Wakefield Council has been given a grant of £298,701 will help more families with disabled children take a break from their caring responsibilities.

The funding has been given after a second successful bid to the Department for Education (DfE).

It means the council can continue to offer short breaks and support services to children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability), giving them the chance to take part in activities enjoyed by other children.

From April, there will be additional help available during the summer holidays and there will be more family activities that last a full day and which gives carers and parents the opportunity to meet and share experiences.

Siblings of children and young people who live with SEND will also be included in some group support that the council offer.

To ensure families come forward to receive help, and to find parents or carers who may be hard to reach, the council will hire a part-time family engagement officer.

These plans were agreed after a consultation with the local Parent Carer Forum and wider feedback. They have the backing of local community organisations and the Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership.

Most of the work started last year, after the council were one of only seven local authorities to receive their first grant from the DfE’s ‘Short Breaks Innovation Fund’ will carry on. This includes short breaks which prepare young people for adulthood and providing more intensive support to young people, aged 12 and over, with autism, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Victoria Schofield, Corporate Director for Children and Young People, has welcomed the news. She said: “More funding is vital for children who have complex needs as it is often their only chance to enjoy fun activities in a safe environment and give families a break.

“Being a carer can leave you with very little time for yourself or other people and can be an extremely difficult job. We want to offer as much support as we can.

“This funding gives us the opportunity to offer more than we normally could and gives children the chance for more positive outcomes, along with their families and carers.”