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Andover and District Mencap Saturday Playscheme

Coronavirus status: OPEN
Coronavirus status: OPEN

To enquire about our activities please contact our Short Breaks Leader, Chyna Baird, via email at: If you are new to the service we will ask for you to complete our Pen Picture document to assess individual needs and ask for a copy of your child's HCC Gateway card. Once these have been completed Chyna will send you information about our activities and service and ask you to return your requested dates. Chyna will then confirm your allocated dates and costs per session. These sessions are perfect for children and young people that want to do a broad range of activities and decided amongst themselves what they will spend their time doing.
Before any sessions commence a deep clean of all accessible spaces to the children will be undertaken. Deep cleaning routines will be undertaken by external contractors. They will use one virucidal cleaning product that kills 99.99% of all germs inclusive of the Coronavirus. The product not only cleans and disinfects all surfaces but also leaves a protective barrier which adds biosecurity between cleans, and lasts for more than 72 hours. The barrier reactivates in the presence of any moisture, which instantly kills any germs as they need moisture to cultivate. Surfaces will be cleaned with single use cloths which will be disposed of at the end of each clean.
The Short Breaks Team will also undertake a more thorough and rigorous cleaning routine prior to each session. All contact points and equipment to be used will be cleaned with single use antibacterial wipes in order to kill any virus spores or bacteria that may be present. Hygiene stations will be set up in each room used for the Short Breaks sessions including hand sanitiser, paper towels and wet wipes. The children and young people will be reminded and encouraged to clean their hands regularly between activities, role modelled by the staff team. After/in-between each session a thorough cleaning routine will be followed again ensuring all contact points and equipment is anti-bacterial cleaned. All single use items (wet wipes, cleaning cloths, paper towels etc.) will be placed in one black bag and disposed of at the end of each session.

Upon arrival to The Wellington Centre parents/carers and children will be asked to park in the main car park at the rear of the building and they will be asked to remain in their vehicles. One member of staff will be allocated to handover and collecting the children and any personal items for the vehicle. The parents/carers will be asked to remain in the car unless they have no other option than to support the child. In this case 2 metre social distancing will be enforced. That member of staff will walk with the child to the garden gate at the centre and complete a handover with the Leader. This routine will continue with all children as they arrive. Upon departure, one member of staff will be allocated to handover and returning all of the children and their belongings to their respective vehicles one at a time. The parents/carers will be asked to remain in the car unless they have no other option than to support the child. In this case 2 metre social distancing will be enforced.

If the weather is good, and there is no need for sessions to take place within the centre, all sessions will take place outdoors within the garden and the centre’s enclosed, private car park (to play football, soft cricket, ball games etc.). A hand hygiene station will be set up in the garden and car park in this case to ensure staff and children can continue to follow good hygiene routines. Once all children have arrived safely the car park gates will be closed and gate to the side of the centre bolted shut to ensure the children are safe to play outdoors with support. The garden gate will remain open throughout the session to ensure there is free flow to a variety of activities. A variety of activities will be offered, as they usually would if the activities were taking place indoors. Activities may include: arts/crafts, cooking, Lifeskills, floor games, board games, toys, games consoles, outdoor play etc. There will be a gazebo, tables and chairs set up so that there is an undercover space and shaded area to relax. A drinks station will be set up outside also with named bottles for each child to use so there is no cross-usage. Parents/carers will be encouraged to send packed lunches with named sports bottles to make it safer and easier for each child.

In the event a child requires use of the toilet facilities, they will be escorted by a member of staff through the garden in to the main hall and to the disabled toilet by the community kitchen. The patio doors between the garden/main hall will be kept shut at all times. The internal door connecting the main hall to the hallway where the toilet is located will be kept open to minimise contact and any potential spread of infection. The member of staff will wait outside of the toilet area for the child to finish and return them to the garden. After each use of the bathroom the toilet seat, flush handle, taps, sink, paper towel dispenser and other contact areas identified (changing bed) will be sanitised. 

Giving families and children a short break is important to us as an organisation. It is vital that children and young people with learning disabilities have time away from their families to engage in stimulating and exciting activities.

We work with children that have a learning disability on an individual basis, dependent on their needs and wishes, to provide a safe and fun environment in our all access building in Andover. Our team of play workers and leader work hard to deliver a range of opportunities for children and young people who access our service. We organise in house activities, access our local community or go further afield using our minibus.

When you leave your child with us you can be confident that they will be supported by DBS checked, trained and safe to practice staff. We provide support for children and young people that have a HCC Gateway Card and may require a higher level of support including those with complex medical conditions, meaning no child has to miss out on the fun.

Saturday Playscheme

Through our Saturday Playscheme sessions the children and young people will learn a variety of new skills and take part in activities that enhance their engagement, choice and independence. On-site activities at our all access building, The Wellington Centre, that the children and young people can participate in include: computer activities, sensory activities in the sensory room, cooking and life skills, film events and outdoor play in the garden area. The children can also participate in off-site activities making use of local businesses and amenities for activities (cinema, glow golf, bowling, iron age museum, local nature reserves, play areas, Charlton lakes etc.). Other off-site activities will involve trips to the seaside, local country parks, animal and reptile centres, National Trust sites, Crabbing at Mudeford, attending themed activities such as Fort Nelson, Maritime Museums and Motor Museums etc.

Our Staff Team

Saturday Playscheme is supported by a team of qualified, fun and dedicated play workers. Our play workers work across the organisation in a variety of roles and bring with them differing levels of knowledge and skills in order to support the children and young people that attend. Our play workers have been trained by our learning and development team in: health and safety, medication administration, epilepsy awareness, safeguarding, first aid, manual handling, positive behaviour support, PEG and much more.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Lee Roberts
Contact Position
Short Breaks Manager
01264 321854
Short Breaks Activities Webpage

What we will need from you

When you contact us with an enquiry about your child/young person attending one of our Playscheme sessions we will ask for your Gateway number and a copy of the digital card. We will need to know your child's age, home town, gender and disability status as part of the initial referral process.

What we will provide you with

Once we have obtained this information and agreed that you meet HCC's and our own criteria we will send to you a Pen Picture to complete about your child/young person. Once we receive this we will then send you a copy of our most recent booking forms and a copy of most relevant activity programmes with details about what activities we are running, when, the cost and any equipment needed for those trips. Once you have decided what dates you would like to request we will slot your child in to available spaces and return your allocated dates with payment details. Once this process has been completed be reassured that your child/young person's space has been secured and funded for.

Where to go

The Wellington Centre
Winchester Road
SP10 2EG

The Wellington Centre

Andover and District Mencap moved to the Wellington Centre in 2011 after Bonhomie, our original home for 28 years became too small. The Wellington Centre is a community hub which opens its doors to its' members and the local community providing a safe haven for all to use.


We pride ourselves on being all inclusive and boast modern room hire facilities accessible to all. On the ground floor, there is a nursery, one small meeting room, a chill out room, a fully equipped training/computer suite, changing places certified changing facility, sensory room and a large hall with lighting, PA system, projector. A kitchenette accompanies this along with access to our garden. 

On the first floor, are the offices of Andover and District Mencap. We are also proud to offer a large modern board room complete with SMART capabilities, projector and refreshments available upon request. The first floor is accessible by lift.

Sensory area, Accessible changing, Secure environment, Wheelchair access, Level access, Accessible toilets, Disabled parking, Hearing Loop

Time / Date Details

When is it on
One in Three Saturdays, Term-Time Only
Time of day
Session Information
Starts at 10.00 and finishes at 16.00 at the Wellington Centre

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£25.00 per session
Hardship fund is available if needed. Evidence will need to be provided to secure hardship funding.


Referral required
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