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Short breaks & respite

Everyone needs a bit of ‘me time’ occasionally. But for someone with a learning disability, planning a break is rarely as simple as checking availability at the hotels in the area you want to stay in, and then simply setting off on your travels.  And for families who are looking for respite care, finding somewhere with staff that have the specialist skills required to cater for the individual needs of their loved one can often be easier said than done.

That’s why Hft has set up specific respite services in some of our service locations.  But even in those locations where this hasn’t yet been possible, we can also normally accommodate ‘short breaks’.  This might mean a person with a learning disability being supported to stay at one of our local services for the weekend on a mini-break, or that we provide domiciliary care for a person in their home while the parents or family carers take a short break themselves. We can also support people to go on a longer holiday.

Such short breaks work well for all involved, giving people the opportunity to make friends, try new activities or learn new skills. We work with other local organisations to try and offer as many different opportunities as possible, tailoring what’s on offer to what people want to do.

But, the whole point of taking a break is to enjoy yourself, so while activities might include cooking, swimming, learning a musical instrument or playing on a games console, if people would prefer to spend some time relaxing in front of the TV, watching a movie, or to pop out for a drink – that’s exactly what we’ll support them to do!

Contact your local Hft service now and let us know what you need – we pride ourselves on our flexibility, so we can normally find a way to accommodate you and your relative.

Support at home

For parents or family carers who need to go away with work, spend quality time with other family members or simply have some time away to themselves, support at home may be the answer. We’re able to offer respite care in your home for a set period of time to suit.

Day Opportunities

We can support people to get out and about in the community for a few hours, build new skills, make friends and try new activities, while giving family members a break.

Our dedicated Day Opportunity services offer activities for people with learning disabilities. Activities on offer differ between areas, but could include anything from dancing to water-skiing, jewellery making to photography.  It’s worth noting that ‘day opportunities’ might take place during the day – or could be in the evening or at the weekend.


We can often support people to go on holiday with family or friends. This might be a few days camping in the UK, a week or two abroad, or a special family visit. We even supported one person to visit her brother in Australia!

We also work with local organisations providing supported holidays to help people plan the right holiday for them and help ensure they have a great time.

  • Find details of short break and respite care services in your area – and how to get in touch with your local team – on our Location pages.
  • Take a look through our Holiday Information Guide for helpful hints, tips, and guidance on how you can plan and enjoy an accessible holiday.

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