3 March 2021

News for SEND Families from the Manchester Local Offer

Manchester City Council sent this bulletin at 03-03-2021 12:40 PM GMT

Local Offer - www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

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In this week’s issue, we have exciting news about free visits to a children’s adventure farm. There is also an opportunity to tell Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission about how Manchester has supported your family during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Local Offer Team


Email: [email protected]

0161 234 1946

Local Offer Coronavirus Advice & Information

Twitter: Manchester Local Offer @MCRLocalOffer



Stuff To Do


Fun On The Farm

Enjoy free family fun on the farm this spring! During March, we’ve booked out four days at the Children’s Adventure Farm in Cheshire on Sunday 7th, Saturday 13th, Sunday 21st and Saturday 27th. There are five one-hour time slots each day for three families at a time. For COVID-safety, each family needs to live in the same household. You’ll spend time in three areas: the farm with sheep, donkeys, alpacas and other animals that you can feed and interact with; the Play Park with a zip wire, swings, adventure trail and hobbit house; and a Woodland/Forest School, including den building, a pirate ship and mud kitchen.


Farm play area

Booking is essential – call 219 2125. You need to live in the Manchester City Council area and have a child with special educational needs or disability. Here’s a map showing the farm. If there are any transport issues, talk to staff when you phone and we’ll see what we can do. This activity has been made possible through funding from Manchester City Council.



sensory room

Free Sensory Rooms - REMINDER!

Just a reminder that the Sensory Rooms at Redbank House are free to SEND families in the Manchester City Council area until Friday 9th April. Sessions start on the hour and are for 50 minutes, Monday to Friday at time slots during the day. Booking is essential – call 0161 214 5959 or email [email protected].


Drama With Odd Arts

Free drama workshops for wellbeing aimed at young people with additional needs are on offer between now and May at the Powerhouse in Moss Side. Odd Arts will hold either 1-2-1 or small group socially distanced sessions, booked at a time most suitable for young people and their families. Please email [email protected] to register your interest.


Sensory Theatre For The Family

Head2Head makes sensory theatre that is accessible and inclusive for all. At this time, they’ve moved online and are offering plays, games and interactive films at £5 per family. See the programme to find out what’s on.



Autistic-friendly Walks

Thrive Manchester, a local wellbeing organisation, has started new free walks for autistic people and their families. They are currently every Friday, 2-3.30pm, in Wythenshawe Park – meet in front of Wythenshawe Hall. To keep everyone COVID-safe, places are limited, so you need to book - call Colette on 07853 841290.

Share Your Views With Ofsted

Person on laptop

We are having a visit from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to look at how Manchester has supported children and young people with special educational needs and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ofsted and CQC would like to hear your views. There’s a survey for parent carers and another for young people. Each one takes about 15 minutes and we’d really appreciate you taking the time to give your feedback.


Our March Virtual Drop In

Virtual Drop In March

Our next Virtual Drop In for parent carers is on Wednesday 10th March, 10am-12 noon. As usual, we’ll be sending out a list of who’s taking part a few days before. Look out for it in your inbox!

Free Training For Carers

Encouraging Positive Behaviour – THIS FRIDAY!

 ‘Brighter Beginnings: Encouraging positive behaviour’ is a free online workshop this Friday 5th March, 10am-12 noon. It’s for parent carers in Manchester and hosted by Contact for Manchester Parent Carer Forum. Lockdown may have affected your child’s behaviour in different ways and brought extra challenges around supporting their needs, and the wellbeing and safety of yourself and your family. This online Zoom workshop gives you the opportunity to learn from Contact’s experienced trainers and hear other parents' experiences. Find out more and book here.


Encouraging Positive Behaviour poster


Identifying Signs Of Worsening Health

We’ve had some positive feedback about this free workshop from the NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme - Identifying early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability. It’s for family carers with children over the age of 16 and will help you identify when the person you care for is becoming more unwell and what to do. The training last 90 minutes and is being offered every working day at different time slots until Friday 31st March. Book your place here.


Education & Learning

Back To School sign

On Monday 22nd February, the Government announced that all pupils will return to school on Monday 8th March. The Council for Disabled Children has information around this and will update the page as they receive further information.


MPCF logo

Educational psychologists from One Education recently delivered Working With Your Child During Lockdown training to parents and carers in Manchester. Co-produced with Manchester Parent Carer Forum, this free session gave tips about self-preservation, routines, supporting learning, motivation and praise, and managing behavioural challenges. You can see a video and slides on MPCF’s website.


Ofsted have published a video about how remote education is working for children and young people with SEND. This video shares findings from interviews with area leaders and providers as part of Ofsted's autumn programme of interim visits. Ofsted hope the video will provide an opportunity to reflect on the provision of remote education for children and young people with SEND and how learning from the pandemic may inform future planning.


A Special Approach to Making it REAL - These 1 hour workshops are an opportunity for parents to find out how to have fun with early literacy, share REAL (Raising Early Achievements in Literacy) activities in the home learning environment and use these in everyday life. Sessions are on Friday 5th March 10-11am, 8th March 2-3pm, 10th March 1-2pm, and 15th March 11am-12 noon. To book a place, please email [email protected] stating which session you would like to attend.


News In Brief

Zoom meeting

Manchester Carers has another series of Creative Writing sessions on Tuesdays, 2.30-4pm. They are stand-alone, so you can pick up from anywhere. You don’t need to bring or prepare anything, just yourself and a pen and paper! If you're an unpaid Carer who wants to get involved, get in touch. Call 0161 27 27 27 0 or email [email protected]

Transport for Greater Manchester are allowing concessionary pass holders whose tram and train add-on is due to expire in February or March to carry on travelling for essential off-peak journeys without renewing until 31 March 2021. After this, you should renew when you plan to start travelling by tram or train and your £10 will last for a full year from your new start date. Read more here.


Carers Manchester logo

The latest Carers Manchester newsletter. 


North West Regional Send Logo

February’s North West SEND Regional Network newsletter.

Young People

Digital opportunity for young people

Digital People is a new course for 16-24 year olds in Greater Manchester who want to work in tech. The team are especially keen to hear from people with special educational needs and disabilities. It’s 15 hours a week for 3 months. No experience or qualifications needed, just a real interest in digital and a willingness to learn. There’s lots of support from a friendly team and a supportive group of learners. The next deadline is Monday 15th March, for a March start. Here’s the link to apply - bit.ly/digipeopleapp. The course will also be running in late Spring/Summer and you can apply now to register your interest - just put on the form that you’re interested in a later date. If you have any questions, email [email protected]


The Changemakers

Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN) are recruiting young people 16-25 with special educational needs and disabilities to take part in their Changemakers programme. This gives young people the opportunity to have their voices heard on issues and policies that matter to them and be supported to make changes. On top of this, there will be lots of opportunities to have fun, enjoy new things and meet new people! Contact Joseph at GMYM via email [email protected] or phone 07592845246. The photograph shows the Changemakers at last year’s Youth Buzz awards.

Have Your Say

What Is Activism? THIS THURSDAY!

Greater Manchester Council for Disabled People (GMCDP) are running ‘What is Activism?’ workshops. The next is on Thursday 4th March, 4-6pm – find out more and how to book here. There are also ‘Effective Self Advocacy’ workshops on Wednesday 10th March, 2-4pm and Wednesday 17th March, 4-6pm.


Clare’s Law Research Project

Some research is being done around Clare’s Law, which gives victims a right to ask the police to disclose information about someone they suspect may have a criminal history. The researchers are looking to talk to victims/survivors, as well as family and practitioners, and have a short survey to capture experiences. If you know someone with special educational needs and disabilities who has a story to share, please contact Charlotte Barlow at [email protected].

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