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Parent Carer Information Bulletin March 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 8th March
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 20th March
10am – 12 noon
Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Springwell, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Monday 26th March
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.

Transport Consultation - Thursday 1st March

James Third, Community Relations Officer from Nexus, is coming to Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF on Thursday 1st March, at 1pm to talk to carers about their experiences, comments and issues regarding bus services in Tyne and Wear. If you would like to attend please telephone the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 to confirm your place.

ADHD Support Group

The Sunderland ADHD Support Group holds a coffee morning for parents of children with ADHD every fortnight on a Monday (except during school holidays), 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 March please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232.

Useful Vision websiteUseful 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 meeting will take place on 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

Carers Week logoCarers Week Survey

The national Carers Week survey is now open. The theme is “In sickness and in health” and the findings will be published in Carers Week. The aim is to find out from carers:

• How does caring impact on your health and wellbeing?
• How much have the cuts to local services impacted on your health and wellbeing?
• What could really make a difference to your life as a carer?

Click here to complete the survey .

‘Come on in’ - Museum open days for disabled and deaf children and adults

The museums and galleries of the North East already receive many disabled and deaf visitors every year but they want you to come in and tell them what you think. The free ‘Come on in’ open days are as follows:

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Thursday 1st March, 10am – 5pm
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Friday 2nd March, 10am – 5pm
Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum, Wallsend, Monday 5th March, 10am – 3pm
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, Monday 5th March, 10am – 5pm

For more information about the days or if you would like support on the day, please contact Robert Latham at the Discovery Museum on (0191) 277 2313.

Autism Friendly Film Screening – John Carter

Dimensions have joined forces with Odeon Cinemas to host an autism friendly screening of the film John Carter 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 11th March at 11.30am. Tickets can be bought from the cinema or online through the Odeon website - click here. For more information visit the Dimensions website - click here.

Carers/support workers can attend for free with a CEA card. To find out more about the CEA card please see below.

Want to find out about future autism friendly film screenings? Visit the Dimensions website and click on ‘Get details via email’.

Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) Card

The CEA Card is issued by The Card Network. The card entitles the card holder to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema, provided a full price ticket is purchased for the card holder. You can apply for the card if you receive Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance or registered as a blind person. The card is issued to the person who requires assistance to enjoy the cinema. In this way, there is no restriction on the accompanying person, family friend, care worker etc. as long as they are capable of offering the required assistance and are aged 16 or over. The card costs £5.50. For an application form ring 0845 123 1292 or visit the CEA website - click here.

Sunderland City Council logoActivities at Sunderland Libraries

Titanic: A Costume History Presentation – Free event for adults

It is 100 years since Titanic set sail from Southampton. This presentation follows the events of that fateful night through the eyes of famous dress designer Lady Lucy Duff Gordon.

A unique presentation of historical costumes, documents and survivor testimonies offers an insight into life on board the Titanic and the aftermath of the tragedy.

This presentation will take place on Friday 30th March, 10.30am – 11.30am, at City Library and Arts Centre and on Saturday 31st March, 1.30pm – 2.30pm, at Washington Library and Customer Service Centre. This is a free event for adults.

World Book Day – Thursday 1st March

All libraries in Sunderland will be holding a special story / rhymetime sessions in the week beginning Monday 27th February to celebrate World Book Day. Contact your local library for more details.

Tiny Tweeties

Music and rhyme sessions for pre-school children on Tuesday 28th February, 10.30am – 11.30am, at Sandhill View Library and on Wednesday 29th February, 10.30am – 11.30am, at Bunnyhill Library. All sessions are free.

Mother’s Day children’s craft activities

All libraries in Sunderland will be holding a Mother’s Day children’s craft activity on Saturday 17th March. Please contact your local library for further details.

Dads ‘n’ Kids Club

Come along to the free craft session and decorate a storysack and bookmark for Easter on Saturday 31st March, 10.30am – 11.30am, at City Library and Arts Centre. Suitable for children 2 – 12 years and their father/carer. Mums also welcome.

Volunteering at City Hospitals Sunderland

Volunteers play an important role within the Hospital setting and are valued and respected members of the team. Being a volunteer can provide a real opportunity for those who want to put something back into the local community or by giving real experience to support younger volunteers to make future career choices. City Hospitals Sunderland actively encourages local people to volunteer their time and talents to the benefit of patients, staff and visitors. Volunteers bring with them much valued experience.

Roles for volunteers within the hospital are many and varied which offers great rewards to both volunteers and patients alike. Roles include:

• Meet & Greet
• Sitting and reading or writing with patients
• Administration and clerical opportunities
• Offering encouragement to patients who need to continue with exercises set by professional staff
• Assisting with self check-in machines in the Out-patient Departments
• Helping to complete Real Time Feedback Questionnaires – gathering real time feedback (asking patients about their hospital stay) gives staff vital information so that they can ensure that services are responsive to any concerns raised
• Befriending – accompanying patients who are on their own and would benefit from having someone to take them to their appointment and then ensure they get safely to their transport home

Anyone from the age of 16 upwards who has a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau check and occupational health screening can volunteer. All volunteers are given induction and training before they take up their role. The Trust also has a Volunteer Co-ordinator who can be contacted to give advice and support to volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer or would like further information please contact:

Mrs Shirley Gillum, Volunteer Co-ordinator, City Hospitals Sunderland Tel: (0191) 569 9858.
Office hours Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm

Counting the Costs 2012 - survey about the finances of families with disabled children

Contact a Family is calling on parents and other family members caring for a disabled child to take part in research about the financial situation for families with disabled children in 2012.

Counting the Costs 2012 is a repeat of a survey and report they carried out in 2008 and 2010.  Your collective responses will give a snapshot of families' current financial situation and whether it has improved or worsened over the last four years.

The findings and report will help Contact a Family to raise awareness and lobby for change particularly around some of the detail that is yet to be finalised in the welfare reforms.  Please help to build that picture by completing the survey which should not take more than 15 minutes.  The deadline is Sunday 11th March 2012.

Click here to take part in the survey