Tag Archives: Wiltshire

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


Survey for Adoptive Parents Living in Wiltshire

Jess and Marie are two adoptive mums living in Wiltshire. They both hit some bumps and felt a little lost and alone in the early days of being adoptive mums and wish they had met each other sooner!

They then met Sara, who is an experienced adopter, 15 years down the line. Sara is passionate about helping to make Wiltshire adopters’ journeys less bumpy.

Together, they are hoping to set up an independent group for adopters in Wiltshire to provide peer support, networking opportunities and information.

It would help them understand what adopters in Wiltshire would like, and where. If you are an adoptive parent, Jess, Marie and Sara would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill in this quick questionnaire HERE

Are you a Parent Carer Interested in Learning to Deliver Training to Support other Parents?

WPCC are looking to recruit 6 volunteer parent carers to become trainers to deliver training to support parents in Wiltshire as part of a new initiative. As a trained facilitator, you would work in partnership with a trained professional from Wiltshire Council to deliver training called Time Out for Parents which has been produced by an organisation called Care for the Family. You would be able to claim out of pocket expenses including mileage and childcare expenses incurred by delivering training. WPCC are excited by this opportunity to empower parents to be trained as professionals so that they can train and support other parents.

If you are interested in this opportunity, you would need to commit to five days of training. The training would give you the skills to facilitate groups, and you would be trained to use materials to enable you to deliver a range of sessions that includes a module specifically for parents of children with special needs. You would be able to claim out of pocket expenses including mileage and childcare expenses incurred by attending the training days.

Training will take place in Trowbridge on the following days:-

  • Monday June 4th: 9.30am – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday June 5th: 9.30am – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday June 6th:  9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday July 9th: 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday July 10th: 9.30am – 3.30pm

To understand a little more about the courses for parents, please click HERE to visit Care for the Family’s website.

WPCC would welcome applications from any parent carer wishing to express an interest in being trained to deliver these courses.

Applications must be received by 5pm Sunday 13th May 2018.

Informal interviews including more information about the training, the courses and an opportunity to ask questions, will take place on: Tuesday 22nd May 2018 (likely to be from 10am and finish no later than 2pm). If you are not sure if this is for you or not and you would like an opportunity to understand more and ask any questions you may have, we would encourage you to complete an application form too.

Please click APPLY to complete a short application form.



IMPACT – Swindon & Wiltshire Active Recovery Service has been launched by social enterprise, Turning Point.

The new substance misuse service is operating from 3 central hubs in Swindon, Salisbury and Trowbridge, as well as groups and sessions taking place in a range of community venues.

Turning Point already has a strong track record on helping people with drug and alcohol issues in Wiltshire. Last year they treated and supported more people and the number finishing treatment successfully also increased.

The service promises to be more personalised, responding to changing drug and alcohol trends and improving recovery rates across both Wiltshire and Swindon.

IMPACT – IMproving Prevention, Accessibility, Collaboration & Treatment

Visit the IMPACT website

IMPACT will be introducing a number of new ways of working, making services more accessible including:

  • Better use of digital technology through on-line support and information and telemedicine.
  • Delivering services from a range of discreet and convenient community locations.
  • Working jointly with other local organisations to reach out to groups that can often be under-represented in treatment services, such as women.

Jay Stewart, Director of Public Health and Substance Misuse at Turning Point said:

“We are very much looking forward to expanding our strong track record of services in Wiltshire to the borough of Swindon and developing a new integrated service.

“Our new initiatives incorporating digital technology and joint work with The Nelson’s Trust will make services more accessible and expansive to the community.”

Jerry Wickham, Cabinet Member for Public Health from Wiltshire Council said:

“ Substance Misuse can affect anyone from our communities. That is why we look forward to continuing to work with Turning Point to develop a new service that is more accessible and aims to intervene at a much earlier stage.

“In working with Swindon Borough Council to jointly commission this service, local people across the whole county will experience a fully joined up way of working.”

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said:

“It is acknowledged that drug and alcohol misuse in our communities has an impact on police and the criminal justice system, it is therefore so important to have a service that ensures the best chance of recovery to those dealing with their addictions.”

Wiltshire Family Learning

What is Family Learning?

In simple terms Family Learning is about turning these three things into reality:

  1. Improving the skills and prospects of parents/carers
  2. Improving the achievements of children
  3. Helping parents/carers to understand how to support their children to learn and to value their role as their child’s first teacher

The impact of Family Learning

In a recent study of Family Learning in Wiltshire, 94% of learners felt the courses helped them with one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Goals and ambition
  • Confidence with work and general confidence
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Future ambitions
  • Independent study
  • Finding employment
  • Being aware of help available for work
  • Volunteering
  • Progress to further learning
  • Improved skills to return to work

When and where?

Courses are:

  • Fun
  • Free
  • Practical

Learners will be part of a small group where everyone joins in to learn in a relaxed and friendly environment, usually within a:

  • Local school
  • Children’s centre
  • Community venue

Sessions take place in term time and holidays for a couple of hours over a few weeks. Parents/carers may have the opportunity to take part in a longer programme leading to a qualification.

Timetable of Courses

Entry requirements

If you have 5 GCSEs grades A to C (5 O Levels) this course may not be suitable for you. Please contact us if you require further details; we’d love to hear from you

Employed or Unemployed

Resident in the UK or EU for 3 years

Aged 19 or over (contact us regarding exceptions)

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.

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: libraryenquiries@wiltshire.gov.uk

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 wisa@kids.org.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KIDScharitySW