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Updates from other organisations this month (January 2023)

January 26, 2023

  • UPDATED 27th JANUARY 2023 -



One of our young adult volunteers would like headteachers or other school leaders to respond to a survey

This survey is designed to gather data for the Resources for the Autism GLA research young Londoners funded project.

The research is led by two young researchers with lived experience and is trying to understand how youth services can help to improve accessibility within mainstream education and prevent exclusions and social isolation from occurring.

They hope that the findings can be key in building bridges and improving the inclusion of autistic young adults in mainstream education and mainstream social opportunities such as clubs.

Please answer the following questions as best you can:

Question 1:  Can you give us a percentage of the age range that accesses mainstream education without support in your setting versus those that do?

Question 2: To your best estimation, what is the average length of time that an autistic young person who has no EHCP stays in your school?

Question 3: To your best estimation what is the average length of time that an autistic young person who has an ECHP stays in your school?

Question 4: In what ways would you like to see current support for autistic young adults improve within mainstream education? What do you feel could make a difference for your school in terms for support for autistic young adults?

Question 5: In what ways would you like to see specialised youth services/autism charity sector, such as Resources for Autism provide support to mainstream education provisions to ensure a lesser rate of exclusion and accessibility struggles?

Question 6: Do you have funding currently in place for specialist support, if not, are you aware of any funding provisions that you would want to apply for if RFA could offer this support scheme?

Question 7: To the best of your knowledge, what mainstream and SEN schools do you know of that have the best reputation for working with autistic people, and in your experience do you think that autistic students thrive better with one to one support, or in groups?

Please send your answers to:

Thank you taking the time to answer these questions, if you would like to discuss the use of the data
provided by your answers and/or would like a copy of the final research report once finished please

Support for unpaid carers in Hounslow

Carers support

There is a free information and support session for all unpaid carers in Hounslow on Wednesday, 1 February. 
Harrow Carers Service is available for anyone in Hounslow who supports someone who is ill, frail, disabled, has a mental health issue or an addiction and cannot manage without your help. 
The team will be at Hounslow House on Wednesday, 1 February, between 10am and 2pm. They will be offering help with issues such as benefits and blue badge applications, access to counselling and how to manage stress and anxiety. 
One-to-one sessions are available or you can just drop-in.
For more information call: 0208 868 5224 or email:


Camp Jojo is a registered charity set up by people with first-hand experience of the joys and challenges faced when parenting a child with complex needs. Their aim is to support families of children with complex needs and disabilities to enjoy a totally accessible camping holiday and make new friends who understand their situation, as well as providing all the physical, emotional and practical support needed to make camping not just an experience but a relaxing break for the whole family. Watch their YouTube video for more information.

Family Applications for Camp Jojo 2023 are now open!! Please visit to apply. 
Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 19th February. 

All camps are held at Ivy Farm, Ivy Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, CO5 8US.

Dates for this summer are:
Friday 4th- Sunday 6th August
Tuesday 8th - Thursday 10th August
Friday 18th - Sunday 20th August
Friday 25th - Sunday 27th August
On the form you will be asked to list these in order of preference. 
If you have any questions about applying or would like support to complete the form, please email

Who is it for:   
Young adults with more severe learning disabilities
A SEN tutor from the Field Studies Council will facilitate a group of young people with more severe learning challenges and design an appropriate and fun programme.  This will enable these young people to come together to enjoy seasonal indoor and outdoor activities in a safe and controlled environment. There will be opportunity for a tea break!
Young people will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer.
The Stockyard Education Centre , Bushy Park, Hampton Court Road, TW12 2EJ
Pilot Session: Saturday 25 February 1.30 to 3.30 and thereafter bi weekly or monthly depending on interest.
£10.00 initially and thereafter to be discussed
How do I attend:
email Sue Robson at RUILS at


Bright Futures – Workshops, Events, Parent Groups


Decision Making  - Renaissance Legal (see below for more details)
When: Thursday 2 February 2023
Where: Online

Talking about the Toilet! with ERIC, Wednesday 1st March, 10am (online). Join this online workshop with ERIC to understand more about how the bowel and bladder work. This workshop is for parents of children with additional needs in Richmond and Hounslow borough Book here

Supported Living
A workshop for parents who have supported living for their young person on their radar in the future.  Sue Robson will present about parent commissioned supported living; Karl Burgess will talk about LA arrangements and we will also have Laura Harper from the commissioning team; a team leader and support worker from United Response will talk about supporting young people in supported living homes; and we hope to have another parent talk about their experience.  

This will be an informative workshop and we hope you will come ready with your questions and share any relevant experiences.

When: 10.30am to 1pm, Wednesday 8 February 2023
Where:  Peter and Paul Centre, Church Road, Teddington

Mencap Planning for the Future
Mencap run regular webinars about Planning for the Future – talking about financial arrangements, wills and trusts.  The webinars are delivered by different solicitors all who have experience in this complex area of law.  The next few webinars are:
7 and 21 February 2023
09, 16 and 23 March 2023

They all start at 10.30am and you can find the list of dates here:

Welfare Benefits – Renaissance Legal (see below for more details)
When: Wednesday 29 March 2023
Where: Online
I regularly promote webinars from 2 specialist legal firms – Renaissance Legal and M2M Solicitors – working with families of disabled and vulnerable people.  I will be listing their workshops in this document but you may want to have a look at their events pages as well.

Renaissance Legal
A specialist legal firm working with families and carers of disabled and vulnerable individuals, helping them plan effectively for the future with Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection applications and Inheritance Tax Planning.  As examples they usually use the scenario of a family with a disabled young person to illustrate the information they present.  They run 3 webinars on a regular basis:

Planning for the Future:  
Philip Warford will talk about the options available to protect a disabled or vulnerable person using specialist Wills and Trusts. He will explain how you can safeguard means tested benefits and how you can provide financial security for them, as well as the rest of the family.  Philip uses a family with a disabled young person as his example.

Decision Making:  
Philip Warford from Renaissance Legal will talk about the key principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection.  Philip uses a family with a disabled young person as his example.

Welfare Benefits:  
This is an overview of benefits available to disabled people and is a good introduction to the topic by an organisation with extensive experience.  

You will see events on this page that Renaissance are running for other organisations as well as their own webinars.  You can sometimes book on the events for other organisations but some are invite only.

M2M Community Solicitors
A well-established firm of solicitors with expertise in areas of law covering a wide range of personal, commercial and community based areas.  The founders started the firm to make a real difference in the community.

Their webinars go into a lot of detail about process.  

The organisation runs frequent – 2 to 3 a month – webinars about Planning for the Future.  You will have the opportunity to speak to a specialist solicitor as well as Mencap’s Wills and Trusts team.

You can click through to the events page here:

In addition to the Bright Futures workshops we have 4 parent groups.  If you would like to know more or join the mailing list for any of these groups just drop us a note and we will add you.

Social support for able young people
A group for parents of more able young people – who may not consider themselves disabled but who need support to interact with their peers and socialise.  

Supported Living Parent Group
The Supported Living parent group is for parents who have supported living on their radar.  You may not be planning a move just now but it’s something you see happening in the next few years at least and want to start getting to know more about it, meeting other parents on the same path and getting to know the young people.

Post 16 Maze Parent Group
The Post 16 Maze parent group is for parents of disabled young people age 16+ (or thereabouts) who would like the opportunity to meet other parents with young people around the same age to discuss relevant topics, share experiences and support each other.

For parents of young people looking at going to university to share information and experiences.  

We will be scheduling workshops throughout 2023 so please check with us for updates.  We will be happy to add you to the Bright Futures mailing list to ensure you get information about our workshops and other Bright Futures topics.

Please get in touch with Sue Robson, Bright Futures SEND Transitions Advisor or Tora Sykes, Children’s Services Administrator to join the Bright Futures mailing list or for further information.

Sue Robson:            Tora Sykes:

ADHD Embrace
Our upcoming events

Preparing for transfer to secondary school 2023 with Jonathan Rourke from SENDIASS
31st January 8PM
Jonathan will be explaining to parents the process of transferring from primary to secondary school and how best to navigate this so that parents can help their child. 
The webinar will also cover the things parents/carers of a child with ADHD should consider when selecting a secondary school, as well as the role of the SENCO in a senior school. 
Finally Jonathan will tell us a bit more about the Kids SENDIASS service for those who are not already familiar with what they offer. 

Post Diagnosis Workshop21st February 7:30PM - Online
Are you the parent or carer of a recently diagnosed child or teenager? Our Post Diagnosis Workshop is full of essential information to inform, help and empower you. These sessions are held monthly and we alternate in-person and on-line formats.

ASD parent/carer support group to be held at Grand Avenue Primary School, New Malden

Role Models is offering a free parent webinar on 'How to develop confidence in children' on Tuesday 28th February at 7.30pm,
Topic: 'How to develop confidence in children'
When: 28th February, 2023 07:30 PM [London]
A 45 minute online talk, followed by Q&A, exploring how to develop a child's confidence, nurture their curiosity and encourage a healthy responses to challenges. Throughout their childhood, children are building their internal picture of how they view themselves; their self-esteem, self-efficacy and mindset are being shaped. What can we do to positively impact these important life skills?

What you'll learn:

  • why confidence is such an important skill to develop in childhood;
  • what it means to be confident; and
  • 10 practical strategies for developing confidence in children.

Girls Connect talk Suzan Issa - course discount

Suzan Issa spoke at our recent Girls Connect online gathering. She is running a course called Understanding and Connecting with your Anxious Child and has offered our members a discount. The 7 week course is online on Monday lunchtimes starting in January. The code GCS50 will give you 50% off the fee.

Find out more and book here: 


Offersactivity days at the OSO in Barnes. Activities include a creative workshop, drama and art. 

If you would like to attend any sessions please email us at

RUILS has provided this summary of forthcoming inclusive activities and services that may be of interest to your young person, please click here for a comprehensive London-wide list. It highlights museum and theatre relaxed performances/events, how to get a CEA cinema card, plus lots of sporting activities.

ADHD Embrace


Join us at one of our forthcoming workshops:

CLUB OK - Music Therapy Group with OKMT - 18+
OKMT are running a music therapy group for adults (over 18s) with special educational needs and/or learning difficulties. These sessions are a great way to enjoy making music with others and develop both musical and communication skills.
What will happen in the music therapy group?
The main themes of the group are to work on improving communication and social skills and gaining more self-confidence. Above all, the group will allow for interaction and an opportunity to socialise with others. Everyone will be able to enjoy being creative and learning new musical skills.
Carmem Coles has worked with children and adults with a wide range of conditions, from learning disabilities, special needs, emotional and behavioural difficulties to dementia, both in Brazil and the UK. She has been working with OKMT for 20+ years.
Please call 07856 876968 or email Hana at for more information and to sign up.
When: Mondays 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Monday 9th January - 2nd April 2023
Where: Music Room, Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Parkshot Building, Richmond), TW9 2RE
Cost: £20 Registration Fee

The Wild Mind Project

The Wild Mind project support the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people through nature-focused interventions & creative activities in South West London. They have designed an intervention programme that not only that supports youth wellbeing, but connects young people to the natural environment and encourages creative activities at home. Importantly, the young people form a network of supportive new friends that will last well beyond the programmes.
They are offering free four week programmes for young people to strengthen their emotional wellbeing

At: Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick
Open to young people age 16-25 years

If a young person would like to book a place they can please complete Online Booking Form

If you would like any further information then please do contact them on 01273 230102 or email

New Young Carers Social Group in Hounslow

Arts Centre Hounslow and Our Barn have teamed up to start a young carers project on Thursdays after school.

This group hopes to become a fun and supportive environment for all secondary school age children who may benefit from social activities outside the home. 

Please contact to arrange participation

St Mary's University, Twickenham has a National Saturday Club focusing on Writing & Talking which gives 13–16-year-olds the opportunity to study subjects they love at their local university, college or cultural institution for free. A chance for young people to make friends, learn how to move and speak differently, grow in confidence, and apply these skills in their everyday lives. Priority places will be given to students with additional educational needs. Find out more and book here

A simple financial checklist from Mobilise

With the cost of living rising, we wanted to create something simple to ensure you’re accessing all the financial help you need right now.
So here it is - our Financial Checklist for carers. We’ve done the research and mapping for you which means no more wasted time searching around.

Information from Contact

Millions of households are missing out on cheaper broadband bills, according to figures released by Ofcom and analysed by money expert Martin Lewis.

Many broadband providers offer social tariffs for households on certain welfare benefits, such as Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Ofcom estimates that 4.2million homes are eligible for the cheaper rates. But only 136,000 are making use of the discount – losing on average £144 a year.

Visit Ofcom to read more about participating providers and what their eligibility criteria is.

More household bills help

We’ve got lots of information on our website about help with everyday costs.

You can also read more about government’s support for cost of living.

There is a new stay and play session for children with special needs and disablities age 0-5 at The Moor Lane Centre: see this leaflet for the details, it runs every Wednesday Morning 10am to 12pm during term time


GET SUPPORT: Attention parents of Year 6 children with EHC plans!

It's very important to be aware that choosing a school for a child with an EHC plan is dealt with differently and separately to the standard admissions process.

Webinar: How to claim the higher rate mobility (HRM) component of Disability Living Allowance for children with autism spectrum conditions or learning disabilities
Derek and Marian from Contact's Family Finance Team provide in-depth advice on how to claim the DLA higher rate mobility component for children with learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorders during a free webinar and Q&A with parent carers. View the webinar here and read the fact sheet from Contact here.


for children with Down Syndrome

for 5’s and under, 0930-1130am at the Yorda Playhouse, Devon Way, Chessington, KT9 2RJ


Here's an important up-to-date Universal Credit tip from Contact: 

When your child with special needs turns 16, they should make a credits-only claim for "new-style" Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Otherwise, they may not be able to claim Universal Credit as students later on.

Here's why:

Due to changes in the law, most disabled students who haven't established a limited capability for work (LCW) *before* starting an education course will NOT qualify for Universal Credit.

It is no longer possible to qualify for Universal Credit by establishing a LCW *during* a course.

Submitting a credits-only claim for new-style ESA will force the DWP to carry out a work capability assessment. This establishes whether your child is unfit for work.

By establishing a LCW early on, your child will be able to claim Universal Credit even if they stay in non-advanced education after turning 19 — or if they leave one course and start another.

That's why it is a good idea to undergo the work capability assessment when they turn 16. And by making a credits-only ESA claim, they can ensure this assessment takes place.

A credits-only claim won't lead to any actual ESA being paid. This means it won't impact on Child Benefit, tax credits, or any other benefits you get for them as a dependent child.

For more detailed information on this, visit our website

Get in touch if you have further questions

Action Atttainment:

Parent Detectives and Navigating Inclusion

Understanding neuro-diverse children with sensory & communication needs

  • Why Primary school years are critical to understanding a child's strengths and needs
  • Who helps us identify a child's learning profile, provides evidence of need and meaningful strategies for use at school & home?
  • How do we use a pupil passport to share inclusion strategies that support children to learn and achieve from school into work.

Explore the options at online workshops organised by Action-attainment CIC. 

Action-attainment CIC provides families and teachers with practical, evidence based inclusion strategies. We work with neurodiverse experts by experience, therapists and coaches to deliver active learning through sport, in the community and in schools. We believe partnership working between families and schools supports best outcomes for neurodiverse young people.

  • £16 guide price contribution to Action-attainment CIC's work
  • Free places and concessions are available on request,
  • Contact Tom for links to recordings of previous workshops.
  • The workshops are sponsored by Richmond Parish Lands.

Please contact Tom Silver on or 07517379158 for joining instructions, concessions or further information.


Have you heard about the new Spring School which will cater for autistic children at Moor Lane?

Spring School engagement events 

Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust has held engagement events as part of the Section 10 consultation for Spring School.

sign up for Ambitious About Autism's newsletter here:

Clothing and Girls with Autism  

We'd like to build a greater understanding of the role clothing has in the lives of young autistic girls.

Please fill out our short survey to share your views if:
  • you are an autistic girl aged 18 or under, or
  • you have a young autistic girl in your life (for example a friend, daughter or pupil).
The results will help inform a future programme that will support autistic children and young people.

Mobilise favicon

Five ways the fire service can help carers 
If the person we care for has mobility challenges, memory, hearing or sight loss (and even if they don’t), it can be helpful to read up on the fire safety support available. From free home fire checks and installing smoke alarms, to helping with escape plans, we’ve pulled together five ways fire services can help us and the person we care for.

Care & Repair is a home improvement agency specialising in disability adaptations. They help disabled people, including children, and vulnerable older people. The type of work carried out is wide ranging, including ground floor extensions, ramps, level access showers, stair lifts, door widening and kitchen adaptations, find out more on Care and Repair here.
They also provide a safer homes scheme for both adults and childrenWhere they carry out home safety, fire safety, security assessments and provide advice, literature and equipment, which we fit. This can include safety gates, cupboards catches and window restrictors. Find out more here.


We look forward to seeing some of you at our upcoming sessions. In the meantime keep an eye on the website for up to date information and new sessions available to book


Given these difficult times, Ruils has put together a Cost of Living Resource which you can find here:


The next live activities at the OSO will be on November 27th. If you would like to attend any sessions please email us at
please email or call us on 07444 881962


What we have learnt: Understanding Your Right of Appeal

Whenever you receive a decision from the local authority, you will be sent this document that tells you about your Right of Appeal. However at our recent Share to Care meeting, it was clear that not all parents understood the options available to them if they do not agree with a decision made by the local authority.Here is our guide to the steps involved if you want to appeal

1. Check the timelines. There are clear timelines for the Local Authority to issue a decision. If you have asked for a needs assessment they need to send this to you by a maximum of 16 weeks. If they have agreed to draft an EHCP, that draft should be issued within 16 weeks of the assessment. Once the draft has been agreed they have to issue the final EHCP within a further 4 weeks: overall the EHCP should be issued by a maximum of 20 weeks from the date they agree to assess. Here is a helpful fact sheet with more detail. 

2. Check the date The date of the decision letter is important whether it is regards to the needs assessment or an EHCP that has been issued, you have two months from the date of the letter to put in an appeal You can appeal any decision including the EHCP finalised and after the annual review.

3. Consider mediation Before putting in an appeal which will issue you with a tribunal date, you will need to speak to KIDS SEN Mediation who provide the pan-London mediation service. You will need to attend a meeting (on the phone) so that mediation is explained. Once you have attended the meeting, you can decide if you wish to mediate. This leaflet produced by the service explains the benefits of mediation. Whether or not you decide to go to mediation, you have to go through this initial process and be issued with a mediation certificate before you can launch any appeal
4. Seek help if you want

There are a number of places you may wish to seek help if you wish to challenge a decision. This can be useful whether you are going to mediation and/or you decide to appeal
  • SENDIASS is a free service that you can access for advice and information and can support you by phone - linked here is their website can give you more information about the services available 
  • There are a number of courses run by IPSEA so that parent/carers can understand the law:
  • There is a free helpline from SOSSEN! who help parents with these legal matters. We previously ran a series of events with Eleanor Wright from this charity.Catch up on her useful seminars here
  • There are also a number of other charities who run helplines and can provide general advice.(for example the National Autistic Society)
  • There are legal books available from the Kingston Parent/Carer forum - email us if you wish to borrow these
  • You can employ a legal professional: if you search for Education Advocate you will find a number of advocates work in this area - they can support you to put paperwork together, advise you next steps and write appeals and even attend the tribunal with you.

We will be looking to run an event shortly to share more information about the Right of Appeal. Please keep an eye of events and on our Facebook for more information.

What we have read

Our most popular links on our Facebook over the last few weeks are here:


SEND Minecraft group: places available!

From September 2022, Ruils is hosting an exciting new in-person group that allows young disabled people with an interest in Minecraft to meet up with peers who share this interest. 

We still have a number of places available for this group, which will facilitate play on a private server, allowing members to play together, engage with one another in a safe environment and help them to develop social skills and friendships.

To register, your young person must:
• Be disabled and/or have additional needs
• Be between 10-25 years old
• Live in Richmond, Kingston or Hounslow Borough
• Have some experience playing Minecraft
• Have Minecraft downloaded on their own device (laptop or tablet) that they can bring with them to sessions

This group will run fortnightly from 19th September

Family Matters workshops 

We have lots of workshops already in the diary. They are all free for parents in Richmond and Hounslow boroughs, so please do book a place if you are interested.  

If there are any topics you would like to see featured, please email with your suggestions.

Bright Futures workshops

Emergency Contacts

RUILS have provided the following information:


If you require support during this time the following contact details may be useful:
  • Call Single Point of Access, Richmond, to request support, or to report a concern about a child or young person:
  • Phone: 020 8547 5008 from 8am to 5.15pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 5pm on Friday.
  • During out of hours, phone 020 8770 5000.

Adult social care contact details for Richmond:

The Local offer contains lots of useful information about activities taking place for children and young people.


  • Hounslow Council 0-25 disability Team (Children's Health and Adult Services)
  • Phone: Call 020 8583 3082 /Duty no. 020 8583 3177


Express CIC - Supporting autistic young people to be themselves


(click on links above for further information)

EHCP Support and Guidance 
Peer support groups meet ups and virtual via Zoom and WhatsApp 
Mums Group 
Dads Group 
PDA Group 

Information, News, Events, Student Placements, Training and more. 

Support Groups

Express Mum's Group face to face meet-up is on 
3rd November 19.30-21.30pm 
Please email us on or to register. 

Express Dad's Group face to face meet-up is on 
9th November 19.30-21.30pm
Please email us on to register. 

Express PDA Group Zoom meet-up is on 
21st November 12.30-13.30pm 
Please email us on to register. 

Express Reader Group meet-up is on 
7th November 10.00-11.00am
Please email us on to register. 

There will be a chance to attend Pilot Sessions in August
 Email for an application form and further information

CIC Express: new counselling service for 18-25 year olds with ASC

Express CIC has launched a new counselling service for young people with ASC. The new service offers weekly counselling sessions with a specialist counsellor who has knowledge and understanding of autism. The sessions will be one to one and held at the Express office in Tolworth. For more information contact

Calling all BSL users