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Support groups and advice

As a parent, carer or young person with SEND there are a number of services that offer independent advice and information to help you understand the complicated world of special educational needs.  Please have a look at the different services that can offer advice below. 

PCAN (Parents of Children with Additional Needs Making a Difference in Kirklees) 

PCAN is an independent, parent led forum for all parents and carers of children/young people (aged 0-25 years) with additional needs in Kirklees. PCAN welcomes any parent or carer, whether they are just becoming aware that their child may have additional needs or whether they have a child with a confirmed diagnosis. 

PCAN provides information to help parents and their children, a chance to meet and network with other parents through events and social media, and works with local service providers to ensure that parents have their say in the design and delivery of local services for their children. 

The PCAN website and closed Facebook group is updated regularly with information and updates about events and activities relevant to parent carers and their children. Members of PCAN will receive a quarterly newsletter. It is free to join - just follow the link on the website. PCAN are a voluntary organisation run by Trustees who are all parents of children with additional needs. 

You can contact PCAN via their website, (opens a new page)

Email:  info@pcankirklees.org

Tel:  07754 102336  

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) is a registered charity (number 327691) operating in England. 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). We also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations. 

You can contact IPSEA via their website, (opens a new page).

Email:  office@ipsea.net

Tel:  01799 582030

Contact support families of children with a disability.  They work in three closely linked ways: 

  • supporting families with advice and guidance 
  • bring families together 
  • help families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others. 

You can contact “Contact” via their website (opens a new page).

Tel:  0808 808 3555 

Sensory World is owned and run by Linda Holmes, who has been in the childminding business since the birth of her son in 1995, who has many difficulties so she has particular interest in children with sensory problems.

Linda has extensive training in many aspects of child care especially around children with special needs and for several years her passion was to open a Multi-Sensory Play Centre to give other families the benefit of care and resources that were not available to her.

That drive came to fruition with the opening of this play centre which includes a playroom where children of all ages can access a wide variety of resources from games, arts and crafts, computer based experiences, a sensory garden, nature area and a sensory room. It also has specialist lighting and technical equipment as well as the simplest of toys to produce an environment proven to have beneficial effects for children and adults throughout the autistic spectrum.

You can contact Sensory World via it's website (opens a new page).

Email:  linda@sensoryworldplaycentre.co.uk

Tel:  01924 456152 or 07801 065589

The Huddersfield Support Group for Autism (HSGA) was set up in February 1992 and has helped many families since then. They are a voluntary, self-help group of individuals and families living or working with Autism and they offer advice, meetings, trips and events amongst other things.

A confirmed diagnosis of ASD is not needed to join the group.

You can contact HGSA via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@autismhuddersfield.co.uk

Tel: 07790 224343

The West Yorkshire ADHD Support Group are a volunteer-led not-for-profit support group who hold regular informal meetings and occasional guest speakers.

You can contact the West Yorkshire ADHD Support Group via their Facebook page (opens a new page).

Email:  westyorksadhd@gmail.com

Carers Count is a not for profit organisation that supports unpaid carers within Kirklees.  They work with carers who are aged 18 and over and give their time to someone with a physical disability, long-term illness, an older person, a child with additional needs, a learning disability and/or a mental health issue (including dementia).

They offer advice, information, advocacy, support groups and activities. They are experts in their fields and cover everything related to an unpaid carers role from benefits advice, raising awareness for carers, meditation sessions and wellbeing support, to understanding your rights as a carer.

You can contact Carers Count via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@carerscount.org.uk

Tel:  0300 012 0231

The Whole Autism Family

The Whole Autism Family is a charity set up by a family with two autistic children.  If offers help, support and guidance to families who are impacted by autism.  You don't need to have a diagnosis for your child to join as they realise support is needed before a diagnosis.

You can contact The Whole Autism Family via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@thewholeautismfamily.co.uk

Downs and Special Friends

Downs and Special Friends is a support group set up by parents to provide support, guidance, run activities, meet-ups for children, siblings and parents of Down’s syndrome, Autism, Cerebal Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis and other life limiting diagnosed or undiagnosed disabilities.

You can contact Downs and Special Friends via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@downsandspecialfriends.org

Huddersfield Down Syndrome Support Group

A group voluntarily run by parents of children with Down Syndrome in the Huddersfield area. They arrange social, sporting and educational events and activities for children with Down Syndrome, and their families.  As well as parents of children with Down Syndrome, they also have families with children with Williams Syndrome as members.

You can contact Huddersfield Down Syndrome Support Group via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  hdssg1@gmail.com

Kirklees Deaf Children's Society

The Kirklees branch of the National Deaf Children's Society provides support for families with deaf or hard of hearing children and young adults.  It is run by a group of parents with deaf children who support each other and families with deaf children.  They also provide events for children and families throughout Kirklees.

You can contact Kirklees Deaf Children's Society via their Facebook page (opens a new page).

Email:  kirklees@ndcsgroup.org.uk

Tel:  01484 681329 or 07928 362591

Carers Trust Mid Yorkshire

Carers Trust Mid Yorkshire is a local not-for-profit charity working to support unpaid family carers.  They take a person-centred approach to both the carer's needs and that of the loved one.  They provide adult services for both adults and children where they will take over the carer's usual tasks enabling them to have a well-deserved break.

You can contact Carers Trust Mid Yorkshire via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@CTMY.org.uk

Tel:  01484 537036

Outlookers

Outlookers (previously Kirklees Visually Impaired Network (KVIN) and the Society for the Blind of Dewsbury, Batley & District) is a member-led organisation providing support services for people with visual impairments.

You can contact Outlookers via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@outlookers.org.uk

Tel: 01924 445222

Northorpe Hall

Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust provides mental health support for young people experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties, and their families.

They offer counselling, 1-1 support with mental health practitioners, activity groups and short term workshops, and advice, information and support over the phone or regular support calls.

You can contact Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust via their website (opens a new page).

Email:  info@northorpehall.co.uk

Tel: 01924 492183

SEN Kids

SEN Kids is a non-profit organisation supporting families, mainly with children with special needs, complex needs and hidden disabilities. They run regular activities, crafts and arts, support groups for parents, and plan and organise private bookings for trips such as playgyms and farms.

You can contact SEN Kids via their Facebook page (opens a new page).

Email:  senkidsteam@outlook.com

Last updated: 05/01/2022