Northern Lights add even more fun to a SSAFA Short Break

Sun during the daytime and the Northern Lights at night added to the fun of the recent SSAFA Short Break held at Calvert Trust Lake District.

The Short Break scheme, run by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity caters for serving – including reservist – families who have a child with an additional need or disability, be it developmental, emotional, behavioural, physical, or any combination of these. Short Breaks are free to those attending them and are an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, to try adventure activities, and to meet other Forces families in similar situations.

This time, SSAFA’s Additional Needs & Disability Team welcomed 12 families who travelled far and wide, from Plymouth to Kinloss, for a weekend that was enjoyed and valued by all.

Over the weekend, families took part in a range of activities, including canoeing, bushcraft, ziplining, high ropes, horse riding and swimming – and the rare opportunity to see the Northern Lights in the dark skies of the Lake District.

One of the youngsters on the Short Break said:

It was great. I had such a good time with my brother canoeing and horse riding, things I just can’t do at home.”

A parent of another child at Calvert Trust Lake District commented:

He met children with similar needs who accepted him for who he is.

The break allowed him to experience fun activities with his family and other children without fear of judgment from other children, and returned to school with a confident smile this week rather than tears.”

Ellen Chard, SSAFA’s Additional Needs and Disability Advisor, said:

We’ve had other fantastic feedback from the families, feedback that underlines the support the Short Breaks provide for many families to create long-lasting memories, and we’re looking forward to welcoming a further 12 families on our next Short Break in July.

Sadly, there are no spaces available for the July, nor the third and fourth Short Breaks of the year at Calvert Trust Exmoor in August and October – all the Short Breaks are incredibly popular – but applications will open at the beginning of next year for all 2025 breaks.

Ellen added:

The best way to hear about SSAFA’s Short Breaks is to become a member of our Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF), and you can do this by searching online for SSAFA FANDF.”

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