29 October 2021


In this issue:

    First early years setting to achieve an Autism Inclusion award is in Hertfordshire

    Arlesdene Nursery and Pre-School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire is the first early years setting in the UK to achieve a National Autistic Society Inclusion Award. The National Autistic Society’s Inclusion Award recognises educational settings providing enriched education, care, and expertise to help and support children who may be diagnosed as autistic. Read the full article here: Hertfordshire County Council | Hertfordshire school is first early years setting in UK to achieve the National Autistic Society’s Autism Inclusion Award

    SEND drawing competition - our winners are announced

    Cat by Elijah

    You might have entered, or been following, our SEND drawing competition lately - each and every entry we received has been fabulous, and we had the tough job of whittling them down to a final shortlist. Last week we opened voting on the shortlist of entries, and the results are in! A whopping 559 people cast their votes. Take a look at the SEND drawing competition winners in our latest blog. 

    Families in Focus - upcoming support sessions and courses

    All sessions happen on Zoom, are free, and available for parents living in Hertfordshire. Your child does not need to have a diagnosis or assessment of need for you to attend.

    • Parent Network SEND support and information: peer support groups run by SEND parents who are also experienced and Accredited Facilitators. All sessions happen on Zoom, and you can get the November session log in details by emailing Lesley & Francine: bookings@familiesinfocus.co.uk
    • Managing children’s everyday anxieties (Zoom course): in partnership with DSPL 9 and free for any parent caring for primary aged children with SEND. 3 x Mondays 6.30pm - 8.30pm from 15 November  and 3 x Thursday mornings from 9.30am - 11.30am from 18 November.
    • Handling Anger in your child with Autism/ADHD (zoom course): 6 x Mondays from 1 November 12pm - 2pm – lunch & learn course. Free for any parent living in Hertfordshire caring for primary aged children with SEND.
    • Handling Anger in Your Family (zoom course): 6 x Wednesdays from 3 November 9.30am - 11.30am. Free for any parent living in Hertfordshire caring for primary aged children with SEND.
    • Handling Anger in Your Family (zoom course): 6 x Wednesdays from 3 November 12pm - 2pm – lunch & learn course. Free for any parent living in Hertfordshire caring for primary aged children with SEND.

    Places on all courses are limited and you can book for free by emailing Lesley and Francine: bookings@familiesinfocus.co.uk.

    Learn more about the support sessions and courses on the Families in Focus website.

    Money and benefits information for you

    Piggy bankSometimes, supporting a child with SEND can have a financial impact on you and your family. Some parents are not able to work full time, or at all, due to caring needs. There may be financial support out there for your situation - we would like to encourage you to seek support, if you feel you need it. 

    You can view all of our money and benefits information on the Local Offer - this includes information on Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Universal Credit, covering benefits you can get from when they are born, through into adulthood.

    Or for a quick overview, here are some highlights: 

    • If you don't know where to begin, try out the Turn2Us Grants calculator. Just enter some details about you and your family, and the calculator will work out which benefits and grants you could be eligible for.
    • Hertfordshire's Money Advice Unit has lots of brilliant and detailed information, and the service can even support with applications for benefits like Disability Living Allowance, so you don't have to do it alone. 
    • Personal budgets and direct payments are for children with more complex needs, and they will usually have an Education, Health and Care Plan. You can learn all about how they work and who might be entitled to one on the Local Offer website.


    View all courses and things to do

    Online: Cookery session (SPACE)

    Monday 1 November, 5.30pm - 6.30pm, free

    During this session we will be making a bread plait to serve with cheese!

    Online: Tribunals part 1, how to lodge an appeal (HPCI and SENDIASS)

    Wednesday 3 November, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, free

    This webinar is being delivered by SENDIASS and is for parents or carers who are considering lodging an appeal to the First Tier SEND tribunal.

    SEND drop-in at Chestnut Tree Family Centre, Letchworth Garden City

    Thursday 4 November, 10am - 11.30am, free

    These free, bookable sessions happen on the first Thursday of every month. You will have an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have, find out information about local support groups, meet other families. Your child does not need to have had a formal diagnosis.

    SEND Night Club Experience, Aylesbury Waterside Second Space

    Saturday 6 November, 7pm - 10pm, £12

    A party night for teens and adults aged 15+ with learning difficulties / disabilities to dance, sing and practice life skills. Music, glow sticks neon face painting - photo booth and more! A carer must accompany guests who require additional support, but 1 carer receives a free entry place alongside each paying guest (if required).