CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Charity spotlight: Breakaway Playschemes

PUBLISHED: 14:14 14 September 2018

The holiday playschemes run for 34 days each year encouraging social skills and giving parents and carers respite

The holiday playschemes run for 34 days each year encouraging social skills and giving parents and carers respite

This content is subject to copyright.

Giving children with special needs the chance to interact and develop social skills is the aim of a long-running holiday club scheme

Breakaway Playschemes provide holiday fun for children and young people aged five-19 with special needs in the North Herts and Stevenage areas.

The playschemes create an opportunity for social interaction between children and young people with special needs, through different mediums of play in a safe, supportive and fun environment. They provide a varied and interesting programme of activities which enable peer interaction to help develop the social skills of the children and young people, while giving much-needed respite for parents and carers.

The schemes operate at two venues in Stevenage and one in North Herts during all the school holidays. There’s also a regular Saturday Playscheme in Stevenage during term time.

North Herts Centre for Voluntary Service has run the playschemes and Saturday club for 16 years. The Saturday service initially ran from the scout hut next to the Grange School in Letchworth and was set up by a group of parents for their children. NHCVS was asked to take over the running of the club by the parents who wanted to ensure it was sustainable for future young people. It has been run from several venues over the years, and moved to its current venue, St Nicholas School in Stevenage, in 2015 as the club expanded and more secure outside space was needed.

North Herts Breakaway has been running almost as long as the Saturday club. The Stevenage Playscheme started in 2003.

The holiday playschemes run for 34 days each year from 10am until 3pm. There is also a Breakaway Saturday club monthly for children and young people aged five-11 and a monthly Breakaway Lifestyle and Leisure Club for those aged 12-19.

The cost is £10 per day, which includes all activities. There is an annual activity charge of £25 per annum for all children and young people to pay for arts and crafts materials. This charge is waived for families in receipt of income support.

If you have time on your hands, or are looking to gain experience in a field of study, why not become a volunteer with NHCVS Breakaway? Volunteers (aged 16 and above) support children and young people to access the play activities and help with their personal care needs while they attend. You could support a young person one-to-one or lead a group activity. It’s a rewarding experience and will help promote understanding of people who have additional needs. Specific training is available to learn new skills and develop existing ones.

To discover more about volunteering and the playschemes, visit

This article is by North Herts Centre for Voluntary Services. There are seven CVS in the county with hundreds of volunteering opportunities. Go to for more information.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Graham Denison is a projectionist at the Ritz cinema in Thirsk, one of the oldest cinemas in the country, staffed by a team of volunteers

Read more
Yesterday, 14:33

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more

Whatever your age, whatever your ambition, whatever your ability, Total Ensemble creates inclusive theatre with extraordinary results both on stage and off it

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 12:36

The new novel by Sarah Perry is out this month. It’s frighteningly good, writes Rowan Mantell

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 12:25

Explorer, adventurer and UEA graduate Benedict Allen is set to reveal all about his controversial Papua New Guinea expedition when he appears in Norwich this month

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 10:10

He quit his job with a few thousand pounds in savings and an empty garage. In less than a year, Nick Grey’s technology company Gtech was flying. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

This month’s round-up by the Real Housewives of Cheshire star

Read more

It’s 3,000 miles of ocean, two hours on and two hours off for around 40 days - a St Albans geologist is taking up the challenge of rowing the Atlantic

Read more
October 2018

While some of us call nettles and dandelions weeds, others think of them as lunch. We meet Kent’s professional foraging tutors

Read more
October 2018
Tue, 13:45

Tessa Allingham sits down to dinner prepared by some of the county’s most talented chefs and their most promising protegés

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search