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Parent Carer Information Bulletin October 2011

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

Parent Carers’ Group

The next meeting will take place on

Thursday 13th October
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings

Monday 10th October
10am – 11.30am
Red House Academy (Youth Centre)
Rutherglen Road, Red House, Sunderland SR5 5LN

Tuesday 18th October
10am – 12 noon
Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Springwell, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Monday 24th October
10am – 12 noon
Houghton Leisure Centre, Station Road, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5AH

We look forward to seeing you.

Lisa W. and Wendy

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.

Think Family Event

The report on the Think Family event which took place on Thursday 16th June at the Stadium of Light is now available: click here to download.

Sunderland Carers’ Centre Annual General Meeting

Carers are invited to the Annual General Meeting of Sunderland Carers’ Centre on Tuesday 18th October at the Stadium of Light (Banqueting Suite). Buffet lunch at 12 noon. Business starts at 12.45pm.

The guest speaker is Andrew Cozens CBE, Vice Chair of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Strategic Advisor (Children, Adults and Health), Services for Improvement and Development at the Agency for Local Government.

To book ring the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 by 4th October.

Female Carers – Are you looking for ‘New Beginnings’?

Sunderland Carers’ Centre is working with Hillcroft College, the Educational Charity and Residential College for Women, to offer female carers, over 19 years of age, a unique opportunity to think about going back into some form of education or training.

A session called ‘New Beginnings’ will take place at ‘The Place’, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland SR1 1QX on Thursday 13th October, 9.30am to 3.30pm.

The session will help female carers discover their potential, understand their current skill level and build confidence in a safe and supportive group. Participants will also work one-to-one with a session facilitator to look at their individual needs. Each carer will have different needs and aspirations and this is what ‘New Beginnings’ is all about – identifying those needs and aspirations for each individual and deciding on their next steps. If needed childcare and transport costs can be provided for this session.

Carers may want to take advantage of the extensive residential training programme Hillcroft College can offer in Surrey – everything from numeracy, literacy, dyslexia strategies to I.T. and digital arts. For others, there may be local opportunities where they can further develop their skills and confidence.

To sign up or for more information about the session please contact Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 or e-mail

Contact a Family GP survey

Contact a Family carried out a recent online survey to gather evidence about GP involvement in disabled children’s healthcare. Full findings are now available on their website and will be used to inform the NHS reforms to ensure the voices of families with disabled children are heard. They also hope the findings will help GPs improve their practice and better understand the needs of families with disabled children. They would like to say thank you to parents who took part.

Click here to view the full findings

Free Health Event for Parent Carers

Presented by Sunderland, Washington & Coalfields Parent Carer Council

Whether you, your child, or other family members currently have medical/health issues or not, this free event is a great opportunity to meet with health professionals from all areas of the Health Service.

Health professionals will include GP Consortia, Transition Service, Sexual Health, Paediatrics, Learning Liaison Nurses, Continence Service, dietary and many others.

Come along, meet other parent carers and talk with health professionals on what is working (or not!) and what we need to do, and how to improve access to the various health services.

The event will take place on Thursday 3rd November at the Stadium of Light, registration 9.30am, start 9.45am and finish 2pm. It includes welcome refreshments and carvery lunch (vegetarian option available). Help with transport may be available.

To book a place email or ring (0191) 417 5322 (Wednesdays and Fridays 1pm – 3pm only).

Click here to visit their website

Health Survey

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council, who are organising the health event, have produced a short survey in order for them to plan the day accordingly.  Please take a few moments to answer 10 questions.  They ask for no confidential or sensitive information.

Click here to take part

Useful Vision

Useful Vision provides activities, events and family support to families who have blind and partially sighted children.

Bounce group

Bounce is the Useful Vision group for mothers and toddlers, pre-school and nursery children (0 – 4 years). The next Sunderland group meeting will take place on Tuesday 11th October, 10am – 12 noon, at Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre, Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland SR3 1PD. The group has exclusive use of the soft play area and use of the new Sensory Room. For more details ring Susan Cullingworth on 0845 604 8491 or email

Other Useful Vision Activities and Events:

• Family Swim at Dolphin Centre, Darlington on Saturday 8th October, 4pm – 6pm (open to all ages)

• UCAN drama workshop at Newcastle College from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th October, 10.30am – 3pm (8 years and over)

• Halloween Family Fun Day at Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester on Sunday 30th October from 11am – 3pm (open to all ages)

• Cookery course at Bunny Hill in Sunderland on Monday 24th and Friday 28th October from 10am – 12 noon or 1pm – 3pm (8 years and over)

• Visit to the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle on Sunday 6th November (all ages)

• Rock Antics climbing at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre on Sunday 27th November from 1pm – 2.30pm (4 years and over)

• Christmas Pantomime Party - venue to be confirmed – on Sunday 4th December (open to all ages)

For more details and to book a place ring Susan Cullingworth on 0845 604 8491 or email

Click here to visit the Useful Vision website

October Activities at Sunderland Libraries

Music and dance session for pre-school children with “Musical Minis”
Monday 10th October, Houghton Library, 10am – 11am
Thursday 13th October, Shiney Row Library, 10am – 11am

Story-Sack Session
Tuesday 11th October, Easington Lane Library, 10am – 11.30am
Bring along your child’s favourite book and decorate a story-sack to take home – suitable for pre-school children and their parent/carer.

Dads ‘n’ Kids Club
Saturday 22nd October, City Library and Arts Centre, 10.30am – 11.30am
Come along to a fun music and rhyme session with Chris Hair from the “Tiny Tweeties” – suitable for children 2 – 11 years and their parent/carer.

Halloween craft activities
During half-term holidays (24th – 28th October) Contact your local library for information.

Book Start Rhyme Challenge
Pre-school children learn rhymes with their parent/carer at Shiney Row and Silksworth Libraries in the week beginning Monday 10th October. Contact the libraries for details.

Book Start Bear Club
From October preschool children can join the free Book Start Bear Club at their local library. Contact your local library for further information.

Family Learning Festival (15th – 30th October)
Sunderland Libraries will hold the following Halloween themed activities for families (adults and their children) between 15th and 30th October.  For more information contact the relevant library.


Clay Creepy Creatures -

clay workshop to make bats, cats and spiders

Fulwell Library
Saturday 15 October
10.30am - 12.30pm

Clay Creepy Creatures -

clay workshop to make bats, cats and spiders

Bunny Hill Library
Saturday 15 October

1.30pm -


Clay Creepy Creatures - clay workshop to make bats, cats and spiders
Washington Millennium Library
Saturday 22 October

10.30am -


Clay Creepy Creatures - clay workshop to make bats, cats and spiders
Washington Library and Customer Service Centre
Saturday 22 October

1.30pm -


Werewolves, witches and ghouls mask making and other fiendish crafts
Washington Library and Customer Service Centre
Tuesday 25 October

10am -

12 noon

Werewolves, witches and ghouls mask making and other fiendish crafts
East Herrington Library
Tuesday 25 October

2pm -


Halloween (Scene4Schools)
Silksworth Library
Wednesday 26 October

10am -

12 noon

Halloween (Scene4Schools)
City Library and Arts Centre
Wednesday 26 October

2pm -


Werewolves, witches and ghouls mask making and other fiendish crafts
Sandhill Centre Library
Thursday 27 October

10am -

12 noon

Clay Creepy Creatures - clay workshop to make bats, cats and spiders
Fence Houses Library
Thursday 27 October

2pm -


Pumpkin Carving
City Library and Arts Centre
Saturday 29 October

1.30pm -


Free Children’s Christmas Party

Hope 4 Kidz is delighted to announce Santa’s Christmas Party at Passion in Holmeside, Sunderland, will be taking place again this year for free on Sunday 4th December from 12 noon until 4pm for children with special needs and children experiencing extreme circumstances. The party will include a magician, a balloon artist, face painting, petting zoo, bouncy castle, party games, buffet and disco.

The party is for children 2 years old up to 16 years old with a maximum of 1 carer per child due to catering and health and safety reasons and up to a maximum of 2 adults per family unless a special agreement has been made prior to booking your tickets. Siblings are also welcome to attend within the age range. All children must be accompanied by an adult who will stay for the duration of the party.

To book tickets or for more information please call Tracey Wade on (0191) 534 7788. To avoid disappointment book now as this is becoming more popular each year, with confirmation letters being sent out in November.