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Parent Carer Information Bulletin August 2013

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

Parent Carer Groups / Coffee Mornings

There will be no Parent Carer Groups or Coffee Mornings during the school holidays.

The next meetings will be in September.

Keep in touch with the Carers’ Centre via our website and on facebook and twitter.

If you need help or support over the holidays please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

Have a great Summer!

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

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.

Speakeasy Course

After many comments from Parent Carers regarding their concerns about how to have a conversation and/or support their child/young person through adolescence Sunderland Carers’ Centre and Children’s Services have come together to be able to offer up to 12 parents the opportunity to take part in a 8 week course called Speakeasy.

The course is designed to give you confidence to able to know how to talk to your child about growing up, meet other parents in a similar situation to yourself and share ideas.

The course is not specifically designed for parents of disabled children, however, we are hoping that the course will still be a great opportunity to share some of your ideas, concerns and aspirations for your children.

Click here for more information

All the sessions will be supported by a member of staff from Sunderland Carers’ Centre. The course will run from Friday 13th September, 10am until 12 noon, and every Friday after until Friday 8th November (with a break for half term) at Washington Primary Care Centre, Princess Anne Park, Park Way, Washington, NE38 7QZ.

If you are interested in joining us on the course, you can book a place by ringing Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768, or if you want to find out more please ask for Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow.

Wear Mencap Summer Holiday Scheme

Wear Mencap are running a range of activities for children to get involved in during the Summer Holidays. Some activities are based at Wear Mencap, Great Lumley Methodist Church, Front Street, Great Lumley DH3 4JB and cost £4 per session. There are also different outings and trips. For more information please contact Wear Mencap on (0191) 388 3401 or visit their website - click here

Sunderland City Council logoDisability Specific Swim Sessions

The next disability specific swim sessions will take place on Saturday 27th July and Saturday 31st August, 4pm – 5pm, at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre.

The price is £2.10 per person or £5 for a family ticket (maximum 2 adults and 2 young people). For more information contact their reception on

(0191) 561 5900.

Please do take advantage of these special swim sessions. If take up is low there is a possibility that the sessions will come to an end.

Sunderland City Council logoDisabled Children and Families Summer Holiday Sessions

There will be Summer Holiday Sessions for disabled children and their families at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre on Wednesdays 24th and 31st July and 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th August. Indoor adventure soft play, 11am – 12 noon, Sensory room, 10am – 12 noon, Fun and floats swim session, 10am – 11am. Price £2.70 per young person. Accompanying adult or carer goes free of charge. Admission is subject to availability. For more details contact their reception on (0191) 561 5900.

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Activities

Useful Vision helps families with blind or sight impaired children get the most out of life. They run fun activities for children from 0 to 19 across the region. All the activities are free to families registered with them. They welcome children whatever their level of ability or additional needs. Join them during August.

Family Swim Session, East End Pool, Byker, Newcastle. Saturday 3rd August, 3pm – 4pm, Buffet 4pm – 5pm.

Family Fun Day, Beamish Museum, Co. Durham. Monday 5th August, 11am – 3pm. Enjoy the facilities of this living museum and join us for one of the workshops exclusive to Useful Vision families including music making and baking. In the afternoon enjoy outdoor games or craft workshops (depending on the weather).

Woodland Day at Wingate Woods. Wednesday 14th August, 11am – 2pm. Activities will include sensory scavenger hunt, animal shelters and twig towers, woodland jewellery and woodcraft workshops.

Bowling at 1st Bowl, Royal Quays. Thursday 15th August, 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Two games of bowling followed by buffet for families.

Horse Riding Lesson and Stable Management Session RDA Morpeth. Friday 16th August, 10am – 12.30pm. 1 hour riding lesson and 1 hour stable management and horse grooming session followed by horsey quiz. Minimum riding age is 4 years. Charge for siblings.

Family Day at Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester. Sunday 18th August, 11am – 3pm. Lots of opportunities to cuddle and pet the animals, tractor and barrel rides, puppet show.

Cookery Skills Workshop, North Tyneside, Beacon Hill School. Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st August, 10am – 12 noon and 1pm – 3pm.

Family Activity Day at Washington Wetland Centre. Friday 23rd August, 10am – 2pm. Join a sensory guided tour, try pond dipping, arts and craft activities or feed the birds.

Climbing Wall at Rockantics, Darlington. Tuesday 27th August, 11am – 12.30pm. Come to one of the UK’s biggest climbing walls.

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 contact 0845 6048491 or email or visit them on facebook - click here

Transition Support Group

The next meetings of the Transition Support Group will take place on Thursday 25th July and Thursday 29th August, 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 Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

Sunderland City Council logoFamilies Information Service

The Families Information Service (FIS) is a service for parents and carers that provides information about all aspects of family life. The service can offer help, advice or signposting to other organisations for a variety of issues. It’s for families – whether you are expecting your first child or a parent of a teenager.

There is a range of information available on the website including free childcare for 2 year olds, summer holiday activities and lots more - click here

For help and support or further advice please contact the service on (0191) 520 5553 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. The group usually meets fortnightly but are taking a break until after the school holidays. If you need any help or information over the holidays please email or go to adhd support group on Facebook.

Sunderland City Council logoActivities at Sunderland Libraries

Decorate a storysack

Come along and decorate a storysack to take home at Doxford Park Library, Wednesday 31st July, 11am – 12 noon and at Monkwearmouth Library, Wednesday 7th August, 2pm – 3pm. All children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Summer Reading Challenge, Creepy House, 20th July to 30th August

Children in Sunderland, aged 4 to 11 years are invited to take part in the free Summer Reading Challenge at their nearest library. This year’s theme is Creepy House – a spine-tingling adventure waiting for children in libraries this summer. Join the adventurers as they explore the secrets of the Creepy House and meet the hair-raising residents. The Creepy House reading challenge encourages children to read six books during the summer holiday and collect incentives at each stage.

Summer Holiday Children’s Activities

Throughout the Summer Holidays children’s Creepy House craft activities will take place at your local library. For further information contact your local library nearer the time.

Get Online at Home

The Get Online at Home scheme offers cheaper computers and broadband for people in receipt of at least one of the following benefits: housing benefit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, pension credit, disability living allowance, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance, incapacity benefit / employment and support allowance, and disability element of working tax credit. For more details click here or phone 0800 090 1297.

Family Fund Driving Ambitions Grant

Family Fund has introduced a new grant to help eligible young people aged 16 and 17 take the first steps in learning how to drive. The Driving Ambitions grant supports the young person to get started by funding a combination of: provisional licence; theory test; learning materials, such as the Highway Code or Theory test book or DVD; and first taster lesson. This is only available for the eligible young person who has not yet had any driving lesson tuition. Family Fund cannot provide support for ongoing driving lessons. For more information click here or phone
08449 744 099.

Cerebra Equipment Grants

Do you have a child aged 16 or under with a neurological condition? Cerebra offers a grants scheme which funds up to 80 per cent of the cost of equipment and services to help make life easier and more enjoyable for children with neurological conditions. Some examples of things funded included wheelchairs, buggies, sensory toys, trikes and certain therapies. For more information phone 0800 328 1159 or click here