SSAFA Short Breaks - Lake District, August 2023

Tuesday 9th January 2024

SSAFA’s Short Break scheme caters for serving – including reservist – families who have a child with an additional need or disability, be it developmental, emotional, behavioural, physical, or any combination of these, and applications for the four 2024 breaks are being accepted.

Short Breaks – which are free to those attending them – take place at Calvert Trust sites in the Lake District and on Exmoor, and offer families inclusive opportunities for adventurous activities including kayaking, rock climbing, horse-riding, and archery for all abilities.

They are also an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, to try adventure activities, and to meet other Forces families in similar situations.

Short Breaks, which also receive financial support from the Army Central Fund, always prove popular, and for good reason. Comments from people attending them in 2023 include:

“… meeting other kids like him makes him feel like he belongs and that our lives are normal…

All the children and myself really enjoyed our break, but the boys were in their element. It’s not often we find places where they fit in and can completely be their true selves. Some of the activities we never imagined they would be able to do… What [SSAFA is] giving families is amazing. It’s a chance for them to fit in, an environment where our kids can thrive and a brilliant platform for them to meet other families in circumstances like their own…”

And, perhaps most touchingly of all, one child who simply said:

“…I made loads of friends…

Helen Liddell, Chair of Annington, commented:

Funding SSAFA’s Short Breaks has been a central element of our overall support for military families. 

“Having had the pleasure of meeting so many of the families, the impact of a holiday at Calvert Trust was very clear to see. For Service families who have a child with a special need or disability, accessing additional support can be difficult and add to the challenges of life as a military family.

The benefits of SSAFA’s Short Breaks programme speak for themselves and we are delighted to have helped this very deserving group create some very happy memories.”

SSAFA Short Breaks dates for 2024

The 2024 roster of Short Breaks, including two sponsored in full by UK military housing provider Annington, is as follows:

May 10 – 12 Calvert Trust Lake District

July 22 – 26 Calvert Trust Lake District

Aug 19 – 23 Calvert Trust Exmoor

Oct 28 – Nov 1 Calvert Trust Exmoor

Note: Places are offered on first-come, first-served but do prioritise those who haven’t attended before. If you are successful in your application, depending on your location you will be allocated the short break nearest to you regionally.

Request a place on a break for 2024

Complete this webform to register for a place >

To learn more about SSAFA’s Short Breaks, visit

Short break eligibility

  • All children within the family must be between 3-18 years
  • Children are dependents of a current serving person or reservist
  • One child attending must have an additional need and/or disability
  • At least one parent must attend the break with their children
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