New Social Network for people with autism & their families!

Autism West Midlands Logo‘Connect’ is the UK’s first Social Network for people with autism and their families. It has been developed by Autism West Midlands with funding from the Department for Education.

On ‘Connect’ you can:
• Develop your own social network, featuring the people and providers who give you support
• Search for people local to you who are going through similar experiences
• Share your experiences and thoughts, ask questions, give answers, and interact with other members (you can even send hugs!)
• Find and promote local activities and events
• Rate and review local providers and services, sharing them with others through the directory
• Access free autism eLearning
• Download information and visual resources
• Share ideas and suggestions for local support and activities

‘Connect’ has been in “soft launch” mode, with about 50 members signed up already but from today the site will be officially live!
You can get to the site by clicking here 

ASD Parent & Carer Information Pack

What is Autism? Where to turn next?

During the time of assessment and diagnosis of autism it can be difficult to know what questions to ask and where to go for answers

The Telford and Shropshire ASD Parent & Carer Information Pack is a useful starting point as an introduction to Autism and provides you with information on local services:

  • For further information on Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Signposting to both local and national support services;
  • Register you on the co‐ordinator’s local mailing list to keep in touch with what’s going on in your local area, or;
  • To speak to someone about the information pack… Please Contact…

For Shropshire families:

Rachael Jeavons, Shropshire Autism Project Co‐ordinator

T: 01743 450800.

E: Rachael.Jeavons@shropcom.nhs.uk

W: www.shropscommunityhealth.nhs.uk/autism

 

For Telford families:

Michelle Troth, Telford Autism Co‐ordinator

T: 01952 567356.

E: Michelle.Troth@telford.gov.uk

W: www.telford.gov.uk/autism

Funding Award for the Shropshire Parent Carer Forums

For the last 12 months the Shropshire Parent and Carer Council (PACC) and Parents Opening Doors (PODS Telford) have been working together on a lottery bid for the Reaching Communities Programme.  We are really pleased to be able to announce that they have been successful in this bid and have secured a grant in excess of £300,000 to support their work for the next three years.  The funding will enable PACC and PODS to continue and develop their work across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.  The main focus of the work will continue to be on providing parent carer participation opportunities, accessible and relevant information and the chance to access a peer to peer support network. The funding comes at a key time for parent carer forums with the increased role they will have to play in the delivery of the SEN reforms in particular. 

The funding will enable Participation Coordinators to be recruited for both Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, along with increased administrative support.  There will also be a Face 2 Face Coordinator recruited to deliver the Face 2 Face Scheme across the two areas, offering support from trained befrienders to more families.

“We are really excited about this news.  There is so much work to be done and we hope that the funding of these posts and the associated activity, will enable us to take full advantage of the current opportunities for parent carers to be involved in decision making, on an individual and strategic level.  We also want to provide more opportunities for families to meet and share experience and knowledge because we know from our previous work how much this is valued.”

To make the most of this opportunity however what PACC really need is your support.  PACC is totally reliant on the information that local parent carers share with them about their daily lives and experiences. They need to know what works and what needs to be improved and they need you all to say it out loud.  There will be increasing opportunities for parent carer representatives to get involved in PACC work, and to support this PACC will be providing training so that those of you who would like to get involved can develop your skills and confidence in this area. 

If you are interested in training to become a PACC parent rep or would like to become a member of PACC they would love to hear from you, please contact Sarah Thomas on 0845 601 2205 or email enquiries@paccshropshire.org.uk . More information about PACC’s work is available on their website but please bear in mind this website is currently under review and so is not updated regularly.  www.paccshropshire.org.uk

PACC logo

Barnardo’s Summer Resilience Sessions

Believe in Children - logoBarnardo’s Connect Service Shropshire are delivering a number of resilience groups for children & young people aged 4 -18 years with additional needs, but who do not receive a service from the Disabled Children’s Team.  The sessions will take place during August at The Lantern in Shrewsbury.  The groups will aim to help your child/young person increase their confidence and self esteem through a range of planned sessions.  If you would like to know more about these sessions or to book a place please call Vicky Campbell on 01743 248094.  There are a limited number of spaces so please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Details below:

  • Group 1          Monday 12th – Friday 16th August. 10am – 12 noon (5 sessions)
  • Group 2          Monday 12th – Thursday 15th August. 1.30pm – 3.30pm (4 sessions)
  • Group 3          Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th, Thursday 21st and Friday 23rd              Thursday 29th  August. 10am – 12 noon (5 sessions)
  • Group 4          Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th, Thursday 21st and Thursday 29th August. 1.30pm – 3.30pm (4 sessions)

Venue: The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 4NG

 

Parent comments from previous sessions include:

“Many thanks for the course, he got so much out of it and really enjoyed it; it seems to have really helped him.”

“It really served to give him a boost and make him feel happier and more confident about himself.”

“It has been a wonderful opportunity for him, he initially would not go to the group and now is disappointed it has finished.”

Children/Young people’s comments from previous sessions include:

“I feel more positive about myself.”

“Please start it again, I loved it – it was discotastic.”

“Would love to continue if it was possible.”

“I made new friends.”

Shropshire’s Family Information Service – The Rainbow Pack is now available as an ebook!

FIS logo

Shropshire’s Family Information Service (FIS) has launched its first Kindle, tablet and smartphone-compatible ebook for families of children with disabilities.

The Rainbow Pack is the first ebook published by the FIS and is available to download to a Kindle, iPhone or iPad from Amazon for just around £0.77 pence, which covers the cost of hosting the ebook on Amazon.

Research shows that parents of children with a disability face additional barriers to accessing accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive information to support them in their role as a parent.  With this in mind, the Family Information Service is keen to make information available through as many routes as possible to make it easy for parents to access the information they need.

The Rainbow Pack includes information about local and voluntary agencies, and is divided into seven main sections:
•    People you may meetRainbow Pack - image
•    Benefits and money
•    Having fun
•    Early years and childcare
•    Education
•    Rights and responsibilities
•    Organisations that can help.

Shropshire’s Family Information Service is a free and confidential service providing impartial information, advice and guidance on a wide range of subjects relating to children and young people aged 0 to 19, and covering all aspects of family life. The FIS can support parents/carers with information and also practitioners who are working with children, young people or families.

The Rainbow Pack ebook is available at Amazon by clicking here.

If you don’t have access to a Kindle or an iPad or iPhone, hard copies of The Rainbow Pack are still available free of charge. To obtain a copy, please call the Shropshire Family Information Service on 01743 254400 or email ShropshireFIS@shropshire.gov.uk.

 

AFC Summer Playscheme 2013

AFC logoThe Action for Children (AFC) Summer Playscheme is available to children and young people with disabilities or additional needs aged 4-18 years (19 if attending Severndale School) who are registered with Shropshire’s ‘All In’ Short Breaks programme.

The Playscheme will be running from Tuesday 23rd July – Friday 23rd August 2013 with full and half days available.

For further details regarding what opportunities are available on each day, including a booking form and contact details for AFC please click here.

The closing date for all bookings is Friday 7th June. Due to demand it may not be possible to give you every day you request but AFC will endeavour to meet your needs up to 2 days per week maximum. Dates booked are not guaranteed until you receive a confirmation letter from AFC.

Please note: There is no charge for attending the summer playscheme. All days are FREE of charge, although any donations to AFC would be gratefully received.

Anyone who has not accessed Action for Children’s services previously please contact Deborah King or Mandie Ellis on 01743 344696.

Parent/Carer consultation meetings regarding the Summer Playscheme will be held as follows:

  • Tuesday 21st May at 1.00pm at The Willows, 49 Reabrook Avenue, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury SY3 7PZ.
  • Wednesday 22nd May at 9.30am at The Willows, 49 Reabrook Avenue, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury SY3 7PZ.
  • Wednesday 22nd May at 6.00pm at Belle Vue Youth Club, Rocke Street, Shrewsbury, SY3 7PY.

If you are unable to attend any of the consultation meetings AFC are happy to meet parents/carers on an individual or group basis.

PLEASE NOTE:
VENUE:
AFC have tried to access Severndale School as a venue for part of their summer play scheme, in line with some parents/carers preferences, but unfortunately due to major contracting work this will not be possible and therefore the venue for the play scheme will be The Priory School, Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9EE.
AFC are aware that some parent/carer preferences for Severndale School as a venue are due to the hydro pool, sensory room and soft play facilities which are available there.  AFC would like to reassure parents/carers that these facilities are provided through accessing external hydro pool/sensory facilities and hiring soft play/inflatable equipment which is available on all venue days.  Also please note that AFC hire the whole of the Priory School and therefore have access to all areas such as: sports hall, IT suite, arts room, secure outside areas, playing fields etc.  There are also disabled changing facilities and areas available to AFC at all times.
 
TRANSPORT:
AFC would like to inform parents/carers that if there is a demand for support in transporting children/young people from the wider areas of Shropshire then they are more than willing to look at ways to help parents/carers.

Autism West Midlands ‘Aspire’ Summer Programme

Autism West Midlands LogoAutism West Midlands have been successful in gaining Shropshire Council Short Breaks funding to run a Summer Holiday Programme for young people aged 16-18 with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism living in Shropshire.

This course is a great way to meet other young people, have some fun and start planning for the future. The course will cover a range of topics including communication skills, personal relationships, future options, health and well being and will be delivered by our Autism West Midlands Aspire colleagues (AWM’s employment project).

Location: Gateway Education and Arts Centre in Shrewsbury.
Time: Sessions will start at 10.45am and finish at 2.45pm.
Cost: £60 for six weeks. Participants will need to attend the whole course.

There may be support from a hardship fund if the cost prevents a young person attending. There will also be the option to pay by installments.

Further information including course content is available by clicking here.

If you would like to find out more please contact Autism West Midlands Aspire colleagues by email: Aspire@autismwestmidlands.org.uk or by phone: 0121 450 7582