Short Breaks for Disabled Children – Support for Individuals and Under £5k Funding

Improving out-of-school activities for children with disabilities and/or additional needs

Provision of Short Breaks for carers of disabled children is a statutory duty since April 2011 under The Breaks for Carers Regulations 2011.

The Hampshire County Council Short Breaks programme will:

  • give parents or full-time carers an opportunity to have a short break from caring to take part in training, leisure activities, day-to-day tasks, or education.

  • enable children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs to join in with safe, fun and interesting activities

Short Breaks come in all shapes and sizes, lasting from a few hours to a day or an evening, and provide a positive experience for all. They could:

  • be a fun short break activity just for your child

  • include additional support so that an individual child or young person can join a club or recreational activity in their community

Who are short breaks for?

The grant is for activity providers who support disabled children and young people who:

  • Have a disability and/or additional needs that mean they require support to participate in leisure and recreation activities

  • Are aged between 0 to 17 years

  • Live in the Hampshire County Council area

  • Have a Gateway Card which identifies that s/he has a disability and/or additional needs and may require support to access activities

Changes to 2019-2020 Short Breaks Grants

Following the recent public consultation on Short Breaks Activities the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services approved the proposals set out in the Decision Day Report.

  • Proposal 1: To commission the Short Break Activities Programme on the basis of priorities, agreed with a representative parent/carer panel
  • Proposal 2: To require parents and carers to pay in advance for Short Break Activities, and for providers to collect advance payment of parents’/carers’ contributions for those activities
  • Proposal 3: To require providers of Short Break Activities to apply consistent parental/carer charges and hardship rates
  • Proposal 4: To move to a new online Gateway Card application system
  • Proposal 5: To require evidence of eligibility from a professional as part of the new Gateway Card application to access the Short Break Activities Programme
  • Proposal 6: From 1 April 2019, to stop funding Short Break Activities for young people aged 18 and over
  • Proposal 7: That Short Break Activities would only be funded for children who live in the Hampshire County Council authority area
  • Proposal 8: To only fund Short Break Activities which allow parents and carers to leave their child
  • Proposal 9: To stop funding swimming lessons as a short break activity
  • It is further recommended that the charging policy setting out the consistent parent/carer contributions and hardship rates set out in Integral Appendix D is approved
When to apply

All applications must be made via In-Tend, the Council’s procurement system. The portal will be open for a period of 8 weeks opening on Tuesday 31 July 12noon and closing at 12noon on Tuesday 25 September 2018.

Short Break Activity Grants will be funded for a period of six months 01 April 2019 – 30 September 2019. Funding will be prioritised for activities identified through the consultation as the most important by parents/carers. These are:

1a) Having a break within the school holiday periods; including; half-terms, Easter, Christmas and summer holiday periods

1b) Having a break via After School Clubs

1c) Having a break via Youth Clubs

2) Having a break that’s available on weekends

3) Having a break that’s available on weekdays, during school term

Funding applications for activities not listed in the priorities may be considered. This will be dependent on evidence of need and availability of funding.

Please note that there will only be one opportunity to bid for funding for this six month grant period – therefore any providers who have previously applied to the Under £5k grant stream, will be required to apply for funding during the dates detailed above for activities taking place during 1 April – 30 September 2019.

As this will be a new process for some providers, the team will be happy to support you in order to submit your application. Please contact the Contracts and Grants team on 01962 833359 or email [email protected] to either discuss further or arrange a meeting with a member of the team.

What we can’t fund

Following the Executive Member Decision (12 July 2018), we cannot fund:

  • Young people who live outside of the Hampshire County Council area
  • Young people aged 18 years and over
  • Activities where parents/carers are required to stay
  • Swimming lessons
Charging and Concessions Policy

The Charging and Concessions Policy sets out the expectations regarding parental charges for Hampshire County Council Short Breaks Activities. It informs providers of the proposed market rates to charge for Short Break Activities as shown in Table 1 below. It also explains when to apply the concessions policy for families, when collecting parental charges toward the cost of their child accessing Short Break Activities.

It is expected that the level of parental contribution to be charged for activities will be shown in the application form, along with the payment methods to be used by the providers in order to collect the parental charges.

Activity Type

Minimum Charge

Maximum Charge


After School Club




Activity Club

£4.00 for a 1 hour activity

£7.00 for a 2 hour activity

£10.00 for a 3 hour activity

£13.00 for a 4 hour activity


Off-site activities – entrance fees to be charged at full market rate.

Holiday Club – Half day



Wrap around care:

Breakfast drop off/club - £2.00 - £4.00

Afternoon club (4-6pm) - £4.00 - £7.00

Holiday Club – Full day




Sports Club



Membership, insurance, kit charges would be in addition and paid by parent/carer

Youth Club




Weekend Club

£4.00 for a 1 hour session

£7.00 for a 2 hour session

£10.00 for a 3 hour session

£13.00 for a 4 hour/half day session

Full day weekend club

Min £20.00 - £30.00 for 6-7hrs



Grant criteria and eligibility

To be eligible for support the organisation must:

Be able to explain exactly how their project will provide a Short Break for parents/carers. The Short Breaks activities programme also aims to provide parents or carers with the opportunity to take part in education, training, leisure activities, day to day tasks and to meet the needs of other children in the family.

  • Be able to meet the needs of children and young people aged 0-17 with disabilities and/or additional needs
  • Demonstrate excellent outcomes for children
  • Benefit children and young people who live in Hampshire County Council area (Gateway Card holders [www3 link!])
  • Demonstrate how their work meets the outcomes of the Hampshire Children and Young People’s Plan [www3 link!]
  • Have in place appropriate insurances:
    • Children's Services funded organisations are required to hold £5,000,000 Employers Liability and £5,000,000 Public Liability Insurances. If your application is successful and you hold a lower level of cover, you can increase your level of cover. Some small, local voluntary and community groups awarded a small grant are accepted with a lower level of insurance cover. The team will discuss with you as needed
    • All organisations providing advice and or counselling services to young people must hold adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance
(Hampshire County Council will not award a grant to an organisation that does not hold, or is not willing to obtain the required level of insurance following risk assessment, irrespective of advice given to organisations by third parties).
  • Have policy statements and guidelines in place for Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety, and Safeguarding Children/Child Protection

  • Ensure all staff, both paid and voluntary, have an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service clearance. and appropriate training (to include Safeguarding Children as a mandatory requirement)

  • Comply with reporting and monitoring requirements (see Monitoring section for more information)

  • Apply for funding from other sources such as trusts, district/borough councils, businesses or other sponsorship or contribute to the costs in kind. Find information about different funding opportunities

  • It is expected that payment will be taken by the provider at the point of booking an activity. The provider will be required to take either a deposit or full payment and will have a range of payments methods available to parents/carers

  • Promote and publicise Short Break activities through the required channels, this will include the Family Information Services Hub, which form part of the Local Offer (Hampshire’s information for parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs)

  • Work in partnership with other short break activity providers in their local area to share information and resources as appropriate, to benefit families using the service and ensure efficiency in the use of the short breaks budget

Financial eligibility

Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year's running costs, or where it is judged that these reserves are unreasonably in excess of what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes.

The Children’s Services Grant Programme has adopted the Charity Commission’s reserves policy in this respect, although this will apply to all organisations, not just charities, who are requesting short breaks funding.

The County Council has a clear policy that organisations must not be solely reliable on funding from the County Council. Therefore applications which have identified other sources of income will be prioritised over applications with no other sources of income.

The Charity Commission definition of reserve is:

Income funds that are freely available for its general (unrestricted) purposes. "Reserves" are therefore the resources the organisation has or can make available to spend, for any or all of the charity's purposes, once it has met its commitments and covered its other planned expenditure. It is not yet spent, committed or designated.

Additional costs

Grants can only be given towards the costs of running your activity or event when these are additional and reasonable costs necessary to meet specific requirements of Gateway card holders, for example:

  • Paying staff, reasonable amounts in line with current market rates, to run activities - coaches, instructors, tutors or specialist staff. 1:1 (or higher) staffing ratios will only be funded where this is necessary and evidence of need is provided

  • Specific training with reasonable costs required for offering this activity to disabled children; please evidence consideration of E-learning

  • Associated management and administration costs directly related to delivery for disabled children, for this project. This can include reasonable administration staff time and other office overheads such as IT, photocopying. It is anticipated that this should equate to no more than 10% of the total grant amount requested from HCC

  • Care support staff where required (e.g. to assist with personal care requirements during the activities)

  • Providing expenses and training for volunteers that help to run the activities/support disabled children

  • Smaller value equipment and resources appropriate to the individual participants’ needs. Evidence must be shown of how this is also sought via donations, fundraising or local resources such as Scrapstore

  • Costs for adapting equipment, where this is a reasonable and specific requirement

  • Reasonable hire of facilities used to deliver the activities. Organisations should evidence any discounts requested/agreed by venues. Where organisations are requesting funding for venue hire for their own buildings, explanation will need to be included within the grant application/supplementary sheet

  • Reasonable marketing/publicity costs for the event or activities, any contribution will be minimal as free promotion/publicity is provided via the Family Information Services Hub

  • Transport – Families should be encouraged to contribute to cover transport costs if extra trips out are included in the activity. However if additional resources are needed, cost effective and reasonable group transport arrangements that are an integral part of the activity may be considered by the panel where a provider does not have the resources to cover this themselves, depending on the current demand on the Short Breaks budget. Only additional costs for specific requirements will be considered

What costs can't we fund?
  • Residential overnight respite costs
  • Training needs that could be covered via the use of e-learning
  • Purchase of vehicles or other high-cost capital purchases
  • Larger value equipment and resources
  • Transport costs for transport required within an activity session, where providers have the resources to cover this themselves
  • Management/Administration costs amounting to more than 10% of the requested total funding
  • Buildings and refurbishments
  • Costs to adapt premises or equipment where this is already a duty of the activity provider under equality legislation
  • Personal equipment, clothing or other personal/commercial gain
  • Activities that take place during school time (for children of school age); or are targeted mainly for adults (post 18 years old)
  • Transport costs to or from a child’s home to the activity
  • Refreshment costs for any participants or staff/volunteers
  • High cost marketing or publicity; or any marketing that is not specifically and clearly targeted. Free publicity and promotion via Hampshire Gateway is a requirement of the Short breaks grant
Further information
  • Any contribution to large one-off events will be unlikely to exceed £500-£900
  • Trips and outings: the cost of entrance fees or tickets should be covered by parents/carers and venues will frequently give group discounts/concessionary rates. The Short Breaks panels may consider a contribution towards these costs, but this will not usually exceed 50% of the costs of the expenditure

  • The Buddy Scheme [www3 link!] is still available to children and young people aged 7yrs and above

Exceptions Grant Pot

A small fund is set aside to provide additional funding for exceptional circumstances. This could include the funding of additional staff for children whose needs require increased staffing levels, (particularly for mainstream activities) funding for training to enable providers to support specific needs and to ensure there would be some flexibility in the proposed Short Breaks Activities Programme to support unforeseen circumstances.


If successful, organisations will be required to sign a grant agreement and submit quarterly monitoring information in the required format including:

  • Attendance information (names, Gateway Card holders, level of support required, amount of parental contribution received and hours attended)
  • Feedback about outcomes, improvements, and children’s and parents’ views

We will provide full information and instructions separately once an award has been agreed. We may also visit providers while activities are taking place.

Please read our terms and conditions before applying.