Short Breaks at Christmas
The Short Breaks Team are delighted to be able to welcome children back on site and the team kicked off with a busy summer providing 179 places for our summer play scheme.
The team worked hard to ensure everyone was safe and provided some fantastic days out with many of the children safely taking part in activities, they normally would not get the opportunity to do including sailing and rock climbing!
Days out and activities included Wingham Wildlife Park, Chipstead Lakes and Lower Grange Farm Outdoor Activity Centre.
Christmas is a busy time for the Shortbreaks team; families will usually refrain from taking children with disabilities to busy and loud Christmas activities such as the panto or to see Father Christmas. These Christmas traditions are often too much for the children that thrive on routine and will cause anxiety or meltdowns and increase stress on the family.
The Beams staff are very experienced and are able to arrange a number of fun fully inclusive activities and days out over the Christmas break. The children get the chance to have fun and meet new friends and also allows parents to have a day free to get ready for Christmas such as shopping or cooking. There are activities arranged for the holiday play scheme for children that are more able and for those children that require more care and 1-1 support they can join 1-1 Kids camp.
Trips have been planned to the Hazlett theatre with Britain’s Got Talent act ‘Sign Along with Us’ plus Panto, a circus workshop and Christmas party. Dragons Retreat respite centre will also be open in the weeks leading up to Christmas, children are cared for whilst their parents are able to take a much-needed break and perhaps spend time with other members of the family.
Tracey Riley, Shortbreaks manager has been working for Beams for over 25 years and says,
“Whilst Christmas should be a fun time for all the family, for a child with disabilities it is often upsetting and overwhelming. The experienced staff at Beams know the children and are able to adapt and provide fully inclusive Christmas activities in a calm and safe environment, allowing parents to spend time with other children or have a day off safe in the knowledge the child is being looked after”
Donate to our 2021 Christmas Appeal and help us to ensure that we will be there for every family who may need our services in the future.