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Parent Carer Information Bulletin October 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 2nd October
10am – 12 noon
at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

Washington Parent Carer Coffee Morning

There is no meeting in October. The next meeting is on

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

There will be a speaker from Washington Wetlands Centre.

Houghton Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next meeting is on

Monday 20th October
10am – 12 noon
at Houghton Primary Care Centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5HB

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.

Independent Support logoIndependent Support

Sunderland Carers’ Centre provides an Independent Support service to support parents and young people in the Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields areas who are going through the process of transferring from a special educational needs statement to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or who are starting a new EHC plan for the first time. For more information or support please contact Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768.

Sunderland Carers’ Centre AGM

You are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 15th October in the Black Cat Bar at the Stadium of Light. Registration from 11.30am, buffet lunch at 12 noon, business starts at 12.45pm. Book your place on (0191) 549 3768 by Wednesday 8th October.

Sunderland City Council logoOctober Holiday Fun Session

There is an October Holiday Fun Session for disabled children and their families on Wednesday 29th October at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre.

Indoor tennis (coaching not provided but equipment is included), 9.30am – 10am

Fun and floats swim session, 10.15am – 11.15am

Indoor adventure soft play, 11.15am – 12.15pm

Price: £2.70 per young person, one accompanying adult or carer is free of charge.

Outdoor footwear is not permitted in the pool changing village. Lockers are provided for £1 deposit. No outdoor shoes permitted on tennis courts or soft play.

ADHD Support Group

Congratulations to the Sunderland ADHD Support Group on their 6th anniversary. The group is run by parents themselves and they offer each other advice and support. The next meetings will be on Monday 13th October and Monday 3rd November, 11.30am – 1pm, at SNYP, 272 Southwick Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1DD. For more information please email

Sunderland City Council logoDisability Swim Session – Silksworth Community Pool

The next swim sessions for disabled children and their families at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre are on Saturday 27th September and Saturday 25th October, 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.

LDD Youth Sessions

Is your child aged 13 – 19 years old with a learning difficulty or disability and is bored and wanting something to do? Then why don’t they come along to a LDD Youth Session available at the following venues:

Washington: Pitstop, The Avenue, Glebe, NE37 2ET, Tuesdays, 6 – 8.30pm

North: Redhouse Academy Youth Wing, Rutherland Road, SR5 5LN, 6 – 8.30pm

Coalfields: YMCA Fencehouses, 67 Front Street, Colliery Row, DH4 6LP, 6.30 – 8.30pm

Activities on offer include recreational, physical and leisure activities. For more information please contact the Youth Staff team at Sunderland North Community Business Centre on (0191) 537 3231 or Angie Mills, Social Inclusion Co-ordinator on (0191) 561 7401.

Sunderland, Washington and Houghton Parent Carer Council logoSunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council

The next meeting of the Parent Carer Council will be on Friday 17th October, 10am – 12 noon, at Houghton Primary Care Centre.

New members welcome.

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

We’ar vision – we’ar hear Sensory Exhibition

There is a free sensory exhibition at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday 29th October, 10am – 4pm. Come along and see the latest technology and equipment available for children and adults with sight or hearing impairments. Lots of information and advice will also be available – why not visit the Carers’ Centre stall too.

Transition Support Group

The next meeting of the Transition Support Group will be on Thursday 30th September, 10.30am – 12 noon, at Sunderland Carers’ Centre. The group is open to all parents / carers of young people going through transition from children’s services to adult services. For more information please contact the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 5493768.

Working Families – Parents of Disabled Children Survey

Parents of disabled children are invited to take part in the 2014 Finding Flexibility survey which will inform the Working Families’ campaign for carers and parents of disabled children who work or wish to work.

A similar survey in 2012 highlighted a number of barriers to employment for parents of disabled children and led, amongst other things, to the recommendation in the Working Families manifesto for the right to request a period of adjustment leave for parents after a child’s diagnosis.

The 2014 survey seeks to monitor progress in the area and make recommendations to the Government, Local Authority and employers on how they can best support parents.

To take part in the survey click here

or for a paper copy ring 020 7017 0070 or email

The closing date is Sunday 5th October 2014.

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. Join them during October:

Bounce pre-school group, Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Saturday 4th October,
1pm – 4pm. For visually impaired babies and toddlers.

Multi-activity and sport day, Blue Flames Club, North Tyneside, Sunday 12th October, 1pm – 4pm. Try beginners skateboards, scooters and ramps, circus skills, rookie golf, new age curling or bowls.

Halloween at Hall Hill Farm, County Durham, Sunday 26th October, 11am – 3pm. Visit the farm and also take part in the range of Halloween themed activities and petting sessions with smaller animals.

Invitation to Stadium of Light, Sunderland, sponsored by SAFC Foundation of Light, Tuesday 28th October, 10am – 12 noon or 1pm – 3pm. Visually impaired children aged 5 and over and their families can enjoy a sensory tour of the stadium, photo opportunities in the dugout, visit the home and away changing rooms, corporate boxes and press room as well as a multi-sport taster session led by Foundation staff.

Family bowling, Star Bowl, Royal Quays, Wednesday 29th October, 1.30pm – 4.30pm. Bowling and socialising over a buffet afterwards.

Riding and pony grooming at Washington RDA, Thursday 30th October, 1pm – 3pm. Enjoy a 30 minute riding lesson and a 30 minute pony grooming session.

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 - click here

Sunderland City Council logoActivities at Sunderland Libraries

October half term activities

For October half term all libraries will be offering in children’s activities. There will be paper poppy making which will form part of a display in Holy Trinity Church for Remembrance Day and there will be spooky craft making sessions ready for Halloween! Please contact individual libraries for details of times and dates.

Sunderland Libraries are also celebrating both the Sunderland Literature Festival and Black History Month. There will be a range of talks and writing and poetry workshops taking place for adults as part of the Literature Festival. To find out more visit the Sunderland Libraries website click here or ask at your local library.

My Hospital Passport

The National Autistic Society has produced a useful resource for people with autism who might need hospital treatment called ‘My Hospital Passport’. The passport is designed to help people with autism to communicate their needs to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. There is also guidance to help you fill out the form. For more information click here