Activities for children with additional needs
There are a wide range of organisations that provide activities for children and young people with additional needs. We have gathered as many as possible here in one place. If you know of others that we have missed from this list, please do e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NDCS is not responsible for checking the quality of the events and activities listed or whether the staff have appropriate police checks. We can however support the organisations to be deaf-friendly through the provision of training and information and through supporting the organisation to find a suitably qualified volunteer to meet your child's communication needs.
- Holiday and short break providers
- Activity day providers and specialist venues
- Supporting organisations to be deaf-friendly
Holiday and short break providers
3H Fund (UK)
3H Helping Hands for Holidays organise holidays for disabled children and adults across the UK. The holidays are led by volunteer carers and nurses. Places are subsidised and grants are available.
Action for blind people (national)
Action for Blind People is a national charity with local reach, providing practical help and support to blind and partially sighted people of all ages. They organise a range of activities including activity weekends for young people.
Action for Children (national)
Action for Children offer community-based short breaks, family-based breaks or support in your own home. It's about the child and what they want to do. They can choose to do the same thing or something different each time they see us.
BREAK – Norfolk (Eastern)
BREAK is a charitable organisation which provides holidays, respite, short stay and emergency care for children and adults with special needs, and their families. Situated on the Norfolk coast, the centres provide 24 hour care by specialist staff teams, with a full range of equipment and adaptations to cater for a wide range of disabilities. BREAK also provides self catering holidays for families with special needs.
Caudwell Children (national)
Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. They also run an Enable Sport programme for talented disabled athletes and our Destination Dreams holiday for children fighting life threatening conditions.
Dream flight (UK)
Dreamflight is a UK charity that changes young lives through taking children with a serious illness or disability, without their parents, on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.
Fabb Scotland (Facilitating Activities Barrier Breaks) has been working to enable disabled children and young people access to sport, leisure and outdoor adventure. FABB provide inclusive holidays, summer programme and short breaks.
Happy Days Charity (UK)
Happy Days Children's Charity provides day trips and short breaks to some of the UK's most vulnerable children, bringing happiness and hope to them and their families. They fund and organise respite breaks, residential trips, days out, visiting theatre performances and theatre trips throughout the UK and are a vital support to many young people in special needs schools, hospitals and hospices
Kensington Foundation – Blackpool (North West)
The Kensington Foundation is a Blackpool-based charity whose objectives are "to promote the relief of homelessness, poverty, deprivation and distress." Currently we fund and manage the following projects: The Daisy Chain Project holiday accommodation for respite breaks and The Margaret Kane Canal Boat offering day cruises and short residential breaks.
KIDS work with disabled children and young people and their families. They offer a range of different services for children and their families including short breaks, play schemes, nurseries, groups and activities.
Make A Wish (national)
Grant magical wishes to children and young people fighting life threatening conditions this does include short breaks and holidays.
National Holiday Fund for sick and disabled children (national)
The National Holiday Fund for sick and disabled children organise holidays to Florida for terminally ill or permanently sick children who have not been to Florida previously.
The Newman Holiday Trust (England and Scotland)
The Newman Holiday Trust is a voluntary organisation which provides summer holidays for children with special needs. The Trust provides holidays for over 120 disabled children aged 5-16 each year in England and Scotland.
Phab (England and Wales)
Phab creates opportunities for children and adults of all abilities to enjoy life together by supporting a network of around 180 clubs throughout England and Wales for all age-ranges, offering activities and holidays which members can share and enjoy together. Funding special residential breaks – inclusive experiences for disabled and non-disabled children and young people to share in a full range of adventurous outdoor activities at fully accessible activity centres offering specialist tuition. Providing specially equipped and fully accessible holiday units at an award-winning beach site in Dorset at affordable weekly rates and lots more
SSAFA coordinates holidays and events that focus on offering new experiences and activities for children and young people from Armed Service families they also provide specific holidays for children with additional needs who are from service families.
Each year Sense organises around 25 week-long summer holidays for more than 100 children, young people and adults who are deafblind. From camping to cosy cottages, and canal boats to city breaks, each holiday gives them the chance to have fun and try new experiences. They also offer short breaks for children and young people up to the age of 19 years and their families fun and interesting ‘getaway’ opportunities throughout the year in Cornwall and Cambridgeshire
TSC Trust (UK)
We offer holidays through Haven Holidays who have 35 sites dotted around the coast throughout the UK. Haven offer a range of specially adapted caravans suitable for wheelchair users. As all impairments and disabilities are dealt with in different ways we work closely with Havens team of specially trained special needs advisors to ensure we book the accommodation best suited to the families needs.
Whizz Kidz (national)
Whizz Kidz provide essential mobility equipment to help young disabled people to be independent, and run youth groups (known as Ambassador Clubs), Wheelchair Skills Training sessions, residential camps and Work Placements to help young people develop and reach their potential.
Activity day providers and specialist venues
Barnstondale – Wirral (North West)
Barnstondale is an inclusive adventure and activity centre. With outdoor pursuits, team building, sports and excitement to be had, you can create your own adventure at Barnstondale. The centre is adapted and welcomes group bookings and families.
Bendrigg Trust – Kendal (North West)
The Bendrigg Trust is a residential activity centre specialising in high quality courses for disabled and disadvantaged people, of any age or ability
Calvert Trust – Devon (South West), Keswick (North West), Kielder (North East)
The Calvert Trust own three purpose built outdoor activity centres for disabled people. All three sites are suitable for families or for group bookings and have a CAN DO attitude. They also organise activity days. The Kielder centre also has supported residential activities for 18 years plus only.
Camp Mohawk – Berkshire (South East)
Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.
Donkey Sanctuary - Birmingham, Belfast, Devon, Manchester and Leeds
The Donkey Sanctuary offer donkey assisted therapy to children and adults with additional needs and disabilities. Qualified riding instructors, grooms and volunteers deliver tailored donkey assisted therapy riding sessions in a specially designed indoor arena.
Fairytale Farm - Oxfordshire (South East)
A sensory and learning wonderland for all the family where everything is accessible!
High Ashurst Activity Centre - Surrey (South East)
Surrey County Council owned activity centre suitable for day activities and residentials with accommodation adapted for children with additional needs
Nell Bank – Bradford (Yorkshire and Humberside)
Nell Bank offer day and residential visits for all ages and abilities. The "Aiming High" residential facility for physically disabled children and young persons includes height adjustable tables, kitchen, hygiene suite, beds and hoists. The accommodation has bunk beds for 10 people and hi/lo beds for an additional six.
Papworth Trust – Kerry Farm
Papworth Trust are a charity who support disabled people of all ages. They have recently developed a short break/holiday scheme for disabled children and adults in the Welsh countryside which families can enjoy together free of charge.
Special Adventure Playground – Newcastle-under-Lyme (West Midlands)
The North Staffs Special Adventure Playground is an independent registered charity, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which provides a wide range of play, recreational and educational activities and facilities for disabled children, young people and adults.
Taste for Adventure – Hereford (West Midlands)
Taste for Adventure is an adventure centre with a difference. As well as enabling paying groups to do great activities we are also a charity whose target groups are the less able, the impoverished, the abused and the elderly. The centre has accessible accommodation and a range of accessible equipment.
The Thomas Centre – Lincolnshire (East Midlands)
Whether you are a parent of a child with Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, Tourettes or are suffering from other forms of Sensory Impairment, Cerebral Palsy or other forms of Complex Needs, The Thomas Centre aim is to provide a holiday that meet the needs of the Whole Family, not just the needs of the family member with special needs. Visit our website to find details of our purpose built accommodation.
Thomley Hall Activity Centre – Worminghall, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire (South East)
Thomley Activity Centre is a recreational facility for disabled children and adults, their families, friends, schools and groups. The centre has a range of onsite facilities including soft play, lifeskills, arts and crafts, sports, cycling and outdoor activities all specially adapted. Suitable for families, individuals and groups.
The Yard (Scotland)
The Yard is a purpose built indoor and outdoor adventure playground in Edinburgh for children and young people with disabilities. The provides care, support, fun and friendship in equal measure while promoting challenge and personal growth in an environment which values independence and celebrates the capabilities and achievements of each individual child.
Zinc Arts Centre – Chipping Ongar (Greater London)
Zinc Arts Centre is home to many different arts activities throughout the week. Here’s just a taste!
Zinc Zilla’s, music and play, Zinc Youth Theatre, drama skills, dance classes and more. Zinc has purpose built fully accessible accommodation which is great for youth groups.
Supporting organisations to be deaf-friendly
The Inclusive Activities Team support mainstream and disability leisure providers to be deaf-friendly through the provision of Making Activities Deaf Friendly Training and offering activity providers a package of support. Should your child wish to attend one of the activities listed above please contact the organisers directly in the first instance. Many of the organisations listed have worked with deaf children with additional needs previously.
Please note: NDCS are not responsible for checking the quality of the activities listed this includes whether they are regulated by the necessary authorities such as Ofsted or whether the people involved in delivering services and activities have received the necessary clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
If you are concerned about this or require any further information please contact the organisation offering the activity.