We recently had a visit to our KIDS Hayward Adventure Playground from Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families. The visit was attended by KIDS Chairman, Stephen Unwin (whose son has been supported by our Hackney Adventure Playground), KIDS Chief Executive, Caroline Stevens, playground staff, disabled young people and parents some of whose children use the Hayward playground.  This was a chance for Minister Zahawi to see how the work we do provides vital support for disabled children, young people and their families. It was also an opportunity to focus on the importance of short breaks to families.

Short Breaks help to relieve the strain on families and reduce stress on parents, whilst giving a child or young person an opportunity to explore new interests and develop independence. The impact of caring for a disabled child can be overwhelming for parents with 76% experiencing depression or stress so services like short breaks are crucial to balancing family life and commitments.

Parents spoke about why short breaks are essential for families with a disabled child and the impact the service has had on the family as a whole.  KIDS Chief Executive, Caroline Stevens, had this to say about the visit. ”

"We were delighted that the Minister was able to join us and see first-hand the enormous benefits that short breaks offer our families. Investment in early interventions such as short breaks can play a large part in preventing family breakdown and children becoming looked after in some cases having to live a long way away from their families. This is hugely distressing for the families and also has high financial cost implications."