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

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.

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

Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust

Monday 25 March 2019, 9:30am-12:30pm - Helping your Child Sleep. To increase knowledge and understanding of sleep issues and to exlpore and share strategies, top tips and sources of advice and support.

Wednesday 15 May 2019, 9:30am-12:30pm - Supporting Brothers and Sisters. To explore a range of methods to support siblings and to identify and share resources and support available.

Cheshire and Warrigton Carers Trust information sessions will be held at Unit 1, Brierley Business Centre, Mirion Street, Crewe, CW1 2AZ.

To find out more information or to book on please email Lisa Warburton; lisa@cheshireandwarrigtoncarers.org or telephone 01270 257331.

St Helen's Parent Carer Forum

Monday 29 April 2019, 10am-12:30pm - Supporting Brothers and Sisters. To explore a range of methods to support siblings and to identify and share resources and support available.

St Helen's PCF information sessions will be held at Fishwick House, 18 Cotham Street, St Helen's, WA10 1SJ. To find out more information or to book on please email; saradolan@sthelenscarers.org.uk or, telephone 01744 675 615.

Early Years Programme age 0 to 8: Free Parent Carer Information Sessions - Rainbow House

Session 6: Tuesday 19 March 2019 - Money Matters. This session will address the additional costs of bringing up a child with a disability and help you understand the range of grants, benefits and entitlements available and know how to get support.

All sessions run from 10am-12pm (registration and coffee from 9:30am). Rainbow House information sessions will be held at The Legacy Rainbow House, Salt Pit Lane, Mawdesley, Ormskirk, L40 2QX.

To find out more information or to book on please email Sonia Harris, s.harris@thelegacy-rainbowhouse.com or telephone 01704 823 276.

Hospital Information and advice stands in the North West

Contact information stand at Alder Hey Children's Hospital

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

  • Thursday 28 March 2019

Contact staff will have an information stand in the Atrium at The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Alder Hey 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. You can 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

Family Fund Event

Information and Support Day - Learn more about Family Fund support services, grants, information available to you and your disabled child or young person.

Bolton -
Thursday 21 March 2019, 10:30am-2:30pm

Venue: The Hub, Bold Street, Bolton, BL1 1LS.

Contact will have an information stand at the information and support day in Burnley.

Preston Panthers

A sports club for children and young people with a disability or special need.

Preston Panthers offer a varitey of sporting activities such as football, wheelchair basket ball, hockey and much more every Saturday at West View Lesuire Centre, Preston. Dry sports from 5pm-6:30pm and wet sports from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

To find out more information contact Marilyn Gregson on 01772 719052 or 07719599537.

Manchester Parent Carer Forum SEND Survey

MPCF would like to gather your views, as parent-carers of children and young people with SEND in Manchester, on what is going well and what could be improved in your local area. They would be grateful if you could complete their short survey on Education, Health and Care (EHC) services and Manchester's Local Offer.

The answers that parents and carers give in these surveys are leading to changes in services, so you views are really important.

Please submit your answers by the 15th March, Survey Links:

Survey Monkey Link

Facebook Link

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.