Never be afraid to ask for help
If you have a child with additional needs it can be hard, and it is okay to recognise that.
People often genuinely want to help but do not know what to do or say. Families we work with have told us that is that it is important to accept offers of help, but also to let people know exactly what help it is that you need.
There may be financial benefits that you are entitled to. Visit www.gov.uk to find out more about more or you can arrange to speak to one of our Family Support Workers who can talk you through your entitlements, guide you through the paperwork and signpost you to other organisations which may be able to help.
There are a number of ways we might be able to help, as detailed below.
"I was very nervous the first time I took my children. I can honestly tell you I met the loveliest people. Down to earth, helping to look out for each others children, facilities that are brilliant, events that they really enjoy and staff that are really lovely. Don't be worried about going. I was greeted by the loveliest people, made friends with another lady who has children with similar diagnoses. You won't regret it"
Counselling for parents
We provide a variety of creative and talking therapies which help develop mental health and wellbeing. These sessions are delivered by our highly skilled and experienced Therapies Team.
Our support is available to any member of the family; a child (3-25 years) who has an additional need, disability or life-limiting condition, their siblings and their parent or carers.
Counselling sessions will cost whatever you can afford. Currently our families pay between £0 and £25.40 per hour. The average cost for counselling by other local providers is between £50 and £90 per hour.
Your first step is to ensure that you have any up to date membership form - this will cover you on our insurance. You then need to complete this online self-referral form. On this form you will explain the nature of support you or you require. Please give us as much detail as you feel is necessary so that we can understand your situation. Don't worry if you are unsure of the type of support you need; your first meeting with us will be a discussion and from there we will allocate the member of our team who is best placed to help you. All information you provide is treated with utmost respect and confidentiality.
On receipt of your request, a Psychotherapist will be in touch to arrange a pre-assessment where we will discuss your aims and whether therapy is the right route for you. The appointment will last between 45 and 90 minutes. If both parties agree that therapy would be helpful then we will match you with the therapist best placed to support your needs.
All of our therapists are BACP registered. For more details please click here.
Therapies for Children
We provide a variety of therapies for children and young people. These are usually aimed at children from the age of 8 upwards, however in exceptional circumstances we do have therapists who are qualified to work with children as young as 3. Techniques used include talking therapy, art therapy and play therapy and the first steps will depend on who is making the referral.
With professional requests we ask that the referring professional contact us to discuss requirements. Where the visit will be taking place in a school environment we would always like to discuss access requirements before receiving the referral.
If you are making a referral as a family your first step is to ensure that you have any up to date membership form - this will cover you on our insurance. You then need to complete this online self-referral form. On this form you will explain the nature of support your child requires. Please give us as much detail as you feel is necessary so that we can understand your situation. Don't worry if you are unsure of the type of support you need; your first meeting with us will be a discussion and from there we will allocate the member of our team who is best placed to help you. All information you provide is treated with utmost respect and confidentiality.
On receipt of your request, a Psychotherapist will be in touch to arrange a pre-assessment where we will discuss your aims and whether therapy is the right route for your child. The appointment will last between 45 and 90 minutes. If both parties agree that therapy would be helpful then we will match you with the therapist best placed to support your needs.
Depending on the age and needs of your child this appointment may happen either with or without the parents.
If it is agreed that therapy would be helpful then we will match your child with the therapist best placed to support their needs. All of our therapists are qualified to work with children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions and are BACP registered. Therapy will be for your child alone, you will not be able to accompany them.
For more details please click here.
Many children with additional needs have sensory issues and process things differently to other children. This can be concerning however our Family Support Team are here to guide you towards the best help for your child.
We have a small range of sensory equipment which can be loaned to families. We also work with a number of other charities who allow you to try equipment and assess whether it will be of benefit to your child. If you do decide to buy then we can help you apply for funding.
Our team can also talk to you about sensory diets and sensory circuits - more details of which can be found here.
It is a sad reality that for some of the children we support their lives are shortened.
We work closely with the families of children with life-limiting conditions to improve their quality of life and to provide emotional and practical support. We are not here to provide end of life care for your child but instead to give families the opportunity to make memories and ensure that they do not have to face this journey alone. We are here for as long as the family needs us and can provide specialist counselling at any time that you need us.
For emergency support please call 01733 262226 or email@example.com.
WORKSHOPS AND COURSES
The training and workshops we offer cover a wide range of subjects. These include:
- Accessing benefits and grants
- Communication techniques (including Makaton, British Sign Language and Intensive Communication Skills)
- Accessing education
- Understanding Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
- Training in specific disabilities
- Mental health training
- Employment support
- First aid training
- Parenting courses (including Webster Stratton and Triple P - Stepping Stones)
- Courses in behavioural support
Children out of traditional education
We support a number of children who are out of education, help them with their curriculum development and provide a range of opportunities to support socialisation.
Please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 262226 for more details.
INFORMATION ABOUT DISABILITIES
Receiving a new diagnosis can be daunting but we are here to help. We offer a wide range of information about different medical conditions and can support you in accessing the resources you need.
If we cannot help directly then we will be able to put you in touch with someone, possibly from another charity, who can give you more specific advice.
Activities and Respite
Our play scheme offers a non-judgemental atmosphere where children and their siblings can play and feel accepted. This allows parents and carers the opportunity to speak to other families, share worries, give advice and even make new friends themselves.
"I was very nervous the first time I took my children. I can honestly tell you I met the loveliest people. Down to earth, helping to look out for each others' children, facilities that are brilliant, events that they really enjoy and staff that are really lovely.
Don't be worried about going. I was so nervous I asked where I put my donation for make and create day whilst standing next to a big round stand alone bowl with the word donations written across it!
I had never been on a trip before and when turned up at sacrewell farm was greeted by the loveliest lady and gentleman and made friends with another lady who has children with similar diagnoses.
U won't regret it" Amber, and her son Theo
As a charity we rely on donations to run such an exciting programme of activities throughout the year. For more information please refer to your nearest branch or for activities at The Spinney please click here.
LOW COST Holidays
In 2014 we won £50,000 from the ITV People's Millions enabling us to buy a fully accessible caravan and provide low-cost holidays to our members.
The caravan is located at Kelling Heath near Cromer. The site is set amongst 300 acres of woodland and rare open heathland in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a wonderful environment where you can relax and enjoy activities together with your children and family.
HELP WITH FINANCES
We can help you and your family ensure that you are receiving all of the financial support you are entitled to. We can help with forms, offer advice and help you access financial opportunities you may not have known about.
We can help you access grants and apply for items which might improve the quality of your child's life.
We have links with other groups and can advise on specialist equipment, mobility vehicles or home adaptions. We can also help you access food banks.
We offer an advocacy service where we can help you with issues like communicating with schools or understanding confusing letters or emails that you receive from medical professionals.
Radar keys are used to enter public disability toilets across the country.
We are a licenced distributor and the keys cost £4 plus postage.
For more information about Radar Keys please follow this link. If you would like to apply for a Radar Key please complete form.
Max cards offer discounts to families of children with additional needs at venues across the UK.
We are a licenced distributor and the cards cost £3 plus postage.
For more information about Max Cards please follow this link. If you would like to apply for a Max Card please complete form.
Even during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 we were there for as many families as we could reach, delivering food parcels making sure that they had the financial and emotional support that they needed.
This video shows a day in the life of one of our incredible Family Support workers during that very scary time.
As a charity we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations and we simply could not be here without our incredible supporters.