Local Offer SEND Information Hub

 

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 learn more about us, please visit Welcome to Manchester Local Offer. If you would like to sign up to our newsletter, see our newsletter information with a list of past issues. You can also search our online directory

If you are new to the world of SEND, it might be helpful to read our Guidance For New Parent Carers.

 

 ACCESSIBILITY - Click on the orange circle (top right) to open the ReachDeck toolbar. This provides a range of access options, including text enlargement, MP3 Maker and language translation. You can also make changes from the Accessibility option at the top of each page. 

 

 

WELCOME TO MANCHESTER LOCAL OFFER


For an introduction to who we are and how we can support you, whether you are a parent carer, family member, or working in the city with families, see Welcome To Manchester Local Offer. 

Benefits & Grants

 

This information is in two categories: 

It isn't a comprehensive guide - it's just to give you some information to get you started and keep you up to date with relevant news. In Manchester, the 'go to' organisations for support and signposting are Carers Manchester and Citizens Advice. There is also a range of information on Manchester City Council website. Nationally, the charity Contact has a lot of helpful information. 

See the Household section of the SEND Information Hub for financial support around Energy. 

 

BENEFITS & GRANTS

 

Benefits Information 

Contact has information on benefits and tax credits for families with disabled children.  

 

Carers Benefits

Carers Manchester provide advice and support relating to benefits.

 

Council Support

Manchester City Council funds lots of things – big and small – to keep people living independently at home. This includes:

Equipment to make life easier day to day – eg. for cooking and bathing

Minor adaptations - like grab rails and small ramps

Major adaptations – such as wider doorways, wet rooms and ramps

Funding for major adaptions comes through the Disabled Facilities Grant. Disability Grants has information on this here.

 

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. It can also help with the cost of goods or services, like washing machines and refrigerators. See the Family Fund website for how to apply.

 

Free Reward Card

As a carer of a child with SEND in Manchester, you are entitled to access the Reward and Lifestyle Savings Group. It’s an online portal that has offers and savings in retail, lifestyle and leisure services. Find out more about the rewards scheme

 

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. The fund is administered by Gaddum.

 

Help from Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Manchester can provide support and advice around benefit issues. 

 

Help With Debts, Bills & Borrowing

Visit www.manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands for advice and support on a range of topics.

  

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 produced these resources

 

 

ORGANISATIONS WITH GRANTS LISTINGS

 

Disability Grants

Set up by a parent of a disabled child, Disability Grants is a free resource of grants and other information, including advice on applying. The grant information is in the following categories: 

Children & Young People

Disabled Adults

Families & Carers

Individual Conditions & Disabilities

Holidays

Recreation

Equipment

Housing

Grants for Education

Disability & Employment

Grants UK Grants by area, including Manchester

  

Grants In Manchester

Disability Grants have information on grant schemes in Manchester and the North West. There is also a list on Gaddum's website

 

Sky Badger

Sky Badger is a charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families all over the UK. They have information on grants and finances, including help with bills, disability allowance and various ‘How to’ guides.

  

Turn2Us

Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through their partner organisations. They provide a fund finder where you can search for grants under criteria. They also have a benefits calculator.

 

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Early Help

 

There are three Early Help locality hubs in Manchester. Each hub brings together staff from different agencies, including Manchester City Council. Rather than a service or a single team, it’s a way of working with families that helps them to cope with the difficulties they face and supports them to thrive. Early Help is for all children in Manchester up to 18 (or 25 for young people with SEND) but it’s recognised that children with special educational needs and disabilities may need more specialist support.

Most of the City Council website information about Early Help is aimed at practitioners - the people who work with families - rather than parents. They would usually refer your family for an Early Help Assessment. You can find out more in the Early Help Practitioners Zone and the Early Help Assessment Journey. You can also contact the hubs directly:

South Early Help Hub:  0161 234 1977, earlyhelpsouth@manchester.gov.uk

North Early Help Hub: 0161 234 1973, earlyhelpnorth@manchester.gov.uk

Central Early Help Hub: 0161 234 1975, earlyhelpcentral@manchester.gov.uk

 

Education, inc. EHC Plans

 

This information is in the following categories:

 

If you are new to the world of SEND, it might be helpful to read our Guidance For New Parent Carers 

The Special Education & Disability Information, Advice & Support Manchester (SENDIASS) offers information, advice and support to children, young people and parents/carers around SEND in the city. 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, HEALTH & CARE PLANS & OTHER SEN SUPPORT

See Education, Health & Care Plans & Other SEN Support. This includes: SEN Support in mainstream schools; EHC Needs Assessment and Education, Health & Care Plans.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

SPECIAL SCHOOLS & COLLEGES

Search for special schools in the online directory on the Local Offer main page.  

 

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Emotional & Mental Wellbeing

 


This information is in two categories: 

For under 25s, see the 'Young People' section. 

 

FAMILIES WITH SEND CHILDREN

 

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). 

 

Contact's Listening Ear

You might be struggling emotionlly and looking for strategies to help you cope. 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.

 

Easy Read Resources

The Clinical Psychology team in Pennine Care Learning Disability Directorate have developed some easy read online wellbeing resources, including sleep, anxiety and anger. 

 

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 

 

Free Counselling & Support Service

Respect For All offers a range of free support to autistic people, people with learning disabilities, and their parents and carers in Greater Manchester. 

 

Mental Health & Autistic Young People

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

 

 

 

 

GENERAL

 

Anxiety UK Support

Anxiety UK offers support around anxiety, including a helpline, text service and and live chat.

 

Bereavement Support

Greater Manchester Bereavement Service - visit their website for services.

CAHN Bereavement Counselling - The Caribbean & African Health Network in Manchester offers a counselling service.

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

Goodbye Daisy - Writer Stephanie Nimmo has created a free audio version of her book ‘Goodbye Daisy’ on You Tube. to help children, particularly those with learning disabilities, with their emotions around the death of a loved one.

Gov.uk - Practical guidance and advice on what to do following a loss, like registering the death and arranging the funeral. 

Winston’s Wish - offers support to bereaved children

 

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. Ask your GP to put you in touch with them. 

 

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.

 

Carers Manchester

Carers Manchester can signpost you to a range of organisations that can help with your mental health and wellbeing. Visit their mental health information for tips.

 

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 Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) families around the impact of the pandemic. 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.

 

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

 

Gardening On Prescription 

Sow the City has a gardening scheme - Nature for Health. See this information for how to access the service. 

 

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.

 

Helpline For Black & Asian Families

Barnardos has a helpline for Black and Asian families. It’s called Boloh, which means speak in many languages. 

 

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 for people in Greater Manchester that you can access at home or on the go. It teaches life skills and shares tools to improve wellbeing and resilience. Find out more here.  

 

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. 

 

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.

 

Manchester Self Help Services

Manchester’s Self Help Services (part of Big Life Group) provide free therapeutic support for anxiety and low mood to the whole of Manchester. You can be referred or self-refer. 

 

Meditation & Mindfulness

See this NHS link to mindfulness and relaxation techniques. There is also this information on a breathing exercise for stress.

 

Mental Wellbeing Audio-guides

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

 

Mind in Manchester

There is various support available from Manchester Mind. See their website.

 

Mobilise - Carers Support

Mobilise is a free online community set up by carers for carers. Support includes regular virtual cuppas. Check out their website.  

 

Papyrus - Prevention of young suicide

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. 

 

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. 

 

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.

 

Sleep Help

Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically. Resources are available from Public Health England at Every Mind Matters.

 

  

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Employment

 

Employment Support 

If you’re a Manchester resident who has lost your job or are worried about possible redundancy, there is support available. There is also information on redundancy and looking for work on the Council website. 

 

Help from Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Manchester can provide support and advice around work issues and your rights. 

 

Household - inc. Energy & Digital Support

This information is in the following categories: 

 

DIGITAL & ONLINE SUPPORT

 

AbilityNet IT Support

AbilityNet’s digital accessibility services provide free IT support to people with disabilities of any age. They also have lots of other free resources and information.

 

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
  • 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.

 

 

ENERGY & WATER

 

Help With Fuel 

Visit the Citizen’s Advice website for information. If you meet certain criteria or claim particular benefits, you can apply for Manchester City Council’s help to pay for fuel scheme and the Government’s Warm Home Discountcold weather payment or winter fuel payment.

 

What To Do If Your Supplier Goes Bust (October 21) 

Due to the increase in wholesale global gas prices and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may see more suppliers than usual exiting the energy market. You won’t stop receiving gas and electricity. Ofgem, the energy supplier regulator, will automatically switch you to a new supplier so there won't be any interruption. If you are notified that your energy supplier is going out of business, there are some simple steps you can take: 

  • Check out this advice from Ofgem.
  • Make a note or take a photo of your meter reading as soon as possible 
  • Download any bills while you're waiting for your new supplier to contact you 
  • If you're in a vulnerable situation, check out what extra help might be available from Ofgem.

 

Priority Services Register 

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations, including if there is a powercut. Find out more

 

Energy Advice

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. See their website for more information. 

 

Help With Water Bills

United Utilities are asking customers having difficulty paying bills to get in touch. There is support for people who are struggling. See their website for more information. 

 

STEP Energy Advice

Did you know that heating rooms makes up 65% of your home energy costs? Take a look at this short video on using simple tricks to reduce your heating costs at home. STEP Energy also have videos on reducing bills when using hot water, laundry appliances and lights.

 

FOOD

 

Food Banks In Manchester

See Greater Together Manchester's information on food aid providers in Greater Manchester

 

Preventing Waste

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.

 

HOUSING

 

Evictions & Enforcement Action

If you're struggling with rent, it's important to seek help early. Get in touch with Citizens Advice Manchester - see their website. 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 on the right side of our National Autistic Society page.

 

Manchester Citizens Advice

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

 

 

 

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Local Offer In Other Languages

Website information on the Local Offer can be translated into numerous languages.

On a computer or tablet - At the top right of each webpage there is an orange circle. Click on this and it opens the ReachDesk, offering a range of accessibility tools. One of these has two small boxes, the front one with an 'A' inside it. Click on this and select the language. 

On a mobile phone - On the top right of each webpage there is an orange circle. (If you can't see it, flick the page to the left. It might be hiding!) Clicking on this opens the ReachDesk. Select the settings button and choose your language. 

Short Breaks

 

The Short-Breaks programme is for any disabled child or young person aged up to 18. It involves universal activities, the SEND Community Offer, and a smaller range of additional and specialist support (specifically for disabled children and young people). 

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

 

Special Education Advice In Manchester - SENDIASS

 

The Special Education & Disability Information, Advice & Support Manchester (SENDIASS) 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 8.30am-4pm]

 

Stuff To Do

 

The SEND Community Offer

All Manchester families can access our SEND Community Offer. Located within universal services, the SEND Community Offer enables families to access free activities alongside other SEND families, especially in the school holidays. The best way to find out about activities is to sign up to our newsletter. 

 

Search Our Online Directory

Our online directory has a huge range of stuff to do in the Manchester area. Start at our main Local Offer page. At the top of the page there is a search facility. Type in words and hit the search button. You can also browse by age and subject further down the page. You will see pictures with headings, including Stuff To Do.

  

Here's a selection of activities in Manchester and online:

 

ARTS & 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

Manchester-based Starling has a programme of free creative wellbeing activities for neurodivergent young people. Contact them through the website to register and see what is currently available. Young people with a diagnosis and self-identifying welcome.

 

Open Door - Autism Friendly Sessions

Open Doors at Manchester Art Gallery is a series of creative workshops especially for autistic children and 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 here.  

 

The Horsfall 

The Horsfall, the creative programme of 42nd Street, has regular creative activities. Find out more on the website

 

 

DANCE

 

Autastic Dance Session

Autastic runs an accessible dance session on the first Sunday of every month at Gorton Community Centre - £2 optional donation. To book and for further information, contact Hayley Peters at theautasticcharity@gmail.com.

 

Dance Classes From Flamingo Chicks

Flamingo Chicks offer free, inclusive dance classes online.

 

Para Dance UK

Para Dance UK have some free inclusive dance sessions.  

 

 

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.

 

Spectrum Gaming

Spectrum Gaming is a friendly and accepting community for autistic children and young people 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. 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

 

BBC Bitesize

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

 

Birley Sustainable Trail

The Hulme area has a hidden gem - the sensory gardens at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus. It 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.

 

Culture In The City  

Go to Visit Manchester to find information on 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 created Explore Manchester, a newsletter about local museums and cultural places. 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 

Check out Loads To Do, a one-stop shop to finding out about culture, leisure and sports activities in the city and near you.

 

Museums & Galleries In The City

Check out each site for visitor information:

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

Open Doors at Manchester Art Gallery is a series of creative workshops especially for autistic children and their families and carers. Find out more here.  

The National Football Museum have Relaxed mornings – Pre-Season Friendlys monthly on Sundays 9-10am. This time is ideal for neurodivergent adults and children Ad mission is free and there is no need to book – visitors can stay in the Museum once it opens fully at 10am. See the museum's What's On for more information.

 

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 from £10 for the hour. The rooms have a calming and interactive atmosphere with fibre-optic strands across the floor, twinkling lights, bubble tubes, water beds and much more. Parents and support workers free of charge.

There is also a low-priced sensory room (£6 per hour) at Benchill Community Centre in Wythenshawe. 

 

 

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.

 

Online Play Sessions 

The Seashell Trust in Stockport runs free online sessions every Wednesday for babies and pre-school children with complex and additional needs. These are fun and interactive sessions that you can take part in at home. 

 

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 have a closed Facebook group for families with a young person who relates to the world in a sensory way. 

 

Pop Up Percussion

Buzz Manchester Health Wellbeing Service have collaborated with Becca from Pop Up Percussion to bring you free wonderfully fun and creative music sessions for babies, toddlers and children 0-6. Join the fun with Becca as she explores the world around us using song, movement, live instrumentation and storytelling. Find all the sessions on the Get Connected hub.

 

Sensory Theatre For The Family

Head2Head makes sensory theatre - live and online - that is accessible and inclusive for all. See the programme to find out what’s on.

 

Singing Hands

You Tube videos of songs and stories signed in Makaton.

 

Soundabout

Soundabout offer 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). Also see their free resources - Little Soundabout and Soundabout Life

 

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

 

Access Sport

Access Sports has lots of free home activities, with options for all ages and disabilities. 

 

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.

 

Down’s Syndrome Association Activity 

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

 

Leisure In The City

Find out about leisure activities in the city on the MCRactive website.

 

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.

 

ParaNetball 

Dominoes Netball Club in Manchester is proud host to the North West’s first Core Inclusive ParaNetball Club in partnership with England Netball. The club takes place on the first Saturday of each month, 10-11am, and involves netball skills and fun games. The club is open to girls and boys, as well as siblings, and is at Wright Robinson Sports College, Gorton. While it’s aimed at the under 18’s, it's open to young people up to 25 with additional needs. See the webpage for more information and how to book.  

 

Simply Cycling

Simply Cycling run low-cost adapated bike sessions starting on the hour for 45 minutes at Wythenshawe Park, Longford Park and Boggart Hole Clough. They also offer group and 1-to-1 rides.

 

 

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. 

 

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 regular 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.

 

 

 

YOGA & MINDFULNESS

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

 

 

YOUTH CENTRES 

 

HideOut Youth Zone - Gorton

There is a Sunday Club from 11am-3pm at the HideOut for young people who identify as having additional needs or a disability. Become a member here. You're welcome to contact Emily, the Inclusion Co-ordinator for a chat - emily.aris@hideoutyouthzone.org  or call on 0161 511 3777. 

 

Powerhouse - Moss Side 

New inclusive youth club starting - more information to follow! The Powerhouse youth offer is inclusive to all. The Junior Youth Club (8-11 years) is on Mondays 5-7pm and the Senior Youth Club is on Fridays 6.30-8.30pm. These are open access with no need to book. Powerhouse recognises that some young people need a little extra help and support to take part. Contact Lisa, who will help your child join in the fun, on 0161 226 4335, l.davenport@mcrpowerhouse.com

 

Youth Involvement Team - Wythenshawe 

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. Young people need to be signed up using this online form. Any questions or if you'd like a chat, contact Daniel Armitt, Senior Youth Worker, daniel.armitt@wchg.org.uk, 0161 936 1565, 07580 870078 or through the website information

 

Youth Zone - Harpurhey 

Manchester Youth Zone has inclusion sessions (disabilities and/or additional needs) on Sundays 12-3pm. All new members can join on the website and will be asked to attend a New Members Meeting before joining sessions. If you’d like more information, visit the website or contact Corrina, the Inclusion Manager, for a chat at corrina.aitchison-hayles@manchesteryz.org or 0161 203 5333. 

 

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Support From Organisations

Our online directory has information on groups and organisations in the Greater Manchester area. Start at our main Local Offer page. At the top of the page there is a search facility. Type in words and hit the search button.You can also browse by age and subject further down the page. 

 

Here is a selection of organisations and groups in the Manchester area and nationally: 

 

SEND ORGANISATIONS - LOCAL

 

Autastic: Autastic is a charity for disabled young people under 18 in the Manchester and Stockport areas. It's a place where young people can be themselves without being judged and develop their life skills in a safe environment. Although Gorton-based, they offer telephone support for parents and carers to discuss issues with EHCP's and DLA. They also offer one-to-ones via zoom for young people to have a place to talk and chat with someone who understands their needs. For further information, contact Hayley Peters at theautasticcharity@gmail.com. You'll find Autastic on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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

 

Epilepsy Support Group (October 21): Neuro-speak is an epilepsy support group for parents and carers. Meetings are monthly on Mondays, 12.30-2.30pm at The Green Room, The Lighthouse Project (Top Floor) Middleton Shopping Centre M24 4EL. Contact Jeanette 07599 276030.

 

Lifted – Supporting Parent Carers: Lifted offers 1-1 support, guidance and advocacy to parent carers. They are based at the Dandelion Community in Wythenshawe. While Lifted’s work is based in the south of the city, it’s a city wide service. See their website for further details.

 

Manchester Deaf Centre: Offers a range of support, including a children and young people's service and a newsletter which you can sign up to at the bottom of their home page.

 

Manchester Parent Carer Forum: The Forum help to make sure that parent carer views are heard in the improvement of services. As parent carers themselves, they understand the day to day challenges. The Manchester Parent Carer Forum website has a range of information relevant to SEND families and they also have a Facebook page, sharing news and information. 

 

Manchester Parent Champions: The Champions are an independent group of parent carers connected to the Manchester Local Offer. They have a Facebook group as a place to support each other and share information. Like Manchester Parent Carer Forum, they are there to give you a voice.

 

Support For Parent Carers Over 50: Talbot House provides support to older parent carers of people with learning disabilities. 

 

 

SEND ORGANISATIONS - NATIONAL 

 

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.

 

Contact: Contact is a major organisation for families with disabled children. They have a huge range of information as well as workshops and a Listening Ear service. See here for more information

 

Disabled Living: Disabled Living can offer advice about products and equipment. This includes a Supplier Directory, with products and services listed, reviewed and rated so you can easily find trusted suppliers.

 

Down's Syndrome Association: The Down's Syndrome Association supports parent carers, including information and Facebook groups.

 

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

 

National Deaf Children’s Society: The Society has a range of various support services. 

 

RNIB: Offers various support around sight loss and for blind and partially sighted people. See their website. 

 

RNID: The RNID offer free, confidential information and support on topics relating to hearing loss or deafness.

 

Sibs: Sibs supports brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults. 

 

 

 

GENERAL ORGANISATIONS - LOCAL

 

Black, Asian or ethnically diverse carers: Being a carer from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse community can bring different challenges that others may not recognise. Worries about discrimination may mean you prefer to get support from someone in your own community or you may feel more comfortable discussing difficult issues in your preferred language. Carers Manchester have a directory of services for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse carers.

 

Carers Manchester: Carers Manchester offer a range of information support, including a helpline, newsletter and courses. The helpline team includes advice workers that can provide support in other languages. Carers Manchester is a partnership which includes numerous organisations who support unwaged carers in the city. You can find out more about each of them on the website.

 

Citizens Advice: Citizens Advice Manchester offer a range of advice and information, and have an Out Of Hours Advice Service.

 

Crossroads Together UK:  Crossroads Together offers a range of support to Manchester carers and the people they care for. 

 

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.

 

LGBTQ+ Carers Group: Do you identify as LGBTQ+? Do you look after someone Gaddum and the LGBT Foundation have a monthly group for LGBTQ+ carers. Contact keisha.tomlinson@gaddum.org.uk or through Gaddum on 0161 834 6069 to sign up.

 

Manchester Carers Centre: The centre offers a range of support to Manchester Carers. See their website. 

 

Young Carers In Manchester: See the Manchester City Council website for information around young carers in the city

 

 

GENERAL ORGANISATIONS - NATIONAL

 

Carers UK - Carers UK is a supportive community and a movement for change. 

 

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Travel

 

Home To School Transport Team
Enquiries about home to school transport for children with EHC plans. Please note that telephone enquiries are answered by Environment On Call, 0161 219 6400, hometoschool@manchester.gov.uk.

 

Passenger Assistance App

The 'Passenger Assistance’ app makes it easier and quicker for disabled people to ask for assistance with their train journeys. It’s been designed to speed up the booking process for customers and provide frontline staff with real-time information on passengers' requirements.

 

Ring & Ride
Ring & Ride is an accessible, low-cost mini-bus service for people who have difficulty in using public transport. Visit the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

 

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. 

 

Travel Training - See 'Young People' for free travel training in Manchester for ages 14-25.

 

Young People (18-25)

Our online directory has information on groups and organisations in the Greater Manchester area. Start at our main Local Offer page. At the top of the page there is a search facility. Type in words and hit the search button. You can also browse by age and subject further down the page. 

Watch this fun video about stuff to do in Manchester, made by students from Loreto College. There's also this video about the Flip project, an example of a SEND Community Offer activity for young people. 

 

Here's a selection of activity and groups aimed at young people up to the age of 25:

 

ARTS & CREATIVITY

 

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. Set up by TV film and producer John McCormack, participants can join in film-making and acting workshops. Find out more on the website.

 

Starling

Manchester-based Starling has a programme of free creative activities for neurodivergent young people aged 13-25. Contact them through the website to see what is currently available. Young people with a diagnosis and self-identifying welcome.

 

The Horsfall

The Horsfall is the creative programme of 42nd Street. Find out more on the website

  

Venture Arts

Based in Hulme, Venture Arts supports people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential through visual arts and culture.

 

 

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). 

 

Autism Diagnosis Resources

A group of autistic young people have shared their experiences of receiving an autism diagnosis to help others going through the process. Members of Ambitious About Autism’s Youth Network have created a series of new videos and blogs in which they talk about what it felt like to be diagnosed  - some as children, teenagers or as young adults.

 

Breakthrough Support 

Breakthrough UK have a project supporting disabled people to reconnect with their communities and health services following Covid. It’s for over 18s living in Manchester who consider themselves to be disabled. The project offers one to one support to help with things like travel training, becoming more confident with technology, attending social activities and connecting with support services. Young people can be referred or self-refer. More information on Breakthrough's website.

 

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 FAQ, aimed at professionals but helpful to parent carers. 

 

Free Counselling & Support Service

Respect For All offers a range of free support to autistic people, people with learning disabilities, and their parents and carers in Greater Manchester. This includes an Initial Support Service, counselling and Post Diagnosis Support.

 

Manchester Mind

Manchester Mind have free services for young people aged 13-25. See their website

 

Mental Health & Autistic Young People

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

 

Papyrus

Papyrus’ HOPELINEUK is a phoneline 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. 

 

Stormbreak

Stormbreak have mental health videos and activities with the aim to act as a ‘break’ from the storm and help young people be happier and more resilient. 

 

The Mix

The Mix is a free and confidential multi-channel service for the under 25s. 

 

Time To Talk - Next Steps 

Time to Talk Next Steps offers free support for young people with additional needs aged between 16 and 25. It’s aimed at those experiencing anxiety, isolation and who have limited or no plans for the future. A trained supporter will work with them to move forward. This might be linking them with people who have similar issues and interests or to local activities, as well as individual sessions to build confidence and explore the next steps. Find out more about it and how young people can sign up.

 

 

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.

 

Spectrum Gaming

Spectrum Gaming is a friendly and accepting community for autistic young people 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. 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, contact Luke at Greater Manchester Youth Network on 07592 845246, luke.wilson@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. Contact them to see what is currently on offer. 

 

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.

 

 

TRAVEL TRAINING 

In response to the voice of young people, Manchester City Council has commissioned free travel training for young disabled people aged 14-25 living in Manchester. It's being run through Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN). Contact psamphire@icloud.com or 07429 351627. It’s about much more than travel! Things are tailored to your young person’s interests and needs, opening them up to new opportunities.

 

 

VOLUNTEERING, TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT

 

Join The Changemakers 

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, contact Luke at Greater Manchester Youth Network on 07592 845246, luke.wilson@gmyn.co.uk.

 

Prince's Trust Development Awards 

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

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

 

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.

 

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PLUS - Covid Advice & Information

 

During the pandemic, we pulled together a wide range of information to support families. You can find this in the Local Offer Coronavirus Advice & Information. Most of it has been kept as an archive, however there is information about the continued Covid provision in the city. 

 

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