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Short Breaks, Leisure & Activities

A short break is a good quality, fun, positive activity that a child or young person with a disability can attend either with you or independently.

A short break can last between a few hours and several days. It can take place:

  • in your own home
  • in a supported setting
  • within the community

It provides families with a break from their caring role and time to spend with other family members or to have time to themselves. The Local Authority provides the following short breaks which are accessed through an assessment by Social Care.

Please visit the Short Break webpage of the Stockton on Tees Borough Council website for further information about our service

Autism Hour at Teesside Park

According to the National Autistic Society, 64% of autistic people avoid going to the shops because of sensory overload. 
For that reason, we're rolling out a weekly Autism Hour at Teesside Park from 9am to 10am on Saturday mornings.

This will continue every Saturday from the launch date to make shopping at Teesside more autism-friendly.

​We're here to help everyone enjoy their experience.

So what can you expect? We've spoken to our in-store teams and here's what we've agreed:

Argos – Music off, no tannoy announcements for the first hour, and no roll cages on the floor or staff replenishing shelves between 9am and 10am.

ASDA Living – A third of the lights off and music level lowered.

Boots – Music off. Trained pharmacist in branch to offer help and advice.

Barker and Stonehouse – Staff awareness.

Carphone Warehouse – Music level lowered.

Charles Clinkard – Music will be turned off completely. Customers can make appointments (first thing or last thing on a weekend, and subject to availability during the week) to take away the element of having to wait. They have toys for children to play with. In addition, all Charles Clinkard staff have completed autism awareness training with local charity Daisy Chain. You can find out more about Daisy chain by clicking here.

Clarks – Music off. Clarks has its own autism friendly shopping experiences out of hours on a Sunday morning before the store is open to customers. 

Clintons – Music level lowered.

Costa (& Costa NEXT) – Staff awareness.

Currys PC World – Music off. There will be the usual noise and lights coming from products on display, such as televisions.

EE – Music/monitors off.

DFS – Staff awareness.

Footasylum – Music level lowered.

GAME – Staff awareness.

Greggs – Music off for the first hour.

H&M – Music level lowered.

Hobbycraft – Lighting will be lowered to emergency lighting; music will also be lowered.

Holland & Barrett – Staff awareness.

Hotel Chocolat – Music level lowered.

JD – Music level lowered.

Laura Ashley – Music level lowered.

Mamas & Papas – Music off and partial lighting.

Moss Bros – Music off.

Mothercare – Music and kids’ ride-on switched off.

M&S – No music; lighting level lowered.

McDonald's – Music level lowered.

Morrisons – Music off, kiddy rides off, and no tannoy announcements in the first hour.

New Look – Lighting lowered.

NEXT – Music level lowered.

Outfit – Music level lowered.

O2 – Music level lowered. 

Office Outlet – Music level lowered.

Pandora – Music level lowered.

Paperchase – Music off.

Pets At Home – Staff awareness, and they will gladly lift the animals out for autistic shoppers to pet.

River Island – Music off.

Schuh – Music off.

Simply Be – Music level lowered.

Sports Direct – Music level lowered.

Superdrug – Music off and all other noise reduced (no till bells, no cages/trolleys on the shop floor moved, immediately responding to barrier alarms etc.). 

As a company, Superdrug has educated its store teams with an introduction to autism, how to interact with customers who have autism, and how to help them, along with how its stores look and feel during the hour.

Sofology – Music level lowered.

Showcase Cinema – on the second Sunday of every month, Showcase has an Autism Friendly Screening, where the lighting and volume are lowered in the auditorium, there aren’t any trailers, the films are shown in 2D, customers can take their own food/drink in, and they’re able to move around during the screening.

Thomas Cook – Music off.

TUI – Music level lowered.

TK Maxx – Lowered music and lighting.

USC – Music level lowered.

WH Smith – Will open at 8:30 on a Saturday to allow an hour and a half for Autism Hour. Lighting will be lowered and music will be switched off during this time. 

Go Climb Billingham - Quiet Climb

Go Climb Billingham run quiet sessions for children with autism throughout the week. These sessiosn have a maximum capacity of 16 children and are run by Autism trained staff. For more information, please visit the Go Climb webpage on the Teesactive website.

Jump 360

Jump Support is a specific session designed for individuals with additional needs or disabilities. Check when the sessions are running by visiting their location pages

Yarm PHAB Club

Yarm PHAB Club is at Yarm School on Thursdays 4.45 – 6.00pm. This group is  aimed at childrens and young people with dsiabilities aged between 11 - 18 year old. The group meet to play games, socialise  and activties such as arts and crafts.

SNAPS Tees Valley

SNAPS are a parent led, well established support group. They were formed in 1999 by a group of parents / carers of young people with various disabilities / complex and additional needs. They provide term and holiday activities for the whole family with a child or young person 0 - 25 years old with special or additional needs in the Tees Valley area. Find out the activities they currently offer on their facebook page.

Billingham Boxing Academy

Billingham Boxing Academy  run SEN boxing classes Tuesdays 5pm-6pm. Available to all ages

Velocity Trampoline and Gymnastics

Velocity is a gymnastics & trampolining club for all ages, with 3 venues across Teesside. Disabilities Trampoline sessions are structured trampoline classes, that are based around the special needs of children attending. The provision is inclusive of any SEN with a dedicated staff member and trampoline that does not change. Disability tramploining sessions are on Saturday 5-6pm

Roseberry Communty Consortium

Roseberry Community Consortium arrange sports activities for parents and children and adults with dyspraxia or related conditions like dyslexia, asperger syndrome and autism. Activities include  Dancing, Fitness & Exercies, Walking, Football Tennis and much more. For more information, please visit the Roseberry Community Consortium Website.

CEA Card (UK Cinema Association)

CEA Card

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed by the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) for UK cinemas. The scheme was introduced in 2004 and is one of the ways for participating cinemas to ensure they make reasonable adjustments for disabled guests when they go to the cinema; in particular it ensures a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them.

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