Children and young people with additional needs or disabilities living in Essex are being offered valuable opportunities, thanks to a scheme being run through South Essex Partnership University.
The Short Breaks Service, which was launched in 2011 as part of the aiming higher programme, is designed to provide a Health Care Assistant to accompany a child to an activity or club which they would otherwise not be able to attend.
The Health Care Assistant can be provided for 6-8 sessions at 3-4 hours per week, either for an after school club or for individual activities such as pottery and golf. Session times can be arranged anytime between 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday, depending on your requirements (with the exception of Sundays and Bank Holidays).
The scheme is available for children or young people aged 0 to 19 years old who are in receipt of a disability living allowance.
There is no charge for the Health Care Assistant and this will not be taken from any other provision or respite you may be entitled too. However, the activities will need to be funded by you.
If you are eligible, a referral will be completed by the Short Breaks co-ordinator usually accompanied by one of the health care assistants. The health care assistant will then contact you to arrange another visit, where they can spend time getting to know your child and their needs.
The health care assistant is trained to deal with your child’s health and care needs and will help you chose an activity that you think your child will enjoy.
A risk assessment will be carried out before the sessions begin, to ensure all aspects of the sessions are suitable, including both the travel and activity.
You can apply for the scheme at any time but please be aware that if you require the school holidays you will need to apply as early as possible, as this is a very busy time.
For more information please contact Sue Reynolds, Health Care Assistant for Short Breaks, on 07956 360 562.