Short Breaks Consultation Outcome

‘ You  Said ….. We Did ‘

Last September, we asked you about our Short Breaks offer.  We have consistently received feedback from parents/carers that they want a wider range of holiday and after school  leisure activities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and their families.    We wanted a transparent approach to achieving this and as part of this consultation, we proposed a new funding and delivery model for the community-based leisure aspect of the short breaks offer.

Currently, Central Bedfordshire Council provide grant funds to six organisations who deliver an established and valued SEND specific leisure offer:  Autism Bedfordshire, Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society, Families United Network, Special Needs Out of School Club, Leighton Buzzard Mencap and Bedford Mencap. We proposed introducing a formalised grant funding process that will enable local organisations to bid for the funding which we hoped would allow us to broaden the offer.

Out of the 56 responses to the consultation

  • 81% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to formalise grant funding to allow other local organisations to apply.
  • 90% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to provide seed/start-up funding.
  • 99% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to continue to develop social, leisure and play activities for children with SEND in community settings. 
  • 94% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal that Central Bedfordshire Council will support local organisations.

We have been working closely with SNAP Parent Carer Forum and taken the opportunity to reflect on our approach.    In response, over the coming months, we will now be reviewing our whole short breaks offer and developing a short breaks commissioning strategy, which will outline how we will secure and communicate the offer across the area.  

In the meantime, we will continue to work to develop inclusive universal holiday and after school activities and promote these via the Local Offer.  This summer we are pleased that we have been able to work closely with all council departments including The Road Safety Team, Libraries, and Leisure Services and some local businesses and partners to put on more new activities this summer for children and young people with SEND.  

We would like to thank SNAP PCF for working with us on our Short Breaks consultation process and we will continue to work closely with SNAP PCF to  ensure the voices of our families help  shape these vital services