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Parent Carer Information Bulletin June 2015

Welcome to this month’s information bulletin for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25.

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Thursday 4th June
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Wednesday 10th June
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliot Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 15th June
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

Transition Support Group

This group is open to all parents and carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services.

The next meeting is on

Thursday 25th June
10.30am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

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.

Grace House Family Information Sessions

Grace House will open in summer 2015 and will welcome families from across the North East. They will offer overnight specialist short breaks to children with complex disabilities and health needs aged 5-18 years. They will have eight fully adapted accessible bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms, specialist seating, sleeping and bathing equipment as well as monitoring systems in all bedrooms to meet the needs of children with complex physical and health needs.

They would like to invite you to one of their Family Information Session to see if Grace House could be the place that your child would like to come for short breaks.

The next two sessions for new families to come and visit will be held at Grace House, Bardolph Drive, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 2DE on:

Tuesday 9th June at 6pm – 7.30pm

Thursday 2nd July at 6pm – 7.30pm

This is an opportunity to find out about the service they will offer and what the next steps will be should you wish to use Grace House for short breaks. You will be able to look around, have some refreshments and meet some of the staff.

Children are welcome, but will remain your responsibility during your visit. As they are still in the process of getting the building ready they do not have accessible changing facilities available.

To help them plan for your visit, please let them know which session you wish to attend by calling Grace House (0191) 525 2885 or email

You will also find more information about the service at their website - click here

Sign up for their email newsletter to stay up to date with everything that is happening.

Unfortunately due to the vulnerability of children at Grace House they are unable to accommodate children with aggressive or challenging behaviour. However, they may be able to suggest alternative placements.

Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Young Volunteers Wanted

Do you know a young person aged 13 years and over with spare time on their hands over the summer break?

Would they like to meet new friends, build their confidence and gain valuable skills for future employment?

Sunderland Libraries are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist with the national Summer Reading Challenge, taking place from Saturday 18th July 2015 in libraries and the community across Sunderland.

If they are interested go along to:

City Library and Arts Centre
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
4pm - 6pm

If you would like more information telephone (0191) 561 1235 or contact your local library.

National Carers Week

National Carers Week is taking place between 8 – 14 June and all Sunderland Libraries will have a display of books, leaflets and information for people to take away.

National Bookstart Week

National Bookstart Week is also taking place between 8 – 14 June and all libraries will have some free books and craft sheets for preschool children from Bookstart to give away. Why not pop into your local library for yours?  The theme this year is “Jungle Adventures”.

Author Session

Lauren Owen, author of “The Quick”, her first supernatural novel, will be giving a talk at the Blue Bell Pub at Fulwell on Monday 29th June at 2pm. All are invited to this free event which is suitable for teenagers and adults.

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

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

Friday 19th June
10am – 12 noon
at Washington Primary Care Centre, Princess Ann Park, Parkway, Washington NE38 7QS

New members are welcome.

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

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 meeting will be on Mondays 1st, 15th and 29th June, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD.

For more information please email

Useful Vision

Useful Vision helps families with blind or sight impaired children get the most out of life. They run fun activities for children from 0 – 19 across the region. All activities are free to families registered with them.

Click here for activities taking place in June

Click here for the summer activity programme

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

Carers Week at Beamish (8 – 14 June 2015)

There are a number of special events at Beamish to mark Carers Week.

Click here for details

All activities are free. Annual passes are valid during the week. Carers get free admission into Beamish providing they are with the person they care for.

Down at the Farm

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children’s Society have organised a group party ‘Down at the Farm’, Stoneygate Lane, Houghton-le-Spring DH5 8JG, on Saturday 6th June, 3pm – 5pm.

Click here for more information

City Hospitals Sunderland – A Patient’s Story

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust would like to share a patient’s story with you as it highlights how they have learnt from the patient’s experience feedback.  Permission from the patient and his family has been given.

A Patient’s Story – Click here

Fundraising Event

A parent carer in Sunderland is hosting a fundraising event for his daughter on Saturday 8th August, 7pm - 11pm, at Newbottle Workman's Club.

Click here for more details