New short breaks activities and family support in 2023/24! 

Additional funding secured for short breaks and family support this year! 

Southwark Council and partners have secured £1million funding from the Department for Education to offer some new short breaks activities and family support between 1st April 2023 and 31st March 2024. 

Activities have been developed in collaboration with local partners and parent groups and cover 4 key areas: 


1. Under 8s  

Stay & play sessions are being delivered across the borough by Children & Family Centres in collaboration with Cherry Garden School. Sessions are running midweek, at weekends and during school holidays and will include specialist advice and support on topics such as communication, autism and behaviour. For more information visit    


2. Provision for children with higher support needs 

We plan to deliver new group provision during school holidays and weekends for children and young people who require a higher level of support than is currently provided through our targeted short breaks offer. Staff ratios will be higher with support in place to meet additional needs related to things like behaviour/ communication, support to use the bathroom and/ or specific physical/ health needs. We are hoping to commission a small number of providers and to trial a central request system to support more fair and equitable access for eligible families.  

Information about these sessions will be published on the local offer and distributed by local organisations when available. 


3. 16 – 25s  

New special interest clubs will be piloted for young people aged 16-25 to support them to develop their skills and connect with peers around shared interests. More information will be published on the local offer and distributed by local organisations when available. 

We will also be piloting a new awards programme with a small number of 19-25 year olds at Bede House. The awards programme will offer community-based personal development activities for young people with an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).  


4. Inclusive provision  

Parents and young people will be involved in reviewing existing leisure and play provision to identify areas for improvement. Participating providers will have access to specialist support, training and resources to help them respond to feedback and improve their provision for children and young people with SEND.   

The programme also includes new Positive Behaviour Support workers that will work across the programme, as well as input from specialist child health services from Evelina London.

Further information about these activities will be published on Southwark’s Local Offer when available. We will also capture feedback and learning throughout the year to help us better understand what does and doesn’t work for families, to help us improve future services.  

For more information contact