The Bridge - SEND Family Bulletin
The Bridge SEND Family Bulletin aims to support parents, young people and children to find information from Health, Education and Social Care in One Place.
Essex Local Offer SEND Parent/Carer Roadshow
Are you a parent of a young person with SEND? Would you like to talk to staff from the Essex Local Authority service and other supportive organisations within the community?
Then head to the SEND Roadshow or the Essex Local Offer Facebook page to find out more information. The Mid Essex SEND Parent/Carer Roadshow is on Wednesday 6th July at the Central Baptist Church, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LN
No need to book but more information can be found on the Essex Local Offer Facebook page or by sending an email to TheSENDNavigators@essex.gov.uk
Children’s Community Wardrobe
Run by Chelmsford Child and Family Wellbeing Service, this is a relaxed and friendly drop-in session where you can browse pre-loved clothes, shoes and coats for children aged 0-19.
Pop-up event on Thursday 23rd June, 10:30am - 12:30pm at Chelmsford West Family Hub, Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford, CM1 2AQ
For further information visit their Facebook page,
Online Event - Building up to and Supporting Young People Through Transitions
Thursday 28th April at 8pm
A conversation with Cathy at Autistic Girls Network and Uncommon founders Sascha and Kirsten.Having spoken with many young people and their parents we know how challenging the transition into settings can be.
If possible, have your phone available as you will be asked to use it in the workshop.
Register for the event on Eventbrite.
School Aged Support Clinic Appointments
Do you have a child aged 5-19?
Would you like some support around your child's behaviour, sleep, toileting, anxiety or other concerns?
Then why not book a slot at the monthly school aged support clinic, where you can discuss your concerns with a practitioner, receive support, advice and guidance.
Appointment slots available 2:30pm - 4pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Chelmsford West Family Hub, Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford, CM1 2AQ.
To book your FREE appointment, call 0300 247 0014
The Yo-Yo Project - Farleigh Hospice
The Yo-Yo Project will be running two 6-week virtual support groups (via Zoom) - one for single mums and one for single dads - who are caring for bereaved children. It is an opportunity for parents to hear the experience of others in similar situations and find answers to common questions and concerns.
For more information, please contact Sue Jeffery on 01245 457416
Bereavement Help Point in Witham
Farleigh Hospice are launching a Bereavement Help Point in Witham.
The help point will run on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month, 10.00-11.30am starting on 4th February at The Tea Rooms, 46 Newland Street, Witham.
This is an opportunity for anyone who has been bereaved to join an informal group for a chat about their loss and the challenges they are facing.
The group will be facilitated by trained volunteers. There is no need to pre-register for the group but for further information, please contact Farleigh Hospice via email or phone on 01245 457308.
This is a 10-week course which runs every term, via weekly pre-recorded webinars for parent / carers to watch at home.
Who is this course for?
For parents / carers of Early Years children aged 5 or under, who have autism or social communication needs.
The aim is to help parents / carers to enhance their understanding of their child’s strengths and needs.
Guidance and strategies for:
• Understanding autism
• Sensory processing
• Behaviour is communication
• Eating, sleeping and toileting
• Managing Anxiety
Autism and Girls
Hollie Mabbott creates weekly You Tube videos to educate others about Autism in teenage girls.
Hollie talks from a teenager's perspective about her Autism, offering an insight into how she views the difference between Autism in boys and girls; why Autistic girls mask; myths and misconceptions; and also offering advice to others.
Pease be advised this is one person's opinion and experiences of Autism and the impact on their life.
Contact - for families with disabled children
Introducing the new 1-1 listening ear service
Many of you may be feeling hugely overwhelmed, confused and exhausted during the Covid-19 crisis and simply don't know where to turn.
You might be struggling emotionally and looking for strategies to help you cope. Perhaps the lack of any real routine at the moment has badly affected your child's behaviour or sleeping patterns and you are looking for practical advice. Or maybe you just need to talk to someone who understands the extra challenges you face as the parent carer during the national pandemic and who can point you in the right direction to get the family support you need.
To help, Contact are delighted to be able to offer 1-1 confidential phone appointments with family support advisers for parents looking for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support at this time.
Visit their website for more information.
Every Monday Geek Retreat Chelmsford holds their Infinity Club - a casual social club for children with autism, parents, families and carers.
Free-to-play board games and fidget toys, colouring sheets and the chance to meet other children, parents, families and carers.
Visit the 'Geek Retreat Chelmsford' Facebook page for more information.
Chelmsford ADHD Support Group Monthly Meeting
Meetings are held every 2nd Tuesday of each Month (except August and December).
Doors open at 6.45pm for a hot drink and social chat prior to the meeting, which finishes at 9.00pm.
Follow the link below for further information.
Action for Family Carers - Young Carers Club
Stansted - Stansted Youth Centre, CM24 8LR
Tracey Hartley: email@example.com
Witham - Witham Youth Centre, CM8 2BH
Lauren Vale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mace Playce - Special Needs Evening
Mace Playce, Chelmsford, CM2 6PB
First Tuesday of every month 4pm - 6pm
Tel: 01245 464316
Home Start Essex
Home Start want families to know that they are available to support everyone, whatever your family dynamic.
Services Available through Home Start
Services available include:
Big Hopes Big Future - helps children build the skills they need to start school
Groups - a space for parents to gather, meet and talk
Help to access services
Supporting Young Mothers
Access their page for more information here
If you are a Dad or know a Dad who may like some support, Home Start has a new upcoming online well-being group, specifically for Dads.
Tuesday 22nd February 7:30pm - 8:30pm (for 6 weeks)
Further information can be found on the flyer above.
Home-Start Essex is among one of the organisations delivering the Parenting Together Support Programme.
Aimed at supporting parents to look at the way their communication impacts on their children and trying to find positive solutions to managing difficulties within relationships.
If you are interested in the programme call 01245 847410, or for more information visit
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse can go into a Boots chemist to seek support.
If you say the codeword 'ANI', you will be taken to a private room and asked if you want to call 999 or the domestic abuse helpline. 'ANI' stands for 'Action Needed Immediately'.
Ask for Ani.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Respect Helpline for Male Victims of Abuse: 0808 8010327
NHS Mid Essex Phone Line
There's a new crisis Mental Health phone line for adults in Essex. Dial 111 and select the option for mental health crisis (Option 2) for immediate specialist support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Families In Focus
Families In Focus are a leading independent parent led registered charity providing holistic support to families of children with disabilities and special needs (aged 0 to 25) across Essex, who require advice, information and support, particularly at times of change, challenge and crisis.
The service is accessible to all families from Essex whatever their background, as long as at least one child or young person in the family between the age of 0 to 25 has a disability or special need.
To find out more about the services available visit their website:
For parents and careers of children with special needs. Meet other parents for a friendly chat and meet our family support advisor who will be on hand to answer any queries you may have.
The Alec Hunter Academy Learning Village, Stubbs Lane, CM7 3NR
23rd February 10am - 12pm
2nd March 10am - 12pm
Did you know that Afasic has an app with lots of information for parents about practical tips on how to manage meetings, a glossary of terms, information on speech and language development and useful links?
George at Asda has become the first supermarket in the UK to sell school clothing designed for children with specific or sensory-sensitive needs, such as autism.
The new range is called Easy On Easy Wear and it’s available to buy now.
The new range will have features to make getting dressed quicker and easier, such as buttons with easy close fastenings, softer thread on seams, elasticated waistbands, and care instructions printed on fabric instead of labels. Even with all of these changes, the uniform items look the same as what’s sold in Asda’s regular schoolwear line.
For some people, travelling by bus can be a little daunting so First Bus have been working with many disability groups around the UK to design some cards that you can print out and show your driver as a way of discretely asking for a little extra help if you'd rather not ask them out loud.
Whatever the help you need, these little cards will either already have an appropriate message for you to use, or you can fill in one of the blank ones with your own request for help.