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Parent Carer Information Bulletin April 2016

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 Groups

Sunderland Parent Carer Group

There is no meeting in April due to the school holidays.  The next meeting is on

Tuesday 3rd May
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Washington Parent Carer Group

The next meeting is on

Wednesday 13th April
10am – 12 noon
Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliot Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

Hetton Parent Carer Group

The next meeting is on

Monday 18th April

10am - 12 noon

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 28th April
10.30am – 12 noon
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.

Satisfaction Survey

Sunderland Carers' Centre wants to give as good a service as possible to carers and would like your views on the services we provide.  To help us improve our services please complete our short anonymous online survey.

Click here to complete

Caring for Carers Awards

Has a worker or team from health, social services, a home care agency, a voluntary or community project or another organisation been of particular support to you in your caring role?  Say thank you by nominating them for the Caring for Carers Awards 2016.  The awards aim to recognise workers and teams who have made a real difference to the lives of carers.  All workers and teams who have been nominated will receive a certificate.  Presentations take place in Carers Week.  The closing date for nominations is Friday 15th April.

Click here for a nomination form

The Caring for Carers Awards are kindly sponsored by Aztec Colour Print.

Carers Week Trip

The Carers’ Centre is organising a coach trip to Scarborough on Wednesday 8th June. This is a great chance to have a day to yourself and meet other carers. The coach departs from Toward Road bus stop next to Mowbray Park at 9.30am prompt and plans to arrive back about 5.30pm.

The cost is £5 per carer (non-refundable) and carers will be asked to complete and sign a health and safety agreement form. Carers must book individually (no block bookings) and must be over the age of 18.

Please call into the Carers’ Centre or phone 549 3768 to book. Places are limited. Your place will be confirmed on payment of your £5. Payment must be in cash (no cheques). Please do not send cash in the post. Payment must be received by Friday 13th May. If you are unable to come to the Centre to pay and complete the form please contact the Carers’ Centre and we may be able to make other arrangements with you.

Carers Week Garden Party

Adult carers are invited to our afternoon tea party on Friday 10th June, 12 noon - 3pm, at Sunderland Carers' Centre.

To book please phone (0191) 549 3768.

Carers Week BBQ

Young carers and their families are invited to our BBQ on Friday 10th June, 4pm - 7pm, at Sunderland Carers' Centre.

To book please phone (0191) 549 3768.

Complementary Therapies at Sunderland Carers' Centre

HOPS Wellbeing Service are offering complementary therapies for carers at the Carers' Centre - massage, shiatsu, reiki/healing, indian head massage or reflexology.

Half hour treatments cost £12; full hour treatments cost £24.

Appointments available every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm on the following dates:

Thursday 14th April

Tuesday 26th April

Thursday 12th May

Tuesday 24th May

Thursday 9th June

Tuesday 28th June

To book please ring HOPS on (0191) 548 3722 or email

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

The next meeting of the Parent Carer Council will be on:

Friday 15th April
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers' Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

New members are welcome.

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

Social Inclusion Youth Projects

There are a range of social inclusion youth projects across the city - click here for details

Caudwell Children CAN Event

Join Caudwell Children at their North East CAN event for a fun filled day!  This will take place on Saturday 16 April 2016 from 11.00am-2.00pm at the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Families will have access to an array of sensory, fun, and social facilities and activities. These include: sensory rooms, ball pool, music room and sensory cave.  A buffet lunch and entertainment will be provided.

For more information or to book a place, please contact Michelle Dias on 07875 206760 or email

Family Fund News

To read the latest e-bulletin from the Family Fund - click here

Disability Matters - E-learning to inform and inspire

Disability Matters offers a range of free e-learning resources to help "challenge and positively change our own and others fears, ideas and attitudes towards disability and disabled children and young people".

Click here for more details

April Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Easter holidays activities for childrenclick here

All activities are free to attend and suitable for children aged 4 – 11 years.  All children under the age of 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Please note the places for the Gruffalo storysack sessions have to be prebooked.

World Book Night

Sunderland Libraries will once again be celebrating World Book Night on Saturday 23 April.

World Book Night is now in its sixth year and takes place on 23 April – the date of both the birth and death of William Shakespeare.  The night is now run as a Reading Agency programme as part of its work to inspire people to take up reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives.

Watch out for news of library events happening this year.

Useful Vision

Useful Vision helps families with blind or sight impaired children get the most out of life. They run fun activities for children from 0 – 19 across the region. All activities are free to families registered with them.

Click here for the April, May and June 2016 programme

If you would like to register for any of these events, be put on the mailing list for future activities or find out more contact 0845 6048491 or email

ADHD Support Group

Are you a parent of a child with ADHD? The Sunderland ADHD Support Group is run by parents themselves and they offer each other advice and support.

There are no meetings in April, however, you can still email the group for information or visit their facebook page.


Carers Passport

The following article has been provided by City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

A number of carers attending hospital with their loved ones and people they care for identified they would like to be involved in delivering elements of care such as helping during mealtimes, dressing, bathing and being involved in any care decisions that need to be made especially around the discharge process.  Comments from carers identified that they are not always asked or given the opportunity to be involved. On a number of occasions this has caused distress for the carer leaving them feeling disempowered and estranged from the people they care for especially if the patient's care needs have changed.  This also had a negative impact on the person being cared for.

Another cause for concern is that carers aren’t always able to attend at the specified visiting times due to work or other commitments.  The Trust has developed a partnership with the local Carers Centre and works very closely with carers to ensure their needs are met and they feel listened to.

A Carers Passport is being developed in conjunction with the Carers strategy which encourages carers to identify themselves to ward and department staff.  This will empower the carers to have the conversation with staff to explain how they would like to be involved and also allows carers to attend outside of visiting times.  It also identifies carers to the ward staff.  The Trust has also signed up to John's Campaign, a national campaign to highlight the importance of carers and the impact on care provision and the wellbeing of patients when they spend time in hospital to further reinforce our commitment to patients and carers.

Making Parks Smoke Free - Sunderland City Council Consultation

Over the past 5 years, smoking prevalence has been falling, but it still remains the single biggest preventable cause of premature deaths and preventable disease in Sunderland.

During August 2013, local volunteers in Sunderland carried out a survey in parks across the City to seek local views on if ‘Smoking should be banned in outdoor children’s play areas in Sunderland’. Of the 347 responses collected, 98% said that they strongly agreed or agreed with the following statement ‘Smoking should be banned in outdoor children's play areas’ indicating the very strong support. (37% of those completing the survey were either smokers or ex-smokers).

To have your say on the Sunderland smoke free parks consultation - click here