Short breaks for families with a disability

Activity breaks for members of the Armed Forces and their families who have a child with a disability and/or an additional need.

All the children and myself really enjoyed our break - It’s not often we find places where they fit in and can completely be their true selves. What you are 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 similar to their own.

- 2023 Short Breaks Parent

Please note:

2024 family break applications have now closed for the year; applications will re-open at the beginning of 2025. If you are not a member already, you may want to consider signing up to the Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF) mailing list as you will be first to hear about application openings.


What are the SSAFA Short Breaks?

Every year SSAFA’s Additional Needs and Disability Support Team runs several highly popular Short Breaks for families living with a disability.  These are specially catered holidays for those Armed Forces families whose children have additional needs and/or disabilities, whether these are physical needs, communication and interaction needs or social, emotional and mental health needs.

Families sleep in their own rooms on-site, most rooms are made up of twin and triple beds. We will make sure that families are in rooms next to one another if we cannot fit the whole family in one room. Three hot meals a day are provided.

Daily activities for each break may include:




Low ropes

Rock climbing

For a full list of activities on offer at each centre, visit Calvert Lakes - Your Adventure Starts Here or Calvert Exmoor - Accessible Activity Breaks Devon.

The SSAFA Family Breaks are very popular so places are given on a first come, first serve basis and priority given to those who have not attended before. If you are unable to make one of the dates please state this on your application form

Eligibility for SSAFA’s Short Breaks:

All children within the family must be between 5-18 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 child/ren.

Short Breaks in 2024:

10 – 12 May
Calvert Trust, Lake District

22 – 26 July

Calvert Trust, Lake District

19 – 23 August

Calvert Trust, Exmoor

28 October – 1 November

Calvert Trust, Exmoor

We are pleased to report that Annington and MBDA are continuing their incredible support of SSAFA's Short Breaks.

How can my family and I join a SSAFA Short Break?

You can make an enquiry with our Additional Needs and Disability Support Team using the webform below.

Members of our Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF) always receive information about the Short Breaks first, so if you and your family live with a disability, please consider joining the Forum. 


Find out about future breaks

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Need more information?

Please fill in the form or call the SSAFA switchboard if you need to talk to someone directly.

0800 260 6780.

We are open 09:00 - 17:30,
Monday to Friday.

Or talk to our Forcesline advisors online with our new live chat service.