In this issue:

Introduction to the Local Offer webinar

Do you want to know more about the Local Offer website and how it might help you find support?Lady looking at computer
Come and join us for an 'Introduction to the Local Offer website webinar' on Tuesday 18 April 8pm - 8.45pm  
Sometimes, it's just hard to know what support is out there, and where to begin.  In this webinar, a friendly face from the Local Offer team will give you a brief tour of the support and services outlined on the website, so you get an idea of what exists and how to get it.
We hope this means that every person will go away with at least one new piece of information that might help them.

Healthy Start - do you qualify for free food? (ages 0-4)

Do you qualify for extra help to buy healthy food and milk?

If you're more than 10 weeks pregnant, or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to free healthy food and milk. Find out if you qualify.

How it works:

Money is added onto the Healthy Start card every 4 weeks and recipient receives:

  • £4.25 each week of pregnancy from the 10th week
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

You can use your card in most places that sell milk, infant formula, fruit, and vegetables.

 Visit the Healthy Start website to find out more and apply

Families can also obtain free vitamins from their local family centre in Hertfordshire – Find out more about free vitamins on the Family Centres website. 

SEND Scrutiny

'Scrutiny' is a process where councillors meet publicly and question the decision making of the council, and monitor the performance of services. They look at different topics which have been presented by the community for discussion. On 7 March this year a council meeting took place to look at what progress we have made in the SEND service following last year’s SEND Scrutiny recommendations.   The discussion focussed on what was being done as part of the SEND Strategy to address the issues causing increasing pressure on the SEND system. It was acknowledged in the meeting that some progress had been made since June (including additional recruitment in the SEND service, a new communication strategy, and the reorganisation of the service) but that parents organisations such as HPCI still had some concerns about the progress being made.  It was agreed at the meeting that officers would need to come back again in 6 months’ time to make a further report. The panel felt more work was needed before the recommendations could be considered as complete.
You can watch the recording of the SEND Scrutiny meeting (the SEND section of the agenda starts at around 43 minutes of the recording). 

Autism Strategy Events

Help shape support for autistic people in Hertfordshire!

We are working with children, young people and adults, and their families, as well as with people working in health and social care, to review and develop a strategy for supporting autistic people.

We have listened and know that there are many areas that people want us to work on in the years ahead. We want your help to prioritise what we do first, and to talk about how we all work together to make things happen.

These events are for autistic people, their parents, carers, and professionals and are an opportunity to work together to discuss what the priorities should be for the new autism strategy. 

If you are interested in taking part, you will need to complete a booking form - please email autismstrategy@hertfordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Wednesday 29 March 1 - 3pm, online
Thursday 30 March 1 - 4pm, Stevenage
Tuesday 4 April 10am - 1pm, Hatfield
Wednesday 5 April 1 - 3pm, online
Thursday 13 April 1 - 4.30pm, Hemel Hempsted
Tuesday 25 April 12 - 3pm, Hertford
Tuesday 2 May 5.30 - 7.30pm, online

Families in Focus courses for parents/carers (ages 2-11)

Starting in April, Families in Focus will once again be offering a range of free award-winning courses for parents and carers living in Hertfordshire.  

  • Complete Guide to parenting children with SEND - Tues mornings, or Tues evenings, starting April 18
  • Handling anger in children with ASD or ADHD - Weds mornings, or Weds evenings, starting April 19
  • Handling anger in your family (neurotypical) - Thurs mornings, starting April 20

For more information, and to book one of these courses, visit The Families in Focus website or email Lesley and Francine at bookings@familiesinfocus.co.uk 


View all activities and courses

View Easter holiday SEND activities

Springtime Adventures

Spring into action this April with our list of 50 free and low-cost activities in Hertfordshire

Learn to ride: Herts Disability Sports Foundation

Various dates and locations in the Easter holidays

These one hour 1-1 sessions in partnership with Herts County Council Bikeability instructors are for anyone struggling with a 2 wheel bike.

Childrens Pottery Painting - SPACE

Wednesday 12 April 10 - 11.30am, Knebworth

A pottery painting session for children/young people with SEND.

Furniture Upcycling (for ages 18+)

Tuesdays 11am - 2.30pm, Rickmansworth

Join a fun friendly class and learn how to upcycle second hand and antique furniture. For ages 18+ for those with learning disabilities and mental health illnesses.