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 

Shropshire Short Breaks – invitation to apply for contracts

Shropshire Council logoShropshire’s Short Breaks Team are looking to gain new applications to deliver Short Breaks opportunities in 2014/15 for children with disabilities or additional needs as part of the ‘All In’ programme.

The deadline by which all applications must be received is 5pm on 23rd January 2014.

Further information can be found by clicking here.

Please pass this information on to any provider/club/group/organisation etc… you feel may be interested.

SM-C1  All In Avatar

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.”

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.

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.
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.

Barnardo’s Connect Service

Believe in Children - logoBarnardo’s Connect Service are looking for more volunteers. Anyone out there who is interested in making a difference and supporting children with additional needs please get in touch.  Barnardo’s particularly need volunteers in the Oswestry area and volunteers who are available after school, during school holidays and weekends.

Barnardo’s Connect Service also want to hear from parents/carers of children and young people with additional needs (or anyone who is working with a child/young person with additional needs) that would like support for their child/young person to access an activity or receive support with improving their confidence and self-esteem.

For further information please get in touch by calling the Barnardo’s office on 01743 248094 or email

Please Note: Children & young people who are already receiving assessed services from the Disabled Children’s Team are unable to access the Barnardo’s Connect Service.