All kids need fun – that's why we're creating respite places for SEND families, says Children's minister Claire Coutinho | The Sun

THOUSANDS of respite places are being rolled out across the country in a coup for The Sun’s Give It Back campaign.

Children with learning disabilities complex needs from 13 local authorities will benefit from £10million’s worth of short breaks which include hiking, arts and crafts, theatre trips and more. 

Last year £5million was spent on seven areas in a pilot scheme to provide short breaks to give exhausted parents of disabled children time off.

Speaking from a trip to Go Ape in North London, Children’s minister Claire Coutinho MP told The Sun: “Sometimes it can be quite difficult for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities to find those kinds of activities.

"So it's helping to create that ecosystem of fun things to do that all children need.

“But it also gives some families who sometimes have very difficult circumstances themselves just that little bit of a break that they need so that they can also keep going.”


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The Sun and the DCP have campaigned for Government to give back  £573million of the annual funding cut from hundreds of thousands of families.

The Disabled Children’s Partnership’s recent Failed and Forgotten report found only one in five parents or carers felt their family received the support needed for their child to fulfil their potential.

But the children’s minister is hoping the short breaks innovation fund can go some way to helping children not fall behind. 

She said: “All children should have opportunities to experience different things – to have those joyful, and fun-filled activities and holidays. All children should be able to get that.”

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Where next?

Each local authority will be eligible for up to £1million towards activities from a £10million pot.

These include:

  • Bristol City Council  
  • Cambridgeshire County Council  
  • Camden Council 
  • Derby City Council 
  • Norfolk County Council 
  • Nottingham City 
  • Plymouth City Council 
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council 
  • Southwark Council 
  • Suffolk County Council  
  • Sunderland City Council 
  • Surrey County Council 
  • Wakefield Council

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