Happy biracial little boy with special needs sitting in wheelchair, riding on yellow school bus lift, going to school

Short Breaks and respite care research

In 2022, Barnwood Trust carried out research exploring what it was like to access and deliver short breaks and respite care services in Gloucestershire. The project was informed by people with experience of providing, utilising, or supporting others to access these services and captured the perspectives of three core groups:

  • Parent-carers of disabled people
  • Disabled children and young people
  • Providers of short breaks and respite care services.

This research follows on from work undertaken by the Trust on the experiences of disabled people during the pandemic, which identified challenges to accessing respite care.

If you would like to read the full report please click on the icon below.

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Key findings

Over 130 people took part and their experiences have been summarised in a new report.

We heard through surveys and interviews with these three core groups how:

  • 94% of parent-carers were not currently accessing all the short breaks they felt they needed.
  • 52% of children and young people were not attending groups or activities after school or at the weekend.
  • 49% of parent-carers were not currently accessing any short breaks or respite care support.
  • 49% of parent-carers felt information and communication to be a barrier to accessing short breaks – they did not know where to turn or how to access the support they needed.

Please click on the icon below to view or download the Executive Summary of this research. 

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How are we using the research?

The findings of the research are being used in several ways:

Funding | The original aim of this research was to inform a round of themed funding. This brief was co-designed in early-2023 with a group of parent-carers and disabled young people with the funding launched in April 2023. More information about the themed funding can be found on our funding pages. Please click here.

Collaboration | Recognising that the research highlighted challenges that cannot be solved by funding alone, the Trust is also committed to engaging with a range of stakeholders, including the local authority, who are working to develop solutions to a range of issues linked to accessing short breaks and respite care provision. All this work seeks to ensure that parent-carers and disabled young people know where to turn to find information, help, and support, and to access timely and appropriate short breaks and respite care services.

For more information about this research, please contact Dan Jacques (Strategy Delivery Manager (interim)) at dan.jacques@barnwoodtrust.org or 01242 539935