Hampshire County Council Grants

Short Breaks for Disabled Children

‘Short Breaks’ is a programme aimed at improving services for children with disabilities and/or additional needs, by offering positive out-of-school activities and will build on what was previously called the ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children Programme’. 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:

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

  • give parents or full-time carers an opportunity to have a short break from caring

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

  • support families to enjoy a short break activity together

When to apply

Grants are available to fund projects that deliver between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Please see the Short Breaks web pages for more details of grant rounds and closing dates.

Easter 2017: This school holiday falls within the 2017-18 financial year so should not form part of your application. (Easter school holiday 2016 falls partly within 2015-16 and partly within 2016-17 financial years and most current activity providers will have already received short breaks grant funding to cover the Easter school holiday 2016).

Grant criteria and eligibility

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

  • Aged between 0 to 19 years

  • Live in Hampshire and/or attend a school in Hampshire (excluding Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight)

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

Many organisations provide short breaks including:

  • Activity providers - such as arts, outdoor and leisure centres, sports clubs, countryside locations, museums and libraries

  • Organisations and Special Schools who run holiday, weekend and after school activity play schemes/clubs specifically for children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs

  • Parent-led groups that organise activities for children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families.

Any sports, arts, play/leisure or cultural activity provider can apply for funding, subject to the criteria below.

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 primary purpose of the Short Breaks legal duty is to ensure a break for carers, to help them continue to care for their children at home and allow them to do so more effectively.

  • Be able to meet the needs of children and young people aged 0-19 with disabilities and/or additional needs.
  • Benefit children and young people who live in Hampshire; and/or attend a school in Hampshire; and their families and carers. (Gateway Card holders).
  • Demonstrate how their work meets the outcomes of the Hampshire Children and Young People’s Plan
  • 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.
  • Establish a reasonable charge/parental contribution towards the cost of the activity. (Parents of disabled children can be expected to pay the standard amount for a similar activity for all children in that local area. More information about this area is contained within Guidance notes for completing the Application form). Adequate income levels will be assumed when grant award amounts are determined.
  • Establish a system for the advance collection of parental charges, prior to the activity taking place (with flexible payment plans available where necessary)
  • Promote and publicize Short Break activities through the required channels by submitting the required Activity / Provider details forms. These will include Hampshire Gateway/ParentVoice, 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
  • Present their proposal in the standard Grant Application form (and any Supplementary forms) required by Hampshire County Council.

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 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.

What can we fund?

We require a range of provision in local areas that will include the following priorities:
  • Activities that enable disabled children/young people to participate in interesting activities e.g. sports, arts and outdoor activities

  • Activities that offer excellent outcomes for children and young people who have high support needs and/or complex learning & physical disabilities (including complex health needs and behaviour that can challenge those around them

  • A good range of activities across suitable age groups within the 0-19 year-old age range

  • Playschemes and clubs which will enable disabled children/young people to play alongside non-disabled children, for example siblings and friends (this can be beneficial and can also aid sustainability for organisations).

Parent representatives are involved in the majority of recommendations about grant funding for short breaks activities. In the current financial climate it is even more essential that projects or organisations applying for funding are able to demonstrate cost effective ways of delivering the priorities outlined above.

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 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.
  • Associated management costs directly related to delivery for disabled children, for this project.
  • 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 Hampshire Gateway.
  • 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 can't we fund?

  • Residential overnight respite costs
  • Training needs that could be covered via the use of e-learning (available free via the Short Breaks Kids 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 20 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
  • Activities offered completely on a 1 to 1 basis for an individual child/young person are unlikely to be funded longer term; as a small group alternative is usually available. Please also see the Support for Individuals short breaks grant stream information and the Buddy Scheme. (Children/young people requiring 1 to 1 support to join in clubs and group activities will still be able to receive this support).


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 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.

Apply now Application guidance notes and online form



The Short Breaks Team
Children's Services
1st Floor Elizabeth II Court North
The Castle
Winchester SO23 8UG

Telephone 01962 846399

E-mail shortbreaks@hants.gov.uk

The team can provide guidance on the suitability of projects, and we will aim to support organisations to apply for a grant wherever possible.