sunderland carers
About the Carers' Centre
What's on
Sunderland Carers on Facebook
Latest News
Useful Publications
Frequently Asked Questions
Useful Links
Contact us



Parent Carer Information Bulletin September 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 8th September
10am – 12 noon
Sunderland Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road, Sunderland SR1 2QF

Parent Carer Coffee Mornings / Afternoons

Monday 12th September
1pm – 3pm
Red House Academy (Youth Centre)
Rutherglen Road, Red House, Sunderland SR5 5LN

Tuesday 20th September
10am – 12 noon
Sunningdale School, Shaftoe Road, Springwell, Sunderland SR3 4HA

Monday 26th September
10am – 12 noon
Houghton Leisure Centre, Station Road, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5AH
Guest speaker from Cerebra, the charity for children with brain related conditions.

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.

Parent Carer Council Health Event

Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent Carer Council are organising a health event to take place on Thursday 3rd November, at the Stadium of Light. Registration, welcome and refreshments 9.30am. Start 9.45am – Finish 2pm. Carvery style lunch (please state if a vegetarian option is required).

This event will be a chance for parent carers and health professionals to engage with each other, encourage partnership-working, and find out what is working, what is not working and what we need to do. It will also look at how to improve health and access to the different services for parents and their children across all health areas, including appointments and hospital stays.

To book a place email or ring (0191) 417 5322 (Wednesdays and Fridays 1pm – 3pm only). Help with transport may be provided if needed.

Short Breaks Consultation

The Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to provide breaks from caring for carers of disabled children to support them to continue to care for their children at home and to allow them to do so more effectively. The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011 give more detail on how local authorities must fulfil their duty to provide breaks from caring, including a requirement to produce a Short Breaks Statement outlining the range of short break services available, who they can be accessed by and how.

Short breaks give disabled children and young people the opportunity to participate in enjoyable leisure activities while also giving their parents/carers a break from their caring role. Short breaks can take place after school, at the weekend and in the holidays, and include overnight breaks. In Sunderland, a short break is part of a continuum of services which support disabled children aged 0-18 and their families to live ordinary lives.

A draft short breaks statement is currently being written and a final draft is due to be presented very soon. Bearing this in mind we would like to invite you to come along to the Carers’ Centre, 12 Toward Road on Thursday 15th September from 10am until 12 noon to discuss your thoughts and feelings about short break provision in Sunderland.

Think Family Event

A report is currently being produced on the Think Family Event which took place on Thursday 16th June at the Stadium of Light. It will be available to read on this website at the end of September. More details will be provided in the next bulletin.

Caring with Confidence back at the Hetton Centre

Carers can take part in ‘Caring with Confidence’ sessions from September to November. Many carers have already taken part in the sessions over the last three years and the feedback they continue to give remains very, very positive.

If you are thinking about taking part but want to find out more why not come along to one of the introduction sessions called ‘Finding your way’ on either Tuesday 20th or Tuesday 27th September, 11am – 2pm. From there you can decide if the sessions are for you and if you would like to do any of the others.

This time all the sessions will take place at the Hetton Centre, Welfare Road, Hetton-le-Hole, DH5 9NE. We have held the sessions here once before. Carers loved the informal setting so much we have to go back due to popular demand! Help with travel and alternative care costs are available if needed.

If you have already taken part in some of the sessions and want to pick up the ones you have missed please contact us and we will sign you up for these sessions. They are:

Tuesday 4th October 11am – 2pm Caring and coping
Tuesday 11th October 11am – 2pm Caring and me
Tuesday 18th October 11am – 2pm Caring and communicating
Tuesday 1st November 11am – 2pm Caring and resources
Tuesday 8th November 11am – 2pm Caring day-to-day
Tuesday 15th November 11am – 2pm Caring and life

To sign up or for more information please contact Sunderland Carers’ Centre on (0191) 567 3232 or email

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.

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.

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.

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

Your city… your say – State of the City Event

This event will take place on Wednesday 14th September, arrival 5.30pm, event 6pm – 8.30pm, at City Space, Sunderland University, Chester Road, Sunderland SR1 3SD.

Have your say about the key issues affecting Sunderland now and in the future at this free public event. Everyone is welcome to attend or you can watch the event live on the internet.

To register your interest please call 0800 783 1710 or email For more information, for your chance to submit questions and to watch the event live log onto

Sunderland Libraries – Dads ‘n’ Kids

The next Dads ‘n’ Kids club sessions will be on Saturday 24th September and Saturday 22nd October,

10.30am – 11.30am. These free sessions are suitable for children aged 2 – 11 years and their father/male carer. Mums also welcome! All sessions are held at the City Library in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days 2011

Explore local architecture, history and culture for free from Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th September. This is the 10th anniversary of the event with activities taking place in over 200 buildings across the region. It is a once a year chance to explore behind the scenes, discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of events and activities that bring history to life. An information booklet is available from local libraries and tourist attractions or you can visit the website - click here for more details.

North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club

The club meets twice a month at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre and caters for all skill levels from very beginners to more experienced players. They also hold junior sessions when they have enough young people interested. They are looking for more children to get involved in the sport. For more information contact Adele Waterfall-Brown on 07725106573 or email

New Contact a Family Isolation Survey

Families sometimes report that they feel isolated and alone when they find out their child has a disability. There may be other reasons or situations when families with disabled children are affected by isolation. Contact a Family wants to find out what the emotional situation is for you and your family and if isolation impacts on your family life. The survey takes five minutes to complete and closes on 23rd September. To take part click here