Scotland

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

Calling all Parent Support Groups - Tell us what you need so that we can help.

As we continue our links with parent support groups across Scotland we would like to make sure we are complementing the great work that you do in your local community. We want to look at what - if anything - has changed in the last 3 years since we last carried out a survey and what your local and national needs are now so that we can better understand what you want from Contact going forward.

If you represent or lead a parent support group do take part and complete the Contact Scotland Support Group Survey 2019 Thank you!

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. For details of  local groups in  Scotland call us on 07458046071. Read our latest Parent Support Group e-bulletin.

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. 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). 

Funding for our support group project through The Robertsons Trust has now ended.

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). For an introduction to children's rights why not follow this Scottish Government 10 minute training course Introducing Childrens Rights to boost your knowledge.

Follow us on our new Contact in Scotland Facebook Page!

Contact Scotland E-bulletin

We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. September 2018 E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.

Contact

Office address

Contact Scotland
The Melting Pot
5 Rose Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2PR

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email susan.walls@contact.org.uk for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk for newsletter and information (Monday to Wednesday).

News for Scotland

New Contact Scotland Leaflet

We have published our new Contact leaflet detailing how we can help families in Scotland. If you would like a few copies for your parent support group members then email Scotland.office@contact.org.uk.

New Scottish Child Payments

Eligible families will start receiving this new benefit next year. The £10 a week payment for children aged 0-6 will be made to low income families with the first payments reaching families by Christmas 2020.

New Report - Activate: what matters most to disabled young people (16-30) in Scotland

Read Inclusion Scotland's report on what matters to young disabled people, aged 16-30 and what they want changed. From experiencing bullying and isolation, challenges when moving from child to adult services or struggling with getting work -everyday barriers that stop them from living the lives they choose. Read more at Inclusion Scotland.

What we did in the holidays - research into holiday activity provision

Many families with disabled children and young people struggle to access activities for their children over the summer holiday period. Given that almost a quarter of children in Scotland are seen as having some form of additional support need, this represents no small challenge.
 
Shared Care Scotland has recently commissioned Simon Jaquet Consultancy Services Ltd (SJCS) to undertake research to help better understand the scale, nature, and delivery of holiday activity provision for disabled children and young people across Scotland. In  turn, this will support future efforts to improve the quality, choice, and availability of this provision.

Simon willl be seeking the views of disabled children and young people themselves; parents, siblings and carers; campaign groups and representative bodies; activity providers; local authorities; national organisations; and funders. The research will initially focus on the local authority areas of Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth & Kinross.  To take part in local research activities, online survey or focus groups contact Simon Jaquet (Director SJCS) on 07789 658291 or simon@simonjaquet.com

Play for All - new service for families in Midlothian

Play for All  is a new inclusive play programme which brings play ideas and resources direct to disabled children at home. Working with the family to support play over as many visits as required. focussing on all-family play from accessible household resources. 

The programme is for children aged 0 to 13 with learning difficulty, physical disability, autism or hearing or visual impairments  and families are welcome to self-refer. Children do not need to have received a formal diagnosis to take part and siblings are also welcome!

For further information please contact Play Midlothian or call 01875 820 889.

Would you like to get involved in the Flamingo project to try to improve healthcare for children and young people?

Flamingo (Flow of emergency admissions of children and young people to hospital). If you are a parent or carer and have a child aged 0-18 years old who has been sent to hospital as an emergency and allowed home on the same day you can help.

Rearchers from the Universities of Stirling, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Napier are looking for parents and carers of children to get involved. We want to make sure that our project deals with issues that are important to families and is carried out in a way that suits families and helps the team come up with ideas to improve hospital admissions and avoid any that are not needed.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience then please email Simita.Kumar@stir.ac.uk or by phone (call or text) on 07483 973320. 

Free Technology Advice and Support for Disabled People

AbilityNet is a charity that provides free help with computers, tablets and smartphones to disabled people of all ages.  You can book a session with a vetted ITCanHelp volunteer who can visit you at home and help you get the most out of your technology. Call the AbilityNet helpline on 0800 269 545 for more details.

Looking for ideas for days out with the family!

Flower Pic 2

Download Places to visit for fun, adventure and activities for this summer. (Information shared by parent groups). 

Resources available from our Preparing Parents for Transition project

Local information and useful links from our transitions workshops with Lead Scotland for parents in Highland, Aberdeenshire and Clackmannanshire. NB These were up to date when published, but please be aware services can change quickly. They may not be comprehensive and are not an endorsement of any service. Information shared at the workshop in West Lothian is available from Signpost at www.signpost-online.org.uk

The Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.  This national scheme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all local councils. 

Community Care Grants can be made to help families under exceptional pressure including at home if your childs health is at risk.  Crisis Grants can help people facing a disaster or emergency including for food, essential heating costs and other expenses i.e travel costs if you have a child who is ill in hospital. It can also help if you're a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits.

You may be eligible to receive a grant if you are aged 16 or over and on a low income - this does not mean you need to be on benefits. To apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund please contact your local council.  Please ensure you have your National Insurance number to hand

Applications open for new Independent Living Fund

Applications are being invited now to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

For more details and to apply for a grant visit ILF Fund or call 0300 200 2022.

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

The Contact Scotland September e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland September 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

Scotland

Midlothian

Getting Transitions Right - training sessions for professionals and parent carers.

Friday 22 November, ARC Scotland, Dalkeith

The Scottish Transitions Forum are running 2 sessions for anyone who supports young people with additional support needs aged 14 - 25 and is relevant for voluntary sector, parents and carers and professionals. The session aims to provide greater understanding of differing professional roles and responsibilities and how you can work with others to promote and encourage better communication and joint working. For more information
visit Scottish Transitions Forum Events.

Edinburgh

Join us at the Carers Parliament 2019

Wednesday 30 October, Central Halls, Edinburgh

A key event for Contact this autumn will be the Carers Parliament day where the focus will be on Diversity of Caring - recognising and celebrating the diverse nature of caring in Scotland. Contact will be running a session together with the Family Fund called Caring and You - for families with disabled children. We will focus on parent experiences and what outcomes you as a carer would like to see, in addition to sharing good practice through our digital information. We will also have an information stand with parent guides and resources. If you are interested in attending please register at Carers Parliament 2019.

West Lothian

Siblings Workshop with Signpost

Signpost are looking to pilot a Siblings workshop with activities to discuss and help siblings to understand additional support needs and what that means for them.

The workshop is for children aged 5+ and more than one sibling can attend. Venue to be confirmed.

To book contact enquiries@signpost-online.co.uk with the following information - Child who will be attending; Name; Address; date of birth and siblings condition. Also parent/carer contact details. Please put Sibling Workshop as the email subject. Visit Signpost for more information.

Personal Safety Course for Women

Free Friday Fitness Club for 12-16 year olds

Projekt 42, 117 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, 2-3pm on Fridays

Interested in boxing, circuits, weights, zumba, pilates... then if you are 12-16 you can enjoy free membership at PROJEKT 42.  Attendees of the Friday Fitness Club get access to other studio classes via a free membership.

You can also gain support and funding towards completing fitness qualifiations to start a career in the fitness industry through partner Active IQ.

Email info@projekt42.co.uk to book or for more information.

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.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and if you w ould like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland then we would love to hear from you. 


If you would like find out more or explore possibilities for volunteering then please email scotland.office@contact.org.uk or call 0131 659 2939 to talk to a member of our team.

 

Transition

Welcome to our Scotland Page on all things Transition!

New transitions website Talking About Tomorrow

Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share and help us make sure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk  #TalkingAboutTomorrow

Transition News and Events

YOU - A new SDS Advocacy and Advice Service

YOU is a new Self Directed Support advocacy/advice service for those with disabilities and parent carers. Your Options Understood (YOU) http://www.youroptionsunderstood.co.uk/about-us/4589490798 offers independent advice in Self Directed Support as well as training for support workers.

Getting Transitions Right - one day courses

Tuesday 27 August, 9.30am Cantraybridge College, Inverness

Wednesday 25 September, 10am, The Richmond Fellowship, Dunfermline, Fife 

Friday 22nd November, ARC Scotland, Dalkeith, Midlothian 

Hosted by Transitions Forum Scotland this course will inform and inspire you to develop approaches that enable young people (14 to 25 years) with additional needs to reach their potential in adult life. Drawing on the most up-to-date developments in legislation, research, practice, guidance and policy, you will explore opportunities to develop your practice and to influence others in this dynamic and rapidly developing sector.

The Scottish Transitions Forum are widely recognised as the experts in transitions and the body who are leading change locally and nationally. The course is co-facilitated by Alexander Warren from AJP dreams whose inspirational personal reflections will ensure your learning remains grounded in the experiences of young people and their families.

This session is for anyone who supports young people with additional support needs aged 14 - 25. This includes practitioners from health and social care, education, further education, voluntary sector, employability services, parents and carers.

To encourage improved understanding and collaboration between different sectors, the programme will be delivered in a small group of no more than 16 people who will be drawn from a range of professional and personal backgrounds.

Cost £45 for parents and carers and lunch is included. For more information on this course or to register your interest please contact Rebecca on rebecca.williams@arcuk.org.uk or 0131 663 4444

My Support, My Choice - Share your Self Directed Support Experience

My Support, My Choice is a joint research project from two independent charities Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) which looks to examine Service User experiences of Self-directed Support (SDS), you can read more information about the research questions  here.

If you receive SDS or have been assessed for SDS in the last 12 months you can take part. We know that not everyone has the same experience when it comes to accessing Self-directed Support, but we have seen just how transformational it can be to the lives of service users and their families when it works well. We believe that reporting progress based on your experience is not only powerful but vital to improving SDS in the future. You can access the online survey  here. All responses are anonymous.

If you have any questions about the research or would like to request a hard copy of the survey please contact the My Support, My Choice freephone support line on: 0800 1701 321 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-4.30pm).


Thinking about applying for the ILF Transition Fund?

To find out more about the fund and how it is helping young people living with disabilities to become more independent and involved in their communities, head over to: https://ilf.scot/transition-fund/what-is-it/

As more young people apply for the fund, ILF Scotland will be sharing stories about how young people are choosing to use the money they receive, and what difference it is making to their lives. 

For more details and to apply for a grant visit  http://ilf.scot/transition-fund/ or call 0300 200 2022.

First transitions workshops take place

Parents Workshop Nov 2017

Future proofing for families through our autumn workshops

"Pure gold dust" was how one parent described the information on offer at one of our workshops this autumn - the first in our 2-year project Going Forward - preparing parents for transition.

It was great to have over 100 parents and carers register for events from Inverness to the Borders through October and November, and to work with local support groups CHIP+, PlayAlloa, the Galaxy Group, Signpost, the West Lothian Parent/Carer Alliance and B.A.N.G. (Borders Additional Needs Group).

A big thank you to our colleagues in Lead Scotland and solicitors Gillespie Macandrew for sharing your time and expertise!

We'll announce more workshops soon, plus a new date for the Perth event, which is being rescheduled.

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.

Parent support groups

Welcome to our Scotland Parent Support Group Information page!

Looking for information for your support group? This section is for you if you are a support group lead or involved in running a local parent support group in Scotland.

We work extensively with groups to build knowledge, information sharing and provide sources of support to help every group thrive. As well as our information on our main UK support group webpage and via our Scotland Support Group E-bulletin, here you will find more local news, training and funding information for your group in Scotland. 

Wee Grants for Wee Groups: open for applications

Robertson Trust have opened their pilot 'Wee Grants for Wee Groups'  for applications.  This new grant offers the opportunity for small registered charities and constituted groups to apply for wee grants  of £500-£2,000.

The grant is open to registered charities, with an annual income of £100,000 or less, and community groups with a constitution and charitable aims. Grants will be awarded to projects which fit with one of the three funding strands:

  • Care and Wellbeing: Improving the quality of life for those affected by physical and/or mental health issues and their carers
  • Strengthening Communities: Increasing the ability and capacity of people and communities to create solutions which address local need
  • Realising Potential: Developing confidence and resilience in young people, particularly those who face barriers to success

For full details and to apply visit The Robertson Trust.

10 week Personal Safety Course for Women

The Albany Centre, 44 Ashley Street, Glasgow, Every Wednesday, 21 August to 30 October, 7-9pm

Learn how to use simple techniques and shock tactics to improve your personal safety. Take part in discussions and exercises designed to help improve your confidence and self esteem. 

Two referrals per organisation.  If you have several interested women then you can contact Wisewomen to arrange a talk, workshops or short course.

Women must register to attend our course.  Groups can do this on a woman's behalf with her permission. Register via Eventbrite; by phone 0141 370 0739 or register via the 'WiseWomen Glasgow' facebook page.

Cycling Fund for Groups

Cycling Scotland's Cycle Friendly Community Development Fund is open until May 31st. https://www.cycling.scot/our-progr…/cycle-friendly/community Community groups across Scotland can apply for between £2,500 and £20,000 for projects encouraging and supporting communities to take a leading role in increasing the number of people who cycle locally.

Disability Assistance in Scotland Consultation

Have you seen the new Social Security consultation on Disability Assistance in Scotland? https://tinyurl.com/yxbl492q DLA will change to DACYP (Disability Assistance for Children and Young People) in 2020. What do you think of the name? Do you agree with - extending the disability assistance up to the age of 18 (currently 16 under DLA)? The introduction of a winter heating payment for those on the higher care component the new benefit? Let us know your thoughts.

Welcome to our new transitions website

Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share with your group members and wider networks to ensure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk  #TalkingAboutTomorrow"

Family Fund - BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

This new programme, delivered by Family Fund Business Services, supports children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures. If you work directly with families as a parent support group lead you could register to become a referrer. To find out more visit Family Fund Services Emergency Essentials

Funding

Remember, Contact has a list of small grant providers for parent carers from both national and local funders for many things such as equipment, bedding, holidays, clothing etc. - call 0131 659 2930 or 39 to obtain a copy.

Training

If you are looking for training or support to help you run your parent support group then don't hesitate to contact our Edinburgh office for more information. We will post training opportunities in this section starting in 2018.

Share Your News

Your comments, information and news are important to us so if you would like to share this with other groups in Scotland or sign up to the Scotland Support Group e-bulletin then please do email me at donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk