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Parent Carer Information Bulletin November 2015

Welcome to this month’s information bulletin for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25.

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Thursday 5th November
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Wednesday 11th November
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliot Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 16th November
10am – 12 noon
at The Hetton Centre, Welfare Road, Hetton-le-Hole DH5 9NE

Transition Support Group

This group is open to all parents and carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services.

The next meeting is on

Thursday 26th November
10.30am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information please contact Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

Information, Activities and Events

For more details on any of the information, activities or events mentioned below please contact the organisations directly or Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

Parent Carer Groups Survey

To help us plan the future of our groups for parent carers please could you complete our short online survey - whether you attend the groups or not.

We would like to know why some parents choose not to attend as well as the reasons why other parents do attend.

Thank you for your help.

Click here to complete the survey

Sunderland Carers' Centre Annual General Meeting

Carers are invited to our Annual General Meeting to be held on:

Thursday 12th November

9.30am Registration and refreshments

10am Business starts (close by 12 noon)

Venue: The Performance Room, The Place, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland SR1 1QX

Places are limited.  To book your place contact (0191) 549 3768 or email us - click here

Health and Social Care for you and your child - Free Event for Parent Carers

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council are holding this free event for Sunderland parents / carers – Health and Social Care for you and your SEN Child (aged 0 - 25)

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

9.30am - 2pm

at the Stadium of Light (welcome refreshments and lunch are included)

Come along and find out all about Health and Social Care. There will be speakers, table discussions, a quiz and networking. Speakers include Dr Karen Horridge and Janette Sherratt.

Professionals from both sectors will be in attendance to help answer questions you may have regarding health and social care. Healthwatch Sunderland will also be in attendance. If you have difficulties getting to the venue, please email as they may be able to provide taxis to and from the event.

To book a place, please email

Singing & Music Course for Adults with Physical or Learning Disabilities

AutismAble has received funding from Sunderland City Council and the European Social Fund to deliver a 20 hour Singing / Music course for Adults (aged 19+) with physical / learning disabilities.

These courses are available free of charge to anyone who resides in the Sunderland / Washington area with a learning disability.

These courses will be run at a community venue within Sunderland.

If anyone would like to book, please message them through their facebook page -

For more information about AutismAble click here

Young Adult Carers need a Better Bursary

Young adult carers are struggling at college and sixth form because they are not getting the right support.

Carers Trust is calling on the government to make the 16 - 19 bursary accessible for all young adult carers in England.

Support their campaign by asking your MP to let the government know how important the 16 - 19 bursary is to the lives of young adult carers.

Click here to support the campaign

Contact a Family Magazines

"Connected" is a magazine by Contact a Family for parents of disabled children and all who work with them.  In this issue:

• seven dads share their perspectives on being the father of a disabled child; issues explored include their reactions on finding out their child’s diagnosis, how to deal with the organisations and professionals that support families with disabled children, and the difficulty of being open about feelings
• the SEND reforms in England, one year on
• parent carer participation and how, together, parents are changing local services for the better
• what the budget benefit changes will mean for you

Click here to read

"In Contact" is a magazine by Contact a Family North East - click here to read the Autumn edition

Hope 4 Kidz - Santa's Christmas Party

Hope 4 Kidz will hold its free Annual Christmas Party for children with special needs on

Sunday 6th December

12 noon - 4pm

Illusions nightclub (formerly Passion), Holmeside, Sunderland

At the party there will be entertainment, balloon artists, face painters, petting zoo, bouncy castle, party games, buffet, disco and Santa's Grotto.

Families who have children who are disabled or sick can bring along the siblings too.  The party is for children aged 2 - 16 years only.

Click here for more information

Click here for a booking form

Social Inclusion Youth Provision


Bluewatch, 5.30pm - 8.30pm.  11 to 18 year olds.

Youth club including computers, dance mates, games, pool table, cooking and much more.


Pitstop, 5.30pm - 8.30pm.  11 to 18 year olds.

Youth club including pool table, wii, jigsaws, arts and crafts, table tennis and much more.


City Equals, 4.30pm - 6.30pm.  13 to 25 year olds.

Advisory group for young people with LDD


Fencehouses YMCA, 6pm - 9pm.  11 to 18 year olds.

Youth club including dominoes, play station, arts and crafts and much more.


Lambton Street, 1.15pm - 3.45pm.  11 to 18 year olds.

Youth club with gym, sports hall, cooking and life skills.

Lambton Street, 10.45am - 1.15pm.  19 to 25 year olds

Youth club with gym, sports hall, cooking and life skills.

For more information contact Angela Mills, Tel: (0191) 561 4101 or email

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children's Society - Children's Pantomime

Beauty and the Beast

Sunday 6th December, 2pm (doors open at 1.30pm)

Seaham Town Hall, Stockton Road, Seaham, County Durham SR7 0HP

Due to popular demand last year, places must be booked in advance by 6th November, with payment of £5 per family (2 adults, deaf child and siblings).

For details please email

The performance will be signed in BSL by an interpreter.  Food provided for each child after the performance.

Are you interested in volunteering to provide Special Educational Needs and / or Disability (SEND) advice and support to parent carers

IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) is a registered charity offering free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of SEND.

Volunteers are at the heart of IPSEA.  IPSEA's Information Service, Advice Line and Tribunal Support Service are delivered entirely by their highly trained volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming an IPSEA volunteer please contact Linda at

Are you interested in trying arts and crafts?

There is a free 6 week course, Mondays 10am - 12 noon, starting 2nd November until 7th December, at Grace House, Faber Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 2NN.

Click here for more details

To book contact Grace House on (0191) 525 2885 or email

National Disabled Identification Card (DID)

Launched in 2015 this scheme is run by disabled people or parents and relatives of disabled people.

The aim of the National DID card is to remove the need for individuals to carry their paper documentation with them at all times.  The card will have a photograph of the cardholder and will only be issued to disabled people who are in receipt of some form of disability allowance.

Click here for more details

Sunderland Young Achievers 2016

If you know a young person or a group aged 8 - 20 in Sunderland who has achieved something great this year why not nominate them for a Young Achiever’s Award.

Categories include;

• Music and performing arts
• Personal achievement
• Community award
• Academic achievement
• Sport
• Young carer
• Young apprentice
• School council
• Anti-bullying team

Nominations can be made online at - click here

The closing date for nominations is Friday 13th November 2015.

The awards evening will take place on Thursday 10th March 2016.

Petition - Disabled Children against tax credit cuts

A staggering 149,000 disabled children could be affected by the tax credit cuts next year. This is why Contact a Family is leading the campaign against the cuts, calling on the Chancellor to rethink the cuts for disabled children.

If you agree and think tax credit cuts should be scrapped, please add your name to the petition click here and please share it with your friends and family. Together we can change this.

For more information including The Sun article on the numbers of disabled children affected, please click here

Niall's Miles

There are a number of organised short walks suitable for families in the city - click here

No need to book, just turn up.

Learning Disability Health Promotion Team

The Learning Disability Health Promotion Team are based at Monkwearmouth Hospital.

They offer support where needed to adults with learning disabilities, families and carers to attend annual health checks where they can support to address any unmet health needs. They have a key role in liaising with other health professionals and agencies to ensure that healthcare received is co-ordinated and uninterrupted.

What the team might provide:

• Support to Annual Health Checks at GP surgeries
• Support to make reasonable adjustments at health appointments to meet individual health needs
• Support customers to have a Health Action Plan
• Support and guidance for family and carers
• Easy read health Information if required
• Workshops on health issues to small groups

Contact details

Health Promotion Team
Learning Disabilities Service
Monkwearmouth Hospital
Newcastle Road

Contact telephone numbers 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday

07468710822 Graeme Ferguson
07468710823 Margaret Mather
07468710800 Emma Reid