Signposting to useful organisations
Here is a list of useful contacts to get you started.
SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service) Cambridgeshire
SENDIASS Cambridgeshire provide impartial and confidential advice about SEND and education, health and social care provision. Please see their Facebook page for details of events and local and national news about SEND.
All Local Authorities must have an independent and free advice and guidance service for parent carers of children with special educational needs and or disabilities or to children and young people themselves. This video explains how the free service works.
SENDIASS can help you with:
- Confidential support and someone to talk to in confidence
- Advice and information about special educational needs
- Independent Support for children, young people and families as Statements are transferred to EHC Plans
- Preparing for meetings with your child’s school or with professionals who are working with your child
- Information on your rights and responsibilities as a parent, children’s rights and SEN law and guidance
- Information about local support groups and voluntary organisations
SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIASS)
Cambridgeshire County Council, ALC2630, New Shire Hall, Emery Crescent, Enterprise Campus, Alconbury Weald, Huntingdon, PE28 4YE
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Confidential helpline open during term times: 01223 699 214
Outside of term time please leave a message – a smaller number of staff are available to answer queries and it will take time for them to respond to your enquiry.
Part of the Cambridgeshire County Council website that is dedicated to additional needs and disabilities. There is information about schools, social care and health services that will be relevant to your family.
Did you know that if you are doing above and beyond what a parent would do for a ‘normal’ child, you are classed as a carer?
You can find information about young carers, siblings groups and support for you.
Cambridgeshire Parent/Carer SEN Support Group page – a closed group that you can post on for advice on every aspect of parenting.
Their volunteer-led branches and online community offer peer support. You can also use their Autism Services Directory and online advice and guidance to find the answers you are looking for. And their dedicated casework and specialist helpline services can support you with specific challenges. Click here for more details about the support on offer.
If you need help with finding a childcare place for your child, contact the Family and Childcare Information helpline on 0345 045 1360. You may be put in touch with the specialist childcare adviser. The Childcare Specialist Information Adviser helps parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) find childcare. Childcare covers things like nursery places, child minders, preschool and after school clubs as well as holiday clubs. Finding childcare can be more difficult if your child has SEND. The Childcare Specialist Information Adviser will work with you to help you find childcare for your son or daughter.
Cambridge and District Citizens Advice is a registered charity that provides free and confidential advice and support to anyone on problems they face in their lives. They offer help in relation to a wide range of social welfare areas. They can help you enforce employment rights, manage your money, improve your housing, and access benefit entitlements.
They are an independent charity providing expert information and advice to the residents of Rural Cambridgeshire. They offer help on a wide range of topics in Huntingdon/Wisbech areas, such as Benefits & Tax credits, Consumer issues, Debt, Housing, Managing your money, Relationships & Family and Work. In East Cambridgeshire they provide Universal Credit claim support, Debt advice and help with CLAS applications.
Newbold Hope is a small, parent-led organization set up by Yvonne Newbold MBE, to work with families and professional staff from education, health care, and social services in reducing anxiety-led difficult and dangerous behavior in children with an additional need or disability. It was formerly known as The SEND VCB Project. We provide training for parents and professional staff, as well as offering support and resources, which include an online community of nearly 10,000 people where this group of families can come together for support, understanding, and solidarity. They also offer a range of webinars including some evening sessions as well as having online support groups.
At Aucademy the fundamental aim is to educate Autistic people and non-autistic people about Autistic experience, as taught by an entirely Autistic team of educators and collaborators. They offer webinars, events, training, and consultancy.
Other helplines for parents
The Learning Disability Helpline is Mencap’s free help and advice line. Their advisors can offer you advice and information about learning disability and help you find the right support and services in your area.
T: 0808 808 1111Their advisors are available from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.
Contact run a free helpline for parents and carers with a disabled child aged from birth to 25, living in any part of the UK. Your child does not need a diagnosis for you to call their helpline. Further information on Contact’s helpline here.
T: 0808 808 3555 open 9.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday – it’s free from UK landlines and UK mobiles.
10 good organisations to know…
- Samaritans – Helpline 116 123
- Centre 33 – free confidential counselling for young people up to 25 0333 414 1809
- Cogwheel Counselling – counselling and psychotherapy support for people in Cambridgeshire 01223 464385
- Caudwell Children – provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK 0345 300 1348
- Mind – supporting those recovering from mental health challenges, promoting positive mental health 0300 303 4363
- Blue Smile – counselling and support in schools to help children fulfil their true potential and have happier childhoods 01223 314725
- Young Minds – information, advice & support for young people affected by mental health. Parent helpline 0808 802 5544
- Family Lives– national family support charity – Helpline 0808 800 2222
- Mental Health Foundation – looking after your mental health
- Rethink Mental Illness – Cambridge and Peterborough carer support line, 07783 267013, run by carers for other carers.