A new guide has been published that helps families who have children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) find a range of free and low-cost activities this summer in Portsmouth.

The summer holidays can be an expensive time for families as they look for things to do nearby. It can also be challenging for parents/carers to find accessible activities for children with specialist needs.

Portsmouth SEND Local Offer has worked with partners and community groups in the city to pull together a list of activities and events for families.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“The school holidays are always an exciting time for children but for parents and carers it can be difficult coming up with activities that don’t cost the earth.

“Portsmouth SEND Local Offer has worked with community groups in the area to pull together fun activities that are low cost or free. Children could be visiting a library to work with a local artist, sailing the Solent or exploring adventure playgrounds – there really is something for everyone this summer.”

Parents/carers are reminded that while most activities will be open to all, some will have specific criteria attached. This may mean parents/carers will need to be on means-tested benefits or children need to be a certain age to access activities.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director, children’s services and education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“The cost-of-living continues to affect us all in different ways, putting increased pressures on family finances. This new guide helps families who have children and young people with specialist needs by providing a list of accessible things to do.

“The website will be updated across the summer holidays as more events and activities are added – so please check back regularly to see what is going on near you.”

Alongside specific activities, the guide also gives information on the Portsmouth Leisure Card which entitles people living in the PO1 to PO6 areas of the city, to discounts of up to 50% at Portsmouth City Council facilities as well as other services.

Applying for a Leisure Card is free and available to residents that receive means-tested benefits.

For more information on free and low-cost activities for SEND families, visit portsmouthlocaloffer.org/summerfun