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Short Breaks

Short Breaks for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, come in many different forms. They can:

  • Provide opportunities for disabled children to enjoy themselves and fulfil their potential through safe experiences with or without their parent or carer
  • Give parent or carers a break from caring, enabling them to have time to undertake whatever they would like to do, such as leisure activities, day-to-day tasks, spending time with other family members or education/training opportunities.
  • Enhance the abilities of parents and carers to care more effectively.

Short Breaks can last anything from a couple of hours, to an evening, overnight, weekend or longer and can be offered during daytimes, evenings, weekends and school holidays. Short Breaks can take place within or outside the home, in the community or in a residential setting.

For some short breaks an assessment of need may be necessary to ensure that the right level of support and short break activities/services are used.

  • Short breaks service under review 

Short breaks are available for children and young people from birth to their 18th birthday who are disabled, and/or have complex health needs where their disability has a significant impact on them and family life.

Short Breaks Eligibility Criteria. Version 5 2023 PDF

There is no statutory entitlement to transport for short breaks however this can be assessed as part of the assessment of need when a short break is requested by a carer or parent.  Where there are specific barriers to accessing a short break due to transport issues or hardship, support with transport will be considered on an individual basis through the assessment.

Your Social Care or Early Help worker will discuss transport needs when completing an assessment of need.”

For queries please contact the Children With Disabilities Team 01482 715 155 or 01482  612 501

Frequently asked questions -

How do I access transport for short breaks? Assessment through Children’s Disability Team

Who can I contact for further advice and guidance regarding short breaks transport? – Childrens Disability Team

Does my child need an EHCP in order to be considered for short breaks transport? - No

Universal short breaks can be accessed without an assessment. Providers of Targeted and Specialist Services may have their own criteria and/or carry out an assessment through home visit to ensure they are able to offer the best support. More specialist short breaks services generally require an assessment through the Children and Families Disability Team and/or Health's Children and Young People's Continuing Care

For more information about how to access short breaks please contact –

  • Children and Families Disabilities Team, telephone: (01482) 715 155
  • Children and Young People's Continuing Care through the Single Point of Access Team (for Community Children's Nursing Service, Continuing Care Team and Community Paediatricians), telephone: (01482) 221 261
  • KIDS, telephone: (01482) 467 540

Generally, all children, young people and their parents and carers can access short breaks through a wide range of activities and services available in the local community. These are known as Universal Services.

Universal services include –

  • Cubs
  • Brownies, Scouts and Girl Guides
  • before and after school clubs
  • various leisure activities (see information in this section)
  • libraries
  • community sports centre activities
  • youth activities
  • family activity days/events
  • group-based activities
  • early year's childcare
  • Children's Centres
  • a range of support and activities delivered by voluntary and community groups.

There is also a wealth of Voluntary and Community Sector groups run by parents and volunteers across the city for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. These include -

  • Special Smiles
  • Downright Special
  • Special Stars Foundation

See other Leisure services on the website.

Targeted and specialist services provide short break opportunities suitable for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities with high, complex and multiple needs.

Parents and Carers can often refer direct and providers have their own eligibility criteria. Some services will usually require an assessment by the Children and Families Disability Team and/or Health's Children and Young People's Continuing Care.

Examples include

  • holiday play schemes
  • group based activities
  • supported breaks
  • specialist youth groups
  • day care and overnight short breaks away from the child or young person's home
  • overnight breaks in a residential setting or foster care
  • care within the home and the local community through specialist providers.

Eligibility decisions are based on individual need, assessment and professional judgement, including to what extent the impairment affects a child or young person's life and the lives of those they live with and care for them.

As a guide it is anticipated that additional support will be available to children who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and who are eligible for a service from the Children and Families Disability Team and/or Health's Children & Young People's Continuing Care.

The leisure and family support service (LAFSS) run a variety of groups, clubs and activities for children and young people with disabilities, for example autism, who are aged 0-25 years, These activities include - 

  • weekend activities
  • summer play activities
  • supported days out for the whole family
  • youth clubs
  • sport and arts activities
  • swimming
  • discos
  • movie nights

The aim of these services is to - 

  • increase confidence and self esteem
  • help your child meet new people and make friends
  • meet other families
  • have fun and learn new skills
  • give you and your child a break

For more information or to make a referral please call us.

Find us on Facebook here.

Telephone - 01482 715 155
Address -  Hull City Council, Bellfield House, Middlesex Road, Hull, HU8 0RB

New build newsletter 2023


Limetree Court provides short breaks for families with children and young people who have multiple learning disabilities, complex health needs and associated physical and sensory special needs, by offering a short break provision and a residential provision when required (both planned and emergency), in order to support families in the caring task. Limetree is located in the East of Hull and is part of Bellfield Day Centre which has the LAFSS team and Social Work Disability Team attached to it. We have our own entrance to the home and are equipped to meet all the needs of our children.  

Outside view of Bellfield House

Outside play area

What we offer

Here at Limetree Court, we provide a huge range of activities, facilities and support. These range from:

The music and cinema room has been set up as a perfect communal space to enjoy a range of entertainment.

Picture of music and cinema room

Children are encouraged to take advantage of the excellent play/art room. Everyone has the chance to express themselves in all manner of creative ways.

Picture of the play and art room

The sensory room provides an ideal space to provide a wide range of stimuli such as lights, colours and sounds. This room can help people to develop and engage their senses.

Picture of the sensory room

There are various general facilities which help to create not only a welcoming environment but a real “home from home” feel.

Picture of the dining room general facility

Picture of the medical room general facility

The communal garden and equipment supplied offers children a range of outdoor options and a chance to stretch themselves and engage in various activities

communal garden

communal garden

Relocation, updates, consultation

07/03/2021 – Limetree Court workshops and user feedback

We are now in the design phase of the building programme for relocating Limetree Court

Thank you to those who have provided feedback regarding the replacement of Limetree Children’s Home. Following numerous consultation exercises and coproduction, extensive feedback has been gathered which has enabled the architect (BDP) to put together a proposed design for the home and propose a suitable location.

We would like to share these proposed designs with you and ask if you could review the questions and provide your feedback on BDP’s proposals. Please send feedback to:

 Email: DSBengage@hullcc.gov.uk

Telephone: 01482 612513 (please ask for Rebecca Spaven)

Please can you supply your feedback by Friday 12 April.


05/06/2020: New build for Limetree Court gets green light

At the end of April, Cabinet approved plans for a new purpose-built building to house Limetree Court. The building work is expected to start in early 2021 with the aim of being open to children, young people and families in 2022. The building will be across the road from the current location, Bellfield House, and will be designed specifically for children and young people with disabilities.

The building will enable the team who work at Limetree Court to help more families with short breaks and overnight stays.

Person centred approach

We are developing a new Limetree Court overnight short breaks home. Members of staff from the CYPFS Disability Teams, Transformation Team and a parent representative formed a project team and attended a design council programme which helped us to look and think about how we deliver our services. It started with the idea of just looking at developing a new building.

The design council started looking at the bigger picture and looking at it as more than just a building. What became key to improving as a service was to place the child at the centre and then to look at how best we could support them. This meant looking at facilities needed, and also accommodating different ways of communicating, being more visual with how we share information, using different tools such as Widget and Makaton to be more accessible for different people. It was also important to ensure families and professionals understood what was meant by a short break and how it can support them.

This has all led to a more modern designed building, focussing on accommodating the wide range of needs children may have. It has been designed to be accommodating, welcoming, and designed with the child at heart.


Kinloss Garth provides an overnight short break service for disabled children and young people aged 8 -18 years (18th Birthday). Outreach support to families is also provided.

To access this service please contact the Children and Families Disability Team on 01482 715 155.

Sunshine House offers short breaks for children and young people with long term conditions, life limiting conditions and/or complex health needs. We also offer end of life care if this is the child, young person and/or their family's preferred place for care. Training and support is also available for parents and carers on how to use specialist equipment.

Sunshine House building

About Sunshine House

Our 24 hour service provides care to children and young people aged 0-18 from Hull and East Riding.

We are a team of Children's, Adult and Learning Disability Nurses and Health Care Support Workers. 

Sunshine House offers:
  • A home from home environment that supports children and young people's individual needs and encourages friendship, play and fun activities.
  • Short breaks including overnight, weekend and day care where children and young people can enjoy planned acitivites, themed events and local trips out.

All rooms at Sunshine House are fully equipped to meet the needs of the children and young people we care for. Each room has been designed to provide a relaxed and calm atmosphere

Picture of general facility room    Picture of general facility room

Forget-Me-Not Room

The Forget-Me-Not Room is a purpose built room for children and young people to spend time when they have reached the end of their lives. This room has a unique atmosphere that allows

families to stay in an adjoining room with their children for as long as they need, to say their goodbyes in their own time. 

Picture of the forget-me-not sensory room
Sensory Room

Our purpose-built sensory room is a multi-functional room. It can provide a relaxing and calming atmosphere, as well as a stimulating and interactive space for children and young people to enjoy.

Sunshine House Shifts

Day Shifts 07:00-20:00  

Night Shift 19:30-08:30


Referrals can be made by parents/ carers, health professionals, social care and the voluntary sector.

Referrals are processed through the Single Point of Access Team for Community Nursing and Medical Services.

Email: CHCP.communitychildrennursing@nhs.net

Telephone: 01482 344 075

Website: https://www.chcpcic.org.uk/chcp-services/sunshine-house

Last updated: 12/7/2022