Signposting and support

 

In addition to the services and support that we offer directly at Wiltshire Council, there are a number of other sources which may also be able to offer information, advice, activities and support.

Parent/carer forums and advice

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC)

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) is an independent voluntary organisation representing parent carers of children and young people with SEND from 0-25; it is managed and run by parent carers, for parent carers.  They provide a consultation and participation service which enables parent carers to have a voice about the services and the support their children and family use.  This service offers real opportunities to influence and shape provision.

The WPCC also provides the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Service, which provides a wealth of information as well as signposting to specialist services.

Read more at the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council website

Alternatively you can contact them at:

Unit 1 and 2 Pentagon House,
51/52 Castle Street,
Trowbridge,
Wiltshire BA14 8AU,

Telephone: 01225 764647 or email admin@wiltspcc.co.uk

Action for Children

Action for Children is a national charity that helps the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK break through injustice, deprivation and inequality, so they can achieve their full potential.

Wiltshire Independent Support and Advice – WISA

Wiltshire Independent Support and Advice Service is run by Action for Children to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families. WISA is Wiltshire’s statutory SEND Information Support and Advice Service (SEND IASS).

WISA is a free, independent and confidential service that works alongside the Independent Supporters and provides generalised Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Support.

The team provide written and online information and support for parents, children and young people. They offer practical help and a listening ear. They can attend meetings with families or support young people through mediation and tribunals. They can also signpost families to other agencies that may be able to provide support and can assist with form, letter and report writing.

WISA can help parents, children and young people to understand their rights in relation to SEND law, including information and support on school exclusions. The team work with other professionals on SEN issues and work in partnership with schools and the Local Authority. They work closely with the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council to ensure parents and young people are given the opportunity to raise concerns and influence developments.

Please contact the WISA team on: 01380 813393, or email wisa@actionforchildren.org.uk

Read more about Wiltshire Independent Support and Advice Service

Independent Support Service

The Independent Support service at Wiltshire’s Action for Children is a free, independent, confidential service, to assist young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families through the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities reforms and the new Education Health and Care plans, or ‘My Plans’ in Wiltshire.

The main role of the Independent Supporter is to support families through a ‘My Plan’ request, needs assessment, or annual review process or through a transfer review from a Statement of Special Educational Need. We can help you to gather information for meetings and attend meetings with you.

We can support your child or young person to think about their aspirations and long or short term goals in preparation for a ‘My Plan’ meeting and we can help you to review your draft ‘My Plan.’

In recent months we have run a number of Parent Information Sessions at various Wiltshire Schools to explain the new SEND reforms and the My Plan process to parents in more detail. We are also running youth workshops in the coming weeks to enable young people to find their voice and think about what they really want for their future.

Independent Supporters can provide information to parents on the Local Offer and Personal Budgets and we can signpost you to other organisations that may be able to help you. We work alongside the WISA team and can provide one to one support over the phone, via emails, and through home visits where necessary.

If you think your school would benefit from a Parent Session or a youth workshop, or if you require individual support and guidance on any of the issues above, please call Jo Hiller-Culley on 01380 813393 or email: iswiltshire@actionforchildren.org.uk

For further information please download the Action for Children – Independent supporters information.

Parent/Carer information sessions

Action for Children have started delivering some free Parent Information Sessions in various Wiltshire Schools.  They will be giving a presentation about the SEND reforms and the new EHC plans and how it may affect you and your child/young person. They will also be discussing Personal Budgets and the Local Offer and be available to answer any questions or signpost you to other services.  They would also be more than willing to attend parent’s evenings/open evenings or Annual Reviews, or to help individual families independently.

Read more at the Action4Children website

Advocacy – National Youth Advocacy Services (NYAS)

Advocacy is the process of enabling people to: express their views and concerns, access information and services, explore options and choices, defend and promote their rights and responsibilities.

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) provides free advocacy support to young people in Wiltshire.

  Read more about the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)

 

Employment and Community skills service

The Employment and Community skills service can support young people with SEND to develop useful skills and experience to help them find employment.  Wiltshire Employment Skills Team (WEST) and Community Connecting work across Wiltshire to develop opportunities and offer support for young people and their families.

Read more about the Employment and Community skills service

The Community Foundation

The Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon is a registered charity and grant making trust.  They offer financial assistance to young people who want to make the most of their potential.  The offer a variety of funds to help support 0-25 year olds across Wiltshire:

The Personal Support Fund

This grant fund is open to individuals up to the age of 25 who have been in the care of the local authority or have a disability.  Applicants must live in Swindon or Wiltshire or be in education funded by one of these Councils and wither they or their parents/carers are in receipt of means tested benefits.  Grants are available up to £1000.

The Vocational Grant Fund

This grant places all the emphasis on vocational training.  It makes grants to individuals aged between 16 and 25.  Applicants must usually have lived within the boundaries of Swindon or Wiltshire Councils for 5 years and the applicant or their parents/carers or guardians must be in receipt of means tested benefits.  Grants are available up to £1000.  The Foundation is particularly keen to fund “tools of the trade2 or vocational training.

Foundation Scholarships

The scholarship grant support students who want to gain an Undergraduate University degree.  The offer a “scholarship programme” providing grants of up to £5000 per annum for the duration of the student’s course.  Students must be aged between 17 & 24 at the time of application.

The Foundation wants to offer scholarships to exceptional individuals whose financial circumstances would normally stop them from going to University. Priority will be given to individuals that are themselves or their parents/carer are in receipt of means tested benefits. The Foundation seeks to support its scholars throughout their university career.

Foundation Scholarships are made through the Shuker Foundation in West Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Education Fund in the rest of Wiltshire and Swindon.

Grants are awarded to assist with general living expenses, purchase of books and course material costs whilst at university.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities please visit the Community Foundation website or telephone 01380 729284.

Brandon Trust

Positive Behaviour Support for Families – Brandon Trust provides bespoke support to children and families within the family home and local community.  The focus being that families will strengthen their resilience during the times that they are not being supported and gives the children and their families increased control and ownership of the service that they receive.

Find out more about Brandon Trust

Wiltshire Learning Disability Partnership Board

The Wilshire Learning Disability Partnership Board aims to make sure that people with learning disabilities have the same rights, choices and opportunities as everyone else.

Read more about the Wiltshire Learning Disability Partnership Board

Local User led groups

Community First

Community First is Wiltshire’s Rural Community Council, a charity that works to help improve the quality of life and economic well being of people and local communities throughout Wiltshire and Swindon.

Read more at the Community First website

Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living

Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living is an organisation managed by disabled people and is committed to supporting all disabled people to achieve choice, control and equal rights.

Read more at the Wiltshire CIL website

Wiltshire People’s first

Wiltshire people’s first is an advocacy group who help people with disabilities in Wiltshire to have a voice.

Read more at Wiltshire people’s first website

Wiltshire and Swindon User Network

The Wiltshire and Swindon Users’ Network was formed by people who use health and social services, to promote user involvement and support people to have a voice.

Read more at the WSUN website

Benefits and legislations advice

Citizen’s Advice

Citizen’s Advice advisors are specially trained to offer personal, confidential advice on all sorts of issues and challenges. Including:

  • accessing benefits
  • help with debts or financial planning
  • help and advice about letters you receive that you do not understand or that worry you
  • legal concerns or challenges

Visit the Citizen’s Advice website

GOV.UK information

National Government have a central website with the most accurate and up to date information on all kinds of benefits and monetary supports. Including:

  • Blind person’s allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

They also have helpful tools like:

  • Benefits calculator
  • Complaints procedures

Visit the Gov.uk website

Sports and activities

Active Wiltshire

Whatever your level of fitness, whether you are involved in clubs or want to simply improve your health, active Wiltshire has all the latest information on leisure activities and opportunities in Wiltshire.

Visit the Active Wiltshire website

The English Federation Of Disability Sport (EFDS)

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) was established in 1998 as the umbrella body for disabled people in sport and physical activity throughout England with a vision that disabled people are active for life. EFDA champion opportunities for disabled people to enjoy sport, supporting the sport and physical activity sectors to be more inclusive.

Visit the EFDS website

Day services for people with learning disabilities

Day opportunities supports people with high and complex needs, autism, people with a dual diagnosis and those who may have a general learning disability. We work with 140 customers every day offering support to individuals living at home with families, or in a supported living setting. Our person-centred approach guarantees we put you – the individual – at the heart of everything we do.

Day opportunities also offers a light touch service for people with a learning disability who are independent in the community, but wish to join in our activities to meet up with friends and make new ones.

Read more about Day Services for people in Wiltshire

Changing Places

Everyday adults, children and their carers struggle to access their community and local area because they are unable to use standard accessible toilet facilities – something that many of us take for granted. Wiltshire Council is committed to enabling everyone within the community access to our vibrant towns, services and local amenities. We are proud to support the national Changing Places campaign.

Read more about ‘Changing Places’ in Wiltshire

Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS)

Wiltshire EMAS is a Wiltshire Council service, supporting schools to meet the needs of learners of English as an Additional Language (EAL) and other minority ethnic children and young people.

The service consists of:

  • Bilingual Assistants (peripatetic Teaching Assistants who work alongside learners in the classroom and support with home/school contact);
  • Advisory Teachers (who support schools with raising their own capacity through advice and training, and who can assess learners and make recommendations about provision);
  • a Special Projects worker, who works on specific interventions designed to narrow the gaps for learners.

Schools can refer individual children to us via the Specific Agency Referral Form (SARF), downloadable here. For anything else, or for more informal advice, please contact us on 01225 718230 or at emas@wiltshire.gov.uk .

Read more about the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service

Care and Support Accreditation

The Care and Support Accreditation is a list of providers that Wiltshire Council has checked to make sure that they can provide good quality services in Wiltshire that are value for money. All Providers on the scheme have gone through a full accreditation process evidencing their skills, knowledge and experience.

Wiltshire Council will expect its providers to be the expert in the service they offer, being aware of all relevant national policy and legislation and ensuring they are able to demonstrate this clearly not only in their procedures and information, but in the delivery on a day to day basis. The new Accreditation Scheme will promote a “wrap around” service which enables customers to live independently in their family homes, or in a tenancy or with other customers in a supported living arrangement.

Find out more about Care and Support Accreditation

FOSTER CARING: Be the difference, with a career in care through Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Council is starting a new project offering respite care to children with disabilities, and is looking for professional, experienced carers.  To apply or find out more, contact Placement Services on 01225 716510 or email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk.  Download the Wiltshire Foster Carer leaflet for further details.

Cartoon representation of Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council