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Short Breaks Services Update: 01

Short Breaks Services in Bedford Borough

Following the implementation of The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011, and building on the areas of success achieved during the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme, Bedford Borough Council is pleased to have recruited a Commissioning Manager Ben Palmer who will be responsible for the development of short break services for children and young people with disabilities and their families.  Ben has already met with short break providers to give consideration to how short break services are provided throughout the academic year and specifically during the school holidays. He plans to seek opportunities to build on the quality short break provision we have within the Borough.

We have recently received the final Short Break User Engagement Report. This was prepared by Autism Bedfordshire and the Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society. It will further inform us of the views of children, young people and families confirm what short break services they currently benefit from and what they would like for future service development.  We will be carefully considering the findings from this report and mapping any identified need against existing short break services.  This will assist in the development and commissioning of future short break services within Bedford Borough. It will also enable us to continue supporting families with children with disabilities. This will also enable children and young people with disabilities to benefit from new interests, establish friendships and try new activities.

We are pleased to have been able to consult with children and young people with disabilities and their families as part of this process, and are looking into ways of continuing to involve them in the ongoing development of short breaks services.  In addition we are keen to promote awareness around organisations such as the Short Breaks Network and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums. These provide valuable information on short break services to both families and short break providers alike.

As part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme Bedford Borough Council has invested in the development of short break services including those provided by voluntary and independent sector organisations.  In addition Bedford Borough Council has supported projects that have increased access to universal leisure facilities such as the installation of visual structure and provision of specialist equipment at the Oasis swimming pool. It has also supported the installation of the Changing Places toilets at the Riverside car park.  We see these as excellent examples of good practice that increase opportunities for families to be better able to enjoy activities together.  As part of our plans to develop short breaks services we are keen to look for further opportunities to increase accessibility to universal services.

 

Downloads

Our Short Breaks Services news and updates document is available to download here:

Short Breaks Services Update: 01 (Pdf)

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Education and Learning

Raising the level of academic achievement is a top priority for the council. We will ensure the effective delivery of our services so we can improve the life chances for children and young people. Check out this section to find out about Learning centres, schools, special education needs and more.

 


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