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Parent Carer Information Bulletin January 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 12th January
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

The next coffee mornings will take place on

Tuesday 17th January
10am – 12 noon
Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Springwell, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Monday 23rd January
10am – 12 noon
Houghton Primary Care Centre (behind Houghton Leisure Centre)

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.

ADHD Support Group

The Sunderland ADHD Support Group holds a coffee morning for parents of children with ADHD every fortnight on a Monday, 11am – 1pm, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF. The group is run by parents themselves and they offer each other advice and support. To find out the dates for the meetings in January please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232.

Sunderland Actionnaires

Sunderland Actionnaires offers a range of activities for visually impaired children. The club meets every first and third Saturday of the month from 10am until 12 noon at The Raich Carter Sports Centre, Commercial Road, Hendon, Sunderland SR2 8PD.

If you would like your child to attend you must complete a joining form available from Lisa Simpson at Action for Blind People North East Tel: (01642) 233439 or email Lisa is also happy to arrange for families to visit the group prior to joining to see what it involves – please contact Lisa to arrange this.

Activities for January are as follows:

Saturday 7th January, 10am – 12 noon, Sound Tennis with Leslie Snaith, Tennis Coach
Saturday 21st January, 10am – 12 noon, Multi sports led by coordinators and swim

Have your say on Sunderland’s Carers Strategy

Carers in Sunderland are being asked to get involved in creating a new Carers’ Strategy for the city. As many carers know, there was a new national strategy for carers called “Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for carers” at the end of 2010. Sunderland is creating a local version so that carers know what they should 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. The information about what the strategy hopes to include and how to comment will be available on Sunderland Carers’ Centre website or you can have a copy sent to you by contacting the Carers’ Centre.

After carers and the various bodies which carers interact with e.g. the NHS and the Council have made their comments and given their ideas and commitments a final draft strategy will be distributed for formal consultation. Look out for information on this in future bulletins.

The consultation on the National Carers’ Strategy had one of the biggest responses of any consultation. Please take this opportunity to ensure there is an equally good response to the Sunderland Carers’ Strategy so that services really can try to meet your needs.

Sunderland City Council logoJanuary Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Fathers Plus

Come along and celebrate Benedict Biscop day with 'Anglo Saxon' man activities with Fathers Plus on Saturday 14th January, 10am – 12 noon, at City Library and Arts Centre. This session is suitable for children aged 2 - 11 years and their parents/carers. No booking is necessary, but for more information please contact the library on (0191) 561 1235 or visit

Chinese New Year – Monday 23rd January

Sunderland Public Libraries will be running dragon themed craft activities to celebrate Chinese New Year. For further information please contact your local library nearer the time.

Courses for Adults

Sunderland Public Libraries will be offering a new course programme for adults from Monday 9th January. Details will soon be available from all libraries and on the website

Disability Football Programme for players aged 16 years and up

SAFC Foundation delivers Every Player Counts sessions at the Crowtree Leisure Centre, Sunderland, from 1pm until 2.30pm, every Thursday.

The sessions are open to all abilities – hearing impaired, visually impaired, cerebral palsy, amputee and learning disability footballers – and cover all talent and experience levels. Those in attendance can also look to progress on to coaching, refereeing and organising roles if this is something they would like to experience.

For more information contact Kevin Darke at SAFC Foundation on (0191) 551 5316 or email

New SEN National Advice Service

Contact a Family has been awarded the Department for Education contract to include a Special Educational Needs advisory service within their existing range of services for families.

The new SEN National Advice Service will be staffed by experienced SEN advisers and will enable parents and carers to get one-to-one, in-depth and personalised advice on all education issues.

The service will cover comprehensive advice on a broad range of issues related to special educational needs in any education setting, including: early years/portage; School Action and Action Plus; Individual Action Plans (IEPs); statutory assessments; statements; transition planning; 139A assessments and post-16 provision; home education; bullying; exclusions; school transport; and 16 – 19 Bursary Fund.

To contact the helpline phone 0808 808 3555 or email The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5pm.

Contact a Family North East Newsletter and E-Bulletins

Contact a Family North East produces a quarterly regional newsletter and regular e-bulletins. They contain:

• local and regional updates from Contact a Family
• forthcoming local workshops
• activities and family events
• local, regional and national groups and support organisations
• other information for families caring for a child with a special need.

Both are free of charge to families, parent groups, support organisations and professional who work with families of children with disabilities. To join the mailing list phone (0191) 213 6300 or email

The current and previous editions of the newsletter can also be downloaded on their website - click here

Autism Friendly Screenings Every Month

Learning disability and autism support provider, Dimensions, and cinema group ODEON are running a joint campaign to improve people’s access to the cinema. Every month there will be autism friendly screenings at more than 50 ODEON cinemas in the UK. Our nearest participating cinema is the ODEON cinema at the MetroCentre, Gateshead.

Watch selected films in an autism friendly environment: lights up and sound low with no trailers, freedom to move around the cinema and bring your own refreshments.

For the latest monthly Autism Friendly Screening news simply request the e-news bulletin - click here

Public Transport

James Third, Community Relations Officer at Nexus has offered to meet carers at Sunderland Carers’ Centre to discuss any issues, problems or suggestions they have about public transport in the Sunderland area. If you would like to be part of this consultation, please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 and leave your contact details. We will get in touch with you with a date and time.

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. The sessions continue to be rated very highly by carers and nearly all say they would recommend them to other carers.

If you want to take part or just want to find out more why not come

along to one of the ‘Finding Your Way’ introduction sessions on either Monday 20th February or

Monday 27th February. The sessions will take place at ‘The Place, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland, SR1 2QF, from 11am to 2pm, with a buffet lunch.

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

Click here for more details