General advice

Essex Local Offer

Information about services and local opportunities for children and young people with SEND in Essex.

Suffolk Info Link

This is the Suffolk Local offer, information about services and local opportunities for children and young people with SEND in Suffolk.

Norfolk County Council

SEND local offer for Norfolk.

SNAP Charity

Online directory of useful contacts

Suffolk Info link

Community directory for Suffolk

Essex Connects

A place to find local activities and to help you to get in touch with hundreds of local charities, voluntary groups, and community sector services, based in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Tendring, Maldon, Uttlesford, Epping, Harlow, Basildon, Billericay and Wickford.

Colchester Gateway Clubs

An independent local charity, providing social clubs and activities for adults with learning disabilities.

Treetops Cafe

Gives practical bite-sized training in food preparation.

Family Lives

Help with aspects of family life that include all stages of a child’s development, issues with schools and parenting/relationship support. They also respond when life becomes more complicated and provide support around family breakdown, aggression in the home, bullying, teenage risky behaviour and mental health concerns of both parents and their children.

Safe Soulmate

Help 18+ adults to meet new people, socialise, create friendships and/or love in a safe way.

The Befriending Scheme

Provide friendship and learning opportunities for vulnerable people (16 and over ears old) including those with disabilities, mental health needs, older people, and other isolated groups. Also, provide volunteering opportunities with extra support. 

The Mix

Essential support for under 25s

Activities Unlimited

Provide short breaks and leisure activities to disabled children aged 0-25 in Suffolk. They recognise that short breaks and respite from a caring role are a priority for families and should be delivered as part of a broader package of family support services.

Thera Trust

Thera East Anglia supports adults with a learning disability in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. They can help with: support in home, help in community, short breaks, employment, work experience, life skills and support plans. 

The Child’s Bowel and Bladder Charity

ERIC exists to give every child and teenager with a bowel or bladder condition the support they deserve to enjoy a life free from shame, isolation and fear.


Specialist Benefit and Specific Advice

Turn to us

The find an Adviser tool allows you to search for sources of information and advice on benefits, housing, jobs, legal issues and other practical help.

Disability Rights UK

Links to organisations giving advice on benefits, care and debt

Disability Advice North East Suffolk

Free, impartial and confidential information, advice, advocacy and representation service throughout Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay, Southwold, Halesworth and all surrounding villages.  The service is offered to anyone with a disability, their carers, and professionals working with them to help overcome day-to-day problems of disability.


Specialist Autism Advice

Autism & ADHD

Offers support to individuals and families who live & work with Autism and ADHD on a daily basis.

ASD Helping Hands

Supporting people and carers affected by Autism.


Housing

Shelter England

Housing advice.


Transport

Essex Travel Training

Giving people the confidence to travel independently.


Mental Health

Heads Up

Heads Up provide support, advice and mentoring to people with common mental health problems to help them get back into the workplace after a period of unemployment. 

Suffolk Night Owls

Suffolk Night Owls is available in Suffolk to anyone who needs emotional support including those with complex emotional needs. The telephone support line is open seven nights a week, 7pm to 1am.  Tel: 0300 111 6000

EWMHS

Providing emotional and mental health support for children and young people


Crisis Contacts

Samaritans

Whatever you’re going through a Samaritan will face it with you.
0845 790 9090
24 hours a day

The Silverline

A confidential helpline dedicated to older people.

0800 470 8090
24 hours a day

Sane

We believe that no-one affected by mental illness should face crisis, distress or despair completely alone.

0300 304 7000
10.30am-4.30pm (Mon-Fri)

The Mix (under 25’s)

Understanding mental health can be tricky but The Mix is here to make sure you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you’re worried about your mental health, or someone else’s, we have everything you need to know about mental health, from anxiety and depression to self-care and counselling.

0808 808 4994
4pm-11pm every day

Papyrus

HOPElineUK. For those aged up to 35.

Call: 0800 068 4141
Text: 0778 620 9697
10am – 10pm weekdays
2pm – 10pm weekends
2pm – 10pm Bank Holidays

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

The leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

0800 802 5858 (5pm to midnight)

Police/A&E

Call if you are in need of URGENT medical attention.

111 or 999

Education

Special Needs Jungle

Parent-led information, resources and informed opinion about children and young people 0-25

IPSEA

IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Also offer training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisation

SEND IASS

Education queries 0333 013 8913

Families in Focus

Education enquiries 01245 353575


Legal-All aspects

Equality and Advisory Service

The Helpline advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales.

Suffolk Law Advice Centre

ISCRE runs interventions to support individuals and organisations in the statutory, private and voluntary sectors, to understand the extent and nature of inequality experienced by individuals and groups in fields such as the criminal justice system, housing, employment, education, health and social care. The aim is to encourage them to implement policies and practices which will eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity, and good relations, between all persons.

Disability Law Service

Provides free legal advice to people with disabilities and their carers to ensure that they have access to their rights and justice. Advice on community care, employment, housing and welfare benefits.


Employment

Careers Matter Norfolk

Support for carers in Norfolk

Essex Supported Employment Services

Referrals made to Employment Services from social workers and are allocated to an Employment Advisor who will work with the customer to find suitable employment opportunities.

Hoursworth

A supported employment scheme that enables people with a learning disability and high support

Mencap

An employment service for people with a learning disability looking for work

Essex Carers “The way to work project”

Helps unemployed and unpaid carers get back into work.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships to enable people aged 16 or over to combine work with study.


General Health

Suffolk Community Service

Provides high quality, reliable and safe healthcare to people in Suffolk, delivered with compassion and kindness. They strive to work in an integrated way with services across health, social care and the voluntary sector.

ACE

Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) Community Interest Company provides a range of community health and well-being services to the population of North East Essex, with some services also in Suffolk.


Travel

Essex Travel Training

Giving people the confidence to travel independently.


Facebook Groups

*EHCP Experiences England

This is a closed group for parent/carers of SEND 0-25 to share their EHCP experiences and ask advice from each other. It is administrated by an SEN solicitor, who provides live chat on the page.

*SEN Advice and Support (Official)

A closed group, for parents and carers of children with Autism and other disabilities. Instant support and advice form the group community. They also run twice monthly advice drop in sessions in Colchester. Email address is [email protected]

*Autism Action Group Suffolk

Formed in January 2013 in response to negative parental experiences of the education system in the county. They are a campaigning group of parents with experience of the system and came together to try and influence change.

Let’s Do It –Autism Family Group

A group for children with autism, associated conditions and their families.

*Provides instant advice from the group community, once you have joined the FB page.


Legislation

Care Act 2014

Children’s Act 1989

Children and Families Act 2014

Equality Act 2010