Tag Archives: learning disabilities

FamilyHub by Mencap

Mencap offer FamilyHub for you to join

Connect with others going through similar experiences to you.

Whether you are a sibling of someone with a learning disability, a parent who’s just had a diagnosis, or a parent of an adult with a learning disability with wisdom to share, you’ll find a warm welcome in the FamilyHub.


  • connect with others
  • share triumphs and challenges
  • a place for support and tips

Sign Up Here

Watch their video about FamilyHub

Building Bridges Programme

The Building Bridges programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work. If you need help and support to find work or access skills training or education, you could really benefit from taking part in the programme.

If you are looking to get into work or education, the programme can help you to develop the skills and qualifications you need and address the practical issues such as transport costs, confidence and help with childcare.

Who can take part?

In order to take part in the Building Bridges programme you must be aged 15 or over, living in Wiltshire or Swindon and not currently working (unemployed). Please note the Building Bridges programme is not able to work with people on zero hours contracts.
You must have the legal right to work in the UK in order to take part. The programme can support registered refugees but is currently unable to work with asylum seekers. The Building Bridges programme is also unable to work with people who are currently in prison.

Visit their website for full details


Big Pledge Challenge 2018 – Join the Ability Sports Team

In celebration of the home nations success at the Commonwealth Games the Big Pledge: Beat the Clock 8 week activity challenge is back!!

Rob Paget, Wiltshire Council’s Disability Sports Development Officer has created an “Ability Sports” Team.

All Rising stars, Fit club, Boccia, football, adapted cycling and any PE at school counts. In fact any physical activity counts towards the challenge including walking and housework! The team is not only for individuals with a disability – Rob will be inputting his totals and he hopes that parents/carers will also sign up too.

To sign up:

  • Follow the link below and hit the ‘Sign up’ button.
  • Enter your details then select ‘Big Pledge Beat the Clock Team Challenge
  • Tick ‘Join a Team’ and enter ‘Ability Sports’ for the team name
  • Then finish signing up as required!

For more details and to register for free go to: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/bigpledge

Petition in Response to Cuts to Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit, payments for a disabled child are to be cut by more than 50 per cent for most disabled children. Consequently, many families with a disabled child will be worse off.

Families whose caring responsibilities prevent them from working and who qualify for the lower disability element appear certain to be worse off by at least £1,600 per year. It seems certain that the number of families with disabled children who will be worse off is likely to be significantly more than 100,000. Many of these families are already struggling to afford basic essentials such as food and heating. The impact of a further cut of more than £1,600 a year for many is likely to be increased debt, stress and ill health. Contact is therefore calling on the Prime Minister to reverse cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit.

More than 4,000 people have signed Contact’s (formerly Contact a Family) petition so far. This is an invitation to join them and help stop cuts to payments for disabled children under Universal Credit, by signing the petition today.

More information about Contact’s campaign against cuts to Universal Credit can be found HERE.

Counting the Cost 2018 – Research into Family Finances and the Benefits System

Mums, dads and other family members who care for children and young people with additional needs or disabilities: this is a chance to take part in important research about family finances and changes to the benefits system.

Responses to Contact’s (formerly Contact a Family) Counting the Costs 2018 survey will give a unique snapshot of families’ current financial situation and whether it is getting better or worse.

By filling out the survey you will be helping to raise awareness which is particularly important as cuts to benefits continue to hit families with disabled children hard.

Please click HERE to go to the survey which will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

The survey closes on May 18th 2018.

CEA Card

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, cinema staff should make them for you whether you have a CEA Card or not.

The Card is developed by UKCA’s Disability Working Group, whose members include film exhibitors and distributors, and national disability charities such as Action on Hearing Loss, the RNIB, Dimensions and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Apply for a CEA Card online

Apply for a CEA Card by post


You will need to provide evidence that the card holder receives one of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
  • Blind Persons Registration

You will need to send a copy of the awarding letter from DWP or a statement confirming receipt of the allowance for the person requiring assistance (the card holder).

This should be dated within the last 12 months.

Alternatively, if you are a Registered Blind Person then please send a photocopy of certification for the person requiring assistance (the card holder).

To apply, the person requiring assistance must be 8 years of age or older.

Close the School Transport Loophole

More and more disabled children are being refused school transport or charged for it, as councils exploit a loophole in the law.

How can it be fair that the law says a young person is expected to be in school or training until 18 but does not have the transport to get there once they turn 16?

That’s why Contact are calling on the government to close this loophole for disabled youngsters as they face additional challenges getting to school or college.

Sign the Petition Now

Contact know from their school transport inquiry that the impact of losing school transport is huge for families.

Although the law says that young people are expected to be in school or training until they are 18, local councils do not have to provide them with free school transport once they turn 16.

For advice and information on school transport, visit Contact’s page on transport to school and college and post-16 school transport in England. You can also find out about challenging school transport decisions.

Wiltshire’s Draft Placements Commissioning Strategy 2017-2022 Consultation Sessions

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council will be inviting parent carers of children/ young people aged 0-25 years with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disabilities (SEND) to attend one of our consultation sessions to find out more about Wiltshire’s Placements Commissioning Strategy.  There will be a brief outline of the strategy by the Lead Commissioner and the opportunity to offer your views on the placements needs for children and young people and the proposed commissioning priorities.

What is the strategy about?

The strategy covers any placement that Wiltshire Council makes for a child or young person with a commissioned provider both in Wiltshire and in other local authority areas which includes:

  • Independent fostering agency placements for looked after children & young people
  • Residential group-living placements for looked after children
  • Independent special school placements for children & young people with SEND (incl. post-16)
  • Accommodation & support placements for care leavers
  • Independent specialist placements for young people with SEND post-16

When are the consultations? – All sessions run from 10 am-12.30pm on the following dates:

Friday 18th May 2018 – Trowbridge (MSO Workspace, One Newmarket Avenue, White Horse Business Park, Trowbridge BA14 0XQ)

Monday 21st May 2018 – Salisbury (Salisbury and South Wiltshire Sports Club, Skewbridge, Wilton Road, Salisbury SP2 9NY)

Wednesday 6th June 2018 – Lacock (Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, Nr Chippenham SN15 2NY)

These consultations are for parent carers only.  BOOK NOW.

Additional information – If you would like to take a look at the Draft Placements Commissioning Strategy documents Draft Strategy Documents

If you are unable to attend any of Wiltshire Parent Carer Council’s consultation sessions, you can still email your answers to the consultation questions contained in the strategy document to pathways@wiltshire.gov.uk

The consultation period runs until 9th June 2018.

New Healthwatch Wiltshire provider announced

After a recent tender process, Wiltshire Council has appointed a new provider for the county’s independent local Healthwatch service. The contract has been awarded to Help & Care, a charity based in Bournemouth, who will take over the service from 1 June 2018.

Healthwatch Wiltshire is the county’s independent health and care champion and it exists to ensure people are at the heart of decision-making about local health and care services.

Evolving Communities Community Interest Company (CIC), based in Melksham, has run the Healthwatch Wiltshire for the last five years. It also runs two successful local Healthwatch contracts in Gloucestershire and Somerset, as well a highly-regarded research consultancy service both locally and nationally.

Chris Graves, Chair of Evolving Communities, said: “Over the last five years we’ve received a very positive welcome, since the establishment of the Healthwatch service in Wiltshire. We have enjoyed a productive relationship with partners that has produced some really innovative outcomes for the people of Wiltshire.

“Most of all we have been amazed by the commitment and support given to us by our dedicated team of volunteers and we hope they will continue to support the Healthwatch vision.

“I am confident that the model of Healthwatch that we provide is a successful one in delivering improvements in health and social care for local people, and we will continue to promote it in Gloucestershire and Somerset.”

Mary Curran, newly-appointed Chief Executive of Evolving Communities, added: “Whilst disappointed with the loss of our Wiltshire contract, I am delighted to have joined Evolving Communities and am now focused on delivering a first class Healthwatch service in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

“We will benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience gained from the great track record of work in Wiltshire.”

The current Healthwatch Wiltshire staff will be entitled to transfer over to the new service should they wish to do so, and Evolving Communities will be supporting them through this process.