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Symbol provides short breaks for children and adults with learning disabilities with a difference.  We know just how important this service is to both the individuals using it and their families and we aim to make it so much more than a badly needed ‘life line’.  We are determined that:

  • Those attending get a great and productive experience
  • Those leaving their loved ones with us experience real piece of mind and the opportunity to take a genuine break from their caring role

Why is it different?

We want every stay to be a fun, growing and enriching experience, not just a temporary bed to stay safe.   Because of this we go the extra mile.  We:

  • Adopt our Commit Model – Click on how we design support to find out more
  • Draw on our in-house professional expertise as needed (Speech and Language Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Nursing etc.) to inform our plans and help us to get it just right where people experience complex support needs.
  • Create a genuinely homely environment where people can relax and enjoy themselves. 
  • We ensure that the physical environment is also adapted where necessary and so matches specific individual needs.
  • Pay particular attention to matching people with preferred rooms, routines and other people staying (wherever possible)
  • Offer a range of engaging leisure opportunities both on site and in the local community as appropriate.
  • Support people to socialise and make new friends.
  • Ensure that all daily living activities are supported in ways that promote learning and greater independence.
  • Accommodate any pattern of stays and many of the practicalities around them including managing transport if needed.

Who is it for?

The service is based at a property in Lenham, Kent.  We offer the opportunity for up to 13 children and/or adults with learning disabilities to participate in short breaks at any one time.  We have a highly skilled team and have extensive successful experience of working with people with very complex needs as well as other for whom this feels more like a fun holiday away with friends.

Getting the support right.

We are passionate that like everything else we do, we get things right for and with people.   To do so we find meaningful ways of evaluating the quality of service including seeking feedback following every visit from families and individuals, undertaking spot management visits, observations, surveys and participating as necessary in care reviews.  In the light of these we make necessary changes.

On a more formal basis:

  • The short breaks services is registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a Care Home (Respite and Short Breaks).  We therefore work to comply with their standards of being Safe, Caring, Effective, Responsive to People’s Needs and Well Led.  We are inspected by CQC and currently hold a ‘Good’ rating for these services.  You can see our report here.
  • We operate an in-house quality assurance system via a process of visits and checks against the CQC and our own standards and make ongoing changes/developments in the light of our findings.


Telephone:    01622 859216