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Parent Carer Information Bulletin December 2014

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

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

There is no meeting in December. The next meeting is on

Thursday 8th January
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

There is no meeting is December. The next meeting is on

Wednesday 14th January
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

There is no meeting in December. The next meeting is on

Monday 19th January
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

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 Christmas Meal

Our Christmas meal out will be on Friday 5th December, 12 noon, at The Italian Kitchen (The Mill), Thompson Road, Southwick. If you are interested in joining us please give us a ring on (0191) 549 3768 to book your place. The menu is available on their website - click here

Toys R Us Autism Friendly Shopping Event

On Sunday 30th November Toys r Us stores in the UK will be holding an Autism Friendly and additional needs exclusive shopping event!

With reduced fluorescent lighting, no loud music or tannoy announcements and all staff provided with some parent led autism awareness training, this should be a wonderful chance to enjoy some Christmas shopping with children - this event is exclusively for parents with additional needs children.

The store will be open 9am - 11am with tills opening at 11am due to Sunday trading restrictions. Staff will make sure there is quick efficient access to tills for payment or offer to hold trolleys till an appropriate time if you wish to pop out and return to pay.

Of course everyone is welcome to come along just browse and play!

The two stores in the North East that are taking part are located at Metro Retail Park, Metro Centre, Gateshead NE11 9XU (0191 493 2041) and Teesside Retail Park, Newmarket Avenue, Teesside TS17 7BS (01642 617 172).

Tourettes Action North East Christmas Party

This will take place on Saturday 6th December, 5pm – 9pm, at Blaydon Rugby Club. There will be lots of entertainment – DJ, Animal Antics, drumming workshop, glitter tattoos and a raffle. Buffet provided. Tickets are £10 per family and each child will receive a present from Santa. Please contact Donna Emmerson for tickets email

Snow White Pantomime – Relaxed Performance

There will be a relaxed performance of this year’s Snow White Pantomime at Sunderland Empire on Friday 2nd January at 2pm. It caters specifically for families and people with learning or behavioural disorders such as ASD and ADHD by creating a more relaxed atmosphere.

The sound can be lowered and lights dimmed in the auditorium; no one will be asked to be quiet; audiences can come and go; there will be a quiet space with activities and fidget toys for anyone wishes to leave the auditorium; and a pre-show familiarisation visit is available.

To book please contact the Central Access Line on 0844 871 7677 (Mon – Sat, 9am – 10pm, Sun 10am – 8pm). For any queries about the Relaxed Performance contact the Creative Learning Manager on (0191) 566 1056 or email

Sunderland City Council logoFinal Disability Swim Session – Silksworth Community Pool

The next swim session for disabled children and their families at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre is on Saturday 29th November, 3.45pm - 4.45pm.

Entry is £2.20 per person or family ticket £5.25 (maximum 2 adults and 2 young people).  For more information please contact their reception on (0191) 561 5900.

Please note that this will be the final session.  Unfortunately the sessions will no longer continue in the future due to low attendance.

F.L.A.S.H. – Families Living with Autism Support and Help

FLASH is a new support network and charity run by families living with autism in the North East. So whether you need a chat with someone who understands what you are going through or you would like to go along to one of their autism friendly events or outings get in touch:


Facebook: F.L.A.S.H!!

Twitter: @flashchatASD


Tel: 077202 37316

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 next meetings will be on Monday 1st December and Monday 15th December, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD. For more information please email

Special Olympics Sunderland

Special Olympics Sunderland is an organisation which aims to help youngsters with learning disabilities find a pathway in to sport to competition level. They have a dedicated team of volunteers offering a range of sports every Saturday at the Raich Carter Centre in Hendon, Sunderland.

They offer 1:1 swimming lessons and a swimming squad who compete in national and regional galas. They also offer activities in the sports hall between 3pm – 4pm every week including badminton, table tennis, a range of games (boccia, indoor bowls and new age kurling) and trampolining on a 1:1 basis. Sessions are £4 each.

For further information please contact Tom Maitland by email or see the Special Olympics Sunderland website - click here

Transition Support Group

The next meetings of the Transition Support Group will be onThursday 27th November and Thursday 29th January, 10.30am – 12 noon, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre. The group is open to all parents / carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services. For more information please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children’s Society Christmas Party

This Christmas Party is for all families with hearing impaired children and their siblings and will take place at Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields NE34 8QN on Saturday 6th December, 2pm – 5pm. There will be characters from Spiderman and Frozen, face painting, a visit from Santa Claus and hot food for all children. To book your place email

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council logoSunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

The next meeting of the Parent Carer Council will be on Friday 12th December, 10am – 12 noon, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre.

New members welcome.

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

Social Inclusion Youth Projects

There are five youth projects for young people aged 13 to 19 years with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) and one for young people aged 19 to 25 years. These projects offer different activities to meet the needs of each individual young person. For more information about the projects please contact Angela Mills, Social Inclusion Co-ordinator on (0191) 561 7401 or email

Sunderland City Council logoActivities at Sunderland Libraries

Sunderland Libraries will have free Christmas craft activities on Saturdays 29th November, 6th December, 13th December and 20th December.

Click here for details

To find out more ask at your local library or visit their website - click here

Cerebra North East Parent Forum

Parents of brain injured children and young people are invited to the Cerebra Parent Forum on Thursday 11th December, 10am – 12 noon, at The Dunes, Sea Road, South Shields NE33 2LD. There will be a workshop looking at behaviour as a means of communicating. If you would like to attend please contact Shona Chambers at Cerebra on (0191) 477 5954 or email

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. The following activities take place in December.

Bounce Pre-School Christmas Party, Newburn Activity Centre, Saturday 13th December, 11am – 1pm. Enjoy the soft play room and Christmas singing and games sessions. Siblings and grandparents also welcome.

It’s Useful Vision Panto Time!, Marriot Hotel, Metro Centre, Gateshead, Saturday 20th December, 12.30pm – 3.30pm. Dick Whittington will be performed by The Panto Company. Actors will be in costume to greet families as they arrive. Touch tour of the set before and after the performance. Refreshments are available to purchase.

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

News from City Hospitals Sunderland

Parking at Sunderland Royal Hospital

A new multi-storey car park at Sunderland Royal Hospital is open with over 1700 parking spaces now available on-site. The Chester Wing and Hylton Road car parks are dedicated for patient and visitors only during peak hours – Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm. There are new parking charges: up to 1 hour £1.50, 2 hours £2.50, 2 – 4 hours £4, 4 – 24 hours £7, monthly visitor £15. Free park and ride services from the Stadium of Light and Gala Bingo Pallion continue to operate from the Chester Wing and Main entrance of Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Click here for more information

The Friends and Family Test

By 1st April 2015 the Friends and Family Test will be implemented across the Trust including paediatrics. All children will be included and parents and carers will also be given the opportunity to provide feedback.

Click here for more information

Clinic on the Day

"Clinic on the Day” is part of City Hospitals Sunderland Scheduling Programme. The Programme focuses on enhancing the patient experience in the out-patient department as well improving the appointment process and communication. “Clinic on the Day” is a term used to describe an outpatient appointment where patients will leave with the appropriate information and the next steps of their treatment plan or care package in place.

Many specialities are already involved in delivering clinic on the day and feedback from patients has been positive. Clinic on the Day will be in place in all outpatient clinics by the end of March 2015.

A patient's experience of Clinic on the Day can vary depending on their care needs but some examples are:

• The date and time of next review out-patient appointment will be negotiated with the patient if it’s going to take place in the six weeks following the appointment

• The date and time of certain investigations if required will also be negotiated with patients

• If surgery is required then patients will be given the opportunity to attend the PREP department (Perioperative Risk Evaluation and Preparation) on the same day, which prevent the patients from revisiting the hospital on a different day

• Clinic letter-patients are given the opportunity to wait for a copy of the clinic letter (this may involve a short wait) or given the choice to have the letter sent to their home address and GP within 24 hours of the clinic visit