Short Breaks

short break support

What we Do

Norwood offers residential, day and holiday scheme short breaks (previously known as respite).

Buckets & Spades is our residential short breaks service in Finchley.

Unity offers Sunday clubs and holiday schemes

First Steps offers parents with pre-school children with learning disabilities and complex needs a chance for a break during the day.


You can contact us


Phone: 020 8457 4745 (Mon-Thu 9am-5.30pm Fri 9am-1pm)

Our Services for Short Break Support

Adult services

Buckets & Spades

Buckets and Spades is registered with Ofsted to accommodate nine children and young people with physical and learning disabilities and complex medical needs.

We can accommodate children and young people with:

  • autism and/or severe communication difficulties
  • children with behaviours of concerns that do not put others at risk (but not those whose mental health difficulties are so marked as to require specialised psychiatric support)
  • children with complex health needs (but not those whose health needs are so marked as to require nursing care)
  • children with complex epilepsy
  • children who require tube feeding
  • children who require nasal gastric feeding
  • children who require colostomy care
  • other non-invasive medical procedures

Please contact us for further information.

Adult services

First Steps

The First Steps Short Breaks group is for pre-school children (16 months to 5 years) with complex health needs and life limiting conditions including:

  • speech & language, mobility and communication difficulties
  • congenital heart conditions

The group offers parents a break from caring whilst a trained and experienced team provides one to one support. Children will have the opportunity to:

  • engage in fun play activities (arts, crafts, cooking, music, indoor/outdoor play, messy play)
  • socialise and interact with other children
  • gain greater confidence
  • develop independence
  • every child will enjoy a healthy snack and a well-balanced lunch
  • 1:1 support provided for every child

When: Every Wednesday (term time only), 10am-1pm
Where: Kennedy Leigh Centre
Cost: You may be eligible for funding through your Local Authority (Short Breaks). There is an additional £5 parental contribution cost per session.
Contact: To find out more, please email:

Adult services


Unity provides a range of short breaks that enable disabled children and young people to explore new opportunities and have fun whilst broadening their social networks and promoting independence. We provide inclusive play opportunities for children and young people, enabling them to take part in activities and to go out on trips whilst being fully supported by a dedicated and skilled staff team.

We offer holiday schemes and Sunday clubs for children between the ages of 5-11 years and 12-18 years in North West London.

Our fully trained staff team support children and young people with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, and complex health needs. They also undertake tube-feeding and administer medication. We are based at the Kennedy Leigh Family Centre which is fully accessible for wheelchairs, with ceiling track hoists and adapted bathrooms with changing facilities.

The centre also includes:

  • sensory room
  • an adventure playground and outdoor space
  • a soft play room

Unity runs Sunday clubs:

  • 5-11 years Sunday: 11am-1pm
  • 12-18 years Sunday: 2pm-4pm

Unity runs holiday schemes throughout the year during the school holidays, including half terms. We also run additional trips including visits to theme parks, zoos and specialist adventure playgrounds and swimming pools.

Monday-Friday: 10am-4pm

For further information please contact

Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be Jewish to access Children and Family services?

Our services are primarily aimed at the Jewish community but we will always try and provide support, advice and signposting to anyone who contacts us. Our Short Breaks services are open to the wider community.

Where do the children and family services take place?

We have a children and family centre in Hendon (Kennedy Leigh Centre, Edgeworth Close, Hendon London NW4 4HJ). There is onsite parking available, and the Centre is accessible with specialist changing facilities and hoist systems in some rooms. Please contact us if you have specific requirements.

How do I know what groups or sessions are running at the moment?

In the future, we hope to be able to provide a clear timetable but for now please contact us and we will let you know what’s happening!

I need some help but I'm not sure which Norwood service I need?

Please get in touch and one of our team will work with you to understand your needs and work out how we can help.

Why choose us?

  • Norwood supports children and families facing challenges, and adults with learning disabilities or autism. Established in 1795, Norwood is the Jewish community’s oldest charity, and is the only Jewish charity with Royal Patronage, a privilege bestowed since 1816.
  • Norwood supports more than 2,500 people a year.