Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Have your say on new approach to non-residential SEND short break activities for children and young people

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

We've launched a consultation aimed at increasing the choice of options for children and young people with SEND to access social, leisure and play non-residential short break activities.

Activities in more locations, closer to where our children live.

The proposals also aim to make services and support available to a wider number of children with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND), and their families. Currently, grant funding only supports five per cent of Central Bedfordshire children and young people with SEND. 

Since January 2019, we've been working with families, providers and other professionals to review the funding and delivery model, to see how this could be changed in order to improve the services, whilst giving organisations the grant funding they need to provide services and support.

There are six voluntary organisations that currently receive grant funding:

  • Autism Bedfordshire
  • Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society
  • Families United Network
  • Special Needs out of School Club
  • Leighton Buzzard Mencap
  • Bedford Mencap

We've also worked with parent groups, SNAP Parent Carer Forum and Community Voluntary Service (CVS) Bedfordshire, to produce the proposals.

Our Executive Member for Families Education and Children, Councillor Sue Clark, said:

Our aim is to ensure that families with children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND) are fully involved in planning for their future, ensuring they get the support that is right for them, and that they have choice and control over how they live their lives and the services they access.

We have been pleased to work with the six voluntary organisations who currently receive grant funding to provide short break activities, as well as the area’s two parent groups, as this process has also been invaluable in developing our short break offer.

Our short breaks are very popular and we need to make sure we have an offer that serves the needs of as many of our SEND children and young people as possible.

These proposals are aimed at providing a positive impact for families, particularly the large proportion of families that don’t currently access any services. We now want as many families and residents as possible to have their say on these proposals.

All the information about the proposals and how to have your say is available online. Alternatively, paper copies of the consultation documents should be available in our buildings at Chicksands and Dunstable. Feedback can be submitted at any time up to 5pm on 22 May 2020.

Find out more about the proposals and how to have your say.