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Hello all
Please find attached details of our playscheme taking place over the Spring half-term holidays.
We hope to see you there!
Many thanks
Richard (Sandgate School) and Shirley (Kendal Family Drop in Centre)

PLEASE NOTE - The Hydro swim sessions on Thursday have been cancelled as the pool is closed on that day
local events / Inclusive Swimming Lessons - Kendal
« Last post by Sandgate ES on May 10, 2011, 01:20:38 PM »
Please find details of Inclusive Swimming Lessons taking place at Lakes Leisure Kendal.

The 10 week course is for children and young people with additional needs aged 5 to 16 years and starts on the 14th of May.

For more details, please see the attached poster.

Many thanks

Eden Discussion Area / Re: Support groups in Eden
« Last post by val on March 26, 2011, 06:19:36 PM »
Hi - thanks for your enquiry.

If you can drop Kerry Anne a line she is one of the steering group members for the Eden area for the learning to change group based in Cumbria.  They have locality meetings for parents which children with additional needs.  You may be able to attend one of these groups and let them know  a bit more about your support group.

I will send you a private message with Kerry Anne's email address.

Thanks again for letting us know about you!

Eden Discussion Area / Support groups in Eden
« Last post by carolyn on March 22, 2011, 03:42:02 PM »
I am new to this forum but glad it exists!! My name is Carolyn Harrison and I work for Barnardos Children centres in Eden and we are looking to change our exsisting support groups which happen in Penrith and Appleby.
We have worked with some families to explore what these support groups should look like, and a plan is evolving.
We are looking at having a support group which works on peer support mainly but also has space for professional support. The group could happen every fortnight, changing venue and time of day each time to allow access to more parents.
We would concentrate on three areas to begin with Penrith, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen as it was recognised that we are not reaching out to all parents by staying in two areas only.This does leave Alston isolated , this needs to be kept in mind and some work with the local S.N.A.M group may be the way forward.
All important stuff, but most important to us would be your views on this idea. Maybe you have a suggestion of a good venue, or time of day, way to promote the groups or a professional you would like to see there to talk to or hear from.
Whatever your thoughts, please let me know.
General / Barrister published guide to using the law to fight cuts
« Last post by jol on March 11, 2011, 04:57:29 PM »
Steve Broach has today published a guide for campaigners to use the law to fight cuts to disabled children's services. He has done this in his capacity as a barrister, based on his understanding as to how the law can be use to strategically challenge.

The intention of the paper is to provide practical guidance as to how campaigners and local groups can use the law to defend services - rather than offering a detailed guide to the law. The paper also includes contact details for some of the solicitors who specialise in cases involving disabled children - with thanks to all those who agreed to their details being included.

Follow this link to access the guide:

EDCM are also working with him on a more detailed guide to the law for parents/carers based on Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook.
Events - (county wide) / cuts meeting -United Reformed Church in Market Place, Whitehaven
« Last post by jol on February 28, 2011, 10:56:03 AM »
 cuts meeting -United Reformed Church in Market Place, Whitehaven, on Thursday, March 17 at 7pm

Bosses to explain how cuts will hit Cumbria's special needs kids
By Kelly Eve
Last updated at 12:59, Thursday, 24 February 2011
Education chiefs from Cumbria County Council are expected to explain how its school services for children with special needs will be hit by cuts at a public meeting next month.
They have accepted an invitation to appear at a meeting called by a leading support group which helps families in north and west Cumbria who have children with dyslexia.
Caroline Sutton, the assistant director of children’s services at the local authority with responsibility for schools and learning, is due to give a presentation.
She will be accompanied by councillor Duncan Fairbairn, the senior councillor who sits on the ruling cabinet overseeing schools and learning. The pair will also answer questions.
Leaders of the West Cumbria Dyslexia Association have been demanding answers since it was revealed the county council’s specialist teaching services could face cuts of up to 80 per cent.
Headteachers and schools’ special educational needs co-ordinators are invited to the event as well as members of other groups which support families with children who have other special needs.
Cumbria currently has 60 teachers, employed by the county council, whose job it is to go into schools to work with children with special needs. The council is set to axe 49 and use the remaining 11 to train teachers and staff in schools to work with such pupils.
They include children who are deaf, disabled or those on the autistic spectrum or who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Also included are pupils with emotional, behavioural and severe-learning difficulties, those who don’t speak English as a first language, and travellers.
Schemes they run include one-to-one reading intervention programmes, often delivered by specially trained teaching assistants.
Ann McKenzie, of the West Cumbria Dyslexia Association, said: “We were concerned about what was going to happen to the limited amount of specialist help available to our struggling dyslexic children.
“We found out some provision would be left, but the authority couldn’t say exactly how much. We still didn’t know what we could tell anxious parents who came to us for advice.”
The meeting will take place at the United Reformed Church in Market Place, Whitehaven, on Thursday, March 17 at 7pm.

Events - (county wide) / weekend for siblings of children with autism
« Last post by jol on February 23, 2011, 07:46:37 AM »
Please find attached flyer and application form for a free
residential weekend for siblings of children with autism, offered on a first
come, first served basis. We'd be grateful if you could please pass these
on to anyone who may be interested

For siblings aged between 11 and 15
18 – 20 March 2011
(Friday evening, whole day Saturday and Sunday)
At Brathay Hall, Ambleside FREE!
Aiming High capital grants –parents choose where to spend £80,000 grant funding for disabled children

Facilities for disabled children and their families in Cumbria have been given a major cash boost thanks to parent power. The funding comes after Cumbria County Council recognised the work over the past two years of the ‘Learning to Change’ parents group and worked with them in deciding the distribution of Aiming High capital funding to help children and families with disabilities.

As part of the Aiming High for disabled children programme, the ‘Learning to Change’ parents steering group were given £80,000 to give to partners and community based organisations who could benefit and improve the lives of disabled children, young adults and their families in the county.

The parents on the steering group approached different partners and providers in their local areas to see if a small injection of capital funding would allow more access to their services for disabled youngsters.

More than £100,000 worth of ideas were put forward over a very short period by the steering group which then whittled this down to give awards across the county to the schemes below.

The parent capital grant distribution involved:

Carlisle Wheelchair Club; The purchase of two racing wheelchairs and a transporter trailer which will mean more disabled children can join in their activities and the club can take the chairs to other groups and partners around the county. (£7,900)

Watchtree Wheelers; This club at Watchtree nature reserve near Carlisle promotes cycling for disabled and disadvantaged people. This award will allow for the purchase of a portakabin for use of children and young people to have snacks and drinks in and out of the cold. In addition their staff has recently qualified to maintain and repair their specialist bikes and so the award will allow them to buy the specialist tools and equipment needed. (£12,000)

Stepping Stones; This nursery provision in Maryport will now be able to cater for more young children with additional needs with the purchase of specialist equipment from monies awarded by the Learning to Change Steering Group (£6,500)

Workington Children’s Centre: A suitcase packed with allsorts of mobile sensory equipment allowing more outreach work with disabled children plus other sensory equipment for their centre. (£2,500)

Howgill Children’s Centre; Based in the West of the County Howgill have always supported many children with additional needs and disabilities. This grant allows them to purchase more equipment for their centres as well as replace some equipment that has been well used. (£6,450)

Westhouse "Wild West" Centre: Westhouse are busy developing a disability resource centre called Wild West in Cockermouth. This award will contribute to the furniture and equipment needed in the centre and will also bring forward the proposed opening date. (£9,500)

Bendrigg Trust "Aiming High" Field: The largest award from the Learning to Change Steering Group recognises that disabled children from all over the county access this great facility near the Killington Lake reservoir in Cumbria (between Kendal and Sedbergh). The award will allow Bendrigg to develop a piece of their land to be named "Aiming High Field" with drainage and landscaping and zip wires and a go-cart/bicycle track. (£23,500)

Barrow Leisure; Enabling disabled children to access universal activities is the aim of Barrow leisure. This money is to be used on special roller skates, 2 motorised exercise bikes and a 2 man go-cart which will allow disabled children access to activities alongside their peers. (£11,880)

Parent Robert Whiteside, a member of the parent led ‘Learning to Change’ steering group, said:

"Learning to Change was conceived to provide a voice for the parents of children with disabilities or who have additional needs.

Over the last two years the excellent work of the Aiming High programme and the steering group has begun to achieve that vision with support from Cumbria County Council.

It has been a fabulous innovation that parents in the form of the Steering Group have been pivotal in awarding grant monies to the organisations that are important to them.

The Steering Group are particularly pleased that this process has seen a fundamental recognition that it is the parents of children with disabilities who are the experts on the needs of their children.

The Steering Group looks forward to continuing this groundbreaking and intensely important relationship with Aiming High and Cumbria County Council despite the current austere financial climate."

Cllr Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council cabinet member responsible for Children’s Social Care, said:

"Our thanks go to the parents who gave up their time to consider where to distribute the funding. It led to much debate and in the end children and their families across the county will benefit from these grants.

The group were able to approach local organisations that we know children and families in our communities like to access, and work with them in submitting bids for Aiming High.

This has been partnership working at its best and will make a significant contribution in improving the lives of children."

Simon Dey
Communications Advisor | Communications Team
Children's Services | Cumbria County Council
Room 203 | 5 Portland Square | Carlisle | CA1 1PU
t: 01228 226909
m: 079202 74132
Together we can achieve the best for every child, young person and their family in Cumbria

General / North West Changing Places Toilets - Your help needed
« Last post by jol on February 18, 2011, 05:29:09 PM »

Subject: North West Changing Places Toilets - Your help needed

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Dear All

CHANGING PLACES Ð North West Interactive Map

We are currently constructing a North West Changing Places interactive map and would much appreciate your help to expand on the existing Changing Places Location Map which can be found at [url=][/url]

The North West Map will cover
  • Authority / County
  • Blackburn
  • Blackpool
  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • Cheshire East and Cheshire West
  • Cumbria
  • Halton
  • Knowsley
  • Lancashire - Central/ North/ East
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Oldham
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Sefton
  • St Helens
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford
  • Warrington
  • Wigan
  • Wirral

If you know of a publically accessible Changing Places toilet which is not on the existing map, please will you let us know by filling in the simple form attached.

It is hoped our Interactive Map will also include:
  • All Changing Places which meet the ÔGold StandardÕ (12m sq or above)
  • Changing Places which DO NOT meet ÔGold StandardÕ (less than 12m sq)
  • Mobile Changing Places facilities

  • Leisure Centres
  • Hospitals
  • NHS Health Centres
  • Large Public Venues
  • Motorways etc
  • Forthcoming Changing Places
  • Forthcoming Changing Places including Hospitals & NHS Centre and if they are the NHS Trusts Action Plans

We intend to have web links with Advocacy Groups, Physical and Learning Disability  Partnership Boards and all other relevant sites.

You can fill out all the required information at:

Please e-mail photos of the Changing Places you are registering to:

Any help would be gratefully received

Rosemary McLean
Changing Places, North West Training and Development Team together with Pathways
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Events - (county wide) / Dyslexia and Asperger's Syndrome conference
« Last post by jol on February 18, 2011, 05:25:32 PM »
the South Cumbria Dyslexia Association has organised a conference 'First Quality Teaching: Dyslexia and Asperger's Syndrome' with Dr Lindsay Peer, her experience covers psychological and educational assessment, teaching, teacher training, research, policy and strategy development. It will take place on the 5th March at Queen Katherine School, Kendal from 10-4. The cost will be £25 (£20 for SCDA members & £10 for students)
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