Author Archives: Emma Harper

Multi-Sensory Stories from Wiltshire Libraries

Multi-sensory stories for children with learning disabilities are free to borrow from Wiltshire Libraries

The multi-sensory stories are told interactively, through actions and emotions rather than words and pictures. The stories are suitable for children and teenagers with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. They are also useful for children with language delay, visual impairment and those on the autistic spectrum.

Each multi-sensory story is in a box, containing a number of cardboard “pages” with objects attached, plus a script with the story broken down into small chunks related to the objects

They can be reserved for free from any library via the normal book reservation system. See their flyer here. For more information ask at your local library or email:

Winner of the Betty Williams Award

The Betty Williams Award goes to an organisation that has “travelled that extra mile” to help people with learning disabilities to enjoy life more or develop their abilities.

The winner of the organisation award for 2017 was the Salisbury Playhouse. This was accepted by Wiltshire Creative at the South Wilts Mencap AGM 2017 held on Tuesday 10 April at the Blackledge Theatre, Godolphin School.



SWM Street Collection Saturday 19 May 2018

Please support South Wilts Mencap on Saturday 19 May in Salisbury City Centre. We organise two street collections every year as they raise much needed funds to help continue our clubs, activities and services for people with learning disabilities.

This is an opportunity to be part of our team; by giving your time to our charity, you will help make a difference. Just one hour of your time on Saturday will contribute an enormous amount of support. We have lots of fun during the street collection as it is an opportunity to meet other supporters of South Wilts Mencap. Please email Nigel and let him know which times you can do on Saturday 19 May.

Wiltshire Independent Support and Advice Service

As of April 2018, the WISA service will be delivered by the charity KIDS

WISA provide free and impartial information, support and advice to parents, carers, children and young people in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

They can help with education related forms and letters, attend meetings with you or support you in discussions with the local authority, school/college or other setting, including the EHCP (My Plan) process, mediations/tribunals or other issues such as exclusions.

Kids WISA leaflet

Their new contact details from April 1st 2018 are telephone 01225 307455 (available Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm) or email


Curly Hair Project Webinars on ASD

The curly hair project is a social enterprise based in the UK, which aims to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their loved ones. All our work is based on personal, real life examples and experience. The Curly Hair Project is running a series of webinars that you can watch/listen to from the comfort of your own home on a computer, mobile device or tablet.

Visit their website for all the details. 

April 2018

Mon 09: ASD and Sensory Processing (Evening)
Fri 13: ASD for Siblings & Families (Morning)
Tue 17: ASD and Family Relationships (Evening)
Thu 19: ASD and Sensory Processing (Morning)
Thu 19: Essential Guide to ASD (Professionals Lunchtime Learning)
Sun 22: ASD and Anxiety (USA Time)
Mon 23: ASD and Social Anxiety (Evening)
Tue 24: FREE Introduction to CHP + Sneak Animation Preview (Evening)

May 2018

Wed 01: ASD and Anxiety (Evening)
Wed 10: Meltdowns and Shutdowns (Evening)
Tue 15: Essential Guide to ASD (Evening)
Tue 15: ASD and Anxiety (Morning)
Tue 15: ASD and Females (Professionals Lunchtime Learning)
Thu 17: 10 Ways to Better Understand Each Other for ASD/NT Couples – (Evening)
Sun 20: ASD and Social Anxiety (Evening)
Mon 21: Essential Guide to ASD (Professionals Lunchtime Learning)

June 2018

Tue 05: ASD and Education (Evening)
Thu 14: ASD and Females (Evening)

If you have any further concerns or questions, please email
We look forward to you joining us for some wonderful online learning!

Wiltshire Council Health Trainer at Salisbury Library

Wiltshire Council’s Health Trainers are available for you to drop in and get some FREE advice, help and information around various health related topics.

Jane Wise will be at Salisbury Library every Tuesday from 10am to 12pm

Health Trainers work on a one to one basis to support behaviour change and improve health. They concentrate on behaviours associated with ill health including unhealthy eating often linked to obesity, stop or reduce smoking, sensible drinking, increasing physical activity, building confidence and motivation to change and boosting self-esteem, they also signpost and support clients to access other services and activities where appropriate.

If you would like to make changes but don’t know where to start an health trainer may be able to help. The service is open to anyone over the age of 18 years of age and, can be accessed by appointment in a variety public venues in Wiltshire such as libraries and leisure centres. Health Trainers work with their clients for six sessions, building motivation and confidence to enable the client to help themselves and maintain the changes.

For more details please call 0300 003 4566, visit the Wiltshire Council website or email

Views of Young People Sought on How School Staff Should Work With Them

Flexible, responsive support at school and beyond can make a vast difference in a child or young person’s life. Not only does it enable them to develop their skills and knowledge, but also empowers them to become confident, independent individuals with an active and fulfilling role in their community.

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) wants to hear from children and young people with SEND about how school staff work with them to ensure that the right support is in place and working effectively and have suggested some questions that young people might want to think about or discuss with their parents to help with responses:-

1. Who is involved in your support at school/college/university?

– Rank these people from who is most involved to the least

– Is your order the same as your friends? Why?

– Does this change at different stages i.e. as you get older/ at different key stages/ progression?

– How and when should your support change? Why?

2. How can teachers work with students to record their learning and set them new tasks and skills builders?

– What skills do you think are really important for children and young people to develop?

– Why do you think these are the most important skills we need to learn?

3. What do teachers need to think about when they are planning a lesson for their class?

– Is this the same for all classes or will it depend?

– If so, what will it depend on?

4. How comfortable do you feel about talking to teaching/ support staff about your learning and/or support needs?

– What can teaching/ support staff do to make it easier for you to talk about your needs and support?

– What can schools/colleges do to make it easier for students to change their support or ask for help?

5. What do teaching/ support staff do to involve you in checking how well your support is working?

– Is there anything you would change about this process?

– If yes, what would you change and why?

– If not, what is it about the way you are involved that you like?

The CDC would like you to let them know your thoughts by the May 27th 2018. Please send any feedback on this topic to Joanna Carr at

Externally Led Review of School Exclusions – Online Survey

It will not seek to examine the powers head teachers have to exclude. For more information about what the review will consider, click externally led review of school exclusions to read a 2 page document: the Terms of Reference.

The review will help to understand how and why schools use exclusion, what drives the variation seen in exclusion rates and, in particular, the disproportionate exclusion of some groups  – including black Caribbean boys, Children in Need, Looked After Children, and those with Special Educational Needs. The review will also explore and identify effective practice, which can be shared across the system.

As part of this review, an online survey has been published: call for evidence. Views are sought from parents, children, schools, local authorities and other organisations to hear about their experiences, practice and evidence. The review will aim to report by the end of 2018. The review will launch with a call for evidence, which will run until May 6th. The review will report to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education. Please submit your responses to the online survey by May 6th 2018.

If you have any queries about the review of exclusions and the call for evidence, please contact:

Short Breaks Music Group Discussions

Due to the limited take up of Barnardo’s music groups and following a discussion with both Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council, a decision was made to review this provision.

To help review the current provision, in partnership with the Wiltshire Council and Barnardo’s, we are inviting parent carers to consult through a series of discussion sessions. This is an important opportunity to have your say and help make an informed decision about provision for the future.

Tuesday 3rd May 2018 – 10am until 2pm with lunch and tea/coffee included

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Sports Club, Skew Bridge, Wilton Road, Salisbury SP2 9NY

Click here to view the flyer for more information. Click here to book a place online.