Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

A well-earned break

A new directory has been issued by West Sussex County Council listing short breaks available for disabled children across the county.

Short breaks provide fun, leisure and social activities for disabled children and young people. They’re not just for physically disabled children, but for children with learning disabilities and on the autistic spectrum.

There are around 4,000 disabled children and young people in West Sussex, yet only around 1,000 access the range of short breaks available to them.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families Peter Evans said: “Short breaks enable disabled children to try new experiences. This in turn helps them increase their confidence and learn new skills.

“Short breaks also give parents and carers a break from their caring role, giving them a chance to rest, spend time with other family members and catch up on day-to-day activities.”

Cary Buckham, from Crawley, uses the short break scheme to send her 12-year-old son Ethan Wright, who is autistic and has learning difficulties, to Anim8 sessions that are run by the Enable Me project. The weekly sessions teach disabled children how to make computer-animated movies.

She said: “It’s lovely to have somewhere for him to go to for two hours each week where he will be immersed in what he is doing and is happy to be there. It’s a nice feeling when he comes home and is happy because that will mean a nice weekend.

“It’s nice to see my son somewhere where he feels accepted and can talk about what he’s doing.”

The directory lists the range of short breaks available and the organisations that provide them, plus details of other services for families with disabled children.

There are lots of different activities available for example, swimming sessions, cinema screenings, arts and crafts, and sports activities.

Some short breaks can be with siblings, others are just for the disabled child or young person.

To find out more contact 01243 642854 or visit the website

Families can also find out more at www.reachoutwestsussex.org.uk.

The website is aimed at disabled young people, parents and families, and people who work with disabled children. It has information, resources, videos, blogs and more.