Exciting Opportunities For You and Yours!

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Hi there! It's the last weekend of the half-term - not sure if that makes you happy or sad?! So make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up, and read all about some exciting opportunities for you and yours!
Thanks and best wishes,  Caroline Temple-Bird, Chair, Bristol Parent Carers

Want a paid job as the Council's Local Offer Officer?
Job Advert out now - Closing Date 28th Feb 2017
Contact: Bristol City Council via the job advert

If you recall Bristol Parent Carers worked with the Council to develop the Findability website so that all the information that parent carers need would be in one place. Then we worked with them again to make Findability the site for Bristol's Local Offer. The first Local Offer Officer was the dynamic parent carer Nakita Singh (a former BPC rep!) who has worked wonders with the site to make it more user-friendly, informative and responsive  - click here to view Findability..

Now Nakita has been promoted, and the Council wants to replace her - preferably with another parent carer who understands our needs. So if you're creative and want to continue the good development work already started - look here for the job advert (scroll to the bottom of the first page) and apply! 

The post involves linking with BCC staff, parent/carers, young people, NHS organisations, and voluntary sector organisations, to develop and deliver the Local Offer, and the SEND reforms in Bristol.
Have a child under 5 who uses a wheelchair? 
Try out a fun Wizzybug on loan!
Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The charity Designability loan out fun, powered wheelchairs called Wizzybugs to disabled children under 5. They designed them when they realised that there was little in the way of suitable powered mobility for this age group. They fundraise so that families do not have to cover the cost of having one for as long as their son or daughter will benefit. 

Perhaps your child could get a lot of independence, confidence and freedom of movement from a Wizzybug! They are available for children aged 14 months – 5 years old who have limited or no mobility. So far, they have gone to boys and girls with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and spinal muscular atrophy, as well as to children who have amputations following an illness.

More information about how to get one is available on their website http://www.wizzybug.org.uk or parents can call Fiona Cromwell on 01225 824103 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Have a child/young person who uses a residential special school or college
Respond to Christine Lenehan's call for evidence by 17 March 2017
Respond by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Dame Christine Lenehan’s Review into the care and treatment of children and young people with complex needs (and behaviour that challenges) involving mental health problems and learning disabilities and/or autism has just been published. The full report can be found here http://bit.ly/2kj0XTs. The review, called These Are Our Children, is calling for urgent action at a national level to prevent these children being institutionalised at an early age, at huge cost to the taxpayer and with low ambitions for improving their lives. 

In response to one of her recommendations, the Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, has asked Dame Christine Lenehan to also conduct another independent review looking at the outcomes and experiences of children and young people attending residential special schools and colleges

Dame Christine has launched a call for evidence and is asking for contributions from a wide range of people including parents and carers. The call for evidence is available here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/special-educational-needs-and-disability-division/lenehan-review/. Please focus on answers to the following questions:

  • How did you find the process of getting a residential place?
  • Are you happy with your child's residential placement?
  • Are you supported to keep in touch with your child?
  • What outcomes would you like to see from this placement?

Have a child/teenager with ASD?
Here's a chance to join a youth club
Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The National Autistic Society Out of School Clubs provide a safe environment where children and young people on the autistic spectrum can come and develop friendships, try out activities and have fun. Their clubs are run by an experienced project leader and supported by a team of trained volunteers - please see this leaflet for eligibility, locations and timings.

Activities include cooking, sports and craft nights as well as trips out to the cinema or for a meal.  Each club has its own timetable of activities and children and young people are supported to take part and socialise. However free play opportunities are also offered to encourage children and young people to learn how to cope with unstructured play and to develop social skills with peers. All sessions are supervised by staff and volunteers - here is a poster for your young person..

There are still a few places available in all groups, and parents can self-refer or ask questions by contacting Cristina Imaguire by email or on Tel: 07771 808247.

Want to go cycling - all ages and abilities?
Bristol Family Cycling Centre, Hengrove, has the inclusive facilities to help you
View at: www.betterbybike.info/familycyclingcentre

The Bristol Family Cycling Centre has a wide range of all-abilities bikes and adult and child two-wheelers available to use and cycling instructors on hand to assist - see this leaflet. Every month it holds an Inclusive Cycling Session for disabled users to cycle with family and friends, on a Saturday afternoon between 1.30 and 3.30 - see their website for dates.
They also have a full timetable of sessions during the holidays. Many of these sessions – particularly the open sessions – are designed for disabled users and those with learning difficulties. The timetables are on their website. For more information, you can call the Centre on 01275 832800.

Have a young person 16-25 years old?
New social opportunity - first Phab club night on Tues 21st Feb from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phab is a national charity that organises social events for children and adults of all ages and abilities, transforms the lifes of disabled people, and changes attitudes towards disability - see its website www.phab.org.uk. Now University of Bristol student committee members have set up a Phab here. They are inviting people with disabilities aged 16-25 years to come along and have fun with Bristol University students of the same age, in an inclusive environment. There will be a diverse programme of activities such as film nights, arts and crafts or quizzes
and games. Of course, siblings and friends in the same age range are also welcome.

The first club night will be on Tuesday 21st February from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at the University of Bristol Multi-faith Chaplaincy, where activities planned include a quiz, making pancakes, board games and colouring. From there on the club will be fortnightly during University term time (7th and 21st March, 25th April, 9th May).

The University of Bristol students are very excited to start this club, and are keen to know who is interested in coming along. Please email them to show interest or ask any questions, and they can supply you with further information.

Have a young person/adult who may feel vulnerable when they go out and about?
Check out the Safe Places Scheme - also give your views by 24th February 
Contact: Andreas Mueller (Avon and Somerset Police Headquarters) Tel 01275 814856 ext 54856

Did you know that Avon and Somerset Police run a Safe Places Scheme which helps vulnerable people deal with any incident that takes place while they are out and about? Individual members of the scheme carry an “I need help” card with the details of a trusted contact. If they need help when they are out and about, they can go to any shop, business or other location that displays the Safe Place sticker on their window. By showing their card to Safe Place staff, they will get help - for more details and a map of Safe Places see their website.

Currently Avon and Somerset police are trying to improve the Safe Places scheme and would like some feedback from people that are likely to use it. They are looking at the publicity, application form, card, and other materials used in the scheme. Take a look at their consultation pack here and tell them your thoughts and ideas using this online survey by 24th Feb 2017.

The Out and About Consortium...

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The Out and About Consortium and BPC invite you to discuss evening, weekend, and holiday activity short breaks

One of the organisations that provides short breaks for children/young people with SEND in Bristol is the Out and About (OAA) Consortium. It is contracted by the Council to provide the evening, weekend, and holiday activity opportunities for 5-18 year olds. These are run by the OAA Consortium members:-

  •       WECIL
  •       Bristol Playbus
  •       Khaas
  •       The (Regional) National Autistic Society
  •       Time2Share

    The OAA Consortium and Bristol Parent Carers invite you to
    an Event to tell us what your child/young person needs.

    Come along to:
  1. Hear about all the different activities on offer and meet the short breaks providers
  2. Tell us your experience of using the OAA activities, and suggest any changes that would help you
  3. Inform us of other types of evening, weekend, and holiday activities that your child/young person would benefit from. 

This is important so that short breaks can improve and suit your child/young person's needs better.

There are 2 information & participation events with stalls, chat, food and refreshments on Monday 19th September 2016 at the MShed. Choose:-

  •      a daytime session running from 10am-1pm,      OR
  •      an evening session running from 5pm-7.30pm

Parents and carers are welcome to bring their young people and children with them.

Although it is not essential to book, to help with planning refreshments you are encouraged to use the Eventbrite booking link on the Out and About facebook page. You can contact Kate Young on 07795 446317 with any queries.

For details - please look at this flyer

Please share this information with any other parent carers you know or work with.

Our First Annual General Meeting

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Our First Annual General Meeting, 11th October 2016, 12 noon -1pm

Bristol Parent Carers became a Constituted organisation last year.

We are pleased to invite you to our first Annual General Meeting.

This will take place at the end of our bi-monthly Participation Steering Group meeting where we review our current work streams. So:-

  • Either join us as 12 noon just for the Annual General Meeting (AGM), with a light lunch.
  • Or come from the start of the meeting at 10.30am and observe what we get up to! 

The AGM is your chance to:-

  • Take part in the election of the Officer's Team - if you are a Voting Member
  • Hear brief reports on annual activities and accounts
  • Present any proposals or concerns you have - as motions to the AGM

Bristol Parent Carers is YOUR organisation. Members are:-

  1. All carers with parental responsibility for children/young people (0-25 years) with disabilities, special educational needs, and/or life-limiting conditions who live, or receive services, in the Bristol City Council area
  2. Any practitioners in the statutory and voluntary sectors who work with and/or on behalf of parent carers in Bristol
  3. Any volunteers and staff who help BPC.

Voting Members are those actively engaged with the running and operation of BPC, ie. our trained representatives, helpers, staff, and the stakeholders invited to our Steering Group meetings.

Any of you can become a Voting Member - just contact us to find out how, or look at our Constitution.
For all details of the meeting and how to book - please look at this flyer

The AGM reports and nomination papers will be sent out to all attendees beforehand - so it is essential that you book. 

Please share this with any other parent carers you know or work with.

Thank you - Caroline Temple-Bird, Chair

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