These exercises are to help you think as widely as possible about the best possible short break for you.
Traditionally, you may have had little choice about short breaks. The emphasis now is on designing short breaks which work for you individually. So, don’t restrict your thinking, just to the kind of short breaks you know are available in your area now. Try to be as free as possible in thinking about what you want.
We have two tools to assist you to plan your ideal break. You can use either to help you identify what kind of break you want and how to get the most from it.
Inspiring Breaks Planner
The Inspiring Breaks Planner can be used to record your thoughts and concerns, and to help you consider what would be needed to make your ideal break. It is simple and engaging to use. This planner has been used very successfully as part of group work sessions. You might find it helpful to think about your ideal short break with a friend, a family member, an advocate or a worker who knows you well.
Short Break Planner
Our Short Break Planner questionnaire is another tool you can use. It could be used alongside the Inspiring Breaks Planner too.
Filling in the Short Break Planner should be easier after you have thought about the best
possible short break for you. The questions match the information your social worker will need to ask you to help you find the short break that is right for you.
My Ideal Short Break – Some Key Prompts
If you don’t have time to read the planner, then here are some ‘prompts’ and questions for you to consider which should help you get the break you want.
What would you like to achieve through your short break?
- I’d like to do something I’ve always wanted to have a go at?
- I’d prefer to do something I know I like doing?
- I’d like to meet new people?
- I’d like to be with people I know?
- I’d like to be somewhere familiar?
- I’d prefer to go somewhere new?
- What kind of support, if any, do I need during my break to make me feel safe and comfortable?
- What time of day suits me best?
- Which day(s) would I prefer?
- Is there anything else which is important to me that I need to tell people about?
If your ideal break means having some time away from home, think what would be the important things about it. These might include:
- Do I prefer going away on my own or being with other people?
- Do I want to meet new people or be with people familiar to me?
- What things do I like doing?
- Is there something new I’ve always wanted to have a go at?
- How long do I want to be away for?
- Where will be I be going and what things will I be able to do?
- What kind of accommodation will I be using?
- Who will take me to my break and what would my preferences be?
- What will happen if something goes wrong and I need to go home?
- What kind of support will help me enjoy my break, and will this be available?
- Anything else which is important for your break?
It can also be helpful to be clear about what musn’t happen on your short break.
You might want to think about:
- Things that have gone wrong with previous short breaks
- Your worries about what might go wrong on a short break and how these can be avoided.