Despite the weather children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) enjoyed a day of family fun down by the Clacton coast yesterday (30 August), courtesy of the Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities service.
The service provides a range of fun and inclusive opportunities across the county and the event, which took place outside the Short Breaks’ accessible beach huts on the main promenade, was delivered in partnership by Essex County Council, Action for Children and Tendring District Council.
Young people had the opportunity to take part in activity sessions and interactive workshops run by local providers including Trailnet adapted bikes, Disability4Sport, and The J’s Hospice. Families were also treated to special performances from The Mercury Theatre and CoCo Care Performing Arts.
Councillor, Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities offer fantastic opportunities for young people with SEND to make new friends, develop their independence, try new things and most importantly to have fun in a stimulating and engaging environment that meets their individual needs.
“After listening to young people and their families and hearing their suggestions for activities they would like to get involved with across the county, yesterday’s fun day was a great chance for them to experience what is on offer.
“Events like this also support our wider commitment to ensuring all children and young people in the county have equal access to the same opportunities and I’m so pleased everyone enjoyed the day.”
The event comes after ECC recently approved funding for a new adapted caravan in Clacton, meaning more families are able to enjoy short breaks together in the county, without the worry of whether there will be appropriate facilities for their child.
Mike Bowyer, Action for Children’s service manager for Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities, said: “All our children and young people had a brilliant day at Clacton with their families. It was great seeing them enjoy all the activities and workshops and we can’t thank enough the local providers who put on such a great day of fun.
“We are committed to giving families the chance to take a break from their normal routines and enjoy doing fun things together; everyone gets so much from it. This fun day will live long in the memory and it was wonderful to come together with Essex County Council and Tendring District Council to make it happen.”
Councillor Lynda McWilliams, Cabinet Member for Health and Education at Tendring District Council, said: “I’m delighted that the children and their families were able to experience the delights of our wonderful coastline and I hope they take many happy memories with them.”