Short Breaks

Whatever a break means for you find time and ways to make space for yourself.


Our Carer’s workshops have many benefits not least that when you take part you are doing something for yourself. Many carers have found new friendships, a new hobby, or as one carer described it a magic carpet that swishes you away from your caring thoughts. Why not do something for you and take a break with our carer’s workshops.

Breaks Away

A full-time caring role can be exhausting, so a few days away with a partner or a friend can work wonders.

Carefree transforms vacant accommodation into vital breaks for unpaid carers.

To qualify for a break carers must be:

  • Aged 21 or over
  • Full-time unpaid carer (30+ hours per week)
  • Able to arrange interim care
  • Able to pay for extras (£25 admin fee, transport, food, travel insurance etc.)
    The break is for the carer only. They are welcome to take a companion but not the person(s) they care for.

Time Out Volunteers

As part of our offer, we can look for a volunteer to be a companion for the person you support, for a couple of hours on a regular basis. This means you can do things that you might normally find difficult, such as gardening, going for a coffee with a friend or maybe you’d like to join one of our carer’s workshops or a carer’s group. (Our volunteer befriending service is operating in select areas of the county).

Talk to our short breaks for carers co-ordinator about these offers:  please email

You can find out about other short break offers for carers of adults by using the Live Well site and choosing ‘looking after someone’ here

Short breaks for families

Family Information Service (FIS)

The Family Information Service is part of Oxfordshire County Council and offers free information & advice for all families.  This includes help with finding Ofsted registered childcare, activities, parenting support, funding childcare costs, free early education, help with children with additional needs and more.  You can search for this information on their Directory – by using a specific subject and put in your town/postcode or email the team with your query –

Short Breaks for families of children with impairments

Short Breaks provide invaluable support and opportunities for children with a disability or additional need.  Children/young people can attend an activity and whilst they are there, you can get a break from caring and a chance to recharge, spend time with your other children or do things that are difficult when you’re caring.  For general information on activities, Ofsted registered childcare etc, please go to the Family Information Service Directory. You might also find it helpful to take a look at the section on disability, SEN & additional needs –  

You can contact Pauline by email or telephone 07554 330244.

If your child is disabled, they may qualify for services from the local authority’s children’s social care department that would benefit the whole family:

If your child is going through an Education, Health and Care process, your child is entitled to an assessment for social care services as part of the process ask about this at your meetings.  

Access to respite, Short Break services or getting help from a paid carer, can literally be a lifeline when you’re at breaking point. If you want to request a social care assessment for your disabled child you can do so via the MASH – 0345 050 7666.

Get advice Know your child’s rights to social care support – Special Needs Jungle  

There are many different support groups out there offering support that can help in a variety of ways.  Some of these include: 

KEEN, an Oxford based group who offer fun activities and a buddying service. 

Home Start operating in various parts of the county and have a team of volunteers who can help families with at least one child under 5 who are struggling to cope. 

SENDIASS can help with education issues as well as provide advice on EHCPs.  

Further information on all of these and more are on the Family Information Service’s Directory – 

The Local Offer (LO) for SEN and Disability (SEND) brings together information about education, health and care services for children and young people from 0 to 25 with SEND.  Please visit Oxfordshire County Council’s Local Offer page for more information  

Want to get involved?

You can get involved with Carers Oxfordshire, if you have some time to spare then volunteering as a befriender might be of interest.

Volunteer Today