Sense short breaks for disabled people and their families

Sense short breaks are getaways and days out for disabled adults and children, which also provide families and carers a chance to take some time off.

What are short breaks?

Sense’s short breaks are outings and trips for people with complex disabilities, which provide carers with an opportunity to take a break from caring. Short breaks are often known as respite care.

Our expert team will support your child while you take some time off – so both of you can relax and have fun.

We have a range of different services around the country – from our Get Out There (GOT) groups and personal assistants, to our holidays projects.

Are short breaks for me?

If you care for someone who is deafblind or has complex disabilities and live in an area where we operate, Sense short breaks are for you.

Most of our breaks are for parents of children or young people, but our residential holidays are suitable for adults. If you’re looking for further support for an adult, learn more about our communicator guides and intervenors.

Get in touch with us to learn where our different services are active and we’ll help you apply.

How do I apply?

Fill in the short form below to get in touch with our team and they’ll help you learn more about our services. They can also advise on whether you need to apply through your local authority for some funding.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with our team, email us at [email protected].

Get in touch with us about short breaks

Which services are you interested in?
Feel free to pick more than one. We’ll advise you on the one that suits you best.

Your privacy

We’ll keep your details safe and promise never to sell your data. Read about how we store personal information.

What types of short break does Sense offer?

We provide a range of short breaks, to offer you the right support at the right time. Our services vary by location – check where we currently operate.

A young boy plays in a wooden playground

Get Out There holiday clubs

Local authority funded
We run holiday clubs in Trafford, Loughborough, Nuneaton, Sandwell and Cornwall. They run for four hours a day and are open to young people between 8-18.
A child and a woman sitting at a table, smiling and interacting

Get Out There weekend clubs

Local authority funded
Our Saturday morning clubs offer a range of activities each for young people between 8-18. They run in Wythenshawe, Bramhall, Leicester, Loughborough, Trafford, Sandwell and Cornwall.
A man and a child sit on a bench talking to each other

Get Out There one-to-one personal assistant

Local authority funded or direct payments
We provide personal assistants to support disabled young people in their community. Our professionals can give your child one-to-one care at the times you need.
George Cook and a Sense volunteer canoeing on their Sense Holiday in 2021.

Sense Holidays

Between £400-800
Each year, we run accessible holidays for people with complex disabilities – all with expert carers and trusted volunteers at your side.

What activities do disabled people get up to during a short break?

Our breaks are specially designed to suit the people we support. From group activities to action-packed weekend breaks, there’s always lots on offer and our attendees create great memories while their carers enjoy their break.

Everyone on a Sense short break is supported by experienced staff or empathetic volunteers who have had thorough training. 

Examples of the types of support we provide include:

  • One-to-one support in the community, such as after-school care or accessing services.
  • Days out on sensory walks, ice skating, dolphin watching or at a theme park.
  • Sensory play, messy play, crafts, cooking and sports.
  • Trying new hobbies like theatre or music.

Our approach is to provide flexible and personalised support to empower people to communicate and express themselves – be it through speech or sign, touch or movement, gesture or sound, art or dance. We understand that people need different support in order to lead connected and fulfilled lives.

How much do these services cost?

Most of these services are funded by local authority or direct payment, so you’ll likely need to complete a local authority assessment.

Get in touch with us for help on completing an assessment.

Sense Holidays has an upfront cost of £400-800.

What is local authority funding? How do I apply for it?

Local authorities provide funding to deliver these services. They will check if you’re eligible for funding by asking you to complete a needs assessment on their website.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch and we can point you in the right direction.

Where are these services available?

Availability varies by location. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Get Out There holiday clubs: Trafford, Loughborough, Nuneaton, Sandwell and Cornwall.
  • Get Out There weekend clubs: Wythenshawe, Bramhall, Leicester, Loughborough, Trafford, Sandwell and Cornwall.
  • Get Out There personal assistant support: Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Loughborough, Warwickshire, Solihull, Sandwell and Cornwall.
  • Sense Holidays: Our residential trips operate across the country and are all personalised to meet the needs and interests of people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities. Learn more about our range of holidays.
A young man is being held by an instructor before he does a zip line - they're both wearing safety gear

Mark’s adventure

Mark enjoyed a jam-packed 5 day Sense Short Break down on Conygre Farm. During one day trip to an outdoor activity centre, Mark chose to take on an extra special challenge: conquering his fear of his heights.

Together with an experienced climbing partner and the support of his new friends, Mark tackled the centre’s indoor climbing wall. By the end of the day, he was climbing the wall on his own, to the sound of massive cheers from everyone!

Sign up for a short break