The Short Breaks programme offers activities throughout the year for children up to 18 with special educational needs living in Hounslow. The whole family is welcome, giving those who struggle to get into regular cinemas and theatres a chance to enjoy the arts with their loved ones, as well as an opportunity to meet and build a network with families who face similar challenges. Parents with older children might choose to leave them to have some independence, while they take a break themselves.
To better demonstrate the impact of Short Breaks, we commissioned Digital Drama to make a film about how the Arts can impact the lives of disabled children and their families. The 12-minute film explores the positive effects that the programme has had on the 877 Short Breaks families living in Hounslow borough. If you only have a couple of minutes, there is a cut down version at the bottom of this page: but we think your 12 minutes will be well spent!
Activities include relaxed film screenings, children’s theatre shows, creative workshops and the popular Christmas party. A film club runs throughout January and February including old favourites and new releases. Short Breaks have their own day for half term specials such as Dinosaur Week and Circus Week which include workshops and a theatre show. The Christmas party at the end of the year exemplifies the strong and mutually supportive community that Short Breaks forms. Spaces are accessible and films are subtitled.
Bespoke projects are also delivered for Short Breaks children and families. Recently, Watermans hosted a weekend of lantern making workshops with Same Sky for the Winter Lights festival and a Music Video and Animation Project where a group of young people created exciting digital art. Four young people went on to perform a live VJ DJ set at LB Hounslow Youth Awards Ceremony. Short Breaks children come to Urban Ambush, Watermans’ creative summer arts projects for 8-18s, and their work is included in the annual Urban Ambush exhibition that showcases the art made by participants. Workshops take place in spaces where staff can accommodate the medical or care needs of Short Breaks children, but the events themselves are inclusive and totally integrated into the wider mainstream community.