Information, advice & support

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​Support and information is one of the most important services required by families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Last Updated: 24/02/2020

They often face high levels of day to day stress, which can cause a major strain on family life. Getting the right help at the right time is of vital importance. 
 
Northumberland SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
The Northumberland SEND Information, Advice and Support Service provides free, confidential and impartial information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities up to the age of 25, and their parents and carers. The service can be contacted on 01670 623555 or  alison.bravey@northumberland.gov.uk 

Northumberland IASS information bulletin
Please take a look at the latest issue of the quarterly Northumberland IASS information bulletin, which shares information with families and professionals about local events, services and news in Northumberland and the North East, for children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities) and their families.

Parent Carer Forum
In It Together is standing down as the DfE funded Parent Carer Forum in Northumberland for children and young people aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Working with children, young people and their families remains at the heart of the work we do, to ensure that we deliver the very best services for children and young people with SEND.
Contact is a charity for disabled children. They are working in Northumberland to ensure that there are new and effective arrangements established, so that the voices of children, young people, and their families continue to inform the work we do.
You can find out more about Contact by clicking here.


Families Information Service
The Families Information Service (FIS) is a free, impartial service providing information on a wide range of services for children and young people in Northumberland and their families. The service also provides detailed advice on childcare and early year’s educational provision. They can be contacted on 0800 023 4440 (Freephone), 01670 624889 or fis@northumberland.gov.uk

Children's Education Advisory Service
Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is part of the Minstry of Defence providing advice and guidance to Service parents, educational establishments and local authorities on educational issues relating to Service children, including issues relating to SEN. They can be contacted on CEAS helpline 01980 618244 or 94344 8244, or email dcyp-ceas-enquiries@mod.gov.uk

For more information about the services listed above, and other local support organisations available to families in Northumberland, please explore the blue drop down boxes below:
 
Action for Children disability services provide disabled children and their families with residential and short break care, help families deal with challenging behaviour, and provide specialist education and leisure opportunities. 
 
Action for Children is committed to promoting access for disabled children, young people and their parents/carers to all their services. In Northumberland they provide a short break service at their Monksfield provision (see the ‘Childcare and Short Breaks’ section of this guide).

They also run the following children's centres in Northumberland:
 
You can find more details under ‘Children’s Centres’ in this section of the guide. 
Adapt North East  Tel: 01434 600599
Burn Lane 
Hexham, NE46 3HN  Opening Times
Mon – Fri 9am – 5 pm
 
ADAPT North East is a registered charity helping to improve the quality of life for both disabled and disadvantaged people in Northumberland. They provide a range of services for their members and the wider community, including accessible transport. 
Units 5 – 7 Dudley Court
Manor Walks Shopping Centre
Cramlington, NE23 6QW
Tel: 07932835094
Email: autismnorthumberland@gmail.com 
 
Autism Northumberland is a charity based in  Cramlington offering services to families in Northumberland who are living with autism. No diagnosis is necessary. They offer parent/carer support, after school clubs, holiday clubs, training, sibling support, teen group and so much more. Contact them for more information or to become a member.
75 Osborne Road
Jesmond 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
 
Barnardos Orchard Mosaic Service provides therapeutic services for children, young people and families affected by trauma, loss, abuse, bereavement and those with a parent in prison. There are different referral paths for each of their services. Please ring them for further information. 
Contact via Facebook: Calmer Therapy
Tel: 07944512930
 
A non-profit community group who help and support families who have children with additional needs, ages from birth to 18 years. The group are based in Ashington, but cover all of Northumberland, including Berwick and the Scottish Borders. They offer parent support, nationally recognised accredited training, training workshops and activities for children, such as youth club, sensory relax, lego therapy, Calmer Scouts, family trips and more. Membership is free. Contact Donna Swan for more information. 
107 & 109 Station Road
Ashington
Northumberland
NE63 8RS


Tel: 01670 320025
 
   
A charity which aims to improve the lives of carers in Northumberland by providing a range of carer support services, including: one to one support; groups and social activities; an information and signposting service, with a dedicated carer telephone information service; and training for carers and professionals. 
Children North East
89 Denhill Park
Benwell
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 6QE
Tel: 0191 256 2444
 
Children North East provide a range of services for individuals, their families and communities that offer opportunities for personal development and the enhancement of self esteem.  They run services in partnership with other organisations, the communities they serve, and the children and families who use them. Their aim is to support vulnerable people through difficult times and to counter the effects of life’s inequalities. 
Sure Start children’s centres are there to ensure all children get the best possible start in life. They’re a focal point in every community where families with children under five can access all the services and information they need.

Further information on children's centres can be found by clicking this link.
 
Colgate Cottage 
Blyth West Children’s Centre
Devonworth Place
Blyth NE24 5AQ
Tel: 01670 541150
 
Colgate Cottage is a self-contained facility alongside a sensory ‘Smile’ garden which is in the grounds of Blyth West Children’s Centre. The purpose of the facility is to provide a place for local families of disabled children to book out and use as a family. It is also available as a more local venue to meet with professionals for assessment work and therapies. 
 
The use of the cottage is coordinated and monitored through the Children’s Centre. Priority is given to children and families from the Blyth Valley area. 
Contact
 
Tel: 0808 808 3555​
 
Contact provides advice, information and support to the parents and carers of all disabled children aged 0-19. They produce free publications, including regional newsletters and a range of fact sheets. They enable parents and carers to get in contact with other families on a local and national basis.
Morpeth Bridge Street Centre
7 Grey’s Yard, Oldgate
Morpeth   
E61 1DQ

Tel: 01670 510652
Email: contact@contactmorpeth.org.uk
 
A drop-in centre providing information, counselling and social support. It provides premises for CONTACT (Morpeth Mental Health Group); an information and resource point providing information on all matters relating to mental health and carers’ issues; and a Virtual Carers' Centre.
Contact is a charity for disabled children. They are working in Northumberland to ensure that there are new and effective arrangements established, so that the voices of children, young people, and their families continue to inform the work we do.

You can find out more about Contact by clicking here.

For further information about Contact and the Parent Carer Forum, please click here.
Institute of Health and Society
Newcastle University
Sir James Spence Institute
Royal Victoria Infirmary
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4LP

Tel: 0191 282 1400
Email: 
daslne@ncl.ac.uk
Website: http://daslne.org/
 
Daslne is a database designed to help with planning services for children with ASD in the region. The database currently holds information provided by parents on over 900 children. With this snapshot information, the Daslne team can provide data which helps local authorities and voluntary organisations in planning services. Families on the database are kept informed about autism research projects they may wish to be involved with. All information is kept confidential and secure. Reports from Daslne will never identify individuals in any way. 
National Deaf CAMHS
Deaf Children, Young People and Family Service 
North East Outreach
Benton House  
136 Sandyford Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE2 1QE  
 
Tel: 0191 2106913
 
A national specialist service working with children up to the age of 18 with either a severe or profound hearing loss, BSL as their preferred/first language, or significant language impairment related to moderate to profound hearing loss. They also must have a mental health condition where a referral to a specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is appropriate. The service also works with hearing children who have a parent who is a British Sign Language user, or has a severe or profound hearing loss.
 
As well as direct referrals the service will also support professionals working with families. 
 
For accepted referrals the service can offer the following:
  • Assessment of a child’s emotional and developmental needs 
  • Therapeutic support that can be provided to individuals, families and groups
  • Deaf awareness for individuals and groups
  • Support and advice for the family
  • Group work for young people and for parents
  • Advice and consultation for teachers, care staff and other professionals working with deaf children
 
The service delivery team includes psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, deaf family support workers, social work practitioners and therapists. They have both deaf and hearing professionals in the team.
The Dene Centre
Castle Farm Road
Gosforth
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE3 1PH

Opening Times
Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm  

 
Tel: 0191 284 0480
 
Disability North aims to promote inclusion, independence and choice for disabled people. They provide independent information and advice on a wide range of disability issues (including equipment and adaptations) to disabled and older people, carers, health and social care staff and anyone with an interest in disability. 
DSNE
PO Box 188,
Newton Aycliffe, UK
DL5 9BB


Tel: 0870 765 2121
 
An organisation that provides information and support for people with Down’s Syndrome, their families, friends and interested professionals. They organise conferences, and family social and leisure opportunities, and produce a quarterly newsletter. 
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

Email: fis@northumberland.gov.uk  
Freephone: 0800 023 4440
 
The Families Information Service (FIS) is a free, impartial service providing detailed general information on a wide range of services for children and young people in Northumberland and their families.  The service also provides detailed advice on childcare and early year’s educational provision. 
Website:  www.henshaws.org.uk 
 
A specialist service for children (from birth to 18 years) who have a visual impairment, and their families.
Website: www.learningdisabilitymatters.co.uk

Please visit the above website to find out about the services provided by Learning Disability Matters for Families.

Please click here to see a handy flyer for Learning Disability Matters. The flyer provides information about their new app, launching Feburary 2020. 
Bullion Hall
South Approach
Chester le Street
Co. Durham  DH2 2ES

E-mail: 
office@menortheast.org​ 
Tel: 0191 389 2222
 
Provide help and support to people of all ages with ME, their family and carers. They help people understand and manage their condition, help with access to welfare benefit entitlements, provide opportunities for social interaction and offer a telephone helpline and information resource.
NAS Branches offer support to families who have a child or other family member with autism or Asperger Syndrome. A range of information is available on the NAS national website at www.autism.org.uk.

NAS Hexham Branch
Contact Address
07786 856379, email: nashexhambranch@nas.org.uk

Description
The National Autistic Society (NAS) Branches offer support to families who have a child or member with autism or Asperger syndrome.

NAS North Northumberland Branch
Contact Address
Helen Sutherland, Branch Chair, tel: 07825 192863, email: NASNorthNorthumberlandBranch@nas.org.uk

Description
We hold a monthly support group for parents/carers of family members with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the 2nd Wednesday of the month 9.30am-11.30am at Bell View, 33 West Street, Belford, NE70 7QB. We occasionally involve outside speakers. We also offer voicemail telephone and email support.

NAS Tyne and Wear Branch
Contact Address
07920 086299, email: NASTyne&WearBranch@nas.org.uk

Description
The NAS Tyne and Wear branch hold parent/carer support meetings at Thomas Bewick School.

You're welcome to go along for a cuppa and a chat, to look at their resources and hear occasional speakers.

Stobhill Community Links 
37 Shields Road
Stobhill
Morpeth 
NE61 2SA
 
Tel: 01670 519575
Email: ncenterpriseltd@hotmail.co.uk 
 
The Centre offers a range of support and services to the local community including:
 
  • Bedlington Community Allotment Project- a fully equipped and wheelchair accessible community allotment available for all ages and abilities to use. 
  • Facilitated sessions and support available to community groups, schools and individuals.
  • Repaint scheme - Low cost paint available to the community
  • Employability Project - Help with CV writing and job searches, use of computer.
  • Handyman service for people over 60, single parents, low income families or people who have a disability. Call for an appointment on 01670 519575
  • Free advice on education and training, which can lead to nationally accredited qualifications and employment opportunities.
  • Advice on a range of disability aids
  • An information library and signposting service. 
 
The Centre welcomes enquiries from anyone who feels that they or a friend or relative could benefit from their services.
107 & 109 Station Road
Ashington
NE63 8RS
Tel: 01670 858688
 
Northumberland CVA is a registered charity providing information, advice, training and support to volunteers and local voluntary and community groups in Northumberland. They help to encourage and develop networks and partnerships between the voluntary and community sector and others. Their services include project development, funding advice, support for volunteer-involving organisations, a web-based database of volunteering opportunities throughout the county, as well as an assisted shopping project and training opportunities.
Respect Equals Change (REC) is a group of young people with disabilities who want to have a voice, influence change and make a difference in Northumberland. If you are a young person with a disability and would like to become a member of REC, they would love to hear from you. 
 
SORTED - Young People's Substance Misuse Service
Northumberland Adolescent Service 
Northumbria House
Manor Walks
Cramlington
NE23 6UR
 
Telelphone: 01670 536 400
 
Sorted is a confidential young people’s substance misuse service. They provide information, advice, treatment and care to all young people under 18 years of age who are experiencing difficulties because of their use of substances. Sorted also offer training packages to professionals working in Northumberland. Further details are available on their website.
SpLinter Group
Blyth CEC
Room G07
Blyth
Northumberland 
NE24 3AG

Phone: 01670 542872
Mobile phone: 07775 817544
E-mail address: splintergroupnorth@gmail.com
Website: http://splintergroup.uk/ and www.wafflingon.uk
Facebook: splintergroupnorth
 
Rural Access Project (RAP Project)
Bondgate Within 
Rear of 39
Alnwick
Northumberland 
NE66 1SX
Phone: 01665 605846
E-mail address: rapsplinter@gmail.com
 
SpLinter Group is for young people with learning differences, aged 16 years and over who live in Northumberland. The group is run and managed by the young people, with support from co-workers and volunteers, who also offer one-to-one support. SpLinter offers group sessions, peer support, social events, workshops and having a say on issues that affect their members.
 
SpLinter Group activities include:
 
Group sessions at Blyth (address above) on Fridays between 12 and 2.30 pm. They offer support for employment, accredited learning, projects and activities, and use the group to help members feel more confident about understanding each other and socialising with other young people.
 
SpLinter also runs the RAP (Rural Access Project) to create better access to opportunities for young people living in rural north Northumberland, and runs a second group for young people in Alnwick (address above) on alternate Tuesdays early evening.
 
The group works in partnership with the NE Drive Mobility Centre to support young people with learning differences to explore their travel and transport options. The programme includes an out of hours visit to find out what a driving assessment is all about, a drive in a car, support for driving theory, travel planning training and support and the offer of a travel buddy while getting used to new journeys on public transport.
 
The group involves members in running Waffling On, a social enterprise which takes a waffle-making stall to markets and employers fairs to raise funds and raise awareness about  learning differences with employers and the public. Members are trained in food hygiene, customer service and risk assessment as well as recognising their enterprise skills, and this is all accredited.The group is always looking for new places to run the waffle stall.
 
Group members run awareness-raising training for anyone who wants to hear about learning differences 'from the horse's mouth', and the group hosts one or two events each year on specific issues of interest to people with learning differences, parents, carers, professionals, employers and funders. 
 
The group coordinates the Safe Places scheme for Northumberland. The young people are involved in recruiting venues to sign up and be trained as safe places for people who may feel vulnerable to call in and get help. They also visit groups of people with learning differences and other groups who may feel at risk in public places, providing them with a Safe Places card, leaflet and app to help them use the scheme.
The Toby Henderson Trust
Earth Balance
West Sleekburn Farm
Bedlington 
Northumberland 
NE22 7AD
 
Tel: 0300 365 3055
Email: support@ttht.co.uk
Website: www.ttht.co.uk 
 
The Toby Henderson Trust provides relevant, appropriate and accessible support for autistic young people from 2 to 20 years old, while also empowering parents, families and carers by sharing knowledge, experience and understanding. The charity specializes in the post-diagnosis development of children aged 2 to 7 years through intervention to improve the long-term quality of life for both the autistic child and their family and carers. Contact the Trust or visit their website for more details of the services they offer. 
29 – 30 Azure Business Centre 
High Street
Newburn 
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE15 8LN 

Tel: 0845 604 8491

E-mail: office@usefulvision.org.uk
 
Useful Vision is a charity which provides positive opportunities and fun-packed events for vision impaired children and their families across the North East. They offer a range of imaginative activities, relaxed family events and skills workshops which are designed to meet the needs of vision impaired children of all ages and abilities.
As a key part of their service they also offer practical advice and emotional support for children, siblings and families from early years through to young adulthood
Youth Link is a Children North East project which aims to improve the lives and wellbeing of young people. They are matched with a trained volunteer who will help and encourage them to explore any difficulties and identify solutions to their problems. Youth Link supports young people through difficult times, helping them to move forward and take up new opportunities.
 
Youth Link recruits, trains, supports and supervises a pool of young volunteers aged 18-25 years. The volunteers then provide one to one peer mentoring support for younger people aged 12-18 years. All volunteers are subject to an enhanced DBS check, provide references and are required to complete a training programme before they start. 
 
14 Thornhill Drive
Newark
NG22 9JG

E-mail: info@safeplaces.org.uk  
Website: https://www.safeplaces.org.uk/
Many parents know less about being online than their children. It can therefore feel difficult to make sure that your child or young adult is being safe in the online environment they spend so much time in. We've listed websites below that offer a range of advice on keeping safe online.

Here you can find some useful links to e-safety advice.


Childnet

If you are a young person yourself, have a look at these top tips for using the internet safely, responsibly and positively with Childnet. Further information from Childnet for parents and carers can also be found here.
 

Northumberland Youth Service

Northumberland County Council Youth Service have information for staying safe online that can be found here. The resources are made up of a poster and wallet card, both can be downloaded.


Internet Matters

If you are a parent or carer looking for help to keep your children safe online, there's a wide range of topics covered with Internet Matters.


NSPCC

The NSPCC has teamed up with O2 to help answer your online safety questions through a service called Net-Aware. Whether you want to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or get advice on social networks, experts are here to help. Just phone 0808 8005002.


Keeping Children Safe online

Keeping Children Safe Online website provides a safe fun educational website that is interactive and teaches young children about Internet safety while they explore.


Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online is a public / private sector partnership supported by HM Government and is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.