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Parent Carer Information Bulletin January 2013

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

Sunderland Parent Carers’ Group

The next meeting will take place on

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

Guest: Donna Knowles from the Children’s Disability Service will be coming along to find out your views on short break services.

Washington Parent Carers’ Group

The first meeting of this new group will take place on

Wednesday 16th January
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on

Monday 21st January
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

We look forward to seeing you.

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

For more information please contact Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow at Sunderland Carers’ Centre Tel:

(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.

Short Break Services Consultation – for example youth projects, Sea View Road West, school summer schemes and direct payments

Sunderland City Council has asked us to encourage parent carers to share their views on short break services. You do not have to be currently receiving a service to share your views, as they are keen to hear from everyone.

They have started their commissioning process (asking projects to bid to deliver a service) so that they can look at where they are going to be spending their short break budget over the coming years.

We really need your help in a few ways to hear what you think works and what you would like to see happen in the future.

With this in mind Donna Knowles, Short Break Coordinator, Family Care and Support Team, Children's Disability Service is going to be popping along to the Carers’ Centre Parent Carer Group meeting on Thursday 10th January, at 10 am until 11 am to have a chat and ask you to fill in a questionnaire as part of the consultation so they can take into account your views when commissioning services. (You may have already received one of these through the post).

If you would like to come along to our group please do so. There is no need to book and you don’t need to be currently receiving a service to share your opinions.

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Activities

Useful Vision is for families in the North East who have children with a visual impairment.

The following activities have been arranged for January and February:

Family Bowling at Starbowl on Sunday 6th January, 1.30pm – 4.30pm, at Rotary Way, Royal Quays. Useful Vision have booked 10 lanes from 1.30pm – 3.30pm for 2 games of bowling. There will be a buffet afterwards from 3.30pm – 4.30pm for any families who would like to socialise. The bowling alleys are fully accessible and all abilities are welcome, so come along and have a go!

Splash Swimming Party on Sunday 20th January, 4.15pm – 6.15pm, at Splash, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees. Splash has a fantastic 25 metre pool with wave machine and flumes, a learner pool and a spa pool. Useful Vision has sole use of the pool with waves and flumes from 4.15pm – 5.15pm. You can also join them for a free buffet afterwards from 5.15pm – 6.15pm.

Swimming at East End Pool, Newcastle on Sunday 27th January, 1.30pm – 3.15pm at East End Pool, Hadrian Square, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. The East End Pool has three pools: a toddler pool with a bubble machine, a studio pool and the main leisure pool with a wave machine, fountains and flumes. Useful Vision has sole use of the pools from 1.30pm – 2.30pm. This will be followed by a buffet afterwards from 2.30pm – 3.15pm.

Discovery Day at Stephenson Railway Museum, North Tyneside on Sunday 17th February, including a ride on the steam train for all the families attending. A range of art and craft activities will also be available and a chance for the children to dress up as train drivers or Victorian passengers.

Look Good Feel Fine skills course for girls aged 11 and over, on Monday 18th February, 10am – 3pm at George Hardwicke Centre, Stockton. This interactive day will give girls the opportunity to learn about and try some up to date beauty treatments including eye brow waxing, mini facials, eye lash application, manual tanning treatments and the Shellac Nail Gel System (treatments are subject to age restrictions and signed consent forms).

Family Fun and Swim Day on Sunday 24th February, 1pm – 5pm, at The Dolphin Centre, Darlington. Experience animal encounters with Jay and his friends including Maku the Meerkat. Arts and crafts activities, balloons and face painting all available. Useful Vision families have exclusive use of the smaller swimming pool including slides from 4pm – 5pm. Café on site open all day.

All the events are free to families registered with Useful Vision. If you would like to book a place at any of these events or to register with Useful Vision, please email or call 0845 604 8491.

Transitions Support Group

The next meeting of the Transitions Support Group will take place on Thursday 31st January, 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. Come and have a coffee and a chat about how things are for you and meet other parents in similar situations.

If you have any queries beforehand please contact Eibhlin Inglesby or Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

ADHD Support Group

Are you a parent of a child with ADHD? Would you like to meet other parents?

The Sunderland ADHD Support Group is run by parents themselves and they offer each other advice and support.

The next meetings are on Mondays 14th January and 28th January, 11.30am, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD.

Playgroup for hearing impaired children

Does your child have hearing loss? Do you want to meet other families in the same situation? Then join the parent and toddler group for all pre-school children with a hearing impairment. It’s a chance for the children to enjoy lots of activities and for parents to have a chat over a cuppa.

The next group meetings are on Monday 7th January and Monday 21st January at Highfield Children’s Centre, Ford Road, Ford Estate, 1 – 3pm. For more information please contact:

Father and son in the library.Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Chinese Family Crafts Course
Saturday 12th January – 16th February, 1pm – 3pm, at City Library and Arts Centre.
The course will last for six weeks. For further information contact the City Library and Arts Centre.

Dads ‘n’ Kids Club
The next Dads ‘n’ Kids Club takes place on Saturday 19th January, 10.30am – 11.30am, at City Library and Arts Centre. Come along and take part in a movement/dance workshop. Plant some seeds to take home ready for spring. This free session is suitable for children aged 2 – 11 years and their fathers/carers. Mums are also welcome. No booking is necessary, but for more information please contact the library on (0191) 561 1235 or visit

Spring Courses
Spring courses will be commencing the week beginning Monday 7th January. Contact your local library for more information.

200th Anniversary of Jane Austin’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Monday 28th January, 10.30am – 11.30am and 2pm – 3pm.
City Library and Arts Centre will be hosting a social presentation through costumes by History Wardrobe entitled ‘Ladies of a Certain Age’. Booking is essential. For further information contact the City Library and Arts Centre.

Autism Friendly Film Screening - Rise of the Guardians

Dimensions have joined forces with Odeon Cinemas to host an autism friendly screening of the film, Rise of the Guardians (PG, 2D), in cinemas across the country.

What makes the screening autism friendly? The lights will be on low, the volume will be turned down, you’ll be able to take your own food and drinks and you’ll be able to move around the cinema if you like.

The nearest screening will be at the Metrocentre Odeon on Sunday 6th January at 11am. Tickets can be bought from the cinema, online through the Odeon website or by calling Odeon’s Accessibility Helpline on 0800 138 3315 between 11am and 8pm.

Click here for more information about autism-friendly screenings