Our Voice

Making a difference …

News News

03-02-2023 Have your say -LA questionnaire for parents of children/young people with an EHCP

If your child/young person has an EHCP and lives/attends school in the London Borough of Enfield, Enfield Council is inviting you to complete their new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Parent/Carer Questionnaire. You should also have received an email about this from the Council.

The questionnaire can be found at https://online1.snapsurveys.com/8xvado. It should take about 10 – 15 minutes, and your responses will be completely confidential. Please complete and submit the questionnaire by 10:00 am on Friday 10 February.

This is an important questionnaire which was developed by the LA in response to some of the issues raised at our ‘Meet the SEND Heads’ Parents’ Conference in March 22. The aim is to help the Local Authority to better understand your experiences as parent/carers around the areas of education, health, and social care; annual reviews; and accessing information, advice, and support, in order to help focus plans to improve local services and support. An overview of the results will be shared at the next Our Voice Meet the SEND Heads Conference.


If you have any queries about this questionnaire or need help with sharing your views, please email haveyoursay@enfield.gov.uk.  There will be a separate questionnaire later in the year for parents of children and young people with additional needs who do not have an EHCP.  

05-01-2023 Disability Swimming

Family Swim sessions

Edmonton Leisure Centre offer Disability Friendly Family Swimming sessions every Sunday from 11 am to 12 pm.

The cost is £3.00 per session per person (adult or junior). This is a concessionary rate (no need to purchase the concession card itself).

Further details are available here.

Fusion Lifestyle advise pre-booking your spaces beforehand to avoid disappointment as there is limited capacity. You can find the booking under 'Lane & General Swimming' on the Fusion Lifestyle app, which you can download via https://download.mobilepro.uk.com/a/55U2?p=6.

Please note - these are NOT swimming LESSONS but are swimming sessions that the whole family can use to swim with the young person with disabilities.

SEND Swimming courses Jan 23 

SEND Swimming lessons are also available from 21st / 22nd January at Edmonton Leisure Centre and Albany Leisure Centre. 

An opportunity for young people with SEND to learn to swim with specially trained instructors, over a 10-week course. Lessons will be 1:5 ratio and parents/carers will be needed in the pool to support their children.

Places are limited and on a first come first served basis. To book your place please email sport@enfield.gov.uk

Saturdays at Edmonton Leisure Centre

21st Jan to 1st April 23 (excluding 18th Feb) 10 weeks

·  12.15 to 12.45 5- 11 years and 11-25 years Autism

·  13.00 – 13.30 5-11 years and 11-25  years Learning/physical disability

Sundays at Albany Leisure Centre

21st Jan – 2nd April 2023 (excluding 19th Feb) 10 weeks

· 13.30 to 14.00 pm – 11 -25 years Autism

You must be able to commit to the majority of the 10-week course.

Parents/carers will need to enter the pool to support their children.

15-12-2022 Cost of Living Support

This page contains information about different forms of support for the cost of living. We will update this with additional information so please do check back for updates and additions. 

Easy Read information

The ‘My Life’ site aimed at young people with learning disabilities includes useful information about cost of living issues and sources of support here: Cost of Living (enfield.gov.uk)

Council and government information

See Cost of living support | Enfield Council for information on a wide range of sources of support

See the governments site: Help for Households - Get government cost of living support 

Food banks and other support with food

This document set out information about food support in Enfield including food pantries (heavily discounted food), Food Co-ops and other support with food. 

Information and map of Food Banks in the area Help with food | Enfield Council

Zebras Children and Adults Charity has a specific focus on the families of children and adults with disabilities. Their ‘Food for vulnerable families’ project provides fresh fruit and vegetables for vulnerable families for a 12 week period. For more information and to self-refer please see Community Help — Zebras Children & Adults Charity (zebrascacharity.org.uk)

The Enfield Food Alliance has information on Food Banks and Support Services in the area: Our members | Enfield Food Alliance

Food pantries offer food at heavily discounted prices. Members pay £4.50 per week which allows them to buy between £15 and £20 worth of healthy food. For more information see Community hubs and food pantry | Enfield Council

You may also like the Share too good to go app which you download here: Too Good To Go | Too Good To Go. You can use the app to rescue 'Surprise bags' filled with delicious, unsold food that would otherwise be wasted, from businesses near you (a wide range of stories are available including Morrisons, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Cafe Nero and many independent shops) and buy the food for as little as £2. 

Warm hubs

This booklet includes details of a range of different ‘warm hubs’ in our area providing a warm space, hot meals and more – see pages 6 to 8

You can also see information on warm hubs at Enfield libraries here: Warm spaces | Enfield Council

The Integrated Learning Disability Service are also hosting ‘warm spaces’ for People with Learning Disabilities. 

Holiday Activity and Food Programme

The Holiday Activity and Food Programme runs during the school holidays. This holiday provision is for school-aged children from reception to year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals and attend an Enfield School and/or live in Enfield. The programme includes enriching and engaging activities as well as lunch.

Support if you are struggling financially and advice on benefits

If you are worried about the rising cost of living, you can check whether you can find support on the Local Authority’s welfare advice and support page and you can complete the financial support referral form.

If you're in crisis now and cannot afford food or essential items, need help completing the financial support referral form ring the Local Authority on 020 8379 1000 (select option 7), Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Enfield’s community hubs, based at Enfield Town Library (66 Church Street, EN2 6AX)  and Edmonton Green Library (36- 44 South Mall, Edmonton, N9 0TN) offer face to face advice to vulnerable people about financial issues. They are available from 9 am -5pm Monday to Friday.  

Advise on the benefits that you and your family may be entitled to can be found at Benefits & tax credits | Contact and on Carers UK’s page here Financial support | Carers UK

Locally, Enfield Carers Centre are a good source of advice on benefits and run regular advice sessions – see their events pages for the next sessions Events for January 2023 – Enfield Carers Centre

Get 50% savings boost with Help to Save

If you do have a small amount to put away as savings people on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit can boost their savings by 50% with the government’s Help to Save scheme.

















Additional information


14-12-2022 Whats On in the Christmas Holidays

Take a look at our guide here, on activities and days out during the Christmas Holidays. 

The Local Authority's information on playschemes for children and young people with SEND can be found here. 

09-12-2022 Workshops for parents - anxiety and overwhelm

‘Bringing us Together’ are running a series of six free workshops on anxiety and overwhelm.  The second of these workshops will take place on Tuesday 13th December, with a different workshop every month until Tuesday 11th April 2023. All workshops will run from 10.30 am to 1 pm.

For more information see here and for any questions and to book any of the workshops please contact tony@bringingustogether.org.uk

29-11-2022 Free online events for parents/carers of autistic children and young people

Phase 1 of NHS England’s ‘Autism in Schools' Project is currently underway with 20 pilot schools in the London Region (including two in the Enfield area). As part of this project, the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (of which Our Voice is a member) would like to invite parents and carers to a series of FREE online training and information events to help support autistic pupils at home and in school.

See the attached flyer for details of all the events, including the booking links for each event.
The first events are on Thursday 1st December. 
When booking your place you will be asked to give the name of your child's school - please select 'other' 
We have also attached all the relevant links below: 

About the project  https://nnpcf.org.uk/2021/06/23/autism-schools-project/

Booking links:
I can’t go to school
 Thursday 1st December 10.30 am  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__1SIXJv3TESSabMFYRyfhw
Thursday 1st December 7.30 pm https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FBSw_v7iS8GruKPPYzfTJQ
Autism acceptance: A young person’s perspective:
Wednesday 7th December 7.30 pm https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_j_LcU5-fSdOEPv4l-3Zw8w
Lessons I wish I’d learned growing up autistic
Friday 9th December 10 am https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MHHi4HsUSAKsGavxZ7ow-w
Screen internet use and children with special educational needs and disabilities
Monday 12th December 7.30 pm https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_waIomBI0QVOYspI9sZ4ukQ
Special Educational needs and teenage years and how to navigate extreme behaviours
Wednesday 14th December 10 am https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KyE2eM9gTxesYJ0GAT0f1A

Additional links:

I can’t go to school – a non-school attenders workshop: https://www.happyinschoolproject.com/i-cant-go-to-school/
Spectrum gaming - https://www.spectrumgaming.net/
Autistic not weird https://autisticnotweird.com/
Newbold Hope https://www.newboldhope.org/

24-11-2022 Choosing a Primary School for children with additional needs (am session)

Information for families of children due to start Primary School in September 2023: 

Our Voice recently held two videoconference sessions in conjunction with SENDIASS and the Enfield SEN Team looking at choosing a primary school for your child with additional needs. You can see the most recent version of the presentation here, including additional sources of information. 

  • For children with an EHCP the deadline for confirming your preference to the SEND Service is 30th November. The process is set out in this booklet. If you are unable to return your preference by this date (e.g. if you have yet to visit schools) please advise your case co-ordinator in SEN Services. 
  • For children without an ECHP applications must be submitted by 15th January. 

You can see additional information about special schools and mainstream schools with specialist provision here

09-11-2022 Sensory Adapted Performance of Sleeping Beauty

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty returns with a Sensory Adapted Performance!

Get priority booking for the Sensory Adapted Performance of Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty Sun 8 Jan 2023, 2pm 
Sadler's Wells Theatre

New Adventures and Sadler’s Wells are thrilled to announce that there will be a Sensory Adapted matinee performance of Sleeping Beauty on Sunday 8 January 2023. 

We are pleased to offer you priority booking at a discounted ticket rate of £20 per ticket for a maximum of 4 tickets for this performance, which can be booked online by clicking here

You can also book by calling Sadler’s Wells Ticket Office and quoting MOUSETRAP20 on 020 7863 8000 (12-6pm Mon-Sat). The priority booking period runs until Thurs 17 Nov, so we recommend booking early.

About Sleeping Beauty

Now established as a firm favourite in the New Adventures repertoire, the award-winning Sleeping Beauty has enchanted international audiences throughout the UK and across the globe.

Enter a wondrous world of magical fairies and vampires, where the timeless tale of good vs evil is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder. Will Princess Aurora ever find her true love again?

With an unforgettable score, sumptuous sets and costumes, evocative lighting and masterly storytelling, the beloved fairy tale is brought to life by the uniquely talented New Adventures company. Get ready to be transported in time from the halcyon days of the late Edwardian era through to the modern day in this dazzling gothic romance.

Please note that the age rating for Sleeping Beauty is 5+ (some scenes may not be suitable for young children), and the running time is 2 hours including a 20-minute interval.

See more information including a trailer for the show here.

About Sensory Adapted Performances

Sensory Adapted Performance is an extension of a Relaxed Performance. A welcome, less formal but supportive environment is created, and the show is modified by:

· Reducing sound levels and special effects
· Making other technical adaptations to soften contrasts within the show
· Create empty seated spaces to allow free and easy movement within the auditorium.
· Support noise and movement within the auditorium during a show
· Allow re-entry when needed so house lights are left on throughout
· Offer a separate chill-out space for anyone who might need it at any time during their visit
· Provide a Visual Story so people can familiarise themselves with the theatre and key details about the show in advance
· Ear defenders are available on request at Ticket Office
· Extra staff are on hand to support you with any queries

Sensory Adapted Performances are suitable for those who may be on the autism spectrum, have sensory sensitivities, epilepsy, learning disabilities and/or difficulties, experience neurodiversity, and anyone that might benefit from a more supportive environment.

Hear about sensory adapted performances here

07-11-2022 Film about swimming sessions

Do you attend the Disability Swimming sessions on Sundays at Edmonton Green Leisure Centre? If you do, and are available to attend on Sunday 27th November, and happy to be interviewed, we would like to hear from you.

The Local Authority has commissioned a short film about how they respond to the views of children and young people, featuring the swimming sessions which came about directly as a result of children and young people asking for this activity.

The plan is to talk to families as they arrive on Sunday 27th November about the swimming, why they like it and what the benefits are. If all families feel comfortable, they may also film in the pool (but don’t worry, no one will be filmed without explicit consent!).

If you are interested,  please contact Sarah McLean at sarah.mclean@enfield.gov.uk to let her know that you plan to attend.

You can download a consent form here. Please complete the consent form and take it with you on the day. 

You can see details of the swimming sessions here

04-11-2022 Choosing a Primary School for children with additional needs (am session)

Are you trying to choose a primary school for your child with additional needs?

Our Voice Parent Forum is hosting two Zoom information sessions for parents and carers, in conjunction with Enfield SENDIASS.

These sessions will look at how to choose a primary school for children with additional needs, and expressing your preferences for children who have Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). We will talk about what the process is, how you can get information about primary schools and what to look out for when making decisions. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions, in advance and also as part of the session.

Book your place for Tuesday 8th Nov 10-11.30 am here or for Tuesday 15th Nov from 1– 2.30 pm  here

See our event flyer here.

If your child was born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019, you will need to apply for a primary school place by 15 January 2023, ready for your child to start reception class in September 2023. This workshop will be particularly useful for parents of children in this age group, but you may also wish to attend if your child is a year or so younger, so you can start thinking about the choice of school early.