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Parent Carer Information Bulletin March 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 14th March
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

As a treat for parent carers, we have arranged for a beautician to come along to do manicures etc.

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on

Monday 18th March
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

Washington Parent Carers’ Group

There will be no meeting in March.  The next meeting will take place on

Wednesday 17th April
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

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.

Planning for the Future Event

If someone in your family or someone you care for has a learning disability, you can take steps now to ensure their finances are well looked after when you are no longer around.

Mencap have organised a free information session where you can find out more about setting up wills and trusts for the benefit of someone with a learning disability. The session will take place on Wednesday 20th March, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, at Newcastle City Library, Charles Avison Building, The Bewick Hall, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle NE1 8AX.

There will be a local legal professional speaking who has experience of drafting wills for the benefit or people with a learning disability. To book a place call Mencap on 020 7696 6925.

Playgroup for Hearing Impaired Children

The next Playgroups are on Monday 4th March and Monday 18th March, 1 – 3pm, at Highfield Children’s Centre, Ford Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland. For more information please email

E-petition – Save services for deaf children

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) are calling on the Department for Education to intervene to protect specialist services for deaf children as a matter of urgency. Many deaf children depend on multiple highly-specialist public services. The NDCS say local authorities are cutting these services to save money, without being transparent about their decisions and actions and would like people to sign their e-petition. Over 26,000 people have signed this petition so far and it remains open to signatures. It will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100,000 signature threshold.

Click here to sign the e-petition

The Welfare and Education of Deaf Children Conference

Tyneside Deaf Children’s Society are holding this conference for parents and professionals on Saturday 9th March, 11am – 4pm (registration from 10am), at Northumbria University School of Law Building, City Campus East 1, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2SW.

Parents and carers are especially welcome. As well as speakers there will be plenty of time for questions and answers, discussion, chatting and sharing experiences. BSL/English interpreters, speech-to-text, hearing loop, crèche facilities, lunch and refreshments are provided. Crèche places must be booked in advance.

To book or for further details contact Sian Griffith-Jones, Secretary by email

Transition Support Group

The next meeting of the Transition Support Group will take place on Thursday 28th March, 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 from children’s services to adult services. For more information please contact Eibhlin Inglesby or Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

Happy Days Children’s Charity

The Happy Days Children’s Charity funds and organises family holidays, residential trips, days out and theatre trips throughout the UK for disabled children and young people and their families who are on low-incomes.

For more information please call 01582 755 999 or email

Click here to visit the Happy Days Children's Charity website

Family Fund

The Family Fund gives grants to families raising disabled and seriously ill children aged 17 and under in order to make a difference to their lives, improve their wellbeing and help ease many of the pressures they often face. They provide grants for such things as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys and holidays. Grants are also available for disabled young people aged 16 and 17 years, for example, for driving lessons, laptops and equipment for college.

For further information please contact the Family Fund Tel: 0844 974 4099 or email

Click here to visit the Family Fund website

City Hospitals Sunderland – Project Choice Supported Internships

City Hospitals Sunderland are offering Project Choice Supported Internships starting in September. The Supported Internships are aimed at young people who have a learning and / or physical disability or autism. Internships last for 12 months offering 4 days a week work experience in the work place with a variety of placements available and one day study working towards an employment focused NVQ with Gateshead College. At the end of the Internship the young person is supported to develop an exit strategy which can include paid employment or options to develop further experience or training.

For more information please contact Stephanie Smith on 5656256 or email


Would you like to keep up-to-date with the latest news from Sunderland Carers’ Centre? Do you use Twitter? Then why not follow us @sunderlandcarer

Caring with Confidence logoCaring with Confidence – new dates announced

Sunderland Carers’ Centre is pleased to announce the dates of the next round of Caring with Confidence. This time the sessions will take place at ‘The Place’, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland SR1 1QX.

Carers are welcome to attend one of the introduction sessions, either on Friday 12th April or Friday 19th April, 11am – 2pm. You can then decide which of the other six sessions you would like to do.

To book a place on one of the introduction sessions or for more information about Caring with Confidence please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768 or email

Click here for more information

ADHD Support Group

The Sunderland ADHD Support Group will no longer be holding meetings due to low attendance. If you need help and information you can phone Mandy Colman on (0191) 519 2461 or 07788211154 or email You can also visit their Facebook page.

The Co-operative Membership logoCaring for Carers Awards 2013

Has a worker from health, social services, a home care agency, a voluntary or community project or another organisation been of particular support to you in your caring role? If so, say thank you by nominating them for the Caring for Carers Awards. All workers who are nominated will receive a certificate.

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 8th May.

Please note nominations must be from carers only and the person you nominate must be a worker (not a young carer or other family member/friend). We are also unable to accept nominations for workers from Sunderland Carers’ Centre. The awards are sponsored by The Co-operative Membership.

Click here for more information and the nomination form

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Activities

The following activities have been arranged for families in the North East who have children with a visual impairment:

Fins and Flippers hydrotherapy sessions for parents with toddlers and tiddlers, 9.15am – 10.30am, Thursdays weekly excluding school holidays, Hydrotherapy pool at Cedars School Sports College, Ivy Lane, Low Fell, Gateshead, NE9 6QD.

Cookery Skills Course in association with Second Sight on Saturdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd March, 10am – 12 noon, Ashington Children’s Centre, Alexandra Road, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9EF. This course aims to ensure that vision impaired children gain a greater understanding of how best to use their residual vision and other senses when preparing food. Children are given the opportunity to try out specialist equipment and learn new techniques to enable them to feel more confident and safer when carrying out a range of kitchen tasks.

Bounce baby and toddler group on Tuesday 5th March and Tuesday 16th April, 10am – 12 noon, at Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre, Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, SR3 1PD. Drop in and meet other parents and have a chat then chill in our music and movement session with Piccolo Music. Siblings welcome. Light refreshments provided.

Messy creative play session with Squiggles n Giggles, Saturday 9th March, 2pm – 3pm, White Swan Centre, Citadel East, Killingworth, NE12 6SS. Messy play helps children to improve physical skills and co-ordination, work co-operatively together, use all their senses to discover and explore their environment and develop their imagination. Find out how you and your child can learn so much by having so much FUN!

All the events are free to families registered with Useful Vision. Several of the activities are restricted by numbers so booking is essential. All children welcome whatever their level of ability. If you would like to book a place at any of these events, please email or call Useful Vision on 0845 604 8491.

Click here to visit the Useful Vision website

Sunderland Libraries – Create a Comic Character Workshop

Art heroes Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson will show you how to draw a comic character on Saturday 2nd March, 11.30am – 1.30pm, at City Library and Arts Centre (Activity Area). This workshop is for 11 – 17 year olds. Booking is essential as places are limited. For more information or to book your place contact the library on (0191) 561 1235.