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

Previous Months - 16+

For information that we shared with you over previous months, please scroll to the correct month to find it.

 

2017

 

October

 

Transition to Adult Life II – Housing, Benefits, Employment, Financial Planning Seminars 

Action for Kids is presenting a series of seminars for parents, carers and professionals on issues related to the transition to adult life for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Jump Evolution – Half Term SEN Session

Jump Evolution in Romford is running an extra SEN Support Session for children with additional needs and their families on Wednesday 25th October from 9.00am to 10.00am.

Shorefields School – Low Noise Fireworks 

Shorefields school is hosting a low noise fireworks night exclusive for SEN families on 5th November 4:30pm at Plough Corner, Little Clacton. 

Arsenal Football Club – Sensory Room 

Arsenal Football Club has opened a new sensory room at the Emirates Stadium. It contains a range of sensory tools and games to give fans with profound special needs the opportunity to enjoy matches with their families and carers.

SEN Magazine – Dyslexia Tips for Parents

SEN Magazine has produced some practical tips for parents who have a child or young person with dyslexia.

Young Epilepsy – 4 School Rules Campaign 

Young Epilepsy has launched a campaign to make sure children with epilepsy have the support they need to be safe in schools.

Action For Children – New Short Breaks Providers

Action For Children has a number of new providers that will be running ‘Taster Sessions’ at Stewards Academy for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities on Thursday 26th October. 

Carers Choices – Young Carers Groups

Carers Choices has a range of groups for young carers, providing support, confidence building and fun activities.

ZINC Arts – Halloween Disco

ZINC Arts is holding a Halloween themed disco on Wednesday 1st November at 6.30pm.for young adults age 14+. 

BBC Two Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me

Spring Watch presenter Chris Packham has made an enlightening documentary about his life with Asperger’s syndrome. It is available to watch on the BBC Iplayer. Chris’ memoir, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, is available to borrow from the SNAP library.

Spectrum Parent Support Group 

Spectrum is a Colchester based support group for parents and carers of children, young people and adults on the autistic spectrum. Their next meeting is on Wednesday 1st November, 10.00am to 12.00 noon.

National Autistic Society – Big Survey

The NAS are conducting their annual BIG survey to find out which issues are important to families who have a child or young person on the autism spectrum.

University College London – Survey on Support for Parents after Diagnosis

In this short survey UCL aims to find out whether a support programme for parents of newly diagnosed children on the autism spectrum called PEGASUS PLUS can reduce parents’ stress and improve their wellbeing.


iSEssex – EHCP Workshops for Parent Carers

Independent Support Essex is holding an informal session here at The SNAP Centre to help parent carers learn about the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process. It is an opportunity to gain tips, resources and ideas, as well as meet other parent carers going through the transfer/application process. The session will be held on Wednesday 18th October – 11.30am to 1.00pm. Please contact SNAP to book your place. They will also be holding several other sessions across Essex, please see the Essex Local Offer website for more details.

Online Safety Training at The SNAP Centre

SNAP is holding an Online Safety Training talk at The SNAP Centre, on Monday 30th October at 7:00pm.  The presentation is from two leading police experts who have worked extensively investigating the specialist field of online safety. It will bring parents totally up-to-date on the apps their children are using, with input from children in Essex who keep the trainers constantly updated. If you would like to book your place(s) please call The SNAP Centre on 01277 211300, or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Ambitious about Autism – Know Your Normal

Ambitious about Autism has created the ‘know your normal’ toolkit. This downloadable booklet has been designed to allow someone to describe what their ‘normal’ looks like. It includes things such as how much sleep they get, how much time they spend on their interests and hobbies and how this makes them feel. It is intended to be filled in when things are going ok, so that if it changes, it’s easier to explain to people that something feels different. 

CAV – Family Mentoring Service

The CAV Family Mentoring Service provides a network of support to families who live in the Castle Point area with children aged between 0 and 19 years. They provide personalised care and support by allocating an experienced, non-judgemental, support worker and trained volunteer. 


City of Chelmsford Mencap – Gateway Juniors and Gateway Club

City of Chelmsford Mencap has released the autumn programmes for their two evening clubs, Gateway Juniors (for 16-25 year olds) and Gateway Club (for 19+).


The Lorax at the Old Vic

A relaxed performance of this theatre production for ages 6+ will be on Sunday 5th November 2017, 2.30pm. 


Sycamore Trust – Autumn Dates

Sycamore Trust has released the dates of their upcoming groups and events for Havering and Dagenham families. This includes their parent carer support groups, law clinic and family support services, as well as their youth club and Saturday short breaks provision.


Essex Outdoors – Short Breaks October Half Term

Essex Outdoors is running October half term opportunities for disabled children and young people with a diagnosed disability aged 8 to 18 attending with a supporter. There is a one night break at Bradwell on Saturday 23rd October and an activity day at Mersea on Wednesday 25th October. 


CANCELLED - Developing the Essex Local Offer

Essex County Council is inviting parents of children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities to work with them to improve the services for SEND across Essex. Meetings are being held throughout October and November where parents will be able to discuss their thoughts with teams such as the Statutory Assessment Service, SEND Information, Advice & Support service and Children with Disabilities team. 


Apex Parent Support Group

The Apex Parent Support Group, based at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford, will no longer be running as of December 2017. Meetings will continue running up to that time. The next meeting is on Thursday 12th October.


Hamelin Trust – New Clubs

Hamelin Trust is running a range of new clubs at their venues in Billericay. 


Anna Kennedy Online – Autism’s Got Talent

Anna Kennedy Online is hosting their annual Autism’s Got Talent show on Saturday 14th October 2017 at 7pm. Tickets are available online for this celebration of talent bought to you by adults and children with autism.


CYP Essex Autism Strategy Consultation

The final draft of the Essex Autism Strategy for Children and Young People is ready for consultation. The purpose of the strategy is to set out the joint priorities for supporting children and young people with autism and their families. It also gives details of how Essex intends to achieve these. Feedback on the strategy can be given by completing a short survey on the website.


InterAct Autumn Activity Programme

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


‘Asperger's: And What of It?’ by John Clark

John Clark has created several short films on his personal experiences living with Asperger syndrome. This video was a shortlisted finalist in the Aspiring category for The National Autistic Society's Autism Uncut Film Festival 2017.


Secondary school-aged siblings of children with autism – Questionnaire

Alex, a trainee Educational Psychologist at the University of Southampton, is writing a thesis which aims to explore the school experiences of secondary school-aged siblings of children with autism. She is seeking views of siblings, parent/carers and teachers, which can be given by completing online questionnaires. See attached flyer for more details.


Essential Aids - Express Yourself campaign

Essentialaids.com has created a campaign which aims to represent disabled people and their mobility products in a thought-provoking and exciting way in the media.

 
Epilepsy Action’s new coffee and chat group in Brentwood

A chance to talk to others who are affected by epilepsy or care for someone who is. The first meeting is on 12th October 10.00am to 12.00noon at The Bay Tree Café. 

Ixion Holdings – Connecting Choices

This project aims to support unemployed people to overcome barriers to move towards sustainable volunteering, education, training or employment in Essex. The project will have a specific focus on individuals who are out of work due to difficulty sustaining employment. This may be due to health issues, hearing impairment, learning difficulties or disabilities.
 

Harwich Community Consortium – EWMHS Meeting

Harwich Community Consortium is holding a meeting for parents and carers on Wednesday 18th October at the Park Pavilion in Harwich. The family workshop, run by the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service, includes information on anxiety, low mood, self-harming, anger and strategies to manage this.


Essex Short Breaks, clubs and activities – Autumn Term

Action for Children has released their ‘Essex Short Breaks Clubs and Activities, Autumn Newsletter’. This includes details of what is running over the October Half- term week. 

Essex Family Forum Job Vacancy

The new parent carer forum for Essex is recruiting a self-employed Development Worker. Contact Aimee on 0333 013 6375 for an application form and full job description.

 

September

 

Autism Anglia Presents Neurofantastic – 

Autism Anglia is holding a family event celebrating autism and creativity with live music, poetry, and art from autistic creatives and people inspired by autism. The event is taking place on Sunday 24th September from 1:00pm onwards at Firstsite, Colchester. Entry to Firstsite is free to the general public, but tickets need to be purchased to enter the main stage area. 

Chelmsford Museum Relaxed Opening –

Chelmsford Museum is holding its first relaxed opening on Sunday 17th September. The two hour event is specifically aimed at those on the autistic spectrum, their families and friends.
There will be autism friendly staff, reduced lighting and sounds, plus special activities on the day. Admission is free but places are limited and need to be booked in advance by calling the museum.


ISEssex EHCP Workshops for Parents – 

ISEssex is holding informal sessions to help parents learn about the Education Health and Care Plan process. It is a chance to get tips, ideas and resources as well as meeting other parents. Workshops will be held across the county throughout the autumn term. 


Essex Mencap Information Marketplace – 

Essex Mencap is holding an information marketplace for people with a learning disability or their parents/carers. It is a chance to find out about the range of services and support on offer. It will be held on Thursday 21st September, 10am - 12.30pm at Central Baptist Church,Victoria Road South, Chelmsford. 


National Autistic Society Autism Hour -

In the week beginning 2nd October, with the support of shopping centre owners Intu, The National Autistic Society  we will be launching their Autism Hour. Shops and businesses across the UK will be taking simple steps for 60 minutes that lead to a more autism-friendly world. Participating shops and businesses will be turning down music and other noise, dimming the lights and sharing information about autism with their employees.

Realise Futures - Building Better Opportunities project 

 

Realise Futures aim to create opportunities for individuals with disabilities that will allow them to take that next step towards work based training, volunteering or employment. They provide tailored support services which help participants explore their options, gain new skills, and build confidence. 

 

TurnAround Centre – new intake

 

TurnAround is a six month self-development and employability programme for young people aged from 15 to 21 years. Participants are usually struggling with different areas of their lives such having low self-esteem and confidence, mental health problems, failure to attend school, youth offending, dysfunctional family backgrounds, domestic violence, abuse, unhealthy relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, low aspirations, in Care and challenging behaviour.  Referrals are now open and a TurnAround Taster Day will be held on September 16th which will mark the beginning of the program.

Grangewaters Outdoor Education – Autumn Term Dates 

Grangewaters is running a range of week day sessions for preschool and primary aged children, as well as Saturday sessions for all the family. 


Rayleigh Megacentre – Parent Support and Family Fun Sessions 

Rayleigh Megacentre will be running its wide range of parent support programmes as well as activity sessions. These include, parent courses, SEN discussion groups, 1:1 family support and a range of inclusive play sessions for all ages. See website for more details. 

PhysioNet – Mobility Aid and Equipment Collection 

PhysioNet is a charity that provides physiotherapy equipment to children in Europe and in developing countries round the world.  Equipment can be donated and is refurbished by PhysioNet prior to shipment. The Rotary Club of Saffron Waldon is able to collect equipment in Essex.  Please contact the co-ordinator John at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01799 599395.


intu Lakeside – Changing Places Facility 

intu Lakeside will be hosting an official opening of its new Changing Places Facility on Wednesday 30th August at 11:30am. The £45k investment by intu Lakeside is located along Brompton Walk. It is an additional facility, to support customers with profound and multiple learning disabilities; as well as cater for people with other physical and non-visual disabilities, who may require extra equipment and space in a safe and comfortable environment. 

 
Gator Watch 

The Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone and tracker. It is designed to offer some independence to a child or young person whilst giving peace of mind to parents.  Features include real-time location tracking, two-way voice communications, SOS button, safe zone alarms and watch functions.

ACL Essex Courses - 

ACL Essex has a wide range of courses for young people and adults with learning disabilities. The courses will provide an opportunity to learn new skills, gain qualifications, make friends, and move towards independence and employment. To find out more take a look at the website. 


CDC – EHCP animations 

With support from the Department for Education, Independent Support has produced two short animations aimed at parents to help explain the EHCP process and the Person Centred Connection. 


Mahler Autism – Interoception Video

Mahler Autism has created a short video introducing ‘Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System’. Interoception is the ability to perceive the internal state of your body.  The video explains the idea that sensing internal bodily changes may be connected to the ability to understand and regulate emotions and behaviour. 

Contact a Family's Name Change -

The national charity Contact a Family has shortened its name to Contact as part of its rebranding.  The charity provides support and information to families who care for children with any disability or specific health condition.

 

August

 

Open Arts- Visual Arts Course 

A 12 week art course starting 12th September at The Brentwood Resource Centre. The course will include printmaking, clay work, drawing, painting, mixed media and more. Open to people with personal budgets, recovery budgets or carer’s budgets. Open Arts aims to improve mental health and wellbeing through creativity.  


Extra - Support for Parents  

Autumn Term dates for SEN parent support group in Jaywick.


Living With Luke – The Colchester Arts Centre 

Danson Thunderbolt's play, 'Living With Luke', is returning to the stage at the Colchester Arts Centre. They will be showing only two performances of the acclaimed play about a father’s relationship with his autistic son.  Saturday 9th September, 3:00pm & 8:00pm.


Active Essex – All Together Campaign 

Active Essex is running a campaign called ‘All Together’ which looks to address the low number of disabled people in Essex who regularly take part in sport and physical activity. They aim to do this by increasing awareness of the opportunities available, creating more opportunities where needed and using positive role models to inspire others. They are currently recruiting ambassadors for a voluntary role to inspire disabled people to get involved with sport and physical activity. Find out more, or apply to be an ambassador via their website.  


Autism Friendly Gym Sessions – The Brentwood Centre

Autism friendly gym sessions will be held on Saturdays at the Brentwood Centre until 23rd September.  The sessions will be run by Ben who has a diagnosis of autism and is training to become a qualified gym instructor.  He will be supported by qualified instructor and All Together Ambassador, Lee Patmore. The free of charge sessions run from 4:45pm to 6:00pm and are suitable for ages 12 to 25.

 


Parallel London – 

This fully inclusive fun run/push, a Super Sensory 1km and free family festival will be held in London on Sunday 3rd September. See website for details.

Essex Local Offer – You Said, We Did 

Following a meeting here at The SNAP Centre, Essex County Council has made some changes to the Essex Local Offer. The Local Offer is a website detailing what provision and services are available in Essex for children and young people with SEN. It gives information on education, health and care services as well as leisure activities and support groups. The “You Said, We Did” changes include; more 'positive' category colours, 'read more' hyperlinks to make it clearer when more information is available, and a new Facebook widget on the homepage.  You can read more about the updates by visiting the website.


Essex Short Breaks – Family Fun Day 

The Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities team are hosting a free Family Fun Day for children and young people with SEN and their families, at Clacton Promenade on 30th August, 11am to 3pm.  See website for more details.

 

SNAP Summer Survival Guide – 

Don't forget to look at the 2017 guide on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months. 


Special Parent Support Facebook Group and family blog -  

A new parent run Facebook group for families who have a child with additional needs. The family have also created their own personal blog detailing their daily lives - www.iwilltakethespecial.com.

 
Poppets – Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty stockist 

Toy shop Poppets, now stocks a wide range of the incredible Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. This wonderful tactile putty is great to keep hands occupied and brains working. If purchased through Poppets online store, SNAP families can get 10% off by using the code “SNAP”.  


Brentwood Community Tree- Colour Me In Cafe - 

A free activity for all adults 18+, including those with additional needs. The Colour-Me-In-Café runs every Thursday from 11am to 1pm. It gives people a chance to socialise whilst promoting mental wellbeing through colouring. Colouring books and pens are provided free thanks to funding from Brentwood Borough Council’s Community Fund. It is run by volunteers, who either have lived experience of mental health or disability or who work with vulnerable adults.


The Gates 
 

This horticultural project in Brentwood for adults with learning disabilities is having a summer BBQ and produce sale on 20th August 12noon to 2pm.  


Autism and complex needs conference - 

The National Autistic Society is holding a one-day conference exploring best practice around supporting autistic people with complex needs on Tuesday 26th September in London.


Holiday, Play and Leisure Guide 2017 - 

Contact a Family has produced an informative guide about what play, leisure, and short breaks options may be available, and where to find more information. It also has information about arranging holidays for disabled children and details of organisations which provide grants for these types of activities.


Working Families Survey - 

 

The Waving Not Drowning network for working families wants to know what is and isn’t working for carers and parents of disabled children trying to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities.

 

July

 

SWAN UK Facebook Group for Dads 

SWAN UK has set up a private Facebook group specifically for dads of children with an undiagnosed genetic condition. For more information see their July Newsletter. 


National Autistic Society’s partnership with the Guardian 

The NAS is continuing its partnership with the Guardian newspaper, sharing insightful articles, videos and personal accounts to increase awareness and understanding of ASD. 


Southend Mencap – Showstoppers 

Southend Mencap is running special summer holiday Showstoppers drama sessions. For both existing Showstoppers students and those interested in either enrolling on the project or just drama in general. Through the study of drama they aim to promote confidence and enjoyment and develop self-expression, self-awareness, friendship and cooperation within a fun, safe and trusting environment. 


London Theatres Relaxed performances 

Find details on relaxed performances this summer on the Official London Theatre website. Including ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ at the Lyric Theatre and ‘Disney’s Aladdin’ at the Prince Edward Theatre. 


Cliff’s Pavilion Relaxed performance Pantos 

Tickets are now available to purchase online, for the Cliff’s Pavilion relaxed performances of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Get your pick of the seats by booking this popular Christmas pantomime early. The show runs from Saturday 16th December 2017 to Sunday 7th January 2018 but is expected to sell out.


Mushroom Theatre Company

Mushroom Theatre has added dates to their performing arts workshops in Saffron Walden. The new dates are Friday 4th August and Friday 25th August. Mushroom Theatre offer a wide range of fun activities around music, dance, drama and games- they also have a buddy system for any child/ young person who needs extra support.


SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

Don’t forget to have a look at this year’s Summer Survival Guide for useful ideas and information to help you through the holiday period, together with activities and events from other organisations. 


Anderson School –

An interview with the head teacher of the new National Autistic Society school in Chigwell, which opens in September.


SEN Show –

This annual event at the Business Design Centre in London will be held on 6-7 October 2017.  It is free to enter to access the resources, advice and support available. Plus for parents there is a Parent & Carer Forum with seminars all day on the Saturday.


Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook –

This authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales is available to freely download online.  Each chapter explains the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do. Chapter 10 covers the transition to adulthood. 


Essex Outdoors –

There are Open Events at Mersea and Danbury centres for children and young people aged 8 to 18 with a disability in August. There are also Short Break opportunities throughout the summer at all centres.


ATOS change of name –

The assessment service for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims has changed its name to Independent Assessment Services (IAS).


The Care Act –

 

Special Needs Jungle has shared a useful article about The Care Act when moving from child to adult services.

 

June


SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The Summer Survival Guide 2017 has launched, with lots a useful advice and ideas plus events and activities to help you through the summer holiday period. Look out for email and social media alerts or check the website page. 


Zinc SEN Disco –

Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar has launched a monthly disco for people with disabilities aged 14+ and will be held on the first Wednesday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. 


Too Much Information Top Tips –

The National Autistic Society’s community has shared their life hacks for fellow autistic people. 


Advocacy & Support Partnership Training –

There are planned seminars in London for the autumn term that may be of interest to parent carers of young adults. 


Decision Making Toolkit -

The Council for Disabled Children has developed this downloadable guide to support young people to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf. 


The ARC (Adult Resource Centre) –

This Thurrock based activity club for adults aged 19+ with special needs is launching on Friday 21st July. 


The Curly Hair Project –

This social enterprise is dedicated to supporting females with Asperger syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders. The Girl with the Curly Hair is a set of easy-to-read, comic style books, many of which are available to borrow from the SNAP library. 


Rainbow Rural –

Farm Club is for young adults with special needs and takes place at a farm in Great Dunmow.    


Secret Life of Us Campaign –

The Disabled Children’s Partnership is a coalition of over 50 charities that are working in partnership with parents to campaign for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families. The Secret Life of Us campaign seeks to increase public awareness of the lives of disabled children and remove the stigma that many face on a daily basis. 


Essex Short Breaks –

The summer 2017 clubs and activities brochure from Essex Short Breaks.


Social Care Support Charging –

Mencap and Essex Carers Network have produced a survey for families who are in receipt of adult social care support. They are aware of a significant number of people who are being disadvantaged by the new Essex County Council charging system. It is important that they hear from people who may be affected.


Autism Awareness Comics –

Rebecca Burgess, who produced a comic to explain the autism spectrum has teamed with The Guardian and The National Autistic Society to produce further comics to help people understand autism. 


InterAct Summer Activity Programme –

Activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.


Raising Awareness about Special Education –

A study by Kingston University aims to examine parental views and concerns about SEN provision for children and young people with ASD. They are looking for people to complete their online questionnaire.


Hugbike –

The Hugbike is an innovative tandem bike design for riders with autism or learning disabilities. 


Velcro Belt –

A smart trouser belt design for people who have difficulty with managing buckles. 


Get Into Retail –

The Princes Trust has an opportunity in partnership with Marks and Spencer for young people aged 16 to 25 who are looking for an opportunity in retail.


Get Into Child Care –

A 5-week Child & Family Well-being course by the Princes Trust for young people aged 18 to 30.

 
Frontline Summer Workshops –

Frontline in Brentwood has planned some drama summer school sessions and workshops during August for adults with learning disabilities.


Care Act for Autism Report –

The National Autistic Society has written a report on Social Care support for adults with autism in England two years after the introduction of the Care Act. 


Energy Accounting –

 

A National Autistic Society interview with Maja Toudal, a woman with Asperger syndrome, as she explains what energy accounting is. 

 

May

 

Every Vote Counts –

Easy read guides to the voting process for people with learning disabilities. 


SEND Transport Meeting –

Essex County Council is inviting parent/carers to attend a meeting in Chelmsford to share concerns about SEN transport in Essex.


Essex Outdoors –

Inclusive half term holiday sessions at activity centres across Essex. 


Wills & Trusts Talk –

Mencap is hosting a ‘planning for the future’ talk in Chelmsford on 8th June.


Thinking Ahead –

A workshop in Colchester hosted by Essex Carers Network, on 6th June for parent carers of young adults with learning disabilities.


Treating Autism Roadshow Event –

A day of talks in Basildon on Friday 23rd June for parents of children and young people with autism. 


Endeavour Youth Club –

A Brentwood based youth club for young people aged 13 to 25 with additional needs.


Hermit Youth Centre –

A full list of what’s happening at the Hermit Youth Centre in Brentwood.


Transition to Adult Life Seminar –

The Advocacy & Support Partnership is hosting a seminar in London on the Mental Capacity Act and assessments at age 18. 


Matilda Relaxed Performance –

Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, at the Cambridge Theatre, will have a relaxed performance on Sunday 11th June.


The ARC (Adult Resource Centre) –

A Thurrock based activity club for adults aged 19+ with special needs. 


Apex Parent Support Group –

This Chelmsford group will be meeting next on Thursday 8th June at Thriftwood School.


PACT for Autism Talk –

A Practical Exploration of Autism, ADHD and PDA on Wednesday 28th June in Harlow. 


Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre –

There will be a programme of family activities at this centre in Thurrock for half term.

 
SNAP Open Day –

Help us celebrate a decade of supporting families at The SNAP Centre on Wednesday 17th May between 11am to 5pm. Catch up with the team and our founder Hilary as she begins an exciting new chapter with the charity as Honorary Life President. 


Thinking Ahead Workshops –

Essex Carers Network is hosting some planning for the future workshops in Colchester for parent/carers of young adults aged 18 to 25 with a learning disability.


Not Special Needs –

A video created for World Down Syndrome Day: “People with Down syndrome, like everyone else, have basic human needs – to eat, drink, breathe and sleep – to be nurtured, loved, educated and sheltered – to move, communicate, contribute and work – and to share, love and live. Sure, people with Down syndrome may need extra assistance. Sometimes they even need significant assistance, and adjustments, to meet a particular need. But that doesn't make that common human need ‘special’.”  


BBC Relaxed Prom –

The world’s first relaxed prom has been announced by the BBC. It will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 29th July and will be suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities.  There is a downloadable guide for parents/carers that gives as much information as possible about the prom in advance of the day. 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

The Dimensions website lists all upcoming dates for films in a sensory friendly environment.
 

Easy Read Election Guides –

Mencap has produced a range of easy read guides to voting and registering to vote for the 2017 General Election.
 

Amazing Things Happen –

 

This brilliant, short animated film tackles the complex subject of autism with simple descriptions, relatable situations and positive language. It is ideal to introduce children, with or without an ASD, to autism.

 

April


SNAP Open Day -

Help us celebrate a decade of supporting families at The SNAP Centre on Wednesday 17th May between 11am and 5pm. Catch up with the team and our founder Hilary as she begins an exciting new chapter with the charity as Honorary Life President.

London Zoo Special Children's Day - 

Special Children's Day is a unique annual event at ZSL London Zoo welcoming children with special needs and their families and friends. The event is on 6th and 7th May and there will be increased specialist facilities and number of staff, as well as special interactive events and discounted entry.

Mencap: South Connected - 

Mike Le-Surf is the Mencap campaigns manager for the South of England. He is trying to improve news sharing, linking up and promoting events across the region via social media platforms to support people with learning disabilities.

Gateway Club Summer Programme - 

City of Chelmsford’s Mencap social club for members aged 19+ has published their summer programme. 

The Gates - 

This horticultural project in Brentwood for adults with learning disabilities is having a spring open day on 14th May from 12 noon to 2pm. 

Mencap Wills & Trusts Seminar - 

Two seminars delivered by solicitors have been arranged in Colchester and Southend for dates in July. 

The Big Life Fix - 

BBC Two’s Big Life Fix programme is looking for people whose lives could potentially be changed with a bespoke invention made by their team of scientists, engineers and designers.

Sport for Confidence - 

The current timetable of sporting activities. More information about Sport for Confidence can be found in the SNAP Directory

The Autism Show - 

This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 16th and 17th 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.

Kidz to Adultz South - 

This large exhibition from Disabled Living is dedicated to children and young adults with a disability or additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them. Thursday 8th June in Reading.

 

ADHD and Me with Rory Bremner - 

This BBC Horizon documentary is available now on BBC iPlayer.

 

Council for Disabled Children's Report Summary - 

The CDC has summarised the results of a family survey by the Department for Education, which was completed by over 13,000 parents and young people on the EHC process.

 

DIAL Basildon and South Essex - 

The Basildon office has now closed due to lack of funding, but alternative premises in Crown House in Grays, Thurrock will be opening on 15th May. See their website for more details.

 

Family Mosaic - 

There are bookable appointments available in Pitsea for anyone needing help with PIP forms, reconsiderations or appeals, starting on 8th May.

 

Carers UK State of Caring Survey 2017 - 

This survey is to help show the reality of what it means to care for a family member or friend, what it’s like and what needs to change.

 

Big Benefits Survey 2017 - 

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is made up of over 80 charities campaigning for a fairer benefits system for disabled people and their families. They have put together a survey to gather experiences of the benefits system, particularly ESA and PIP.

 

Neurological Health Workshop - 

This workshop will be at South Weald Parish Hall in Brentwood on Saturday 3rd June, 12 noon to 1.45pm.

 

Girls on the Autism Spectrum –

SNAP is hosting another discussion and catch-up event for families with daughters on the spectrum (or suspected ASD) to come in and share their experiences with each other. The event, on the morning of Wednesday 26th April, will also be attended by Linsey from Families InFocus who will be able to answer questions about school based support and processes.

 
Alpha Sigma Delta –

This group for girls with ASD in Year 6 onwards, together with their parents, starts on Thursday evening 20th April 2017 at The Megacentre, in Rayleigh.


Back Fastening Fleeces –

Rackety’s has produced a range of quality fleece jackets in a range of colours, that open out completely front and back for ease of dressing.

 
Short Breaks Questionnaire –

Please take a few moments to complete a brief online survey into Essex Short Breaks, clubs and activities, to let Essex County Council know what SNAP and other organisations mean to your family. This will ensure you can be involved in shaping future services for your children.

 
Mindfulness Workshop –

If you are a parent or carer of a child aged between 2 and 18 who is on the autism spectrum and would like to take part in a research project, you can join a free 3-hour workshop on Mindfulness, meditation and self-compassion in Chelmsford.

 
Apex Parent Support Group –

This Chelmsford based group is celebrating its 5th birthday at the next meeting on Thursday 20th April.


SMART-ASD –

A free online course from the University of Bath on FutureLearn. The course is perfect for parents, carers and practitioners and is aimed at all those interested in finding out more about autism and intellectual (or learning) disability in children, and how technology can support them.


Singing Hands DVD –

Following the success of previous Singing Hands resources, Singing Hands has launched a pledge campaign to create a fresh and contemporary album and DVD of popular songs for older children/teenagers and adults who use Makaton.

DfE Family Survey Results –

The Council for Disabled Children summarises the results of a family survey by the Department for Education on the EHC needs assessment process. 


Zinc Summer School –

The centre in Chipping Ongar has a summer school focused around independent living and building confidence for next steps. With a range of courses on everything disabled adults would need to know in order to live more independently or be more confident with day to day tasks.


Zinc SEN Disco –

A monthly disco for ages 14+ starts this month on Wednesday 5th April. 


Right 2 Party –

The next Eclipse night club event for people with disabilities is on Sunday 23rd April.


Smiles & Laughter Project –

Kingston University and Nottingham Trent University are looking for participants with Down syndrome aged 9 to 30 years to help them investigate humour understanding in order to develop interventions to improve humour comprehension in children with ASD and Down syndrome. The study will take no more than an hour and can be carried out at home or in school/college. 


EHCP Guidance for 19 to 25 -

The Department for Education has produced a guidance document outlining the entitlement to an EHCP from age 19. The Council for Disabled Children has written a summary report. 


Free Brentwood Theatre Tickets –

‘Declaration’ is a theatre production about a young woman and her life with ADHD. Brentwood Theatre is offering SNAP families 10 free tickets on a first come first served basis for the performance on 1st June. They are holding an open evening on 25th May for any families who would like to visit the theatre beforehand and they also have a visual guide to help prepare, which they can send out to families if needed. There will be a wellbeing room available for anyone that needs to come out at any point and there will be refreshments available. Please note this performance is for ages 14+ due to the content. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register for tickets.

PosAbility Magazine –

SNAP has copies of this disability focused magazine available free to SNAP families at our centre. Please ask for a copy when you come into The SNAP Centre.

 

March


Thinking Ahead –

Essex Mencap is offering a workshop to assist with making plans for the future, in Braintree on Thursday 13th April.

 
Zinc Day Centre Hub –

A weekly day activity service for young adults with disabilities in Chipping Ongar.


New Channel 4 Programme –

The makers of The Autistic Gardener are looking for people to take part in this new programme.

 
NAS Finding Work Interactive eBook –

This resource for helping autistic adults with job searching and work preparation is now available to download. 

 
Net Aware –

The NSPCC in association with O2 has produced a guide for parents to the social networks your children and young people use. 

 
Essex Peer Review of SEND –

Essex County Council is inviting parents and carers whose child has gone through the Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) process to attend a forum meeting to share their views on the experience and whether it is making a difference.


Cerebral Palsy Webinar –

Firefly is presenting a webinar giving an overview of cerebral palsy and parents’ experiences, together with information on medical interventions, equipment and how to participate in everyday activities with cerebral palsy. 


Rainbow Rural Spring Open Day –

A fun farm experience and inclusive cycling taster session in Great Dunmow on Sunday 9th April.


Relaxed Theatre Performances –

There are opportunities at London theatres coming up later this year to see autism-friendly performances of The Lion King and Aladdin. 


Essex Outdoors –

Activity days are available during the school holidays for children aged 8 to 18, at different locations across Essex. 


Grangewaters –

Easter family activities at Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre in South Ockendon.


Grangewaters ‘Have a go’ Day –

An opportunity to try water sports on Wednesday 5th April.


Trailnet Saturday Club –

Inclusive cycling sessions at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood on Saturday mornings for all ages. 


Basildon Activity Club -

Core Assets is running this weekly club for young disabled people aged 11 to 18 years.


Youth Mental Health First Aid Training –

InterAct is running this practical course for spotting the early signs of a mental health problem.


The SNAP Library –

SNAP is regularly adding new resources to our specialist library. Alongside the books and DVDs that are available to borrow, we have a wealth of information sheets and booklets on a range of issues and topics that can be easily emailed to you on request. Speak to a SNAP adviser if you need any guidance.

Reading Well Scheme –

Reading Well for Young People is a scheme to help people aged 13 to 18 years manage their mental health, wellbeing and resilience using recommended reading. Since its launch in Essex libraries last year, young people have been reviewing the books on the list. Some of their comments have been put into a video. 

Mencap Workshop –

The Learning Disability Campaigners Workshop at The Brentwood Centre on 14th March has a few places left.

Relaxed Orchestra Performance –

Orchestra of the Swan is a one-hour, everyone-friendly concert the whole family can enjoy. On 18th March at 12 noon in Chelmsford.

InterAct Activity Programme –

The spring activity programme for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Decision Making Toolkit –

The Council for Disabled Children has developed this downloadable guide to support young people to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf. 

Children & Young People’s Local Offer Page –

The Essex Local Offer now has a dedicated page to explain the Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service to children and young people. It features video films, posters and leaflets designed and produced by pupils and trainees. 

Disability Employment Advice Event –

As part of Autism Awareness Week, Witham library will be hosting an opportunity for people to access Job Centre advisers who specialise in support and provision for those with autism.

Talent Match South East –

This Colchester project launches this month for young people aged 18 to 24 who have been unemployed for 12 months or more.

Chelmsford Library Event –

For Autism Awareness Week, SAFE (Supporting Asperger Families in Essex) and Chelmsford Library are running a Harry Potter themed activity event.

Hft Holiday Information Guide 2017 –

The Hft Family Carer Support Service has published its new annual guide to help people with learning disabilities and those closest to them to choose a holiday. 

City of Chelmsford Mencap Outreach Academy –

Spring activity programme for young adults with learning disabilities.

The ACE Group –

This social group for young adults is hosting a Flower Power Party in Thurrock on Friday 17th March.

SWAN UK Survey –

SWAN is looking for families to complete a home adaptation survey. They want to gather experiences as they are keen to help improve the process for families and encourage more new accessible housing to be built so people have more choice.

 

February

Tony Attwood Conference –

This amazing opportunity to hear Professor Tony Attwood in Brentwood is almost sold out.  Hurry to book the remaining tickets. 

Sensorise Coffee Morning –

SNAP is inviting families whose children have more profound and complex special needs to come in for an informal catch up and a chance to share their experiences with each other.  Wednesday 22nd March, 9.30am to 11.30am.  Contact SNAP to book a place on 01277 211300.

Collaborate Essex –

This project aims to help Essex County Council to develop ways of listening to people with experience of disability. They are looking for people to complete a survey via their website. 

New Guidance on EHC Plan Eligibility Post-19 –

The Department for Education has published a new document. The Preparing for Adulthood website gives further explanation and a link to the document. 

Mersea Festival –

Essex Outdoors is now taking bookings for their annual inclusive activity summer breaks.

Grief Unspoken –

An article from SEN Magazine about supporting children with special needs through bereavement. 

Robyn Steward Talk –

Castledon School in Wickford is hosting an afternoon with Robyn Steward on 29th March, who will be giving a talk about her life with autism and also her work with others on the autism spectrum.

Robyn Steward Survey –

Robyn is currently writing a book for autistic people about menstruation and is looking for input from both autistic and non-autistic people and parents of girls with autism. 

NAS Thurrock –

The Thurrock branch of The National Autistic Society holds regular support meetings and events for families.

Light Touch Care Hours Survey –

Essex Short Breaks would like feedback from families who are using light touch care support.

PDA Training –

Concept Training is hosting a conference day on ‘Supporting children and young people who have Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)’ in London on 17th March 2017.

Managing Your Epilepsy Day - 

Epilepsy Action is hosting an information day in Chelmsford on Saturday 18th March. 

The Power of Positive Parenting –

A free Triple P seminar from Brilliant Parents in London on 27th March 2017.

Making Sense of SEND Reforms –

Conference hosted by NELFT Medical Education for professionals and parents in London on 23rd March 2017.

Autism Alert Cards –

The Girl with the Curly Hair Project has produced their own style plastic autism alert cards for purchase. 

Apex Parent Support Group –

Monthly meetings in Chelmsford.

Sensory Strategies talk –

SNAP is delighted to welcome back Corinna Laurie, a paediatric occupational therapist to talk about our senses and how they can affect behaviour and learning both outside school and in the classroom environment. 

Starburst Disco –

The next Starburst night club event in Brentwood will be held on 9th March for young people with learning disabilities.

Apex Parent Support Group –

The next meeting of this group in Chelmsford is on 9th February, focusing this month on making and using an ‘Emotional Toolbox’, a concept developed by clinical psychologist Tony Attwood.

Basildon Activity Club –

Core Assets is running this weekly club for young disabled people aged 11 to 18 years.

Collaborate Essex -

Collaborate Essex is a project that aims to help Essex County Council develop new ways of listening to people with experience of various types of disability.  On the website there is a survey you can complete and details of local workshops you may wish to attend. 

Mencap FamilyHub –

This is an online community and forum for parents and family carers of someone with a learning disability. 

Learning Disability Campaigners Workshop –

This workshop will be held at the Brentwood Centre on Tuesday 14th March for anyone interested in campaigning locally and nationally and who would be interested to learn more about Mencap’s new health campaign launching soon.  The event will include a free swimming session and fitness session during the day.

Safer Internet Day 2017 –

Tuesday 7th February is  a day coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre to get hundreds of organisations involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.  

Spectrum Breaks Holidays –

Hartlands (owned by the Spectrum Breaks Project) is a holiday centre on the Isle of Wight providing self-catering accommodation and facilities suitable for families with members of any age on the autism spectrum.  Facilities include an indoor hydro swimming pool, cinema, IT room, activity and sensory room, games room, gymnasium and coffee lounge.  Hartlands has been specifically designed for a holiday where autism is understood and catered for. 

Sport for Confidence –

Sport for Confidence delivers programmes which encourage people with and without Learning Disabilities to participate together in sport and physical activity groups. The programmes are designed through unique partnerships between Occupational Therapists, Health Professionals, Sports Coaches and Leisure Centres. Everyone works together to ensure that the needs of the clients are met and that there is regular communication, self-reflection and mentoring across the team.

There are currently sessions taking place in Ongar, Epping, Basildon, Hadleigh Park, Canvey Island and Witham. New groups are developed in response to client needs, with the sport carefully selected based on the advice of specialist health care professionals, coaches’ expertise and on occasions the request for opportunities to conduct specific assessments and therapeutic interventions.

The role of Occupational Therapy in the Sports for Confidence programme is to contribute specialist knowledge and advice regarding the delivery of activity for adults with learning disabilities, to mentor and observe coaches / instructors, and to provide as many opportunities for people with Learning Disabilities to engage in sport and physical activity in a mainstream environment. The website www.sportforconfidence.com provides additional information. See flyers for the two fun and active sessions at Epping Leisure Centre and Ongar Leisure Centre.

Carer’s Credit –

Carer’s Credit is designed to plug the gap in National Insurance contributions for carers (caring over 20 hours a week) who don’t already qualify automatically through Carer’s Allowance.  Crucially, the threshold is lower than that needed to be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance. This information might help carers whose children are over 12 – the age that the National Insurance credits would ordinarily stop, but who are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance. 

Night Owls at The Science Museum -

Night Owls enables young adults aged 16 to 25 who have an autism spectrum condition to come along and enjoy the museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. On selected Saturdays across the year the museum is opened exclusively to pre-booked Night Owls guests from 18.45 until 22.30. As well as the chance to explore the galleries, there are lots of fun workshops and exciting demonstrations to enjoy.

 

January

 

Parent Yoga at SNAP – 

New Year, New Start, New You! These yoga sessions on Friday mornings for parents of children and young people with special needs aim to improve both physical and mental well-being. 

Sensory Impact talk – 

Corinna Laurie, a specialist occupational therapist is coming to SNAP on Tuesday 21st February to talk about our senses and how they can affect behaviour and learning. 

 Buckle Stopz – 

The MERU Buckle Stopz is a safety device that can stop people with behavioural issues putting themselves and other vehicle occupants at risk by preventing them from releasing safety belts (only to be used after a detailed risk assessment). 

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training – 

InterAct is offering a course specifically for parent/carers in Chelmsford, starting 27th January 2017.

Proposed merger of NHS Trusts – 

Public question time event for people to give their views, 25th January in Brentwood.

Walking Football – 

A new fun, inclusive course for adults of all abilities on Thursday afternoons at the Brentwood Centre.

Starburst – 

The next Starburst Disco at Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood is on 9th March.

‘The A Word’ Casting Appeal – 

This BBC drama is looking to cast a 15 to 17 year old boy with ASD for the new series.

TAG Camp Rock – 

An event designed for disabled adults aged 19+, Zinc Performing Arts in Chipping Ongar is  offering a day of music, fun and creativity.

Gateway Clubs – 

City of Chelmsford Mencap’s spring programme of events for Gateway Juniors (aged 16 to 25) and Gateway Club (ages 19+).

Plan B – 

A 10-week accredited programme for young people in Harlow.

Multi Agency Centre (MAC) – 

Free advice at this Harlow venue, on numerous issues regardless of circumstances. 

Anderson School in Chigwell –

This new NAS school is due to open in September 2017 for students with autism aged 11 to 19. 

Sarah Hendrickx Talk – 

Sarah will be returning to SNAP on Wednesday 25th January to speak about Happiness and Well-being: An Autism Perspective. 

Apex Parent Support Group – 

The next group meeting at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford will be on Thursday 12th January.

Green Lodge Open Day – 

This short breaks service in Woodford Green for people with complex needs will be holding an open day on 12th January.

Carers Health Market – 

This event at the Brentwood Centre on Friday 13th January aims to raise awareness of the support available to carers.

U Matter 2 – 

This Hamelin Trust service has released a programme of activities for carers for January to March.

Music Culture Day – 

Reprezent is hosting a day event to celebrate music and the opportunities it can present to young lives in Essex, including those with additional needs.  There will be live music, workshops and information at the Southend Palace Theatre.

London Seminar on The Care Act – 

Action for Kids, The Advocacy and Support Partnership and Irwin Mitchell will together present a seminar for parents, carers and professionals on The Care Act and social care support for young people and adults with SEND, on Wednesday 8th February 2017 in central London.

Essex Carers Network – 

A free session in Chelmsford on ‘How to get the right support using the law’ for parents and carers on 14th February.

SEN.fyi App – 


A simple app from Douglas Silas Solicitors for anyone involved with supporting a child or young person with special educational needs.  It also includes the eBook, A Guide to the SEND Code of Practice (updated for 2016/17).

Photosymbol Photoshoot – 

Essex County Council is looking for children and young people with a range of abilities/disabilities to take part in a photoshoot.

ICE Sharing Day – 

Inclusive Communication Essex will be hosting its annual sharing day on 8th March in Chelmsford. 

New Advocacy Toolkit – 

The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) has launched a new advocacy tool kit developed in partnership with six organisations across England. ‘Mental Health, Mental Capacity and Human Rights’ can be downloaded free. 

SNAP Directory/Holidays – 


With the new year and thoughts turning to summer holidays, don’t forget to browse the Holidays section of our Directory for useful contacts.

Breakaway Active Holidays – 

The 2017 brochure of supported holidays for active young people with learning disabilities.

Centre Algarve -


A SNAP family has recommended a fully accessible holiday in Portugal and  wanted us to highlight this specialist holiday centre for people with special needs.

Special Olympics Great Britain – 

The largest multi-sports event of 2017 for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held in Sheffield  between 7th and 12th of August.  The National Summer Games is held every 4 years to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to compete at a national level, experience the personal achievement this brings, as well as enable them to make friends, travel and socialise. 

Working with Young People on the Autistic Spectrum – 


This training day for professionals such as SENCOs, LSAs, counsellors and therapists is being held in Colchester on 3rd March 2017.

 

 

2016

December

 

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available on our website.  It’s filled with useful tips and information we have collected to take some of the stress out of Christmas. 

 

 Sarah Hendrickx Talk –

SNAP is delighted to welcome back Sarah to speak about Happiness and Well-being: An Autism Perspective, on 25th January 2017. 

 

Benefit Cap –

The Endeavour Programme has been set up in Harlow, Basildon and Chelmsford areas to support families who are concerned about how the new benefit cap will affect them.

 

Connected Magazine –

The news magazine for the national charity Contact a Family, for families with disabled children, is now available online. 

 

Three Faces Poster –

Suffolk based organisation ‘Autism & ADHD’ has produced a useful poster to explain how we feel emotionally at different times.

 

Peter Pan at National Theatre –

A relaxed performance of this theatre production for ages 7+ will be on Saturday 21st January at 2pm.  See website for booking details. 

 

Big BOSP Youth Club –

This fully supported youth club for young people with special needs is held on Thursday evenings in Billericay.

 

Wills & Trusts Event –

Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar is hosting a free opportunity for people to learn about the importance of Wills, Trusts and Estate planning on 26th January at 7pm.

 

InterAct Activity Programme –

InterAct has released its activity programme for January to March 2017 for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs across Essex.

 

Managing Money Module –

The National Autistic Society has produced an online module to assist learners with their experience of managing their money. 

 

Finding Work e-Book –

This free downloadable resource from The National Autistic Society is a digital workbook to help autistic adults with job searching and work preparation. 

 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

The Dimensions website lists upcoming cinema screenings across the country. 

 

The Big White Wall –

 

This free, anonymous online resource is available for young people aged 16 to 18 (or 25 with special needs), who live in Essex, Southend or Thurrock.  It aims to help individuals who are feeling down, anxious, angry or stressed and who may benefit from a little extra support.

 

November

 

Sarah Hendrickx at SNAP 

We will be welcoming Sarah Hendrickx back to SNAP on Wednesday 25th January to talk about happiness and wellbeing from an autism perspective. Save the date – we’ll be booking soon.

Right2Party – 

A Christmas Special event will be held at Eclipse Nightclub in Brentwood on 18th December, exclusively for adults with disabilities.

Brentwood Theatre – 

There will be a relaxed performance of ‘Through the Looking Glass’ on Sunday 11th December.

Tired Out – 

This website supports families raising disabled children and teenagers to find help and information about sleep. 

Grangewaters – 

This outdoor activity centre in South Ockendon is offering a free youth focused outdoor event on 29th December.

Money Skills Project – 

BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities) has been commissioned by Barclays Bank to develop accessible information and resources to support people with learning disabilities as part of their Money Skills programme.

My Feral Heart – 

This film is about a young man with Down syndrome.  A SNAP family is trying to get enough interest via Ourscreen to create a screening at Stratford East Picturehouse on Monday 19th December.  See link to reserve a place. 

Sensory Oojamabobs – 

A wide range of chewy pendants and jewellery to suit all ages and sensory needs, plus the Fidgi-Flip fiddle toys.

 

Girls on the Autism Spectrum –

An opportunity at SNAP for parents with daughters on the autism spectrum to come in and share experiences with each other, raise questions and explore the new specific resources in SNAP's library relating to girls on the autism spectrum. 

Autism Spectrum Comic - 

Rebecca Burgess has created a comic book description of the autism spectrum to help explain how the range of strengths and weaknesses of a person with autism can affect them to different degrees.  

Bounce Village Club - 

programme of special sessions for children and people with additional needs has been created at this indoor trampoline park in Rochford.

Discover Trampolining Open Day –

A free opportunity for young people with disabilities aged 10 years and above to try trampolining, on Saturday 12th November in Brentwood.

Peter Pan Relaxed Performance -

Tickets for this special performance at Thameside Theatre in Thurrock can be booked now for Monday 19th December.

Children's Mental Health Services –

There will be a public meeting at Brentwood Town Hall on 14th November at 7pm for young patients, parents and professionals who are affected by the new Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health Service (EWMHS). It will be an opportunity to express your views about the service to the commissioners and representatives from NELFT.

Aspiration Planning Events for Parent Carers –

Essex County Council with support from Independent Support Essex is inviting parents with sons and daughters in Years 6, 9 and 11 who have a Statement of SEN to come along to these events across Essex. The events will give information and advice about the transfer process to Education, Health & Care Plans. 


Carers Survey – 

As part of the Essex Carers Strategy, Essex County Council needs feedback from carers who have had support from the council directly, or from any of the voluntary sector organisations like SNAP that are funded to support carers. They need carers to complete an online survey before 27th November, to ensure the council knows whether the support is right, whether carers know about what is available and whether they need to think about funding support differently.

Scope Benefits Advice –

Scope has an online benefits advice forum where people can post questions and receive advice regarding disability benefit issues. 

Benefit Cap Advice Day – 

If you are worried about whether the new benefit cap will affect you, there is an opportunity to attend an advice day at Harlow Jobcentre on 11th November.

Autism Research – 

The Autism Research Centre (ARC) wants to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new methods for assessment and ways to offer support. They are inviting parents of children with an ASD diagnosis and diagnosed adults to take part in their research.

Autism Employment Gap Petition –

The National Autistic Society is inviting people to sign their petition to help them to close the employment gap for people with autism. Watch their film showing what a job interview may be like for someone with autism.

Care Providers in Essex –

A downloadable directory of supported living services available in Essex and Southend-on-Sea.

Skills for Care –

For anyone employing Personal Assistants using direct payments and personal budgets, Skills for Care offers a range of useful resources. 

 

October

 

Coffee, Cake & Catch-up –

A relaxed event where you can drop in and catch up with all things SNAP. There will be a chance to purchase items from Sense Toys and Fledglings as well as a few Christmassy bits. All families, friends and supporters of SNAP are welcome.

Trailnet Inclusive Weekend Cycling Clubs - 

Trailnet will soon be offering weekend cycling clubs for children and young people with disabilities. They need interested families to respond to a brief survey to find out exactly what people want.

Starburst - 

The next Starburst disco at Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood will be held on 10th November, for young people with learning disabilities aged 16+.

CDC Conference - 

The Council for Disabled Children will be hosting one of two national conferences in London on 23rd January 2017.

Women and Girls with ASD Conference -

The National Autistic Society is holding a conference on 15th November in London.
 
Lambourne End Family Fun Days –

New dates are available to children with disabilities who live in the borough of Havering.

National Autistic Society 2016 Survey –

Your chance to say what life is like for families affected by autism.

Disability and Epilepsy Support in Essex –

An event in Harlow on 20th October to discuss the support available. 

Forest Flyerz –

Free hockey sessions for people with disabilities aged 8 years and above in Walthamstow..

East London Soccability Festival –

Free 5-a-side tournament for all age groups on Saturday 26th November.

Cerebra Problem Solving Toolkit – 

The national charity Cerebra has published a toolkit that aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services.  It aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them.

Breakaway Active Holidays –  

The new 2017 guide to an exciting year of 'Active' holidays for young adults with learning disabilities has been released.

 

September

 

Wills & Trusts Workshop –

An opportunity at SNAP to learn about the importance of planning for the future when you have a son or daughter with a disability. Samantha Hamilton, from Mullis & Peake solicitors, will be giving a seminar on Wills & Trusts on Tuesday evening 11th October at The SNAP Centre, giving guidance on planning for the future.

Personal Assistant Required - 

A SNAP family living in Chelmsford is looking for a personal assistant to employ for their young daughter. 

Music Therapy in Brentwood - 

Emily Grimes, who some of you will remember from SNAP staff before she qualified as a Music Therapist at Nordoff Robbins, is now offering individual therapy sessions.

BOSP Open Day -

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) offers respite services for children and young people with disabilities. They are having an open day on 15th October in Billericay to celebrate their 25th anniversary and introduce their exciting new services.

The A Word DVD -

For those who enjoyed the six-part BBC drama earlier this year about a family adjusting to life with their autistic son, The A Word is now available on DVD.

InterAct Autumn Activities -

The autumn programme has been launched for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Right2Party Halloween Night - 

The next Eclipse club night for people with disabilities will be on Sunday 30th October.

Zones of Regulation App - 

The Zones of Regulation is a framework for thinking and aims to help students gain skills in consciously regulating their behaviours and managing their emotions. The book is available from the SNAP library and there is also an app available to download. 

Dance 21 -

Dance 21 is a dance group for young people with Down syndrome.  The group is seeking new youngsters aged 16 to 21 to join the classes in Chelmsford.

Hoodwinked -

City of Chelmsford Mencap is selling tickets for the premiere of their students’ first feature film ‘Hoodwinked’ on Wednesday 5th October.

Mencap Benefit Update –

A chance to find out more about financial benefit opportunities for people with a learning disability in Essex, on Thursday 22nd September in Chelmsford.

Havering Adult College –

Education 4 Independence is a provision for adults with learning difficulties which helps to develop skills for life, work and towards independence.

Centre Algarve –

A SNAP family has just returned from a wonderful (and fully accessible) holiday in Portugal and they wanted us to highlight this specialist holiday centre for people with special needs. 

Apex Parent Support Group –

This Chelmsford group will again be holding monthly meetings at Thriftwood School this autumn term.

Autistic Intelligence Series –

The ‘An afternoon with…’ series of talks has moved to London this autumn.  Opportunities to hear talks by Olga Bogdashina, Luke Beardon and Jacqui Jackson & Family. 

Relaxed Performance of Mamma Mia -

Mousetrap Theatre projects has arranged a relaxed performance at the Novello Theatre in London on Wednesday 16th November at 6pm. 

Hesley Group Event 

A one-day free event in London on 11th October for parents and carers on ‘Communication Matters’.  See website for details. 

ASL Harlow  

Aspire Support Learn (ASL) offers opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in Harlow.

Carers Roadshows 

Essex County Council and partner organisations are hosting a series of Carers Roadshows, recognising the county’s unpaid carers including those caring for family members.  There will be opportunities for information and advice for carers from the council and community organisations.

Essex Short Breaks Service Update 

The Short Breaks service for Essex County Council is now delivered via national charity Action for Children since it took over from the charity 4Children at the end of August 2016.

NHS 111 and Out-of-Hours Services Survey 

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups are looking at how they can improve these services and need the views of anyone who has used the current services. You can complete an online survey www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/essex111

School Report 2016 –


The National Autistic Society has published a report on how well the SEN (Special Educational Needs) system is meeting the needs of children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Gateway Juniors in Chelmsford 

The City of Chelmsford Mencap Youth Club, Gateway Juniors for ages 16 to 25 years, has an autumn programme of events.

Gateway Club in Chelmsford 

 

The City of Chelmsford Mencap's Gateway Club is an evening social club for ages 19+.

 

August

Personal Perspective on ASD by Robyn Steward - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Robyn Steward, the successful author, artist, musician and broadcaster who also has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome to share her humourous, insightful and unique perspective on her life and her work with others on the spectrum. Wednesday 14th September, click here for more information on times and how to book your place(s).

Parent Focus Groups –

Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service is looking for parents/carers who have accessed the SEND IAS service and would be willing to be part of the focus groups that take place to provide inspectors with the feedback they need when carrying out the local SEND Ofsted/CQC inspections. Local Authorities are given one week’s notice of an inspection and this could happen in Essex at any time over the next 5 years. Parents can put their names forward for the next 3-month period and the list will be reviewed on a 3 month cycle. If you are interested, please contact Clare Woodcock, Manager Essex SEND IASS on 033301 31162. You can also complete an online feedback survey via this link SEND Information, Advice and Support Customer Evaluation

Parallel London –

This fully inclusive fun push/run and free family festival will be held in London on Sunday 4th September. See website for details. 

FLASH Course –

This 10-week parenting course is for parents and carers where there is a young person within the family who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour. It starts in Brentwood in September.

Camping at Lambourne End –

The Epping Forest Inclusion Project has a 2 night camping adventure planned for ages 12 plus at the end of August. See flyer for details.

Zinc Arts –

Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar will be running a rang of AQA courses in September.

Basildon CVS Workshop -

Personal Budgets talk aimed at local charities on Monday 12th September. See flyer for details.

 

Photography & Modelling Workshop 

Learn how to take photographs or strike a pose like a professional while also learning how to use different lighting techniques, props, accessories and make-up at this Chelmsford workshop. Limited spaces available on Friday 26th August, £25 per person.

 

July

SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

Don't forget to take a look at the 2016 guide on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months.

Zinc Cinema -

The Zinc Cinema in Chipping Ongar hosts a special screening of a family friendly film on the last Friday of every month.  This completely relaxed cinema experience is perfect for anyone with autism or a disability.  See website for details.

Outlook Care Supported Living Opportunity -

Outlook Care would like to hear from families who may be interested in a shared, 24 hour supported living accomodation in Brentwood for young adults.

Braintree Autism Support Group -

This group is hosting an Information Day on Tuesday 16th August 2016 from 10am to 1pm in Braintree. They will be joined by representatives from other local groups and organisations.

Essex County Council Survey -

If your family has had experience of the children and young people’s mental health service in Essex over the past six months, the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) are hoping to influence improvements in the service and want your views to help inform them.  Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   by 14th July.  Feedback should focus on accessibility, signposting and how well the service met the needs of children and young people.

Havering Family Fun Days -

At the Lambourne End Centre, these fun days are funded by Havering Borough Council as part of their Short Breaks Programme.

Rainbow Rural Centre - 

Farm Club in Great Dunmow is for young people with special needs aged 16+, together with a parent or carer.

Signals Media Arts Centre - 

Accessible summer workshops on media, film making and animation for children and young people on the autism spectrum. 

Contact a Family Brexit Comment -

An overview of what leaving the EU could mean for families with disabled children.

Lenderhand - 

This charity provides families in Essex with assistance to help pay for goods or services that they could not otherwise afford, providing a helping hand through the challenging periods of their lives.

Council for Disabled Children Summer Digest -

An update on all the latest sector news.

BOSP Chill Zone -

There is still some availability for these social opportunities for young adults with special needs over the summer.

The Gates Harvest Festival -

This horticulture venture in Brentwood for people with learning disabilities is hosting a harvest festival BBQ and produce sale on 11th September.

Gowlands Coffee Morning -

This Hamelin Trust adult short break service in Rochford is holding a coffee morning on Friday 15th July for parents.

Autism and the NHS -

A government report raises concerns that people with autism are struggling to access essential health care and calls for better NHS staff training. 

SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available to view on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months.

Are You Looking at Independent Living Options? –

A request from a SNAP family looking for other families who are considering and looking for supported living situations.

Bath University Autism Summer School –

This residential event between 31st August and 2nd September 2016 allows students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to experience aspects of university and student life.  There are places for 30 students who are currently in years 12 and 13 who are thinking of going to university.

Things Not to Say to an Autistic Person –

This interesting video from the BBC gives the views of some adults with an ASD. Please note: Contains some strong language.

InterAct Summer Activities –

The InterAct Activity Programme for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning difficulties/additional needs has been published for July to September.  There is a range of after-school, weekend and holiday social opportunities across Essex.

Got My Back Conference –

A national conference on the way forward in postural care on 12th September in Birmingham.

Fun United Summer Sessions –

Papworth Trust is running a holiday programme at its Fun United Youth Clubs over the summer.  See flyer for details.

DLA for Children in Hospital –

New legislation came into force this week to scrap the rules that previously stopped payment of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment when a child under 18 is in hospital for more than 28 days.  This follows a lengthy campaign by the national charity Contact a Family.

 

June

SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available to view on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months.

Children and Young People with Autism Consultation Report –

We shared an Essex County Council survey via our Information Network in March this year and we are pleased to share the results with you now.  SNAP features frequently in the report as a huge source of support for families. Click on the link to read the full report.

Sycamore Trust Conference - 

Sycamore Trust UK will be hosting a conference in Dagenham on 28th June.  It will include a talk by Ros Blackburn and a range of workshops. See their website for details.

Managing Money –

The National Autistic Society has created a free module on their website, aimed at anyone on the autism spectrum who is ready to start learning about managing cash, banking, savings and debt. 

Children and Young People’s Plan –

Essex County Council has recently published an overview of how the council and its partners are planning to improve the outcomes for children, young people and families.

Supported Living : Thinking Ahead - 

Essex Mencap is hosting an informative meeting and talk on 21st July in Chelmsford.  It is a chance to find out more about residential living opportunities for people with a learning disability.

Easy News EU Referendum Special –

Easy News from United Response is a magazine designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities.  This special issue removes the jargon and opinion from the political debate surrounding the EU Referendum.  By using simple words and images, it explains the key arguments for both campaigns along with outlining what the referendum is, and what the EU does, so that people with learning disabilities can be better informed and engaged in the debate ahead of the vote on 23rd June.

Blue Badge Parking at Railway Stations –

Essex County Council has created a short online questionnaire to improve the information they have on the number of Blue Badge holders who do or would use the bays if they were provided at Essex railway stations.  They want to know how many people with disabilities in Essex would travel on trains if they were confident of being able to use a Blue Badge Parking Space.

Online Support for ESZ & PIP Claims -

C-App is a website giving clear advice about claiming Employment & Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment benefits.

Adult Sibling Support Group -

Sibs is a UK charity supporting brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults.  They have a London Adult Sibling Support Group which will be meeting on the evening of 21st June.  Register online to join the group. 

The Autism Show –

This annual show will be held on 17th-18th June 2016 at the ExCel in London. It is sponsored by Hesley Group in association with The National Autistic Society and provides more information, advice, products and services on autism (including Asperger syndrome) than can be found anywhere else in the UK. 

Lambourne End Family Fun Day –

Havering families with children under 18 can book a place at this event on 22nd July.  See flyer for details.

Mersea Island Festival -

Essex Outdoors are offering inclusive activity summer breaks for young people in August.  See flyer for details.

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings -

Dimensions lists the latest autism-friendly screenings of current films at local cinemas.

Gatwick Airport Special Assistance -

Gatwick Airport has launched a scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities (such as autism, hearing impairment or dementia) who may require additional support when travelling through the airport. A lanyard can be requested from Gatwick’s assistance desks and worn by someone as a discreet sign for staff that additional support or help may be required.  See website for more information on the range of support available at the airport.

Rise 4 Disability 

Rise 4 Disability is an exhibition and conference in Dartford, Kent on 22nd June based around specialist equipment for disabled children and adults. There will be 40+ exhibitors with a range of products and services including paediatrics, mobility, sensory, seating and assistive technologies.

 

May

Update

An Introduction to ADHD - 

SNAP is hosting a talk by Steve from ADHD+ Support group to introduce and discuss the condition of ADHD, how it affects individuals, plus more.  He will also answer questions after the talk.

Zinc Arts Summer School –

Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar is running a programme of activities for young people and adults who are disabled, learning disabled or mental health service users. The summer school runs from 12th July to 1st September for ages 14+.  See flyer for details.

BOSP Summer Schedules –

BOSP in Billericay has now released its summer activity schedules.  New for this summer are the Come & Swim sessions in Pioneer School’s hydrotherapy pool.  Carers are required to stay on site and must be responsible for changing their young person.  Contact BOSP for a full list of activities.  http://www.bosp.co.uk/home.php

Sports Fest 2016 –

The Brentwood Leisure Trust is running a programme of events on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July, giving everyone an opportunity to try new sports.  There is a variety of inclusive activities and also sports such as wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball, soft archery and Trailnet accessible bikes.

Autism Oxford Event –

Anxiety Vs Happiness and Wellbeing: Two sides of the same issue in autism & Asperger’s? – Saturday 18th June, featuring Sarah Hendrickx.

Inclusive Cycling at Thorndon –

Trailnet is running a series of inclusive cycling taster sessions at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood throughout the summer.  See flyer for details.

Autism Hero Awards –

Anna Kennedy Online charity has launched the Autism Hero Awards 2016.  Nominations are now being taken to celebrate the excellence taking place in the world of autism.

Reading Well Scheme –

Local libraries are supporting a new scheme to help young people aged 13 to 18 years to understand their mental health and wellbeing using recommended reading.

Fun United –

Papworth Trust is running a holiday scheme at its Fun United youth clubs across Essex during the summer, for young people aged 11 to 19 years.

National Advisory Group –

The Council for Disabled Children and KIDS are recruiting for a national group of young people with SEN and disabilities aged 14 to 25 to advise on young people’s participation.  See website for details 

Temple Grandin Free Webchat –

Network Autism is hosting a free live web chat with Temple Grandin on Friday 3rd June. 

Volunteers’ Week The Big Celebration –

An event in Brentwood library on Friday 10th June to find out about volunteering opportunities.

U Matter 2 –

Support, wellbeing and up-skilling activities for carers from this Hamelin Trust project.

Carers Week –

From 6th to 12th June, Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.  They are asking for carers to recommend organisations, services and employers who are already ‘carer friendly’.  See website for details.

Heart of Gold Care Vacancies –

This new domiciliary care agency in Billericay is recruiting a Care Manager and Care Assistants.

What Next? Event –

SNAP is hosting this unique event on Wednesday 25th May from 5pm to 7pm, to enable parents and their young people aged 16+ to gather information and find out about the services available to them for their future. 

Lions Mid-summer Sports Day –

A fun festival for disabled people in Benfleet on Saturday 18th June.  

Brave the Rage Workshops –

These workshops in Brentwood are aimed at parents, carers and professionals and look at challenging behaviour in children. 

Family Fun Day –

The Children’s Society is holding a Family Fun Day at Danbury Essex Outdoors on Friday 29th July. 

East Anglian Autism Information Day –

Autism Anglia is holding their annual event offering workshops, networking and information marketplace on Thursday 9th June in Colchester. See their website for details and how to book a place. 

Microsoft UK Recruitment Project –

A pilot programme has rolled out in the UK to hire staff with neurodiverse conditions including autism spectrum disorders for full-time Microsoft positions.  See website for details.

Hft Holiday Information Guide –

This annual holiday guide has been updated with information to help people with learning disabilities and those closest to them to choose a holiday. 

Essex Outdoors Summer Opportunities –

For details of a summer programme of outdoor opportunities for children and young people with disabilities living in Essex County Council areas. 

Learning Disabilities Summer Courses –

ACL (Adult Community Learning) is offering a variety of courses over the summer for people with learning disabilities.

 

April

Update

What Next? Event –

SNAP is hosting this unique event on Wednesday 25th May from 5pm to 7pm, to enable parents and their young people aged 16+ to gather information and find out about the services available to them for their future.

SNAP Family Forum –


With the growing demand on SNAP services, we need to hear your views and ideas to ensure SNAP offers the services you need most. Join us for coffee and cake on Wednesday 18th May at 9.30am to 12 noon.

Gravity Force Adaptive Session –


This indoor trampoline centre in Festival Leisure, Basildon runs an exclusive session between 12 noon and 1.00pm on Tuesdays during term time for children and adults with special needs. Individuals, schools and support groups are welcome. The price for this session is £8.50 inclusive of one jumper and one carer. Grip socks are required to be worn by jumpers and carers and are available to buy and re-use for £1.50 per pair. To book a session call 0845 498 9049.

The Autism Show –


This annual show will be held on 17th-18th June 2016 at the ExCel in London. It is sponsored by Hesley Group in association with The National Autistic Society and provides more information, advice, products and services on autism (including Asperger syndrome) than can be found anywhere else in the UK.

Carers Self-Management Course –


Hamelin Trust and SEPT are running a free 6-week course in Billericay for any unpaid carers who are providing support to a relative or friend, who is ill, disabled, elderly or in need of emotional support. It gives the opportunity to learn new skills, develop confidence and take control of their lives. See flyer for details.

Kidz to Adultz South -


The charity Disabled Living is hosting this free event in Reading for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and professionals. On Thursday 9th June, over 100 exhibitors will provide information on Funding, Equipment, Mobility, Sensory, Toys, Education, Communication, Transition, Legal Matters and much more. See flyer for details.

Inclusive Communication Essex (ICE) –


ICE aims to support individuals and the families of those with a communication need. They provide a wealth of resources via their website and local libraries, and offer free resource training to professionals and families. The ICE team were also involved in the launch of the Autism Hub website alongside their own new, more accessible ICE website.

Transforming Care Program –


This is a partnership of Essex County Council, together with Southend and Thurrock unitary authorities, and the 7 Clinical Commissioning Groups which provide health care across Essex. The project team includes a reference group made up of people with learning disabilities and family carers to ensure that voices are heard in developing new care pathways within the Transforming Care Program. They are looking for more members to be involved in influencing this work.

Big Health Day –


A fun-filled event at the Basildon Sporting Village for people with learning disabilities and their families and carers to learn how to be healthy.

Right2Party –


The next exclusive club night for people with disabilities will be held on Sunday 5th June at Eclipse nightclub in Brentwood.

InterAct Activity Schedule –


A programme of activities for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Staying Safe on Minecraft –


A helpful article from CEOP and Parent Zone.

Families Learning about Self Harm -


The FLASH course is a 10 week parenting course open to parents and carers where there is within the family a young person who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour and this behaviour is having an impact on the family as a whole.

AKO Autism Fun Day –


Anna Kennedy Online charity will be holding an Autism Fun Day (including siblings) at Grange Farm in Chigwell on 21st May from 12 noon to 4pm.

Circus Starr –


The touring 'circus with a purpose' provides free seats for disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children. There will be a performance in Chelmsford on Thursday 19th May.

Essex Short Breaks Coffee Mornings –


Parents and carers are invited to meet with others at various venues throughout Essex during May and June, to share ideas and find out about clubs and activities that are running this summer.

Undiagnosed Children's Day –


Friday 29th April has been marked as Undiagnosed Children's Day. SWAN UK is raising awareness of children who have syndromes without a name.

Zumba –

Hamelin Trust’s U Matter 2 project is running a Zumba class in Rayleigh, free for unpaid carers in Essex.  See flyer for details.

The Care Act –

Irwin Mitchell solicitors has some information on their website that may be useful for families with young adults with disabilities.  There are downloadable factsheets and template letters.  

Anxiety Guide –

The national charity Cerebra has produced a guide for parents on how to spot the signs of anxiety and anxiety disorders in their children with intellectual difficulties.

‘Too Much Information’ NAS Campaign –

The National Autistic Society produced a film for this campaign to illustrate how difficult it can be for a person with ASD experiencing sensory overload.  See their website for details of the campaign and to view the video. 

Special Needs Yoga –

Aroma Therapies is running term time yoga classes for children and young people in Leigh-on-Sea.  See flyer for details.

Parent Information Event in Tendring –

'Supporting Your Child' Fayre is an event on 21st April for families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who live in the Tendring area.  It is an opportunity to talk to local professionals who may be able to support you and your children. 

Autism Talk –

Autism Anglia is hosting a talk by Luke Beardon, a leading professional in the field of autism.  It will be held in Colchester on 25th May 2016.  See website for details http://www.autism-anglia.org.uk/calendar/event/view?id=327

National Carers Strategy –

The government is seeking carers’ views on its National Carers Strategy.  There is an opportunity to complete a survey to give your views via the Carers UK website. 

The Gates Open Day –

The Gates horticultural project in Brentwood for people with learning difficulties is holding an open day on 29th May. See flyer for details.

 

March

Update

Grangewaters Open Day –

Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre in South Ockendon is holding a series of Open Day events for families to have a guided walk and learn more about what is on offer.  See flyer for details and dates.

PACT for Autism Talks –


There will be a talk by Dean Beadle at PACT for Autism in Harlow on 27th April and Sarah Hendrickx on 15th June.  See website for details.

Apex Parent Support Group –


The next Apex meeting at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford will be held on the morning of 14th April.

‘The A Word’ BBC Drama –


The first episode of this six-part drama about a family whose 5-year-old son has been diagnosed with autism aired this week.  It is now available on BBC iPlayer and part 2 will be shown on BBC1 on Tuesday 29th March.

‘Employable Me’ BBC Documentary –


The first part of this 3-part documentary series aired yesterday on BBC2 about adults with neurological disabilities such as Tourette syndrome and autism who are seeking employment.  It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

Cerebra Problem Solving Toolkit –


The national charity Cerebra has published a toolkit that aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services.  It aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them. 

Mencap Legal & Financial Information Evening –


City of Chelmsford Mencap will be hosting an evening in partnership with Birkett Long Solicitors to share information about Wills & Trusts, Court of Protection and other financial arrangements.

Autism Art Exhibition –


An exhibition of artwork by young people and adults on the autism spectrum will be displayed at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch from 30th March to 8th April.  See flyer for details.

Relaxed Theatre Performance –


The National Theatre in London will be hosting a relaxed performance of Wonder.land, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story, on Thursday 21st April.  See website for details and to book.

Direct Payment Consultation –


Essex County Council is running a consultation looking at the contracts they have with services to help people use their Direct Payments, such as payroll services, help with writing a care and support plan, paying invoices and help and advice on recruitment and employment issues.  The survey is open online until 28th April.

The Undateables –


This Channel 4 television series about love and disability is looking for participants for their sixth series.  See flyer for details.

Personal Budgets –


Essex Mencap is holding an open meeting on 21st April in Chelmsford to discuss how Personal Budgets can be managed successfully.  See flyer for details.

Essex Autism Information Hub –


A new website has been launched to support adults with autism in Essex, together with their families, carers and professionals working with them.


EHC Guidance –

Essex County Council has recently renewed the EHC needs assessment guidance.  It covers The Education, Health and Care needs assessment process; the One Planning process; Person-centred approaches; Joint working around children/young people with SEND; Legislation and Code of Practice; EHC Plan content; Essex Criteria for an EHC Plan and what happens if a child is not eligible for an EHC needs assessment.

Children and Young People Consultation –

Essex County Council is consulting with all those supporting children and young people (including children, young people and parents themselves) on the new Essex Children and Young People’s Strategic Plan for services across Essex over the coming years.  Click on the link to learn more or take part. http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=84KI75l4&Preview=true

Fun United –

Papworth Trust is running an activity programme during the Easter school holidays for the Fun United Youth Clubs across Essex. See flyer for details.

BOSP Activity Programmes –

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) is an Ofsted Outstanding Charity which offers support to families by providing short break care with fun and exciting opportunities for their children and young people (aged 4 years and upwards) with learning and physical disabilities.  Activity programmes for Easter to June 2016 are now available to view on their website. 

BOSP Chill Zone –

There is still some availability for some weekend outings and events for young people aged 18+ between April and June.  See flyer for details.

Mersea Island Festival –

Bookings are now being taken for this year’s Mersea Island Festival, an inclusive camping break on the coast of Essex in August. See flyer for details.

 

February

What Next? –

SNAP’s two-yearly event for parents and their young people approaching adulthood is happening again on Wednesday 25th May.  It is a great opportunity to look around the 50 or more stands, to ask questions and pick up information in an informal and convenient way.  

AKO Autism Day –


Following the successful talk at SNAP this month by Austin from Anna Kennedy Online, the AKO charity is hosting an Autism Day in Chigwell on 19th April 2016.  See flyer for more information.

Starburst –


The next Starburst night of club music for those with or without a disability will be held at Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood on 10th March. See flyer for details.

ICE Cards –


These cards and key ring and sticker packs are designed to give key information to first responders on critical health conditions, medication and emergency contact details in the event of an accident or incident. The medical cards give immediate information about any conditions and who to contact if the person or their carer are taken ill or injured.  See the website for full information 

BOSP Activity Schedules for Easter to June –


BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) provides short breaks for children and young people with learning and physical disabilities.  See their activity schedules for details and how to book.

AKO Autism Expo –

Anna Kennedy Online will be raising autism awareness at their first autism expo at Brunel University on 12th March 2016. 

My Future Choices –


The Transition Information Network has launched a new edition of its free magazine for disabled young people, their families and people who support them.  It contains articles about projects that support disabled young people and stories by disabled young people about their lives.  You can read My Future Choices online or have it sent free to your door by subscribing. 

Person Centred Planning Talk  –

Outlook Care will be coming to SNAP on 8th March to help families understand the process of person centred planning for their young adults with disabilities. Click here for details and to book a place. 

Right2Party Valentines Event –


This ‘Late, late, Valentines Party’ is an exclusive night for people with disabilities at Eclipse Nightclub in Brentwood on Sunday 28th February.  Contact Shani on 07921 619164 for details.

Zinc Arts Easter Holiday Programme –


Zinc Arts Centre in Chipping Ongar is offering a range of activities during the 2 week holiday for young people with disabilities aged 16+.

U Matter 2 Carers Events –


Hamelin Trust’s U Matter 2 project is offering an Easter floristry class in Billericay and a Wellbeing Day in Chelmsford, both free for unpaid carers. See flyers for details.

Lambourne End Centre -


Family Fun Days in February and March are planned at the Lambourne End Centre for families living in the borough of Havering who have a young person with a disability.  See flyer for details.

Gap Year Opportunities for Disabled Young People –

A new website has been launched to encourage and enable disabled young people to take a gap year or shorter break from formal education to take part in challenging gap year projects either overseas or in the UK. 

Cardrome Learner Centre –


This 12 acre private road complex offers the opportunity to try driving and build confidence in a safe environment. They welcome children and adults with special needs and try to make their driving lessons as inclusive as possible. There are no specifically modified cars but they can offer a driving experience for non-licence holders who want the experience of driving a car but are unable to do so for one reason or another.  See website for more information.

Braintree Autism Support Group –


This support group for parents/carers with children of any age who are on the autism spectrum meets every Tuesday morning.  See flyer for details.

Autism-Friendly Theatre Performance –


The West End musical Wicked has worked with the National Autistic Society to plan its first ever autism-friendly performance on 14th May.  See web link for details.

Relaxed Performance of Matilda –


The Royal Shakespeare Company will present its third relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre on 12th June. See website for details.

Relaxed Performance at The Cliffs Pavilion –


This Southend theatre will be holding a relaxed performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on 21st April 2016. See flyer for details.

BOSSY Concert –

The Brentwood Operatic Society's youth group (known as BOSSY) is working in conjunction with St Martin's School in Brentwood to offer SNAP families the opportunity to see their new production.  The show at the school will be on Sunday 21st February at 2.30pm for a 'pay what you can afford' performance with all proceeds going to SNAP.  The show is about 45 minutes each half with a 20 minute interval when refreshments will be served for a donation collection. See flyer for details.

Kidz to Adultz South –


The charity Disabled Living is hosting this free event in Reading for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and professionals.  On Thursday 9th June, over 100 exhibitors will provide information on Funding, Equipment, Mobility, Sensory, Toys, Education, Communication, Transition, Legal Matters and much more. See flyer for details.

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook –

This handbook from the Council for Disabled Children is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales.  An updated 2nd Edition has been adapted into a PDF chapters for you to download for free.

 

January

Update

ASD Behaviour Talk –

SNAP is hosting a talk by the Anna Kennedy Online team, looking at issues and situations that can drive or impact a person on the autistic spectrum’s behaviour.  Click here for more details and to book a place.

Fun United –


Holiday clubs throughout Essex run by Papworth Trust are running during February half term.  See flyer for details and locations.

Essex Local Offer –


The Essex Local Offer is a website detailing the services and support available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. See the updated leaflet for more information.

Springboard Free School –


A new free school for children aged 18 months to 19 years with autism and complex/severe learning difficulties has been proposed for Chelmsford.  Click on the link for additional information and an opportunity to participate in a demand survey.

Young Mental Health First Aid -


InterAct is running workshops in Brentwood and Basildon to help people to support young people aged 13 to 19 with mental health issues. See flyers for details.


Time to Talk Day –

Thursday 4th February is the next national Time to Talk Day, which has been devised by Time to Change to get the nation talking about mental health and to end the misconceptions around it. 

Radar Key Scheme –


This national key scheme enables people with disabilities and health conditions to use public accessible toilets that are kept locked to keep them clean and available for the disabled people who need them.  You can purchase a key from Disability Rights UK.

Young Carers Group –


The Sunshine Centre in Thurrock runs a Young Carers Group on Tuesdays and Thursdays to combat the impact of being a young carer on a child’s life.  See poster for details.

Sibs UK –


This charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults has a new look website with lots of information, resources and support for siblings and their parents 

Do Siblings Matter Too? –


The findings of a research project by Family Fund and the University of Portsmouth investigating what it is like to be the sibling of a child with a disability have been summarised in this report. 

Out There Extra –


Referrals are being taken for a six-week outdoor and personal development programme for young people aged 13+ in Chelmsford and Braintree who meet the criteria outlined on the poster.  The programme is being delivered by the Wilderness Foundation UK in conjunction with Essex County Council.

Visually Impaired Football –


Basildon Soccability Academy is offering Saturday sessions with a qualified coach for adults and youths. See poster for details.

Progress Magazine –


The latest edition of this magazine is available for collection from SNAP or can be viewed online.  Progress magazine aims to support a positive transition for 12 to 25 year olds with additional needs.

Caring Safely Workshop –


The community occupational therapy team from SEPT are running a workshop for carers who want to know how to avoid injuring themselves within their caring role.

Advocate/Personal Assistant Available –


See advertisement flyer for a male, experienced advocate/personal assistant in the Havering area.

Practical Workshops for Parents -


For parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, these free workshops are run by the Essex SEND Information, Advice & Support Service and will be held in Basildon on Thursday 17th March.  See flyer for details.

England Talent Day –


This Football Association disability talent identification day will be held on Saturday 26th March in Chelmsford for young disabled people aged between 11 and 16 years. 

Essex Short Breaks Survey –

4Children is now the lead provider for Short Breaks Clubs and Activities for children and young people who have a disability living in Essex.  They want to make sure that every child or young person in Essex who is eligible to access a club or activity has the opportunity to do so.  They would like you to be involved in making this a great service for your child or young person by completing an online survey  or written questionnaire.  Click on the link to share your views.

Internet and Social Media Safety –

SNAP has produced a useful information sheet on this topic with links to resources and websites offering help and advice to keep children and young people safe. 


SNAP Family Forum –

There have been many recent changes to statutory law and service provision affecting Essex families and we would like to hear your views on how SNAP can best support you through the special needs maze. The Family Forum is an informal discussion group with coffee and cake from 9.30am to 12 noon on Wednesday 20th January at The SNAP Centre. Contact SNAP to join us.

Dean Beadle in Colchester -

Maze Cares is hosting a talk by Dean Beadle, a man with Asperger syndrome, who shares his experiences of his life on the autism spectrum.  On Thursday 4th February at 7pm until 8.30pm in Colchester. See website for booking details http://www.mazecourse.co.uk/

FUSE Youth Club Launch Parties –

BOSP’s new youth clubs for young people aged 13 to 25 will run weekly during term time in Brentwood and Basildon.  See flyer for details of their launch parties next week.

Essex Short Breaks Brochure –

Essex County Council has published an updated Short Breaks brochure listing many opportunities for families with children and young people with special needs and disabilities. 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

Dimensions has listed the latest special screenings on their website, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Hotel Transylvania 2.  

AutismCon –

This unique convention on 5th March 2016, has been organised by the National Autistic Society.  It is designed for autistic adults, teenagers, their friends and families to take part in different talks and activities and meet other people with autism to discuss some important issues facing the autistic community. See the NAS website for details. 

NELFT Community Forum –

The Patient Experience Partnership Community Forum is looking for people’s views on community health services for children and adults, including the new Emotional Wellbeing Services (EWMHS) across Essex.  See flyer for details.

Thurrock Council Survey –

Thurrock Council is running a series of consultations on all aspects of life in the borough.  A survey on open spaces like parks and recreational areas is open now and would welcome views on all aspects including accessibility. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid –

InterAct is running workshops in Colchester to help people to support young people aged 16 to 19 with mental health issues. See flyer for details.

Colour Me In Café –

The Brentwood Community Tree Project supports mental wellbeing in Brentwood.  This free event for adults invites you to relax and unwind, meet friends and experience the relaxing therapy of colouring-in books every Friday at Brentwood Theatre from 11am to 2pm.  See flyer for details.

 

2015

December

Update

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide –

Don't forget to take a look at this collection of information sheets and articles from other organisations looking at strategies for making the Christmas period less stressful for all the family, in one useful Christmas package.

Minecon Auction –

A parent has very kindly donated a ‘Minecon 2015 Cape’ for SNAP to auction.  If you or your young person are a Minecraft fan and would like to make a donation for this exclusive Minecon 2015 cape,  please contact SNAP by email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 12 noon on Friday 18th December.  The cape will go to the highest bidder but if there are multiple bids for the same amount we will draw names out of a hat to select the winner.  The cape link will be sent to the lucky winner by email to redeem using their Minecraft account.

Adult Community Learning –

New course details have been launched for January 2016.  See Essex County Council website to search for suitable courses in your locality.

BOSP Spring Activity Schedules –

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) is an Ofsted Outstanding charity which offers support to families by providing care with fun and exciting activities for their children and young people (aged 4 years and upwards) with learning and physical disabilities. Click here for the 18+ activity schedules, or see the 11+ Information Network for the Under 18 activity schedules.

AKO Autism Exhibition –

In March 2016, Anna Kennedy Online is hosting its first autism exhibition in London including speakers, clinics and stands. See website for information and tickets.

A Guide to the SEND Code of Practice –

This is an eBook written by SEN Legal experts, Douglas Silas Solicitors, which has been updated for 2015/16. It explains the SEN framework and all relevant legislation that came into force in September 2014.  It can be downloaded for £4.99 and will include free updates.

Which School? Guide –

This guide to independent and non-maintained schools and colleges of further education in Britain for pupils with special needs can be downloaded and read online.


Thameside Theatre Relaxed Performance –

Thameside Theatre in Thurrock is offering its first relaxed panto performance of Sleeping Beauty on 21st December at 6.30pm.  Book tickets via the Box Office, or call Dianna Ferry on 01375 413981 if you have any questions.
 

Royal Greenwich Short Breaks Service –

Outlook Care offers this short break service for people with a learning disability. The service includes days out in London or overnight stays.

BBC Crime Drama The Bridge –

This Scandinavian TV drama depicts the leading female character as a woman with autism, although the writers have never confirmed that Saga Noren has Asperger syndrome.  See the BBC News article for details.  The series is being shown on BBC4 on Saturday nights.

Advice Website for Children and Young People –

A new website has been launched by the SEND Information, Advice & Support Service, especially for children and young people to help them to understand and source the support they may need when they have special educational needs and disabilities.  

Get Your Rights –

A new website launched by the NHS, especially for children and young people to help them to understand their rights when making decisions and choices about their healthcare. 

Holiday Information Guide 2016 –

Thinking ahead to a holiday in 2016? The Family Carer Support Service at hft has produced a 2016 practical guide for holidays in the UK and abroad for family carers and people with disabilities.

Breakaway Active 2016 –

Breakaway Active is a small independent holiday company, offering supported holidays to people with a learning difficulty.  The 2016 brochure is available here.

Right2Party Club Nights –

The next exclusive night club event at Eclipse Night Club in Brentwood will be their Christmas party on Sunday 13th December.  See flyer for details.

Stickman Communications –

Communication about disability with style and humour: this company produces items to enable communication, promote understanding and acceptance, and break down barriers.  See website for details. 

 

November

Update

Right2Party Club Nights –

The next exclusive night club event at Eclipse Night Club in Brentwood will be their Christmas party on Sunday 13th December.  See flyer for details.

National Autistic Society Thurrock –


A new support group has been launched to offer meetings, events and activities in Thurrock for families of those on the autism spectrum.  The next meeting will be on 25th November at 10am in South Ockendon.  See flyer for details.

NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters –


A day event at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between 2nd and 6th December, will offer an activity zone with fun tennis games and free coaching, an opportunity to watch world class wheelchair tennis and a chance to explore the Olympic Park and all it has to offer.  See flyer for details.

Unicorn Theatre Relaxed Performances –


A range of shows and performances for children are available at the Unicorn Theatre in London over the next few months.  Visit the website for more information.

Essex County Council Autism Survey –


A survey has been launched to try to understand how living with autism affects the family.  The Children and Young People Autism Working Group needs feedback from families to help them decide how they can organise services to improve families’ experiences of them.  The 20 minute questionnaire needs to be completed by 18th December.  Click on the link to take part.

Barefoot Challenge –


Following on from the Changing Places Campaign, a new social media campaign called the #barefootchallenge has been launched by parents of children with special needs.  Its aim is to raise awareness of the need for improved toilet and changing facilities throughout the UK.  See the Firefly blog for more information 

FLASH Course –


A 10 week course for parents, FLASH (Families Learning About Self-Harm) starts in January in Brentwood.  See flyer for details.

Unplugged for Autism –


This unique music event from The National Autistic Society is at The Underworld in Camden on 16th December.  It is an autism-friendly event with minimal stage lighting and all acts will be performing relaxed acoustic sets.  Full information packs including photos of the venue will be sent out in advance and they will try to accommodate all access needs.  See the NAS website for more details and to book tickets.

Romford Autism Hub –

Sycamore Trust UK in association with the London Borough of Havering has opened a new Havering Autism Hub in Romford.  The hub will work with local health services and colleges to focus on better health outcomes.  It will provide access to support, advice and information and develop services in partnership with local colleges and the job centre to support adults with autism who are not in education, employment or training and assist them through the application process to enrol on local training courses.  See the Sycamore Trust website for more information. 

Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime Helpline in Essex –

Stop Hate UK has recently launched a 24 hour helpline service across the Essex area for victims of hate crime as a result of their learning disability. The service has been funded by the Essex Police & Crime Commissioner until end of September 2016. Helpline: 0808 802 1155. Visit the website for more information. 

New Service Replacing CAMHS –

From 1st November, a new service called the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) has been launched for children aged 0 to 18 (0 to 25 with SEN).  The old CAMHS service has been re-structured by NELFT (NHS Foundation Trust).  See NELFT’s booklet for full details.

Inclusive Cycling at Thorndon Country Park –

Trailnet is running another taster session for all ages from 4 years up, on Sunday 15th November from 11am to 3pm. 

Sleep Positioning Video –

This video from Simple Stuff Works explains the benefits of using a sleep positioning system for children with restricted mobility. 

New School for Autism in Chigwell –

The National Autistic Society is planning to open a new specialist school for children and young people with autism in Chigwell in September 2016.  The charity is inviting people to take part in an online survey to help establish what the school will offer to local students on the autism spectrum. 

SEEVIC Free Community Events –

Opportunities to pursue an interest, acquire a new skill, become healthier or learn how to support those around you with one of SEEVIC’s free community learning events.

Carers’ Rights Day -

On Friday 20th November at 10.45am, Hamelin Trust is co-hosting an event in Rayleigh with Carers UK to share relevant advice and information for carers.

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

Vue cinemas show an autism friendly film at 10am on the last Sunday of each month across the UK.  See the Dimensions website for details. 

Family Innovation Fund Early Help Services –

A drop-in event has been arranged for professionals in Brentwood to introduce early support and intervention services funded by Essex County Council. See flyer for details.

Research Autism –

This is the only UK charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions in autism. They carry out high quality, independent research into new and existing health, education, social and other interventions. It is the only autism organisation accredited to the Information Standard so the website is now widely recognised as the most important and authoritative source of research on autism that people can trust. 

Connected Magazine –

The new autumn edition of Contact a Family’s magazine has been published online for parents of children with disabilities and the people who work with them.

Health and Wellbeing of Pupils 2015 Survey Report –

Essex County Council has published the key findings of this annual survey.

 

October

Update

Coffee, Cake & Catch-Up - 

SNAP's annual Coffee, Cake & Catch-Up event returns this November. This relaxed event is a great chance for you to drop by and catch up with all things SNAP while picking up a few christmassy bits and bobs at some of the stalls. Open to all our families and their friends, supporters and volunteers.

Funky Willows –

October half term activity programme for young adults with learning disabilities.

Starburst –


A night of club music for young adults with and without a disability, at Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood on 12th November.  See flyer for details.

I’M IN Discover Gymnastics Day –


An opportunity for disabled people aged 11 to 17, or 18+, to try a range of gymnastic activities at the Recoil Trampoline Centre in Brentwood on Saturday 14th November.  See flyer for details.

Papworth Trust Youth Clubs –


Dates are available across Essex for Fun United Youth Clubs and Holiday Clubs during October half term and Christmas holidays.  For ages 11 to 19 years.  See flyer for details.

Thurrock Consultation Workshops –


Thurrock Council is asking for people’s views and ideas on future care and support in Thurrock.  Thurrock Coalition (the user-led organisation for Thurrock) is arranging several workshops during November to look at the impact any changes will have on people who use social care services, as well as on carers and family members.  See flyer for details.

Carers’ Rights Day –


On Friday 20th November, Hamelin Trust is co-hosting an event in Rayleigh with Carers UK to share relevant advice and information for carers.  See letter for details.

Cerebra Guide to Decision Making –


National charity Cerebra has prepared a guide for parents of disabled children and young people to provide an overview of the law and policy relevant to decision-making in health and social care, including the duty of confidentiality and sharing information.

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.


Sarah Hendrickx Radio Interview –

If you have heard Sarah speak at one of SNAP’s recent talks on Anxiety in ASD and ASD in Girls, you may be interested in her radio interview for BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour.  It was recorded at the NAS Relationship Conference in Birmingham and aired on Women’s Hour on 20th October.  It will be available on the BBC Radio 4 website for a week or so.

Families InFocus Autumn Newsletter –


This Chelmsford based charity has published their Autumn Newsletter with details of activities and events.


Outlook Care Trustee Recruitment -

Outlook Care delivers person centred support and care to people with a range of disabilities and needs and are looking to recruit new members for their Trustee Board.  See their website for details. 

National Theatre Relaxed Performances –

This London theatre has a programme of special performances which may better suit people with ASD, sensory or learning needs.  See their website for details. 

Models of Diversity –

A campaign group has launched a petition to urge the fashion industry to employ 1 disabled model for every 5 able models to match the disabled to able ratio in this country. See flyer for details.

Essex Short Breaks Consultation Events –

The lead provider for Essex Short Breaks is now 4Children.  They are hosting events across the county to ask parents and carers for their feedback on existing short breaks provision and to share ideas for the future.  See local links for details.

Clacton – 12th October 2015
Witham – 13th October 2015
Basildon – 13th October 2015
Harlow – 14th October 2015
Chelmsford – 22nd October 2015

Autism Oxford Conference –

‘Autism Happiness & Well-being’ on Thursday 29th October.  See flyer for details.

Essex Outdoors –

Short break opportunities for children and young people aged 8 to 18 living in Essex County Council areas, from October 2015 to March 2016.

InterAct Fireworks Party –

In Chelmsford on 6th November. See flyer for details.

Epping Forest Inclusion Project –

See flyer for details of the October half term activity programme for children and young people with additional needs.

Boris from Gamelab UK –

Boris is an interactive communication game, which has been developed to help those who use Makaton and Signalong with their personal development.  See flyer for more information.

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.

 

September

Promoting Independence of your Young Person - 

Outlook Care's Chief Executive and Director of Operations will be hosting an evening of information sharing along with a Q & A session looking at relevant topics for individuals aged 18+ with learning disabilities. 

Colour & Make-Up Experience - 

SNAP parents are invited to experience two great tutorials to help you look and feel your best, with make-up expert Leanne Perilly and style coach Elaine Smith.

Lambourne End Family Fun Days –

A programme of fun activity days for children with disabilities living in Havering are planned at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning. See flyer for details.

Vibrance Halloween Costume Party –


Exclusive club night for people with disabilities on Sunday 1st November at Eclipse Night Club in Brentwood. See flyer for details.

TES Special Educational Needs Show –


This annual free-to-attend event has all the resources, ideas, advice and training to provide teachers, SENCOs, support staff and parents with the tools and skills to help all pupils achieve. 9th and 10th October in London.  See website for details. 

Mousetrap Theatre Projects –


There will be a relaxed performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 6pm.  SNAP is registered as a referring organisation, so please call our helpline first before contacting the box office to book tickets.  See website for details. 

Discover Trampolining Open Day –


Saturday 14th November in Brentwood for young people with disabilities aged 10+.  See flyer for details.

I’m In Discover Gymnastics Day –


Saturday 14th November in Brentwood for young people aged 11 to 17, and 18+.  See flyer for details.

SIBS Adult Sibling Workshops –


A new project has launched this autumn to support adult siblings of someone with a lifelong learning disability and/or autism.  A series of workshops have been arranged across the UK for adult siblings to get together as part of the Sibs UK network.  See website for details.  

Autism Family Respite Project Conference –


An event aimed at parent/carers and services for adults on the spectrum on 10th October 2015 in London.  The project was set up to provide much needed information, support and respite to families of adults with autism.  See flyer for details.

Disabled Male Actor Required –


K M Casting is looking for an actor aged 16 to 20 for a new TV role.  See flyer for details.

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Transition to the new 0-25 SEN & Disability system - 

The third edition of this Departmental advice has been published this month. It covers the period between 1st September 2015 and 31st March 2018.  The document is intended primarily for local authorities, but is also of interest to other Education, Health and Care organisations and to children and young people with SEN and their parents.

Zinc Arts AQA Accredited Courses –  

Creative and academic courses in a range of subjects to provide young people aged 16+ with transferable skills to assist their transition into employment or further education.  See website for details http://www.zincarts.org.uk/zaaq-accredited-qualifications


Self-assessment test for adult autism –  

Cardiff University has developed an online test to measure the extent to which adults are affected by repetitive behaviours, one criterion used to diagnose autism.  It cannot diagnose autism alone but can assist a clinician with a full diagnosis.  Autism Eye magazine explains how to access the test http://www.autismeye.com/first-self-assessment-test-for-autism/

Sunday Inclusive Cycling Sessions at Thorndon Country Park – 

Trail Net is planning to run a series of Sunday sessions and need to hear from anyone who is interested.  Contact them to let them know your equipment requirements and preference for times. http://www.trailnet.org.uk/inclusive-cycling.html


BOSP 18+ Activity Schedules for October to December 2015 – 

Contact BOSP for more information or to book sessions.

Funky Willows 18+ Activity Schedules for September/October 2015 - 

Contact Funky Willows for more information or to book sessions.

Circles of Support Programme - 

InterAct offers peer mentors for young people aged 12 to 18 years who engage weekly with them to attend activities of the young person’s choosing. This is to assist them to get out in their community without their parents or carers, trying out things they like to do, new challenges and learning new skills. Contact InterAct for more information.

InterAct Course for Home Schooled Children with SEND and their Families - 

This six week pilot programme starts this month, initially for Chelmsford based families only.  Contact InterAct for more information.
 

Foster Carers Required - 

Essex County Council is currently recruiting foster carers to offer short breaks for children with disabilities.  See leaflet for
details.

Families Learning About Self Harm - 

A 10 week course in Brentwood for families where there is a young person exhibiting self-harm behaviours.  Contact Brentwood Extended Services Team for more information.

Essex Travel Training Service – 

 

Essex Travel Trainers will accompany trainees on their journeys to school, college or employment, providing encouragement and guidance until they feel confident that the trainees have developed the appropriate skills to travel independently. See their leaflet for more details.

 


Brentwood Community Print is running a six week training course for adults on topics including confidence building techniques, how to face fear, what is a failure, how to deal with negative influences, positive affirmations and communication skills.  For more information contact Andy Woodcock on 01277 849021.

 

August

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Hamelin Trust – Rambling Club

A new support service for carers that includes an hour’s walk with a light lunch along with an opportunity to visit their new charity shop for some retail therapy.

Whizz-Kidz Survey – 

Whizz-Kidz want to hear your views relating to improving accessibility to transport for wheelchair users, good and bad. Click here to complete it before the 14th August.

Families InFocus – Activity Club

Play activities for children accompanied by their parent/carer. Every Saturday afternoon in Chelmsford. Click here for more details.

Havering Carers’ Information Booklet

Havering have produced an information booklet providing information on a range of support for carers, including requesting a carer’s assessment and details on services provided by the council, NHS and local organisations.



Research On Supporting Child Witnesses With Autism -

Researchers at City University London are looking for 6-10 year old children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome to assist with a research project that aims to identify how to support child witnesses with and without autism who come into contact with the criminal justice system. It will involve some fun games and activities designed to assess how best to interview children with autism, how suggestible they are, and how good they are at identifying faces within a video line-up (amongst many other things). For further information, please email the project coordinator, Laura Crane,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the project website www.childwitnesses.com

July

Benefits information –

There have been and will continue to be many changes to the UK benefits system, which can be very confusing and worrying for families.  To check how these changes may affect you, visit the website GOV.UK for up to date information https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/disability

The national charity Contact a Family can give more personalised advice via their website and Freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 or visit http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/

The Gates –

This horticultural project is hosting a Summer BBQ and organic produce sale on Sunday 23rd August.  See flyer for details

Essex Outdoors –


A summer programme of outdoor activities for young people with disabilities aged 8 to 18.

SEND Reforms Newsletter –


Essex County Council has published their July update for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Research Autism –


Research Autism is the only charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions.  They commission and collate research on treatments and therapies with the support of world-leading figures. They are committed to improving lives through sharing world-class, evidence-based information http://researchautism.net/

FACE Newsletter –

Families Acting for Change Essex has issued their summer update

Summer Soccer Camps –

These pan disability events for all ages and abilities are being held in Southend

Rainbow Rural Farm Club –


The Rainbow Rural Centre in Great Dunmow is taking bookings for their summer dates

Farm Open Day –


The Rainbow Rural Centre Farm is hosting an open day on Sunday 9th August

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Autism Eye –

Autism Eye magazine for parents and professionals is available quarterly as a free subscription that you can read on your computer or tablet.  Visit their website for details http://www.autismeye.com/subscribe/

U Matter 2 –


Yoga, Meditation and Relaxation classes in Basildon for carers

InterAct Summer Programme –


Fun and social activities for young people with learning disabilities and additional needs across Essex

NAS Conference on Autism, Sensory & Communication –


Dr Wenn Lawson will be running a workshop in London on 24th September 2015 

NAS Conference on PDA -


Understanding and supporting children with PDA, on 18th November 2015 in London 

Seevic Summer Courses –


A range of free summer courses and events are available at Seevic College for adults aged 19+

Young Adult Carers Project –


Support services for young carers aged between 14 and 25 who live in Barking, Dagenham or Thurrock.

SNAP Summer Survival Guide - 

SNAP has produced another helpful guide full of tips and ideas for surviving the summer with a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by organisations across Essex.

 

June

SNAP Summer Survival Guide - 

SNAP has produced another helpful guide full of tips and ideas for surviving the summer with a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by organisations across Essex.

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Disability Trampolining –


Taster Open Day at the Trampoline & Activity Centre in Great Warley on Saturday 27th June.  See flyer for details. 

Starburst –

The next Starburst inclusive event for young adults with learning difficulties will be a ‘Black & White Ball’ at Ashwells Country Club on 16th July. 

Unique –


An inclusive masquerade fancy dress themed music event for young people with disabilities will be held in Chelmsford on 6th July. 

Zinc Arts –


A summer programme of creative activities at the centre in Chipping Ongar for young people with disabilities. 

Fun United  –


Holiday clubs across Essex for young people with additional needs and disabilities aged up to 19.

Progress Magazine –


A transition guide for young people with disabilities.  It is available to read online on their website and via the Progress app.  SNAP also has a few copies of this magazine available in the SNAP library. 

DIY Summer Course –


Seevic College is offering a free crash course in the essentials of DIY and decorating this summer.  See flyer for details.

Hft Family Carer Support Service –


Now offering a national Freephone support service for family carers of people with learning disabilities on 0808 801 0448.

Living Well Essex –


A useful website for local tips, information and advice for carers and people with disabilities. 

SNAP Family Forum

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 17th June at 9.30am.  See website for details. 

SNAP Summer Survival Guide – coming soon!

Look out for our annual guide to everything happening in Essex this summer for families with children and young people with special needs.


Hft Care Act Workshop –

A free session in Bishops Stortford on 18th June at 7.30pm, for family carers to gather information and confidence in how the Care Act 2014 will affect their relative or friend with a learning disability.  See website for details 

BOSP Summer Term Activity Schedules for 18+ -

Contact BOSP in Billericay for more details of how to book http://www.snapcharity.org/index.php/information/index.php?option=com_directory&view=directory&keyword=BOSP&Itemid=202&view=resource&id=1598

Funky Willows –

Evening programme for June and Summer Programme for young adults.  Contact Funky Willows in Upminster for details of how to book http://www.snapcharity.org/index.php/information/index.php?option=com_directory&view=directory&keyword=Funky&Itemid=202&view=resource&id=1710

Unlocking the Power of ADHD Conference –

A morning conference for parents, schools and community workers on Saturday 20th June at Orsett Hall Hotel.

U Matter 2 –

Hamelin Trust has launched a new free service for the support of carers in Basildon, Brentwood, Rochford, Chelmsford and Castle Point.  Carers groups will offer weekend clubs for socialising and learning new skills.  Opportunities for support at home allow carers to have some ‘me time’ or assistance with practical tasks.

 

May

Essex Outdoors

Short break provision for disabled children and young people aged 8 to 18 and their carer at various locations across Essex.  See flyer for details of their summer programme.

Implementing the Care Act in Essex

Essex Carers Network and Essex Mencap are linking to host an open meeting to hear from Essex County Council how they are implementing the Care Act in Essex.

Paradigm – Be Free 2015

An opportunity for young people and adults with learning disabilities to enjoy events, challenges, workshops and relaxation over a few days in August.

Festival in the Park

A celebration of learning disabilities on Friday 19th June from 11am to 5pm in Wanstead, E11.

Buddi Personal Alarm Service

Carers UK is offering a significant saving on a subscription to this personal alarm and GPS tracking service.  See website for details.

Vibrance UV Glow Party

An exclusive club night for people with disabilities at Eclipse nightclub in Brentwood, hosted by Vibrance, an Ilford based social care provider.

The Gates Horticultural Project

A spring open day and plant sale on Sunday 31st May from 12-2pm

Disability Trampolining Taster Day

At the Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood on Saturday 27th June, 3pm to 6pm.

Essex Learning Disability Health Day

In Chelmsford on 12th June 2015, from 11am to 3pm.

The Transition Event in association with Progress 

An annual one-day conference and exhibition exploring the essential aspects of a young person’s transition to adulthood when they have additional needs.  On Thursday 4th June in Birmingham.  See website for details.

Soccability

The Basildon Soccability Academy is hosting a disability open/awareness day for those wishing to learn new skills, or try different types of football including wheelchair, Paralympic, blind or walking football.

Kids South

One of the largest free exhibitions for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, their families, carers and professionals who work with them is happening this June with over 100 different exhibitors and a full programme of free seminars.

Lions Mid-Summer Sports Day & Fun Festival

The Lions Clubs are hosting their fifth Sports Day and Fun Event for Disabled People included a range of fun and sporting events such as archery, golf, kurling, basketball, soccability, barn dance and a wheelchair slalom.

Hamelin Trust Open Day

Hamelin Trust is hosting an Open Day at Sutton Bridge Farm where you will be able to tour their facilities to see what is on offer. You will also be able to discuss potential short break placements, day opportunities/activities and use of their hydrotherapy pool.

Fun United Youth Clubs in Essex

May and summer holiday programmes across Essex.

Autism Friendly and Relaxed Theatre Performances

The National Autistic Society website lists summer dates in London theatres. 

East Anglian Autism Information Day

A day of workshops, a large market place of information and Autism Anglia showcase on 11th June.

PDA Society Conference

For parents and carers on 23rd September 2015 in Nottingham.  See website for details. 


Assessments and the Care Act –

Carers UK has produced a factsheet about the new system of care and support that came into place in England on 1st April 2015.

My Future Choices Magazine –

Transition Information Network has published its latest magazine for disabled young people, their families and people who support them.

The Autism Show –

This national event for autism will be held at ExCeL, London, 12-13 June 2015.

Personal Portfolios –

Cerebra offers a free service to help you create a personal portfolio for your child or young person.  Download the guide from their website

Bedazzle Performing Arts –

A new weekly theatre arts course at Zinc Arts for young people aged 14+. 

InterAct Activity Programme –

For young people aged 12 to 25 during May and June 2015.

Disability Grants –

A guide to grants for the disabled, for parents of a disabled child or adult. 

Carers Required –

Special people required to assist a young lady aged 18 with cerebral palsy, autism and complex learning difficulties.

ADHD and ASD/Asperger syndrome Conference –

ADDISS is hosting a conference in London on 14th June 2015.  ‘A Parents’ Guide to the Medical Treatment of ADHD when there is also Autism or Asperger syndrome’. 

Outlook Care –

Outlook Care delivers person centred support and care to people with a range of disabilities and needs and are looking to recruit new members for their Trustee Board.  

Funky Willows –

May Half Term holiday programme.

S’up Spoon –

A new type of spoon designed for shaky hands.

 

April

SNAP Family User Survey - 

Please spare a few minutes of your time to complete our Family User Survey. We need feedback from all of you to enable us to continue our work supporting Essex families.

SNAP Trike Event - 

SNAP has invited specialist companies to bring a selection of equipment to give SNAP families the opportunity to try them out to see if they are suitable for their children. 

Soccability -

The Basildon Soccability Academy is hosting a disability open/awareness day for those wishing to learn new skills, or try different types of football including wheelchair, Paralympic, blind or walking football.

Kidz South –

One of the largest free exhibitions for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, their families, carers and professionals who work with them is happening this June with over 100 different exhibitors and a full programme of free seminars.

Special Needs Disco –


Mace Playce, a softplay centre in Chelmsford, is hosting a Disco on Friday 22nd May for young people with special needs aged 13+.

Mencap Wills & Trusts Seminars –


Mencap is running a number of free seminars on making a will/setting up a trust for the benefit of a loved one with a learning disability.


Lions Mid-Summer Sports Day & Fun Festival - 

The Lions Clubs are hosting their fifth Sports Day and Fun Event for Disabled People included a range of fun and sporting events such as archery, golf, kurling, basketball, soccability, barn dance and a wheelchair slalom.

Hamelin Trust - 

Hamelin Trust is hosting an Open Day at Sutton Bridge Farm where you will be able to tour their facilities to see what is on offer. You will also be able to discuss potential short break placements, day opportunities/activities and use of their hydrotherapy pool.

 

 

March

Autism Oxford - 

Autism Oxford are hosting two seminars - Autism and Asperger's: Identification and Effective Intervention on 25th April at The Kassam Stadium, Oxford OX4 4 XP

Mencap Young Ambassador Project - 

Mencap are currently recruiting for their Young Ambassador Project and have an Open Day on 31st March at the National Centre, London EC1.

Care Quality Commission - 

The Care Quality Commission is keen for people to share their experiences of health services, particularly in relation to transition into adult services, both good and bad. Feedback can be reported anonymously.

Papworth Trust - 

Papworth Trust is holding a pre-election event in Basildon which gives local people the opportunity to question parliamentary candidates and is inviting people with disabilities, or those with an interest in disability, to join them.

Funky Willows –

Funky Willows Easter programme of activities.


Dealing with bullying booklet –

The national charity Contact A Family has produced a booklet giving guidance and information for families with disabled children and young people around the subject of bullying.

Anti-bullying Alliance - 

The Anti-bullying Alliance has a series of useful resources for parents and professionals available from their website.

WellChild - 

WellChild is a network of parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs in Essex. The next quarterly meeting will include a free two hour session by First Aid Fairies on paediatric first aid and soft play provided by Safari Tots.

BOSP Activities for April to June -

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) in Billericay has released the activity schedules for young adults from Easter to June.

The Gates Open Day –


This horticultural project for adults with a learning disability is holding an open day on 31st May at the base in London Road, Brentwood.

Funky Willows –

Activities for young adults during March.

Cirdan Sailing Trust –


Opportunities for youth groups to access sailing trips.

SEND Information, Advice and Support Service –


Spring Newsletter.

National Autistic Society –


A NAS conference on Autism and Mental Health featuring Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr Wenn Lawson will be held on 19th May in London.  See website for details.

The Autism Show –


This annual national show is being held in London on 12th and 13th June 2015. 

Naidex 2015 –


The UK's largest disability, rehabilitation and homecare event at the NEC in Birmingham, featuring the latest products and services to aid independent living. 

Spargoland –


A new hair salon offering hair and nail cutting for children and adults with additional needs will be opening in Brentwood later this year.  See their newsletter for details.

Easter Panto –


A relaxed performance of Robin Hood and his Merry Men will be held at the Harlow Playhouse on 9th April.  Contact the box office on 01279 431945 to book.

Music is Magic Event –


The Music Man Project is a music education service for children and adults with a learning disability.  The Music is Magic live performance at The London Palladium will be on 21st June 2015. 

Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning –


An Open Day event on Sunday 19th April gives a fun opportunity to explore the adventure activities and farm animals.

 

February

Update

InterAct Activity Programme for March/April -

Fun and social activities for young people aged 12 to 25 with learning disabilities and additional needs across Essex. 

Breakaway Active WWE Wrestling Weekend –


A supported 4-day trip to Bournemouth to see WWE Wrestling.

Breakaway Active Drama Workshop Holiday –


A supported 5-day holiday in Great Yarmouth including a drama workshop.

Road Map for Life Conference –


Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre is hosting a 2-day conference on 15th and 16th May to help young people with disabilities and complex special educational needs to find solutions to getting the life they want in adulthood.  See website for details http://swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/for-parents/roadmap-for-life/

The Care Act and How it Could Affect Me -


Essex Carers Network and Essex Mencap are hosting a joint open meeting in Chelmsford with a presentation on how the Care Act will affect people with learning disabilities and their families.

Radar National Key Scheme –


Radar is now part of Disability Rights UK who administer and manage the National Key Scheme.  Information on how to apply for a key to accessible UK toilets.

Therapy In Musical Expression (TIME) –


An Essex based music company that delivers a weekly two hour group music session in Basildon for people of all ages with a disability.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Information Sheet –


National charity Contact a Family has produced a new information sheet explaining this new benefit and how it will affect claimants when it is finally introduced in this area.

Zinc Arts AQA Open Days –


Zinc Arts is hosting two open days to launch its new accredited qualification courses at the Zinc Arts Centre in Chipping Ongar.  See the website for more information. http://www.zincarts.org.uk/component/content/article/398

Essex Outdoors Short Break Provision –


A programme of activity opportunities for disabled young people under 19 years who live in Essex County Council areas.

Starburst Dance Night –

At Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood, Starburst provides young people aged over 16, with or without a disability, an opportunity to enjoy a ‘night club’ atmosphere with friends in a supportive environment.  The next event is on Thursday 12th March.  See flyer for more information.

Breaking Barriers Project –


A person centred support service for people aged 16+ with a learning disability.  The project supports users to develop independent living skills.  Most programmes are run from their centre in Tilbury, Thurrock.  See website for details http://www.bbproject.co.uk/

Employment & Autism Conference –


The National Autistic Society is hosting a one-day conference on why it is important for employers to understand autistic perspectives, on 7th May 2015 in London.  See website for details http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/nas-conferences/upcoming-conferences/employment-and-autism-conference.aspx

Papworth Trust Fun United –


Holiday clubs are planned at various locations in Essex for half term and Easter.  See flyer for details.

National Family Carer Network Event –


Free one-day events in London for family carers on Advanced Decision Making: What every family carer should know about planning ahead.  Looking at topics such as Wills & Trusts, the Mental Capacity Act and Circles of Support.  See flyer for details.

Young Male Carer Wanted –


Hornchurch area for a 13 year old boy with autism.  See flyer for details.

 

 

 


 

 

January


Essex Outdoors Short Break Opportunities –

A Programme of events and activity days in February and March for young people under 19 years.  Visit the website for details http://www.essexoutdoors.org/ahdc_calendar.php and click on the link for programme.

I’M IN British Gymnastics Taster Events –


Opportunities for disabled young people to try gymnastics and trampolining.  See programme for the East region venue and dates.

Family Mosaic Drop-in Service –


Support and advice opportunities for people with learning difficulties.  Click here for venues and times.

Razed Roof Production –


This inclusive performance company of people with and without learning difficulties and disabilities is giving a matinee performance of ‘Lusitania: The Floating Palace’ in Harlow in May.  See the poster for details.

Employment and Autism Conference –


The National Autistic Society is hosting this conference in London on 7th May 2015.  See the website for details http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/nas-conferences/upcoming-conferences/employment-and-autism-conference.aspx

JC’S Dance Group –


This dance group is for adults with learning disabilities and meets at Hutton Community Centre, Brentwood on Saturdays from 10am to 12noon.  For more information contact Jane on 07853 146844.

Dimensions Autism Friendly Screenings –


See the website for details of autism friendly cinema screenings across the country.

Mersea Island Festival MayFest 22nd to 25th May –


An opportunity for young people with disabilities, their family and friends to have lots of fun while trying new activities.  See their website for further details http://www.merseafestival.org.uk/mif-may-fest/ 

Positive Practical Approaches in Autism –


This free event for parents and carers is being organised by the Hesley Group on 10th March in London.  See their website for details http://www.hesleygroup.co.uk/events/london100315

Euan’s Guide –


This website gives disabled access reviews for disabled people and their friends and families http://www.euansguide.com/
 
New Supported Living Project in Benfleet/Basildon –

Click on the link for information about a new supported living project for young people with learning and physical disabilities.

Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day -


The 9th annual Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day is an opportunity to discover different ways to communicate and learn how to support someone with a communication difficulty.  There are opportunities for parents, carers, professionals and individuals with communication difficulties to participate in a selection of  workshops and to share experiences and ideas with others.  See the website for more information and to book a place http://essexice.co.uk/news/sharing-day-2015.aspx

Grove House School Parent Meetings –


Applications are now open for pupils starting in September.  This new school is offering two opportunities in January for prospective parents to meet the newly appointed Principal.  Click here for details.

Essex SEND Information, Advice & Support Service –


This service was formerly known as the Essex Parent Partnership Service.  Click here for their new leaflet.

Who will care? Swap Shop –


A networking debate opportunity for community, voluntary and health organisations and the public sector.  See flyer for details.

BOSP Activity Schedules for spring term –


BOSP in Billericay offers various opportunities for young people with disabilities.  See their website for information www.bosp.co.uk.  Click here for the Big BOSP schedule; click here for Chill Zone schedule; click here for Holiday Club schedule; click here for Saturday Club schedule.

InterAct Activity Schedule for spring term –


Click here for details of opportunities for young people aged 12 to 25 years.

Apprentice Music Leader Workshops –


Taster sessions at Zinc Arts for young, deaf or disabled adult musicians who want to start a creative career.  See website for details http://www.zincarts.org.uk/our-work/projects/apprentice-music-leader

 

2014

December

DIAL: Disablement Information & Advice Line – 

This Basildon service is now offering outreach surgeries in various south Essex locations.  DIAL will help people with any issues relating to disabilities and will also assist with completing benefit forms if an appointment is booked in advance.  Every 1st Tuesday of the month they have a desk at Brentwood Community Hospital reception area from 11am to 3pm.  See their website for other locations  http://dialbasildon.co.uk/index.php?id=11  or contact DIAL on 01268 285676.

Essex SEND Reforms Update –

This clear and concise newsletter is packed with information from Essex County Council about the new policies and systems for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  Click here for this important read.


Active8 Epee Fencing Club –

This inclusive group at Basildon Sporting Village is open to people with disabilities.  See flyer for details.

Inclusive Communication Essex –


Visit the Essex ICE website for everything you need to support communication.  See flyer for details.

Adult Short Break (Respite) Services in Essex –


SNAP has been asked to share a survey on respite services in south and mid Essex for adults with learning disabilities and complex care needs.  Click here to complete the questionnaire

Old Vic Relaxed Theatre Performance –

There will be a relaxed performance of ‘Tree’ on 31st January.  Contact the theatre for more information or visit the website - http://www.oldvictheatre.com/

Have your say: Autism Innovation Fund Survey – 

Each council across England has been given £18,500 to help make the community more autism-friendly.  This was a result of The National Autistic Society’s Push for Action campaign.  Click here to complete a survey to give your opinion on how this local money could be spent.

FACE December News Sheet - 

Families Acting for Change Essex (FACE) have shared their December news sheet.

 

 


 

 

November

Trailnet –

This not-for-profit company is dedicated to the promotion of outdoor physical activity.  Trailnet offers inclusive cycling sessions at Thorndon Park in Brentwood.  They have a range of adapted trikes and bikes for hire at the Thorndon Cycle Centre and offer regular sessions for groups and individuals.  They also work in partnership with the London Borough of Havering and Havering Positive Parents to provide opportunities for inclusive cycling at the Forest Centre in Upminster. Visit the website for more information http://www.trailnet.org.uk/inclusive-cycling/

Trailnet has produced a survey to gauge the interest in inclusive cycling sessions where people of all ages with a range of impairments can access bike riding in a safe, supportive environment.  The survey can be accessed here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Inclusive_Cycling


Rainbow Rural Farm Club –

Rainbow Rural Centre in Great Dunmow has launched a Farm Club for children and young adults with special needs, together with a carer.  The club runs on two Saturdays a month and during school holidays and aims to give the young people an opportunity to experience aspects of farm life.  See flyer for details.

Recoil Trampoline Club –


The Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood is hosting a free ‘I’m In’ Festival of Trampolining and Gymnastics for young people with disabilities aged 11+.  The event is on Saturday 29th November 2014.  See the flyer for booking details.  Details of the clubs regular disability sessions can be found on their website www.springiton.co.uk

Lambourne End Centre –


There are spaces available on a training programme at the centre for young people aged 16 to 25 who reside in West Essex.  See flyer for details.

Advocate/Personal Assistant Available –


See advertisement flyer for a male, experienced advocate/personal assistant in the Havering area.

Holiday Information Guide –


Hft has published its 2015 guide for people with disabilities.  Click on the link to view.

Saturday Work Club –


Friends & Places Together in Southend is offering a 12 week Saturday morning course for young people to prepare for work.  See flyer for details.

Essex Local Offer –


The Local Offer website outlines all Essex County Council provision.  Click on the flyer for details.

Grove House School –


Press release announcing the appointment of a Principal Designate for the school.

Fun United –


There is still some availability for sessions during the Christmas break.  See flyer for details.

Experienced Nanny Required –

A SNAP family has asked us to advertise a job vacancy for them.  Please click here to view the job specification.

My Hospital Passport –

The National Autistic Society has developed a passport to enable a person with autism to share important information with healthcare professionals when they are assessing and treating them.  Click here for more information and to download the passport and guidance notes - http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/out-and-about/my-hospital-passport.aspx

Grove House School –


Click here for a newsletter from this proposed new school for children with speech, language and communication difficulties.

UK Power Networks Priority Register –


A register has been set up for vulnerable households where a power cut would be a particular concern for people with medical or special needs.  Although they cannot guarantee to restore power any quicker, there may be other help and support available during a power cut, or prior to a scheduled power interruption.  See flyer for details

Support for Carers Survey -


The Essex Carers Partnership Group consists of Essex County Council (ECC), NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and Carers, and is seeking views on what’s most important to carers and what would help with their caring role.  The Partnership Group has created a short online survey that can be accessed via this link - http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=l20K382&Preview=true

Mencap Essex Me Time Programme –


Activities available for adults with learning disabilities in mid and north Essex.  Click here for the November programme

Families InFocus Talks –


Two opportunities in Braintree and Chelmsford to hear a talk by Jane Ayres, Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist, on the changes to statements and LDAs.  See flyer for details

Essex Carers Network Meeting –

On Tuesday 9th December, ECN’s meeting in Chelmsford will have officers from Essex County Council attending to share their initial thoughts on the report published following the engagement events that ECN facilitated with Essex Mencap in the late summer. Click here to view the report titled ‘The system is not working with us’ and contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 0787 6025480 to book a place.

RE:GROUP Supporting You… Supporting Others –


Training opportunity in Wickford from national charity Contact a Family for anyone running a parent support group or thinking of starting one up.  See flyer for details 

 

 


 

 

October

IS Essex -

iSEssex is an independent support service working directly with young people with SEN and disabilities aged 0 to 25 and their parents as they go through the assessment process for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). iSEssex is a partnership between InterAct, Families InFocus, ecdp and FACE and provides trained independent supporters for online, telephone and face-to-face support. Self-referrals are welcome for this free service for families within the Essex County Council area.  See their website for details http://www.isessex.org/

EHC Plans –


The Council for Disabled Children has produced a leaflet explaining the changes from Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments to Education, Health and Care Plans.  Click here to view

Post 16 Support –


Another Council for Disabled Children leaflet on Post 16 Support for young people with special needs.  Click here to view

Big BOSP –


BOSP in Billericay runs a Thursday evening youth club for secondary aged children and young adults.  See their website for details http://www.bosp.co.uk/activities&services.php

Bright Lives - 


Bright Lives Social Enterprise CIC in Colchester is a vocational day service for young people aged 16 years and over with a learning disability.  The centre now has a dedicated sensory room that can be booked by individuals and organisations.  See the website for more information http://www.brightlives.org.uk/index.html

This is Me! –

The National Autistic Society has produced a downloadable booklet for children and young people who are being assessed, so they can say what changes they would like to make to education, health and social care plans.  It has been written and developed by the NAS in partnership with the Department for Education and with the help of young people on the spectrum.  Visit the website to download http://www.autism.org.uk/products/core-nas-publications/this-is-me.aspx or click here to view.

OwnFone -


OwnFone is a mini, light, low cost mobile phone that just calls the people you need (no text or internet facility); simply press the name of the person you want to call.  You can have up to twelve names on your OwnFone and it receives calls too.  It’s about the size of a credit card and can be used day to day or as an emergency phone.  It is rechargeable and in Shutdown mode the OwnFone will last up to a year without a charge. It comes in a wide range of colourful designs.  See the website for details https://ownfone.myownfone.com/

Keep Safe Scheme –


Anyone aged 18+ with a learning disability can join this scheme, which identifies local shops and businesses where staff will help and make a call to a nominated person in moments of confusion or distress.  The member of the scheme carries a card and a key ring with the name and number of someone who can be contacted should they need them.  Click here for details.

Going into Hospital with a Learning Disability –


To help prepare someone for their stay in hospital, you can download and prepare a Hospital Passport, which has been designed by the NHS to share essential information about the person with a significant learning disability.  Click on the link for details and download link http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Childrenwithalearningdisability/Pages/Going-into-hospital-with-learning-disability.aspx

Communication for Today –


A free workshop about communication resources run by Communication for All, ICE and Accuro in Stansted Mountfitchet on 9th December 2014.  See flyer for details.

ASC (Adolescent Support Clinic) –


This is a Southend based private therapy service for young people and their families in Southend and Essex.  See the website for details http://www.adolescentsupportclinic.co.uk/

Personal Budgets for Post-16 Provision and FE Colleges –


Click here for a factsheet produced by the Preparing for Adulthood project.
 
Get Online @ Home –

An initiative from Microsoft and its partners to provide low cost computers to support the GO ON UK digital inclusion programme. There is a current special offer of a free refurbished PC for anyone when taken with broadband from £1.75 per month for 12 months.  Click on the link for details - http://www.getonlineathome.org/special-offer.aspx

Carer’s Allowance –


Following a campaign by Contact a Family, the government has announced that the carer’s allowance earnings limit will increase from £102 per week to £110 per week from April 2015.  Click on the link to read more from Contact a Family - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/news-and-media/carers-allowance-earnings-limit-to-increase-to-110-from-april-2015/

The Underwear Rule –


A new version of the NSPCC’s campaign has been launched to help parents teach children with autism about sexual abuse.  It was developed with guidance from The National Autistic Society.  Click on the link for more information - http://www.autism.org.uk/Living-with-autism/Communicating-and-interacting/Sex-education-and-children-and-young-people-with-an-ASD/The-Underwear-Rule.aspx

Sky Badger –

This website is a national directory of sources of help, activities and services for children with special needs and disabilities.  Click here to browse the online resource. http://www.skybadger.co.uk/

Fun United Youth Clubs –


Papworth Trust runs clubs throughout Essex during term time and they are also offering sessions during the October half term and Christmas holidays.  See flyer for details.

Making it Personal –


The charity KIDS has produced a new suite of resources to help families to navigate the reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disability provision.  The resources explore how personal budgets and the Local Offer will benefit families.  See the flyer for details.

Recoil Trampoline Club –


The Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood is hosting a free ‘I’m In’ Festival of Trampolining and Gymnastics for young people with disabilities aged 11+.  The event is on Saturday 29th November 2014.  See the flyer for booking details.  Details of the clubs regular disability sessions can be found on their website www.springiton.co.uk

InterAct Autumn/Winter Activity Programme - 

InterAct has a full range of term time and holiday activities for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs, at various locations throughout Essex.  See programme for details and booking.

Photography Course –


The Outreach Academy is a lifelong learning service from City of Chelmsford Mencap, for people with a learning disability and anyone who needs extra support to learn and get the most out of life.  This 12-week photography course starts on 24th October and runs on Fridays from 1.15pm to 4pm.  See their flyer for further details 

 

 


 

 

September

Epilepsy Action Event –

Find out how to reduce the risks of living with epilepsy: An event at Brentwood Theatre on 18th October.  Click here for details.

Scope Family Information Day in Harlow -


This event on 17th October 2014 will give parents and carers an opportunity to learn more about the new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) legislation and the local provision that is available to them.  Click here for more information.

Inclusive Communication Handbook –


This downloadable catalogue from Inclusive Technology lists both low tech and high end communication devices, a 5 star Communication Resource Guide, products for amplifying and accessing the iPad, along with switches, eye gaze technology, software and other items.  There is an interactive catalogue or a downloadable PDF version. Click here to view.

New Training from IPSEA –


Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) has developed an e-learning training package for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, as well as those who support them.  The training covers the basics of the new SEN Law.  Click here for details.

Independent Supporters –


A training opportunity is available from ecdp for volunteers to learn how to support families of children and young people with SEND to understand the new Education, Health & Care Plan.  Click here for details

PACT for Autism Workshop –


A free workshop in Harlow on 14th November for parents, delivered by IPSEA to explain the new SEN processes and provision.  See flyer for details.

Essex Local Offer Launch Events –

The Essex Local Offer website was launched on 1st September www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk  Essex County Council has organised 4 free events to be held across Essex during September and October to explain the Local Offer to parents and professionals.  See flyer for details.

Rainbow Rural Centre Open Day –

This social enterprise based at Sallet’s Farm in Great Dunmow aims to give education and experiences to learning disabled people on all things rural.  They have an open day planned on Sunday 5th October from 11am to 4pm.  See their website www.rainbowrural.co.uk  and contact Rainbow Rural Centre for more details.

FA CP Centre of Excellence Trials -

Football Trials for young people with cerebral palsy are being held in Chelmsford on 20th September 2014.  See flyer for details.

Residential Sailing Trip -

The Sea-Change Sailing Trust is running a  5-day residential sailing trip in September on a Thames Barge for young adults with learning disabilities aged 15 to 20 years.  See flyer for details.

Be Safer Essex –

A website providing easy-read support information for people with learning disabilities that can be downloaded or ordered as a Think Safe Information Pack.  Topics include keeping safe ‘At Home’, on ‘The Internet’ and ‘Out & About’.  www.besaferessex.org.uk

Just Ride Southend –

An all age cycling scheme that runs regular drop-in inclusive cycling and provides a safe traffic-free experience with their specially adapted cycles to cater for all disabilities or health conditions.  See flyer for details.

Working Families  ‘Waving not Drowning Project’ –

This is run by Janet Mearns at Working Families for parents of disabled children and carers of adults who want to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities.  Parents can download useful documents from the website and sign up for a free newsletter and monthly e-bulletins.  There is also a dedicated helpline for the project on 020 7017 0072.  Visit the website for more details - http://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/parents-and-carers/caring-for-disabled-children/waving-not-drowning 

Let’s Talk About Aspergers & Autism -

South Essex Partnership NHS Trust is hosting this event on Monday 29th September for service users, parents or carers and the general public.  It will  provide information and an opportunity to ask any questions regarding Asperger syndrome or autism and the services that SEPT provides.  It will mainly be focusing on services that exist for 18 plus.  See flyer for details


 

August

Adult Social Care Is Changing - 

Essex County Council has invited Essex Carers Network and Essex Mencap to help plan ways in which services can be better provided in the future at various venues across Essex on August 27th, September 1st and September 2nd. They are looking for families and carers to share their thoughts on their needs and useful forms of support. If you would like to attend email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone Peter Brown at Essex Mencap on 01376 324765

Information on Bus Passes for People with Disabilities - 

Anyone now holding an existing bus pass, when it expires will have a new one automatically sent to them. If you find it difficult to move around on your own you may be entitled to receive a companion pass if you meet the relevant criteria. For more information visit http://www.essexhighways.org/Transport-and-Roads/Getting-Around/Bus/Fares-and-bus-passes/Concessionary-fares.aspx 

Fledglings Product Solutions for Children - 

Fledglings provides practical help to families of disabled children and those with additional needs. The online catalogue can be found through their website but here is the link to their summer newsletter - http://ctt-news.org/4YV-2NYHI-3CMTYCK8C/cr.aspx?campaignkw=cantreademail

SEN Reforms – Final Code - 

At the end of July, the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice was approved in the Lords and then proceeded to clear Parliament. This means the final version of the Code can now be viewed, downloaded, shared and used. It will come into force on 1st September. Find the Code here.  

The Be Free Festival 2014 - 

The Be Free Festival will encourage people with and without disabilities to reflect on how they want to shape their lives. There will be adrenalin filled activities like the Zip Wire and High Ropes (with support for people with physical support needs) as well as song writing workshops (with the Gig Buddies) and a Pamper Zone amongst others. For info see: Be Free

Short Breaks for Adults Survey - 

Essex County Council would like your views about the current provision of shortbreaks in Essex. Click here to answer a short survey.

Cabmania – Travelling with Kids - 

Cabmania have produced some information about travelling with children and the preparation involved. Click here to view...

Why do autistic children chew? - 

Sensory Direct have produced an interesting information sheet on the possible reasons as to why children with autism may chew different items. Follow the link below for more information. If you would like any further information on sensory needs, borrow one of the many useful resources  in the SNAP library or to discuss your own child’s sensory needs with a SNAP adviser please call the SNAP Centre.

Contact a Family – new holidays booklet - 

Contact a family have released their new information booklet called Holidays, Play and Leisure for families who have a child with a disability. 

Brentwood Instructability - 

A free course designed to train people with a learning disability as fitness instructors is coming to The Brentwood Centre in December. For more information or to apply visit the website - http://www.aspire.org.uk/11instructability.aspx

Rainbow Rural Centre – Social Enterprise - 

Rainbow Rural is a social enterprise based at Sallet’s Farm aiming to give education and experiences to people with a disability throughout the year, including conservation, woodland skills, farm and animal care, growing fruit and vegetables and photography. For more information visit their website: www.rainbowrural.co.uk 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings - 

Dimensions has information on autism friendly cinema screenings and the cinemas local to you who are participating. Visit their website for further information and sign up to receive new information on films: http://www.dimensions-uk.org/support-services/autism-care/autism-friendly-screenings/ 

Dimensions – Buddies Go Camping - 

Buddies is a support service for children and young people with a learning disability and autism. Their Go Camping events are inclusive weekend breaks where the children get to take part in new and exciting activities and spend time developing relationships with their peers. For more information visit their website: http://www.dimensions-uk.org/dimensions-buddies/buddies-go-camping/

 


 

 

July

InterAct 18+ Summer Programme

InterAct has a wide range of fun, leisure and social activities for people aged 18 to 30 years from July to September.

Mushroom Theatre Company Holiday Workshops

The Mushroom Theatre Company is holding some summer holiday sessions. The sessions are mixed ability for children, young people and adults. 

Papworth Trust Holiday Sessions

The Papworth Trust has some summer sessions for young people with additional needs, running from Monday 28th July to Friday 29th August.

Relaxed Performance of War Horse - 


On Saturday 20th September at 2pm the National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse will hold a relaxed performance at the New London Theatre.

Essex SEND Reforms

Essex County Council has produced an information sheet on the new SEND reforms, providing information on the Essex Local Offer, the transition into the new Education Health & Care Plans, Personal Budgets and post 16 years provision. 

Funky Willows Summer Programme

Funky Willows will be hosting a range of activities over the summer for children and young people with a learning difficulty and/or disability.  

Free Taster Events at Seevic College

Seevic College is holding some events throughout the year, free of charge, giving the opportunity to see what student life is really like. 

Air Travel with Oxygen

Our recent SNAP Summer Survival Guide gives information and tips on travelling with a child who has additional needs. ELF (European Lung Foundation) gives a comprehensive directory to airline policies regarding air travel with oxygen. 

Visit the website for further information: http://www.europeanlung.org/en/lung-disease-and-information/air-travel/airline-index/


UKABIF 6th Annual Brain Injury Conference 2014

The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum will be holding their 6th Annual Conference on Thursday 27th November 2014 at The Royal College of General Practitioners in London. 

Changes to Statements 2014 – FACE

FACE has been working with Essex County Council and has agreed some principles which form the basis of a draft conversion plan for children and young people who already have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. FACE would like comments (good and bad) about these principles and the draft plan by 31st July. 

The Gates Summer Project

The Gates Horticultural Project will be holding an art workshop on 6th August for adults aged 18+ with a learning difficulty. They will also be holding their annual BBQ and open day on 3rd August. For more information contact Mary on 07887 742622.

NAS Conference – Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum

The NAS is holding a 1 day conference on Friday 29th October, discussing the diagnosis and support for women and girls with autism. Click here for more information or to book your place.

John Clements Talk at Accuro

To celebrate Accuro’s 30th Anniversary they will be holding a free event on Wednesday 22nd October in Harlow. John Clements, clinical psychologist, will be talking about his work within the field of autism. Places are limited, email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 01279 433117 to reserve a place.


Essex Carers’ Network – change to future services

Essex Carers’ Network is looking for people to help them who may be caring for a disabled family member who is either an adult or moving towards adulthood who may be interested in sharing their views and experiences to influence future services. 

Ticket 2 Tokyo - Paralympic Tennis in 2020

UK Sport’s Tennis Foundation is looking for sporty and active individuals who are able to learn new skills under the guidance of elite level coaches. 

Accessible Performances with Unicorn

Unicorn, the UK’s theatre for young people is offering shows that are accessible to everyone, adapting a number of performances to suit the needs of audience members.

 

 


 

 

June

Starburst Ball - 

The Starburst Summer Ball is on 10th July at Ashwells Country Club. Click here for the flyer.

Papworth Trust Funded Breaks - 

Papworth has reopened applications for a funded break at Kerry Farm between January-July 2015. Click here for more details

BOSP Summer Sessions (up to 18 years old) - 

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) are advertising their sessions for those aged up to 18yrs for July to September 2014. 

Click here for Big BOSP

Click here for Saturday Club

Click here for Holiday Club

BOSP 18+ Summer Sessions (for over 18 years old) - 

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) are advertising their sessions for those 18yrs+ for July to September 2014. 

Click here for Big BOSP

Click here for Saturday Club

Click here for Chill Zone

Brightlives Open Day - 

Brightlives offers support for adults with learning disabilities. A fun filled day of performances, craft stalls, nibbles and special guests. Click here for the flyer.

The Disability Rocks Festival 2014 - 

The festival will be held at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning on Saturday 28th June. Click here to find out more and to book tickets.

New Benefits Checklist for Parents - 

Contact a Family has updated their benefits checklist for parents. Click here to view.

Frontline Summer School - 

Frontline are offering a series of food related workshops, click here for further information. 

All Ability Day for Disabled Children - 


Essex Outdoors is offering an opportunity for children and young people aged 8-18yrs with a disability to try a range of exciting activities including archery, climbing, swimming and trampolining. Click here for more information and to book spaces.

Sarah Hendrix Autism Conference - 

An opportunity to see Sarah Hendrix who appeared on the BBC Horizon program ‘Living With Autism’. Sarah will be discussing Autism Spectrum, Friendships and Relationships. For more information click on this link - http://www.autismoxford.org.uk/index.php/events

Upwards with Downs Fun Day - 

Upwards with Downs is a support group for families with children and young people with Down Syndrome. They are having a Fun Day on Sunday 27th July at The Link in Harlow. Visit their website for more information – http://www.upwardswithdowns.com/

 

 



 

May

Try a Train Day –

Essex Travel Training is collaborating with C2C Rail and OIL (Options for Independent Living) to offer people with additional needs the chance to ‘Try a Train’ on Tuesday 10th June.  See flyer for details of how to register for more information about this event.

Be Free Festival –

Organised by Paradigm, this festival for people with and without learning disabilities will be held at  Gilwell Park Scout Activity Centre in Chingford E4 from 5pm on 16th September to 12.30pm on 18th September.  See flyer for details.

Mencap Planning for the Future –


Seminars during June in the East and London regions on how to make a suitable will or set up a trust to provide for someone with a learning disability.  See website for details http://www.mencap.org.uk/what-we-do/wills-and-trusts/planning-future-events#June

The Autism Show –


At ExCel, London on 13th-14th June.  See flyer for details.  

Inclusive Party Nights –


For adults with a learning or physical disability on Monday nights in Chelmsford.  See flyer for details.

Transition Event in Birmingham - 


Hosted by Progress Magazine, this free one-day exhibition explores all aspects of the move into adulthood for young people with additional needs and their families.  See flyer for details.

Colchester Zoo Special Senses Day –


On Saturday 21st June 2014.  See website for details http://colchester-zoo.com/explore/events-calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2014/06/21/14/-/special-senses-day

The Undateables –


The makers of this documentary series on Channel 4 are looking for people who might be interested in taking part in the fourth series.  See flyer for details.

Oak View Transition Event –


An afternoon transition market place event on 3rd July at Oak View School in Loughton.  See flyer for details.

Mencap Guide to Transition - 


A useful guide looking at the process of transition into adulthood for young people with learning disabilities.  Click here to view the guide. 

 

 

 


 

 

March

Autism Awareness Event –

Pact for Autism in Harlow is hosting ‘Living with AS and ADHD’.  Click here for a flyer...

Essex Mencap Open Meeting –

To launch their new Family Support Service.  Click here for a flyer...

Fun United Holiday Club –

Papworth Trust has a holiday club programme at locations across Essex for Spring break.  Click here for a flyer...

Relaxed performances at Unicorn Theatre –

The Velveteen Rabbit, Friday 4th April at 10.30am and Saturday 12th April at 11am.  See the website for details https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/21/the-velveteen-rabbit?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0

The Allergy & Free From Show –

At Olympia, London, 4th to 6th July 2014.  See website for details http://www.allergyshow.co.uk/london/london-home.php?utm_campaign=AFF+2014%3A+Launch+%28Bronze%29+%28revised%29&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=

I’M IN Trampolining Taster Event –

An opportunity for disabled people aged 11+ to try trampolining in Brentwood.  Click here for a flyer...

I’M IN Gymnastics Taster Event –

An opportunity for disabled young people aged 11 to 17 to try gymnastics in Basildon.  Click here for a programme of events...

Communication for Today Event –

Accuro in Harlow is running a day of workshops for parents.  Click here for a flyer...

Break with Mates –

Opportunities in Southend for disabled young people aged 16 to 25 to go out with their friends and meet new people.  Click here for more details...

Essex Dance Theatre - 

Soundbeam Easter School 2014 for young people with learning disabilities. Click here for a flyer...

First Safe Journey and Better Journey Cards - 

For people with disabilities who travel on trains and buses. Click here to view the website...

Mencap Essex Me Time - 

Programme of opportunities in Mid Essex for adults with a learning disability. Click here for a flyer...

Mencap 10 Week Tennis Course in Braintree - 

For adults with learning disabilities. Click here for a flyer...

Carers UK Benefits Guide - 

Carers UK downloadable guide to benefits for carers and the people they look after. Click here for the guide...

Mersea Island Festival 2014 - 

Inclusive adventure camping breaks in August. Click here for the flyer and booking form...

PECS SoSAFE! Workshops - 

PECS UK is running a new workshop in London called SoSAFE! It is a programme designed to promote social safety for people with moderate to severe intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder. Click here for a flyer...

One-Stop Housing Shop - 

The One-Stop Housing Shop assists people with a learning disability by supplying leaflets and information on housing services and opportunities at The Hermitage, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, Essex. It is open on the second Monday of every month from 11am to 2pm. For more information contact Martin Gibson on 07506 822473.

GetWellEssex.com - 

For local health advice and to find the right NHS service to treat you. Click here for the website...

Disability4Sport - 

Free Sunday sport sessions in Colchester. Click here for the flyer...


 

February

Sibs Support - 

www.sibs.org.uk is a UK charity representing the needs of siblings of disabled children and adults. It is a great source of support for parents and the siblings themselves. 

Cash In Your Pocket - A free family budgeting workshop on Monday 24th February at 12.30pm in Brentwood. See flyer for details.

Buddy/Befriender Wanted - A young male buddy for an 11year old boy in the Wickford area, to support his leisure activities at home during weekends. See flyer for details and please contact SNAP to arrange contact with the family. 

Parenting in the Digital Age - The Parent Zone has developed a new programme to help parents to apply their parenting skills to the online world. Visit the website for support and information - http://www.pitda.co.uk/

Tony Attwood Conference - 

An opportunity to see Professor Tony Attwood speak at a conference in Oxford in April 2014. See the website for details http://www.autismoxford.org.uk/index.php/events/details/prof-tony-attwood-dr-michelle-garnett-on-aspergers-autism1

Progress Magazine - 

The latest edition is now available to collect from The SNAP Centre - www.progressmagazine.co.uk

Tunnels - 

Harlow Playhouse has a very special performance on 25th March at 6.30pm, which is a unique adeventure for teenagers with profound and multiple learning disabilities. See the flyer for details and tickets can be booked through the Box Office on 01279 431945.

Library Volunteers - 

Essex Libraries are looking for volunteers aged 14 and over to help with the Summer Reading Challenge during the summer holidays.  It’s a great way for young people to gain new skills and it’s also excellent for CVs.  Volunteers will be helping children to join the challenge, talking to them about the stories they are reading and giving them their stickers and medals. Training will be provided.  Volunteers just need to commit to a minimum of 15 hours of volunteering between 19 July and 1 September. Application forms are available in libraries or from the Essex Libraries website, Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer page. The closing date is Friday 23 May 2014. For more information: Contact: Apryl Hammett, Chelmsford Library. Telephone: 01245 492 758 Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Starburst - 

Starburst is a night of club music for those with and without a disability.  Ashwells Country Club in Brentwood on 6th March 2014, 7pm to 10pm.  See flyer for full booking details.

DIAL Basildon & South Essex - 

DIAL Basildon & South Essex is holding an outreach advice surgery at Brentwood Library on Thursday 27th February from 11am to 3pm.  See flyer for details.

Communication Courses - 

Adult Community Learning is offering daytime and evening courses at venues throughout Essex on all forms of communication such as Makaton, Signalong, BSL and Inclusive Communication.  See flyer for details.

Inclusive Communication Essex – 

Sharing Day 2014 – for parents, carers and anyone involved with people with learning disabilities.  There will be a selection of workshops and speakers – see the website for more information and to book a place http://www.essexice.co.uk/news/sharing-day-2014.aspx

Music is Magic - 

Southend Mencap presents a spectacular concert featuring students, schools and colleges from The Music Man Project.  See flyer for details.

Funky Willows - 

Funky Willows is an evening/weekend and holiday provision in the Upminster area for teens and young adults who are still at school or college.  Click here for a half term flyer and here for the February activities programmes.

Weighted Blanket for Sale - 

A SNAP family is selling a nearly new and unused weighted blanket made by ‘South Paw’, 4.5kg (10 lbs) in weight, 152cm x 152cm.  £50.  Please contact SNAP to be put in touch with the parent.

CAMHS Stakeholder Engagement Events - 

Have your say at this event focusing on changes to the service model for delivering Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across Essex.  Agencies in Essex have been working to redesign the model for provision for children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health needs.  They now want to seek views that the redesigned model reflects the feedback they have had over the years about the changes needed to improve the service. Click here for a flyer and here for the survey.

Athletics Championship for Young Disabled People - Eastern Region Athletics Championships for disabled people aged 9 to 19 with either physical, visual or hearing impairment, or learning disability.  See flyer for details.

 


 

January 2014

Future Focus (ecdp) -

Ecdp is hosting ‘Future Focus’ groups in partnership with Healthwatch Essex.  Each event will allow young people with disabilities to share their experiences of living with a disability in Essex.  Paralympian Louise Hunt will be attending all of the events to share her own story of success. See the ecdp website for more details...

Hft Family Carer News Digest -

The Hft Family Carer News Digest (Winter Edition) covers national news affecting family carers and is available to view here...

Dance Decoded -

Dance Decoded is a dance organisation run by Emmeline Harris in Brentwood, for anyone who wants to dance and exercise in a fun and friendly environment.  The classes include Pilates and dance and are accessible to all.  Emmeline has experience of working with people with learning and physical disabilities.

Transition Plan Checklist –

The National Autistic Society has produced an information sheet to assist with drawing up the transition plan as your young person approaches adulthood.

Learning Disabilities Conference -

Capita Conferences’ National Learning Disabilities Conference on Thursday 30th January in London, will address the key issues affecting services and outcomes for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges.  Topics will include the implications of the forthcoming Care Bill, the ongoing lessons following the Winterbourne View report and Welfare Reform.  Click here for further information…

Essex SEND Strategy -

This year all Local Authorities will be implementing the reforms from the Children and Families Bill.

In response to the changing legislation for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Essex County Council has developed a five year strategy and has now published its Strategy for Children and Young People aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disability 2014-19, which is available on the council’s website, please click here...

Take it to the top? - 

If you have any comments to make about services across South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, there are a series of meetings taking place across all SEPT localities during February and March.  See the flyer for details…


December 2013

Young People's Guide To The Special Educational Needs Code Of Practice - 

The Council for Disabled Children has worked with the Department for Education and the Department of Health to write guides for young people who would like to know more about the draft Code of Practice.  The consultation period with young people has finished, but the guide for 16 to 25 year olds gives information about the key issues discussed in the draft Code of Practice and also includes information about preparing for adulthood.

Be Safer Essex - 

This website aims to help people with a learning disability in Essex to keep safe 

Hft Resources -

Hft is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities throughout England and holds a range of resources that may be helpful for family carers, including a regularly updated guide to benefit changes 

Self Directed Support User Group - 

This is a user led group in Havering for people who are in receipt of Direct Payments and Personal Budgets, or are considering their options to arrange and manage their own support to live independently.  The group is working in partnership with Havering Association for people with Disabilities and supported by Havering council and meets in Romford every six weeks.  Information advice, support and assistance is available by appointment.  Contact the SDS User Group Coordinator Maddie on 01708 476554, or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christmas Survival Guide - 

For tips and ideas that may help over the Christmas period, please take a look at the Christmas Survival Guide.


November

Transfer of young people turning 16 onto PIP is delayed in most parts of the country -

In a last minute announcement, the Department for Work & Pensions has amended the timetable for moving Disability Living Allowance claimants turning 16 onto Personal Independence Payment.

Easy on the "i" -

‘Easy on the i’ is the information design service within the Learning Disability Service at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The service specialises in producing easy to understand information. There are free downloadable resources on the website including a useful ‘About Me’ booklet that can be completed to help support staff to understand a young person’s care and support needs during day time activities. 

Just Look and Cook -

If your young person enjoys cooking, or needs to learn how to make simple meals, you may be interested in the resources from ‘Just Look and Cook’. The text free cookbook contains simple, economical and nutritious recipes that are presented to the user through a series of photographs. Each recipe includes a detachable shopping list and uses everyday ingredients and basic kitchen equipment. 

Dobson's Choice -

Dobson’s Choice is an online ‘search engine’ for people with learning disabilities. It enables people who have difficulty reading to search for websites that are interesting, relevant and accessible, by using pictures and audio description. It is possible to refine the search to Essex contacts. 


October

The Gates Newsletter - Non-profit making horticultural project for vulnerable adults.

Big BOSP - Activity Sheets for October to December 2013 for young people aged 18+ years.

Essential Living Fund Grant Scheme - A scheme to help vulnerable people live as independent a life as possible in the community.

Essential Living Fund Process & Support - Simple flyer explaining the process and support offered by the Essential Living Fund.

Funky Willows - Flyer containing a list of activities available during the October Half Term run by Funky Willows.

Progress Magazine - The latest Progress Magazine.

Transition Event in association with Progress Magazine - A conference and exhibition event for professionals supporting young adults with additional needs through transition.

Game Console Adaptations - Useful website with adaptations to computer games consoles to make them more accesible to all.

Reachout Essex Newsletter - The latest Reachout Essex Newsletter for people with learning disabilities.


September

Access Anyone - Fully accessible day centre in Leigh-on-sea. Flyers with facilities, activites and prices.

Break With Mates - Social activities for 16 - 25year olds including day trips and social evenings.

Outreach CM1 - Chelmsford Mencap has launched a new social care service for young adults with complex learning disabilities.

Personal Independence Payment - Half day session looking at helping family carers with applying for Personal Independence Payments.

Channel 4 - The Undateables - Flyer for Channel 4's third series of "the Undateables".

May

Update

An Introduction to ADHD - 

SNAP is hosting a talk by Steve from ADHD+ Support group to introduce and discuss the condition of ADHD, how it affects individuals, plus more.  He will also answer questions after the talk.

Zinc Arts Summer School –

Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar is running a programme of activities for young people and adults who are disabled, learning disabled or mental health service users. The summer school runs from 12th July to 1st September for ages 14+.  See flyer for details.

BOSP Summer Schedules –

BOSP in Billericay has now released its summer activity schedules.  New for this summer are the Come & Swim sessions in Pioneer School’s hydrotherapy pool.  Carers are required to stay on site and must be responsible for changing their young person.  Contact BOSP for a full list of activities.  http://www.bosp.co.uk/home.php

Sports Fest 2016 –

The Brentwood Leisure Trust is running a programme of events on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July, giving everyone an opportunity to try new sports.  There is a variety of inclusive activities and also sports such as wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball, soft archery and Trailnet accessible bikes.

Autism Oxford Event –

Anxiety Vs Happiness and Wellbeing: Two sides of the same issue in autism & Asperger’s? – Saturday 18th June, featuring Sarah Hendrickx.

Inclusive Cycling at Thorndon –

Trailnet is running a series of inclusive cycling taster sessions at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood throughout the summer.  See flyer for details.

Autism Hero Awards –

Anna Kennedy Online charity has launched the Autism Hero Awards 2016.  Nominations are now being taken to celebrate the excellence taking place in the world of autism.

Reading Well Scheme –

Local libraries are supporting a new scheme to help young people aged 13 to 18 years to understand their mental health and wellbeing using recommended reading.

Fun United –

Papworth Trust is running a holiday scheme at its Fun United youth clubs across Essex during the summer, for young people aged 11 to 19 years.

National Advisory Group –

The Council for Disabled Children and KIDS are recruiting for a national group of young people with SEN and disabilities aged 14 to 25 to advise on young people’s participation.  See website for details 

Temple Grandin Free Webchat –

Network Autism is hosting a free live web chat with Temple Grandin on Friday 3rd June. 

Volunteers’ Week The Big Celebration –

An event in Brentwood library on Friday 10th June to find out about volunteering opportunities.

U Matter 2 –

Support, wellbeing and up-skilling activities for carers from this Hamelin Trust project.

Carers Week –

From 6th to 12th June, Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.  They are asking for carers to recommend organisations, services and employers who are already ‘carer friendly’.  See website for details.

Heart of Gold Care Vacancies –

This new domiciliary care agency in Billericay is recruiting a Care Manager and Care Assistants.

 

 

What Next? Event –

SNAP is hosting this unique event on Wednesday 25th May from 5pm to 7pm, to enable parents and their young people aged 16+ to gather information and find out about the services available to them for their future. 

 

Lions Mid-summer Sports Day –

A fun festival for disabled people in Benfleet on Saturday 18th June.  

Brave the Rage Workshops –

These workshops in Brentwood are aimed at parents, carers and professionals and look at challenging behaviour in children. 

Family Fun Day –

The Children’s Society is holding a Family Fun Day at Danbury Essex Outdoors on Friday 29th July. 

East Anglian Autism Information Day –

Autism Anglia is holding their annual event offering workshops, networking and information marketplace on Thursday 9th June in Colchester. See their website for details and how to book a place. 

Microsoft UK Recruitment Project –

A pilot programme has rolled out in the UK to hire staff with neurodiverse conditions including autism spectrum disorders for full-time Microsoft positions.  See website for details.

Hft Holiday Information Guide –

This annual holiday guide has been updated with information to help people with learning disabilities and those closest to them to choose a holiday. 

Essex Outdoors Summer Opportunities –

For details of a summer programme of outdoor opportunities for children and young people with disabilities living in Essex County Council areas. 

Learning Disabilities Summer Courses –

ACL (Adult Community Learning) is offering a variety of courses over the summer for people with learning disabilities.