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

Yesterday, 13:24

Why former EADT editor Terry Hunt believes the threatened extinction of the Suffolk accent is a catastrophe for our local heritage

Read more
Yesterday, 11:46

Right at Home, with offices in Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth, Farnham and the surrounding areas; offer home care for adults of all ages and the elderly

Read more
Yesterday, 11:24

Husband and dad of two, Father Nick, of the Benefice of the Cookhams, is looking forward to bringing people together this Christmas

Read more
Yesterday, 10:31

Some of Sussex’s best known personalities have revealed in the magazine what they most love about the county. Here, we compile their stories, favourite restaurants, pubs, shops, views and places to visit

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

It has been 40 years since canine charity The Dogs Trust launched its most famous campaign – yet the message remains as pertinent today as it did all those years ago

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 00:00

Cricketer-turned-commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd talks about Lancashire’s hopes, the challenges facing the game, and his new book.

Read more
Mon, 16:01

Actress, singer and entertainer, Anita Harris has travelled the world in an illustrious career that spans over five decades. From her home in Chertsey, she talks to Tinx Newton about the people she has worked with, her tour and life in Surrey

Read more

Kent Life looks at the contribution ellenor makes to patient care at Christmas, in the hospice and through its community palliative care teams

Read more
December 2018
Mon, 12:08

His first job was as a window cleaner on a timeshare resort. Now Steven Hesketh heads a growing hotel and restaurant empire which includes The Townhouse in Chester

Read more
Mon, 10:46

Rosemary Taylor, principal clarinet in the Orpheus Sinfonia, gives an insight into performing the music to a Christmas classic on its 40th anniversary

Read more
December 2018

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