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Short Breaks

Two children playing frisbee on some grass, with a dog running between them. Buildings and mountains are in the background. One child is in a wheelchair.


This page provides information on:

Short Breaks

Short breaks, also known as respite, are a range of services that support children, young people and their families. These allow children and young people some time away from their families while enjoying new experiences. 

Short breaks can include provision from anything between 2 hours, to overnight activities. They can take place in the child or young person’s home, an approved carer’s home or in a residential/community setting.

Short breaks are provided for children and young people (0-19) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They are also for their siblings (0-19). However, some short breaks are offered to young people up to the age of 25.

You Said, We Did

We have collected some key responses that we received in our short breaks consultations. They reflect on the main points which were made and what we have done/are doing to meet that need. You can see these results and actions on our ‘You Said, We Did’ web page:

Short Breaks Statement

Every local authority by law must publish a short breaks statement. This must outline short breaks services within the area.

This is so that children and young people with SEND, and their families, have clear information about accessing short breaks services. We review and amend the statement when a new service becomes available or amendments need to be made to the existing services:


Our directory, on 1Space, is where you can find an up-to-date list of our short breaks providers:

We recommend you contact the short breaks providers directly to find out more information and to ensure that they have spaces. Some providers operate waiting lists if there is no immediate access to the service.


We also offer i-go as part of our universal services.

i-go is our additional needs register and free discount card for children and young people aged 0-25, who have additional needs.

To become a member, cardholders need to receive education or live within East Sussex. To learn more about i-go and the different offers and events available, please visit the i-go website.

Short Breaks Grants

Groups that provide short breaks to children and young people with disabilities can apply for short breaks grant funding. Projects must:

Grants of up to £10,000 per project are available.

This is a rolling programme with no deadlines. However the scheme may close before the end of the financial year if the budget is exhausted. Please check this page for updates.

You can read the guidance document to see if your group and proposed project are eligible for funding:

Family Fun Day Grants

Organisations can apply for Family Fun Day grants. These grants can be used for smaller provisions such as trips out or a specific activity. These grants are for activities involving children or young people, and their families.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available.

Life More Ordinary

Providers can also apply for funding from the ‘Life more Ordinary’ small grants scheme.

The Council’s Early Help Youth Service team run the scheme. It has a specific focus on supporting organisations to include disabled young people (8–19) in their activities.

For eligibility criteria, the dates of grants rounds and to find out more, you can email them at:

You can also get in touch by phone, on 01424 724 150.

Contact the Short Breaks Team

If you have any queries related to short breaks, including our providers and grants, please email:

Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

We explain some of the terms used on this website on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.

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