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Peterborough Short Breaks (Local Offer)

Little girl painting

Short Breaks

Short Breaks provide opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to spend time away from parents and carers within quality services.  Short Breaks also provide parents and carers with breaks from their caring responsibilities and facilitate quality of life by enabling families to access places and activities together.

Short Breaks are defined as:

  • Day time support in the child's home environment or elsewhere
  • Overnight care and support in child's home environment or elsewhere
  • Educational or leisure activities for disabled children outside their homes

The council has a portfolio of Short Breaks available including a range of commissioned short breaks and in-house Short Breaks such as Cherry Lodge (residential childrens home) and Link Care.

View more details in the Short Breaks information leaflet.

Commissioned Short Breaks

Short breaks

Peterborough City Council commissioned community short breaks portfolio includes one to one support, Small Groups and Large Groups.  The providers for these services include

Large Group services are targeted access so families can access directly after evidencing diagnosis to the provider.

One to one and Small Groups and Sleep Management Programme are accessed following an assessment of needs and referral to the relevant decision making panel. For more information see the Decision Making Panels page.

Vivacity's short breaks activities and holiday clubs

Vivacity's short breaks activities and holiday club provides opportunities for children and young people aged 7-19 with SEND to spend time away from parents and carers within quality services.

They feel it is important for children and young adults to come together to be social, engage in activities and support each other. They understand that a lot of children and young adults with SEND can often feel isolated in other mainstream environments, but at Vivacity Short Breaks they can relax in a quiet space, participate in tailored activities, make friends with others, and have some fun.

Is Short Breaks for your child?

Vivacity have 12 places available at each session with 4 staff. Places are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Before registering please check if these activities are suitable for your child. They are likely to be suitable if your child:

  • Is in the 7-19 year old age range.
  • Is generally happy in group environments.
  • Can normally keep control of their emotions.
  • Can eat and drink independently.
  • May need assistance in the toilet (discussed on a case by case basis and venue).
  • Does not require medications administered by our staff during the session.
  • Does not require continuous 1 to 1 support from our staff at the session. (Support workers are welcome to accompany a child if required.)

For more details visit the Vivacity Short Breaks webpage

If you would like to discuss the programme and your child's needs before registering, please contact Vivacity:

Telephone - 01733 863783 / 07984 633154 


Vivacity's short breaks term timetable and booking information

Vivacity's term time programme is now available. Parents/guardians can contact them regarding bookings and suitability. Further details are on their Short Breaks website.

View the Vivacity Short Breaks - Term Time Activities leaflet 

Vivacity's Short Breaks - Feb Half Term 2023 timetable and booking information

Vivacity's February 2023 Half Term programme is now available. Parents/guardians can contact them regarding bookings and suitability. Further details are on their Short Breaks website.

Circles Network Activities

  • Small Groups Age 7 to 11 years - number of children in the group 3 to 8

  • Small Groups Age 11 - 19 years - number of children in the group 3 to 8

  • Large Groups 11-19 (Fun United)

  • Circles Stars

These groups are tailored specifically to meet the needs of each individual CYP and helps CYP to work towards their planned outcomes, including creative and personal development activities.

  • After School
  • Weekends
  • School Holidays

Click on this link to open a web page with more information

Circles Network has also started Circles Stars, a new dance, drama and music workshop aimed at children and young people aged 7-19.

Those able to access are disabled and disadvantaged children and young people who are able to manage their own behaviour.  10 children and young people will be able to benefit from these sessions, booked as a termly course. Children and young people could potentially access all 3 terms or choose the activity that interests them most.  

Sleep Management Programme

Scope Sleep Right

Scope Sleep Right in Peterborough is funded by the Local Authority as part of its Short Breaks offer.

Sleep Right practitioners specialise in working responsively and flexibly with families of disabled and/or additional needs children and young people with sleep problems to facilitate positive change in sleep patterns.

They are a responsive and flexible service for families of children with support needs and severe sleep problems. A series of appointments with the family explores sleep history, diaries, routines, behaviours and environments. Sleep programmes are created in partnership with all carers including respite.

Sleep Practitioners maintain support until a new sleep pattern is established

Their Sleep Practitioners have all been trained in a cognitive behavioural approach to sleep disorders specifically related to disabled children, young people and children with additional needs.

Who to contact

Telephone 07966 004704


Website Scope Sleep Right

In-house Short Breaks


Peterborough City Council in house short break services include Cherry Lodge and Link Care.

Commissioned individual packages of support

Packages of support

An individual commissioned package of support would be agreed at the relevant Decision Making Panel, following an assessment of needs.  For more information on panels visit our Decision Making page.

This includes packages of Direct Payments and home care.  

Direct Payments can be used to buy care and support for your child/young person; Direct Payments can give you a greater ability to choose and control own care services, enabling your child/young person to work towards their outcomes.

You can use a Direct Payment to employ your own Personal Assistant to help and support you.  You would need to pay them a wage from your Direct Payment. You can get help and advice with your Direct Payments from Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS). More information on Direct Payments for children/young people can be found on our Disability Social Care Childrens Direct Payments web page

Children and young people can also access packages of home care; this support would be agreed at a relevant decision making panel following an assessment of needs. Packages of home care are arranged on an individual child/young person basis. Home care is provided by Home Care/Domiciliary Care agencies who work in the family home, providing personal care to children and young people. This may include support with washing, dressing, feeding etc. 

Short Breaks Service Statement

Find out more

To find out more about Short Breaks, you can look at the council's Short Breaks Service Statement 

If you would like to tell us anything about Short Breaks, or the Short Breaks Service Statement, you can fill in our Local Offer Feedback page.  This will go to the Children's Commissioning Team who will feed it into future planning.

Parent Carer - Home & Community Support Questionnaire

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Children's Commissioning have been reviewing the arrangements for Home & Community Support across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and need your views, experiences and ideas as part of the process.

Home & Community Support can also be known as Home Care or Domiciliary Care. 

Home Care usually relates to support provided by a support worker within the family home that might relate to helping your child/young person get up, washed, dressed and ready for school. 

Community Support usually relates to support provided by a support worker out in the community, for example taking your child/young person to the park, cinema, bowling.

This review of the current Home & Community Support arrangements has led Children's Commissioning, alongside colleagues in Social Care, to look at developing new arrangements for Home & Community Support. We want to increase the amount of support available and ensure that we can continue to meets the needs of our children/young people receiving this type of support. 

It is vital we gather the views of parent carers of children/young people with disabilities - both those that have experience of these types of services and those that do not - in order to plan what we are going to do.

This questionnaire should take only 5 minutes of your time and covers each of the below areas. 

- Home Care/Community Support
- Priorities & Outcomes 
- Further Consultation

Children's Commissioning are working with Pinpoint and Family Voice to support this work and will be arranging some Focus Groups to support further discussion. All the feedback and information we gather will directly inform our plans for  Home & Community Support including the specifications (the detailed outlines we give to support providers of what we want them to do and how we want them to work) and the questions we use when asking providers to evidence their experience and ability to deliver what we need. 

NB: 'Provider' is the term we use to refer to the organisations or companies who provide home and/or community support.

Take the survey