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Parent Carer Information Bulletin March 2014

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

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Thursday 6th March
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

There will be a guest speaker from City Equals Sex Education Project for young people aged over 13.

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

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

There will be a guest speaker talking about healthy eating.

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 17th March
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

We look forward to seeing you there.

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

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.

Carers Have Talent!

Do you have a talent? For example, can you sing, dance, play a musical instrument, do stand-up comedy? Or do you paint, sew, write poetry or take photographs etc.? Would you like to take part in our ‘Carers Have Talent’ Show on Friday 13th June, 6pm – 8pm, at Washington Arts Centre?

If so, there is still time to book to come along to our ‘Carers Have Talent’ Auditions on:

Friday 21st March

1pm – 6pm

Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane.

Please ring Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768 by Monday 10th March or email and give us your name, phone number and what your talent is. We will ring you back and arrange an audition time that is convenient to you.

‘Carers Have Talent’ is not a competition but a night of celebration with an after-show party and buffet.

Click here for more information

Sunderland City Council logoShort Breaks for Disabled Children at Downhill

As part of Sunderland City Council’s Short Breaks for Disabled Children they are currently funding a new club for disabled children age 5 – 12 years.

The club is on a Wednesday night from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at Downhill School and has activities such as cooking, arts and crafts, games and use of the IT suite.

If you have a child who is interested in joining please contact Donna Knowles, Short Break Co-ordinator, on

(0191) 561 3187 to see if they are eligible.

Sunderland City Council logoDisability Swim Session

The next swim session for disabled children and their families at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre is on Saturday 29th March, 3.45pm – 4.45pm. Entry is £2.20 per person or family ticket £5.25 (maximum 2 adults and 2 young people). For more information please contact their reception on (0191) 561 5900.

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children’s Society AGM

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children’s Society will hold their AGM on Saturday 29th March, 1 – 3pm, at Ryhope Community Centre, Black Road, Ryhope, Sunderland SR2 0RX. Come and meet other parents with deaf children and share your thoughts for future events, while the children enjoy some activities with other deaf children. Activities for children will be provided by qualified childcare staff. There will also be a family sign language tutor to offer parents more information about a course. For more information email

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 meetings will be on Monday 10th March and Monday 24th March, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD. For more information please email or go to adhd support group on Facebook.

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer CouncilSunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

The next meeting of the Parent Carer Council will be on Friday 21st March, 10am – 12 noon, at Houghton Primary Care Centre (Multi-disciplinary room), Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB. New members welcome.

For more information please contact Lisa Watson or Wendy Greenhow at the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

Transition Support Group

The next meeting of the Transition Support Group will take place on Thursday 27th March, 10.30am – 12 noon, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF. The group is open to all parents and carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services. For more information please contact Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

North East Autism Society – Free Befriending Service in Sunderland

The North East Autism Society have a new free befriending service open to any child, young person and families living with autism within the Sunderland area. This is a one-to-one service designed to enable children, young people and families living with autism the opportunity to enjoy some of the activities and interactions others may take for granted in a supportive and understanding way. For more information phone (0191) 410 9974 or visit their website - click here

Action for Blind People – Activity Breaks

Action for Blind People offer residential opportunities for blind and partially sighted children and young people aged

8 – 17 years who attend mainstream school and colleges. The activity breaks are 3 – 5 nights and give participants the chance to try social and recreational activities with others in a similar situation. Fees vary depending on the length of the break (from £180 - £300) and cover all activities, accommodation and meals, entrance fees, equipment hire, transport, trips and the provision of trained staff. It does not include travel to and from the residential venue. Families can apply to VICTA for support towards the costs of the residential. For more information please contact Lesley Inganni on 01642 233 439.

Transition Streets

If you have a child with learning disabilities aged 14 – 19, are you aware that the Transition team can provide support and advice in transition between child and adult health services. The Transition team is a small team of learning disabilities nurses and a support worker based at Hillview Clinic. They link into education, social and health services and can provide advice, support and guidance about the transition process. For more information please contact the team on (0191) 564 2600.

Sunderland City Council logoSunderland Libraries – Activities for March 2014

City Library Closed for Refurbishment

Please note the City Library will be closed for refurbishment from Saturday 22nd February until Monday 31st March.

Activities at Tesco Community Room at Roker Retail Park:

Reading Club
The Reading Club meets the 2nd Monday of each month, 4.30pm – 5.30pm. The next meeting is Monday 10th March.

Knit ‘n’ Natter Group
The Knit ‘n’ Natter group meets fortnightly on Fridays, 2pm – 4pm. The next meetings are Friday 7th March and Friday 21st March.

Storytime and time for rhyme
This session is for pre-school children and takes place fortnightly on Fridays, 2pm – 2.30pm. The next sessions are on Friday 14th March and Friday 28th March.

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Activities

Useful Vision helps families with blind or sight impaired children get the most out of life. They run fun activities for children from 0 to 19 across the region. All the activities are free to families registered with them. They welcome children whatever their level of ability or additional needs. Join them during March.

Bounce baby and toddler group, Sunderland. Tuesday 4th March, 10.30am – 12.20pm, Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre. Drop in and meet other parents and have a chat then chill in our music and movement session with Piccolo Music. Siblings are welcome too.

Focus on Food 4 Week Cookery Course, Cardinal Hume School, Gateshead. Mondays 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st March, 4pm – 5.30pm. These courses will help visually impaired children learn new techniques and feel more confident in the kitchen and improve their skills for independent living. Each class builds upon the skills learned in the previous week.

Alan Shearer Centre, Newcastle. Saturday 8th March, 12 noon – 4pm. An exclusive drop-in session. Experience the range of activities available at the Centre; including ball pool, a variety of sensory rooms, including the latest interactive space, The Lilac Room, hydrotherapy pool (must be booked in advance), woodland walks and outdoor play area. Your family can stay for as long as they like.

Messy creative play with Squiggles and Giggles, Killingworth. Saturday 22nd March, 10.30am – 11.30am

Snow tubing and sledging, Whickham Thorns Activity Centre. Saturday 30th March, 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Enjoy the fun of sledging without snow! Sledging uses special one-person plastic sledges and is restricted to children aged 5 – 11. Snowtubing uses specially adapted rubber rings and is restricted to children and young people aged 8 and over. Please note that suitable and adequate clothing must be worn on the slope and must include full-length trousers, long sleeves and strong gloves or mitts.

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 or visit them on facebook