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Scotland

Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Looking for information on our new Transition Project? 

Scroll down right to the bottom of this page and click on the Going Forward - Preparing Parents for Transition Ribbon.

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. We've gathered the details of some of these in your area. For the details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email scotland.office@contact.org.uk to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund (core and project funding) and funding through The Robertsons Trust.

Getting It Right For Every Child is a national approach in Scotland aimed at supporting the wellbeing and improving outcomes for children and young people. Contact in Scotland works to the values and principles of GIRFEC.  

Contact are also guided by the principles of the National Parenting Strategy.

We aim to promote and protect the rights of children in Scotland as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Contact Scotland E-bulletin

We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. September/October E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.

Contact

Office address

Contact, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@contact.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email Susan for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email Donna for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Susan Brogan; email Susan for volunteering opportunities with us (Tuesday).

Tracey Francis; email Tracey for information on the Preparing Parent Carers for Transition Project (Monday, Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Thursday)

News for Scotland

A Night at the Zoo!

On the 18th August over 100 of our families joined Contact staff and volunteers for a unique free magical evening of fun and entertainment at Edinburgh Zoo.  Our partnership with the zoo enabled us to hold this special event in collaboration with 3 other charities to provide a memorable, fully accessible night in a supported environment.  Music, animal talks and tours, face painting, police, fire and ambulance sessions, dancing and games were just some of the attractions available. 

The evening provided an opportunity for families to meet up with others and as one parent said   "It was an opportunity to meet other families with complexities and be reminded that we are not alone..."

Read more about this special night in our Dreamnight Report.

New Scotland transitions project up and running

A new Contact project is under way to close the information gap around leaving school and next steps for parents and carers of young people living with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. We want to hear from families across Scotland with young people aged from 12 to 20. Their input will shape a new resource to better prepare families for the journey to adulthood.

Starting in September, families will be able to share their thoughts, questions and experiences through regional workshops, online discussion groups, or directly by email or telephone. Wherever possible one-to-one conversations will be offered using alternative communication styles, for example Talking Mats or BSL, so as many people as possible have the chance to contribute their views and ideas.

To take part, or be kept informed about the project, contact Tracey Francis at tracey.francis@contact.org.uk

New Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scheme launched

The new ILF scheme will be a broad, discretionary fund that will provide short term awards to support disabled people to live independently. In its first phase, the fund will focus on helping young disabled people between the ages of 16 and 21 to explore, plan and achieve a goal that they have identified at that important transitional stage in their lives 

ILF Scotland are currently looking at the application process, in co-production with young disabled people and other organisations, such as the Scottish Transitions Forum to identify what this will look like and how to make it as accessible as possible for any young disabled person who is eligible and who may want to apply when the scheme opens.   The new ILF scheme will be open to new applications towards the end of the year. You can find more details at ILF Scotland's website. 

The Contact Scotland September e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland September/October e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact Scotland e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk.

Local events

Special After Hours Event at the National Museum of Scotland

Scotland's Early Silver

Monday 23 October,5.30pm-7pm, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

Young adults (suggested age range 14+) who are on the autistic spectrum are invited to come and enjoy exclusive after hours access  to the new exhibition Scotland's Early Silver with their parents,  carers or support workers.

This includes an introduction to the exhibition from curator  Alice Blackwell and a chance to ask her questions.       

For further information and to book a place please contact Laura Bennison, Community Engagement Officer on 0131 247 4435 or email l.bennison@nms.ac.uk

Caring for a Child with Additional Support Needs and Thinking about Behaviour

Wednesday 25 October - Wednesday 8 November, 10:30am-12:30pm, Vocal Carer Centre, 8-13 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh

This 3-week course explores understanding behaviour and how to develop personal coping strategies. For further details visit the Carers Training Website or call 0131 622 6666.

Planning for Transition

Monday 30 October, 10am-1pm (includes light lunch), Almondbank Centre, Sheil Walk, Craigshill, Livingston, EH54 5EH

A workshop for parent/carers of young people aged approximately 12-18 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities from Contact working with Lead Scotland, Signpost and the West Lothian Parent/Carer Alliance.

Uncertainty around what happens when a young person leaves school is stressful, but there is help out there - and good planning can make a big different to finding a solution that works for your family.  This workshop offers an introduction to the transition process and what you should expect.

For further details visit our Going Forward - Preparing Parents for Transition section on our Scotland Web Page or to reserve a place visit Eventbrite.

Parenting in a Digital World

Thursday 30 November, 9.30am to 1pm, Royal Society Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh

How do parents and carers go about parenting in the digital age? Is it all about risk, online safety and parental controls or are we missing key evidence about the potential opportunities the online world offers to children young people and their families?

This seminar will explore the risks and opportunities that the digital world offers children and families, and look at how we can best support parents and carers to manage and negotiate this world with their children?

For further information and booking details please book through Eventbrite.

Parent support group events

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@contact.org.uk

Volunteering

Volunteering for Contact 

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact 
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

Would you like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland? 

My name is Susan Brogan and I am the volunteer coordinator at Contact in Scotland. We currently have a volunteer helping at our office, a local volunteer in Fife, raising awareness of the work we do, and five National Council members.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and are currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:


Parent/carer volunteer 

We value the knowledge and experience a parent carer has and would love to have your help in shaping our information service for families with disabled children in Scotland.

This could involve sharing your views and ideas when we are putting together our publications andfactsheets, raising awareness of our service in your local community, helping at information stands or being part of a parent carer focus group. We also actively seek to involve parent carers on our National Council, which may be something you would be interested in.


National Council volunteer

The role of the National Council Member is to advise and support Contact's work in Scotland. We would love to hear from parents or professionals who may be interested in joining our current members.


If you would like find out more about one of the above roles or explore other possibilities for volunteering, I would be happy to chat to you. Please note I only work one day a week, but if you leave your details I will get back in touch with you. You can contact me on 0131 659 2931 or email susan.brogan@contact.org.uk  

 

Going forward - Preparing Parents for Transition

Transition workshops now open for registration

Good news - booking is now open for the first regional workshops confirmed as part of the Preparing Parents for Transition project.

All the workshops are aimed at parents and carers of young people looking for more information about the process of transition and leaving school, and have been developed in partnership with local parent groups and support services so each one is as relevant as possible to local families.

Groups in each region chose their workshop topic from a list of possibilities, with most saying better awareness of the planning process and approaches to planning were key areas for parents.

The workshops are free, but numbers are limited. To reserve a space at whichever workshop is most convenient for you, go to http://goingforward.eventbrite.com. We've tried to make booking as straightforward as possible, but if you have any difficulty let us know by emailing tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

The confirmed workshops are:

  • Inverness (Monday 2 October) - Preparing for transition (this workshop is being run twice, as a daytime and evening session)
  • Alloa (Friday 6 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Inverurie (Wednesday 11 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Livingston (Monday 30 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Galashiels (Tuesday 7 November) - Powers of attorney and guardianship

 

Scotland transitions flyer

New project gets under way

Tracey Francis is now in place as Contact's new transitions officer, with the job of overseeing the new two-year project Preparing Parents for Transition, funded by the Scottish Government. Download the flyer for the project [PDF].

Over the summer, she will be contacting groups around Scotland to develop a series of information workshops for parents on key aspects of transitions planning and processes. She will also be putting everything in place to underpin a major consultation with families and young people, starting in September and running until December.

To be part of this, sign up now by contacting tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.

Scotland government logo

We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.

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Visit our online advice and support or read all about diagnosis.


You can also call us if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.


0808 808 3555 or helpline@cafamily.org.uk