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Respite care and short breaks

Short breaks provide parents and carers with a break from your caring role.

A short break can range from a couple of hours taking part in a local activity with friends to holiday schemes or specialist over-night hospice care. The type, length and cost of a short break can vary to meet the needs of each family. Read our  Icon for pdf Short Breaks Statement for families who have children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in County Durham (PDF, 260.0kb)  for more information.

Use the Local Offer Directory - 'things to do' category to find activities for children and young people with SEND.

Community short breaks

These short breaks are delivered during school holidays, evenings and weekends and are prioritised for those families who are unable to access general culture and leisure opportunities in their community to provide a short break for carers. There will be smaller short break groups of 10 or less children, with no more than 20 per session. There may be a charge of £3.00 per hour so that these valued breaks can go further.

AreaNameContact details
County-wideDurham Area Disability Leisure Group (DADLG)Tel: 07592 366 454
EasingtonPlease contact our Commissioning Service directlyTel: 03000 265 881
DerwentsideSport WorksTel: 0191 580 0120
Email: or 
The DalesPlease contact our Commissioning Service directlyTel: 03000 265 881
SedgefieldSport WorksTel: 0191 580 0120
Email: or 
Durham and Chester-le-StreetIntegrating ChildrenTel: 07914 376 228

Park House

Park House offers a short break service to 8-17 year olds with a disability. A short break could be one to three overnight stays. This care is available to young people who have a learning disability and complex physical needs requiring specialist equipment; specific communication needs; or a sensory impairment.

For young people over 18 years old

Durham Shared Lives

Durham Shared Lives provides short-term, long-term or emergency care for adults with learning disabilities through Shared Lives Providers. The care takes place in the home of the Shared Lives Providers. There is a means-tested charge for short-break care based on the income of the person being cared for. See our Learning disability services page for more information.

Hawthorn House

Hawthorn House provides short break/respite opportunities for adults with learning disabilities, including those with complex needs. This also gives families and carers a break from their caring responsibilities. See our Learning disability services page for more information.

For carers

There's lots of support available to carers in County Durham including help accessing short breaks. See Durham County Carers: carers breaks to find out more.

Contact us
03000 266 837
Our address is:
  • Adult and Health Services
  • Durham County Council
  • 2/56-70, County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UG
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