Helpful websites and services
We have curated quite a number of Useful Links which make interesting and helpful reading, and highlight other organisations which may offer help which is particularly useful to you.
Glos Assistants – Find a Personal Assistant in Glos. For disabled children or older relatives.
People Plus – support for parents and carers of children with disabilities and additional needs in Gloucestershire. This service replaces Carers Glos.
Contact a Family– is a national charity for families with disabled children. They provide information, advice and support. They bring families together so they can support each other, and campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.
Cerebra Sleep Guide -sleep-guide-june17-web. Highly recommended for children who struggle to sleep.
Family Link – This service allows parents to have a break, knowing their child is in a safe environment with carers who are aware of their child’s individual needs.
REMAP – Remap is a very special charity, working through a nationwide network of dedicated volunteers. They use their ingenuity and skills to help people with disabilities to achieve much-desired independence in some aspect of their lives, or to enjoy leisure opportunities previously closed to them.
Building Circles– support for people (late teens to adults) with learning disabilities; they offer friendship to people who are lonely or isolated, and their families. They also hold regular social events for everyone involved in their organisation.
Carers UK – help & advice for carers in the UK.
Carers’ Trust – action, help, advice for carers.
SCOPE – Scope is a UK disability charity that supports disabled people and their families in England and Wales.
Family Lives – a national charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life with an advice line and a branch in Stroud.
Parents At Work – Helping working parents and carers achieve work-life balance.
SENDIASS Gloucestershire – SENDIASS Gloucestershire is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers of children with special educational needs. Your child does not need an SEN diagnosis for you to receive their support. The fact that you have concerns is enough.
Phab – Phab’s aim is to promote and encourage people of all abilities to come together on equal terms, to achieve complete inclusion within the wider community.
National Association of Therapeutic Parents – is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in March 2017 by Sarah Naish in response to an identified need for parents who are looking after children who have suffered some kind of trauma, to be supported and enabled in their parenting.
Mencap – work in partnership with people with a learning disability, and all their services support people to live life as they choose.
Gloucestershire Young Carers – aims to support young carers in reaching their potential, enabling them and their families to access support that minimises the physical and emotional impact of caring, and that promotes health and well being and resilience.
Disability Rights – Guidance on a range of issues from social services and healthcare, what support is available in education and employment, how to access everything from travel to housing, and what tools and technologies can make life easier.
Netmums – parenting support.
Advice on benefits, assessments, resources, etc. – Advice for carers on a range of issues including benefits, allowances, etc.
Waving not Drowning – Working Families – Working Families’ Project for Carers and Parents of Disabled Children who work or wish to work.
The Door – offers a variety of supportive services for young people and their parents in Stroud.
Guideposts – work with people who have mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities, physical impairments, and their carers and families, to help them make the best possible choices for quality care services.
Gloucestershire County Council – support services for families with a child with a disability or additional needs.
p3 – Aims to improve lives and communities by delivering services for socially excluded and vulnerable people to unlock their potential and open up new possibilities.
Galax Care – a family-owned service provider offering supported living services across the South West, South East and West Midlands.
ACE – inclusive sports club for children & young people at Stratford Park Leisure Centre
Charlotte’s Tandems – lend tandems to people with disabilities or additional needs for free, who are unable to ride a bike safely on their own, so that they can enjoy the wonders of cycling.
Heartshore Horses – Centre for Natural Horsemanship, riding, education, horseboy and equine therapy, and work with autistic children.
Bournstream – a play and picnic site for children with special needs in Wotton-under-Edge.
Active Gloucestershire – a registered charity that serves as the county’s sports and physical activity partnership. They want to get everyone in Gloucestershire more involved in sport and physical activity – whether it’s playing, volunteering, coaching, officiating or simply something to do to get you fitter, healthier and feeling good about yourself!
Cinema’s Exhibitors’ Card – allowing disabled people to take a carer free with them to the cinema.
Active Impact – organisation delivering a variety of inclusiveactivitiess for disabled children and young people.
The Door – aims to be a positive influence in the lives of disaffected, despondent and disconnected people. Support for parents and young people aged 11 to 25.
Fairytale Farm – farm attraction where everything is designed around the
Blue Badge parking scheme – information about eligibility and how to apply.
Riding for the disabled association – RDA horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK. Network of 500 volunteer groups organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting and showjumping to up to 28,000 people each year.
RYA Sailability – through RYA Sailability over 40,000 young people and adults with disabilities are introduced to sailing per year, and many go on to sail on a regular basis.
Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre – riding for disabled adults and children.
Snoezelen – is a multi-sensory leisure therapy centre for people who have disabilities and additional needs. Snoezelen provides accessible and inclusive activities for people of any ability level. The centre in Worcester comprises of 4 multi-sensory rooms, hydrotherapy pool, soft play area, music and arts.
Scrubditch Care Farm – provide farm based training and activities for vulnerable adults and young people.
Information, Rights & Advice
Providing information about disabled access and special/medical needs at the airport.
The Key – a special information service for any family in Gloucestershire with a disabled child.
Keywords for Teens – information for teenagers.
Netbuddy – Netbuddy is an award-winning site for swapping practical tips and information on all aspects of supporting people with special needs.
Independent Panel for Special Education Advice (IPSEA) – a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All their advice is given by trained volunteers.
Special Educational Needs – Department for Education. Popular questions about issues affecting parents and carers of children with special educational needs, including guidance about statementing.
Skybadger – finding help for disabled children & their families.
Disability Now– national disability issues discussed.
Disability Rights UK – produce high quality information, products and services developed by and for disabled people. They partner with the private and public sector, with the aim of improving business practices.
Gloucestershire Parent Partnership – is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers of children with special educational needs. Your child does not need an SEN diagnosis for you to receive their support. The fact that you have concerns is enough.
College Resources for students with disabilities – support, advocacy and assistive technology to facilitate the transisition to higher education.
Local Residents Handbook – Standbrook Guides gives you a comprehensive look at your town. There are lots of important local businesses listed, along with many other local organisations.
Go Kids Go – wheelchair training
Whizz-Kidz – each year they aim to provide more children and young people with appropriate mobility equipment than ever before. But providing mobility equipment is just the start. They provide disabled children and young people with wheelchair skills training, advice and information, opportunities to meet and have fun at local clubs, and training to help them gain vital skills for life. They also help them gain their first experiences of the world of work through their work placement programme in partnership with a wide range of companies across the UK.
Disabled Person’s Railcard– aims to encourage disabled people to travel by train by providing accurate advice and guidance.
Easy Travelling Gloucestershire – simple and easy to understand public transport information.
Shopmobility – information on Shopmobility schemes and loan of scooters and wheelchairs around the country.
Motorbility – organisation that can convert mobility element of Disability Living Allowance to lease cars, scooters and wheelchairs.
Grants & Funding
The Family Fund Trust – the UK’s largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.
Disability Grants – a Gloucestershire based organisation helping you save time finding the right grant for anything and everything for the disabled child or adult.
Gloucestershire Disability Fund – provides grants to people with disabilities of all ages.
Reaching Thru Music – Reaching Thru Music is a unique musical experience combining intensive interaction, mind and body balance, with music therapy techniques, to encourage communication with hard to reach children and adults.
Side by Side – intensive interaction information.
1 Voice – network and support for children and families using communication aids
I CAN – mission is to ensure that no child who struggles to communicate is left out or left behind. Advice & information.
Speech & Language Therapy Service Gloucestershire – The Speech and Language Therapy service is a countywide specialist service for children & young people aged 0-18 and their families and carers.
Suggested iPad apps for special needs
AbilityNet – free resources & downloads – a national charity helping disabled people of all ages find the right access technologies to facilitate full use of computers and the internet.
HelpKidzLearn – fun, accessible IT games & activities designed specifically for young children & those with learning difficulties.
Priory Woods – free PC and Mac online software & resources for children with special needs.
Sensory World – a fun place to learn, with a range of stimulating and appropriate activities.
Adapt-IT – assistive technology and computer aids
E-NABLE – a growing group of over 1500 members who have come together from all over the world to help create and design 3D Printed assistive hand devices for those in need.
Early Years, Schools & Colleges
Hill Valley & Vale Children’s Centres
St. Rose’s School – provides education, therapy and day and residential care for children and young people with complex disabilities. Most of their pupils have associated learning and communication difficulties and some have complex health needs. St. Rose’s also has an Early Years Unit for mainstream children & for those with special needs
The Shrubberies – caters for children and young people with special educational needs between the ages of 2 and 19 years, with accommodation for up to 90 pupils.
The Milestone School – a community Special School that provides for approximately 290 children with a wide range of special educational needs. The school delivers The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and National Curriculum modified as appropriate for individual need, and as part of a wide range of curriculum activities devised to support pupils to achieve their maximum learning, personal and social potential.
Cotswold Chine School – founded in 1954 as an independent, charitable school for children with complex learning needs and associated social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Registered with the Department for Education and OFSTED, the School offers a full range of educational and social experiences to male and female students aged 7 to 19 years. The School provides residential accommodation for 39 through to 52 week placements for 42 students; an additional 18 day placements are available.
National Star College – a provider of specialist further education, training and personal development for young people aged 16 to 25 with complex physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated sensory, learning, medical, emotional and behavioural difficulties
Belmont School– a state special school for boys and girls aged from 4 to 16.
Bettridge School – a community special educational needs school located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Places for up to 122 pupils ranging in age from 2 to 19 years. All pupils have statements of educational needs.
Heart of the Forest Community Special School – the only school in the Forest of Dean serving children and young people who have severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex needs. Pupils range from 3 – 19 years.
Association of National Specialist Colleges – Natspec is the membership association for Independent Specialist Colleges (ISCs). Our colleges give young people with a disability the chance to become independent and to learn in an exciting environment with personal support. Natspec believes that a place at a specialist college should always be an option that is available to parents and students.
Alderman Knight – special school in Tewkesbury for children 4 – 16 with moderate and additional leaning difficulties, complex needs and autistic spectrum disorder.
Stroud College – full-time courses for young people aged 16-25, designed for learners with significant barriers to learning.
Ruskin Mill Trust – personalised programmes including education, care, training, advice and homes for people with complex learning and behavioural difficulties from 7 to adult.
William Morris House– specialist college at Eastington promoting work related learning and independence for young people with learning difficulties, assisting in their transition into adult hood.
Specific Disability Information
NAS– National Autistic Society are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. They provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.
My Autism and Me – CBBC
My Life– CBBC
Options Group – provider of specialist services for children, young people and adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC), learning disabilities and complex needs; and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
Neurological / brain injuries
Cerebra – a unique charity set up to help improve the lives of children with neurological conditions through research, education and directly supporting the children and their carers. Cerebra lending library
Epilepsy – advice and information for peole affected by epilepsy.
Cerebral Palsy – Supporting children, adults and their families affected by Cerebral Palsy.
CerebralPalsyGuidance.com – a comprehensive informational website on cerebral palsy
Dogs for Good– charity that supports parents and carers who have a child with autism between the ages of 3 and 16, who are either looking at getting a dog or who want to train their own pet dog to help their child.
Family Centre (Deaf Children), a charity that has been based in Bristol
SENSE – a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind.
CHARGE – information pack
Charge Syndrome – information and support for people affected by Charge Syndrome.
RNIB – provide support for people affected by sight loss.
Action on Hearing Loss (previously RNID) – iInformation and support for people affected by hearing loss
National Centre for Learning Disabilities – aims to improve the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.
Mencap – works with people with a learning disability to change laws, challenge prejudice and support them to live their lives as they choose.
Gloucestershie Dyslexia Association – information, advice and resources relating to dyslexia.
Muscular Dystrophy – Information and support for people affected by muscular dystrophy.
Patches heart Group – a support group for children with congenital heart defects / heart conditions and their families.
William’s Syndrome Foundation – aAims to be the first point of contact for individuals with Williams Syndrome, their families and professionals needing support and information regarding the Syndrome.
Downs Syndrome – national charity including support, information and activities for families affected by Downs Syndrome.
Barth Syndrome Trust – dedicated to saving lives through education, advances in treatment, and finding a cure for Barth syndrome – a sometimes fatal, often debilitating genetic disease.
Emotional & Parenting Guidance
Carers Gloucestershire Counselling Service – cCounselling service specifically aimed at carers
2gether – an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service (IAPT). It is free and provided by your local NHS
Family Lives – pParenting helpline.
BIBIC – a national charity offering practical help to families caring for children with conditions like autism, aspergers, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, developmental delay, brain injury, and specific learning difficulties like ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. bibic specialises in understanding the causes of challenging behaviour and can even offer support if your child has not been diagnosed with a condition.
Challenging Behaviour Foundation– charity for people with severe learning disabilities who display behaviour described as challenging.
Kidscape – charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse.
Winston’s Wish– a charity supporting bereaved children, young people and their families.
Face 2 Face befriending service – sService within Carers Gloucestershire set up by parent carers. The service offers emotional and practical support from trained volunteers who are all parents of children with additional support needs. The volunteer befrienders can help parents through diagnosis or other difficult times.
Stars in the Sky Dating and Friendship agency – a dating and friendship service for adults with learning difficulties.
Counselling Directory – a confidential service that encourages those in distress to seek help. The directory contains information on many different types of distress, as well as articles, news, and events.
The Listening Post – a professional voluntary counselling service. They serve any resident of Gloucestershire, including those who might otherwise be financially prevented from accessing professional counselling support. All they ask is that, based upon individual means, clients make a donation per session.