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Welcome to Parent & Family Carer News - August 2021

Welcome to the August edition of the SEND Parent and Family Carer Newsletter, I hope you are able to squeeze in some time to enjoy the glorious weather!

Over the past year we have been working with PODS Parent Carer Forum and partner agencies to create a Co-production Charter. The aim of the charter is to make sure that families are included to work with us strategically and individually as we continue to develop services and systems. The charter follows four cornerstones or principles, they are:

  • feel valued and included
  • open communication,
  • feel welcomed and cared for
  • working in partnership.

These four cornerstones all work together to build trust. By working together with families and listening to your lived experience and innovative ideas we will be able to improve the long term outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Telford and Wrekin.  I would like to encourage everyone to share their views on the Charter using the survey linkyour views matter! Following the consultation the Co-production Charter will be launched in the Autumn Term.

During the summer we are looking at a ‘refresh’ of the SEND Local Offer. The main aim is to make the Local Offer easier to navigate and find information, we have already started by redesigning the Preparing for Adulthood pages, please take a look and let us know what you think. Currently we are working on an Activities & Events section that will be going live soon, we are working with PODS (Parent Carer Forum) and the SOS Group (Shout Out for SEND - Young Peoples Forum) to design these pages – watch this space!

Recently a group of young people at Derwen College have created an educational video to raise the awareness of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. The video, designed for young people, explains the process of the annual health check in an easy to understand format, more information and the link to the video can be found in the article below.

Let’s hope this lovey summer weather holds for the holidays!

Best wishes,


Natalie Bevan
SEND Service Delivery Manager

August SEND Parent & Family Carer News includes:

SEND Parent & Family Carer News

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Your Views Matter - Telford & Wrekin SEND Co-production Charter

We are pleased to announce the Telford & Wrekin SEND Co-production Charter is available for consultation!

Just over a year ago, PODS (Parents Opening Doors - Parent Carer Forum) introduced the local authority (Telford & Wrekin Council) and the STW CCG (Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group) to a project that would improve and embed co-production in all SEND Services. The Voices project, supported by Genuine Partnerships is designed to create change in the way co-production is used.

In Telford & Wrekin the project was jointly funded by PODS, the local authority and the STW CCG, ensuring that all partners have been fully involved and engaged to create a Co-production Charter.

Message from PODS

"We are excited to have developed this draft charter with our parent carers and wider families, and partners across health, social care, education and voluntary sector. The Telford & Wrekin co-production charter values our families as genuine partners and aims to ensure that children and young people have positive experience throughout their lives. Thank you for all your involvement so far and we look forward to 'Making A Difference' together".

Your views are important, please tell us what you think.

The Co-production Charter is available to view on the SEND Local Offer: Telford & Wrekin SEND – Co-production Charter.

SEND Local Offer: Telford & Wrekin SEND – Co-production Charter

You can feedback using the survey link below or you can share your thoughts by email.

Link to the Consultation Survey:

Feedback to PODS:

Feedback to Telford & Wrekin Council:

The closing date for the consultation is: Friday 6 August 2021

The Launch of the final Co-production Charter will take place in the Autumn Term.

What is Co-production?

The definition of co-production by Genuine Partnerships is:

“Co-production involves children, young people, families, practitioners and partners working jointly together in an equal and reciprocal relationship.”

Locally this means that we will work together as equal partners in service development to improve outcomes for everyone.

How the project worked?

Focus Groups collected the views from parents, carers, young people, schools and settings, local authority education and social care teams and health professionals working across STW CCG. The groups discussed the local areas strengths and weakness in four different areas, Welcome & Care, Value & Include, Communication and Working in Partnership. Two reports were compiled from all of the ‘Voices’ captured at the events, and these would ultimately contribute to the Co-production Charter.

In March 2021 a ‘virtual event’ was held that invited all who had been included in the focus groups to learn more around co-production and to look at the principles behind successfully embedding co-production into all SEND services.

Preparing for Adulthood Events

Adult Social Care are hosting a series of Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) events over the summer at the Independent Living Centre. The events will be hosted by Adult Social Care - Autism and Learning Disability team, SEND and Future Focus.

This is an opportunity for young people, their families, and/or carers and the people important to them moving from Children’s Services and/or SEND into adulthood to discuss their future options.

Learn about the roles each service will have in supporting you to be aspirational about your future.

Our Preparing for Adulthood staff will support discussions around the 4 PfA areas:

  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • Community Inclusion
  • Health

The events will be held 2pm to 6pm on:

  • Thursday 12 August 2021
  • Thursday 26 August 2021
  • Thursday 9 September 2021

Following these dates the first Thursday of every month thereafter from 2pm to 6pm.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Independent Living Centre.

More information about Preparing for Adulthood can be found at    

Local Offer Refresh

Your views matter - we are always looking for ways to make the SEND Local Offer easier to navigate so that parents, family carers and young people can find the information they are looking for.

Over the next few months we have some plans to refresh the ‘look’ of the Local Offer and we would like to hear your views:

  • What would make it easier to navigate?
  • How would you like to see the ‘Home Page’ laid out?
  • Would an area for Parent/Carers work?
  • Is there any information you can’t find?

All feedback would be gratefully received, please email us at: or fill in the Feedback Form to share your views.

SEND Local Offer - Preparing for Adulthood

The Preparing for Adulthood section has been updated on the Local Offer with a new look and additional information, please take a look. 

Preparing for Adulthood

Sensory Inclusion Service Newsletters

Two Newsletters are available to download from the Sensory Inclusion Service (SIS). Find out about SIS cover over the summer break and take a look at the achievements of the children and young people over the past year.

Download - SIS VI Newsletter Summer 2021

Download - SIS HI Newsletter Summer 2021

Sensory Inclusion Service: SEND Local Offer

Video created by inspiring young learners encourages others to book an annual health check

A group of inspiring young people from Derwen College have created an important educational video to raise awareness of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities.

Students at the specialist residential school in Gobowen, near Oswestry, produced the video as part of a work experience project with NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The video is aimed to help young people with learning disabilities to understand the process of an annual health check in a simple, easy to understand format. 

Watch the video

The six young adults who star in the video are performing arts students at Derwen College and are aged between 18 and 25. The video talks about what is involved in an annual health check in the student’s own words, and helps to put other people’s minds at rest as to what they can expect.

Staff at the college helped the students with the filming, including teacher Tara Edwards, who directed the video and coordinated the whole work experience project, as well as Jess Vaughan who helped to film and edit the video.

Speaking about the project, Jess, Pathway Leader of Performing Arts at Derwen College, said: “This has been a fantastic project and is something that our students and staff have both been pleased and proud to be a part of.

“The opportunity to create a partnership with the CCG has been great as it fits well with our curriculum and gives our learners the opportunity to work with NHS professionals, tackle important issues and gain valuable work experience. These kinds of opportunities are particularly important during these difficult times when opportunities have been very slim.

“The message within the video means a lot to us as sadly we lost one of our students in May this year who would have been part of the video. One week she was here, looking forward to the final term and doing her Duke of Edinburgh, and the next she wasn’t.

“We have also lost two students suddenly in the past, so getting the message across about annual health checks is all the more important to us.  

“We all enjoyed filming across the college campus, especially because the project has been on hold for 12 months. It is great to be able to come together and get the students stuck into their work experience once again, and of course we are all very pleased with the result.”

Claire Parker, Director of Partnerships at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the video and would like to congratulate the six students featured in the video and the staff at Derwen College who have worked so hard to produce such a great resource for young people with learning disabilities. 

“Annual health checks are available to all those with a learning disability over 14 years and are very important. We want to ensure that this message is received and understood to all those they can benefit in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.”

For more information on annual health checks please visit the CCG’s dedicated webpage.
For more information about Derwen College, please visit their website.

Derwen College

PODS Befriending Scheme

PODs are excited to share their new 'PODS Befriending Scheme' leaflet with you.

Download: PODS Befriender Scheme

PODS Befriending Scheme is a network of trained parent volunteers who support other parents of children with special needs at the time of diagnosis or during challenging times related to their child’s disability. Every Befriender is someone whose own child has special needs.  They know what it is like to cope with a new diagnosis and the challenges that come with it in the future.  This service is free and confidential. We support parents of children with any type of disability or special need.

For more information, please email PODS Member Support Co-ordinator:

Become a PODS Telephone Befriender

Are you the Parent Carer of a child or young person with a special need or disability?

Do you have some spare time to spend listening and supporting other parent carers on a 1:1 basis? If so, why not become a PODS Befriender?

The PODS Befriending Scheme offers emotional support, and some practical strategies, to parent carers who have a child with a disability or additional need.

Download: Befriender Scheme Advert

For more information, please email PODS Member Support Co-ordinator:

PODS Parent Carer Forum support families who have a child or young person with a Disability or Additional Need.

PODS Website

PODS - Picnic in the Park

PODS are inviting families to join them at their Picnic in the Park on:

  • Monday 2 August 2021

There will be lots of fun activities and workshops available on the day, including:

  • A gaming van
  • Science Workshops
  • The Owl Man
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Inflatable Assault Course
  • Wizard School
  • Go Karts
  • Tombola Stall

Download: Picnic in the Park Leaflet

PODS Parent Carer Forum support families who have a child or young person with a Disability or Additional Need.

PODS Website

Community Children and Young People’s Health Services Update

Please find the August 2021 update from the Community Children and Young People’s Health Services available to download.

Included in this edition:

  • How we are going to help keep everyone safe?
  • Immunisation and Vaccination Service
  • Community Children’s Nursing Team and Paediatric Diabetes Nursing Team
  • Children’s Community Audiology
  • Children’s Therapies (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy)
  • Important Information about Children’s Speech and Language Therapy
  • Child Development Centres
  • Community Dental Teams
  • Community Paediatric Service
  • 0-19 Service – Leading on the Healthy Child Programme
  • The Wheelchair and Posture Service
  • The Paediatric Psychology Service
  • The Looked After Children (LAC) Health Team
  • Children's Continence

Download: Community Children and Young People’s Health Services Update

The information is also available by following the link: Community Children and Young People’s Health Services during the Covid-19 Pandemic (

BeeU Children’s & Family Mental Health Services

Download: BeeU Children’s & Family Mental Health Services

Bee U is the emotional health and wellbeing service for people up to the age of 25, living in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Previously known as CAMHS the service offers a range of support depending on the needs of the child or young person. The services you may be offered are described briefly here or you can find out more about what help is available at

Beam – phone or face to face

Beam is an emotional well-being service for children and young people under 25 years old who are registered with a GP in Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin.

Beam are currently offering support via:

Virtual face to face (via MS Teams)

You can request support from Beam via our website:

Young people aged 14 years+ can register themselves.

Young people aged 13 and under will need a parent/carer to register on their behalf.

If you have any questions about the Beam service, please contact us via email at


We also work with Healios, an online provider of mental health services

Core Team
The core team work with children and young people who have been assessed as having more serious and ongoing mental health needs. Access to this team is usually via a professional who knows what BeeU offers, and knows the young person. Care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, family therapists, mental health nurses, social workers and occupational therapists who can offer different skills and approaches depending on the young person’s needs.

Kooth - online

Kooth provides an anonymous 24-hour online service offering peer support, self-help and have trained counsellors to talk to.

Anyone aged 11-25, living in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, can register to access this service and you don’t need to be referred or have an appointment

Whilst the website is available 24 hours, there will be someone to talk to online at the following times:

12:00 to 22:00 (Monday to Friday)

18:00 to 22:00 (Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays)

For more information visit Kooth:

Ageless 24/7 Urgent Helpline

0808 196 4501

(option 1 – under 18’s; option 2 – over 18’s)

This is for help and advice for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.

 In a health emergency you should still call 999 or visit your local A&E department

New website launched for deaf children

We are delighted to tell you The Buzz website has officially launched! This is the only website for deaf young people aged 8-18 in the UK and has been co-created with deaf young people and the National Deaf Children’s Society. There are two sites – one for children (8 to 12 years old) and one for teenagers (13 to 18 years old).

The Buzz  gives deaf children and young people a safe and positive online space of their own. Please encourage your child to sign up and get involved.

 The Buzz Website

Commissioning Community based Care and Support in Telford & Wrekin

Samantha Ives, Commissioning Specialist for SEND, Children’s Safeguarding and Family Support.       

A New Provider Framework - why?

Telford & Wrekin Council have a framework of care providers to purchase care and support for people living in the community.   However, we found that these providers were not always able to pick up new work as they did not have the capacity, or sometimes, the experience to support some of those with more complex needs. This may include someone who may sometimes do things that are challenging and put themselves or others around them at risk, known as Behaviours of Concern. However, this might also be someone who has complex physical health needs or specific communication needs or may not be able to live with others and need constant support and supervision to keep them safe. We also did not have any providers who could support individuals who had Mental Health needs.

Commissioners needed to look at how we could do things differently so that there was more availability of care and support providers to make sure individuals could be supported at home at the right time.

The key thing for us was to make sure that we have the right care and support providers to give the best possible care and support to individuals that need it and that the providers work alongside them and their support network to ensure they are always providing the right level of care.

Doing things collaboratively

We had been having a number of conversations with our colleagues in Shropshire Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and we soon came to realise that this issue was not unique to Telford and Wrekin and they were having the same problems. Therefore, we decided to work together to develop a new opportunity.

This work included reaching out to many stakeholders, including service users, carers, Parent Carer Forums, Autism Hubs, Shropshire and Telford Asperger Carers’ Support and Taking Part (advocacy service).  We worked together to undertake a process to completely change how we commission care and support for people of all ages with Learning Disabilities, Mental Health needs and Autism, to improve the quality of their care and support.

This approach involved redesigning the framework, application process and accreditation questions that we ask providers when they apply to deliver this support.  All those involved helped to co-produce a new set of accreditation questions and model answers. This is an all age framework, so these providers, if they have expressed an interest and are registered to do so, can also support young people under the age of 18.

We made sure that the questions went into detail about how the providers would ensure they delivered high quality care to individuals, how they would make sure they involved their support network in the care and support they provided, that they have good understanding of the needs someone may have and robust communication policies in place. Also that the individual’s and their support networks would always be fully involved in all aspects of their care and fully supported to make decisions about their care and the service as a whole.

What type of care and support can these providers offer?

We understand that individuals need different levels of care and support.  This can range from support to manage daily living tasks, support to access the community and develop life skills and occupation, or may have more complex needs, or a forensic history.  Therefore we split the accreditation into 3 levels: Living Well; Positive Behaviour Support; Forensic Support & Supervision (described in the table below).  In order to be accredited for any of the below care and support, all providers MUST meet the minimum requirements set out under ‘Living Well’.

Living Well


  • Supporting individuals’ who are unable to live independently and may require support with maintaining their wellbeing including a variety of activities of daily living, which may include meeting personal care and nutritional needs, medication management, tenancy and finance management and support when out in the community.


  • Supporting individuals to develop their independence and increase their activity and occupation. Although unable to live independently, these individuals present no risks to themselves or others and do not display behaviours of concern


  • This support may range from minimal weekly support hours up to 24 hours per day, including sleep or wake night support


Positive Behavioural support and Complex needs


  • Supporting individuals that may sometimes do things that can be challenging and may put themselves or others around them at risk (Behaviours of concern).
  • When supporting these individuals, we expect providers to provide a specialist Positive Behaviour Support service to improve their quality of life.
  • The least restrictive options must always be implemented, though restrictive interventions may be required if all other alternatives have been exhausted.
  • Individuals may be subject to DoLS and are likely to lack capacity in some areas of decision making and may require 24-hour support.

Forensic Support and Supervision


  • Supporting individuals who have a forensic history or considered to be of high risk of offending, display behaviours of concern (behaviours that challenge) that carry a higher risk to themselves or others.
  • Individuals may require constant supervision in order to safely access community resources and may have a high risk of significant self-harm.
  • Individuals may have a court order which could restrict the activity they take part in and/or where they choose to live.
  • Individuals may be unable to live independently, they are likely to require 24-hour support and supervision, but this may not always be the case


How does it work?

We used a new accreditation process called ‘a flexible contracting arrangement (FCA)’ which enables us to open up the framework to new applications at 6 monthly intervals.   Using an FCA means that the application process will be open again for new providers in September 2021.  This means we are able to attract new providers to operate locally, as well as enable current providers to develop the services they offer.

The successful care and support providers accredited will be used by both Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Local Authorities, and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to buy services from.

Where are we now?

The framework was opened up for the first time in January 2021.  We received a total of 39 applications, and we have accredited 13 providers.  This is fantastic news as it has increased our pool of providers to work with. From the 1st April 2021 these providers have been able to apply for any new services that are tendered out, provided its fits into the level they have been accredited to.


We have also given feedback to those providers who were not successful this time so that they can work on these areas and have the opportunity to reapply.

We plan to hold learning events with providers biannually, we welcome as many people as possible to be involved in these events so if you would like to be part of this or have any further questions about the process please do get in touch with me at We really welcome any contributions to ensure the success of this process.

Who are the new providers and which parts are they accredited for?

Provider name

Type of support they can provide


Living Well

Positive Behaviour Support

Forensic Support & Supervision





Care Tech




Creative Support




Eden Futures




Home Group




Precious Homes




Swanton Care




Transparent Care




























Positive Steps




The Avenues Trust




The Regard Partnership T/a Achieve Together




Salutem T/a Ambito




The accredited framework provider list will be published on the Telford & Wrekin Council website so that it is available to people who purchase their own care and support, either with a direct payment or their own funds.

Newlife have equipment readily available to help families in crisis

More equipment available for families in crisis

An increase in demand for urgent help has led to investments in the purchase of equipment that we can deliver anywhere in the UK within three working days once we have committed to help. We are now in a fortunate position to help more families than ever before.

Newlife currently has equipment readily available to help families in crisis. Disabled children who have a shortened life expectancy because of their health conditions who shouldn’t have to wait, and those with behavioural needs who are at immediate risk of significant injury that is avoidable through the provision of the right equipment at the right time, can loan the equipment they need with all costs covered by Newlife.

View the current availability of equipment and the full specification details.

Watch the video of Carrick Brown talking more about our Emergency Equipment Service.

The equipment loan service booklet
Download application form
Online application form

Examples of available equipment...

Last year, an increase in demand for urgent help led to investments in the purchase of equipment that we can deliver anywhere in the UK within three working days once we have committed to help. We are now in a fortunate position to help more families than ever before.

The increase in equipment includes the number of enclosed beds we have available, including the Voyager and Safety Sleeper. These additions mean we are able to help more children who require enclosed spaces to meet their sensory needs and keep them safe.

The Voyager

It is particularly useful for those with autism and who find change difficult, as it provides a consistent calm area that can be transported in the boot of a car, or taken as hold luggage on flights.

Find out more

Safety Sleeper

The Safety Sleeper was designed to provide the client with a safe, secure environment that allows for rest to occur.

Find out more

Newlife's Additional Support

Not only will we consider providing a fixed term loan of equipment we own, but where we believe that there is no statutory responsibility to assess and meet longer-term needs, we will offer families direct support by providing signposting support to other funding organisations and practical/emotional support through our Nurse Helpline.

Six Steps to an Equipment Loan

1. Call Newlife's Nurse Helpline to find out if the family is eligible.

2. Direct the family to the online application form for completion. Please note that Newlife may offer an Equipment Grant (instead of an Emergency Equipment Loan) if it is assessed to be a more appropriate response to the circumstances detailed within the application.

3. Newlife will contact you as the named professional to confirm equipment specifications and plans for assessments of long-term needs.

4. Newlife may need to contact the family and supporting professional to gather additional information. Quality of information can directly impact on the timeframe for provision.

5. Upon receipt of the professional support form, the Child and Family Support Team will confirm the urgency of need.

6) Newlife will inform you if your application for an Emergency Equipment Loan is successful and the timescales for supply in addition to the loan end date.

Newlife – Charity for Disabled Children

Telford 16-19 Website – Post 16 Prospectus

The Telford 16 - 19 prospectus has information on the post 16 offer in Telford & Wrekin including almost 300 A - levels, BTECs and Apprenticeships across six schools and colleges, making Telford an inspirational hub for learning, opportunity and achievement.

Telford 16-19 Website

For more information please contact Future Focus by email: or, by phone: 01952 388988.

For young people with an EHC Plan, please take a look at the guidance for young people applying for post 16 education (with an EHCP).