Go back a step

North West

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

In the North West, we carry out our service through a team of home-based workers and volunteers. Working at a local and regional level, we have up-to-date information on local services and support for families with disabled children.

Our North West team offers:

  • Help to find out what's available locally
  • Workshops, events and opportunities to meet other families with disabled children
  • Regular newsletters with useful information for families. See our latest newsletter on our News page below.
  • Guidance for parent support groups and forums to help them reach and involve parents
  • Resources for professionals to help them point families to the right local services
  • Training for professionals through our business development programme to help them reach and involve families with disabled children

Please note sessions for parents are free where funding permits. There is a charge for sessions for professionals and services can commission workshops for parents. Please contact Karen Robinson for details of costs and availability.

By working together and developing partnerships with other organisations across the North West, Contact can offer the following free information sessions to parents:

  • Contact: who we are, what we do and how to contact us?
  • Difficult behaviours that challenge us
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment - understanding the application and assessment process, top tips
  • Welfare changes and benefits overview
  • Energy issues
  • Helping your child to sleep
  • Coping and support
  • Helping parents support the brothers and sisters of disabled children
  • Impacts on family life: disability awareness training (for staff)
  • Transition from children to adults
  • Bullying - support and advice
  • A range of education workshops covering elements with the special educational needs (SEN) reforms
  • Growing up and sexuality - understand puberty, supporting your child through change
  • Confidence - coping at meetings about your child, assertiveness and comunication skills

To arrange information sessions, drop in sessions or bespoke Bluetraining sessions, or for more information about Contact North West please contact Karen Robinson, Regional Development Manager NW England at northwest@contact.org.uk or call 01772 424758. Sessions are subject to attendance, demand and capacity, but we endeavour to meet this wherever possible.


Office address

North West Regional Office:
Office 2
Centurion House
Leyland Business Park
PR25 3GR

01772 424758

Local contacts

  • Diane Bridge - Parent Adviser (North West), 01704 532 256, diane.bridge@contact.org.uk. For local information; support and and information in relation to bringing up a disabled child; and local group information. 
  • Lyndsay Regan-Hicks - Parent Adviser (North West), 07920 655 128, lyndsay.regan-hicks@contact.org.uk. For information, advice and support in relation to bringing up a child with a disability, workshops, information stands and drop ins.
  • Noreen Arif - Parent Adviser (North West), 07458 045 709, noreen.arif@contact.org.uk. I deliver workshops, information sessions and offer 1 to 1 support in the North West.
  • Kate Hurn - Parent Carer Participation Adviser (North West), 07458 045 694, kate.hurn@contact.org.uk. For parent carer participation and help and advice around parent forums in the north west.
  • Karen Robinson - Regional Manager (North West)karen.robinson@contact.org.uk. For the North West team manager and for information on our work attending events and presenting workshops. 
  • Ruth Card - Parent Representative (St Helen's Area Volunteer), 01942 721 323, ruth.card@contact.org.uk. Ruth is the parent of a disabled child and offers peer support and local signposting for parents in the St Helen's area. Find out about the role of a volunteer parent representative [PDF].
  • Rebecca Robinson - Sessional Administrative Support Worker (North West), rebecca.robinson@contact.org.uk. Supports the North West team with admin and produces the NW newsletter.

Alternatively, you can email the national helpline at helpline@contact.org.uk or call our freephone national helpline on 0808 808 3555 from 9.30am-5.00pm, Monday-Friday. Advisers can arrange an interpreter over the telephone if needed.

Registration forms

If you are a professional and would like to receive our quarterly newsletter packed full of news, information and events please fill in this registration form.

If you are a parent and would like to receive our quarterly newsletter packed full of news, information and events please fill in this registration form.

Local news

Latest North West Newsletter

Read our latest newsletter [PDF] for parents of disabled children and professionals who work with them in the north west area. It contains local information, news and events in the area. 

If you have any local North West news stories to share please send them to Rebecca at rebecca.robinson@contact.org.uk

Help Us Lift the Cap on Money Off Childcare: 2nd Counting the Costs Campaign

Mums of disabled children can't work as much as they'd like, often due to high childcare costs. Join contact by signing our petition calling for more help towards childcare costs for mums of disabled children.

And dont forget we have lots of support and advice available for parent carers who need advice on work or childcare including our web pages that explain your rights and what to do if you are refused childcare. Together we can really make a difference to families with disabled children.

Join our new Affiliation Programme for Parent Support Groups

We're thrilled to be launching our new scheme for parent support groups - designed for you and based on what you've told us you want from us:

  • Information, news and resources - for you group and your members - to help you make the most of what we do at Contact
  • Networking and publicity - opportunities to connect with other support groups and our help in promoting your group and helping you reach new families
  • Great value learning and development - to help both your group and your members to grow and thrive

Affiliation is about us having a better connection to each other. We want to help your group get more from our information, resources and infrastructure.

And we know many of you want to feel closer to Contact, demonstrating that we're working together for the families we serve. This scheme helps us do that. 

Affiliation is not a membership scheme (we thought the less bureaucracy the better!), but it does bring together the best of our services in one neat and tidy package, combined with some new features that we hope you'll love.

As well as everything you'd expect from Contact, the scheme offers you and your members access to two great e-learning platforms, special status in our online community of parent carers and the opportunity to use our new branding your own publicity, demonstrating our connection to each other.

And that's only the beginning! For the full run down of benefits please take a look at our Affiliation Leaflet, which includes a full list of FAQs. 

You can become an affiliate free of charge. There's also an enhanced, paid option for groups that want the full package, charged at £100 annually. Our leaflet contains full details.

Affiliation replaces our Local Groups Network (LGN). We will keep details of LGN members on our system so we can signpost parent carers to you, unless you tell us not to.

For existing LGN members, affiliation is not automatic - if you're already on our system and want to become an affiliate you will need to sign up below. 

Join us by completing the short online form here, or read more about it first in our Affiliation Leaflet.

We hope you love the new scheme, and we look forward to welcoming you!

New: Introducing our brand new online community - sign up today

We are delighted to introduce you to our online community, a brand new collaboration with parents. We've created a safe environment where you can talk to others about anything to do with caring for a disabled child.

Join a condition group to meet carers of children with the same condition or dive into a discussion and share your experiences on everything from challenging behaviour to healthcare, holidays and higher education

Extra help in education for 19 - 25 year olds

We have a new factsheet about extra help in education for 19-25 year olds in England, written by experts n our education helpline.

It explains education options post-19, what happens to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, what if your child doesn't have an EHC plan, funding for education and much more.

Free Workshops and Information Sessions

By working together and developing partnerships with other organisations across the North West, we can offer free workshops and information sessions to parents.

We attend support groups, link with Children's Centres, parent carer forums, schools and many other organisations.

The North West Team can offer the following sessions:

  • Introduction to Contact
  • Difficult behaviours that challenge us
  • General Benefits and Grants
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payments
  • Confidence - coping at meetings, assertiveness and communication skills
  • Growing up and sexuality - understanding puberty and supporting your child through the change
  • Helping your child sleep
  • Building resilience, coping and support
  • Supporting brothers and sisters
  • Bullying - awareness and support
  • Growing up, moving on - supporting the transition from child to adult
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability - SEND reforms, EHC plans and legislation

For further information or to book for your group please contact by email: northwest@contact.org.uk

Please note that all sessions are subject to availability and local needs and there is a requirement of a minimum of 8 people to attend.

Advice, consultancy service, training and workshops for professionals

A new menu of products and services for professionals who work with families. Visit: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/professionals

Do you want to connect with other parents, carers and professionals? Join our Facebook community

Here's a place where you can have your say about our latest news and updates, ask for advice from our parent advisers and talk to other families with disabled children.

Join our Facebook community now.

Local events

Contact information sessions and workshops

Building Confidence

Wednesday 14th November, 10am-1pm                              Venue: BURY2GETHER Office, Brandlesholme Community Centre, Brandlesholme Road, Bury, BL8 1HS

This session will help you develop better communication skills, feel more confident when working with professionals and prepare and get the best out of meetings.

To book on and for further details please see Eventbrite.

Supporting Brothers and Sisters

Tuesday 20 November, 6pm-8pm
Venue: LivPaC - Liverpool Parent Carer Forum, c/o DCLP, 5 Shelmore Drive, Dingle, Liverpool, L8 4YL

To identify the emotional and practical issues affecting siblings, exlpore a range of methods to support siblings and identify resources and support for siblings.

For further information and to book a place, please contact: Donna at livpac@hotmail.co.uk

Upcoming Workshops

Further workshops being held in the areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Cheshire East, Liverpool and St Helens. Please keep checking for further details.

Kidz to Adultz Up North

One of the largest, free UK exhibitions dedicated to children and young adults up to the age of 25 years with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and professionals who support them. Contact will be there with a stand (Stand number V9), offering advice and information. Please come and say hello!

This event is taking place on Thursday 8th November, 9:30am-4:30pm, at EventCity, Barton Dock Road, Manchester, M17 8AS.

Hospital Information and advice stands in the North West

Contact information stand at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

In the Atrium from 11am-3pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 30th October 2018
  • Tuesday 13th November 2018
  • Tuesday 27th November 2018
  • Tuesday 8th January 2019
  • Tuesday 22nd January 2019
  • Tuesday 5th February 2019
  • Tuesday 26th February 2019

Contact staff will have an information stand in the Atrium at The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital on the above dates. Please come along and pick up information about Contact, meet our friendly parent advisers and see our range of parent guides and ask us any questions you may be struggling to get answers for.

We can give information and advice about any aspect of raising your child, including help with finances, education, emotional and practical support.

Come and visit the stand or for further information email northwest@contact.org.uk

External Workshop Sessions

Parent and Carer Support: Learning more about Autism at Pontville School, Lancashire

A half day workshop which offers top tips for understanding and supporting children with autism and associated developmental differences.

Being held on Saturday 24th November 2018

  • 9:30am - 1pm
  • 1:30pm - 5:00pm

For more information please contact Clare or Rukiya on 0844 880 6520 or email events@eitherslackgroup.co.uk

Education, Health & Care Plan Workshop at Pontville School, Lancashire

A free event aimed at developing your understanding of the EHCP process, which will help make informed and positive decisions regarding your child's education.

Being held on Saturday 19th January 2019

  • 9:30am - 3:30pm

For more information please contact Clare or Rukiya on 0844 880 6520 or email events@witherslackgroup.co.uk

Local Activities, Support Groups and Services

Click on the links below to be taken straight to your local authority "Local Offer" page.

These pages contain information on hundreds of groups and organsiations who can offer help, practical support and information on education, health, social care, money matters, childcare, preparing for adulthood, concerns and equipment.

You'll also find information on lots of support groups and fun activities for you and your family in your area:

Blackburn with Darwen Local Offer

Blackpool Local Offer

Bolton Local Offer

Bury Local Offer

Cheshire East Local Offer

Cheshire West and Cheshire Local Offer

Cumbria Local Offer

Halton Local Offer

Knowsley Local Offer

Lancashire Local Offer

Liverpool Local Offer

Manchester Local Offer

Oldham Local Offer

Rochdale Local Offer

Salford Local Offer

Sefton Local Offer

St Helens Local Offer

Stockport Local Offer

Tameside Local Offer

Trafford Local Offer

Warrington Local Offer

Wigan Local Offer

Wirral Local Offer


You may also find SENDirect very useful

We are one of the partners of SENDirect, launched in January 2015. The online service allows parents and professionals to:

  • see what services are available to them, how much things cost and what other people think of them
  • look at guidance on how to tell if an activity or service might be worth trying for their child
  • speak directly to activity providers about adapting services to suit their exact needs
  • help create suitable new services where currently there are none
  • shape and buy activities, support and equipment easily online

Visit the SENDirect website.

North West Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Regional Network pages can be found here: https://www.nwsend.network/

Childcare and Family Services Finder

Your local Family Information Service can provide you with information on all local childcare options, holiday playschemes and activities for children and young people. Search for your local FIS using the Childcare and Family Services Finder.

Childcare and Family Services Finder is a free service to help you find registered childcare and family services in your local area. It covers all the Ofsted registered childcare providers across England, with results provided by local authorities.

The Family Information Service will be only too happy to provide you with a brokerage service to ensure that you find the right childcare and services for your particular family circumstances. Don't be afraid to ask. Your local authority has a legal duty to provide this brokerage service for you.