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Links for Parents & Carers

This page has a wide variety of links to useful resources and is split into the following categories:

If you would like to recommend any services or websites not in the list please email neil.thomas@portesbery.surrey.sch.uk .

For additional information, activities and advice please visit our Community page.

  Information, Advice & Support

  • Healthier Together
    Local advice and support to help manage and improve the health and wellbeing of babies, children and young people.

  • 'InOurPlace' Online Learning
    There are a range of free courses on offer here, the most appropriate being 'Understanding your Child with Additional Needs'.  
    The courses are open to all Surrey parents with SEND children and the access code is ACORN.

  • Surrey Help Hub
    The Surrey Help Hub has tips, advice and tools that can help you and your family manage or deal with those day to day challenges and worries about your child’s behaviour.

  • 0-19 Advice Line
    'Children and Family Health' Surrey have an advice line for child health, development and parenting advice and support.  The service operates Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm.

  • Caleidoscope
    Caleidoscope CIC is not for profit community organisation supporting families with autistic children, offering individual support and training for parents.
    Our mission is to break the stigma of autism, raise awareness and promote social inclusion.

  • SEND Advice Surrey
    Special Educational Needs and Disabilities information, advice and support.

  • Supporting Surrey's Service Children 
    Resources and information to help support all children who have parents serving in the armed forces.

  • Family Information Service 
    A free, impartial information service for families with children aged 0 to 19 (up to 25 for young people with a disability or special educational need).

  • Surrey Children's Disability Register
    The purpose of the SCDR is to enable Surrey Children's Service to work together with Health Services and voluntary organisations to identify and plan for children and young people with disabilities and their parents/carers.

  • SOS!SEN
    Supporting Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

  • Information for Fathers with a Disabled Child 
    As a father of a disabled child you will have to adapt to a new and sometimes challenging set of circumstances.  This guide will help you learn more about practical information you may need and help you understand how other fathers have experienced having a disabled child.

  • Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC)
    SILC helps people with disabilities, and others who use or want to use Direct Payments, to live independently and to arrange the support and services they require.

  • Sensory Integration - Information for Parents
    Sensory Integration is the process by which the brain organizes and filters all of the information received by the senses. This leaflet contains basic information on the different senses and some ideas to help at home.
    You can also view our Sensory Integration webinar by clicking here.

  • Free Bus Pass Scheme for Disabled People 
    Information on applying for a concessionary bus pass for disabled people.

  • NewLife Charity  
    Previously known as the Birth Defects Trust it has revised and extended its remit and now specialises in providing equipment for individuals with disabled children up to 18 years of age, regardless of how they acquired their disability.

  • Contact a Family
    Contact a Family is the only UK-wide charity providing advice, information and support to the parents of all disabled children.

  • Crossroads
    The Crossroads service is about giving time - improving the lives of carers by giving them time to be themselves and have a break from their caring responsibilities.

  • Mencap
    Mencap is the leading UK charity for people with a learning disability and their families.

  • Young Carers
    A supportive, online community of young carers with discussion and advice from qualified youth workers.

  • Learning Disability Partnership Board
    Valuing People is the government's plan for making the lives of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers better.

  • National Youth Advocacy Service
    The National Youth Advocacy Service aim "To enable children and young people to have a voice by providing independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy services".

  • The National Society for Epilepsy
    NSE, the largest medical charity for epilepsy in the UK, provides information and support to people affected by epilepsy.

  • Partnership with Parents
    This service aims to ensure that parents are able to play an informed part in any decisions about the educational provision made to meet their son or daughter's special educational needs and to build partnerships between parents, the LEA and schools.

 Charities & Funding

  • Roald Dahl's Marvellous Family Grants  
    Support children who have a serious illness that could be life limiting. They support grants of up to £1,000 for physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy and counselling, travel (including parking), accommodation and subsistence costs whilst a child is in hospital, specialist equipment, for example specialist seats and walkers, epilepsy monitors etc. Art, music or play therapy and everyday items that will improve the child’s quality of life and keep them out of hospital longer e.g. furniture, white goods, and clothing (where this is required because of the child’s condition). This list is not exhaustive.

  • Children Today Charitable Trust
    Supports children and young people under 25 who have a disability. Provide grants for specialist equipment such as electric wheelchairs, walking aids, adapted trikes, lifting aids and sensory equipment.

  • Lifeline 4 Kids (Handicapped Children’s Aid Committee)
    Supports children and young people under 18 with disabilities and special needs. The charity will purchase specific requested items or equipment on behalf of the individual for example electric wheelchairs, sensory toys and mobility aid.

  • The Percy Bilton Charity 
    Supports children and adults with a physical/learning disability.  One-off grants are given towards goods, furniture, carpets and flooring (up to £250 where there is a health and safety issue) and essential clothing. Applications must be made on behalf of the individual through a support worker, OT or NHS.

  • The Boparan Charitable Trust
    Supports children and young people up to the age of 18, who have a disability or life limiting conditions. Grants are given for (this is list is not exhaustive), powered and manual wheelchairs/trikes (up to £1,500), specialist buggies and car seats, walkers and standing frames, hoists, P Pod chairs, therapies (including speech and language, occupational therapy, food therapy, behavioural therapy. There are exclusions. Please see the website for further details and application form.

  • Children’s Hope Foundation 
    Supports children and young people up to the age of 25. Grants are given for medical equipment or treatment, which may help in the management of a condition or disability. Grants are also given to purchase equipment such as a computer that help with educational support.

  • Happy Days Children’s Charity 
    Supports children and young people aged 3 to 17 who have additional needs. The charity also supports children with learning difficulties, children with acute, chronic or life limiting illnesses. They provide grants for respite breaks in the UK. This could be from a day out at a zoo or a week in an adaptive holiday home.

  • A Smile For A Child
    Supports disadvantaged and disabled children in the UK. Grants are made for sports equipment, lessons and specialised wheelchairs.

  • Sophie’s Moonbeams Trust
    Young people aged between 2 and 20 who have special needs. Grants can be used to support conventional and alternative therapies. Examples include art therapy, music therapy, Makaton sign training, and cranial osteopathy. This list is not exhaustive and the charity states, “This list is not exhaustive and we will consider requests for other help along similar lines”.
     
  • Caudwell Children
    Young people under 18 who have a disability or serious illness. The charity can provide 70% - 80% of the following costs, powered wheelchairs, specialised buggies and rain covers, therapy tricycles, multi-sensory equipment, sports equipment, selective dorsal rhizotomy and specialised car seats and car harness.
     
  • Sunny Days Children’s Fund
    Supports children under the age of 18 who have a medical condition or disability and their families.  Small grants are given for a wide range of purposes including medical equipment, white goods, hospital travel expenses, sensory equipment and more.

  • Variety, The Children’s Charity
    Supports children who are seriously ill or have a disability. Grants are made for equipment such as monitoring equipment, feeding tubes or hoists or mobility equipment.

  • Able Kidz
    Supports children and young people under the age of 18 who live in the UK and have a disability. Grants are given to support education of children with disabilities. Typically funding is given towards extra tutition, computers, specialist educational equipment and educational software.
     
  • Children with Special Needs Foundation
    The foundation was established in 1995 with a sole purpose to help children with special needs in the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire region.

  • QEF - Queen Elizabeth Foundation
    QEF is a leading disability charity working with people with physical and learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries to help them gain new skills and increase independence for life.

 Leisure & Short Breaks

  • Surrey Short Breaks
    Surrey Short Breaks for Disabled Children funds voluntary organisations and SEND schools to provide short break services, including after school clubs, holiday schemes, home-care and more.
     
  • Thomas Centre - Autism Friendly Holiday Park
    The Thomas Centre is a Holiday Park for children and young adults with autism and related conditions, and their families and carers.

  • Hartlands Holiday Centre
    Hartlands is a holiday centre on the Isle of Wight for families with children and adults with autism.

  • Calvert Trust 
    Accessible outdoor activity breaks and courses for people with disabilities, together with their family and friends.

  • Wetwheels
    Wheelchair accessible powerboats in Portsmouth; offering sightseeing, fishing and fun!

  • Autism Friendly Film Screenings 
    Autism Friendly Film screenings in partnership with Cineworld, ODEON, Showcase and Vue cinemas.
    Every month, each participating cinema shows a different film from a selection of new releases and classics including Pixar animations, Disney adventures and many more films suitable for all age ranges.

  • Beach Huts for the Disabled
    Introducing the UK’s first purposed designed fully disabled accessible beach huts – available for hire at Bournemouth’s multi-award winning Boscombe seafront.

  • Bikes Not Barriers 
    Bikes Not Barriers is part of Get Cycling, a registered Community Interest Company that promotes cycling for transport, health, fun, leisure and the environment.
     
  • Rocky Mountain Adaptive Sports Centre  
    For the adventurous ones among you, how does a trip to the Canadian Rockies sound? This organisation allows everyone with disabilities to access all sporting and recreational activities in the beautiful Canadian Rockies.
     
  • Skiing4All
    Skiing4all is run by a British psychologist and is the only organisation based in a mountain resort, which caters exclusively for persons with learning difficulties, their families and friends.

 Social & Support Groups

  • Mustard Seed Autism Trust
    The Mustard Seed Autism Trust provide a professional service in the community to families living with autism.
    They have an advice line open on Wednesday afternoons and also some great free resources on their website.

  • Disability Challengers
    Disability Challengers is a children's charity which supports 1,000 disabled children and young people in over 50 play and youth schemes every year.

  • LinkAble
    Supporting children and adults with learning disabilities for over 30 years.

  • The Zone!
    Have you heard of 'The Zone'? They're a friendly parent-run group for families living with autism & similar conditions in North East Hampshire & surrounding areas.

  • 'Dramatize'
    Dramatize is a professionally run, fun and friendly Community Interest Company. Using theatre and movement workshops, they provide a range of theatrical workshops, events and educational programmes catering for adults with learning disabilities aged 16 - 40, within both SEN and mainstream schools and organisations.

  • The Orchard Children's Centre - Camberley 
    The centre is open to all parents, carers and children and many of the services are free. You can get help and advice on child and family health, parenting, money, training and employment.

 Health & Wellbeing

  • Qwell Counselling
    Qwell offer online emotional wellbeing and mental health support.
    Surrey have enabled access for all parents of SEND children, just click on the 'Join Qwell' button on the website's homepage to get started.

  • The Maypole Project
    A National helpline for all those affected by the illness or disability of a child of any age.

  • Counselling Directory  
    Counselling Directory was set up to connect those in distress with a wealth of information and the ability to search for the most suitable counsellor or psychotherapist.

  • Nutritionist Resource - Loveable Lunchboxes!
    Collaborating with their UK network of family nutritionists, Loveable Lunchboxes aims to help you create healthy, tasty and altogether more loveable lunchboxes for your children.
      

 Accessible Devices & Equipment

  • Inclusive Technology
    Suppliers of educational software, switches and computer access devices, simple communication aids and assistive technology for learners with special needs.

  • Liberator
    Provider of a wide range of products, training and support for communication, inclusion and independence.

  • SEN Switcher
    Some great activities for pupils – all can be used with or without a switch.