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Essex Short Breaks Mainstream Inclusion Fund

29 April 2024

During the development of the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy 2021-2026 families told us that their children were not always able to access mainstream clubs and activities, and that being able to would improve access and inclusion in their local community. 

ECC have developed a fund for improving access to clubs and activities in mainstream settings for children and young people with SEND that will run alongside our existing clubs and activities offer.                                                                                                        

Organisations can apply for a minimum of £500 to a maximum of £40,000 that improve access to clubs and activities in mainstream settings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
This funding is open to any organisation based in Essex, that is looking to enable access and inclusion for children and young people with SEND.
The organisation must have engaged or will be engaging with children and young people of different age groups to understand their needs and wants. The organisation must develop their application in line with feedback from children and young people and their families.        

Applications close on 31st May 2024. Please email for more information, fund guidance and application form.



Frequently Asked Questions

1. Am I allowed to use the funding for existing clubs and activities?

 No, as per section 4 (Funding) of the guidance, the funding can only be used for new provision and not existing.


2. I am a specialist SEND organisation; would I be able to apply?

Yes, all applications will be evaluated against the published scoring methodology.

 Whilst the funding is not available for organisations to improve specialist settings, specialist settings are welcome to apply where their project will increase access to activities in mainstream settings.


3. How long does the contract run for?

The contract will start on 21st June 2024 and funding must be spent by 31st March 2025.


4. How much can I apply for?

 Organisations can apply for between £500 to a maximum of £40,000. £10,000 is the maximum for capital spend.


5. What is the difference between capital and revenue spending?

 There is a capital limit of £10,000 for one off adaptations and equipment which will improve inclusion and accessibility. Applications may be for funding towards minor adaptations to premises that clearly enable access and inclusion for children and young people with SEND.

 Up to £40,000 can be applied for revenue costs which includes staffing costs, session costs and training programmes, as long as your application sets out how the project will be sustainable when the funding ends.


6. Am I allowed to use the funding for staff?

You can apply for up to £40,000 for revenue costs which include staffing costs, sessions costs etc. as long as your application sets out how the session will be sustainable when the funding ends.

 The total you can apply for is £40,000 including the £10,000 capital expenditure limit.


7. Can I use the funding towards renovations?

Yes, please refer to question 5.


8. What will happen after the contract?

You will be required to fill out a simple project monitoring report in October 2024 and project end report in April 2025. The reports will set out the milestones achieved. After the contract ends, we hope you will be able to continue the provision and the funding provided the necessary equipment and/or materials to do so.


9. Do tables count as part of the word count?

The table in Question 1 of the Pricing section is not part of the maximum word count. The table is for you to work out how much you funding you would be requesting and the application response afterwards is a maximum of 200 words. 

If you add any tables yourself that are not already part of the document, they would be considered part of your word count.