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Parent Carer Information Bulletin March 2015

Parent Carer Information Bulletin March 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

Please note our parent carer coffee mornings are now open to any parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25.

Sunderland Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Thursday 5th March
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 11th March
10am – 12 noon
at Rainbow Family Centre, 34 Elliot Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE

There will be a talk by the Health Trainer Service.

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 16th March
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

There will be a talk by the Health Trainer Service.

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 26th March
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.

Tell us what you think about Sunderland Carers’ Centre

Sunderland Carers’ Centre wants to give as good a service as possible to carers and would like carers’ views on the services we provide. We would like carers to tell us what we are doing well and what we are not doing well. To help us improve our services we would really appreciate if you could please complete a short online survey.

Click here

The closing date is Friday 27th February.

Thank you for your help.

New Independent Support Web Page

Do you have a child with special educational needs from birth to the age of 25?

If so, visit our new Independent Support web page – click here

Find out how the Independent Support service can help you
Read useful factsheets about the recent SEND reforms
Find out what events are taking place for parents and young people

Sunderland Autism Consultation Event

The Sunderland Autism Partnership Board is holding a consultation event for people with autism and their families and carers.

The event will be held at the Sunderland Bangladeshi Community Centre on Wednesday 4th March at 10am – 12.30pm (coffee and registration at 9.40am).

If you would like to come along to say what you think the Sunderland Autism Partnership Board should be working on in 2015, please book a place by contacting Deborah Wilkinson on (0191) 561 8990 or by email

Opportunities for young people in Sunderland to have their voice heard

In Sunderland there is a commitment to listen to children and young people and to involve them at every opportunity to ensure their voice is heard.

They can get involved in an engagement group or by being part of a virtual network.

Click here for more information

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

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

Friday 20th March
10am – 12 noon
at Washington Primary Care Centre, Park Way, Washington NE38 7QZ

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

Free online training for parent carers

‘My Rights Your Responsibility’ is a set of information written by the Council for Disabled Children primarily for parents of disabled children. It provides information on their child’s rights to access activities, community facilities and other services.

To find out more click here

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 9th March and Monday 23rd March, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD.

For more information please email

Paralympics GB Sports Fest

If you are disabled, want to have fun and try something new, then Sports Fest could be for you. Come along to try different Paralympic sports, find out how to get involved and meet some Paralympians. Sports Fest takes place on Thursday 5th March, 10am – 5pm, at Durham University, The Graham Sports Centre, Maiden Castle, Durham.

Attendance is free. To register click here

Click here for poster

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 details of the activities taking place in March

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

Disability Matters

Dr Karen Horridge, Consultant Paediatrician (Disability) at Sunderland Royal Hospital, recently appeared on television to make people aware about the launch of a new national report and e-learning programme – Disability Matters.

Disability Matters aims to encourage everyone across all workforces and sectors to pause, reflect, challenge and positively change their attitudes towards disabled children, young people and their families. The goal is to ensure that all disabled children, young people and their families are warmly welcomed, valued, respected and included in all aspects of our society as equals, as is their right, the same as everyone else.

Children and young people in Sunderland contributed to the programme and a number of disabled children and young people travelled down to London for the launch.

Click here to read the report

For more information about Disability Matters – click here

Activities at Sunderland Libraries

World Book Day

This year World Book Day is on Thursday 5th March. World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and most importantly it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 7th year there’s been a World Book Day and on 5th March 2015 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading – very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading. Why not visit your local library and choose some books to take home and enjoy.

National Shakespeare Week (16 – 22 March 2015)

Shakespeare Week will be celebrated in schools, theatres, historic sites, museums, galleries, cinemas and libraries all over the UK. Every child at primary school will be given the chance to be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, languages and heritage.

Fulwell Library will be holding a Shakespearean children’s craft activity, 10.30am – 11.30am, on Saturday 21st March.

Gentoo Easter Fun Day

Gentoo are holding a free Easter Fun Day at Rainton Meadows Arena on Friday 10th April, 1pm – 4pm. More details will be provided in the next bulletin.

Sensory Issues and Autism

Autism West Midlands have a free e-learning course which will help you to understand the impact of sensory issues on the lives of those with autism and to see the world from their point of view.

Click here

Sportsability Festival

This packed festival will take place on Thursday 12th March 2015, 9.30am – 11.45am, at Sunderland Tennis Centre.

The event is open to young people in key stage three with physical and/or medical difficulties attending mainstream secondary schools in Sunderland.

The morning will include the chance for young people with a disability to have a go at tennis, tri golf, football and aim archery and will be delivered by a combination of Sports Coaches and Young Leaders.

Please note: Each child must be accompanied by a familiar carer. Bring own drink. Transport is not provided.

Registration will take place at 9.15am. The event starts at 9.30am and finishes at 11.45am.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Dave Birch, School Games Organiser - Kepier Partnership, Tel: 07772 556 114 or email

South of Tyne and Wearside Deaf Children’s Society - Training and Development Session

This will be a free hands on interactive session for parents, professionals and young people working on developing activities for young deaf people.

Saturday 14th March
10am – 1pm
At RSI, 12 Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead NE8 3AH

Click here for more information

The health of parents who support a child or adult who has a learning disability

Carole Beighton is the parent of a child who has both learning and physical disabilities and is in the third year of undertaking a PhD at London South Bank University which is exploring the health of parents who support a child or adult with a learning disability. Carole would like to invite parents countrywide to participate in an anonymous online survey which should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete and includes questions about you and the child/adult you support, questions relating to your general health, your experiences of being a parent carer and whether you feel this has had an effect on your health and wellbeing.

Click here to take part