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Frequently Asked Questions

This page is currently being updated 27/04/2022. 

For more information on our most frequently asked questions on enrolling as an AU member, spending an AU award and using pre-paid cards, please click the arrows below.

Short Break Personal Budgets

What if I don’t spend all of the AU Short Break Award?


Any unspent monies outside of this award period will need to be returned to Suffolk County Council and cannot be carried over to a new financial year. (Please refer to our Excess Funds Policy for more information.)


How do I update my child/young person’s enrolment or change my password?


If you would like to update your self-assessment, please contact us on 01473 260026 or email

What happens next?


Your Short Break Award will be processed once we have received your signed Agreement Form and you will be paid via your preferred payment method. 


What happens if there’s a delay in getting my Agreement Form back?


You are still entitled to your award; however, any delays mean that the amount issued to you will be reduced on a pro rata basis.


How long will it take to receive the funding for my Short Break Award?


We aim to transfer funds to your preferred payment option within two weeks of receiving your signed Agreement Form. During busy periods this may take longer. If you have selected a Personal Allowance, your Short Break Offer funding will be available for use as soon as we receive your signed Agreement Form.


How else will my family be supported with a Short Break Award?


We hope that you are already familiar with the wide range of activities available to all members. Please visit our website regularly to see new activities and offers. Or alternatively contact the team for advice regarding suitable spend.


What can I spend my Short Break Award on?


Your AU award is intended to help you feel more able to cope and have time for leisure and other activities, to help your child feel confident and try new activities, and for your family to be able to enjoy activities and trips together. Some examples of what people spend their offer on are:-


  • Activities for your disabled child – many of these can be found on the Activities Unlimited website
  • Family Activities, for example – Family days out or payment towards a family holiday.
  • Equipment, for example play equipment for the garden, sensory toys and equipment so your child can take part in hobbies
  • 1-1 activities such as swimming and horse riding lessons.
  • Travel to and from activities, i.e. fuel or public transport.
  • Trips to the theatre or cinema.
You can find further guidance on what you can and can't spend your award on by reading our easy user guide and misuse of award policy.


After examples of how other families have spent their money?


Get some inspiration from other families, and join the conversation on our Facebook page, which we update regularly.


We also send out activity and event announcements in our eNewsletter.


Prepaid card



What is a prepaid card?


A prepaid card is a preloaded payment card, which is provided to you by Suffolk County Council. The card be used at any location that displays the Mastercard acceptance mark.

What can the card be used for?


The card can be used to purchase short breaks as outlined in the guidelines linked to above.

Will you carry out a credit check when I apply for a card?



No, however we will require your consent to carry out an identity check using a 3rd party organisation. Read the Easy Guide to Short Break Offers for more information. Your consent needs to be provided on the Activities Unlimited Short Break Offer Agreement Form (Section Three)

These searches will not impact on your credit record – however the search may leave and indicator, called an ‘enquiry’ that such a search has been performed.

Are there any AU providers who won't be able to accept it?


All Activities Unlimited providers will be able to accept the card

Can I withdraw cash?


No - there is no facility to withdraw cash

Will I still need to keep receipts?


We may on occasion ask for a receipt to evidence a particular spend. We advise keeping hold of receipts in a safe place at home.

How do I keep track of how much I have spent?

You can check your transactions and balances:

Online by visiting This service is free

Over the telephone: automated customer services on 0330 808 0102. This service will cost the same as a local rate call from your landline.


How can I speak to an adviser?

To speak to an adviser you can call

0330 123 2041 automated choices with option to speak to an adviser or:

0800 069 8727 direct to an allpay adviser

What do I do if I’ve forgot my PIN?

If you have forgotten your PIN please call Customer Services on 0330 808 0102

How do I change my PIN?


You can change your PIN by calling Customer Services on 0330 808 0102 and at any UK ATM where this service is available. PIN Best Practice:

  • Never share your PIN with anyone
  • Select a PIN that cannot be easily guessed (avoid using sequential numbers like 1234 or repeated numbers 1111)
  • Memorise your PIN, do not write it down or keep it on a piece of paper with your card)
  • Do not use your PIN as a password for other bank services
  • Do not use the same PIN for all of your cards
  • Be aware of others nearby you when entering your PIN at a point of sale
  • Check your transactions regularly for unfamiliar transactions


Do I still need to check items with AU before buying?

You may wish to check individual items such as equipment so if in doubt please call the AU team

Can I keep my current direct payment or personal allowance?

Yes, you do not have to receive the funds through a prepaid card

Can I receive payments for more than one child on the same card?

No, separate cards will be issued if you have more than 1 child in receipt of an award

How do I set up a Direct Debit?

You can set up a Direct Debit by quoting the sort-code and account number associated with the card. Funds will be debited from your card by 2pm on the date that the Direct Debit is due. You must ensure that you have sufficient funds available on the card to pay a Direct Debit that is due.

Can I go overdrawn?

No. Your card is a prepaid card which means you can only spend funds available on the card. You need to make sure that funds are available to pay Direct Debits so that you do not incur administration costs.

What do I do if I see a transaction I do not recognise?

Contact Customer Services on 0330 8080102 straight away to discuss and obtain advice.

Is there a charge for this card?

No, there is no charge for the issue of the card

Can I top-up my prepaid card balance from my own funds?

Yes – you can complete a bank transfer into the account

Can I obtain more than one card?

This can be arranged. Please call the AU team for further information

How long is my card valid for?

The card is valid until the expiry date shown on the front of your card

Can I use the card to pay for fuel?

The PPC can be used to purchase fuel if paid for at the kiosk but cannot be used at ‘pay at pump’



For more information about logging into your PPC account, click here