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Local Offer - News and Events

In this section of the Local Offer you will be able to find out what’s new and what’s going on. This will be specific information for children, young people and families with special educational needs and disabilities. It will also include information about any consultations that you can get involved with by contributing your views. 

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families must be able to contribute to the Local Offer by feeding back their views about the Local Offer itself and about the services that are advertised. You can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the website page.

Slough Community Mental Health Carers Week event - 9 June

Wednesday, 9th June

Slough Community Mental Health team present:  

  • Body, mind & soul: 10:30- 11:30am - mindfulness session. Optional - have a small snack to hand, like a piece of fruit, biscuit or chocolate for one of the mindfulness exercises
  • Get creative: 6:30-7:30pm - creativity workshop. Optional - bring along craft supplies, knitting, paints oradult colouring books - anything that inspires you to be creative

Location - Microsoft Teams.

To book or for further info contact: Anthea.Husbands@berkshire.nhs.uk 

Open to all Slough Carers

Carers Week Events - 7 to 13 June

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who do not think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

Carers Week 7-13 June 2021: Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, more people have taken on caring responsibilities at home, YOU may be one of them. Slough Carer Groups would like to invite you to take some time out and enjoy a range of online events and activities over Carers Week!

COVID-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Gov.uk provides guidance for people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Roots

A monthly get-together for parents/carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

  • Get to know other families and feel supported
  • Share experiences and ask questions
  • Take time out from hectic lives

VIRTUAL SESSIONS ON THE FOLLOWING DATES 

  • Thursday 13th May, 10-11 am
  • Thursday 10th June, 10 am – 11 am
  • Thursday 8th July, 10 am – 11 am 

If you would like to attend, please contact Anne George for the Zoom log in details on 07841 511689 or at anne.george@slough.gov.uk

Parenting Special Children - events/workshops

Parenting Special Children are running events online via Zoom. They are free for Berkshire families or at a nominal cost. Some events have a small number of tickets available for non-Berkshire families. Visit the Family Information Service website further information and to book.

Adult sibling support group

Berkshire Adult Sibling Group aims to provide peer support for adult (18years+) siblings who have a brother or sister with a lifelong disability such as learning disability, Autism, Down Syndrome etc.  Some siblings who join a group are carers for their brother/sister, and many aren’t. You are very welcome, whatever your circumstances or level of involvement (or not) with your brother/sister’s care. 

Contact - news and information for families with disabled children

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of What’s new.

This week, find out about our upcoming Facebook Q&A about carer's assessments, and visit our new Contact Weekly Lottery Facebook page for lucky players. We've also got some exciting Better Together events in Wales and the West Midlands.

Are you looking for someone to speak to for emotional and practical support? If you haven't already, book an appointment with our Listening Ear service at a time that suits you.

Berkshire Autism Alert Card relaunch

Launched in 2010 to provide an easy way for autistic people in Berkshire - and their carers - to explain their condition quickly and easily to others and give cardholders and their families more confidence to go out and about. More than 1,800 cards are now in use.

To mark its 10th anniversary in 2020, it was decided to give the card a fresh look and to expand the scope of the scheme, with the support of Thames Valley Police. The project secured a grant from the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner’s Police Property Act Fund.

Drawing on experiences with what are known in some areas as Pegasus cards, it was agreed that cardholders – or the person applying their behalf, such as parents and support workers – could choose to share information about their autism and any individual support needs with the police, to help officers and other emergency service personnel when assisting cardholders.

If someone opts to share this information when applying for or renewing an alert card, the details are held in a secure police database and can be accessed if officers are shown an alert card.

Police officers across Berkshire are being trained about the card in a rolling programme, starting in the Reading and Bracknell & Wokingham policing areas, with West Berkshire, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead to follow. It is hoped that similar schemes will be introduced in future to cover the rest of the Thames Valley.

  • It remains a condition of the scheme that all applications must be accompanied by proof of an autism diagnosis for the cardholder, such as a diagnosis letter, or a statement from a health or education professional.

Full details about the Berkshire Autism Alert Card and an online application form are available at www.autismberkshire.org.uk/berkshire-autism-alert-card/

An application form can also be downloaded from this page and printed copies are available on request from Autism Berkshire – email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk

Information about vaccines: for people with a learning disability and autistic people

NHS England website providesis a short film which describes what is a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine.

Connect - FREE courses for parent/carers who have children or young people who are pre- and post- assessment for autism

Home Start Slough offers Connect - FREE courses for parent/carers who have children or young people who are pre- and post- assessment for autism. Dates and time available here.

COVID-19 - Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service Delivery Arrangements January 2021

The Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service (BSCS) works with children and young people (CYP) 0-25yrs who have a sensory impairment (SI). As an educational service we work in partnership with schools, colleges, early years settings and families to enable all our young people to achieve good outcomes and a positive future.

From the 5th January 2021 the government closed mainstream primary and secondary schools as well as colleges except to all pupils of key workers or vulnerable pupils including those with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). For those continuing to attend school this will have been agreed with the setting and the family.

The BSCS are committed to continuing to meet the needs of our sensory impaired young people during the COVID -19 pandemic and are aware of how the current circumstances can significantly impact on their vulnerability as learners. The academic attainment nationally of young people with sensory impairment is overall below their peers and their social and emotional wellbeing is of concern. Language and communication, habilitation and independence are all vital skills that children with sensory impairment may struggle to develop without additional support.

The specialist BSCS staff are continuing to offer remote teaching and in exceptional circumstances some visits to settings in line with the individual risk assessments. This guidance, must be read with the BSCS safeguarding and Child Protection Policy which can be found on the BSCS website under policies. https://berkshirescs.btck.co.uk

The Little Book of Sunshine

The Little Book of Sunshine: NHS Frimely CCG have relaunched the mental health booklet – the Little Blue Book of Sunshine.

The book offers lots of practical and useful advice and aims to help children and young people by sharing lots of tips on how to deal with many problems, such as anxiety, stress, body image, relationships and anger. It also includes information about where to get help when they need it. 

Now more than ever, anyone can sometimes feel down, worried or anxious because of a variety of situations like lockdown, school, family or friends. The #littlebluebookofsunshine explains some of the things teenagers can do right now to feel better, and who to turn to if things feel too much. 

The booklet is also now available in Apple Books and will be available on google books too in new year. 

Further information and download links are available on our website here: NHS Frimley CCG website

Free digital resource for carers in Berkshire

There is an online resource for carers in Berkshire to support them in their caring role. It is free to use and includes specially tailored Apps, guides and training courses: jointly - a mobile App to help make caring a bit easier, less stressful and more organised. About Me - an e-learning course for carers that aims to help build resilience for caring. Upfront Guide to Caring - this is an online assessment tool that directs carers to specific sections of Carers UK's website for information relevant to their situation, and then produces a short action plan to help carers plan their next steps. For access, create an account on carersuk. Professionals can also access the digital service by following the same registration process for carers.

Helpline for carers

If you are looking after a relative, there is help for you. Call freephone: 0800 133 7851. Lines open 10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday. With 24 hours answerphone cover,

Free online parenting courses available to local families

Bringing up children can be enjoyable and rewarding but it also has its challenges.
If you live in the Frimley Health and Care area (East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham), you can access four free online parenting guides with top tips from childcare, education and NHS experts:

  • Understanding your pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child 0 to 19 years
  • Understanding your teenager’s brain

The guides are for  parents, grandparents and carers of children of all ages including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The guides are available in different languages.

Each guide has between 5 to 11 sessions which last roughly 20 minutes each, plus activities that can be carried out between courses. Access is unlimited, so you can return to the guides as and when you need to.

Registration is quick and easy – just go to inourplace.co.uk and apply the access code PARENTING.

Family Fund support for children with SEND - Covid - 19

The government gave a press release (19th May ’20) announcing that they were giving £37.3 million of direct support in 2020 – 21 to the Family Fund for SEND children in England.  

The support is partly  in response to COVID 19 pandemic. Families can apply  to the Family Fund for a grant,  for items to support their SEND children such as:- washing machines, computers,  educational toys and specialist equipment. On the website there is a list of items that can be applied for.  

To apply for a grant you need to go to the Family Fund website and click on application. Fill in the form which asks for the child and adults details and the item requested.  

The criteria for families to apply :- 

They are

  • A permanent resident in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Have current legal residency in the UK and have lived in the UK for 6 months, be eligible to work and apply for funds.
  • A parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 and under who lives at home.
  • Eligible for , and can send evidence of one of the following tax credits or benefits – Universal credit, Child tax credit, working tax credit, Income based jobseekers allowance, Incapacity benefit, Employment support allowance, Housing benefit, Pension credit.
  • Asking for a grant related to the needs of their  child. Children or young person.  

The link for the Family Fund is :- https://www.familyfund.org.uk/  

The link for the government article is https://bit.ly/2ygnv39

 

Mental Health resources and support during lockdown

Children and young people may be experiencing a variety of feelings in response to the COVID-19 outbreak such as anxiety, stress or low mood. It is important to understand that these are normal responses to an abnormal situation. There is a large amount of mental health support available for children and young people as detailed on the FIS website.

COVID - 19 Guidance, support and resources for Slough residents

Click here for a list of services and information, advice for Slough residents.

COVID-19 Advice for parents when your child is unwell or injured

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself. Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. Click here for advice.

National Autistic Society - COVID-19, Information, Tips and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that thousands of people in the UK now have. It is impacting everyone’s lives, including autistic people and their families.

We wanted to provide you with some information and resources about Coronavirus to help you deal with this difficult time. Click here

Young People Focus Group on the SEND Strategy

As part of the new SEND strategy, youth workers from Young People’s Service, met with Arbour Vale’s Youth Council for a 90 minute workshop. The core aim of the workshop was to capture the voices of young people, a means by which their views could positively influence the SEND strategy. 10 young people of mixed ages and abilities participated and themes discussed in the workshop included ‘what makes a good day’, ‘dreams and aspirations’ and ‘barriers’’. This is the first intervention  of continued plan to ensure young peoples needs and views are at the forefront of the Slough SEND strategy. The Slough Youth Voice SEND Consultation report - 12 February 2019 can be read here.

Discounts

There are various local and national schemes and charities which can help save money if your child has an additional or special need.  Max Card is a national, local authority-commissioned discount initiative for looked after children and children with additional needs aged 0-25 years. The scheme enables families to visit hundreds of attractions across the UK at a free or discounted rate. Sign up to our Children's Disability Register and receive a card for free! Merlin's Magic Wand arrange magical days out at Merlin Entertainments attractions, such as LEGOLAND Resort® theme parks, SEA LIFE Centres and Madame Tussauds. They welcome applications on behalf of children aged 2-18 with a confirmed serious illness/long term illness, disability or disadvantage, who would benefit from a day out at a Merlin attraction. CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.