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Useful links and information..

Not sure who to contact for support?

There is so much to know about what help is out there, here is some useful links to pages, that our members would recommend to other families.


“The SENDIASS team are based in an incredibly busy office in Easington Colliery and their small team cover the whole of County Durham. They have five incoming telephone lines and a team of four staff.  During the busiest weeks of term, they take up to 200 calls a week from parents/carers.  Each call can last between 10 and 50 minutes, depending on the query.  They are three officers, Elaine, Lisa and Chris and their office manager is Ann. There are times when the officers are all out in the community, supporting parents at school meetings for example.  There are times when they are all in the office  answering phones, and the fifth phone line is repeatedly ringing. Equally, it’s impossible for them to attend every school meeting when asked to attend, so they operate a Red, Amber, Green system for meetings and other requests.

RED: meetings take priority as there may be some kind of crisis involved, or a parent/carer may desperately need the support.

GREEN: meetings might be something like a TAF or school update meeting which they may then be unable to attend if a Red meeting comes in for the same time and day. They have to priorities incoming requests in order to manage the massive workload and need across the County. 

Durham SEND Information Advice and Support Service provide information on:

  • how special educational needs are identified and assessed by educational settings and the local authority.

  • who parents and young people can talk to in a school or Durham County Council or Local Authority about their concerns.

  • the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25, the statutory assessment process and Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan).

  • parents/carers and young person’s rights and responsibilities.

  • meetings and reviews about a child’s or young person’s needs.

  • how progress is monitored and reviewed.

  • what parents can do if they are not happy with a decision made about their child’s SEND.

  • what young people can do if they are not happy with a decision made about their child’s SEN

Durham and Darlington Disability Leisure Group (DADLG)

'To provide sports, leisure and social opportunities for children and young people with disabilities living within Durham and surrounding areas.'

Dadlg have a fundamental belief that leisure is an important part every young person’s life and is vital to the process of human development. It provides a mechanism for individuals to explore the world around them and a medium through which skills are developed and practiced.

They arrange group activities such as, coach trips to Lego discovery, sea life center, bowling, pantomime, zoo, hall hill farm and so much more...

Family fund

We help families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. You can apply to Family Fund if:

  • You live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales (Please note: If you are a family living in Wales, please visit our Wales application pages to apply.)

  • You are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 0-17 who lives with you

  • You are currently living in the UK and done so for at least six months, or three months if your child is less than six months old. You are eligible to work and apply for public funds

  • Your child is not in Local Authority care

  • You have evidence of entitlement to any one of the following:

        • Universal Credit

        • Child Tax Credit

        • Working Tax Credit

        • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

        • Income Related Employment Support Allowance

        • Income Support

        • Housing Benefit

        • Pension Credit.

    • Your child or young person has additional support needs arising from a long term disability or disabling condition or a serious or life limiting illness. By long term we mean lasting or likely to last 12 months or more.

    You must meet all Family Fund eligibility criteria in order to be considered for a grant if you are unsure please ring up and they will be willing to advise you

    Durham and Darlington county carers

    Durham and Darlington County Carers Support offers a variety of different services to local carers.

    We can work with you to help you find the information you need to care for someone and can inform you about other services to help you look after yourself. We can provide:

    • Information and Advice

    • Help with accessing and completing benefit and grant forms

    • Carer Breaks

    • Carer Support Groups

    • Counselling

    • Training

    • A Chance to have your say

    The Carer Break Scheme can help you take a breaks' from your caring role. The scheme is funded by the NHS and is aimed at improving your health and wellbeing.

    We can offer lots of different ways to help you take a break, including Complementary Therapy, Spa day, Cinema Voucher, Theatre Voucher, Annual Beamish Pass, Gardening Equipment, Gym Membership, Craft Materials, Football Tickets and much more.

    If you haven’t accessed the breaks scheme in the last few months and are feeling that you would benefit from a break from your caring role please contact us at Durham County Carers Support.

    Here are some of the pictures that we have been sent from Carers who have been baking knitting, crocheting, drawing and card making.  To find out more about Carer breaks contact your Carer Support Co-ordinator by calling 0300 005 1213

    Learning Library

    We support over 550 members, most of whom use our valuable outreach service.  Our members can borrow specialist equipment, actitvity items, games, jigsaws, toys, musical instruments and specialist sensory equipment some of which may be beyond the reach of the average family budget.

    We also provide discovery boxes which contain themed items relating to particular topics and travel bags which allow members to experience different countries.

    All toys and equipment are checked and cleaned upon return to the library and all electrical equipment is PAT tested on return so that you can be assured that all items you receive are in a clean safe condition.

    A selection of items available can be viewed on our gallery or via our Facebook page.  Alternatively we can provide you with a free CD Rom or you can ask your outreach worker to view our photographic catalogue.

    How to become a member

    Many individuals are referred to us by family workers or health care professionals.

    We are also happy to accept self referrals from families and group organisations (Including Schools, Day/Residential Services, Child Minders and Private Nurseries).

    CEA Card

    The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

    The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

    The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, cinema staff should make them for you whether you have a CEA Card or not.

    The Card is developed by UKCA’s Disability Working Group, whose members include film exhibitors and distributors, and national disability charities such as Action on Hearing Loss, the RNIB, Dimensions and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

    You will need to provide evidence for the card holder of one of the following:

    • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    • Attendance Allowance (AA)

    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

    • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

    • Severely Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Registered Blind)

    • Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Partially Sighted)

    You will need to send a copy of the awarding letter from DWP or a statement confirming receipt of the allowance for the person requiring assistance(the card holder).

    This should be dated within the last 12 months.

    Alternatively, for Severely Sight Impaired (formerly Registered Blind) or Sight Impaired (formerly Partially Sighted) then please send a photocopy of registration for the person requiring assistance (the card holder).

    Please note that ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) or the Blue Badge on its own are not accepted as proof of eligibility.

    To apply, the person requiring assistance must be 8 years of age

    Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

    We offer a range of therapeutic services for children, young people and their families who experience moderate to severe emotional/mental health problems, including direct and indirect clinical work through consultation and training.

    Our Multi-disciplinary teams may include child psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, primary mental health workers and administrators. Services are provided by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Foundation NHS Trust.

    Referrals are accepted from children and young people, parents and carers, statutory and voluntary services.

    We have a single point of access for all referrals within County Durham, please contact them on Tel: 0300 123 9296

    CAMHS across County Durham and Darlington has a single point of access for referrals and self-referrals to CAMHS services.

    To contact the team please email or call 0300 123 9296.

    CAMHS bases are:

    North Durham CAMHS (covers Durham, Chester-le-Street, Consett and Stanley areas)

    North End House  
    42 North End                                                  
    DH1 4LW

    Tel: 0191 594 5770

    Chester-le-Street Health Centre
    Newcastle Road
    DH3 3UR
     Tel: 0191 333 6005

    Derwentside Child and Family Centre
    192 Medomsley Road                                        

    DH8 5HT

    Tel: 01207 216 400

    Easington CAMHS (covers Peterlee and Seaham areas)

    Winchester House                                       
    SR8 2RJ                                    

    Tel: 0191 288 8400

    South Durham CAMHS (covers Newton Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle areas)

    The Acley Centre                                               
    Carer’s Way, Off Burn Lane   
    Newton Aycliffe 
    DL5 4PE    

    Tel: 01325 529 520

    CAMHS crisis teams

    Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Crisis Team

    0191 4415733

    CAMHS crisis team is a team of nurses that responds to young people experiencing mental health crisis.

    Service operates 8am to 10pm, 7 days per week.

    Open to all young people up until their 18th birthday.

    Open referral system.

    Telephone: 0191 4415733

    I Know Someone Who Needs Help

    Call 111 anytime

    For children and young people aged under 35 and their families Call HOPELineUK on 08000 68 41 41

    Disability Living Allowence (DLA)

    You can make a claim for dla before a diagnosis, dla is based on NEED not diagnosis! if your childs needs are greater than a child of similar age its worth applying. you will need supporting evidence for health care professionals to back up your claim.

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

    • is under 16

    • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

    Usually, to qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children the child must:

    • be under 16

    • need extra looking after or have walking difficulties

    • be in Great Britain, another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland when you claim - there are some exceptions, such as family members of the Armed Forces

    • have lived in Great Britain for 2 of the last 3 years, if over 3 years old

    • be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

    • not be subject to immigration control

    The process is different in Northern Ireland.

    There are some exceptions to these conditions if the child is living or coming from another EEA country or Switzerland.

    Care component

    The rate the child gets depends on the level of looking after they need, for example:

    • lowest rate - help for some of the day or night £22.65 a week

    • middle rate - frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis. £57.30 a week.

    • highest rate - help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill. £85.60 a week

    Mobility component

    The rate the child gets depends on the level of help they need getting about, for example:

    • lowest rate - they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors is £22.65 a week

    • highest rate - they cannot walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or they’re blind, severely sight impaired is £59.75

    Carers Allowence

    You could get £64.60 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

    You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

    You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.

    The person you care for

    The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

    • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component

    • Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate

    • Attendance Allowance

    • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

    • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension

    • Armed Forces Independence Payment

    Your eligibility

    You must earn no more than £120 a week after tax and expenses. Expenses can include:

    • 50% of your pension contributions

    • some of the costs of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work

    All of the following must also apply:

    • you’re 16 or over

    • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone

    • you’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)

    • you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces

    • you’re not in full-time education

    • you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more

    • you’re not subject to immigration control

    You might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in another EEA country or Switzerland.

    You might be eligible for Carer’s Credit if you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

    little treasures private support page

    Little treasures also have a private page for parents/cares only. Its a safe place for parents carers to post wanting any advice or details on other services.

    please make sure you answer all 3 questions or you wont be accepted on to the page

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