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Local Offer Coronavirus Advice and Information

 

**EASTER HOLIDAYS - FREE STUFF TO DO!** 

We’ve worked again with parents, young people and partners to bring you an exciting range of free activities around the Easter holidays. They’ve been funded through Manchester City Council and are for families who live in the city. See our Stuff To Do Easter Special , plus more activities in our latest newsletter - and get booking!

 

We know this is a very anxious time for SEND families in Manchester. We’ve pulled together some information that we hope will be of help to you.

If you are a parent or carer of a disabled child or young person under 25, sign up to our Participation Register. This is a way of getting our latest newsletters and finding out about other sources of support. We are also on Twitter. Follow us at: Manchester Local Offer @MCRLocalOffer 

If you would like to sign up for our newsletter, see here.

If you have a question or there is a topic you would like us to cover during this difficult period, please get in touch. 

The Local Offer Team

Email: localoffer@manchester.gov.uk

www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

 

Local Offer Virtual Drop Ins

 

We need to work in different ways at the moment so our Local Offer Drop Ins will be virtual for now. 

The next Local Offer Drop In is on Wednesday 21st April 10am - 12 noon.

See our Local Offer Drop In page for information on phone and social media contacts for this event.

 

IAS Manchester Helpline

 

Information Advice & Support Manchester (IASM) Helpline

IASM has extended its helpline hours during the coronavirus pandemic. It operates between 8.30am-4pm, Monday to Friday - 0161 209 8356.

This will be the answer machine so please leave a name, phone number and message and the service will call you back as the calls are answered in order. The answer machine is on 24 hours.

Alternatively, email a message to the parents@manchester.gov.uk, giving your name and message with a phone number and they will call you back.

The majority of calls are answered on the same day but if late it will be a next working day call.

 

About IASM

IASM offers information, advice and support to children, young people and parents/carers about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This includes health and social care where it is linked to education.

It’s a free, confidential and impartial service, based in the city and commissioned by Manchester City Council.

IASM has its own, independent website: www.iasmanchester.org

 

Schools & Home Learning

 

This section is in the following categories:

  • Updates from the Government & other organisations
  • Home learning resources
  • Psychological support
  • Back to school (Sept 20)
  • The return to school in Manchester - FAQ (Sept 20)

 

UPDATES FROM THE GOVERNMENT & OTHER ORGANISATIONS

 

Return to School (Spring 21)

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has produced an information sheet to support families at this time. Education during the pandemic – Return to school Spring 2021: for families of children with severe learning disabilities who have concerns about the plan for all pupils to return to educational settings.

 

COVID Recovery Plan Roundtable (March 21)

In this blog, Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of Council for Disabled Children, discusses the recent roundtable she chaired with Minister for Children, Vicky Ford - A Covid Recovery Plan and the SEND Review.

 

Return To School (March 21)

On Monday 22nd February, the Government announced that all pupils will return to school on Monday 8th March. The Council for Disabled Children has information around this and will update the page as they receive further information.

 

Ofsted Video - Remote Education (March 21)

Ofsted have published a video about how remote education is working for children and young people with SEND. This video shares findings from interviews with area leaders and providers as part of Ofsted's autumn programme of interim visits. Ofsted hope the video will provide an opportunity to reflect on the provision of remote education for children and young people with SEND and how learning from the pandemic may inform future planning.

 

 Letter To Parents (Jan 21) 

A letter to parents from Isobel Booler, Head of Schools Quality Assurance & Stategic SEND, Manchester City Council, about the January 2021 lockdown and school provision for EHCPs. 

 

Open Letters From Government Minister  (Latest - 14th Jan)

During the coronavirus crisis, MP Vicky Ford, the Minister for the Department of Education / Department of Health & Social Care has written several open letters to all children and young people with SEND, their families, and those that support them:

4th Jan 2021 - Letter about the 3rd national lockdown

9th November - Advice and guidance during the 2nd national lockdown

2nd September - Letter about the return to school

21st July - Letter about the return to school

May 30th - Explaining how the wider opening of schools and other educational settings may affect families.

 

Remote Learning Guidance (Jan 21)

The government guidance around children who can attend school during lockdown includes children who have difficulty accessing remote learning. Children without devices at home should be classed as vulnerable and offered a place in school if they want it. Please contact your school for more information. Here is the recently updated guidance (January 12th 2021) for local authorities, academy trusts and schools on devices and remote education.

See our Grants & Funding page for information on organisations that provide or offer grants for educational resources. This includes Manchester's Mynshull’s Educational Foundation and the Free Computer In Every Home programme.

 

School Meals (Jan 21)

Here is recently updated government guidance (January 13th 2021) on free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Guidance For Full Opening: Special Schools & Other Specialist Settings (Updated 31 Dec 20)

What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

What Parents & Carers Need To Know (Jan 21)

Information for parents and carers about going back to schools, nurseries and colleges in January 2021.

 

Foundation Years COVID-19 Resource Hub  

This resource hub includes all the latest policy announcements, Government guidance, and free resources relating to early years provision during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Get Help With Remote Education (Dec 20)

Guidance, resources and support for teachers and school leaders on educating pupils and students during coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

New Legal Duty On Remote Learning (Sept 20)

In September 2020, a new legal duty was introduced for schools to provide remote learning to pupils who are at home because of COVID-19. Schools are now expected to offer the same lessons as those in class. This does not apply to children who have been kept out of school because of parental choice or post 16 students. Here is the continuity direction about this, along with an explanatory note.

 

Ofsted Interim Visits (Autumn 20)

As part of Ofsted’s phased return to routine inspection, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are carrying out a series of interim visits to local areas from autumn 2020 regarding special educational needs and disabilities arrangements. This guidance sets out the process and range of activities that inspectors will carry out for these visits.

 

Elective Home Education Advice (Oct 20)

The Department for Education has published advice for parents considering Elective Home Education (EHE). It highlights the implications of withdrawing children and young people from school and the challenges involved. It makes clear the distinction between home-schooling during the pandemic and where parents choose not to send their child to school full-time on a long-term basis.

 

Ministerial SEND Roundtable (Sept 20)

On 15 September, key stakeholders of the SEND sector attended the SEND Joint Ministerial Roundtable to give evidence and share views on how children, young people and families and the organisations that work with them have operated during the pandemic. Read about it here.

 

Ofsted Announcement (Aug 20)

Ofsted has announced that visits to local areas in autumn will focus on offering support to strengthen Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) systems as England begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

 

Education Updates (July 20)

Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) have been commissioned by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care to support local areas to improve their SEND systems. Read more here.

In early July, the Department for Education published detailed guidance to support schools and colleges to fully reopen in September 2020 and early years and childcare providers from 20 July. See more here.

 

Council for Disabled Children FAQ
During the Pandemic, the Council for Disabled Children received questions from parents and carers and shared them with the Department for Education (DfE) and colleagues with specialist knowledge. You can find all of them here

The CDC also has extensive resources for families, including Government Guidance and learning resources to support home schooling.

 

Virtual SEND Tribunals

HMCTS guidance on how to join telephone/video hearings.

 

 

HOME LEARNING RESOURCES

 

A-Z of Sensory Learning Activities: Special Education & Inclusive Learning’s A-Z has lots of ideas for sensory activities, like play with foil and material.

ChatterPack – Free SEND Resources: ChatterPack is a voluntary-run, special educational needs and disabilities hub. See their free speech and language, OT, and many other SEND resources for families and schools.

Healthy Schools Manchester: Primary and secondary health and wellbeing challenges, like 'Draw Yourself Sunshine' and 'Happy Place'.

Home Learning For Visually Impaired Children: Henshaws have put together a range of activities including quiz-making, baking and storytelling to help make learning at home fun. Explore their ideas here

SEND Technological Resources: Information on SEND technological resources to aid learning at home.

Sensory & Messy Play Activities: Empowering Little Minds has four free weeks of Parent & Teacher Support and Sensory & Play Training guidance, as well as Sensory & Messy Play Activities for children with SEND.

Sensory Dispensary: Free resources created by two SEND teachers, aimed at children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.  

Sensory Projects: A bank of FREE resources from Sensory Projects for those looking for activities to do whilst staying home and staying safe.

Skills for Life Manchester: The Skills for Life project supports the development of key life skills for young people and has become a feature of many school’s curriculums across Manchester. The SEND Independent Living Resource is a great way of helping young people to identify and practise areas at home where they may need help. See the library blog for more information and links to useful resources.

Special Needs Jungle Resources: The Special Needs Jungle has SEND resources for learning at home, as well as coronavirus information.

Teach Me Too - Provides on-line learning resources for children with communication delay/special educational needs and have been designed with families in mind. Stage 1 and 2 are being offered for free for any parents/families/professionals. Access to Stage 1 is here. Stage 2 will be launched at the end of January and a Stage 3 is being planned for in the spring. (Jan 21)

Two resources for families at home from 3PP Psychologies 10 More Activities For Home, Even more activities to do at home

Ways to Learn Through Play: This SEN Resources blog has short You Tube videos on different ways to learn through play, like activities with leaves and collecting rain.

 

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT

 

Anxiety Based School Avoidance Guidance (July 20)

This guidance document is a tool for parents/carers and schools to talk to children and young people regarding their anxieties and to provide strategies to encourage school attendance. It’s been co-produced by Manchester City Council, One Education Educational Psychology Service, parents, health services, and schools and colleges across the city. Read more in this Manchester City Council information on SEN support in mainstream schools.

 

Educational Psychology Support
OneEducation Educational Psychologists offer phone consultations to parents/carers of children and young people with an autism diagnosis from the Bridge, the Winnicott Centre and Carol Kendrick Unit. You can have a problem-solving conversation relating to any aspect of your child's education. This might be issues around learning, behaviour, anxiety and mental health needs. To book this, please send an email with your name and phone number: autism.edpsych@oneeducation.co.uk 

 

Parent/Carer Home-school Survival Kit

Advice and tips around home-schooling and taking care of your wellbeing.

 

Working With Your Child During Lockdown (Feb 21)

Educational psychologists from One Education recently delivered Working With Your Child During Lockdown training to parents and carers in Manchester. Co-produced with Manchester Parent Carer Forum, this free session gave tips about self-preservation, routines, supporting learning, motivation and praise, and managing behavioural challenges. You can see a video and slides on MPCF’s website

 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL (SEPT 20)

 

Back To School Packs

Staff from Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, and CAMHS in Manchester have put together some ‘Back To School’ packs. They’ve been written for Manchester's autistic students but will be relevant for many other children and young people and their families. There are packs for: Schools & teachers, Parents, Young people, Younger children.

 

Beyond Words - Two New Stories

Beyond Word have two free wordless stories to support all primary school children - mainstream and SEND - in returning to school. Lenny and Lily in Lockdown’ and ‘Lenny and Lily Return to School’ . Beyond Words have other free downloadable resources, including Beating the Virus and Having a Test for Coronavirus.

 

CDC Resources

The Council for Disabled Children has a series of resources - ‘Responding to Covid 19 - Innovation and best practice in the education, health and care sector during the pandemic’. This shares learning and good practice on how children’s health, care and education services have adapted and innovated in response to Covid-19 whilst continuing to provide high levels of care for children with SEND. The CDC has also collated a list of back to school resources that you may find useful.

 

Down’s Syndrome Association

Guidance around planning for your child’s return to school.

 

Mental Health Resources Around Return To Education

There are some new resources responding to issues and concerns from children and young people about the return to school or college. They can be found in the Mental Health pages of Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership’s website and include films around SEND issues, featuring children and young people, giving reassurance about precautions being taken and how the new normal looks.

Primary schools, Secondary schools, Further Education - Each of these includes a SEND video and downloadable resource pack

The resources draw on the views of children and young people from COVID-19 research studies compiled by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

National Autistic Society Resources

The National Autistic Society has guidance for parents on the return to school.

 

Returning To School Resource

Alliance for Learning have a free downloadable booklet, ‘Returning to school post COVID-19 – Helpful resources for school and home’. It has lots of useful links in lists, including SEND children, mental wellbeing, bereavement, the return to school – and poems!

 

Returning To School - Top Tips

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has produced this sheet of top tips to help your child with the return to school, especially if they find change difficult to handle. It suggests some of the ways they can gain a sense of control over the uncertainties.

 

Risk of Infection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the return to school and the risk of infection – This information from Manchester City Council has been prepared with the help of the city’s Public Health team – EnglishChinesePunjabiUrduBangla.

 

Story To Support The Return To School

A story written to help primary aged children explore feelings about returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Supporting Transition

Guidance on supporting autistic young people to transition to secondary school remotely.

Digital Stories are short videos showing who the child is, including their strengths and preferences, rather than focusing on their difficulties and challenges. They can help professionals and schools learn about children before they transition in September and also be used to support assessments for EHCPs. The Autism Community Research Network at Southampton [ACoRNS] have created some short videos and resources about this creative way of telling the individual story.

The Big Transitions for Autistic and SEND Pupils After Lockdown - This online course offers practical help, advice and resources to help prepare your autistic and SEND children for the big transitions as lockdown begins to ease. It’s free for a limited period and aimed at parents, teaching staff and senior leaders.

My Family Our Needs has launched The Transition Event Hub. It brings together experts to talk about the different transition topics and aims to answer your questions and arm you with the most up-to-date information so you can best support disabled young people and safeguard their future. If you have a question for one of their speakers, you can fill in the 'Ask our speakers' form and they will get it answered for you as soon as possible. 

 

Transport To School

 The Government has published new guidance on transport to school and other places of education, giving advice on safe travel to educational settings and managing risk.

 

Welcome Back From CDC

The Council for Disabled Children has been looking at the questions that schools, colleges and parents have been raising about returning to school safely.  As part of this, they surveyed Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support (SENDIAS) services to get a feel for concerns, challenges and solutions. See this Welcome Back To School from Dame Christine Lenehan, CDC Director.

 

 

THE RETURN TO SCHOOL IN MANCHESTER - FAQ (SEPT 20)

 

The following FAQ were prepared with the help of the Public Health team in Manchester to give parents and carers as much information as possible around the return to school.

Here is a letter to parent/carers about the return to school in Manchester from Isobel Booler, Head of schools quality assurance & strategic SEND.

Further information is also available on the government Coronavirus website for parents/carers about what changes and measures to expect in schools in September and for parents/carers with children in a specialist setting.

 

Q. Is it compulsory for my child to attend school from September?

A. Yes; from the start of the next academic year in September, it is compulsory for children of all school years to attend.

EARLY YEARS - Attendance in early years settings is not compulsory, but we hope children will return to their setting or take up their early years offer in September.

FURTHER EDUCATION - All young people aged 16-18 are covered by the Raising of the Participation Age policy, so young people are expected to stay in learning until they are 18. This might be in a school sixth form, a college, an apprenticeship, traineeship or a job with recognised training. If you are concerned that your young person does not have a place in further education or needs help finding employment, please get in touch with the Connect service: email eet@careerconnect.org.uk or whatsapp 07973 936418.

 

Q. Will I be fined if my child does not attend school?

A. School attendance will be compulsory again from September, this means that it is parents’/carers’ duty to ensure their child attends regularly.  Schools and local authorities have a duty to follow up absence and will once again be able to issue fixed policy notices but we know that some children with SEND may need to transition back to school more gradually. Please speak to the class teacher or SENCO about how they can support you to get your child used to attending school again.

 

Q. How safe will schools and colleges be?

A. Our schools and settings can provide a well-managed environment, to reduce the risk of infection. Public Health England is clear that if settings do this, the risk of transmission will be lowered. These measures include:

● changes in pick up and drop off arrangements, improved signage and one-way movement systems;

● ensuring pupils and staff do not attend if they or someone in their household has those coronavirus symptoms;

● washing hands more often than usual;

● promoting good hygiene around sneezing/ coughing into tissue, which is then put in a bin;

● cleaning frequently touched surfaces and equipment;

● changes to classroom layout and timetables to reduce contact;

● regular deep-cleaning;

● grouping pupils in a ‘bubble’ designed to help with infection control.

 

Q. What will a ‘bubble’ look like?

A. This very much depends on the setting your child attends. The main priority is to reduce contact between people as much as possible. This will be achieved through pupils being placed in ‘bubbles’.  Some ‘bubbles’ may be as small as 30 whereas in larger primary schools or secondary schools, ‘bubbles’ may be a whole year group. To reduce contact between pupils:

● ‘bubbles’ may have different start and finish times;

● ‘bubbles’ may have break times and lunch times in separate areas of the school;

● school timetables may be adjusted.

 

Q. How often will pupils wash their hands during the day?

A. Schools will be washing their hands as soon as pupils enter the school, at regular intervals throughout the day and before going home.  Staff will help pupils learn these routines and provide lots of prompts and support, if needed.

 

Q. How safe is it to use bathrooms at school/college?

A. Settings will be taking additional steps to ensure bathrooms are kept clean, including:

● being cleaned at regular times throughout the day;

● being cleaned thoroughly each evening or before school and this will include cleaning specific ‘touch points’ throughout school e.g. door handles, light switches etc.

 

Q. Will staff be using personal protective equipment (PPE)?

A. Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools is not recommended. PPE will only be used if a child or young person becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus whilst in their school and needs direct personal care until they can return home. Also, those children and young people whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs, will continue to receive their care in the same way.

 

Q. My child has been shielding – will they have to go back to school/college?

A. The government has advised that children and young people who were shielding are now able to return to education.

A very small number of children and young people with certain medical conditions may be advised by their health professionals that they should continue to have their needs met at home.   If you are unsure whether this is the case for your child, please speak to your GP or consultant.  Schools and colleges have a duty to provide work and resources for children and young people who are unable to attend for medical reasons and to work with families, and health and social care staff to put in place the provision in the EHCP. Where children and young people are not able to attend their setting because parents are following clinical or public health advice, absence will not be penalised. Please contact your school SENCO if you wish to discuss how school will meet your child’s medical needs.

 

Q. What would happen if somebody at school developed Covid symptoms during the day?

A.

● If anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, they will be taken to a designated room.

● Staff will wear PPE equipment if necessary to provide support.

● Parents/next of kin will be contacted and the person will be expected to be collected from school immediately and will be advised to follow stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. They must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the person showing symptoms first had symptoms.

 

Q. My child is really anxious about going back to education.

A. Some children and young people will have been attending education last term, but most will have been at home for a long time and may feel anxious about returning.  Schools, colleges and settings have done lots to prepare for children and young people coming back. Staff will be able to provide support for children who are anxious, struggle with changes to their routine, have lost some of their skills or have other additional needs.

Educational psychologists and health staff have written some booklets for children young people and parents to help with the return to education.  They are called ‘Back to School’ and can be found in the 'School & Home Learning' section of this Local Offer coronavirus webpage.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership also have some helpful resources, including short films about returning to school and college. Each link contains relevant information to children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers.

A safe return to learning – primary schools

A safe return to learning – secondary schools

A safe return to learning – further education

 

Q. Will my child’s EHCP review still take place?

A. Schools and colleges have been carrying out reviews online or by telephone during the summer term.  We expect most reviews will take place in this way in the autumn term as well, to minimise the number of visitors to schools.  The local authority EHCP team is working to statutory deadlines for new requests for assessments, reviews and consultations.  If you have any concerns about your child’s EHCP please contact the SENCO or Information, Advice and Support Manchester.  Telephone: 0161 209 8356 or email: parents@manchester.gov.uk

 

Q. How will my child travel to school?

A. Due to social distancing, the capacity of public transport and school bus services may be reduced. We would encourage alternative means of transport (walk, cycle, car), where possible, to ensure there are places on public transport for those children who have no other options.

SEN transport. The local authority still has a duty to provide free home to school transport for all eligible children of school age.  Section 508b of the Education Act allows local authorities to provide this in alternative ways. This can include providing personal travel budgets to pay mileage to parents/carers to take their children to education.  If your son or daughter currently receives home to school transport, you will be contacted by school or the Travel Co-ordination Team to discuss the best way of getting your child to school or college safely.

  

Education Health & Care Plans

 

Letter To Parents (January 21)  

A letter to parents from Isobel Booler, Head of Schools Quality Assurance & Stategic SEND, Manchester City Council, about the January 2021 lockdown and school provision for EHCPs. Also - an open letter to the SEND sector from Minister Ford, January 2021.

 

Annual Reviews

We have asked schools, colleges and settings to make arrangements with families to hold annual reviews of EHCPs by telephone or online if needed, and to ensure that the views of children, young people and their parents or carers are central to these reviews.

 

SEND Tribunal – Pilot Extension until Aug 2021

In April 2018, the Department for Education began a national trial to extend the powers of the SEND Tribunal to hear appeals and make non-binding decisions about health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans. The trial was due to end on 31 August 2020 but has been extended to 31 August 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. A toolkit with new resources is available here.

 

Free e-learning: Holistic Outcomes in EHC Plans

This free, self-guided course from the Council for Disabled Children takes all the key elements from their popular live training and repackages it into a series of online modules. Suitable for parent carers and family members.

 

New Requests & Amendments

The Statutory Assessment Team is continuing to deal with new requests for assessment and amendments of EHCPs. If your child is due to move from nursery to school, from primary to secondary, from school to college, or is making any other kind of transition, be assured that the Statutory Assessment Team is still carrying out consultations with education settings. It also continues to work with heads and SENCOs to make sure settings receive the information they need to be able to provide the right support for your child when they join them. If you have concerns, please contact the team on: sen@manchester.gov.uk

  

Meeting Your Child's Needs (Summer Term 2020)

For most children and young people, including those people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, it has been safer to stay at home with their families during the current period.

For some children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), parents/carers and schools/colleges have decided that the needs of the child or young person can be best met if they continue to attend their education setting. The local authority has asked educational settings to work with parents/carers, health and care staff to assess whether your child should attend school/college or whether it is still safest having their needs met at home. If you are not happy with the outcome of the assessment please speak to your child's school (and/or social worker) in the first instance. If you need any further support contact Manchester Information, Advice and Support for on 0161 209 8356 or by email parents@manchester.gov.uk

 

Learning Resources (Summer term 2020)

Schools and colleges have been providing learning and fun resources for children and young people to complete at home. If you do not have access to technology at home, please contact your school or college to ask if they can provide paper-based resources. 

 

EHCP Funding (Summer term 2020)

There have been some queries from parents about where the money for EHCPs is going. The funding that schools and colleges receive is remaining the same - including the funding for EHCPs. This allows education settings to pay their staff and continue to provide resources and support for all their students. As your son or daughter has an EHCP, the school, local authority and health service may not be able to deliver the exact provision described in the EHCP during this time, but we are required to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to support children and young people with EHCPs. If you feel your child needs more support, please contact the school, college or therapist to discuss. You can also discuss your concerns with the Manchester Information, Advice and Support Service.

 

EHCPs – Temporary Changes In Law (June 2020)

In this short video, Andy Lomax from Information, Advice & Support Manchester outlines the temporary changes in the law around Education, Health and Care Plans.

  

Short Breaks Guidance & FAQ

 

During the coronavirus crisis:

  • Short Break Reviews can be done over the phone
  • Families just need to call 0161 219 2125 during the dedicated Drop In times
  • The SRT worker will call them back if they prefer

 See more on the Short Breaks information page.

 

A small number of families have children with significant support needs that are usually met through a short breaks provider coming into the home.  This might be to help the parent by providing sitting services or personal care for the child/young person. Other families may receive support from a provider to take the child/young person out of the home to access community activities.

During this time, the local authority is advising parents/carers to consider whether it is absolutely necessary to their own and their child’s needs to have a short breaks provider visiting their home. 

If this is necessary to keep the child safe and to prevent carer burnout, the Well Child charity has produced some useful advice on how to manage carers coming to the home. The charity also has some advice on keeping children with complex needs safe at this time.

If it is essential for a child’s wellbeing that they continue to be taken out of the home by a befriending service provider, both the child and provider should follow government guidance on handwashing and social distancing.  The provider should ensure the child/young person is only out of the house for the one hour a day permitted and is kept away from crowded areas to allow for social distancing. The worker should avoid taking the child on public transport.

If any member of the household or the service provider suspects they have the virus, they should immediately self-isolate and follow all government health guidance.

The local authority is working with short breaks providers to make sure they can stay in business and continue to provide their usual short breaks services to families once the Coronavirus emergency is over.

 

Overnight short breaks

The vast majority of disabled children are safest staying within their own household.  Children and young people who receive a residential overnight short break can continue to do so only if the parent/social worker and provider agree that the child/young person will be safer continuing to receive this than being looked after full time at home.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Can we still have the targeted direct payment for a befriender?

Yes you can, however we can also support you to look at other ways this payment could be used. You could use the money to buy equipment for your child to use at home to keep them occupied or help them get some exercise, while you get a break.

Direct payments have been used to fund, a television subscription, equipment such as games, sensory toys, I pads, 3D Virtual stuff, a big tent for the garden / indoors, cookery equipment, indoor mini gym equipment.

These are just some ideas, if you are not sure what you can spend the money on, contact the Specialist Resource team 0161 219 2125 or your social worker.

My child has a specialist short break payment can we still have this payment as my Personal Assistant says s/he is happy to carry on?

Yes, as long as you are following Public Health England guidance.

Sessions may need to take place in the home. Look at the guidance from Well Child charity.

If my Personal Assistant is not happy to continue can I still pay them?

In the first instance, check the if the PA is entitled to government support. The government guidance explains how to access the support available. If the PA is not eligible for government support, contact us via your social worker.

Will my short break service still continue?

This will depend on the service you are receiving. If your service provider is not able to operate at the moment, we can consider a direct payment if it’s appropriate to your family’s needs. For instance, if you normally receive a befriending service to take your child to the gym, we could look at providing a direct payment for play or exercise equipment that your child can use at home.

Can I use my direct payment to pay a member of my family?

If it is not possible for your usual support worker to deliver the service, you may be able to use your direct payment to pay a family member temporarily, (excluding the parent or step-parent of the child). To make this arrangement you will need to contact your social worker or if you don’t have a social worker, the Specialist Resource Team 0161 219 2125.

I have overnight short breaks, will these still continue?

Yes. If you feel you would rather not continue with overnight short breaks or your provider is not able to deliver the service, speak to your social worker.

Should I have a contingency plan for my Short Break support?

Yes, speak to your social worker about creating a contingency plan. We have a template you can use. It’s in the downloads section of the Covid Support Page

Emotional & Mental Wellbeing

 

This list has information in two categories:

  • Families with SEND children
  • General

See 'Young People' for specific services for the under 25s

 

FAMILIES WITH SEND CHILDREN

 

Amber’s 7 Tips

Venture Arts Public Engagement Assistant Amber Okpa-Stother advocates for people with learning disabilities and has written this helpful blog on wellbeing.

 

Ambitious About Autism Resources

Ambitious About Autism has shared some resources around autism and mental health, co-produced with young autistic people: How you can help young autistic peopleKnow Your Normal editable toolkit, and case studies around eating disorderssexual assault, and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

 

Autism Podcast

This podcast - Coronavirus and helping children with autism - focuses on practical tips like how to help manage anxiety, maintain structure, and explain the situation to young people.

 

Challenging Behaviour – Supporting Your Loved One At Home

An information sheet from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation.

 

Contact's Listening Ear

Many parent carers are feeling hugely overwhelmed, confused and exhausted during the Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps the disruption to routines has badly affected your child's behaviour and you are looking for practical advice. Maybe you just need to talk to someone who understands the extra challenges you face and can point you in the right direction to get the family support you need. Contact offers one to one confidential phone appointments with a family support adviser. Visit their Eventbrite booking page to see available appointments and to make a booking.

 

Coping With COVID-19 Isolation

A helpful factsheet about supporting children with a learning disability /ASD, produced by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

 

COVID-19 & Autism

Papyrus has some tips for dealing with the impact of the outbreak on the mental wellbeing of young people with Autism.

 

Down's Syndrome Association Resources 

Following a rise in calls to its helpline, the Down’s Syndrome Association has released free multi-media resources for parents, carers, social sector workers, and people who have Down’s syndrome or learning disabilities. They cover subjects like feelings, bullying, stress, relaxation, anger, growing up, bereavement, and changes that can happen within families. The charity has worked with people who have Down’s syndrome to ensure the resources reflect their lived experiences and needs.

Also - Weekly check-ins on Zoom, every Thursday at 1pm, for people who have Down’s syndrome, their support, and families.

 

Easy Read Resources

At this time, it may be harder than usual for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to access face to face support. With this in mind, the Clinical Psychology team in Pennine Care Learning Disability Directorate have developed some easy read online wellbeing resources.

 

Educational Psychology Support
OneEducation Educational Psychologists offer phone consultations to parents/carers of children and young people with an autism diagnosis from the Bridge, the Winnicott Centre and Carol Kendrick Unit. You can have a problem-solving conversation relating to any aspect of your child's education. This might be issues around learning, behaviour, anxiety and mental health needs. To book this, please send an email with your name and phone number: autism.edpsych@oneeducation.co.uk 

 

Greater Manchester Support

For a list of COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing resources in Greater Manchester see here. They’ve been grouped under topic headings to make it easier to find what you need, including learning disability, ADHD and autism.

 

Help For Children & Young People With A Visual Impairment

Sight Advice FAQs - includes guidance around talking to children about coronavirus.

 

Local Helpline For SEND Families

Respect For All has a helpline staffed by counsellors to support autistic people, people with learning disabilities, and their parents and carers affected by the coronavirus crisis in Greater Manchester. Call 0161 532 4075 - see here for current times. While the helpline isn’t free, they will call you back so you don’t have to take the cost of the calls. Respect For All also offers free counselling – see their website for more information.

 

Mental Health & Autistic Young People

Autism Peer Education from Great Minds Together is a new programme that has been set up to provide free education and support around the mental health needs of autistic young people.

 

Reassuring Deaf Children

The National Deaf Children’s Society has a blog about supporting and reassuring deaf children at this time, with some useful links.

 

Sense Connect

Sense Connect has several programmes to help tackle social isolation at this time:

Virtual buddying service - Matches a disabled person with a volunteer to socialise over the phone, by videocall or letter. For individuals of all ages with complex communication and sensory needs.

The Sense Specialist Services runs virtual group activities and individual sessions for children/young people aged 0-25 who have a multi-sensory impairment or a single sensory impairment and additional needs. There are also virtual support groups for parents and carers.

An online project supports the wellbeing of young people aged 5-18 with caring responsibilities. It includes group and one to one sessions where young people can share their experiences and interests with fellow siblings or young carers.

 

Support Group For Local Dads

Are you a dad of children or young people with special educational needs and disabilities? Manchester Parent Carer Forum and Buzz Manchester are hosting fortnightly online support groups on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. Contact Ben Talbot to find out more – ben.talbot@gmmh.nhs.uk

 

Supporting Children Who May Be Especially Vulnerable

Place2Be's Principal Educational Psychologists suggest some ways to support children who may be especially vulnerable at this time of uncertainty.

 

Supporting Neurodiverse Children In Challenging Times

A 12 minute You Tube video by a paediatrician about supporting children in challenging times like self-isolation.

 

 

GENERAL

 

Anxiety UK Support

Anxiety UK have Coronanxiety Support and Resources and a Helpline Monday-Friday 03444 775774, 9.30am-5.30pm. They also provide support by text and email, and live chat.

 

Bereavement Support

If you’ve been bereaved and need support or advice, call the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service on 0161 983 0902 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (except Bank Holidays), Wednesday 9am-8pm or visit their website.  

Carers Manchester can signpost you to a range of organisations if you have recently been bereaved.

Cruse has some special resources, including ‘Grief & Isolation’ and dealing with funerals at this time.

Caribbean & African Health Network offers a Bereavement Service for people affected by the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.

NHS Bereavement Information offers guidance and advice on dealing with grief and loss.

Winston’s Wish offers information and guidance on supporting bereaved children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak. There is also this guidance sheet from One Education.

Writer Stephanie Nimmo has created a free audio version of her book ‘Goodbye Daisy’ on You Tube. She hopes it will help children, particularly those with learning disabilities, with their emotions around the death of a loved one at this time.

 

Boom! - The Book

To help with children’s emotions and mental wellbeing at this time, a not-for-profit collaboration has created ‘Boom! The Book’, a free illustrated story of a family whose emotions get them all tied up in knots – and how they manage to work through it together.

 

CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. 75% of all UK suicides are male and CALM exists to change this. They run a free and confidential helpline and webchat, 7 hours a day, 7 days a week, for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems. They also support those bereaved by suicide. See the website for more information.

 

COVID-19 Carers Peer Support Group - Dec 20

Manchester Health and Care Commissioning are working together with Gaddum and the Greater Manchester Neurological Alliance (GMNA) to host a weekly COVID-19 Carers Peer Support Group. It’s for unwaged carers in Greater Manchester who are recovering from coronavirus or been affected by it and is an opportunity to come together to share experiences and speak to other carers. Meetings are on Mondays, 12.30-1.30pm. Call/text 07702 668169 or email mhcc.engagement@nhs.net for a Zoom invitation. Expenses are available to help you join online or by telephone.

 

COVID-19 Recovery Support Group

The Manchester COVID-19 Recovery Peer Support Group is for people who would like to talk to others going through a similar experience. The group meets online every Wednesday evening from 6pm. People can call in or join on a tablet or laptop (expenses provided for data if needed). Please text 07702 668169 with your name or email val.bayliss-brideaux@nhs.net at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning.

 

Domestic Abuse - Support & 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.

 

Ear For You: Helpline For BAME Families

This Greater Manchester Service offers support to any Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) family who are self-isolating, recovering, bereaved, or have family members who need help. Call 07862 279289/07894 126157 or text HELP and someone will get back to you. Open 7 days a week 10am-6pm. See more information on the NESTAC website.

 

Every Mind Matters

The NHS Every Mind Matters has guidance around low mood and depression, mood-boosters, and helpful suggestions for looking after your mental health, including ‘10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus’.

 

Free Family Wellbeing Courses - Manchester Adult Education has free online courses for parents around Confidence Building, Stress Management and Family Wellbeing.

 

Give Us A Shout

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258.

There is also a crisis text service for deaf people. It’s free and available 24/7 to provide immediate support. Text DEAF to 85258.

 

Greater Manchester Support

For a list of COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing resources in Greater Manchester see here.

 

Help Hub

The Help Hub is a group of over 800 qualified therapists and counsellors offering their time to listen and support people during the pandemic. If you would like a free 20 minute chat on Skype, FaceTime or on the telephone, you can book a session through their website.

 

Helpline For Black & Asian Families

Barnardos has launched a new COVID-19 helpline for Black and Asian families. It’s called Boloh, which means speak in many languages. The charity is encouraging Black and Asian children, young people and families affected by Covid-19 to speak to them about their worries, problems and stresses during this time. The helpline is open between Monday to Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm - 0800 1512605 – and staff can talk in a range of languages. There is also a webchat facility.

 

Hub Of Hope

The Hub of Hope is a mental health support network provided by Chasing the Stigma. You can put in your postcode and it brings up local support organisations and groups offering support and help.

 

Living Life To The Full

Living Life To The Full is a suite of free online self-help courses and resources that you can access at home or on the go. It teaches life skills and shares tools to improve wellbeing and resilience. There’s ‘Living Life To The Full’ for low mood and stress in adults, ‘Reclaim Your Life’ for people living with long-term conditions and the ‘Enjoy’ series for soon to be and new parents. You can register and go, pause and repeat elements as many times as you like. The e-books have been translated into a range of languages spoken in Greater Manchester. Find out more here.  

 

Looking After Your Feelings & Your Body

There is Government advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the COVID-19 outbreak  It includes an easy-read ‘Looking after your feelings and your body’. 

 

Looking After Your Mental Health - The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. They have put together some useful resources on how to look after your mental health during the pandemic. It includes loneliness, acts of kindness, nurturing relationships, and celebrating festivals.

 

Manchester Counselling Over The Phone Or Video

Manchester’s Community Development Initiative (CD) offers counselling by phone or video link. There are limited places free of charge to people who are not working. If you’re on a low income (below £30k) you will be offered low-cost therapy at reduced rates.

 

Manchester Infant Mental Health Service

The CAPS Parent Infant Mental Health service (PIMHS) supports the emotional wellbeing of Manchester babies through the first two years of life. It can help parents who have previously lost a baby or experiencing loss; have had difficult or traumatic early life experiences; experiencing domestic abuse; using substances to manage their feelings; or are affected by any other life experience that prevents them from connecting with their pregnancy or responding to their infant's emotional needs. If you have concerns, they encourage you to get in touch:

North Manchester - 0161 203 3261. / Email - mft.northmanchestercaps@nhs.net

Central Manchester - 0161 227 9960/ Email - mft.caps.central@nhs.net

South Manchester - 0161 902 3423/ Email - cmm-tr.southmanchestercamhs@nhs.net

 

Manchester Mental Health 24/7 Helpline

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust's helpline for their service users and carers is open 24/7 and can be called free of charge any time, day or night – 0800 953 0285.

 

Manchester Self Help Services

Manchester’s Self Help Services (part of Big Life Group) is still open and accepting referrals. They provide free therapeutic support for anxiety and low mood to the whole of Manchester and work with people over the phone and through video calls. You can be referred or self-refer. You can also email pws.manchester@selfhelpservices.org.uk or call 0161 226 3871. Online and email referral is advised at this time. If their service isn’t right for you, they can make onward referrals into other services to make sure you get the right support.

 

Meditation & Mindfulness - Tip 9 in this NHS Every Mind Matters advice on COVID-19-related anxiety has a mindful breathing exercise and a link to mindfulness and relaxation techniques. There is also this NHS information on a breathing exercise for stress.

 

Mental Health Resources Around Return To Education

There are some new resources responding to issues and concerns from children and young people about the return to school or college. They can be found in the Mental Health pages of Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership’s website and include films around SEND issues, featuring children and young people, giving reassurance about precautions being taken and how the new normal looks.

Primary schools, Secondary schools, Further Education - Each of these includes a SEND video and downloadable resource pack

The resources draw on the views of children and young people from COVID-19 research studies compiled by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

Mental Wellbeing Audio-guides - These NHS Mental Wellbeing audio-guides, include low mood and depression, anxiety control training, sleep problems, and unhelpful thinking.

 

Mind Listening Service

Manchester Mind’s Listening Service for adults is for anyone over 25 who lives in Manchester and is struggling with their mental health, social isolation, or worries and anxieties. Ring 0161 769 5732 between 10am and 2pm (if phone lines are busy or you call outside of these hours, leave a message and someone will get back to you). You can also email info@manchestermind.org. See the Young People section for an update on the service for under 25s.

National Mind has guidance on looking after your wellbeing at this time.

 

One Education Advice About Talking To Children

A guidance sheet from One Education on Talking to Children About Coronavirus.

 

Over 50’s Alcohol Helpline - The charity We Are With You has an over 50s alcohol helpline and webchat service providing support and advice to individuals aged over 50 worried about their drinking and their concerned others. As we get older, alcohol has more of an impact on our health and wellbeing, and changes in our lives – like the pandemic - can lead us to drink more than we used to.

 

Papyrus Extended Hours

Papyrus’ HOPELINEUK is for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. It is also for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide. The service now has extended hours and is open 9am to midnight every day, including weekends and bank holidays. Call: 0800 068 4141, Text: 07860 039967, Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org.

 

Samaritans

Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans are there 24 hours a day. Call them free at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They also have advice if you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Shining A Light On Suicide

Suicide is being brought out of the dark in Greater Manchester. Whether you’re feeling suicidal, worried someone else is, or have lost someone to suicide, you’re not alone. See Shining A Light On Suicide for information and support.

 

SilverCloud – Free Online Therapy

SilverCloud is available for all Greater Manchester residents. This is a free, online therapy programme to help with stress, anxiety, low mood and depression during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Sleep Help

Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically. You may be finding it harder to get a good night’s sleep at the moment. Resources are available from Public Health England at Every Mind Matters.

 

South Asian COVID-19 Wellbeing Support Service

This is a support service provided by a partnership of five community organisations in Manchester. It includes one to one support, befriending, chai and chat and webinars. See this leaflet for more information.

 

Talking To Your Child About Coronavirus

Guidance for parents from Young Minds. Also Ten Tips From Our Parents Helpline.

 

World Health Organisation - Helping Children Cope With Stress

Advice on helping children cope with stress at this time.

  

Coronavirus Updates & Info

 

This section has the following categories:

  • Support from your Council
  • Guidance From Government & other organisations
  • Vaccinations 
  • Testing
  • Information in alternative formats & languages
  • Shielding advice
  • Face-coverings & reasonable adjustments card
  • COVID-19 recovery
  • Other

Also see 'Support From Organisations'. 

 

SUPPORT FROM YOUR COUNCIL 

Manchester City Council has a dedicated helpline to help residents cope at this time. It can help with a range of needs, including delivery of food and medication, and managing fuel top-up payments. Call 0800 234 6123 on Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm. A text messaging service has also been set up. Text 078600 22876 and your message will be responded to by the next working day. This video in British Sign Language (BSL) tells people about the service and how they can get support. The Council also has a coronavirus information hub.

 

 

GUIDANCE FROM GOVERNMENT & OTHER ORGANISATIONS

 

Family Support Sheets

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has produced three information sheets to support families at this time:

Making it happen – Positively managing risk for children and adults with severe learning disabilities: Aimed at family carers, schools, colleges and adult support services, this information sheet sets out what should be taken into account and who should be involved when making decisions about suspending or resuming activities or face to face contact for people with severe learning disabilities.

Education during the pandemic – Return to school Spring 2021:  An information sheet for families of children with severe learning disabilities who have concerns about the plan for all pupils to return to educational settings.

Coronavirus – Restrictions placed on family contact: An information sheet about the continued restrictions around face-to-face contact that care homes or supported living providers are putting in place and the impact on mental health and wellbeing.

 

Test & Trace Support Payment (March 21)

Parents and carers who need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating, can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500. Find out more here.  

 

National Lockdown: Stay At Home (Jan 21)

Find out what you can and cannot do.

 

Out Of School Settings (Jan 21)

Here is government guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – updated January 8th 2021.

 

Updated Government Guidance

 

 

VACCINATIONS

 

Unpaid Carers & Vaccinations (Update March 21)

There has been some confusion over the vaccination and unpaid carers. Carers Manchester have produced a Coronavirus Vaccine Special newsletter. Their Contact Point can answer your questions about eligibility, the vaccination booking process, and wider information about being an unpaid carer in Manchester.

 

Adults With Down's Syndrome (Dec 20)

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) have flagged an announcement the Government made at the start of November. Adults (18+) who have Down’s syndrome have been added to the list of people who are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (CEV). GPs have been instructed by the NHS to ensure that the records of all their adult patients who have Down’s syndrome have them coded as being on the CEV list. GPs were also provided with a letter that explained the change, along with an easy read version, to send to their patients. The announcement of the COVID-19 vaccination priority list makes it even more important that the medical records of adults who have Down’s syndrome are up to date and correctly coded so they have the vaccine as soon as possible. You can read more in the DSA’s latest coronavirus news, under 30 November. There is a template letter for your GP if you have not heard from them. Adults with Down’s syndrome in England are also able to request a free, four-month supply of vitamin D.

 

Advice On Severe Learning Disabilities & Vaccine

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has a new information sheet on the COVID-19 vaccine for families of individuals with severe learning disabilities. It can help you decide whether vaccination is appropriate and how to ensure reasonable adjustments are made.

 

Scam Alert

You will only be invited directly by your GP or the NHS when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime. The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine. You will also never be asked for payment or for your bank details. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you should report this directly to Action Fraud. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.

 

Travelling To Vaccination Site

If you have to travel to a vaccination centre but cannot get there – for example, if the person you care for who is too vulnerable or housebound – we suggest you contact your GP to explain your circumstances and see what alternative arrangements can be made. Manchester's Ring & Ride service is an accessible, low-cost mini bus service for disabled people and older people with walking difficulties. Ring & Ride minibuses are suitable for taking wheelchairs, and all drivers have had special accessibility and disability-awareness training. 

 

Vaccination Safety

The COVID-19 vaccine has been through three phases of clinical trials to ensure it meets the highest standards of safety and effectiveness. You can read more here (scroll down).

 

Vaccine Priority for Unwaged Carers (Jan 21)

Carers have been included in the publication of new COVID vaccination advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). It recommends that carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person (child or adult) who is 'at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable', should be included in Priority list 6 alongside people with underlying health conditions '

To ensure you are recognised as a carer during the ongoing roll out of COVID-19 Vaccinations, it’s vital that you are registered as a carer with your GP. Please note that vaccinations are by invitation only, you will be contacted by your GP when you are eligible to receive one. Visit Carers Manchester website blog for some frequently asked questions about the coronavirus vaccine.

 

Vaccine Programme In Manchester (Jan 21)

Manchester’s vaccination programme started in mid-December, with priority given to residents aged 80 and over, care home staff, and NHS staff who are at higher risk. Local NHS and community workers have been working hard to organise this huge logistical challenge. The city now has seven community vaccination sites across the city in addition to the Greater Manchester mass-vaccination site at the Etihad Tennis Centre.

You will be contacted by your GP or the NHS when it is your turn to be vaccinated. You can read here about what happens at your appointment. Arrangements will be made to get the vaccine to people who find it harder to travel, or who are housebound.

Here is some information in different languages (scroll down the page) about how the community vaccination for COVID-19 is being organised in Manchester.

 

Who Gets It First (Jan 21)

This easy read sheet outlines the order of priority for the vaccination. Adults who have Down’s syndrome now come under Priority 4 - see the DSA’s 30 Nov article. Unwaged carers have recently been added to Priority 6. If that applies to you, make sure you are registered with your GP as a carer.

 

Why Vaccination Is Important

Having the vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable people from coronavirus and has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives. It prepares your body to fight off the disease if you are exposed to it. For most people, this stops them getting very unwell. When enough people are vaccinated, we can create herd immunity, which prevents the virus from spreading. Until we have vaccinated the majority of adults, we must all continue to wash our hands regularly, wear a mask or face covering, and maintain social distancing.

Here is some easy read information from Mencap answering some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about COVID-19 vaccination.

 

 

TESTING

 

Which Test Is Best? (March 21)

Manchester’s public health chief David Regan gives the lowdown on COVID testing in the city for people with and without symptoms.

 

Test & Trace Support Payment (March 21)

Parents and carers who need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating, can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500. Find out more here.  

 

Rapid Testing In The City (March 21)

If you live or work in Manchester and are not able to work from home, you can now have rapid testing (lateral flow testing) twice a week. Book a slot at test sites across the city by ringing 0161 947 0770 / 0800 0924020. Slots are available Monday to Saturday and can be arranged to fit work and shift patterns. Remember, even if your test is negative, you must still follow all social distance and other safety measures, and you still need to be tested even if you have had your vaccination. More information on Manchester City Council website.

 

Test & Trace Resources

COVID-19 resources about how the Test and Trace system works have been put together in the city (late July 20). It includes information in British Sign Language, easy read, and languages.

 

Test & Trace Scams

People are being advised to be wary of scammers pretending to be from the NHS and getting in touch about coronavirus contact tracing. This easy read leaflet about getting tested - produced by partners in the city - also includes information on avoiding scams.

 

Testing Centres In The City (Jan 2021)

To help Manchester through COVID-19, more local testing sites will be available this winter. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, book a free test by ringing 119 or visit here. You will be offered a test site based on your postcode and needs. 

 

Understanding The Test & Trace System (June 2020)

The Government has brought in the Test and Trace system to help ease the national lockdown. Here are the guidelines on test and trace and how it works. As there’s quite a lot of information, this Q&A interview with David Regan, Director of Public Health in Manchester, may make it easier to understand. It’s important to remember that you should still continue to follow social-distancing guidelines and stay at home as much as possible.

 

 

INFORMATION IN ALTERNATIVE FORMATS & LANGUAGES

 

Accessible COVID-19 Videos: The NW Training and Development Team now have over 45 videos in their You Tube library that explain coronavirus restrictions and support for people in a simpler way.

Autism Educator: A social story, including social distancing and not being able to go to the usual places. Read more

Autism Support: NHS North West Boroughs Healthcare Foundation Trust has produced a COVID-19 booklet for autistic adults. There is also some coronavirus guidance from the National Autistic Society – ‘How you can support your autistic friends and neighbours’.

Books Beyond Words: Free, wordless storybooks to support people at this time. Includes ‘Good days and bad days in lockdown’ and ‘When someone dies from coronavirus’.

Children's Guide To Coronavirus: Child-friendly guide from the Children's Commissioner.

Charlie & The C Monsters: 'Charlie & the C Monsters’ is a short film designed to explain without words how COVID-19 is spread and prevented - bridging language, literacy and impairment barriers. It’s been created by Together! 2012 CIC and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Coronavirus Videos: This series of helpful videos for people with learning disabilities around coronavirus, includes ‘I Think I Have Coronavirus’, ‘Wearing A Facemask’ and ‘How Shops Are Different Because Of The Coronavirus’. There is also a playlist for carers of people with learning disabilities, including ‘Talking Together About Coronavirus’ and ‘Supporting The Person You Care For - Anxiety About Coronavirus’.

Covibook: A resource in 18 different languages, explaining Covid 19 to children. Here's the English version

COVID-19 Community Resource Hub - Manchester: Manchester City Council has a resource hub of public health information around coronavirus in languages and alternative formats. This includes information on Staying Safe (hand washing, staying home, face coverings etc), COVID-19 symptoms, the Test and Trace system, and help to get connected online.

COVID Accessible Information Hub: From This information hub from Breakthrough UK, including information in easy read, BSL and braille.

Easy Read Coronavirus Posters: Keep Safe have published a series of easy read posters relating to the pandemic, including If You Get Ill, Getting Tested, Foodbanks, and Coronavirus Vaccinations. There is now information about the vaccine, including lateral flow tests.

Flu jab: Here is a link to the Manchester People First video that has been created with learning disabled people to explain why it is important to get the flu jab for themselves and their carers and support workers. There is also Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s easy-read leaflet and poster, and Public Health Englands’ British Sign Language (BSL) and caption video.

Getting NHS Help: Easy-read, May 2020: NHS England has produced easy-read information on getting NHS help during the coronavirus outbreak. It includes information on hospital appointments, medication, getting help from a dentist or optician, and looking after feelings.

Getting Tested: This easy read leaflet about getting tested - produced by partners in the city - also includes information on avoiding scams.

Manchester City Council's Community Response Hub: This video in British Sign Language (BSL) tells people about the hub and how they can get support.

Pandemic - A Social Story: A story about coronavirus and pandemics, using large print pictures. Read here.

Signhealth Updates In BSL: Daily coronavirus updates in British Sign Language (BSL) from The Deaf Health Charity Signhealth.

Social Distancing, June 2020: This short video from NWTDT/Pathways Team simplifies the government guidelines on the relaxation of distancing and may be helpful for people with learning disabilities.

STARS autism resources: social stories relating to coronavirus.

Stuck Inside – Free Book To Support Children: Stuck Inside is a new illustrated book by Dan and Kathryn Allman about COVID-19. It’s been written and illustrated with children in mind, to help them understand what is going on and why it’s important to stay indoors. The book is available to download as a PDF or as a free eBook.

Talking To Children About Coronavirus: Guidance from One Education.

Test & Trace: COVID-19 resources about how the Test and Trace system works have been put together in the city (late July 20). It includes information in British Sign Language, easy read, and languages.

The World Has Turned Upside Down: A story for autistic children which can be enjoyed by any family. There are worksheets too!

Vaccinations: Some information in different languages (scroll down the page) about how the community vaccination for COVID-19 is being organised in Manchester. / This easy read sheet outlines the order of priority for the vaccination. / Some easy read information from Mencap answering some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about COVID-19 vaccination. / Keep Safe's easy read poster information about the vaccine, including lateral flow tests./ Some easy read resources from Public Health England, including information on the vaccination, what happens after it, and a guide for women who might get pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding. / A film - Information about the covid vaccine: For people with a learning disability and autistic people – has been made in collaboration with Skills for People and Learning Disability England. / This locally-produced easy read poster gives information on what to do after having the COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccine Myths: This moving video – If You Could Save Someone’s Life – brings together British celebrities to dispel COVID-19 vaccine myths amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Videos In Languages: AskDOC have produced videos with Manchester Health & Care Commissioning (August 20) that share key messages about the importance of social distancing, hand washing, wearing a face covering and getting tested: English https://youtu.be/AMbakfJ1nLY, Urdu https://youtu.be/Mwxj0KKCnUc, Sylheti https://youtu.be/k20GwaAQPqo, Gujarati https://youtu.be/OjI6mU465TI, Arabic https://youtu.be/9HHG8QTU12g.

Women's Voices Video In Urdu: Women’s Voices in Manchester have made a video to explain in Urdu the importance of social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks and contacting the 111 service for advice.

 

 

SHIELDING ADVICE

 

Guidance On Shielding (Updated Jan 21)

The Government has updated their COVID-19 guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable. You can see the guidance here, including an easy read version.

 

Shielding Guidance  (June 20)

Children and adults who are listed as clinically extremely vulnerable are now allowed to go outdoors once a day in your household group. This should be done while maintaining social distance - keeping two metres apart - from others. Here’s some information from the charity Contact.

 

 

FACE-COVERINGS & REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS CARD

 

Reasonable Adjustments Card (July 20)

As you’re going around the city, here is a downloadable card for SEND families explaining that reasonable adjustments may need to be made. It has been produced by Manchester Parent Carer Forum with the support of Manchester City Council.

 

Face Coverings Exemptions Toolkit

The Disability Unit and Public Health England developed a new Face Coverings Exemptions Toolkit (August 20). It has some useful visual cards and posters to raise awareness and inform others of an individual’s exemption from using coverings and their rights.

 

Government Face-covering Advice & Exemptions - Updated December 2020

Government advice on when to wear a face-covering and exemption cards to print and put on mobile phone. See here.

 

Face-coverings & Travel In Greater Manchester (June 2020)

In line with Government advice, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) expects everyone to wear a face covering when travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt. You have to provide the covering but it can be a simple scarf or bandana.

TfGM has produced a flash card for people exempt from wearing face coverings. The card is available on request from the Customer Services team, which can be contacted by phone 0161 244 1000 (Monday to Friday 7am to 8pm, weekends 8am to 8pm) or through this TfGM website contact form. Your card will be emailed to you as a file which can be printed off or shown as a flash pass on your phone. The cards will also be available in Travelshops across Greater Manchester.

While staff may ask a passenger without a face covering if they are aware that it is compulsory to wear one, they have been advised to accept any valid reason a passenger may give for not wearing one and not to ask for further details. See this letter from TfGM with more information, including a list of exemptions.

 

 

COVID-19 RECOVERY

 

COVID-19 Carers Peer Support Group (Dec 20)

Manchester Health and Care Commissioning are working together with Gaddum and the Greater Manchester Neurological Alliance (GMNA) to host a weekly COVID-19 Carers Peer Support Group. It’s for unwaged carers in Greater Manchester who are recovering from coronavirus or been affected by it and is an opportunity to come together to share experiences and speak to other carers. Meetings are on Mondays, 12.30-1.30pm. Call/text 07702 668169 or email mhcc.engagement@nhs.net for a Zoom invitation. Expenses are available to help you join online or by telephone.

 

COVID-19 Recovery Support Group (July 2020)

The Manchester COVID-19 Recovery Peer Support Group is for people who would like to talk to others going through a similar experience. The group meets online every Wednesday evening from 6pm. People can call in or join on a tablet or laptop (expenses provided for data if needed). Please text 07702 668169 with your name or email val.bayliss-brideaux@nhs.net at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning.

 

Your Covid Recovery

Your COVID Recovery is an NHS website to support recovery from the long-term effects of COVID-19. It includes information from rehabilitation experts about how to manage ongoing symptoms and health needs at home, and signposts to sources of support.

 

 

OTHER

 

Coronavirus Resources & Information

The Council for Disabled Children has created a list of helpful resources and information relating to coronavirus. This information is for parent carers, children and young people and professionals & practitioners in the education, health and social care sector.

 

Emergency Self-advocacy For Disabled People

The COVID-19 guidelines being used in the UK mean that disabled people may not receive the same access to treatment. The Greater Manchester Coalition for Disabled People has put together some emergency self-advocacy tips (April 20).

 

Your Child’s Health During Coronavirus

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. There are concerns that families are presenting children late with serious conditions/Covid19 because of anxieties about attending hospitals. See this advice sheet from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Healthier Together.

 

Stuff To Do

 

**EASTER HOLIDAYS - FREE STUFF TO DO!** 

We’ve worked again with parents, young people and partners to bring you an exciting range of free activities around the Easter holidays. They’ve been funded through Manchester City Council and are for families who live in the city. See our Stuff To Do Easter Special , plus more activities in our latest newsletter and get booking!

 

This information is in the following categories:

  • Arts & crafts
  • Dance
  • Gaming & virtual activity
  • General activities
  • Learning through play
  • Music-making & drama
  • Physical activity - inc. cycling
  • Storytelling
  • Yoga & mindfulness

 

ART & CRAFTS

Access Arts

Access Arts has great free resources for children, young people and parents to use at home. This includes mark making and drawing exercises, making worry dolls from twigs and old clothes, and creating finger puppets from bits and pieces around the home.

 

Creative Wellbeing

Starling has a programme of free creative wellbeing activities for neurodivergent young people aged 13-25: Creative Minds - face-to-face art and creativity workshops for Manchester, Tameside, Trafford and Trafford young people; Creative Take Aways - online taster workshops in a range of creative activities for young people across Greater Manchester (all 10 Boroughs); Creative Industries Insights Programme - 1-2-1 online and face-to-face employability support for young people not in education or employment in Greater Manchester (all 10 Boroughs); and Neurobeats - face-to-face music-making sessions in Oldham. Contact Katie at Starling to see what is currently available, katie@starlingcio.org.uk. Young people can register here - both those with a diagnosis and self-identifying young people welcome.

 

The Horsfall 

The Horsfall, the creative programme of 42nd Street, has regular creative activities on Instagram.

 

 

DANCE

Dance Classes From Flamingo Chicks

Flamingo Chicks are offering free, inclusive dance classes. This includes a space-themed dance, Cinderella & Chemistry, and a relaxation session for parents and carers.

 

Dance Syndrome

Dance Syndrome are offering a free disability led dance session via You Tube and Facebook. Donations welcome. They also have lots of live sessions, including Street Dance and Contemporary Dance.

 

 

GAMING & VIRTUAL ACTIVITY

Minecraft

The National Association of Therapeutic Parenting has launched a server for young people on Minecraft Java Edition. It’s for anyone under the age of 18 (the typical age range is 9-14) and is for all SEND young people to access. They’ve added trauma-friendly extras to the game such as:

  • The children can build a safe space that no one can enter or destroy
  • If the child trashes their world during a meltdown, the moderators can restore the world 
  • Moderators have been trained to help children cool down   

If you would like more information, email thehideout.minecraft@gmail.com.

 

Spectrum Gaming

Spectrum Gaming is a friendly and accepting community for autistic young people aged 13 and above who have a shared passion for gaming. They can make friends, play games together and have fun. The group was set up by autistic advocates in Greater Manchester who oversee the community but all decisions are made by the young people. They run daily events and competitions and have a variety of safe ways for young people to chat with each other and develop positive relationships. They can also support individuals to set up their own games or YouTube channel. Find out more on their website.

 

Therapeutic Forest 

The Therapeutic Forest runs free alternate sessions of foraging treasure hunts, virtual forest school and outdoor yoga every Saturday for SEND young people aged 8-18. Spaces are limited - sign up here.

 

 

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

Activity Resource From Mencap

To help in these unusual times, Mencap have created some resources to help with keeping busy and having structure to the days and weeks – Coronavirus: Ways to keep busy. This includes crafts and games, activities for daily walks, and a garden activity pack.

 

Adventure Farm - March 21 FULLY BOOKED

During March, we’ve booked out four days at the Children’s Adventure Farm in Cheshire on Sunday 7th, Saturday 13th, Sunday 21st and Saturday 27th. There are five one-hour time slots each day for three families at a time. For COVID-safety, each family needs to live in the same household. You’ll spend time in three areas: the farm, the Play Park and a Woodland/Forest School. Booking is essential – call 219 2125. You need to live in the Manchester City Council area and have a child with special educational needs or disability. Here’s a map showing the farm. If there are any transport issues, talk to staff when you phone and we’ll see what we can do. This activity has been made possible through funding from Manchester City Council.

 

BBC Bitesize

The BBC have a SEND parents’ toolkit, including videos and information on mindfulness, helping to keep children calm, music activities and home-schooling.

 

Free Sensory Rooms - until Friday 9th April 21!! PLACES AVAILABLE

Manchester families have the use of the Sensory Rooms at Redbank House from Monday 15th February to Friday 9th April – for free! Families need to live in the Manchester City Council area and have children and young people with disabilities and additional needs. Sessions start on the hour and are for 50 minutes. It’s only for children from the same household or bubble, with a max of 3 children and up to 2 carers in Room 1 and a max of 2 children and up to 2 carers in Room 2. The rooms are available Monday to Friday at the following time slots: Room 1 - 10am, 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm, Room 2 - 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Booking essential – call 0161 214 5959 or email info@redbankhouse.com. Disabled Living’s Redbank House is in Cheetham Hill, just out of town. You can find directions here. This activity has been made possible through funding from Manchester City Council.

 

I Spy Nature Activity

The People’s History Museum piloted a new resource with SEND families. Lots of banners in the museum are decorated with patterns and images inspired by nature. The ‘I Spy…Nature Activity’ encourages families to look in their gardens or go for a walk to see how many they can find. See the Manchester Parent Carer Forum’s website for more information.

 

Museums & Galleries In The City

Check out each site for visitor information, including opening hours, whether you need to pre-book, and how coronavirus safety might affect your visit:

Manchester Art GalleryNational Football MuseumMuseum of Science & IndustryPeople’s History MuseumHOME, Manchester MuseumWhitworth Art GalleryCastlefield Gallery, Museum of Transport Greater Manchester

 

RNIB Activities

The RNIB have a programme of activities for children, young people and their families.

 

Sensory Rooms

Disabled Living have sensory rooms at Redbank House, north of the city centre. The rooms have a calming and interactive atmosphere with fibre-optic strands across the floor, twinkling lights, bubble tubes, water beds and much more. Each 1hr session costs £10 per participant – parents and support workers free of charge.

 

 

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY

A-Z of Sensory Learning Activities

Special Education & Inclusive Learning’s A-Z has lots of ideas for sensory activities, like play with foil and material.

 

Sensory & Messy Play Activities

As a goodwill gesture at this time, Empowering Little Minds is offering four free weeks of Parent & Teacher Support and Sensory & Play Training, as well as Sensory & Messy Play Activities for children with SEND.

 

Home Learning For Visually Impaired Children

Henshaws have put together a range of activities including quiz-making, baking and storytelling which make learning at home fun! Explore some of their ideas here

 

Sensory Dispensary

Free resources created by two SEND teachers, aimed at children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.  

 

Two resources for families at home from 3PP Psychologies 10 More Activities For Home, Even more activities to do at home

 

Ways to Learn Through Play

This SEN Resources blog has short You Tube videos on different ways to learn through play, like activities with leaves and collecting rain.

 

 

MUSIC MAKING & DRAMA

Garden of Music

Garden of Music on Facebook has a list of free, fun and educational music making apps and websites.

 

Jamboree Sensory Sessions

Oily Cart, an inclusive theatre company, have shared three interactive, creative sessions inspired by the sensory moments in their show ‘Jamboree’. They have also created a closed Facebook group for families with a young person who relates to the world in a sensory way. This has sensory activities and ideas for home, resources, and links to organisations that might be useful.

 

Sensory Theatre For The Family

Head2Head makes sensory theatre that is accessible and inclusive for all. At this time, they’ve moved online and are offering plays, games and interactive films at £5 per family. See the programme to find out what’s on.

 

Singing Hands

You Tube videos of songs and stories signed in Makaton.

 

Soundabout

Fun, interactive music making sessions on Facebook, including morning sessions each week day and an after school club. For people of all ages with Profound & Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) and Specific Learning Disability (SLD).

They also have new activities and resources for families with children or young people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities (Nov 20). Sign up to 'Little Soundabout' or 'Soundabout Life' and be matched with a specialist music practitioner who will work with you to explore sound-making together. You can also choose a piece of sound-making equipment. This offer is available until July 2022 and is online at the moment but potentially at home when COVID-19 restrictions lift. Funded by Youth Music and the Tambour Foundation, you can find out more on Soundabout’s new website, which will have music ideas and activities that families can access for free - www.soundaboutfamily.org.uk – or email info@soundabout.org.uk.

 

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Access Sport

Access Sports has lots of free home activities, with options for all ages and disabilities. They have live exercise sessions, ideas for play, and activity around wellbeing to help keep you healthy and happy at this difficult time. Sign up for their weekly newsletter.

 

Bumble Bee Physio

Bumble Bee Physio have a series of videos of past live physio sessions on their Facebook page. These are suitable for a range of children including PMLD, and adapted Joe Wicks PE. See their Events page on Facebook.

 

Community Gyms & Swimming

See McrActive information for the latest about coronavirus restrictions and what services are available. 

 

Love Exploring App

The free Love Exploring App encourages walking around the local area of Manchester while making it fun for children and families. You just need data and a smart phone.

 

Simply Cycling

All Ability cycling sessions are still running at Wythenshawe Park and Longford Park, Stretford. Due to current government guidelines (Jan 21), the activity is only available to families where there is a disability. Sessions have limited numbers and need to be booked in advance. They start on the hour and are for 45 minutes at £3.00 per person. There also offer one to one rides out at £20 per person. See the website for more information.

 

WAITE Walking Group (March 21)

The WAITE team at Manchester Deaf Centre invite service users and support staff to a new walking group, funded by a Greater Manchester Walking grant. The group will start to meet fortnightly when it is safe to do so after lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Support workers from other organisations are welcome to bring people along. Email waite@manchesterdeafcentre.com or text Mark Woodall on 07557 095854 (text only).

  

 

STORYTELLING

Sensory Stories & Attention Autism Activity

Riverside School in Kent has free sensory stories and Attention Autism Activity videos.

 

Sensory Stories By Pete Wells

Free, downloadable sensory stories and podcasts aimed at SEND children, with titles like ‘Sheldon Snail’s Sunbathing Session’ and ‘Millie The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Swim’. Includes a special ‘Beat The Covid Blues’ story!  

 

Sensory Stories From Manchester Libraries

Manchester Libraries have two sensory stories - 'Wake Up, Lydia!' and 'Monkey & Me' as well as lots of other fun stories and crafts on their Manchester Libraries’ YouTube channel.

There's a weekly bulletin for children and families full of ideas and resources from Manchester Libraries and partners. Sign up here.

They have also compiled a list of library services for customers with visual impairments. This includes ClearVision, a postal lending library of children’s books designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults.

 

Storyline Online

Free videos featuring actors reading children’s books alongside illustrations.

 

Story Massage

The Story Massage Programme has free sessions on Facebook. It’s a fun and interactive way of combining the benefits of positive touch with the creativity of storytelling and is fully inclusive for all ages and abilities.

 

The Book of Hopes

Completely free for all children and families, this extraordinary new collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators. The Book of Hopes aims to comfort, inspire and encourage children during lockdown through delight, new ideas, ridiculous jokes and heroic tales.

 

 

YOGA & MINDFULNESS

Cosmic Kids Yoga on You Tube has lots of free, animated videos around fun themes.

  

Benefits, Money & Household

 

This information is in the following categories:

  • Support from your Council
  • Benefits, finance & grants
  • Digital & online support
  • Employment
  • Energy & water
  • Food (inc school meals)
  • Housing
  • Transport

 

SUPPORT FROM YOUR COUNCIL

Manchester City Council has a coronavirus information hub, with regular updates. This includes advice around benefits.

The Council also has a dedicated helpline to help residents cope at this time. It can help with a range of needs, including delivery of food and medication, and managing fuel top-up payments. Call 0800 234 6123 on Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm. A text messaging service has also been set up. Text 078600 22876 and your message will be responded to by the next working day. This video in British Sign Language (BSL) tells people about the service and how they can get support.

 

BENEFITS, FINANCE & GRANTS

Also see the Local Offer's 'Grants & Funding' information.

 

Test & Trace Support Payment (March 21)

Parents and carers who need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating, can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500. Find out more here.

 

Benefits Update (Oct 20)

Contact’s updated DLA and PIP guides explain what happens to DLA and PIP renewals during the coronavirus pandemic and what parents should do if they’re not sure what's happening with their child's claim.

Contact has also updated its factsheet on claiming Universal Credit (UC) for a young disabled person.

 

Carers Benefits

Carers Manchester provide advice and support relating to benefits.

 

Carers Emergency Fund

The Carers Emergency Fund is for carers (aged 16+) to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of both the carer and the person who needs care. This includes those households where a child or young person is the carer. The funding can be used for transport costs (including taxis) or fuel, furniture, emergency delivery of food and one-off practical costs to help with the caring role at this time. Carers can receive advice about accessing this financial support by ringing the Manchester Carers Contact Point: Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm on 0161 543 8000 or their Young Carers Coordinator. Alternatively, carers can email contactpoint@carersmanchester.org.uk or visit Manchester City Council website or www.carersmanchester.org.uk.

 

Carers Network Information (July 20)

See this Carers Network bulletin for updates on the rental evictions ban extension, furlough, United Utilities scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, benefits repayments, Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

 

Contact - Benefits & Money Advice

Useful information from Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, around benefits and money.

 

DLA Information

It’s vital that families with disabled children apply for Disability Living Allowance. Take a look at Contact’s advice sheet.

 

Emergency Cash Grant

You can apply to the Council for a cash grant of between £30 and £60 if you are in crisis or have an emergency that's out of your control. See this page for how to apply.

 

Family Fund: Grants For Families

Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities can apply for grants for vital equipment - such as computers, specialist equipment and educational toys - to make their lives easier while maintaining social distancing measures. It can also help with the cost of goods or services, like washing machines and refrigerators. The grants are typically worth £400 to £500 per family but vary depending on need. See the Family Fund website for how to apply.

 

Free Income Checks

Are you worrying about money and making ends meet? Are you accessing all of the financial support available? There is lots of support available to get you and your family through this crisis and to help in the longer term. Greater Manchester Law Centre offer a free confidential income check that will review benefits, grants and other support that may be available. Call 0161 769 2244 or email incomemax@gmlaw.org.uk. For further information see their website.

 

Grants for School Uniform & Other Educational Resources

Applications can be made to the Mynshull’s Education Foundation for grants for school uniform and other resources that might support SEND children and young people. They have to be 25 and younger and live in the City of Manchester and adjoining areas. Applications need to be made by a professional (eg. Tutor, social worker, SEND worker). There isn’t a set deadline when they need to be made; they are reviewed, processed and taken to trustees as they come in. The fund is administered by Gaddum – call 0161 834 6069 or email trustfunds@gaddum.org.uk to request an application form or make a query.

 

Help With Debts, Bills & Borrowing - If you’re not working or furloughed at the moment due to COVID-19, visit www.manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands for advice and support on a range of topics, including debt advice, food banks and mortgage repayments.

  

Universal Credit (March 21)

Claiming Universal Credit for a disabled 16-20 year old can be a complicated process, and this is particularly true if they are still in education. To help, Contact’s specialist family finances team have produced new resources. These include a set of templates that parents can use to challenge the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) delays in processing claims and in organising medical assessments.

 

WellChild – Vital Services & Supplies: WellChild, the charity for children with exceptional health needs, has a COVID-19 Direct Response Service to assist where families are suffering financial hardship in accessing vital supplies. Families can self-refer or be referred, using the form on the website.

 

 

DIGITAL & ONLINE SUPPORT

 

AbilityNet IT Support

AbilityNet’s digital accessibility services are still available at this time. Volunteers provide free IT support to people with disabilities of any age. They also have lots of other free resources and information. Helpline 0800 048 7642 during UK office hours or send an email to enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk.

 

Free Computer In Every Home Programme

The Free Computer for Every Home project, run by Manchester-based company MyOutsourcedIT, aims to provide a free computer in every home that needs it. They also offer IT support and classes to get the most out of the equipment, plus free computer repair if you are on a low income or benefits.

 

Staying safe online

As many families spend more time online, cyber security threats and fraud are increasing. Here's some guidance to help keep you safe and secure:

  • Government guidance on cyber security threats and being cyber-aware
  • House Party app advice
  • Zoom-bombing – how to prevent hackers from gate-crashing and posting disturbing content in your Zoom get-togethers
  • Inclusive Digital Safety - Resources to support parents and professionals working with a range of children with vulnerabilities, including children with special and education needs and disabilities.
  • Action Fraud have guidance in this area. This is also the place to report cyber crime.

 

Support In Getting Connected

Manchester City Council has a digital inclusion support service for people who have the internet at home but need help with their skills or confidence. Advice can be given on everything from the very basics to setting up an email address, video-calling family, downloading apps, making supermarket orders, and booking GP appointments. Text 07860 064 128 or email digitalinclusion@manchester.gov.uk, giving a name and the area of Manchester where you live. A digital volunteer will call you back. Calls can be made in 15 languages so if you'd like the call in a different language to English, let them know.

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

Employment Support 

If you’re a Manchester resident who has lost your job, are worried about possible redundancy or have had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, there is support available. The Council and partners can help you to gain new skills, retrain and find new work. Register your details on the Help to Get Work page and they will be in touch to help you access the support you need.

 

Free Employment Legal Advice

Do you live in Greater Manchester? Are you worried about your employment rights, redundancy, pay cuts, terms or disputes? The Growth Company have joined forces with a network of legal experts to ensure that Greater Manchester’s workers who have been hit hardest by the pandemic can access free employment legal advice. The service is completely free, with legal experts from twelve law firms giving something back and donating their time. For more information and to apply, see the website, email info@employmentlegaladvice.org, or call 0161 233 2686.

 

ENERGY & WATER

 

Energy Advice

As more people have been at home, bills may have been rising.  The Energy Advice Team at Citizens Advice Bureau in Manchester can help – this might be advice around energy efficiency measures, negotiating with energy suppliers, and grant support. See their website for contact details and their Out of Advice Service (6pm-9pm, 7 days a week). Energy Works at Groundwork Greater Manchester also offer support over the phone around energy issues. This includes advice around switching suppliers, pre-payment meters, and freezing rates where eligible. See their website for more information.

There is also a Warm Homes video in BSL, about help with energy bills and energy efficiency this winter.

 

Help With Water Bills

United Utilities are asking customers affected financially by COVID-19 to get in touch. Their ‘Back on Track’ scheme is aimed at customers receiving benefits or tax credits who are struggling with their water bill payments at this time. Even if you don’t meet the criteria for the scheme there are other ways United Utilities can make your water bills more affordable until the restrictions eventually lift. Download the application pack from the United Utilities website, which has an application form or you can apply online. See more information on their website or call 0800 072 6765

 

 

FOOD

 

Feeding The Family On A Budget

During the first lockdown, Bite Back 2030 issued some advice on how to feed kids at home on a budget.

Love Food give advice about how to make food stay fresher and last longer; they also offer ideas on what to do with leftovers. You can find out about where to store food to help it last longer and recipes that make the most of the food you have and prevent waste.

 

Food Banks In Manchester

The Council's dedicated helpline can help with information on food banks and local organisations that can support you. Call 0800 234 6123 on Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm. A text messaging service has also been set up. Text 078600 22876 and your message will be responded to by the next working day.

Greater Together Manchester - comprehensive list of food banks in Manchester: http://greatertogethermanchester.org/find-support/food-banks/

Manchester Central Food Bank: https://manchestercentral.foodbank.org.uk/

Manchester South Central Food Bank: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/manchestersouthcentral/

Most also do toiletries like soaps, sanitary products nappies etc.

 

School Meals

Here is recently updated government guidance (January 2021) on free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

 

HOUSING

 

Housing Guides 

There are some housing guides (Oct 20) for autistic and/or learning disabled people:

Renting a home

Needing help due to threat of eviction

Needing help due to threat of eviction (Easy-read)

They have been produced by the Greater Manchester Autism and Learning Disability Housing Implementation Group. There are also guides for housing associations, private landlords, and housing support organisations in Greater Manchester. They can all be found as downloads to the left of our National Autistic Society page.

 

Manchester Citizens Advice

For information on support options around mortgages and renting during the pandemic, contact Manchester Citizens Advice – see their website for contact details and their Out of Advice Service (6pm-9pm, 7 days a week).

 

 

TRANSPORT

 

Ring & Ride
The Ring & Ride service is operating as normal, with some restrictions and enhanced safety measures. Seat spacing allows a minimum of one metre between passengers. This increases the capacity to six passengers, which means some group bookings can resume. For more information on the safety measures, fares, how to register and to book a journey, visit the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

 

Manchester Transport for Sick Children

Manchester Transport For Sick Children have undertaken a thorough Risk Assessment and offer a continued service within COVID-secure guidelines. If you need the service or have queries, please contact Beverley Hoyle, Funding & Communication Manager, Beverley@transportforsickchildren.org, 0161 443 4122.

 

 

Support From Organisations

 

This information is in three categories:

  • Support from your Council
  • SEND organisations
  • General

 

SUPPORT FROM YOUR COUNCIL

Manchester City Council has a dedicated helpline to help residents cope at this time. It can help with a range of needs, including delivery of food and medication, and managing fuel top-up payments. Call 0800 234 6123 on Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm. A text messaging service has also been set up. Text 078600 22876 and your message will be responded to by the next working day. This video in British Sign Language (BSL) tells people about the service and how they can get support. The Council also has a coronavirus information hub.

 

 

SEND ORGANISATIONS 

 

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.

 

Complex Care In Lockdown: Simple Stuff Works have Complex Care in Lockdown You Tube videos, including Keeping Active, Simple Positioning, and Supported Lying.

 

Contact: Contact have arranged a series of free virtual workshops as a way of delivering their family support services during these challenging times: Educational support for children with additional needs, Handling meetings effectively, Money matters, Encouraging positive behaviour, Wellbeing for parents/carers of children with additional needs, Helping your child sleep, Support for speech and language issues in young children. They are continually adding new dates. See here for more information.

 

Contact's Listening Ear: Many parent carers are feeling hugely overwhelmed, confused and exhausted during the Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps the disruption to routines has badly affected your child's behaviour and you are looking for practical advice. Maybe you just need to talk to someone who understands the extra challenges you face and can point you in the right direction to get the family support you need. Contact offers one to one confidential phone appointments with a family support adviser. Visit their Eventbrite booking page to see available appointments and to make a booking.

 

Council for Disabled Children: The Council for Disabled Children has pulled together extensive resources for families. There’s Government Guidance, learning resources to support home schooling and the results of the CDC’s FAQs shared with the Department for Education (DfE).

 

Disabled Living: Disabled Living can offer advice about products and equipment at this challenging time. On the right side of their homepage, you can sign up to receive their newsletter, which includes information about their virtual Kidz to Adultz exhibitions.

 

Down's Syndrome Association: Lots of information from the Down's Syndrome Association, including learning at home, benefits and financial help, and fun and relaxing things to do.

 

Down’s Syndrome Support Group: The South Manchester Down’s Syndrome Support Group has a range of resources, including a regular newsletter, online training and coronavirus guidance.

 

Lifted – Supporting Parent Carers: Lifted works to improve the health and well-being of parent carers using the service. Based in Manchester, they offer one to one support, guidance and advocacy, and assistance with completing forms. They are currently offering support over the phone, Facebook and email. See their website for further details.

 

Manchester Deaf Centre: WAITE - Well-being, Advocacy, Information, Training and Employment Service - is a ’One Stop' shop, five days a week, to support D/deaf individuals. Support includes wellbeing groups, advocacy and information and employment guidance. See the website for more information and to make a one to one appointment. 

The Centre produces a newsletter which you can sign up to at the bottom of their home page.

 

Manchester Parent Carer Forum: The Manchester Parent Carer Forum has a Coronavirus SEND Information Hub with a range of information relevant to SEND families, including Education, Health and Frequently Asked Questions. They also have a Facebook page, sharing news and information relating to the crisis. They understand the day to day challenges faced by parent carers, as they are parent carers too. They are there to make sure that parent carer views are heard in the improvement of services.

 

Manchester Parent Champions: The Champions are connected to the Manchester Local Offer. They have a Facebook group as a place to support each other and share information. Parent carers in the city of Manchester are encouraged to join - take a look here. Like MPCF, they are parents and are there to give you a voice.

 

Mencap: Mencap has a range of advice and information and news updates, as well as an online forum where people can ask questions, share experiences and offer support. 

 

National Deaf Children’s Society: The Society has up to date guidance, a families blog post, a helpline and new 24/7 Interpreter Now Service.

 

NW SEND Regional Newsletter: This newsletter brings together a wide range of sources relating to children with special educational needs and disabilities. Here are the September, October and January issues.

 

RNIB: Coronavirus updates from the RNIB, as well as a helpline 0303 123 9999, 8am-8pm weekdays and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

 

RNID: The RNID has set up a British Sign Language (BSL) Information Service to support Deaf people during the coronavirus outbreak. They can also be contacted by phone 0808 808 0123, email information@rnid.org.uk, text 0780 000 0360, Relay UK 18001 then 0808 808 0123, textphone 0808 808 9000 and live chat on the website. They offer free, confidential information and support on all topics relating to hearing loss or deafness, Monday to Friday, 9-5pm.

 

Scope: Scope regularly update their COVID-19 information. They have lots of advice around work, money, getting food, medicine and essentials, and cerebral palsy and coronavirus. (Helpful note: When you click on a category, it doesn’t take you to an information page straight away. You get a list of topics that you need to select from.)

 

Sibs: Sibs supports brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults. They are on Twitter and Facebook and regularly update information for adult siblings around coronavirus questions.

 

Sleep Support: Seashell Trust offer free workshops about sleep and children and young adults (2-25yrs) with additional needs. Sessions run throughout the year and are currently being delivered via Zoom (as at Jan 21). Sleep Success: A one day workshop offering an introduction into the behavioural approach to sleep. Sleep Better: A five week course (one morning per week) giving parents evidence-based strategies as well as group support. Sleep Clinic: A one to one intervention over a five week period, supported by a qualified sleep practitioner. Sleep Success for Practitioners: Aimed at practitioners working with families and/or children and young adults with complex needs. These sessions are very popular - find out about dates and availability by contacting outreach@seashelltrust.org.uk.

 

Support For Parent Carers Over 50: Thrive is part of Talbot House Support Centre and provides support to older parent carers of people with learning disabilities. They offer a range of information, advice and support, including emotional support and befriending. For more information visit their website, email fran.crake@talbot-house.org.uk or call 0161 203 4095 (Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm).

 

Support Group For Local Dads: Are you a dad of children or young people with special educational needs and disabilities? Manchester Parent Carer Forum and Buzz Manchester are hosting fortnightly online support groups on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. Contact Ben Talbot to find out more – ben.talbot@gmmh.nhs.uk

 

Together For Short Lives: The charity has a Coronavirus Q&A, giving answers to the frequently asked questions on their helpline for parents and carers of children and young people with complex health needs.

 

Visual Impairment – Resources For Families: A specialist in the education of children and young people with visual impairment has pulled together some useful resources on her website, including relaxation, wellbeing and Facebook groups.

 

WellChild – Vital Services & Supplies: WellChild, the charity for children with exceptional health needs, has COVID-19 Information & Resources for Families. They also have a COVID-19 Direct Response Service to assist where families are suffering financial hardship in accessing vital supplies. Families can self-refer or be referred, using the form on the website.

 

 

GENERAL

 

Carers Manchester: Carers Manchester can signpost you to sources of support. They also run courses throughout the year to provide you with the tools you need to take control of your caring role and offer the opportunity to meet other carers who have similar experiences. Helpline: 0161 543 8000 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, Wednesdays till 6pm, except bank holidays), email: contactpoint@carersmanchester.org.ukFacebook and Twitter. The team includes advice workers that can provide support in other languages. Carers Manchester is a partnership which includes 18 organisations who support unwaged carers in the city. You can find out more about each of them on the website.

Download their latest newsletter and subscribe here.

 

Caribbean & African Health Network: The Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN) have a number of online activities via Zoom in response to community requests. See their COVID-19 page for information. They also offer a Bereavement Service for people affected by the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.

 

Citizens Advice – Out of Hours: Citizens Advice Greater Manchester have an Out Of Hours Advice Service by telephone, SMS, and Facebook Messenger between 6pm and 9pm, 7 days a week. Call or SMS to 0161 850 5053.

 

Crossroads Together UK:  Crossroads Together offers a wide range of support to Manchester carers and the people they care for. Call 0333 323 1990.

 

Domestic Abuse - Support & 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.

 

Manchester Carers Centre: The Manchester Carers Centre telephone helpline for unpaid carers is available Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm. Call 0161 27 27 27 0 for information, advice or emotional support around COVID-19 or your caring role in general. They also have online coronavirus information relating to carers.

 

Resources For BAME Communities: GMCVO has put together a list of resources for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, including information in different languages, support for refugees and religious burials. There is also information in different languages in the 'Coronavirus Updates & Info' section of this webpage.

 

South Asian COVID-19 Wellbeing Support Service: This is a new support service provided by a partnership of five community organisations in Manchester. It includes one to one support, befriending, chai and chat and webinars. See this leaflet for more information.

 

 

Manchester Local Offer Newsletters

 

Our newsletters are a great place for news and information related to the coronavirus crisis and services to support you. You can find them here with an idea of what's in each one. 

There are several ways you can subscribe to receive the Local Offer newsletter:

 

Young People

 

This information is aimed at young people up to the age of 25 and is in the following categories:

  • Arts & creativity 
  • Emotional & mental wellbeing
  • Gaming & virtual activity
  • Support from organisations
  • Training & volunteering

 

ARTS & CREATIVITY

 

Creative Wellbeing

Starling has a programme of free creative wellbeing activities for neurodivergent young people aged 13-25: Creative Minds - face-to-face art and creativity workshops for Manchester, Tameside, Trafford and Trafford young people; Creative Take Aways - online taster workshops in a range of creative activities for young people across Greater Manchester (all 10 Boroughs); Creative Industries Insights Programme - 1-2-1 online and face-to-face employability support for young people not in education or employment in Greater Manchester (all 10 Boroughs); and Neurobeats - face-to-face music-making sessions in Oldham. Contact Katie at Starling to see what is currently available, katie@starlingcio.org.uk. Young people can register here - both those with a diagnosis and self-identifying young people welcome.

 

The Horsfall

The Horsfall, the creative programme of 42nd Street, has regular creative activities on Instagram.

  

 

EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WELLBEING

 

42nd Street

42nd Street offers online support to young people in Manchester. Check their website for more information and updates about the service.

 

Ambitious About Autism Resources

Ambitious About Autism has shared some resources around autism and mental health, co-produced with young autistic people: How you can help young autistic peopleKnow Your Normal editable toolkit, and case studies around eating disorderssexual assault, and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

 

Anna Freud National Centre 

The Anna Freud National Centre for children and families has some advice and information around mental wellbeing during this time.

 

Coping With Coronavirus

The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. Their resources include a guide for young people on coping with coronavirus.

 

Health For Teens

Health For Teens is a website about health, relationships, feelings, lifestyle and growing up, plus information on services in your area. 

 

Kooth

In response to the current situation, free online counselling is now available for all young people aged 11-18 across Greater Manchester. It’s free, safe and anonymous - find out more at https://kooth.com.

 

Local Helpline - June 2020

Respect For All has a helpline staffed by counsellors to support autistic people, people with learning disabilities, and their parents and carers affected by the coronavirus crisis in Greater Manchester. Call 0161 532 4075 - see here for current times. While the helpline isn’t free, they will call you back so you don’t have to take the cost of the calls. Respect For All also offers free counselling – see their website for more information.

 

Manchester Mind

Manchester Mind have free services for young people that they have adapted at this time. See their website for information about counselling, advice, their Listening Ear helpline and virtual Wellbeing Café.

 

Mental Health & Autistic Young People

Autism Peer Education from Great Minds Together is a new programme that has been set up to provide free education and support around the mental health needs of autistic young people.

 

Mental Health Support in Manchester 

An online leaflet has been produced for children and young people to support their mental health and wellbeing. It includes information on free digital services, like Kooth and Shout, and local helplines.

 

Myplace Eco-Therapy Sessions

The Myplace project offers free activies for young people in Lancashire, Manchester and north Merseyside, including face to face and virtual nature sessions, Myplace gaming activity and one to one support. They help reduce loneliness, provide connection to nature and to others. Young people aged 16-24 can self-refer online. 12–15 year olds can be referred by organisations and agencies using this form (to the left of the page).

 

Papyrus

Papyrus’ HOPELINEUK is for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. It is also for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide. The service now has extended hours and is open 9am to midnight every day, including weekends and bank holidays. Call: 0800 068 4141, Text: 07860 039967, Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org.

 

Sleep Advice For Teens

Here is some sleep advice for young people, answering questions like ‘How much sleep do you really need?’ and ‘Why do you sleepwalk?’

 

Stormbreak

Stormbreak have released new mental health videos and activities, with the aim to act as a ‘break’ from the storm and help children be happier and more resilient. Stormbreaks consist of short videos with activities for children to participate in, as well as explainer videos for parents and education staff with more detail.

 

The Mix

The Mix is a free and confidential multi-channel service for the under 25s. It has lots of tips and information around dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

 

Young Manchester Hub

The Young Manchester hub has resources for young people and families.

 

Young Minds

Young Minds has suggestions for what to do if young people are anxious about coronavirus and how they can look after their mental health. Madeleine, 19, shares how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected her mental health as an autistic person.

 

 

GAMING & VIRTUAL ACTIVITY

 

Minecraft

The National Association of Therapeutic Parenting has launched a server for young people on Minecraft Java Edition. It’s for anyone under the age of 18 (the typical age range is 9-14) and is for all SEND young people to access. They’ve added trauma-friendly extras to the game such as:

  • The children can build a safe space that no one can enter or destroy
  • If the child trashes their world during a meltdown, the moderators can restore the world 
  • Moderators have been trained to help children cool down   

If you would like more information, email thehideout.minecraft@gmail.com. There is also a Facebook group.

 

Myplace Gaming Activity

The Myplace project offers free eco-therapy activies for young people in Lancashire, Manchester and north Merseyside, including Myplace gaming activity. 

 

Spectrum Gaming

Spectrum Gaming is a friendly and accepting community for autistic young people aged 13 and above who have a shared passion for gaming. They can make friends, play games together and have fun. The group was set up by autistic advocates in Greater Manchester who oversee the community but all decisions are made by the young people. They run daily events and competitions and have a variety of safe ways for young people to chat with each other and develop positive relationships. They can also support individuals to set up their own games or YouTube channel. Find out more on their website.

 

Therapeutic Forest 

The Therapeutic Forest runs free alternate sessions of foraging treasure hunts, virtual forest school and outdoor yoga every Saturday for SEND young people aged 8-18. Spaces are limited - sign up here.

 

 

SUPPORT FROM ORGANISATIONS

 

Support For Young Deaf People

Manchester Deaf Centre has a Children's & Young People's Service, welcoming Deaf, Hard of hearing and Deafblind children and young people, as well as children of deaf adults (CODA) and those who have deaf siblings. They have a range of groups for different ages, working in a way to suit young people's preferences for live or virtual activity during the pandemic.

 

The Proud Trust

The Proud Trust can provide digital support for LGBT+ young people at this time. Check out their website for updates to the service.

 

Website For Young Deaf People

The Buzz is a website for young deaf people with resources relating to the crisis.

 

 

TRAINING & VOLUNTEERING

 

Join The Changemakers (March 21)

Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN) are recruiting young people 16-25 with special educational needs and disabilities to take part in their Changemakers programme. This gives young people the opportunity to have their voices heard on issues and policies that matter to them and be supported to make changes. On top of this, there will be lots of opportunities to have fun, enjoy new things and meet new people! Contact Joseph at GMYM via email joseph.cain@gmyn.co.uk or phone 07592845246.

 

Want To Work In Tech? (March 21)

Digital People is a new course for 16-24 year olds in Greater Manchester who want to work in tech. The team are especially keen to hear from people with special educational needs and disabilities. It’s 15 hours a week for 3 months. No experience or qualifications needed, just a real interest in digital and a willingness to learn. There’s lots of support from a friendly team and a supportive group of learners. Here’s the link to apply - bit.ly/digipeopleapp. Courses are running in late March, late spring and summer. If you have any questions, email hello@hivemanchester.net

 

Have A Question? Ask Ali

 

There has been such a lot of information during the coronavirus crisis – and it keeps coming. That’s why we’re trying out a new way of supporting families. You’re invited to contact Ali on the Local Offer team. Whatever the question, she will do her best to respond in a way that is geared to you and where you live in the city. It might be:

  • Where can I find easy-read coronavirus resources?
  • What's available in my local area to support my family at this time?
  • Where can I go for someone to talk to?

Email Ali at ali.davenport@manchester.gov.uk or call/text 07971 587963. She usually works all day Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, and will get in touch as soon as she can.