sunderland carers
About the Carers' Centre
Services We Provide
What's on
Sunderland Carers on Facebook
Latest News
Useful Publications
Frequently Asked Questions
Useful Links
Independent Support
Contact Us

Parent Carer Information Bulletin February 2015

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

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Please note our parent carer coffee mornings are now open to any parents and carers of children with special educationals needs and disabilities up to the age of 25.

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Thursday 5th February
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 9th February
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Wednesday 11th February
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

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.

Blow your trumpet - Information, advice and support about what new laws on SEN mean for you

There will be a free fun event for families with children and young people aged from birth to 25 years who have special educational needs on

Wednesday 18th February

10am - 2.30pm

Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Come along and find out how you can make your voice heard.

This event is being organised by Sunderland City Council, Sunderland Carers' Centre and Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council.

For more information or to book a place please telephone Alison Smith at the Carers' Centre on (0191) 537 5740 or email

Factsheets on SEND reforms

Contact a Family and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums have produced some useful factsheets with information for parents about the new special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms.  Click on the links below to read them.

Changing from the old system to the new system - how it will happen

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments

Education, Health and Care Plans

Preparing for Adulthood

The Local Offer explained

If you need advice and support about any of the above please contact Sunderland Carers' Centre on (0191) 537 5740 and speak to one of our Independent Support Workers.

Fun Day for under 5s at Rainbow Family Centre

Children aged under 5 and their parents are invited to join Dr Spike for a fun day at the Rainbow Family Centre in Washington on Tuesday 10th February, 10am - 2pm.

* Lots to do with lots of fun!
* Bring along your poorly teddies or dolls to visit the toy hospital
* Make your own fruit smoothies
* Food tasting, storytelling, facepainting and lots more
* Come along and meet health professionals - General Practitioner (Doctor), practice nurse, health visitor

Workers from Sunderland Carers' Centre will be there too.

For further details ring (0191) 219 3995.

Young Carers Have Fun Together

A young carer is someone aged 5 - 25 who lives in a household with someone who has a long term illness, disability or addiction.

A group of young carers from Sunderland Carers' Centre wanted to show how much fun they have when they get together with other young people who are living in a similar situation to themselves.  They have made a video to demonstrate some of the great times that they share.

Click here to watch the video

If you know a young carer who would benefit from support from Sunderland Carers' Centre please telephone (0191) 549 3768, email or click here

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children's Society AGM

This is your opportunity to discuss the future of the group.  Come and meet other parents and share your thoughts for future events while the children enjoy some activities with other deaf children.

The AGM will take place on Sunday 8th March from 3.45pm - 5.15pm at Deerness Gymnastics Academy, Valley View, Ushaw Moor, Durham DH7 7LS.

There will be a gymnastics party to keep the kids entertained which will include soft play, a foam filled pit and a trampoline.  This will give parents the opportunity to attend the AGM in an adjoining room to discuss the group and future events.

Please book your place as numbers are limited via 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 next meetings will be on Monday 9th February and Monday 23rd February, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD.

For more information please email

Young People's Open Event

There is an open evening on Tuesday 10th February, 4.30pm - 6.30pm, in Cafe Refresh at Sunderland Civic Centre, for any young people age 11-19 (up to age 25 for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities) that may be interested in having their voice heard.

Young people from the following groups will be there on the evening:

* Change Council

* Sunderland Youth Parliament

* Sunderland Young Inspectors

* City Equals

* Children's Trust Advisory Network

If young people are interested in joining one of the groups it's a great chance to pop along to have an informal chat.

If they are interested but are unable to attend the evening please contact Jane Wheeler, Participation and Engagement Lead, at Sunderland City Council on (0191) 561 7430 or email

Transition Support Group

The next meetings of the Transition Support Group will be on Thursday 29th January and Thursday 26th February, 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.

February Fun at the Alan Shearer Activity Centre

The Alan Shearer Activity Centre in Newcastle has a range of free activities taking place in February for people of all ages and abilities as well as their regular free facilities.

Click here to find out more

Booking is essential.

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

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

Friday 27th February

10am – 12 noon

at Sunderland Carers’ Centre

New members welcome.

For more information please contact Wendy Greenhow at Sunderland 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

Tel: (0191) 561 7401 or email

Useful 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.

Click here for details of the activities taking place in February

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

Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Harry Potter Book Night

Libraries will be taking part in the first Harry Potter Book Night which will be held on Thursday 5th February.  The libraries listed below will be each holding a "make a Hedwig owl" craft activity and children will be able to take part in a Harry Potter quiz with the chance of winning a special prize!

City Library

Bunnyhill Library

Houghton Library

Sandhill Library

Washington Town Centre Library

All activities are free to attend and will take place on Thursday 5th February, 3.30pm - 4.30pm.

National Library Day - Saturday 7th February

Events will be held in City and Washington Town Centre Libraries to celebrate this national event.

City Library and Arts Centre:

Storysack taster session, 11am - 12 noon

Bring along your child's favourite book and design and decorate your own storysack to keep it in.  Suitable for children and their parent/carer.

Book Cover Blending, 12.30pm - 2pm

Work with artist and photographer Nicola Maxwell to blend photographs and book covers to produce an original piece of artwork.  Suitable for all ages.

Kate Fox Readings, 2pm - 3pm

Join Kate Fox, who is a stand up poet, writer and BBC Radio 4 regular, as she reads from and discusses her work.  Suitable for teenagers and adults.

All events are free to attend.

For further information contact the library on (0191) 561 1235.

Washington Town Centre Library:

Storysack taster session, 11am - 12 noon

Bring along your child's favourite book and design and decorate your own storysack to keep it in.  Suitable for children and their parent/carer.

Moon Booth, 12 noon - 2pm

Drop into the photo booth and have your photograph taken with your favourite book.  Suitable for all ages, but photographic permission is required.

All events are free to attend.

For further information contact the library on (0191) 561 3441.

February Half Term Activities

Activities will be taking place in Sunderland Libraries during the half term holidays - click here for details

All sessions are free and suitable for all ages.  Children under the age of 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.