To find out about childcare provision in your area, check Childcare Link or telephone West Lothian Childcare Information Service on 01506 280044, where you can discuss your exact requirements with them.
Your child may be able to attend their local after-school club, which often operates during holiday periods as well. There are also some holiday play-schemes which may have spaces (e.g. Lothian Autistic Society and Barnardos). For the most up to date information on this topic, contact Signpost. It is helpful to get in touch well before holiday times, as places on projects fill up quickly.
The Scottish Childminding Association may be able to help with details of local child-minders who can accommodate children with additonal needs. Talk to them on their Advice Service 01786 449063 (open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signpost has other information which may be helpful – for example, Barnardos has a sitter service which may be available to some families, and Working Families has information on working parents’ rights.
Signpost has brochures and contact details for the organisations listed below, plus several more, in our office – why not drop in and look at our holiday file to see if we have something that would suit you?
If financing a holiday is a problem, Signpost can help. With the aid of our ‘Funder-finder’ software, Signpost can produce a list of possible funders who may be able to help towards the cost of a holiday. Call us on 01506 431123 for further information.
Signpost has also produced a helpful booklet containing the information below.
The Family Fund can help with the cost of a holiday away from home for the whole family, the disabled child alone, or for the rest of the family whilst the disabled child is cared for by others.
The Fund cannot pay separately for holiday deposits and are not able to help with short-term (respite) care or school organised holidays. The fund can only help children under 17, where household income is below a certain threshold.
For an application form, phone the Family Fund on 0845 1304542 or alternatively contact the Signpost office who can also provide you with an application pack.
Trefoil House Holiday Grant Fund
Trefoil House have grants available to fund holidays for people with additional support needs. Applications are invited from individuals, families, groups or charities representing the individuals, but must be supported by references from two independent individuals from a legal, nursing, medical or social work background. Grants can be requested to assist in the payment of a holiday either in the UK or abroad. There are no age limits on the applicant. NB Grants will normally not exceed £250 per individual.
For more details and a grant application form please contact:
Trefoil, East Lodge, Gogarmuir Road, Edinburgh, EH12 9BZ – Tel 0131 339 3148 – Fax 0131 317 7271
The Calvert Trust
The Calvert Trust has several adventure centres in Cumbria and Devon. They cater for groups, families and individuals and have fully catered activity packages, or you can stay self catering in specially designed log cabins. Contact them on 01434 250232 for a brochure and price list.
Vitalise has 3 centres around Britain for adults and children with special needs. Each Centre offers 24-hour care-on-call and personal support from staff and volunteers, as well as pre-arranged trips and activities and on-site entertainment. There is something going on every day at the centres and guests can choose to join in the outings and entertainment, or simply use the Centre as a base to relax or to explore the local area as they wish. To discuss your requirements, contact Vitalise Centres, Short Break Bookings Team, 212 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH. Tel: 0303 303 0145. Fax: 0207 288 6899. Email: email@example.com
Access Travel specialises in holidays, to a range of destinations, for people with disabilities, in particular wheelchair users. All properties have been inspected and suggested by wheelchair users. Special aids, nursing and care services and adapted vehicles are provided in many of their destinations. Access Travel, 6 The Hillock, Astley, Lancashire. Tel: 01942 88 844
Holidays for all
Holidays for all is a group of leading disability charities who work together to promote quality, accessible breaks across the UK. For more information, check out their website.
The Seagull Trust – Holiday Canal Cruising in Scotland
The Seagull Trust provides canal cruising for disabled people in Scotland. Holiday cruises can be arranged starting from the Falkirk Wheel, for groups which include at least one disabled person. There is a charge per night for hire of the boat (Signpost may be able to help you find funds for this).
The ‘Marion Seagull’ can be booked for a period of between two and six nights and it is intended that the hirer will be given training in steering and using the boat. However if the hirer requests it a skipper can be provided. Takes groups up to six, including carers (one less if skipper required). For more information, telephone 0131 335 3318.
Badaguish Centre promotes countryside activity holidays and training for people with special needs, both for unaccompanied individuals and in self-catering groups. Specialised 24-hour care available.
Badaguish Centre, Aviemore, Invernesshire, PH22 1QU. Tel: 01479861285
Holiday Endeavour for Lone Parents
H.E.L.P is a non-profit making charity run mainly by people who are or have been lone parents. They are dedicated to providing high-quality, low cost, half board, full board and self catering accommodation with entertainment packages which will allow any lone parent family, regardless of income, to both afford and enjoy a family holiday. Holidays are available in the UK and Spain with weeks available from March through to December.
If you would like to find out more, contact the booking officer on 01302 728791
Disabled Living have a useful guide to holidays for disabled people, which can be downloaded from their website. Disabled Living, Redbank House, 4 St Chads Street, Cheetham, Manchester. Tel: 0161 823 3678
Disabled Holiday Directory
This website has a directory of holidays, hotels, tour operators and villas all specifically for the disabled traveller. It is very user friendly and has good reviews from other users.
Local Tourist Centres in the area you wish to visit often have good guides for disabled people. The Edinburgh tourist centre should be able to get you the telephone number of any other tourist office – Tel: +44 (8452) 255121
Make a Wish
There are numerous different Wish Charities that will grant wishes of holidays for children with potentially life-shortening or terminal illness. In all cases the child must be under the age of 18. For more information contact Signpost who have a comprehensive list of these charities.