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The Need

Conceived in 2010, Give Us A Break is the dream of a family that literally had nowhere to go.

Dawn & Peter Raynor are the doting parents of 3 very special children. The eldest is an articulate, intelligent and very caring brother to his younger, identical twin siblings, Callan & Ethan.

Twins that suffer with Tuberous Sclerosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes intractable epilepsy.

Where do you holiday when you have a '16-year-old 6-year-old' that needs constant care and attention? Where do you holiday when you have two of them? How do you give quality parental time to your eldest, when the twins so desperately need your constant vigilance? Where can you take your children where they will not be constrained by social etiquette and the misconceptions of others?

Give Us A Break 2010, the charity formed by Dawn, wants to build a centre which will provide short break facilities for children such as Callan & Ethan and their parents / carers. A haven where the children can be set free to literally do what they want. A large, comfortable, ranch-style home where disabled children can visit with their carers to pursue a number of activities in a safe and stimulating environment. Run, shout, sing, dance, climb, swim and splash without being shushed or stared at. Cook, paint, be creative, or be quiet, calm and relax, then spend the night in a comfortable bedroom specifically designed with their needs in mind but with the comfortable feel of their 'own room'.

West Cumbria urgently needs a suitable Short Break Centre located nearby to support children with disabilities and their families. Currently, a suitable facility does not exist and/or would require extensive travel or financial commitment to access. It is unreasonable to assume that families should continue to struggle on a daily basis, with long waiting lists, driving excessive distances and working through difficult systems to access care.

This BBC News video report from 2008 discusses the issues:

By providing a 24/7 Short Break Centre we would be giving children and their parents a much needed service in the West Cumbria area. We need to give parents/carers a place that supplies a fun and caring environment, a chance to sit down for 10 minutes while their children play happily, to socialise with other parents from a similar background and have a break that parents /carers desperately need. This will promote a community based environment and approach to the needs and lives of these individuals who have currently not been given the opportunity of a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Children with a variety of disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Fragile X, etc, will be able to come to the centre and have fun in a secure, fun environment where they can learn and have some independence. This independence is as basic as learning to wash their face, clean their teeth, dress themselves etc. all things that we take for granted in our ‘normal’ everyday lives.

Does your family include a disabled child?

Give Us A Break 2010 is the vision of Dawn Raynor, a local mum with two disabled children, who had a dream to establish a Short Break Centre to give disabled children access to fun in a safe and loving environment and offer tired and weary families and carers a much needed rest.
The Centre will be known as The RaynorShine Centre.

The Goals

Provide and sustain a supportive environment which benefits the community where all children can be free and safe and able to develop themselves.

Provide a centre which is desperately needed in West Cumbria which provides short breaks for disabled and disadvantaged children, their carers , parents and families 

The centre will be fun and will encourage and facilitate play, running free in a safe, nurturing and happy environment

Through development and provision of a short break centre, we will address a significant need in West Cumbria by providing a quality, accessible, planned and crisis short term break services to eligible people with a disability, their families and carers. 

To ensure all disabled and disadvantaged children and other young people in need have the right to play safely, express their views and feelings and play a part in the local community.

Improve the quality of disabled and disadvantaged children’s lives and life experiences by providing a much needed Short Break Centre in West Cumbria.  

The Premises

In order to deliver planned short breaks, GUAB 2010 requires long-term access to a facility and surrounding open space. Ideally, the facility will include at least 2 structures; the primary structure would provide accommodation facilities including bedrooms and activity rooms with a separate support facility where business offices, meeting room, kitchen and pantry, laundry, a café and dining areas could be situated. 


Indoor Areas

4 multi-bedded rooms, 2 of which are to be wheelchair accessible.

Multi sensory room – for exploration, relaxation, producing a 
pleasurable experience to be enjoyed by clients of all ages. (It can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual to promote learning as well as sensory stimulation. It can provide a sense of comfort and safety and allows the client to have a sense of control of the surroundings of the room.)

Soft play area – a robust, fun and safe area for climbing, bouncing, tumbling, rolling encouraging the use of gross and fine motor skills.

Games room – this room will have pool tables, computer consoles, board games etc. This room is for relaxation, socialisation, to play with peers and siblings. This room could be used as a youth club night or siblings group.

Hydrotherapy pool – water can alleviate pain and discomfort and offers stimulation of the joints and can be available for all ages of clients. In this pool clients can change colours of the room/pool and hear different sounds e.g. waves, dolphins – to aid stimulation of the senses. This could be used/booked by other members of the public who could donate/pay to use this facility.

Two kitchens – first kitchen – to cook all the children and staff meals. Second kitchen will be used to provide a learning experience for children to learn basic life skills such as making a drink, sandwich etc. This will have sinks, worktops, ovens low enough for wheelchair accessibility.

Cafe – for children and parents to socialise. Parents and children can help work in the cafe. We could hold coffee mornings to encourage community participation and for children to sell their produce from the garden.

Conference room – to hold staff meetings, parent meetings, interviews, training days – can be booked by other services such as school training days and other conference business meetings.

Dining room - for staff and children to eat meals together. Children use the dining room as a learning experience to appreciate ‘family time’ and ‘eating time’. This can be used as a place for children to entertain each other – puppet shows, acting plays, mock interviews etc.

Offices – two offices – one to use for the everyday running of the centre. Second office for the use of other services providers who might access the centre. 

Outdoor Areas, Features and Transport

Poly tunnels – outdoor area. Children can get to grips with the outdoor environment with the opportunity to grow their own vegetables (provide vegetables for the centre’s kitchen) as a learning experience.

Mini Bus – to collect and drop off children to relieve the stress and location issues that some parents have cutting into their respite time due to long journeys. This will aid parents who do not have transport and can be used for planned outings such as trips to the zoo, swimming, cinema, etc.

Outside space- Different types of play equipment for all users and ages and wheelchair accessibility. Seating areas to have picnics, lots of greenery and trees for children to explore. This will help gross and fine motor skills.

Animals – A small selection of animals that are considered as ‘pets’. Children will benefit from an education on how to look after someone/something else as well as themselves. This will encourage fine motor skills of handling with care and decrease tactile defensiveness for touching different materials. It will promote self-awareness and an awareness of the environment around them. 

Company Address

3 Standings Rise,
CA28 6SX