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15-07-2024 It's good to talk! Social activities, coffee mornings and support groups for parent carers

We've put together a short round-up of some of the social activities, coffee mornings and support groups for parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs. You can see the guide here (last updated 15th July 24)

We know that being the parent/carer of a child or young person with a Disability or Special Educational Need can be isolating, and hope that some of these activities will be useful in giving you opportunities to talk to other parents facing similar issues. 

13-07-2024 Annual Health Checks

The Annual Health Check is important for anyone aged 14 and over who is on their doctor’s Learning Disability Register. It is intended to help individuals to stay well by talking to a doctor or nurse about their health to find any problems early, so that they can be sorted out. 

The NHS has a useful page here setting out the key facts about annual health checks including what should happen at the appointment, and there is also a helpful video here.

There is a useful easy-to-read leaflet from Mencap setting out this information which you can use to help your young person to understand what will happen.  

Key points to note:

o   Adults and young people aged 14 and over with a learning disability and who are on the doctor’s practice learning disability register should be invited by their doctor to come for an annual health check.

o   The Learning Disability Register is for individuals of all aged who have a learning disability. It lets staff at the GP practice know that a person has a learning disability and may need reasonable adjustments.

o   If you have not been offered an annual health check you can ask for one. If the doctors practice say no, you can ask your local community learning disability team to help you get one

o   The NHS has to make reasonable adjustments to help disabled people use health services. This could include things like providing information in easy read format, booking longer appointments, allowing a carer to be with you in your appointment, booking you an appointment at a less busy time (if you find it hard to be in a busy waiting room). There is a useful video here.

For more information see the presentation from our recent health conference here.

11-07-2024 Discover Digital workshops from Family Fund

Family Fund offers free support to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child(ren).

Discover Digital workshops are free and are here to support parents and carers to use technology and to encourage children and young people to be creative with their devices.

The support that Family Fund provides covers everything from:

  • skills workshops on how to use your iPad, from learning about accessibility features, to how to use parental controls.
  • creative workshops for the whole family using fun, free apps you can get on your iPad.
  • social stories workshops to help parent/carers create quick and personalised social stories from their own home.
  • money support workshops to help families maximise their benefit entitlement.

You can see more information in their booklet here. 

You can also find additional information on the Family Fund website.

If you have any questions about the Discover Digital programme or need support signing up for a workshop, the Family Fund team will be happy to chat through this with you. You can also call them on 01904 550066 for more information.


Rachael and Heather
Email digitalskills@familyfund.org.uk 

Call 01904 550066

11-07-2024 What's On this Summer

We are currently pulling together our guide to what's on over the school summer holidays for children and young people with SEND, and will publish the guide on this page as soon as it is ready.

The Local Authority booklet on playschemes can be found here

In the meantime, we have listed below a few of the different schemes and activities that we are aware of, and we will continue to add to this list.

  • ECYPS Teenscheme - an inclusive programme for ages 11 - 17- flyer here
  • Summer Uni - an inclusive programme for ages 11 - 25 (19 for young people without SEND) including a SEND-specific programme (see page 5 of the brochure). Details here. You will also need to register here on the Enfield Youth Portal if you haven't already done so. 
  • The Enfield branch of the National Autistic Society are continuing their series of play sessions for Autistic children and their siblings - sessions during the school holidays will be on Sundays 28th July and 25th August - details here.
  • Enfield Advisory Service for Autism are running their summer holidays playground sessions at Russet House School on 15th August (8th August session is fully booked)- pre-booking only. Details and booking here
  • Get with the Kids Vibe are running a SEND summer play scheme on various dates from 29th July to 30th August, at Enfield Cricket Club on Lincoln Road. Details on the flyer here
  • SEND Summer Cycling scheme - information on the flyer here

27-06-2024 Preparing for adulthood

If your child has an EHCP and is now in year 9 or above, it is important to start thinking about what will happen when they get to the age of 16 and become legally responsible for making their own decisions, and perhaps start to think about their future in terms of getting a job or living more independently. We know that this can be a worrying time for parents and carers, and it is important to start thinking about the transition as early as possible so that you will be well-informed and ready to support your young person through the changes.

The Local Authority's Preparing for Adulthood booklet is a key document to help you understand the process and support. You can see this booklet on the Local Offer here and there is an easy-read version here and additional information about the process here

We recommend that you should attend as many of the Preparing for Adulthood online events as you can. It is worth starting as soon as possible and you may wish to repeat some of the sessions over the next few years.

Preparing for Adulthood events

Full details of the Preparing for Adulthood sessions are available here.

The next session is an evening drop-in session on transition, from 6 -8 pm Tuesday 9th July at the Integrated Learning Disability Service, Carnegie Building, 258a Hertford Road, Enfield, EN3 5BN. This is an opportunity to meet the professionals involved, plus parents from Our Voice and FITTA, and ask questions about the transition to adult services at 18. 

More information on the flyer here

This is part of a series of events on specific aspects of the Preparing for Adulthood process. If you have been unable to attend a session, the presentations will be added to the Local Offer Preparing for Adulthood page here shortly after each session. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see links to each presentation. 

Drop in sessions

On the first Friday of every month, parents and carers of young people aged 16 and over can join the monthly drop-in sessions 10 am - 12 pm at the Integrated Learning Disability Service in Hertford Road, where you can talk to a member of the ILDS team, and Jane Richards from Families in Transition to Adulthood. More information on the flyer here. The next session will be Friday 5th July. If you would like to attend please book an appointment by noon on the previous day. If this day does not work for you, please contact Jane to discuss an alternative timing.

You are welcome to bring your young person along with you. 

16-06-2024 Holidays, activities and local support Facebook Q&A

To help your family make the most of Summer together, Contact (the Charity for Families with Disabled Children) would like to invite you to join their 'Holidays, Activities & Local Support' Facebook Q&A session, where you can get advice about accessing holidays, activities and short breaks for your disabled child.
This is a great opportunity to get advice on issues such as:
- Getting help with holiday costs
- Disability-friendly venues
- Accessing short breaks
- Finding suitable play schemes
- Accessing special equipment and toys
The Facebook Q&A will take place on Thursday 20 June, between 10 – 11:30am, in our private Facebook Group for parent carers. You can join here: https://ow.ly/9Ti150SazOL
Find out more here: https://ow.ly/YyfC50SbAgp

13-06-2024 Travel assistance to school or college - deadline 1st July

The cut off date for applications for travel assistance, or changes to travel assistance, from this September, will be 1st July. Please make sure that you apply by this deadline to ensure that arrangements can be put in place in time for the start of the new academic year. 


School: You may be eligible for assistance for your child to travel to and from school if it is not reasonable for them to walk to school because of their Special Educational Needs or mobility difficulties and if the Local Authority has not offered a closer school. You can see more details on eligibility on the Local Offer ‘Getting to School Policy’ here.


College and further education: If your young person attends college or further education, applications for travel assistance are considered on an individual basis if the young person has Special Educational Needs, and a disability or mobility problem which affects their ability to walk and needs to travel more than 3 miles from your home to college. See here for more information (please note – you do not need to apply on an annual basis – the Travel Brokers Team have confirmed that the information on the Local Offer is incorrect in this respect and we have asked for it to be changed asap).


Applying for travel assistance or changes to travel assistance

If you need to apply for travel assistance or for a change to existing travel assistance (e.g. if your child is moving to a different school or college, or changing campus, the cut-off date for applications will be on Monday 1st July. Please make sure that you make your application before this date, to ensure that transport can be put in place ready for the new term.


New applications: Information and the application form for new applications can be found on this page (apply for travel assistance pdf).


Changes to travel arrangements: If you need to make a change to your existing travel arrangements (for example because your child is moving to a different school or college or changing campus) please use the form here


No change to arrangements: If your child/young person is already in receipt of travel assistance and they are staying at the same school and campus you do NOT need to make a new application.  

12-06-2024 What's On - play and leisure

Our guide to What's On - Play and Leisure in and around Enfield has lots of information on local SEND-specific and inclusive activities in and around the area (including some days out in Central London and further afield). The guide was last updated on 12th July 24. 

This guide focuses on ongoing term-time activities (although some continue during school holidays), and will be regularly updated with the latest activities and dates, so do check back regularly. We will also let you know about relevant one-off events via our weekly updates to members - please join our mailing list to receive these, if you haven't already done so. 

In addition, we usually publish a short 'What's on?' guide during each school holiday, featuring information about specific activities during the next holiday period.  

Please note that these activities are provided by external providers, not Our Voice, and inclusion in this guide should not be taken as our endorsement of any particular provider. 

If you know about any relevant local, accessible activities that aren't included in our guide, please do let us know - email us at info@ourvoiceenfield.org.uk 

26-05-2024 Independent Travel Training

The First Route Travel Training scheme supports access to public transport for young adults and adults with learning disabilities.

The scheme was set up by Enfield Council in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and Arriva buses, to help support individuals who were not confident with using public transport, including young adults before they transition to adult services, and adults with a learning disability.

Their sessions take place on the first Thursday of each month and give an opportunity for individuals to gain confidence to travel independently and safely, including looking at the kinds of scenarios that they could encounter on public transport.

The next sessions will be on 6th June, 4th July, 1st August, 5th September, 3rd October, 7th November and 5th December 2024. Sessions are for those who wish to travel independently using public transport. There are morning sessions from 10.30 am to 12 noon and afternoon sessions 1 pm to 2.30 pm. 

More details are on: 

Poster for First Route Independent Travel training 

Bus Day factsheet

More detail about the development and aims of the scheme here

For further information or to book please contact Claire Fenwick on 0208 132 1476 or claire.fenwick@enfield.gov.uk

22-05-2024 Positive Behaviour Support

Our Voice are currently running a series of Positive Behaviour sessions: 

  • Introduction to Positive Behaviour Support workshop on 22nd May, 12th June and 26th June. You can see the presentation from this session here. More details are on our events page and the flyer here
  • Positive Behaviour support drop-in sessions where you can discuss individual questions relating to your child/young person's behaviour. Sessions take place on 7th June, 5th July, 6th September, 4th October, 8th November, 6th December, 10th January, 7th February and 7th March. See our events page and the flyer for more details. 

Please note - it will normally be possible for Cheviots to provide creche facilities and/or a translator for any of these sessions. Please give as much notice as possible if you need either of these.