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Short Breaks Offer Update – COVID 19

July – August 2020

Due to the impact of COVID 19, a number of children and young people are not able to access their usual Short Breaks, either because the carer is unavailable, the Short Breaks provider has had to close/cancel their activities or because you are unable to spend your Individual Budget on your prepaid card.

However, we recognise that some families are now faced with the challenge of keeping their child or young person entertained and occupied during lockdown.

In these current exceptional circumstances we would like to offer families some flexibility to the standard Short Breaks offer, we will be allowing families the opportunity to purchase equipment that promotes play and creativity so that they are able to continue supporting the development and stimulation of their child or young person.

What is the Short Breaks Offer?

This offer is only open to children or young people who are signed up to the Short Breaks service and have been allocated Short Breaks hours or an Individual Budget prepaid card.

The offer is as follows:

  • you may purchase items to the maximum value of £250 – this applies to families that did not use this offer during April – June and it is available as a 2nd option for families who have already used it (i.e. £250 April – June + £250 July – August. Total = £500 Max allowed.)
  • you cannot use £500 for July – August. The April – June offer is now closed
  • any monies spent will be deducted from your 2020/21 Short Breaks allocation (including if you use a Provider)
  • If you use a Provider and you request to spend £250, your Short Break allocation will be reduced by 20 hours (if you use July-August also, it will be reduced by 40 hours.)
  • Please note that if you take up the 2nd offer of £250 for equipment, you will have £380 remaining until 31st March 2021 and once the funding runs out there will be no additional money.
  • You do not need to spend the ​full ​£250. You are free to buy items of a lower value. i.e. if you purchase items with a maximum value of £125 you may do so, and the Short Break Provider allocation will be reduced by 10 hours
  • In exceptional circumstances (such as bespoke sensory equipment), we will consider allowing you to spend more than £250 or contribute your own money. You ​must ​contact the team who will decide this on a case by case basis. The team must agree to this before you make your purchase.

For July – August you can also use your Short Breaks Individual Budget on the following;

  • pay a carer or family friend to provide activities for your child out in the community (you must submit timesheets and transfer payment to their account. ​No​ cash payments)
  • outdoor face to face or online sessions such as; sports, exercise, cycling, drama, dance coaching and lessons. This must be from a company or a person registered with HMRC.
  • days out (e.g. a family ticket to the zoo)
  • transport costs associated with days out or activities (e.g. train fares to the seaside or a place of nature)PLEASE NOTE

You do not have to accept this offer. If you would prefer, you can keep your short break hours or Individual Budget to use when the situation changes.

  • all purchases must be specifically for the child or young person with a disability.

What do I need to do?

If you have the funds available or money remaining on your prepaid card, you can go ahead and purchase (please note the list of ‘What can I buy?’)

Please send your invoices/receipts to with your child’s name and Date of Birth in the subject bar.

  • you must submit the original receipt/invoice for payment and keep a copy for your records
  • handwritten receipts will not be accepted
  • All items must be purchased from a reputable retailer (including online retailers)
  • there will be no cash alternatives
  • this offer cannot be used as a part payment for an item (i.e. items over £250) ​unless agreed by the Short Breaks team

What can I buy?

You may purchase items such as: (this list is not exhaustive).

  • sensory toys/equipment
  • outdoor play equipment such as a trampoline, swing set, scooter, bike, sand box
  • books (including e-books)
  • musical Instruments, karaoke machines
  • arts and craft materials
  • board games/puzzles
  • outdoor growing equipment- seed etc
  • suitable electronic aids, such as an age appropriate tablet or Nintendo Wii (educational laptops cannot be purchased)
  • (If your chosen item is not included above, please contact the team to check before purchasing)

The purchase must be for your disabled child only. You cannot make the purchase on behalf of someone else.

What can I NOT buy?

You cannot use the funding to purchase the following

  • any subscription services such as Sky Television, Netflix, etc
  • any large electronic items (televisions)
  • any white goods
  • items for siblings
  • educational/tuition services
  • food, drink, from Supermarkets, Deliveroo, UberEats etc
  • Fuel
  • Animals/pets
  • clothing
  • part payment of an item over £250 (unless agreed by the short breaks team)

This is a one off offer due to COVID-19 and will not be repeated later in the year. This purchase will cover July- August of your Short Breaks.

All purchases must be completed by 14th August.

If your budget is not used in line with these requirements, we will subtract the amount from your next Short Breaks payment or you may be asked to pay the Council back.

If you require financial support for items such as food then please contact the team so we can sign post you to the relevant service.

The team is here to help and support you. If you have any questions, please contact us on 020 8356 6796 or e-mail

You do not have to accept this offer. If you would prefer, you can keep your short break hours or Individual Budget payments to use when the situation changes.