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Short Breaks

Exciting new programmes available with the Short Breaks offer

Royal Borough of Greenwich is pleased to announce it's updated Short Breaks core offer, with a range of organisations providing activities from 1st April 2023.

The updated Short Breaks Guide 2023-2027 can be downloaded to the right of this page. The guide contains information on the individual programmes that are available, as well as general information and guidance on the Short Breaks service.

Short Breaks are available for children and young people who:

  • are aged 0 - 25
  • live in Greenwich
  • AND have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP)

If you would like to register yourself or your child for the Short Breaks programme, please contact the team at or call 0208 921 3002. The consent form can be downloaded to the right of this page.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Short Breaks service:

What are Greenwich Short Breaks?

The term “short breaks” refers to services that help parents/carers to more effectively provide care for their disabled children by providing them with regular breaks. This is so that they can meet the needs of other children in the family; study or take part in leisure activities themselves; or carry out day to day household tasks. We also want short breaks to help make sure young people access positive activities.

Royal Greenwich has a duty to provide access to short break services for parent/carers of all disabled children aged 0-25 in Royal Greenwich.

Greenwich has commissioned 5 organisations across the borough to offer Short Breaks services and activities to those aged 5-25. Below is a table of these commissioned  providers (2023-2027). Please click on the link for each provider to go to their Local Offer page. 

For information on activities and services for children with SEND aged 0-4, please see "Activities for children aged 0-4 with SEND" under Downloads.

Short Breaks Provider Age Range Type of Provision Location
Ability2Play 5-10 Targeted Kidbrooke & Plumstead

All Kids Can

Saturday Club

 Holiday Club

Summer Scheme

5 - 17 Specialist Shooters Hill

Brighter Futures

16-25 Targeted & Specialist Woolwich

Community Adventures

11 - 17 Targeted Eltham

On The Go Saturdays & Summer

5 - 10 Specialist Plumstead

Who was involved in producing the Short Breaks offer?

Royal Borough of Greenwich works with different partners across the borough in order to co-produce their Short Breaks offer. These include:

Children & Young People

One of the most important aspects of commissioning a Short Breaks offer is the input, feedback and approval of our children and young people who use the service. Before the commissioning process began, we sought the views and ideas of children and young people who use Short Breaks to identify what they liked/enjoyed and what they felt could be improved. This was done via an Easy-Read online survey. The information gathered was used in the Short Breaks service specification and strategy document for potential providers. 

In addition, RBG have a local participation group for young people with SEND, known as Action, Change, Equality (ACE), who scored and provided feedback on all of the bids submitted for Short Breaks 2023-2027.

Prospective providers were required to submit an Easy-Read summary of their proposed activities to be evaluated by the children and young people. They then scored each of the bids and gave their feedback which was included in the final decision.

If you or your child would like to know more about the ACE group, you can contact

Parents & Carers

Prior to the start of the process to find providers for 2023-2027, parents and carers were sent an online survey asking about their experience with Short Breaks, and what they would like to see in the future. We then used this feedback in the Short Breaks service specification and strategy document for potential providers.  

Representatives from the Greenwich Parent Carer Participation Forum (GPCPF) were part of the commissioning panel for the updated Short Breaks offer. Prospective providers were asked to submit a proposal for parent/carer evaluators with information on the programme design and value for money, as well as a video highlighting their offer. The parent/carers then scored each of the bids and gave their feedback which was included in the final decision. 

If you would like to know more about or get involved with the work of the GPCPF, you can contact

For more information on the changes to the offer based on feedback from children, young people, parents, and carers, please see the You Said, We Did 2023-2027 document under "Downloads" to the right of this page. 

What does it mean for me and my family?

The Short Breaks offer in Greenwich means:

  • All eligible families will have access to up to 100 subsidised hours of commissioned activities over the year.
  • Some providers allow the purchase of more sessions directly from them if you choose to.
  • You have more choice over what activities your child or young person can take part in.
  • You can use your hours more flexibly to suit you and the needs of your family
  • You have more of a choice of experienced and qualified activity providers in Greenwich for your child or young person.

What does it cost?

Royal Borough of Greenwich subsidises all short break activities to help make it more affordable for you, and so the majority of the costs are covered by the Local Authority.

For the remaining costs, providers charge small access fees to families per session. These fees vary from £2.50-£5.00 per hour. More information can be found on the individual access fees on the provider's pages in the Short Breaks Guide.

To ensure that you and your child are accessing the benefits you are entitled to, you can contact the Welfare Rights service on 020 8921 6375.

Targeted & Specialist provision - what does it mean?

The programmes in the offer are split into targeted and specialist activities:

Targeted Support

These services are aimed at children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) who require more support to take part in activities. They benefit from higher staff ratios than mainstream activities, and staff who have additional knowledge and skills in supporting children and young people with SEND. This will include those with moderate level of need including ASD, moderate learning difficulties or communication needs.

They are likely to be attending mainstream education provision with access to 1:1 and/or small group learning throughout the day. It is generally expected that a child or young person with SEND would have their social and peer outcomes met through accessing the targeted offer.

Any child or young person with an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan who lives in Greenwich can access the targeted services under the Short Breaks offer. The targeted Short Break core offer can be accessed from when an education, health and care needs assessment has been agreed in relation to the child’s SEND. If the outcome of the EHC needs assessment is that the child does not require an EHC plan to be issued, the child would then be able to continue in universal youth services.

Specialist support

This support is aimed at children and young people who have more complex needs – this can be severe ASD, severe learning difficulties and/or complex medical or health needs. These programmes provide an even higher staffing ratio, typically 1:1 and staff have additional knowledge and skills in supporting children with complex needs. These children and young people tend to require highly specialist care that cannot be supported through the targeted programme. The child is in receipt of an individual support package from the Local Authority following a social care assessment of need.

For those children and young people with a specialist level of need, the Short Breaks activities might be part of a wider care package of support. The service may agree for a child to access specialist short break provision from the time a social work assessment has commenced. If they are not assessed as requiring specialist short break services under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act (1970) or the Care Act (2014), the child or young person would then be able to continue in targeted short break provision (see above). 

What is the threshold for specialist support, and how do I know if my child is eligible?

In Greenwich, children that are eligible for specialist social care provision are those assessed as eligible under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA)The CSDPA applies to children/young people in Greenwich up to the age of 18.

For those over 18, the Care Act 2014 is used to determine eligibility for specialist provision.

A decision around eligibility under CSDPA can only be made after a statutory social work assessment is undertaken. This assessment may be completed by either the Disabled Children Social Work Team or the Assessment & Support Service.

In terms of access to specialist short break intervention, a child or young person is considered as eligible for provision under the CSDPA if they have been assessed as having:

  • Severe learning disabilities.
  • Severe physical disabilities,
  • Severe and profound autistic spectrum disorders.
  • Disability arising out of serious or chronic illness.
  • Complex health needs.
  • Severe sight and/or hearing impairment.

If the outcome of the assessment is that the child or young person requires specialist social care provision, they will eligible for a care package of support, as well as access to the specialist Short Breaks activities. A child with SEND who doesn’t require specialist short break provision can have their respite and support needs met within the targeted Short Breaks services or the wider universal services available for all children.

If you have any questions about the criteria for the specialist and targeted provision or would like more information, you can contact the Short Breaks team.

Overnight Short Breaks

Overnight short breaks are short-term overnight care provided by someone other than the parents or usual carers of the child. Previously known as respite care, they are part of the Greenwich's short break offer for disabled children and their families.

Types of overnight short breaks

The type of overnight short break care you may get depends on your individual circumstances. It may include your child:

  • being looked after in their own home
  • being cared for by an individual, couple or another family
  • going to a residential home.

Who can get overnight short breaks?

You may be able to get overnight short breaks if you have children who have either of the following:

  • complex health needs which may require care overnight
  • severe and profound disabilities

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for consideration for overnight short breaks, your child will need a Greenwich social worker to complete a Child and Family assessment. The social worker will then present this to the Short Breaks panel, which meets every 2 weeks. If there is an indicated need for overnight support, this will form part of your child's Disabled Child Support Plan, along with any other appropriate Short Breaks that have been agreed. 

To discuss overnight short breaks and if your child might be eligible, please contact the Short Breaks team. 

How can I register?

Registrations and referrals need to come via the Short Breaks team. The consent forms can be downloaded to the right of this page. This needs to be completed by the family and sent to or posted to the Short Breaks team at the Woolwich Centre.

The activity preference form can be completed here.

Who can I speak to for more information?

RBG has a dedicated Short Breaks team to support you and answer any questions about the Greenwich offer.

You can contact them by emailing or call 0208 921 3002. 

You can also contact the individual providers for more information on their programmes. The guide contains the contact information for each organisation.