Local Offer- You Said, We Did

There’s lots of ways to feedback to us about the local offer, including SEND services, and the services  you need and use in your local area.

Take a look at our Getting Involved section – there are loads of ways to get your views listened to and much more:

  • Parent Forum

  • Parent Champions

  • Participation Register

Here’s what you told us and what we did about it.. 

You said: Can we have a provider event to show case all the universal services available locally?

Of course!…we’re onto it… In the mean time we’ve asked our partners Young Manchester to join the virtual drops so they can offer guidance on what’s out there. We’ll feature their weblink in the newsletter too!

You said: Can we have other ways to access information rather than just via the Local Offer web pages?

Yes! The Local Offer is one way but because of the pandemic these will now be virtual. We’ll also trial doing a regular newsletter, highlighting new and key events and information. We’ve just launched, ‘Ask Ali’… where parent can call/ email whatever their issue is and Ali will draw on her wide ranging information and resources to reply…

You said: Can you help us pilot having sensory bags that we could distribute to families struggling in the lock down?

We thought this was a fabulous idea. We contacted partners who were not only able to support with the pilot, but following its very successful response, we scaled up and worked collaboratively to roll this out to over 5,000 families in the Summer 2020 and over 5,000 families again in the Winter 2021! Its been a huge success! Parents and Young People were able to design the content. Our community partners were able to manage the large scale distribution. The Forum and The Champions also did a great job of gathering the feedback and responses from everyone!

You said: We’d like an outdoor based summer programme and stuff that can be done at home… What about a ceramics project and the clay and tools gets dropped off, then collected and sent to a kiln before bringing back for painting/ varnishing? What about making use of the stuff in parks like the boats and bikes… Making dens and garden stuff,

We worked with partners and delivered and delivered all the above and more… a door drop ceramics project designed by young Disabled artists from Venture Arts, Family Tree Top sessions, Boating sessions, Picnic and Pedal, Cycle rides out in the peaks, Community Market Garden sessions, outdoor den-making, gardening, Family dance sessions in the park and school play area spaces for family use.

You said: Could we combine the Parent Carer Forum coffee mornings with your SEND/ early help drop ins?

We did: Yes! Great idea. The next date is The next date is Thursday 8th March, 10am - 12pm at Camberwell Park school, Brookside Road, Moston, M40 9GN , more to follow.

You said: Its hard to find the 'You Said, We Did' area on the Local Offer. Can you make it easier to find?

We did: Yes, no problem. We've created it's own button and dedicated area. It's on the front page of the Local Offer.

You said: Can we have some guidance around applying for Disability Living Allowance?

We did: With parents and partners, we have co-produced some top tips. We've sent them to a team who will help us design and present the information in a friendly format. 

You said: In the Parent Carer Survey its difficult to know and understand what's available across SEND Services.

We did: In response to the survey which highlighted some parents’ negative experiences when navigating SEND services, we're reviewing our pathways and processes. Our co-production charter will guide this work.

You said: We (Parent Champions) could have a role in supporting our children to use public transport. Could we get some information and advice about this?

We did: We're co-producing a workshop with parent champions, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Travel Training Partnership and following it, we'll put together a tool kit of supportive resources alongside the session.

You said: There are not enough short break providers

We did: We have worked with parents & other partners to increase the range of service providers available. We now have an Approved Provider List with a much greater range and choice of providers to select from. More information can be found in our Short Breaks section of the Local Offer. 

You said: Can we have a Disability Champion or someone like a SENCO in all our schools, in all our universal services?

We did: We have set up a Disability Champion Network Group for all universal providers, across the city. We meet every 3 months. As part of this we offer a range of training, support and challenge, to ensure their service is fully inclusive.

You said: Can you make the Local Offer easier to use?

We did: We have created more categories to make it easier to find information. We have removed unnecessary text & simplified the format. The design & improvements have been driven and co-produced by parents.

You said: Can we have a calendar on the Local Offer so that it makes it easier to see what’s on?

We did: Yes - great idea! Take a look at what we’ve done. If you click on a date, it will list everything that’s happening that day!

You said: Some of us use the Local Offer on a regular basis, how do we identify when something new is added?

We did: We’ve introduced a ‘What’s New on the Local Offer’ feature which lists any recent additions to it.

You said: Can we have a 'Trip Advisor' style feature on the Local Offer?

We did: We have commissioned this type of feedback feature as part of the recent Local Offer improvements. It’s called ‘Rate and Review’, and will launched shortly.

You said: The Local Offer doesn’t look very colourful or interesting. Can we have more images and pictures etc?

We did: We commissioned Venture Arts to work with young people to illustrate the Local Offer with the activities they use and enjoy. Because of the success of the project, we also worked with them and some young people to create an animation to promote the IAS service to young people. This is be posted on the Local Offer very soon.

You said: We found the Universal Services Parent event really useful, particularly when we had an opportunity to speak to some of the service providers directly. Can we have something similar on a city-wide scale?

We did: We held a big event at the Town Hall in March 2016, where over 30 service providers across the city attended, including youth, play, theatres, museums, sports and libraries, etc. Showcasing the work they are involved in. It provided an opportunity for parents and service providers to talk directly. 

You said: We have difficulty finding activities to do over the summer which are inclusive to disabled children in the city

We did: As well as the usual listings on Help and Support Manchester, we have added a dedicated ‘holiday activities’ area on the local offer for Disabled Children and Young People.

You said: The Universal Services event was an eye-opener – can we have a localised version for young people?

We did: We’ve delivered an event in the North. Central and South to follow soon!

You said: We are Parent Champions, in order to effective help others, we need to look after our own emotional well-being. Can you support us with this?

We did: We offered an emotional resilience and well-being course for all our Parent Champions and offered it to parents on our Participation Register. The course was designed to boost your mood, thinking, relaxation, assertiveness, confidence, motivation, understanding, communication, activity and sleep.

You said: Can we have a workshop/event so that we can get a better understanding of direct payments?

We did: We co-designed and delivered a session to look at how direct payments work and what’s involved. Parents and young people presented their stories about how direct payments have enabled great flexibility and scope for innovation and aspiration.

You said: Direct payments are not always very flexible

We did: We ran a workshop with the involved team to put greater emphasis on the outcomes of a direct payment (the difference it makes) rather than an over emphasis on what the direct payment can/can’t be used for.

You said: We’d like a more prominent role on the Local Offer Review Board

We did: We have arranged for the Local Offer Review Board to be co-chaired by the Manchester Parent Carer Forum.

You said: We‘d like to be represented on the SEND Board

We did: This has been formally agreed and arranged; Manchester Parent Carer Forum are represented on the SEND Board, which is a strategic decision-making board involving senior management, including the Director of Education and Skills. The Local Offer Review Board reports into this board.

You said: We need a shared understanding of co-production across all SEND Services

We did: We have commissioned training to be delivered to all 60 SEND staff across the Council. We have also identified Local Offer / Parent Engagement Champions from each of the SEND Service areas to support this on-going work.

You said: A co-production strategy/charter would help everyone understand what’s expected in order to work together using this approach

We did: A co-production charter involving all our partners has been worked up and is ready for sign off. The partners involved include:

  • The Manchester Parent Carer Forum

  • Parent Champions

  • Health

  • The voluntary and community sector


  • Schools

  • SEND services

  • Social Care


You said: The work with parents and carers is really impressive – could more be done to capture and involve the voice of children and young people?

We did: We now have a new & dedicated post for SEND youth engagement and participation.

You said: The launch of the Parent Carer Forum highlighted how parents and carers need support with their emotional resilience. What can be done to help address this?

We did: We have linked a local voluntary sector provider with the Parent Carer Forum to look into setting up and piloting some provision in response to this.

You said: You send lots of information by email but many parents prefer texts. Is there anything you can do about this?

We did: We’ve arranged for a text service to be set up so that we can contact parents / carers / young people by their preferred method.

You said: Can you keep us updated with new information/events etc about the Local Offer via social media, Twitter for example?

We did: We have applied for the relevant licences and once in place, we’ll go live!

You said: The short media/video clips on the Local Offer are great! Can we have more of them?

We did: More media clips have been added. We’ve also offered our Parent Champions, ‘Community Reporters’ training so that they have the skills & knowledge to capture more stories/media clips of interest.

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