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It's fair to say that things have been a little different lately and so we wanted to take some time to celebrate all of the families and service providers that have soldiered on through, and have still had lots of fun along the way.

Integrated Therapies Service

The fight against the Coronavirus pandemic has seen services adapt in more ways than one. Difficult circumstances haven't just changed services operationally, in the case of Hertfordshire's Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies Service (CYPT) many staff members have had to adjust to a new job role entirely.

By redeploying their staff CYPT have been able to support a huge number of people with health needs in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Making the 'new normal' work for everybody

The services that CYPT have been able to offer have undeniably also been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. It's thanks to the collaboration and cooperation of parents, professionals and young people however that results at this difficult time have actually been rather positive.

Let's hear from those directly affected at this time:




An image of a young person having a pysiotherapy session at home with the physiotherapist wearing full PPE

“During this time my role has been to support families through delivering telephone reviews and video assessments for children with speech language and communication needs. This has involved speaking to parents, modelling strategies via video and sharing advice verbally and by email. Families and children and young people have been positive about the help and support we’ve been able to give them. It’s exciting that we are working to move our care to virtual intervention with the hope of being able to reach more families whilst social distancing and limitations are still in place.”

“(our therapist) was honestly so helpful and we really appreciate you taking the time to talk us through it, such simple exercises that I can see will really make a difference and help (child)….{on the video call} I thought it was an excellent way to have an appointment and would have happily have had an initial assessment like that even if we were out of lockdown. You managed to help us just as much as you would have done had we been in the room with you.”

An honest insight into the role of an CYPT healthcare professional during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Parent feedback on a physiotherapy assessment via video call during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Finding a silver lining

SNAP (St Albans Mencap) have quite literally found a silver lining during this rather difficult time and asked children and young people with SEND to create their own too.

Making paper clouds and rainbows was just one of the many interactive activities SNAP organised during the Coronavirus pandemic. In fact there has been 5 whole weeks of live sessions and events!

To see even more wonderful bakes, makes and photographs head to St Albans Mencap Facebook page Or visit St Albans Mencap's website

Find out how other Short Break service providers across Hertfordshire have been adapting:



paper cloud and rainbow with a smiley face drawn on

Short Breaks in Hertfordshire

During times of extreme measures and social distancing, we are proud to share even more examples of Short Breaks providers going the extra mile to ensure that their services can still be accessed.

  • North Herts CVS have introduced a virtual programme of events for families that offers support aswell as activity ideas and challenges.
  • Noah's Ark (Hertsmere Mencap) have produced and delivered nearly 100 activity packs for young people to use and enjoy.
  • SPACE are virtually supporting families across Hertfordshire with a variety of digital short breaks, including bedtime stories.
  • CHIPS, much like SNAP, have been busy organising weekly activities, challenges and courses to help support families and keep young people entertained during this difficult time.
  • Watford Mencap have extended their reach and services to the whole of Hertfordshire during this difficult time and are now working 7 days a week to provide support.
  • Jubilee House were still able to provide day care during the Easter Holidays by utilising outdoor space and allowing children and young people to enjoy the sunshine.

paper plate fanIncluded in the activity packs from Noah's Ark was a 'make your own paper plate fan' kit.

"it is amazing what Peartree are doing and we are so thankful we are able to still access sessions."

A parent who uses the Short Breaks service provided by Jubilee House


an image of a man delivering a food boxWatford Mencap have also helped families by providing food boxes and even Easter eggs for children.


SEND homecare carers - adapting to change

SEND homecare carers have introduced a number of new ways of working to help both carers and families start to enjoy the 'new normal', this includes things like encouraging children and young people to decorate their own face masks and regularly contacting all families, even those that have to self-isolate, by introducing video calls.


A week in the life of a carer during the Coronavirus pandemic

Fatima Jardim, a SEND homecare carer from Concept Care Solutions, tells us a little about her experience as a carer during the Coronavirus outbreak and the ways that both herself and the young people with SEND in her care have adapted.

an image displaying photographs of a week in the life of a carer

Fatima Jardim - SEND homecare carer

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