Support from organisations
Manchester Local Offer SEND Information Hub
Here is a selection of organisations and groups in the Manchester area and nationally to support parents/carers and families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
You can also search our online directory which has information on groups and organisations in the Greater Manchester area. Start at our main Local Offer page. At the top of the page there is a search facility. Type in words and hit the search button.You can also browse by age and subject further down the page.
Go to the Local Offer SEND Information Hub.
SEND local support (including parents/carers groups)
Alex Foundation: The Alex Foundation runs a parent carers group at Gorton Methodist Church M18 8LJ on Thursdays 11am-2pm. It brings parents together to help deal with isolation, depression and anxiety. There is also an Impact Project every Sunday 1pm-3pm at Manchester Youth Zone for children aged 3+ with special needs and their siblings or friends. It offers different activities each week, including art, dance, play, riding bicycles, basketball, and drama. If transport is difficult for either session, support may be available. To find out more, call 07411 496555 or email email@example.com.
Autastic: Autastic is a charity for disabled young people under 18 in the Manchester and Stockport areas. It's a place where young people can be themselves without being judged and develop their life skills in a safe environment. Although Gorton-based, they offer telephone support for parents and carers to discuss issues with EHCP's and DLA. They also offer one-to-ones via zoom for young people to have a place to talk and chat with someone who understands their needs. For further information, contact Hayley Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll find Autastic on Twitter and Facebook.
Down’s Syndrome Support Group: The South Manchester Down’s Syndrome Support Group has a range of resources, including a newsletter and online training.
Greater Manchester Autism Consortium (GMAC): Offers a range of free seminars and groups to support parents and young people. Check out their events page for the latest sessions.
Lifted – supporting parent carers: Lifted offers 1-1 support, guidance and advocacy to parent carers. They are based at the Dandelion Community in Wythenshawe. While Lifted’s work is based in the south of the city, it’s a city wide service. See their website for further details.
Manchester Deaf Centre: Offers a range of support, including a children and young people's service and a newsletter which you can sign up to at the bottom of their home page.
Manchester Parent Carer Forum: The Forum help to make sure that parent carer views are heard in the improvement of services. As parent carers themselves, they understand the day to day challenges. The Manchester Parent Carer Forum website has a range of information relevant to SEND families and they also have a Facebook page, sharing news and information.
Manchester Parent Champions: The Champions are an independent group of parent carers connected to the Manchester Local Offer. They have a Facebook group as a place to support each other and share information. Like Manchester Parent Carer Forum, they are there to give you a voice.
SEND Together: SEND Together is a support group in Wythenshawe for parents and carers of children with additional needs and disabilities. Meetings are on Mondays 10am-12 noon at St Aidan’s Community Centre, 230a Wythenshawe Rd, Wythenshawe M23 0PH. On the last Tuesday of every month, there’s a SEN Den at St Aidan’s, 4.30-6.30pm, which is a social space for children. Email: email@example.com, 07591 078944, SEND Together Facebook group.
SENsitive: This is a supportive and welcoming group for parent carers of children with additional needs and disabilities. They come together to share their hopes, struggles and advice through lived experience, meeting on Mondays 10am-12 noon at the Forum Library in Wythenshawe – on the first floor, lift available. Find the group on Facebook (SENsitive), Twitter (@SENsitive_Mcr) or contact 07591 078944, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talbot House - for parent carers over 50: Talbot House provides support to older parent carers of people with learning disabilities. THRIVE helps with many aspects of care, including future care planning, form filling and emotional wellbeing. Find out more on the Talbot House website.
The SPACE Group: The SPACE Group is for parents/carers of children with SEND living in Manchester. They meet every two weeks on Fridays, 11am-1pm, at St George’s Community Centre in Collyhurst M40 7NY. There is also a group in South Manchester, every other Wednesday 10am-12 noon at St Margaret's Church on Burnage Lane M19 1FL. Contact Jenna 07731925208, email@example.com. Twitter: The SPACE group Manchester @ManchesterSpace, Facebook group.
SEND national support
21 Together: 21 Together is a registered charity in Kent set up in 2016 by four parents each with a child with Down’s syndrome. It offers learning resources, social stories, and information on law changes.
Autism Understood: Autism Understood is a website created by Spectrum Gaming in co-production with lots of autistic young people. When young people are told they are autistic, they are rarely told what this actually means. There is also a lot of online misinformation about autism. Autism Understood fills in the gaps. The idea is that all autistic young people should be offered access to this site to help them make sense of their diagnosis. Even though it’s designed for young people, it is also useful for parents and professionals and anyone who wants to learn more about the lived experience of autism.
Contact: Contact is a major organisation for families with disabled children. They have a huge range of information, including common concerns like eating and eye care, as well as workshops, a Facebook group, and a Listening Ear service. See here for more information. They also have a non-profit shop - Fledglings - including adaptive clothing, bedding, and sensory toys and aids.
Disabled Children's Legal Handbook: Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook (3rd edition) is an accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England. There are twelve chapters within the handbook on topics including: education, health, children’s services, transition into adulthood, housing, carers and welfare benefits. Download for free.
Disabled Living: Disabled Living can offer advice about products and equipment. This includes a Supplier Directory, with products and services listed, reviewed and rated so you can easily find trusted suppliers.
Down's Syndrome Association: The Down's Syndrome Association supports parent carers, including information and Facebook groups.
Harry's Pals: This offers emotional support in the form of respite breaks, counselling services and parent support groups for families dealing with a child’s diagnosis of a life-limiting illness or disability. Find out more on the Harry's Pals website.
National Deaf Children’s Society: The Society has a range of various support services.
RNIB: Offers various support around sight loss and for blind and partially sighted people. See their website.
RNID: The RNID offer free, confidential information and support on topics relating to hearing loss or deafness.
Sibs: Sibs is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting the needs of siblings of disabled children and adults. They provide direct support to children through their Young Sibs Information Hub so that children can find information about disability and get answers to their questions. They also offer a range of support to adult siblings, including email and peer support, tailored information guides and wellbeing events. There’s a parents and professionals section too. Learn more about Sibs on their website.
Local support - general
African Caribbean Care Group: The African Caribbean Care Group aims to identify unwaged carers at the beginning of their caring journey and offer support services before they reach crisis point. This includes advocacy, information and advice services, emotional support, carers forums, day trips, access to Claremont Foodbank and respite care at a day centre. They run monthly carers forums on the first Monday of every month at the Claremont Resource Centre in Hulme and on the third working Monday of every month at Gorton Monastery.
AFRUCA: Are you concerned about your child being criminally exploited or trafficked? AFRUCA, the Centre for Black and Ethnic Children and Families, offers support in Manchester. See their website.
Black, Asian or ethnically diverse carers: Being a carer from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse community can bring different challenges that others may not recognise. Worries about discrimination may mean you prefer to get support from someone in your own community or you may feel more comfortable discussing difficult issues in your preferred language. Carers Manchester have a directory of services for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse carers.
Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN): This Black-led organisation provides independent advocacy and wellbeing services. They support Manchester families with housing, health issues, education, benefits - and more. Call the confidential helpline on 07710 022382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They also offer other services, including advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and the following sessions: Family and Advocacy Sessions – virtual sessions on the second Wednesday of the month, covering topics like housing, immigration, employment and social services; Home Office Drop In - virtual immigration sessions every other month without fear of enforcement. It is your choice whether you switch on your camera, provide your real name or give any information at all; Legal Drop In - virtual drop ins every other month to inform and advise the community on legal issues. Find out more on the CAHN website.
Carers Manchester: Carers Manchester offer a range of information support, including a helpline, newsletter and courses. The helpline team includes advice workers that can provide support in other languages. Carers Manchester is a partnership which includes numerous organisations who support unwaged carers in the city. You can find out more about each of them on the website.
Crossroads Together UK: Crossroads Together offers a range of support to Manchester carers and the people they care for.
Domestic abuse - support and advice: Manchester City Council has information on help and support around domestic abuse and what to do if you’re in a situation. If you need to get off the page quickly for any reason, there’s an exit button which takes you to an unrelated website.
LGBTQ+ Carers Group: Do you identify as LGBTQ+? Do you look after someone Gaddum and the LGBT Foundation have a monthly group for LGBTQ+ carers. Contact email@example.com or through Gaddum on 0161 834 6069 to sign up.
Manchester Carers Centre: The centre offers a range of support to Manchester Carers. See their website.
Support for South Asian Carers: LMPC is a free service, supporting carers from Manchester’s South Asian community. They provide information and advice on a range of issues, including benefits, carers assessments, equipment and carers rights. They also run a monthly Asian Carers Group. For more information, please contact Nazir or Saleha on 0161 226 4632 or 07308 153 387, info@LMPC.co.uk. Staff speak Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and Gujarati.
Young carers in Manchester: See the Manchester City Council website for information around young carers in the city.
Young carers support: Manchester Carers Centre provide a range of services for 16-25 year old Young Adult Carers, including social activities. The project offers information and advice services alongside one to one mentoring with dedicated staff members for this age group. Find out more and how to refer on Manchester Carers website.
National support - general
Carers UK: Carers UK is a supportive community and a movement for change.