify for support under the Short Breaks Scheme, payment amounts this year see a slight reduction from last year. This reduction has been necessary to ensure that we are able to support all of the eligible children and families in Wiltshire, and that the funding is shared out equally for everyone.

To support this slight reduction, it has been agreed that the first payments will remain at £300 for the Scheme payment option and £140 for the COMBO option as per last year’s payments. The reduction will be made in the second payment (£70 scheme payment or £45 COMBO).

The available budget will be reviewed later in the year, when we will have a clearer idea of the number of actual applicants for the Short Breaks Scheme. Depending on the budget available as a result of the actual number of eligible applicants, there is the potential that the amount of the second payment could increase slightly, although it will not be as high as last year.

We will confirm the amount of the second payment (scheme payment and COMBO) before September 2021, once we have a clearer indication of the available budget. As always, please speak to the WPCC if you have any queries in the meantime.

For a detailed explanation of the Scheme, please see the Short Breaks Scheme leaflet which includes details about eligibility criteria, Scheme options, and Frequently Asked Questions.

As in previous years, Wiltshire Council and the WPCC are committed to reviewing the Scheme regularly to ensure it remains relevant and affordable, and as such, the Scheme may be subject to further changes in future years.