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Parent Carer Information Bulletin February 2012

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

Sunderland Carers' Centre logoParent Carers’ Group

The next meeting will take place on

Thursday 9th February
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF

Speaker: Nicola Appleby from Sunderland City Council, Consultation about the Sunderland Carers’ Strategy

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

The next coffee mornings will take place on

Tuesday 21st February
10am – 12 noon
Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Springwell, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Monday 27th February
10am – 12 noon
Houghton Primary Care Centre (behind Houghton Leisure Centre)

Speaker: Lyndsey Robson from the Wellness Centre to discuss the potential for a group of carers to do a leisure activity together.

We look forward to seeing you.

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

For more information about the group and coffee mornings please contact Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow at Sunderland Carers’ Centre Tel: (0191) 567 3232.

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) 567 3232.

Consultation on acute services for children and young people

NHS South of Tyne and Wear would like your views on the future of services for acutely sick and injured children across Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside.

According to the proposals, 24-hour assessment units will be established in local hospitals in Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside and the work of the children's community nursing team will be extended to offer support to sick children in their own home. Inpatient services, for those children who require a period in hospital, would be provided at centres in Sunderland Royal Hospital or the Great North Children's Hospital at the RVI in Newcastle.

To have your say about these proposals you can attend a local consultation event or complete a questionnaire available online or by calling (0191) 529 7374.

The consultation will end on 31st March 2012.

Click here to complete the online questionnaire

Caring with Confidence logoCarers - start 2012 with confidence!

If you have not done so already why not take part in the next round of Caring with Confidence sessions run by Sunderland Carers’ Centre.

Come along to one of the ‘Finding Your Way’ introduction sessions on either Monday 20th February or Monday 27th February at ‘The Place, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland, SR1 1QX, from 11am to 2pm, with a buffet lunch.

Click here for more details

To book your place contact Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 or e-mail

Makaton Training and Information Session on Wills and Trusts

Cerebra have kindly offered to run Makaton Training and an information session on Wills and Trusts for parent carers. If you are interested in taking part in either or both of these sessions please contact Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow at Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232. We will then organise a date and time for the near future.

Sunderland Partnership logoHave your say on Sunderland’s new Multi-agency Carers’ Strategy

Carers in Sunderland are being asked to get involved in creating a new Carers’ Strategy for the city.

A new national strategy for carers called “Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for carers” was published at the end of 2010. Sunderland is creating a local version so that carers know what to expect in the city, how services will be delivered and when.

Carers are invited to contribute their ideas on what is good at present, what else is needed and how it could be delivered most effectively.

You can share your views in a range of ways. You can call Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232, come along to the Parent Carers’ Group meeting at the Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland on Thursday 9th February, 10am – 12 noon, or complete an online survey.

The consultation ends on Friday 30th March 2012.

Click here to complete the online survey

Families Information Service

The Sunderland Families Information Service Directory is available on the Families Information Service website and has all kinds of useful family information. Visit and search for childcare, activities, events and services by postcode, date or even by category, for example, ‘toddlers’ or ‘teenagers’.

Scope Face2Face survey for parents of disabled children

Scope is hoping to submit a bid in the Sunderland area to establish a Face2Face scheme. Face2Face is a service which trains parents of disabled children to support other parents at or around the time of diagnosis. The training is over 10 sessions and even if parents find they are not ready to “befriend” all report getting a lot of benefit from the course. In order to gather evidence to support the bid, Scope would like parents of disabled children to take part in a short online survey by the end of January.

Click here for more information about Face2Face

Click here to complete the survey

Action for Blind People – Action Activity Weeks

Action for Blind People are running five Action Activity Breaks for summer 2012. These are residential breaks for blind and partially sighted children and young people aged 8 – 17 who attend mainstream schools or colleges in the UK. They provide a fun, action packed break, providing opportunities to meet and share experiences with peers, increase independence, life skills and help them to try out new and exciting activities.

For more information call Action for Blind People on 0303 123 9999 or click here to go to their website

Mencap Planning for the Future Events

If someone in your family has a learning disability, you can take steps now to ensure their finances are well looked after when you are no longer around. Mencap have organised free wills and trusts information sessions on Monday 27th February, 12.30pm – 2.30pm, at Newcastle City Library, and on Tuesday 28th February, 12.30pm – 2.30pm, at Burbank Community Centre in Hartlepool. To book call Mencap on 020 7696 6925.

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Activities

Useful Vision helps vision impaired children and families in the North East get the most out of life. Families can register free to receive regular mailings about events by calling 0845 604 8491 or email Forthcoming events include:

• Cookery classes for vision impaired children aged 8 years and above, at Ashington Childrens Centre, Northumberland on Monday 13th February and Friday 17th February. Morning or afternoon sessions.

• Sage Music Family Session on Wednesday 15th February, 10.30am – 1.30pm. Suitable for all ages with story-telling and African drum playing. Great fun for all the family even if you are not musical!

• Family swimming session at Splash, Stockton on Tees on Sunday 19th February. Useful Vision has exclusive use of the pool from 4.15pm – 5.15pm. Free buffet afterwards.

All activities are for vision impaired children and their families and free to vision impaired children, their siblings and two adults/carers.

Useful Vision Bounce Group

Bounce is the Useful Vision group for mothers and vision impaired toddlers, pre-school and nursery children (0 – 4 years). The next Sunderland group meetings will take place on Tuesday 7th February and Tuesday 6th March, 10am – 12 noon, at Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre, Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland SR3 1PD. There will be soft play from 10am – 11am and music and movement from 11am – 12 noon. For more details ring Susan Cullingworth on 0845 604 8491 or email

Click here to visit the Useful Vision website

Sunderland City Council logoActivities at Sunderland Libraries

National Story Telling Week (28 January – 4 February)
Children’s Storyteller, Gary Cordingley, will be at City Library and Arts Centre, on Saturday 4th February. Story telling starts at 2.30pm.

Free Mini Health MOTs
February is British Heart Foundation Month and there will be free Mini Health Mot sessions in the following libraries:

City Library and Arts Centre Wednesday 8th February, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Houghton Library Thursday 9th February, 10am - 12noon
Silksworth Library Friday 10th February, 10am - 12noon
Bunnyhill Library Tuesday 14th February, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Ryhope Library Wednesday 15th February, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Washington Town Library Friday 17th February, 10am - 12noon
Hendon Library Monday 20th February, 10am - 12noon
Fulwell Library Tuesday 21st February, 10am - 12noon
Kayll Road Library Friday 24th February, 10am - 12noon
Sandhill Library Monday 27th February, 12.30pm - 2.30pm

Half term Children's Craft activities (13 – 17 February)
Themes for craft activities are Valentines and Art In Sunderland. Please contact your local library for further information.

Dads n Kids
The next session is on Saturday 18th February, 10am – 11.30am. The theme will be movement, dance and art. It is advisable to wear old clothing as the activity will involve paints. The session is suitable for pre-school to primary age children.

Tiny Tweeties
Tiny Tweeties at Fulwell Library, Saturday 4th February, 10.30am – 11.30am
Tiny Tweeies at Sandhill View Library, Tuesday 28th February, 10.30am – 11.30am
Tiny Tweeties at Bunny Hill Library, Wednesday 29th February, 10.30am – 11.30am

Other activities:
History of Sunderland Libraries photographic display, City Library, 30 January – 4 February
Rare book display at City Library and Arts Centre, 30 January – 4 February
Book tombola at City Library and Arts Centre, 4 February
Celebrating Dickens 200th Anniversary (7 February) – there will be various events across the city. Contact your local library to find out more about the programme.

Click here to visit the Sunderland Libraries website