Council treat for disabled children

Respite: Councillor Jackie Drayton meets Kerry George, her son Connor, and baby daughter Ellie-Mae.
Respite: Councillor Jackie Drayton meets Kerry George, her son Connor, and baby daughter Ellie-Mae.
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SHEFFIELD families with disabled children could have the chance of a much needed break - thanks to £400 grants available from the council.

The grants, which are available until December 31, can be put towards a family holiday or used to help children enjoy a favourite activity of their choice.

The aim of the scheme is to allow parents to take a break from their caring responsibilities while giving their children something fun and fulfilling to do.

The council ran the initiative for the first time last year, after receiving funding from central government. It proved such a success that it is being repeated this year.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to fund the short break grant scheme again this year and I would urge anyone with a disabled child to get in touch with us.

“We know it works in helping to relieve the stress of caring. Parents are the experts and the scheme gives them the opportunity to do something which they know will be of most benefit to their family.

“The grant can be used for a holiday or anything which parents or carers feel would benefit their whole family. So some parents have used it to pay for gym membership, or to help their child access an after-school activity while they take a break, or to do an activity as a family.”

Mum Kerry George from Norfolk Park knew exactly what would benefit her four children, especially her eldest child Connor, aged 13, who has ADHD.

She used part of her grant to buy a big garden trampoline.

She said: “He loves to play in the garden, and the trampoline gets out all his anger and frustration. It benefits Connor, all my children and me.

“It gives me pleasure knowing that Connor is safe and happy. When I see him bouncing on that trampoline it’s amazing to see. And it’s lovely to watch him playing nicely with his siblings.”

Hillsborough-based Ray of Hope took 11 families on holiday to Butlins in Skegness.

The scheme is aimed at those with a disabled child aged 19 or under.