Media Release: Better breaks for disabled children

DISABLED children and their families in Scotland are set to benefit from an injection of over £1.3 million into the development of services which allows them to have a break from routine and from their caring responsibilities.

The funding is part of the Better Breaks programme which provides grants to third sector organisations to develop short breaks services.

In making this money available through the Short Breaks Fund, the Scottish Government wishes to make a big difference to families right across Scotland.

The fund has just awarded 55 more grants to organisations from Orkney to the Scottish Borders, which will collectively benefit the families of more than 3,000 disabled children and young people.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said: “Families caring for a disabled child or young person should have the same choices and opportunities as others.

“That is why I am pleased that 55 organisations across Scotland dedicated to supporting children and young people with disabilities and their parent carers have been awarded over  £1.3 million from the Better Breaks Fund.

“Better breaks can be immensely important for children, young people, and their parents or carers as they provide many with the opportunity to experience something new, learn new skills and make new friends.”

Anna McTaggart, Grants Officer from Quarriers, who received a grant, said: “All involved  in our short breaks project are thrilled at the news  about our Better Breaks grant and raring to get started.

“Over the past few years, the Short Breaks Fund has allowed us to do such a variety of valuable work to support people with diverse needs in different part of the country.

“We are deeply appreciative of these latest opportunities to continue and extend our support for carers and those they care for.”

Shared Care Scotland’s chief executive, Don Williamson, commented: “We are delighted to be part of this unique fund. We know how important it is for all children and young people to be able to take up interests and activities that are enjoyable and fulfilling, and how important it is for families to have some time to recharge their batteries.

“We also know that disabled children face greater challenges in accessing these opportunities, particularly children with complex additional support needs. This fund helps to overcome these challenges by investing in effective, local initiatives.”

This is the second year of the Better Breaks fund, which was established in 2012 by the Scottish Government and which is administered by carers’ charity Shared Care Scotland.

The aim of the fund is to improve the range and reach of short breaks for disabled children and their families, especially for children with multiple support needs.

The fund will pay for the development of new services that create opportunities for children and young people to meet friends and enjoy leisure activities together or possibly for families to enjoy a much-need family break away together.

About Shared Care Scotland’s role in the fund:

The Better Breaks programme is part of the Short Breaks Fund, which is fully funded by Scottish Government. The Short Breaks Fund is worth £2.3 million per year.

Shared Care Scotland administers the Short Breaks Fund on behalf of the National Carer Organisations in Scotland.

A further £700k of Scottish Government funding is provided as direct grants to families of disabled children through the Take a Break Scotland grant programme managed by the Family Fund.

About Shared Care Scotland:

Shared Care Scotland works to improve the quality, choice and availability of short breaks (respite care) provision across Scotland for the benefit of all unpaid carers and care recipients.

The objectives of Shared Care Scotland are:

  • To improve short breaks policy and practice at all levels through collaborative effort
  • To advance good practice through research, learning exchange and development projects
  • To provide accessible, up-to-date information and advice about short breaks to those who use, provide or plan services
  • To connect people together to share experiences and ideas

Shared Care Scotland manages the only national database of short break opportunities at

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Shared Care Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Alison Stevenson
Phone: 01383622462