The SNAP Directory is the 'A-Z' for parents with children with special needs. It supports and guides us when we are lost for information on so many issues.

Vicky - Braintree

A brilliant point of reference, always packed full of clear and useful information

Malcolm - Billericay

16+ Information

The '16+ Information' is designed to provide useful information for families with children aged 16 and older. 
It was identified that parents of children with special needs who have made the transition from full time education needed an easier way to access relevant updates about training opportunities, social activities and weekend or clubs, along with education or benefit updates and other events.

Click on the headings for more information...


June Update


SNAP – Special School Coffee Morning

SNAP is inviting families, whose child attends special school, to come in for an informal catch up and a chance to share their experiences with each other on Wednesday 27th June 11.15am to 1.15pm. We will be joined by a representative from Inclusive Communication Essex, and Rachel Wright, author of ‘The Skies I’m Under’, who has a son with complex disabilities.

SNAP – Essex Mums Award Nominee

SNAP is through to the voting round of the 2018 Essex Mums Awards. We are in the top ten for two categories - Best Group/Class for Children with a Disability and Best Support Group.
SNAP would really appreciate your vote.

Leonard Cheshire – Can Do Programme

The Can Do Programme will be holding two volunteering sessions in Chelmsford for young people aged 10 to 25 years old with additional needs to make up Care and Share parcels for homeless people. They will also be making healthy oat breakfast bars to donate to a homeless charity and everyone. This is a free activity taking place on Tuesday 7th and 14th August but places are limited.

Outlook Care - Autumn Cottage, Southend 

Outlook Care’s Autumn Cottage is a supported living service in Southend where 6 people with complex needs and a learning disability live supported by their staff. They have an ambitious plan to enable the staff to deliver a service to younger people with complex needs. They have money to invest in the building and garden, but before they make any changes they want the views of family members on their current plans. They will fund reasonable expenses and we will ensure a warm welcome to anyone interested, as well as refreshments and some lunch. If you are interested, please contact Denise Parker on: 01277 633163 or email Denise at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Peabody – Family Fun Day

Peabody (formally Family Mosaic) is hosting a family fun day on Tuesday 31st July, from 10:30am until 3:30pm at Hutton Community Centre.

The Ace Group – Upcoming Events 

The Ace Group is hosting two exciting events for young adults with disabilities. Their fully inclusive music festival – TAG Fest is taking place on 15th July in Basildon and their Emoji Express social event is on 20th July in Chafford Hundred.

Sport for Confidence – Opportunity Events

Sport for Confidence is providing sporting opportunities for children and young people over the summer holidays. There are sessions taking place in Basildon, Benfleet, Canvey Island and Witham.

The Endeavour School Anchorage Association – Sainsbury Local Charity of the Year 

The Endeavour School Anchorage Association has been shortlisted to the final three, to become Sainsbury's Brentwood's local charity of the year. To vote for them, select Brentwood as the area on the website, then Brentwood William Hunter Way. You can also vote for them in store, via the token collection station.

Female Support Worker Needed – Basildon

A SNAP family is looking for a female support worker for their teenage daughter who has Down syndrome, ASD, anxiety and selective mutism. Please see job description for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact The SNAP Centre.

Rainbow Rural – Information Open Event

Rainbow Rural will be holding an open day on 1st July. They will be focusing on what Rainbow Rural can offer for its local schools and community. If you are interested in exploring what they have on offer you can drop by between 11am and 4pm to see what they do.

Essex SEND IASS – Practical Parenting Workshops for Mid Essex

The Essex SEND Information Advice and Support Service is holding a free workshop day for parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities on Thursday 12th July in Chelmsford. This event is only for families who live in the Mid area of Essex, including Braintree, Chelmsford and Witham. There will be three workshops (and a buffet lunch), offering knowledge and skills which you can adapt at home. The event also offers the opportunity to meet other parents and visit the exhibitor stands representing organisations that offer support and services in this area.

The Children's Society - ASC course

The Children's Society is holding a two day Autistic Spectrum Condition course for parents during the six weeks holidays. It will cover their six week course over two consecutive full days (9:30am – 2:30pm). It will take place on Monday 13th August and Tuesday 14th August in Chelmsford. This is a free service and is designed to support parents. Contact the Children's Society on 01245 493311to book or make a referral. See flyer for course overview.

Jessability Dance

Jessability Dance takes place at the Town Hall in Saffron Walden on Fridays. They have a qualified dance teacher taking the classes. Whilst the class is set up for wheelchair users, it is inclusive for people of all abilities.

Multi Agency Centre (MAC) 

The Multi Agency Centre provides free advice at this Harlow venue, on numerous issues regardless of circumstances. They provide information on topics such as; help with budgeting, support with mental health issues, support for youth, training available locally, and looking for work.

NAS – Autism Friendly Performances 

The National Autistic Society has released details of a range of relaxed theatre performances taking place across the country. Shows include Peter Pan, Matilda the Musical, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Aladdin.

Network Autism - Autism and controlled eating

Lucy Skye has had a recent diagnosis of autism and in this article she gives a very personal and fascinating insight into some of the challenges she experiences with food and eating.




SNAP Grandparent's Coffee Morning

Grandparents of SNAP families are invited to join us for an informal opportunity to share experiences and meet others on Wednesday 20th June from 11.15am - 1.15pm.

SNAP What Next? Preparing for Adulthood Event

SNAP will be inviting representatives from a range of organisations that support young people with additional needs during and after the transition to adulthood. This informal drop-in event on Tuesday 12th June will be a great opportunity to find out what options are available for your young person. Suitable for families with a young person aged 14 years +.

Takiwatanga School Proposal Event

Two parents of children with SEN and an autism professional, are putting together a proposal to request funding for a new free school for children aged 7-18 with high functioning autism and associated anxiety. They will be holding an event at The SNAP Centre on Friday 8th June to gain feedback and opinions from parents. See flyer for more detail.   

Mercury Theatre – Aspire Club Nights

Mercury Theatre’s Aspire Club Nights are designed for young people aged 11-18 with special educational needs and disabilities. Young people can party with a DJ and disco lights in a safe, accessible and inclusive environment. It will be held at the Abbey Field Centre in Colchester on selected dates in June and August. A Social Story will be available in advance, and extra staff will be on hand throughout the night to supervise.

Smart Start Minds – Free Parent Talks

Loughton based Smart Start Minds are running a series of free parent talks, focusing on supporting children with their concentration and learning.

Dimensions - June Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings

Dimensions work with ODEON, Cineworld, Vue and Showcase to host autism friendly screenings at over 300 cinemas nationwide. On Sunday mornings throughout the month, films suitable for all audiences are screened in a sensory friendly and inclusive environment. Upcoming films include; Sherlock Gnomes, Show Dogs and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Family Action - Digital Parent Support Service

Family Action’s Digital Parent Support Service uses a team of trained volunteers with knowledge and experience of managing the challenges of parenthood to support parents and carers ‘virtually’ by telephone, text message and email. There are four services; Parent Helpline, Virtual Parent Befriender, Virtual Expert and Virtual Counsellor.

Extra – Support for Families

The Tendring based support group still has spaces available on their five week course on Improving Your Emotional Wellbeing. It covers understanding what is meant by mental health/emotional wellbeing; how to gain support and how to develop a positive mental attitude.

Mersea Island Festival

Essex Outdoors annual Mersea Island Festival aims to bring together young people and adults with or without a physical or learning disability to take part in a wide variety of activities that challenge and stimulate. It is also an exciting opportunity to build confidence make new friends.

InterAct - July to September Activity Programme

InterAct has released their activity programme of activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Families in Focus – Chelmsford Family Hub Appointments

Families in Focus are going to be running an Information and Advice Clinic from the Chelmsford Family Hub on the first Wednesday of each month, 9.30am-12pm. Families in Focus give information and advice around special educational needs and benefits support.

Hamlin Trust - Sutton Bridge Farm Open Day

Hamlin trust will be holding an open day on 20th June at their Sutton Bridge Farm facility in Rochford, Essex. It is an opportunity to take a look at three of their services and find out more about what they do. It will include a chance to see their horticultural project Roots & Shoots, visit their short break service Gowlands, and see their private hydrotherapy pool.

IPSEA – Tribunal Webinar 

On Tuesday 5th June IPSEA will be holding a ‘Tribunal: hints and tips’ webinar. It is aimed at parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) currently going through the appeal process. The training will look at SEN appeals to the Tribunal.

ZINC Arts – SEN Disco

ZINC Arts is holding their monthly SEN disco on Wednesday 6th June at 6.30pm for young people age 14+.

Spectrum Parent Support Group 

Colchester based parent support group Spectrum's next meeting is on Wednesday 6th June at 10.00am to 12.00noon

The Autism Show London

This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 15th and 16th June. There will be a programme of seminars, workshops and opportunities for one-to-one advice sessions, plus stands demonstrating 100s of products and services.

Ronnie's Way - Upcoming Events

Ronnie's Way is an organisation that runs private hire events for families with children with additional needs. These include private cinema screenings, swim sessions and activity events at a range of family friendly locations.


Please remember to visit this page regularly for updates throughout the year.