How it works

Short Breaks 4 Me works in three simple steps:

  1. Create account
  2. Apply for your grant
  3. Spend your grant

Create your account

Before you start you will need to create an online account. You will need to provide your name, contact details and choose a password.

You can create your account here. At the top of the website you will also see an option to create your account.


Previously families needed to complete a paper application form and post this or hand it into the Heathway Centre. The application then needed to be checked, approved by the Short Breaks panel team and then finance arranged to transfer the money to you. This whole process usually took a few weeks.

With the new eMarketplace you can now apply online. If you have applied for a Short Breaks Personal Grant before, then you only need to answer a few questions and we will automatically be able check the information provided and if you’re still eligible for a grant, then you could have your money within 24 hours.

If this is the first time that you are applying, then your application will need to be reviewed by the Short Breaks team and they aim to let you know within 10 working days if your application has been successful and award you your grant. They may need to phone you to check or confirm some information.

Find out more about the application process, and start your application here.

Spend your grant

Instead of the grant being paid into your bank account, the value of the grant - £200 – which is the same as last year - will be available in your online account on the eMarketplace.

You will then be able to spend your grant on activities available on the eMarketplace. You can browse the eMarketplace and create a shortlist of things you’re interested in before you decide to buy. You can also read reviews from other families and request more information from the provider or company.

When you checkout, the value of that activity is take off the balance of your grant. It is not possible to spend more than the £200.

If you have spent all of your grant, or there is something you want that is over £200 then don’t worry it is possible to ‘top-up’ your account with your own money. Find out how to do this here.

Once you have taken part in your activity, you can also leave reviews to give feedback to the provider, or to let other parents know how you found it.

If there is something that you want to do but it’s not on the eMarketplace, please let us know and we can have a look at getting it on there – you can suggest activities here.

And finally, with this new system families will no longer need to provide receipts! All purchases will be logged on your account and we will get a report on how money has been spent which means that all you need to do is focus on spending your grant to give your family a short break.

You may find it useful to read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS).