I'm a short breaks worker at KIDS, and I also manage the Direct Short Breaks for Harrow, Ealing and Hounslow in London.
Short breaks for disabled children and young people were the first services provided by KIDS. They can relieve the strain on the family and reduce stress on parents while giving the child or young person an opportunity to get away from the family home, enjoy new experiences, make new friends and meet new people.
We were recently very lucky to receive a grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation to take children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities on activities we couldn't othrwise afford.
Sam (age 16), Tom (age 14), Michael (age 17) are teenagers who know each other from school. They are all autistic and they all LOVE trains.
Short breaks workers Gina, Gemma and myself took the boys on a Steam Train Experience, The Bluebell Railway. We got the tube from Harrow to Victoria, the national rail from Victoria to East Grinstead, then the steam train to Sheffield Park (which is not Sheffield as the boys kept reminding everyone).
The boys were in their element. They filmed the day for their YouTube channel, told the Short Breaks workers all about the history of the locomotives, the tubes and Victoria. They really opened up in a way their Short Breaks workers hadn't seen before. This was mainly due to the fact that they were all there together as friends, giving each other confidence, and the excitement of doing what they love.
They couldn't wait to tell their friends at school all about their day. That's what being a Short Breaks worker is all about.
Direct Short Breaks Coordinator - Harrow/ Ealing/ Hounslow, KIDS
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