Short Breaks Scheme

From social clubs and accessible sports, swimming lessons, crafts and music clubs, to accessible youth clubs, there is a wealth and range of leisure activity and social opportunities across Wiltshire that is open to children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities (SEND).


The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) hosts information about leisure activities on their website, including detailed information about the Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme. For information about when and where it’s all happening, take a regular look at their Children and Young People’s Calendar in the What’s On section of the WPCC website, where you find a calendar showing a range of activities etc. taking place throughout the year. For details of activities taking place in school holidays, take a look at the WPCC’s Short Breaks Bulletin which is usually available at least two weeks before each of the school holidays (apart from Christmas).

The Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme

Many leisure and social opportunities are available as ‘short breaks’ which you can access through Wiltshire Council’s Short Breaks Scheme. Full details about the Short Breaks Scheme can be found HERE.

Families who meet the eligibility criteria for the Scheme can choose from a range options, and for families that don’t meet the eligibility criteria, there are a range of services that include sports activities, youth clubs, music and performing sessions; these are called targeted services and with no assessment criteria to access these clubs, all you need to do is book a place. Families can also take full advantage of all the leisure and social opportunities available to ALL children and young people, such as play areas, swimming pools, cinemas etc.; these are called universal services.

For a list of activities and clubs etc. that’s on offer this season, download the latest WPCC Short Breaks Bulletin or see the What’s On section of the WPCC website. Click HERE to see more about getting the most out of the Scheme Payment or COMBO.

Each year as part of the Short Breaks Scheme, it is a requirement for families receiving the Short Breaks Payment or COMBO option of the Scheme, to return a feedback form on our Short Breaks Scheme. This form needs to be submitted during August/September each year and we hope by sharing some of this feedback, we can give parent carers ideas on how they can make best use of the Scheme to plan leisure and social opportunities for their child.

Families who choose the Payment or COMBO option of the Scheme are expected to make responsible decisions about how the funding is used to meet their child’s leisure activity and social interests through the year. Families receiving the Short Breaks Payment or COMBO option of the Scheme may also be contacted for an interview to help us understand how they have used the Scheme to benefit their child.

Youth Services

Youth Services in Wiltshire have been reviewed in participation with young people, parents and carers.  As a result of consultation, there is an emphasis on projects designed to provide appropriate services and sources of support for young people from all walks of life.

Across Wiltshire, there are a range of positive activity clubs, youth clubs, ASD youth clubs and holiday clubs providing great opportunities for young people to improve their quality of life by developing social skills and independence through friendship and support. Click HERE for more information about the range of positive activity clubs, youth clubs and holiday clubs across Wiltshire.

Leisure Centre Myths

Each person is valued as an individual and their views and feelings are important.  When discussing leisure centres with young people we discovered that there were some ‘myths’ about using them, or an idea which might not be true. Click HERE to read some of the ‘myths’ we have heard, and what the real situation is.

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC)

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) is an independent voluntary organisation representing parent carers of children and young people with SEND from 0-25; it is managed and run by parent carers, for parent carers.  They provide a consultation and participation service which enables parent carers to have a voice about the services and the support their children and family use.

Your Views are Important

The WPCC holds regular consultations throughout the year in addition to surveys and questionnaires on a variety of issues that are relevant to parent carers of children and young people with SEND. The WPCC consults with parent carers annually on the Short Breaks Scheme to make sure it remains relevant and meets the needs of many children and young people with SEND as possible within available budgets. Decisions about services, including the Short Break Scheme are positively influenced by working in coproduction with parent carers. Click HERE to go to our Feedback page.

Cartoon representation of Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council