A new short breaks directory has been launched for families with disabled children and young people.
Breaks of this kind enable young people to learn new skills, try new experiences and increase their confidence by trying out fun and social activities outside the school day.
The breaks also give parents and carers the chance to rest, catch up on day-to-day activities or spend time with other family members.
Short breaks can involve sports, drama and arts, but specialist short breaks for children with more complex needs, such as overnight stays or weekend clubs, are also available.
One West Sussex mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “If my son didn’t have the short breaks he would be very isolated and spend all his time in his room.
“Life was very restricted in the early days. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. I couldn’t do basic things that other people take for granted like just go out and walk the dog.
“Without short breaks I wouldn’t be able to work; my stress levels would increase and I would worry more about my son’s self-esteem and confidence.”
Copies of the directory can be downloaded from West Sussex County Council’s website at: www.westsussex.gov.uk. Once on the website, search for ‘short breaks’.