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Parent Carer Information Bulletin September 2012

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

Parent Carers’ Group and Lunch

The next meeting will take place on

Thursday 13th September
11am – 1pm

at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland SR5 1SF

11am – 12 noon at the Carers’ Centre
12 noon – 1pm at The Mill (opposite the Carers’ Centre) for lunch,
£4.95 for a 2 course lunch per person.

If you would like to attend the lunch please ring the Carers’ Centre on (0191) 549 3768 and let us know by Tuesday 11th September.

Parent Carer Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on

Monday 17th September
10am – 12 noon
Houghton Primary Care Centre (behind Houghton Leisure Centre)

We look forward to seeing you.

Lisa Watson and Wendy Greenhow

Parent Carer Development Workers

Sunderland Carers' Centre

For more information about the group and coffee morning please contact Lisa or Wendy at Sunderland Carers’ Centre Tel: (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.

Is your child over 18?

The information in this bulletin is aimed at parents and carers of disabled children aged 18 and under. If your child is now over 18 the information may no longer be relevant to you. Please could you let the Carers' Centre know if your child is over 18 and that you would like us to stop sending you the bulletin - phone (0191) 549 3768 or email

Caring with Confidence logoCaring with Confidence in Houghton

The Carers’ Centre is delighted to confirm the next round of Caring with Confidence sessions is heading back to Houghton-le-Spring taking place in Houghton’s brand new, state of the art Primary Care Centre (next to Houghton Sports and Wellness Centre).

It is hard to believe over four years ago Sunderland got its first experience of Caring with Confidence sessions and they are still proving more popular than ever. So far in 2012 carers in Sunderland and Washington have taken part in the sessions and now carers in Houghton… it’s your turn!

One carer who recently took part said “The sessions were so welcoming and friendly and I made some wonderful friends who I still meet up with regularly. I would definitely advise carers who haven’t taken part in the sessions to do so as soon as they can; I wish I had done it years ago!”

If you want to find out more or want to take part please contact us on (0191) 549 3768 to book a place at one of the introduction sessions, on either Tuesday 18th or Tuesday 25th September (11am – 2pm). Light refreshments are available and help with transport can be arranged for carers who need it. Don’t miss out!

Click here for more information about Caring with Confidence

Transition – a date for your diary

Has your son or daughter recently gone through transition or are they in the process of doing so now? Transition is a very important time in a young person’s life and can be very stressful for parents.

If you would like to come and have a coffee and a chat about how things are for you at present and meet other parents in similar situations we are holding a coffee morning at Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, on Thursday 20th September, 10.30am – 12 noon. We hope to make these regular events that give carers mutual support and a bit of relaxation. We look forward to seeing you.

If you have any queries beforehand please contact Eibhlin Inglesby or Helen McAdam on (0191) 549 3768.

Playgroup for hearing impaired children

Does your child have hearing loss? Do you want to meet other families in the same situation? Then join the parent and toddler group for all pre-school children with a hearing impairment. It’s a chance for the children to enjoy lots of activities including outside play and for parents to have a chat over a cuppa. The next group meetings are on Mondays 3rd and 17th September at Fingerpaint Nursery, Ryhope, Sunderland SR2 0LW, 1 – 3pm. For more information please contact:

Autism Friendly Film Screening – Brave

Dimensions have joined forces with Odeon Cinemas to host an autism friendly screening of the Disney animated film, Brave (U, 2D), in cinemas across the country.

What makes the screening autism friendly? The lights will be on low, the volume will be turned down, you’ll be able to take your own food and drinks and you’ll be able to move around the cinema if you like.

The nearest screening will be at the Metrocentre Odeon on Sunday 16th September at 11.30am.

Tickets can be bought from the cinema, online through the Odeon website or by calling Odeon’s Accessibility Helpline on 0800 138 3315 between 11am and 8pm. For more information about autism-friendly screenings visit the Dimensions website - click here

Carers/support workers can attend for free with a CEA card. To find out more about the CEA card please see below.

Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) Card

The CEA Card is issued by The Card Network. The card entitles the card holder to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema, provided a full price ticket is purchased for the card holder. You can apply for the card if you receive Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance or registered as a blind person. The card is issued to the person who requires assistance to enjoy the cinema. In this way, there is no restriction on the accompanying person, family, friend, care worker etc. as long as they are capable of offering the required assistance and are aged 16 or over. The card costs £5.50. For an application form ring 0845 123 1292 or visit their website - click here

Useful Vision logoUseful Vision Family Activities

Useful Vision is a North East based charity which aims to help visually impaired children and their families get the most out of life. They organise FREE days out and activities which enable blind and sight impaired youngsters and their families to enjoy new experiences. The end of summer activities include the following:

Family Fun Day at Hemlington Lake and Recreation Centre, Cass House Road, Middlesbrough on Saturday 1 September 10am - 3pm. This event is being held in conjunction with Action for Blind People, Guide Dogs and SENSE. Activities will include Archery, Kayaking, Earth Walks, Scavenger Hunt, Guide Dogs display and petting, trikes and sensory room. Covered picnic area.

Fins and Flippers Hydrotherapy sessions in the Hydrotherapy pool at Cedars School Sports College, Ivy Lane, Low Fell, Gateshead NE9 6QD 9.15 – 10.30am Thursdays 13th, 20th and 27th September. Booking is essential as places are limited

Bounce sessions for babies and toddlers. All sessions run from 10am -12 noon. Soft play and refreshments as always from 10am and piccolo music from 11am at Silksworth Tennis and Wellness Centre, Silksworth Lane, Sunderland SR3 1PD. Sessions after the summer holidays as follows: Tuesday 11th September, Tuesday 2nd October, Tuesday 6th November, Tuesday 4th December Bounce Christmas party.

More family days out will be planned over the autumn

If you would like more information or would like to attend any of the events contact Useful Vision on 0845 6048491 or email at They would love to welcome some new families who may not have attended a Useful Vision activity day before. Visit their website - click here

Father and son in the libraryActivities at Sunderland Libraries

Courses for Adults

Adult Learning courses will be starting the week beginning Monday 17th September. For further information please contact your local library.

Click here for course programme

Dads ‘n’ Kids Club

The next Dads ‘n’ Kids Club session is on Saturday 29th September, 10.30am – 11.30am, at City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street, Sunderland. Go along and enjoy making Autumn / woodland crafts. The session is free and suitable for children aged 2 – 12 years and their parent / carer.

Washington Heritage Festival

Washington Heritage Festival is a fun family event. All ages can learn more about the fascinating history of Washington and enjoy music, performances, traditional crafts, games, children’s rides, exhibitions and much more.

It takes place on Saturday 15th September, 11am – 4pm, at Albany Park, Washington and is free.

The marching banner parade begins at 10.30am on Front Street, near Washington Gardener’s Club.

Free public parking is available at Washington School, Spout Lane. Local bus services are 56, M1 and M2.

Heritage Open Days – Thursday 6 – Sunday 9 September 2012

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of free tours, events and activities. To find out what is happening in Sunderland and Tyne and Wear phone (0191) 553 2000 or visit the website - click here