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SEND Information Hub

**THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION**

 

Welcome to Manchester Local Offer’s SEND Information Hub. There's a lot of information out there for the city's families, so we’ve created this resource to bring it together in one place.

To find out about the Manchester Local Offer and our newsletter and drop ins, please visit Welcome to Manchester Local Offer.

 

Welcome To Manchester Local Offer

To follow. 

Education, inc. EHC Plans

 

This information is in the following categories:

  • Education, Health & Care Plans & Other SEN Support
  • School places
  • Resourced provision
  • Special schools & colleges
  • Getting help
  • Education news & updates

 

Education, Health & Care Plans & other SEN support

See Education, Health & Care Plans & Other SEN Support. This includes: SEN Support in mainstream schools; EHC Needs Assessment; What if I don’t agree with decisions about SEN provision?; Disagreement Resolution & Mediation Services in Manchester; Education, Health & Care Plans; Frequently Asked Questions; and Special Educational Needs (SEN) Statutory Assessment Team.

 

School places

You can find information about school places for children with special educational needs on Manchester City Council’s admission pages. This also includes information on applying for all primary and secondary school places, finding your nearest school and appealing decisions.

 

Resourced provision

Most children in Manchester with special educational needs and disabilities, including those with Education, Health and Care Plans, are supported in a mainstream school. A number of mainstream schools provide additional specialist facilities on their site called a Resourced Provision.

Here is a list of the primary and secondary schools that offer Resourced Provision.

 

Special schools & colleges

You can locate individual special schools and colleges on this map with information on each on them.

 

Getting help

Information Advice & Support Manchester (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 with a dedicated Information, Advice and Support IAS line with a 24 hour answerphone. They also respond to email queries and have a contact form to receive messages from you. Find out more here.

 

Education news & updates

To follow. 

Information, Advice & Support Manchester (IASM)

 

Information Advice & Support Manchester (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.

They have a dedicated Information, Advice and Support IAS line with a 24 hour answerphone. They also respond to email queries and have a contact form to receive messages from you.

Email:parents@manchester.gov.uk or info@iasmanchester.org

Telephone: 0161 209 8356  [Monday-Friday 8.30 am-3.30 pm]. Answer-machine available. They aim to respond to all calls within 48 hours.

Online contact form

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

Here is a video (to follow) created by artist Justin P Lees that shares his experience of IASM as a young person.

 

Short Breaks

 

A short break can range from an activity which lasts an hour or two through to a few days away from home, and includes day, evening, overnight, weekend and holiday activities. These activities provide a positive experience for the child as well as giving parents and carers a break from their caring duties.

 Manchester City Council provides a range of Short Break services for disabled children and young people with special educational needs, rare disorders and chronic medical conditions age 0 - 17 years inclusive.

Go to Short Breaks for more information and to get in touch with the team.

 

Early Help

 

To follow. 

 

Stuff To Do

 

COVID-19 specific activities to be removed and kept on the Coronavirus Advice & Information page. 

 

This information is in the following categories:

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

You can also search on the Local Offer database.  

 

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.

 

Open Door - Autism Friendly Sessions

Open Doors at Manchester Art Gallery is a series of creative workshops especially for autistic children and those with other social communication needs, their families and carers. You can get hands on with a variety of making activities, explore the art gallery or just spend time together in the new children’s space, The Lion’s Den, or quiet room. Find out more on the gallery's family page. 

 

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.

 

Para Dance UK

Para Dance UK invite you to free inclusive dance sessions on Facebook. All live sessions are recorded, so if you miss a session you can always take part another time. 

 

 

GAMING & VIRTUAL ACTIVITY

 

Gaming Sessions

Join Everyone Can at their Technology & Gaming centre in Sale for their popular gaming sessions for disabled children. They have various games and control methods to ensure everyone can game, matching technology to your children’s needs. Find out more and book here.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Birley Sustainable Trail

The Hulme area has a hidden gem - the sensory gardens at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus. The Birley Sustainable Trail has herb beds, fruit trees and a wetland area, plus educational information about the environment on the campus. It's free and you can wander around as you like! Just a short walk away is urban oasis Hulme Community Garden Centre, with gifts and plant sales.

 

Culture Is Back In The City (May 21) 

Culture in Manchester is back! Go to Visit Manchester and you’ll find reopening museums, galleries and libraries, theatre performances and film, music and dance and a special section with events just for families.

 

Explore Manchester

With the help of 4CT Limited, Manchester Parent Carer Forum have created Explore Manchester, a newsletter about local museums and cultural places, along with some fun Manchester-themed puzzles and colouring sheets. See the issues - firstsecond

 

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.

 

Loads To Do 

Manchester City Council have worked with local partners to put together a packed programme of things to do. Loads To Do is a one-stop shop to find out what culture, leisure and sports activities are in the city and near you.

 

Libraries & Leisure (August 21)

City libraries are now fully open again to visitIn most cases, they're open on the same days and times as before the pandemic. Discover more in this library blog and see current opening hours here. There are also fun videos to watch on Manchester Libraries' You Tube channel. Sign up to the Libraries' Children & Families newsletter here. Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities are also opening up. This MCRactive information tells you which services you can visit, including play parks, gyms and pools. 

 

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 GalleryMuseum of Transport Greater ManchesterManchester Jewish Museum

 

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.

 

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 HomeEven 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 free sessions. 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. 

 

Down’s Syndrome Association Activity (June 21)

The Association has a series of DSEngage activities free and open to all, including parents and carers. Find out more and sign up here.

 

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.

 

Manchester Green Trail

The Manchester Green Trail is a walking circuit made up of 14 routes connecting many of the beautiful green spaces, public parks and tree-lined streets around the city. It’s a collaboration between Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Manchester and Salford Ramblers. You can find all the 14 maps for viewing, downloading and printing here.

 

Multi-sports In Salford

Foundation 92 are offering free SEND-inclusive multi-sports sessions for Greater Manchester 16-24 year olds every Tuesday, 12 noon-2pm, at Albert Park Stadium, Salford. There are also free football sessions at the site for children aged 5-16 with a visual impairment/blind every Thursday 5-6pm. Email lee.wallis@foundation92.co.uk for more information.

 

Simply Cycling

Simply Cycling run sessions starting on the hour for 45 minutes at £3 per person at Wythenshawe Park, Longford Park and Boggart Hole Clough. They also offer group and 1-to-1 rides out from £20 per person. Through this opportunity, cyclists have grown in confidence, developed bike handling skills and been able to explore their local area. Please book online - Sue 07753 428937, Helen 07871 621778.

 

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.

 

 

YOUTH CENTRES 

 

HideOut Youth Zone - Gorton (May 21) 

There is a Sunday Club every Sunday from 11am-3pm at the HideOut for young people aged 8-25 who identify as having additional needs or a disability. It features all the usual Hideout fun - sports, team games, design, sensory art, guided meditation, music-making & production, cooking, gardening, rock-climbing, and everything in between! Membership is £5 for a year and 50p for each visit. Sign up here. You're welcome to contact Emily, the Inclusion Co-ordinator for a chat emily.aris@hideoutyouthzone.org or call on 0161 511 3777. Once a young person is a member, they can book activities through the website. If someone struggles getting online or isn't confident using the booking system, Emily can book them in. 

 

Powerhouse - Moss Side (May 21)

The Powerhouse youth offer has started back up with sessions that are inclusive to all. There’s a Junior Youth club (8-13 years) on Mondays 5-7pm and a Friday Senior Youth Club, 6.30-7.30pm. These are open access with no need to book. Also on Fridays, ‘Mix It Up! Arts’ offers young people aged 10-16 and 16-25 a taster of lots of different arts, bringing ideas to life with the help of professional artists and leading to an official arts certificate. Email reception@mcrpowerhouse.com or call 0161 226 4335 to register. If you’re on Twitter, follow the Powerhouse to keep up date - @msmpowerhouse

 

Youth Involvement Team - Wythenshawe (May 21)

The Youth Involvement Team at Wythenshawe Community Housing Trust runs a free Ability Group every Tuesday evening 6-8pm at The Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe. These are SEND open access sessions for 13-25 year olds and an opportunity for young people to engage in fun activities based on sport, arts & crafts and skills for life in small groups within Government guidelines around COVID-19. Young people need to be signed up using this online form. Enquiries to youthinvolvement@wchg.org.uk, 0161 946 7543.

 

Youth Zone - Harpurhey (May 21) 

Youth Zone offers Inclusion Sessions (disabilities and/or additional needs session) for 8-25 year olds. All new members can join on the website and need to attend a New Members Meeting before joining sessions. If you’d like more info, contact Corrina at corrina.aitchison-hayles@manchesteryz.org or 0161 203 5333.

  

Benefits, Household & Travel

 

COVID-19 specific information to be removed and kept on the Coronavirus Advice & Information page. 

 

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
  • Travel

 

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.

If COVID-19 has changed your personal circumstances, you are not alone. This Helping Hands Pocket Guide signposts you to organisations that can offer support around money and work. Find out more on the Council’s website

 

BENEFITS, FINANCE & GRANTS

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

 

Carer's Allowance & National Living Wage (April 21)

The national living wage has increased to £8.91 per hour for people aged over 23. While this is good news for many people in low paid work, it may affect you if you are claiming Carer’s Allowance. This is because there is a maximum amount that you can earn and remain entitled to the allowance. Read more here.

 

 

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. There is also this Helping Hands Pocket Guide which signposts to organisations that can offer support around money and work. Find out more on the Council’s website.

 

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

 

Coping With A Power Cut

Could you cope during a power cut? What happens if you or the person you care for has a respiratory condition that means you use a ventilator or you have medicines stored in the fridge? The Electricity North West Priority Service Register (PSR) offers FREE additional support if and when there is a power cut. They can provide advance notice of service interruptions, and notice before any planned work in the area. They also provide additional service for those whose main language is not English or have communication difficulties. Find out more here or call 0808 278 7800. 

 

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

 

Evictions (June 21)

The eviction ban has now expired, meaning landlords can take enforcement action. If you're struggling with rent, it's important to seek help early. Call Citizens Advice Manchester free on 0808 278 7800 or see their website for other ways to get in touch. Manchester City Council can help you if you are at risk of losing your home.

 

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).

 

 

TRAVEL

 

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 has volunteer drivers throughout Greater Manchester who take sick children under 16 to hospital and clinic appointments with their carer/parent. Children need to be referred by a health, social care or education professional, with the family being on state benefits or a low-income and not having access to a private vehicle. If you need the service or have queries, please contact Beverley Hoyle, Funding & Communication Manager, Beverley@transportforsickchildren.org, 0161 443 4122.

 

 

Support From Organisations & Groups

 

COVID-19 specific activities to be removed and kept on the Coronavirus Advice & Information page. 

 

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. They also have a handbook for families packed with information, including common concerns about a child’s health and development, information on behaviour, sleep and feeding, as well as education and benefits and other sources of financial help. Parent carers can order their free copy here.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Mobilise: Mobilise is a new free online community set up by carers for carers. Support includes regular emails with stories and updates (sign up here), virtual cuppas with other carers and free 30 minute telephone or video calls to focus on yourself and talk about what’s important to you.

 

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.

 

 

Your Wellbeing

 

COVID-19 specific activities to be removed and kept on the Coronavirus Advice & Information page. 

 

This list has information in the following categories:

  • Easing of Lockdown
  • Families with SEND children
  • General

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

 

EASING OF LOCKDOWN 

Easing of lockdown is allowing us to get back to the people and things we love. It’s okay if you feel worried about this. Even positive change can lead to anxiety, and it can take time to readjust to things we have not done for a while. Feelings of post-lockdown anxiety are likely to pass with time as we get used to the ‘new normal; but it's important to take care of our mental wellbeing in the meantime. Here are some top tips from Every Mind Matters and advice from Mind. 

  

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.

 

Be Well 

Be Well is the Social Prescribing Service for Manchester. Wherever you are in life, they can help you develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to take control of your life, health and wellbeing. They cover isolation, mental health support, managing and preventing long term health conditions, lifestyle change support, welfare support, and unemployment. They’ll connect you to local services and you’ll also receive one to one coaching sessions from the Be Well team. You can be referred by any organisation in Manchester. If you give them a call they can talk through the referral process: bewell.mcr@nhs.net, 0161 470 7120.

 

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.

 

Gardening On Prescription (Summer 21)

Sow the City and seven community gardens are launching a new gardening on prescription service in Manchester for people experiencing mental ill health. They accept self-referrals, referrals from health professionals, supported accommodation providers and other mental health support workers. They will discuss interests, need and practicalities so they can recommend a gardening project suited to each individual. Here’s the referral form.

 

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 

Manchester's Community Development Initiative (CDI) offer a low-cost counselling service for individuals who are experiencing mental health issues or couples with relationship problems. They have limited free counselling for people who are unemployed. Bilingual counselling is available in Urdu and Punjabi. Counselling sessions are mainly via videocall but they also offer some face-to-face work. To arrange counselling, please download the referral form and send to cdi256@gmail.com.

 

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 schoolsSecondary schoolsFurther 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.

 

Mobilise

Mobilise is a new free online community set up by carers for carers. Support includes regular emails with stories and updates (sign up here), virtual cuppas with other carers and free 30 minute telephone or video calls to focus on yourself and talk about what’s important to you.

 

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.

 

Wythenshawe Wellbeing Walks (June 21)

There are two weekly wellbeing walks in Wythenshawe led by Thrive Mcr: Wednesdays 11am, meet outside The Northern Den (M22 4HB); Fridays 10.30am, meet outside Wythenshawe Hall. Get in touch with Chantel to let her know you are interested and to find out more: chantel@thrivemanchester, phone/text 07859 832533. Keep up to date with Thrive Mcr activities on Facebook.

  

 

Young People

 

COVID-19 specific activities to be removed and kept on the Coronavirus Advice & Information page. 

 

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
  • Having Their Say
  • Support from organisations
  • Employment, training & volunteering

 

ARTS & CREATIVITY

 

Archives+ Project

A new year-long project from Archives+ and Manchester Libraries gives the city’s 11-25 year olds a chance to create a record of their life during lockdown. ‘On This Day Last Year’ is aimed at children and young people with additional needs, care leavers, children in care, young carers and home educated young people. Everyone taking part will receive a free art pack and meet in small groups for one or two sessions. These will be online to begin with but there will be more opportunities for face to face meetings later in the year. The workshops will give young people the opportunity to voice their feelings about their experience during lockdown, including what they have missed, new routines they have formed, and what could help them in going forward. They will express these feelings through a creative piece of their choice, whether artwork, poetry, creative writing or photography, and these will be displayed at Archives+ in Central Library. To book on or find out more, email siobhan.o'connor@manchester.gov.uk.

 

Community Media Crew

This alternative day service is for learning disabled and autistic people over the age of 18 and is based in St John’s Club in Wythenshawe, where it meets 3 days a week. Set up by TV film and producer John McCormack, participants can join in film-making, acting workshops and recording radio shows for Wythenshawe FM in a COVID-safe setting. It’s £25 per day or £17.50 half a day and there are some concessions.  But people can go free for the first day as a taster, to see if they like it! You can find out more on the website or by contacting John on 07881 468 569 or communitymediacrew@btinternet.com.

 

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

Free, safe and anonymous online counselling is available for all young people aged 11-18 across Greater Manchester - https://kooth.com. Find out more about Kooth in this video and FAQ, aimed at professionals but helpful to parent carers. This other video can be helpful to start conversations with your child around their mental health and getting Kooth’s support.

 

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.

 

 

HAVING THEIR SAY

 

The Changemakers at GMYN

Manchester Changemakers invites young people aged 13 to 25 to join them. The group is a way for young people with additional needs to have a voice about the things that matter to them and help to make positive changes to services. It’s fun too, with a chance to make friends and learn new skills. To find out more, message the Greater Manchester Youth Network Facebook page or contact Joseph on 07592 845246, joseph.cain@gmyn.co.uk.

 

 

SUPPORT FROM ORGANISATIONS

 

Support For Deaf Young 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

Proud Connections is a digital support service for LGBT+ young people and the adults who support them. The one-to-one web chat is a first port of call for LGBT+ young people wanting to speak to a trained youth worker, from where they can be signposted to further services such as youth groups or mentoring projects if needed.

 

Website For Deaf Young People

The National Deaf Children's Society's website The Buzz is the only website for deaf young people aged 8 to 18 in the UK. It’s a safe, online space created by deaf young people for deaf young people and offers a platform where they can read inspiring stories, connect with others, find the latest information and support, sign up to events, ask questions and get involved. See this animation to find out more.

 

 

EMPLOYMENT, TRAINING & VOLUNTEERING

 

Transition To Employment Toolkit

Ambitious About Autism have created an employment toolkit to support autistic young people into the job market. It has sections for autistic young people, careers professionals and employers, and includes lots of editable forms and templates. It has been developed to tackle the low autism employment rate and aims to prevent autistic young people from falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school. Download for free here.

 

Free Traineeship (June 21)

Foundation 92, the official charity partner of Salford City FC, has a unique traineeship combining sport and education. It’s for 16-24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training and includes work placements in the industry and skills workshops with guest speakers. They’ve had a number of people with special education needs and disabilities take part and graduate and welcome applications from young people with additional needs. While courses are delivered in Salford, Little Hulton and Bury, it’s open to young people in Manchester and each site is accessible by public transport. There is also a pre-programme at Broomwood in Trafford which people are encouraged to attend depending on level of need. To register interest or find out how a young person can be supported to take part, please email sian.godwyn@foundation92.co.uk or call her on 07596 324930.

 

Join The Changemakers 

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.

 

Prince's Trust Development Awards (April 21)

The Prince’s Trust Development Awards are small, fast-access grants to support those aged 16-30 to progress into education, training or employment. Development awards can help to cover the cost of course fees, tools or equipment to help young people achieve their goals. They can offer up to £250 per young person and up to £500 for care leavers. Find out more here.

 

Rising Stars Fund (June 21)

We Love MCR Charity aims to improve the lives and life chances of individuals and communities across Manchester. The Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund supports ambitious, talented, young people aged 16 to 24 years old to achieve their potential. Read the Grant Guidance and apply using this form

 

Coronavirus Advice & Information

 

Non COVID-19 activities to be removed from the coronavirus page and kept in this SEND Information Hub. 

During this difficult period, we have pulled together some information that we hope will be of help to you - Local Offer Coronavirus Advice & Information. We are still adding to this section of the Manchester Local Offer and regularly checking that the information is up to date.