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Parent Carer Information Bulletin April 2013

Welcome to this month’s information bulletin for parents and carers of disabled children.

Sunderland Parent Carers’ Group

There will be no meeting in April. The next meeting will take place on

Thursday 9th May
10am – 12 noon

at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on

Monday 15th April
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

The guest speaker will be Karen Bailey, Carers Breaks and Opportunities Scheme.

Washington Parent Carers’ Group

The next meeting will take place on

Wednesday 17th April
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

The guest speaker will be Karen Bailey, Carers Breaks and Opportunities Scheme.

We look forward to seeing you.

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

For more information please contact Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow at Sunderland Carers’ Centre

Tel: (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.

Facebook logoSunderland Carers’ Centre on Facebook and Twitter


Sunderland Carers’ Centre would like to keep people regularly up-to-date with the latest news about what is happening locally and nationally for carers and we are pleased to announce the launch of our new Facebook page.

Twitter logo Why not visit our page and ‘Like’ us - click here to go to Facebook on our website


The Carers' Centre also has a Twitter page.

If you are a Twitter user you can also follow us on Twitter - click here to go to our Twitter page

Move More – A festival of fitness for young people

On Monday 1st April at Wearmouth Colliery Cricket Ground, Thompson Road, Southwick, Sunderland, an event is being run to showcase sports and healthy activities for young people. Entry is free. Activities and demonstrations will include football tournaments, tag rugby, aerobics sessions, martial arts, cheerleading, dance, food and other fun activities. The event will run from 10am to 3pm. For more information visit

St Aidan’s Easter Sports Camp

There will be healthy activities for children aged 5 – 11 years at St Aidan’s School, Willowbank Road, Ashbrooke, on April 2nd – 5th and 8th – 12th, from 10am – 3pm. Football, tag rugby, cricket, traditional games and much more will all be delivered by professional coaches. The cost is £5 a day for 5 – 11 year olds. Toddler sessions are also available. To book visit or phone 07834 424409 (Peter) or 07926 576927 (Donna).

Sunderland City Council logoDisabled Children and Families Fun Event

There will be a fun event for disabled children and families on Wednesday 3rd April at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre - including tennis coaching, indoor adventure soft play, sensory room, and fun and floats swim session.  Price £2.70 per young person. Accompanying adult or carer free of charge.

Click here for more information

Playgroup for Hearing Impaired Children

The next Playgroups are on Monday 8th April and Monday 22nd April, 1.15pm – 3pm, at Highfield Children’s Centre, Ford Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland. Speech therapist, Nicola Johnson, will be attending the groups to offer some sign-along songs and to be available to answer any queries that parents have. For more information please email

Saturday Event for Deaf Children and their Families

There is a Saturday event for all deaf children and their families on Saturday 27th April, 10am – 1pm, at Southwick Primary School, Shakespeare Street, Sunderland SR5 2JX. Come and see the NDCS listening bus, soft play bus, games and refreshments. For more information email or visit the Facebook page – Toddler group for hearing impaired children

Transition Support Group

The next meeting of the Transition Support Group will take place on Thursday 25th April, 10.30am – 12 noon, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF. The group is open to all carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services. For more information please contact Eibhlin Inglesby or Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

Sunderland City Council logoDisability Specific Swim Sessions

Disability specific swim sessions will take place on the last Saturday of every month, 4pm – 5pm, at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre, starting Saturday 27th April. The price is £2.10 per person or £5 for a family ticket (maximum 2 adults and 2 young people). For more information please contact reception on
(0191) 561 5900.

Friends and Family Test

On 25th May 2012 the Prime Minister David Cameron announced the introduction of the “Friends and Family Test” to improve patient care and identify the best performing hospitals in England. The test consists of one question – “How likely are you to recommend our ward / A&E department to friends and family if they needed similar care in the future?” and is aimed at all adult patients (over 16 years) who attend the A&E department and are then subsequently discharged and all adult patients (over 16 years) who are inpatients.

City Hospitals Sunderland will be participating in the test as it will be a way for the Trust and its staff to measure how well it is doing in comparison to other hospitals and also identify those wards where improvements need to be made quickly. The question will be printed on a postcard and patients will be asked to complete this on discharge. A website address is also available to register comments electronically. The information is given anonymously with only the ward and hospital being identified. It is not applicable to children’s wards.

Sunderland Actionnaires

Sunderland Actionnaires offers activities for visually impaired children at Raich Carter Sports Centre. For more information contact Lisa Simpson Tel: 01642 233439 or email

Family Fund

In the last bulletin we mentioned that the Family Fund gives grants to families raising disabled and seriously ill children aged 17 and under for such things as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys and holidays. Grants are also available for disabled young people aged 16 and 17 years, for example, for driving lessons, laptops and equipment for college.

In addition to this the Family Fund offers travel insurance for families with disabled and seriously ill children and young people and also has exclusive online savings that includes offers and discounts from high street gift vouchers, Haven, AA and Stone Computers.

For information contact the Family Fund Tel: 08449744099, email or visit their website

ADHD Support Group

The Sunderland ADHD Support Group will no longer be holding meetings due to low attendance.

If you need help and information you can phone Mandy Colman on (0191) 519 2461 or 07788211154 or

email You can also visit their Facebook page.

Useful Vision Activities

Useful Vision logoThe following activities have been arranged for families in the North East who have children with a visual impairment:

Bounce baby and toddler group, Tuesday 16th April, 10am – 12 noon, at Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre, Silksworth Lane, Sunderland. Drop in and meet other parents and have a chat then chill in the music and movement session with Piccolo Music. Siblings are welcome too.

Snowtubing and Sledging, Thursday 4th April, 1.30pm – 3.30pm, at Whickham Thorns Activity Centre, Dunston. Using special one-person plastic sledges for children aged
5-11. Snowtubing uses specially adapted rubber rings and is restricted to children and young people aged 8 and over.

Woodland Day at Wingate Woods, East Durham, Wednesday 10th April, 11am - 2pm. Activities will include sensory scavenger hunt, animal shelters and twig towers, woodland jewellery, woodcraft workshop, open fire for marshmallow toasting and hot chocolate. Bring a picnic.

Family Day at Tweddle Children’s Animal Farm, Blackhall Colliery, Sunday 14th April, 11am – 3pm. Meet the calves and kids and get the chance to cuddle and feed the smaller animals, tractor and barrel rides running all day, crazy golf, panning for coal, combine harvester, indoor play area. Café on site or bring a picnic.

Beach School at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Sunday 21st April, 10am – 2pm. Activities will include shelter building, scavenging/beach combing, environmental art, rock pooling, paddling, family team challenges and games. Bring a packed lunch, warm clothes and a towel!

If you would like to register for any of these events, be put on the mailing list for future activities or to find out more about the family support services contact the office on 0845 6048491, email or visit them on facebook

Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Father and son in the library‘The Croods’
Visit City Library between Tuesday 2nd and Friday 5th April and celebrate the release of new family adventure film ‘The Croods’. Take part in prehistoric crafts and create your own dinosaur mask or cave painting. For further information contact the library.

Storybag Session
Wednesday 3rd April, Kayll Road Library, 2pm – 3pm. Decorate a storybag for Spring to take home. The activity is free, but children under the age of 8 years must be accompanied by a parent or carer.

Dads ‘n’ Kids Club
Saturday 27th April, City Library, Fawcett Street, 10.30am – 11.30am. This session is open to children up to 11 years of age and their father/carer. Mums also welcome!

Adult Learning Courses
Adult learning courses in libraries will start again the week beginning Monday 15th April. For further information contact your local library closer to the time.

Autism Friendly Film Screening – The Croods

Dimensions have joined forces with Odeon Cinemas to host an autism friendly screening of the Dreamworks animated comedy adventure film, The Croods (U, 2D), in cinemas across the country.

What makes the screening autism friendly? The lights will be on low, the volume will be turned down, you’ll be able to take your own food and drinks and you’ll be able to move around the cinema if you like.

The nearest screening will be at the Metrocentre Odeon on Sunday 21st April at 11.30am. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 17th April and can be bought from the cinema, online through the Odeon website or by calling Odeon’s Accessibility Helpline on 0800 138 3315 between 11am and 8pm. For more information about autism-friendly screenings visit the Dimensions website

Carers/support workers can attend for free with a CEA card. To find out more about the CEA card please see below.

Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) Card

The CEA Card is issued by The Card Network. The card entitles the card holder to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema, provided a full price ticket is purchased for the card holder. You can apply for the card if you receive Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance or registered as a blind person. The card is issued to the person who requires assistance to enjoy the cinema. In this way, there is no restriction on the accompanying person, family, friend, care worker etc. as long as they are capable of offering the required assistance and are aged 16 or over. The card costs £5.50. For an application form ring 0845 123 1292 or visit