Range of short breaks services

We have a range of services available to support parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities or assessed needs. These generally fall under two categories: those that are universally available to all and those that are targeted to meet the disabled children’s identified needs.

The Local Offer

The Local Offer is the range of SEND services available in the local area and these are set out on a website which provides information to support children and young people with SEND and their families.

This is to help children, young people and their families know what’s available, to be involved and make decisions about the support they need.

The Local Offer includes details of services, information, advice and guidance:

  • education
  • health
  • social care
  • preparing for adulthood
  • support and medication
  • things to do

The Local Offer is regularly reviewed with children, young people, parents and carers. You can also have your say on how the Local Offer can be improved by emailing: local.offer@blackburn.gov.uk

Disability links

Disability Links started out as the Disabled Children’s Register for Blackburn with Darwen. It is a voluntary service that can register any child that has a Special Education Need and/or a disability. The aim of the service is to provide information about all local groups and activities that support the needs of children with disabilities and their parents and carers.

For further information please contact the Disability Links Co-ordinator on: (01254) 666711

Siblings ‘Sibs’ Group

This is a specific group for the brothers and sisters of children with disabilities to spend some time together enjoying fun activities. The group has been hugely successful. It runs every Half Term Holiday week on a Wednesday from 10am – 1.30pm at Apple Trees. The group enables the siblings of disabled children to make new friends, participate in arts and crafts and other activities, with group outings also planned. For more information please contact (01254) 666787.

Apple Trees youth club

The club has gone from strength to strength. The club was developed specifically for children with disabilities, in a safe and well supported environment, where young people could meet new friends with similar needs and abilities, and develop independence skills. The club is specifically for children and young people with moderate disabilities aged from 8 years up to their 18th Birthday. The Club is supported by experienced staff and trained volunteers, and is free of charge, running from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Mondays at Apple Trees. The club is available to children and young people registered to the Disability Links information service, however, places will no longer be offered to children and young people who also receive a package of social care support. Please contact (01254) 666787 for more information.

Universal services/activities

“Universal services” that are accessible to all children and young people in the borough. A child or young person that has a Special educational need and/or a disability does not need a social care assessment in order to access these groups.

Activities, such as cubs, brownies or scouts would fall into this category but equally families can choose to self-fund a specialist group run by a private provider.

We have made every effort to ensure that universal services meet the requirements of children and families with additional needs so that these children and young people can access mainstream provision. These include provision of practical equipment such as pool hoists, shower alterations and ramps in order to make public buildings more accessible.

These are some examples of provision available within the Borough; it is not an exhaustive list and is subject to change.

After school clubs

After school clubs located on school premises or the clubs will transport children to an off-site venue. Contact the individual school for details.

Blackburn Community Sports Club

Inclusive football club. Training and competitive fixtures for children aged 5-15 years and young people aged 16 and over. Tel: 07597 520 493

Blackburn Youth Zone

Children with Disabilities Diversity Club Sunday 10am-1pm (Inclusion)Tel: (01254) 292000

Children’s centres

The council provides a range of services and activities to support children under 5 years and their parents and carers and perspective parents. Most children’s centres are open from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and provide a core set of services; i.e. parents groups, baby massage, adult learners, health drop in, parents and toddler groups and job clubs.

See the community centres webpages or telephone the Families Information Service on (01254) 667877

Community centres

Information about local activities in your area such as youth clubs, exercise classes and social activities. Improve your maths, English and IT skills. Community events and health and well-being sessions.

Contact the individual centres.

Deaf Children North West

Group sessions, support, activities and day trips, homework clubs, play schemes add developing independence and family support Tel: (01254) 844550.

Dis Ability Boccia Club

Don’t Dis Ability Boccia Club. Training and competitive fixtures for children (Aged 6 and above), young people and adults with disabilities. Tel: 07913 601 166 or email: mailto:rob@sportingnrg.co.uk

East Lancashire Deaf Services

Support deaf and hard of hearing children and their families irrespective of the nature, onset or level of their deafness. Group sessions and activities, support and advice.

East Lancs Deaf Services, 6-8 Heaton Street, Blackburn . Tel: (01254) 844550

GS Social Care Solutions

GS Social Care Solutions Ltd is a specialist social care provider. Established for over 11 years and fully compliant with the Care Quality Commission, we are passionately proud of our quality of care. We are primarily a learning disability service, who focus on what people can do, instead of what they cannot do. We have specialisms in autism and dementia, however our staff team are diverse in skills, knowledge and expertise and this lends to our services to all age groups and abilities. Call (01254) 877755 for more information.

We provide a whole range of social care services:

  • homecare
  • outreach
  • sit in service
  • overnights within the home
  • day respite
  • alternative educational setting
  • residential care for children

We also share our expertise with families and others in the community through our training and development academy:

  • autism and communication
  • moving and handling
  • medication awareness
  • first aid (including paediatric first aid)


Friendship/Social Group for young people aged 16+. For young people with autism/aspergers. Takes place every fortnight on Tuesday evenings at Mill Hill Community Centre. New Friendship group starting in the New Year 2019 which will be held fortnightly. Venue to be confirmed. Please contact 01254 209708/ 07505 353 508 or visit the website for more information

Leisure centres

Leisure and swimming activities:

  • Blackburn Leisure Centre (01254) 585555
  • Darwen Leisure Centre (01254) 874900
  • Witton Park Arena (01254) 666966


Healthy Living Activities taking place in various locations throughout the Borough. Includes Swimming, archery, multi-sports activities, gardening and health walks. Available to children, young people and adults with a learning disability. Contact 07838 921 649

Purple Patch

All inclusive disability football session takes place at Soccerdome, Blackburn every Saturday.

For more information email info@ahffc.org or telephone (01254) 44717

Scouts and Guides

Various groups across the Borough with trained leaders. See the East lancashire Counts website or the Guides website.

Sporting NRG Ltd.

Specialist Outreach provider offering 1:1 and 2:1 bespoke provision and Outreach group support plus overnight Lakeland short breaks. Supporting children with disabilities and complex health needs aged 5 years and over, young people and adults.

Contact 07954 411 637, visit the Sporting RNG website or email gareth@sportingnrg.co.uk

Young Peoples Services (YPS)

Kids Next Door Youth Club for children with Aspergers run by Blackburn with Darwen Young Peoples Services.

Provision for children and young people aged 8 to 19 years with disabilities. Holiday activity programme and a range of clubs including girls group, adventure club and complex needs youth club.

Tel: (01254) 298632


The services and activities listed below are specific to children and young people that have complex needs. They can only be accessed following an assessment of need by Children’s Social Care. Your social worker or child support officer can provide more detail or you can contact the Duty Officer at the Apple Trees Hub on (01254) 503773.

Alternatively, families can opt to self-fund any of the following provisions that are not council owned.

All Care (private provider)

Provide high quality care services including short breaks, domiciliary care and practical support both in the family home and local community. Tel: (01254) 682200. 200 Bolton Road, Blackburn, BB2 4HU

Apple Trees (council owned provision)

Overnight stays/short term breaks for children with complex needs. Summer sensory scheme for children and young people open to social care.

Following assessment of need. For more information contact your social worker or child support officer or the Children’s Disability Service Duty Worker on (01254) 503773.

The Big Blue Door (private provider)

Private short term breaks establishment based in Oswaldtwistle, offering day care, outreach and overnight provision for children with learning and physical disabilities, complex health needs and epilepsy. Visit the website. Tel: (01254) 278378 Big Blue Door, 22 Albert Street, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, BB5 3NB

Castle Rock (private provider)

Providing a range of care and support staff and services, including domiciliary care, supported living, extra care, and continuing healthcare (non-nursing). Tel: (01254) 416135

Children’s Complex Nursing Team

When a child needs specialist health care provision that cannot be met via Primary Care Services, a continuing health care assessment will be undertaken to identify whether specialist health care provision is required. Specialist health care provision is only available to children with complex health needs, i.e. children who are ventilated etc.

For further information please liaise with the Clinical Co-ordinator at Shadsworth Children’s Centre

Shadsworth Road, Blackburn BB1 2HR. Tel: (01254) 680733

Crossroads Care East Lancashire (private provider)

To promote, offer and deliver high quality services for carers and people with care needs. Practical support, personal care, short breaks and domiciliary care.

Crossroads Care East Lancs, Burnley Business Centre, Liverpool Road, Burnley, BB12 6HH. Tel: (01282) 832548

Derian House Children’s Hospice

(following referral from Health)

Care and support, short breaks, palliative care. A dedicated centre dealing with children and families with extreme health needs.

Derian House Children’s Hospice, Chancery Road, Astley Village, Chorley, Lancashire. Tel: (01257) 233300

Fostering short break carers (council owned provision)

Short breaks including overnight provision within a family environment with registered foster carers.

Following assessment. Please contact your social worker or child support officer for further details or contact the Children’s Disability Service Duty Worker on (01254) 503773.

GS Social Care Solutions Ltd (private provider)

Short breaks, Outreach and home care support for all ages.

GS Social Care- provides homecare, outreach and independent skills for a wide variety of individuals who have varying needs. All ages.

GS Training and Development Academy- provides specialist training on site for moving and handling/ first aid/ paediatric first aid/ Autism awareness/ communication training available for both parents and professionals.

The Meadows aims to provide care and accommodation for up to 5 young people with a Learning Disability, Physical Disability, Sensory Impairment and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder, who may also display associated challenging behaviour. In addition to this the person may also have a medical health complex need or those who require nursing or personal care. The age group for accommodation is 0-18 (17 on date of admission) years of either gender.. Tel: (01254) 877755

Home Care for You (private provider)

Short breaks, outreach and Domiciliary support

Home Care For You, Suite 127, Glenfield Park, Philips Road, Blackburn , BB1 5PF Tel: (01254) 663414

Indigo (private provider)

Provides 1:1 short break activities for children who receive a direct payment or have a personal budget. All staff are DBS checked and have transport with business insurance.

Tel: 01254 209708 Mobile: 07505 353 508 or visit the website.

Sporting NRG Ltd. (private provider)

1:1, 2:1 and Outreach group support, including overnight social/activity breaks for children with disabilities and complex needs aged 5 years and over, young people and adults.

Tel: (01254) 693148 or visit the website.