SEND Summer Support Hub

Rediscover Summer

The government has launched a campaign to promote leisure activities for children and families this summer. The government’s Rediscover Summer campaign has launched to help inspire families to get out and about safely and make the most out of summer:

  • The campaign highlights a range of activities and opportunities for families, children and young people such as exploring a local museum or discovering a National Cycling Network Trail
  • Families are encouraged to get back out and Rediscover Summer after a year of missed opportunities.

Whether it’s visiting the places that inspired your favourite books, trying out a new sport or even learning how to code, the campaign will show families that there are plenty of new activities to try wherever they live. Throughout the duration of the campaign, each week of the summer holidays will promote a separate theme from sport and creativity to nature and heritage.

#RediscoverSummer for children with SEND by searching online for the ‘SEND Local Offer’ in your area. To see all of the activities that are available in your area please check your local authorities local offer website. To find your local offer page simply write the name of your local authority followed by the term “local offer” - into your internet search engine and press return. The results of the search should include a link to your local authority local offer website. For guidance on how to use the local offer website please see our local offer guide here.


What are the Rediscover Summer themes for each week? 

  • Week 1: Reading [26 July - 1 Aug] From reading your favourite books to visiting the places that inspired them, where will reading take you this summer?
  • Week 2: Creativity [2 - 8 Aug] From coding to music lessons, there are lots of ways you can get creative over the summer holidays, both at home and outside.
  • Week 3: Sport [9 - 15 Aug] Which sports and activities will you enjoy this summer? Why not try something new together?
  • Week 4: Nature [16 - 22 Aug] This summer is a perfect time to get back to nature. Plan your perfect walking route to explore the outdoors or use your imagination to create a lifeform that could survive in four environments outside this world
  • Week 5: Heritage [23 - 29 Aug] Explore fun and engaging activities and ways to explore your local heritage, this summer.
  • Week 6: Community [30 Aug - 5 Sept] Use the summer holidays to find out about your local community through volunteering or taking part in fun local activities.

Visit the Rediscover Summer guide to find out more.

The Active Recovery Hub includes hundreds of activities for children and young people of all ages, and can be accessed by parents over summer to find activities in their local area.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:

"Rediscover Summer will provide families with some fantastic opportunities to get back to the activities they may have missed out on over the last year. Our Summer Home Activities list will offer up more free ideas and options for children to stay active and have fun, and our expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme will also help families access opportunities both indoors and outdoors.

Parents have worked so hard to keep their children entertained so I hope they can take advantage of these to use the holidays creatively, helping to boost children’s wellbeing after what has been a really difficult time."

Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2021

The holiday activities and food programme 2021 provides free healthy food and enrichment activities for children and young people in receipt of free school meals.

Local authorities are eligible to apply to use up to 15% of the funding to provide places for children who are considered by the local authority as vulnerable or in need of this provision. This includes children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and children assessed as being in need. Children with EHC plans may therefore be eligible for a free place for the equivalent of at least 4 hours per day; 4 days a week; for 4 weeks of the summer.

Aims of the programme are for children who attend this provision to:
  • Eat more healthily over the school holidays

  • Be more active during the school holidays

  • Take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment
  • Be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • Have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • Be more engaged with school and other local services
The government also want to ensure that the families who participate in this programme:
  • Develop their understanding of nutrition and food budgeting

  • Are signposted towards other information and support, for example, health, employment and education

Short Break Services

Parents or carers of disabled children can access respite care to support them in caring for their disabled child. Further information on this is available at guidance for children’s social care services.

As provision continues, we continue to refer you to our useful resources and learning examples on short breaks.

You can download our briefing for local authorities Short Breaks for Disabled Children: A Legal Guide which sets out the relevant legal duties which remain relevant outside of the previous restrictions.

We also present our series of learning examples on short break provision during lockdown periods, which provide some useful advice and creative practice. You can read those here.

A key message from all providers that we heard from in relation to the learning examples was that risk assessments should be used as an enabler to providing support rather than a barrier. This message is still as relevant now as it was during lockdown restrictions.

“Risk assessment which supports effective risk management and creative thinking led to different approaches to face-to-face support rather than support being withdrawn especially for children, young people and families who were particularly vulnerable or at high risk of going into crisis during the pandemic.”