Activities and Support for Disabled Children

Little girl painting

Activities and Support for Disabled Children up to age 19 (Short Breaks) 

Short Breaks provide opportunities for children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 19 to spend time away from parents and carers with quality support. Short Breaks also provide parents and carers with breaks from their caring responsibilities and facilitate quality of life by enabling families to go out and do things 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

In Peterborough there are a range of opportunities for disabled children and their families and carers. Some of these are run by the council and some by other organisations. Some are activities that disabled children can attend (with proof of diagnosis) without the need for a social care assessment and others will be following a social care assessment of need. 

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

Clubs and Group Activities for Disabled Children – no need for an assessment

These groups and activities for children and young people with a disability or additional need, can be accessed directly. Just get in touch with them to find out more about the activities, when they are held and to see pictures of them. You will need to show evidence of your child's diagnosis. This could be a letter with the diagnosis from a doctor or something that shows your child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Vivacity SEND Activities and Holidays Clubs (Large Groups) 

Vivacity's SEND 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.

Are Vivacity's SEND activities 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 SEND Activities 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 SEND activities 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 SEND Activities website.

Circles Network Fun United (Large Groups) 

Circles Fun United is a weekly youth group style Large Group for up to 18 children/young people with disabilities and additional needs aged 11-19. These groups run during the week both term time and in school holidays.  

This group can be accessed directly by families by contacting Circles on the details below. 

Circles Stars 

Circles Stars is a dance, drama and music workshop aimed at children and young people aged 7-19 who are disabled and disadvantaged and are able to manage their own behaviour. Up to 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.  

This group can be accessed directly by families by contacting Circles on the details below. 

Vivacity SEND Book Club 11 -19 year olds, Term Time

These sessions cater for all interests and ways of interacting with books:

  • Graphic novels
  • Comics
  • NovelsFiction/non-fiction
  • Creating stories/comics
  • Listening to stories

Each participant will get a library membership and be able to borrow book

Thursdays 6-7.30pm (Term Time)

11-19yr olds

Hampton Library and Leisure, Clayburn Road PE78GL

No Charge to attend

12 spaces available

Advance booking essential via

email - 

Phone/text 07984 633154

View the Vivacity SEND Book Club poster

Activities and Support following Social Care Assessment

There are Small Groups activities and One to One Support that may be offered following a social care assessment of needs and agreement at a decision-making panel.

Circles Network Small Groups 

Circles Network offer Small Groups after school, on weekends and during school holidays.  

These are groups of up to 8 children/young people aged 7-19 with disabilities and complex needs.  

They are tailored specifically to meet the needs of each individual child/young person and helps them work towards their planned outcomes, including creative and personal development activities.  

Circles Network One to One Support 

Circles Network offer one to one support for accessing the community and focusing on outcomes for children/young people aged 7-19. 

Peterborough Pathways One to One Support 

One to One Support in the community with Peterborough Pathways.  This support service is run by Peterborough County Council.

Requesting a social care assessment

Children 0 – 18

You can request a Children's Social Care assessment by calling  01733 864180. This is the first point of contact for all of Childrens Social Care.  

They will ask you some questions to help decide who is best placed to respond to your request. Please provide as much information as you can, including that your child has a disability.

Adults over 18 

If you are over 18 and are not already supported by the Disability Social Care Service, or any other Social Work Team you can request an Adult Social Care assessment.  If you need to contact Adult Social Care please:

Complete our online form 


Telephone: Adult Social Care: 01733 747474 



Please provide as much information as you can about your situation, your needs and what you are looking for support with 


Sleep Support

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.

Referral is made by a professional. Contact Scope for more information.

Who to contact

Telephone 07966 004704


Website Scope Sleep Right

Individual Home and/or Community Support

One to one support would be agreed at the relevant Decision Making Panel, following an assessment of needs. For more information on panels visit our Decision Making Panels webpage.

Direct Payments   

Direct Payments, are used to employ your own Personal Assistant (PA) or an agency to help and support you and your child/young person for care both within the home and in the community. Direct Payment funding is given directly to the parent/carer or the Direct Payment Support Service (Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS) who then pay the PA a salary. Direct Payments can give you greater ability to choose and control care services, enabling your child/young person to work towards their outcomes. 

More information can be found on our Disability Social Care Children’s Direct Payments webpage.  

Home & Community Support 

Home & community support, also known as Domiciliary Care, can also be provided through an independent organisation, meaning they are paid and managed directly by Peterborough City Council. These are staff trained to work with children/young people with complex needs, providing support with personal care in the home or accessing the community. 

Overnight Support

Peterborough City Council provide overnight short breaks outside the family home with Cherry Lodge and Link Care. Direct payments can also be used for overnight short breaks both inside and outside the family home.

These services are for children/young people with disabilities and complex needs who are open to 0-25 Disability Social Care and can be accessed following an assessment of needs and referral to the relevant decision making panel.   

Peterborough City Council's Short Breaks Service Statement

This Statement provides an overview of the range of activities and support for disabled children/young people (known as Short Breaks) offered by Peterborough City Council and the criteria by which eligibility for services will be assessed. It is called a Short Breaks Service Statement and every Local Authority has a duty to have one.

This new version of the Statement has been revised in November 2022 by Peterborough City Council (PCC) People's Directorate (previously known as People & Communities Directorate). It was originally produced in consultation with parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities, alongside partners from Health, Education, Social Care and the voluntary sector in 2019. It is reviewed on a regular basis, and we continue to ask parents, carers, children and young people for their views.

Consultation with parents, carers and children/young people will be carried out over 2023 to inform the recommissioning of the Short Breaks Offer in 2024; the statement will be revised to reflect any changes.

View the Peterborough City Council's Short Breaks Service Statement.

Standard version Peterborough City Council's Short Breaks Service Statement

Accessible version Peterborough City Council's Short Breaks Service Statement


Circles Network

Related Advice

  1. Decision Making Panels (Local Offer)

Related Pages

  1. Targeted Support (Local Offer)
  2. Getting Out and About (Adults)
  3. Decision Making Panels (Local Offer)
  4. Disability Social Care Childrens Direct Payments (Local Offer)


  1. Short Breaks information leaflet

Related Services

  1. Cherry Lodge - Peterborough
  2. Link Care
  3. Circles Network Community Short breaks - small groups
  4. Circles Network Community Short breaks - Large Groups
  5. Circles Network Community Short breaks - one to one support
  6. Circles Network
  7. Scope Sleep Management Programme
  8. Scope


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