Frequently Asked Questions

Applications

I have applied for a grant but not heard back yet

The Short Breaks team aims to review your application within 10 working days of receiving it. If 10 working days have passed since you submitted your application, please contact the Short Breaks team at the Heathway Centre at shortbreaks4me@lbbd.gov.uk or on 020 8227 5500 to discuss where it is up to. Please remember if you are a new applicant that we cannot process your application until we have received your 'professional declaration' letter.

Why has the eligible age range changed?

Short Break Personal grants are for children and young people who have difficulty accessing mainstream leisure activities in the community without additional help. Children under the age of 1 cannot access leisure activities in the community without additional help or support because they need constant supervision including feeding and personal care so would therefore not be eligible.

My application has been declined, why?

When you received your email saying your application had been declined this should have included the reason for this. If you need further information then you will need to discuss this with the Short Breaks team at the Heathway Centre at shortbreaks4me@lbbd.gov.uk or on 020 8227 5500.

My application has been referred to the Short Breaks team when will they get back to me?

Within 10 working days of receiving the application as long as you have provided your professional declaration letter (if you are a new applicant).

We are in the process of getting a Statement of Need / EHC plan for my child, are we eligible for a grant?

Yes you are, as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria.

I was eligible for a grant last year but my application has been declined this year, why?

When you received your email saying your application had been declined this should have included the reason for this. If you need further information then you will need to discuss this with the Short Breaks team at the Heathway Centre at shortbreaks4me@lbbd.gov.uk on 020 8227 5500.

I haven’t received my reference number

If you have previously applied for a grant you should have received a letter from London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council with a reference number for your child. You will have been given a reference number for each child you applied for. If you have not received this, you will need to contact the Short Breaks Team on 0208 227 5500, they will confirm some security questions with you and will then be able to issue you with your reference number.

General

I want to provide some feedback

That's great we'd really like to hear from you. You can complete our feedback form here.

Can I use the site if I haven't got a grant or I'm not eligible for a grant?

Yes of course. You can use the site to have a look what's available in the borough - there are lots of free activities on there.

I am a provider how do I get my service or activity on the eMarketplace?

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council has been working with a range of providers to ensure a diverse range of suiitable activities for people to buy with their Short Break Personal Grant. If you want to be considered for inclusion on the eMarketplace then please complete this brief form.

What about cookies?

This website along with most other major websites uses cookies. Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to the cookie file on your computer. Cookies enable users to navigate around websites and (where appropriate) enable PCG to tailor the content to fit the needs of visitors who have accessed the website and help PCG improve their user experience. Without cookies enabled we cannot guarantee that the site and your experience whilst visiting it will be as we intend it to be. Any cookies used are for the benefit of the user's experience on the site and are not used to provide advertising. Please see the site's Terms of Use for more information, you can also visit www.aboutcookies.com

How safe is my data?

PCG uses industry standard practices, including encryption, firewalls and Secure Socket Layers to safeguard the confidentiality of your data and protect against unauthorised access by users both inside and outside of PCG and other companies that assist it in the provision of the website. Please see the website's 'terms of use' for further information on data security.

Help to access

What if I can't access a computer or the internet or I need help to apply?

There are lots of places across the borough where you can get support to use this website and get access to the internet for free. See below for a list of where Barking and Dagenham Council's community check points are located:

Barking

Barking Learning Centre: 2 Town Square, Barking, IG11 7NB

Sue Bramley Children's Centre: Bastable Avenue, Barking IG11 0LG

Dagenham

Dagenham Library: 1 Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, RM10 9QS

The Heathway Centre: 512a Heathway, Dagenham, RM10 7SJ

Valence Library: Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, RM8 3HT

Robert Jeyes Community Library: High Road, Chadwell Heath, RM6 6AS

Chadwell Heath

Marks Gate Children's Centre: Rose Lane, Chadwell Heath, RM6 5NR

Marks Gate Library: Marks Gate Community Centre Rose Lane, Chadwell Heath, RM6 5NR

I want to speak to someone

For all enquiries relating to applications and information on where you are able to spend your grant please contact the Short Breaks team at the Heathway Centre at shortbreaks4me@lbbd.gov.uk or on 020 8227 5500. If you have a technical query relating to your account or using the website, then please contact PCG on 0333 600 6330, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

My account

What access do people have to my account?

Short Breaks 4 Me is managed by Public Consulting Group UK (PCG) and in order to ensure effective management of this PCG may need to access your account in order to provide help or assistance. Further information on how and why PCG may do this can be found in the 'Terms of Use'. London Borough and Barking and Dagenham may also need to access your account for these purposes and for auditing purposes. By applying for a grant and by using the site you agree to these terms.

I have forgotton my password

You can reset your password online. If you go to login, select 'fogotten your password' and enter your email. You will then be emailed a temporary password, please remember to change your password to something more memorable when you are logged in. If you have any problems, please contact the helpdesk at Public Consulting Group UK (PCG) on 0333 600 6330, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

My account is disabled what do I do?

If you have entered your password or email address inccorrectlty more than three times then your account will have been disabled. If this has happened then please contact Public Consulting Group UK (PCG) on 0333 600 6330, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and they will reset your password.

Can the council access my account?

It is part of the terms and conditions of you applying a grant that you will allow London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council access to your account for auditing purposes. The council will be able to view your account balance and where funds have been spent. They will not be able to see any security information such as your password.

Do I have to have an email address?

Yes you need a valid email address to have an account and to apply, all communiciation, including notificatiion of whether your application has been succesful will be sent to this email address. When you create an account you will receive an email with a link to validate the account. This is how we know you have supplied a valid email address.

Spending my grant

What if I only have a few £s left and there's nothing on the eMarketplace?

There are plenty of leisure activities on the eMarketplace for as little as £2, as well vouchers that can be purchased for £10.

What if I haven't received my voucher?

Please allow for seven working days from when you place your order unless you have ordered a Global Hotel Card - these take about four weeks for the supplier to send. After this time if you have still not received your card, then please let us know by emailing us at info@publicconsultinggroup.co.uk and we will look into this for you.

What about my Max Card discount?

Your MaxCard can be used at a wide range of places to get a discount on entry, you can find out where it is accepted here http://www.mymaxcard.co.uk/ and how to go about getting your discount. If you are buying a voucher for one of these places on the Short Breaks 4 Me eMarketplace then we suggest that first of all you find out what discount you are entitled to with your MaxCard and then take that into account when deciding the value of voucher that you need. For example if you get a 20% discount and the normal entry price is £25, you will only need £20 worth of vouchers. Remember though, that you will need to take your MaxCard with you. Make sure you check out the information on the MaxCard website to find out more.

What about transport to activities?

Unfortunately it is not possible to provide vouchers to cover travel expenses however we appreciate that for some families it is appropriate for a proportion of the grant to be used towards travel costs. To help accommodate this, you will need to pay for travel yourself in advance but you can claim a maximum of £20 back to contribute towards your costs. To do this, please add ‘Travel costs’ from the eMarketplace to your basket (you will need to be   logged in to view this). The amount will be deducted from your account balance to ensure there are available funds when you claim this back at a later date. To make a claim, you then need to complete a travel claim form including your receipts and your bank details. Once we have received this we will be able to transfer the amount claimed to your bank account to reimburse you.

What about food and drink for activities?

The majority of your grant should be spent on short break activities however we recognise that it is helpful to contribute towards food costs during a family trip or day out. Each family (irrespective of how many children in your family have a grant) can buy a maxmimum of £40 worth of 'Eating Out' vouchers. Upon checkout PCG will check you have not already claimed your maximum amount and if you have you will be asked to place another order for a lesser amount or choose something else from the eMarketplace.

The activity I want to do isn't on the eMarketplace

If there is an activity that you would really like to do that isn’t on the eMarketplace then you can submit a request for this to be considered. Please use this form to submit a 'Special Spend request'. Our first point of call will be to add this activity to the eMarketplace if it is suitable, if not then we will look at other ways we can accommodate your request.

I want to suggest an activity to be included on the eMarketplace

We've worked hard to have a wide range of activities on the eMarkeptlace and this will be conintually expanded. We're sure you've got lots of ideas and knowledge about what's happening locally so we'd  love to hear from you if you have an activity that you think should be on here.  To tell us about this all you need to do is complete this short online form.

I want to receive my grant into my bank account

Your grant must be spent on activities on the eMarketplace it is not possible for this to be transferred to your bank account.

Can I add funds to my account?

Yes you can. To add funds you will need to contact Public Consulting Group UK (PCG) - the company that manages the website - on 0333 600 6330 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and they will be able to take a payment over the phone and these funds to your account. There is no charge to do this, however we will be reviewing the level of interest in top-ups and may look at other ways of making payments in the future if there is a high demand for this service.

Where is my money and is it safe?

Public Consulting Group (PCG) holds all funds in trust for London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council in a client bank account with Barclays. This bank account, like any other, is regulated by the financial conduct authority. Only approved members of PCG have access to this bank account.

I have not spent all of my money, what will happen to it?

Your grant must be spent and activities taken place in the financial year that you have applied, therefore you will have nine months to spend your grant, after this period then the money will be transferred back to Barking and Dagenham Council. You will receive periodic email reminders if you still have unused funds in your account after six months.

I have more than one child with a grant, can I spend all of our budget on a family holiday?

Yes you can, there are lots of travel and hotel vouchers available on the eMarketplace.

What if I spend too much?

It is not possiible to spend too much, there are restrictions on your account that mean you cannot spend more than your grant allocation. If you try and checkout with insufficient funds you will receive an error message asking you to remove items from your basket or call PCG to 'top-up' your account.

Do we need to send in receipts?

Not unless you're claiming for reimbursement of travel expenses - that's the great part about this new process!

General

Will you share my information?

In order to ensure London Borough of Barking and Dagenham can meet the needs of your child in the best way, the council will need to share information with providers and internal children's teams about the needs of your child or your children. This information will be dealt with and handled in the strictest confidence in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and council policy and guidance in line with safeguardiing arrangements.

Why have you sent Leisure Vouchers?

Leisure Vouchers can be accepted at a wide variety of places. If you have received Leisure Vouchers it is because you have ordered vouchers for a place where they are accepted. We will have notified you in the product description that you will be sent Leisure Vouchers.

I have changed my mind about my voucher

If you have ordered a voucher which is covered by 'Leisure Vouchers' then you can spend these in a number of different places, see below for a list of where London Borough of Barking and Dagenham permit these to be spent.

Where can I spend my Leisure Voucher?

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham permit Leisure Vouchers to be spent in the following places: Alton Towers, Beefeater Grill, Bella Italia, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Brewers Fayre, Butlins, Café Rouge, Chessington World of Adventures, Hastings Hotels, Hoseasons, Legoland, Coca Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Marriott, Park Resorts, Pizza Hut, Planet Hollywood, Premier Inn, Pride of Britain Hotels, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, SEALIFE, Table Table, Taybarns, TGII Fridays, The London Dungeon, The Original London Sightseeing Tour, The Snow Centre, The Voucher Travel Club, Theatre Tokens, Thorpe Park, TKTS, Warner Leisure Hotels, Warwick Castle, London Zoo, Whipsnade Zoo.

I can't make my booking can I have a refund?

Each provider has different cancellation terms and refund policies. This information should be on the page for the activity you have ordered. Please speak to the organisation running the activiity if you need more information about their cancellation policy or if you need to cancel your booking.

I ordered something by mistake

If you have made an error placing your order, please contact Public Consulting Group UK - the company managing this website on 0333 600 6330 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and they will try and assist you.