16 December 2020

News for SEND Families - Manchester Local Offer Newsletter

Manchester City Council sent this bulletin at 16-12-2020 01:05 PM GMT

Local Offer - www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

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This is our last newsletter before Christmas and, as usual, there’s lots in it! There’s some important to stuff in the Have Your Say section. If you get chance over the festive season, it would be great if you could take a few minutes to share your views.


It’s been a challenging year. We hope you’ve got through okay. Our best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and as we see what 2021 brings.


The Local Offer Team

Email: localoffer@manchester.gov.uk

0161 234 1946

Local Offer Coronavirus Advice & Information

Twitter: Manchester Local Offer @MCRLocalOffer



Christmas Stuff To Do

Platt Fields poster

Christmas Crafts In The Garden - This Saturday!

Mud and Buzz are running free family craft sessions this Saturday 19th December at 11-11.45am, 12-12.45pm and 1-1.45pm at Platt Fields Market Garden. Booking essential at https://www.wearemud.org/events


Online Christmas Spectacular - This Saturday!

Join Manchester Libraries on Facebook this Saturday 19th December for a bumper day of digital celebrations with stories, crafts and a bit of science thrown in! See the latest Children & Families newsletter for the line up. Catch the latest family stories and crafts on Manchester Libraries You Tube channel.



Father Christmas

A Music-making Christmas

Soundabout will be around throughout Christmas to entertain children with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families. Here’s the Christmas timetable. All their ‘Hello Songs’ and free access sessions are available to view on their website at any time.

Seasonal Singing Hands

Christmas is coming to Singing Hands UK – check out their You Tube videos, including a collection of songs, signed in Makaton, taken from their festive DVDs.


Christmas tree

Christmas Cosmic Yoga

A collection of free festive yoga for kids. Scroll down for their playlist of the month – Happy Holidays!

December Storytime

Free videos featuring actors reading children’s books alongside illustrations – includes a selection of stories for December.


Sarah Doran

Festive Film With A Special Message

special festive film has been created for children in Manchester by Sarah Doran, Consultant in Public Health, and Phoenix the dog. It answers any questions children may have about Santa, his little helpers and, of course, the reindeer, while we are living in a world with restrictions. Christmas can still be magical!

Coronavirus Update

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) have asked us to flag an announcement the Government made at the start of November. Adults (18+) who have Down’s syndrome have been added to the list of people who are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (CEV). GPs have been instructed by the NHS to ensure that the records of all their adult patients who have Down’s syndrome have them coded as being on the CEV list. GPs were also provided with a letter that explained the change, along with an easy read version, to send to their patients.



The recent announcement of the COVID-19 vaccination priority list makes it even more important that the medical records of adults who have Down’s syndrome are up to date and correctly coded so they have the vaccine as soon as possible. You can read more in the DSA’s latest coronavirus news, under 30 November. There is a template letter for your GP if you have not heard from them. Adults with Down’s syndrome in England are also able to request a free, four-month supply of vitamin D.


Household Support

Kitchen tap

Help With Water Bills

United Utilities are asking customers affected financially by COVID-19 to get in touch. Their ‘Back on Track’ scheme is aimed at customers receiving benefits or tax credits who are struggling with their water bill payments at this time. Even if you don’t meet the criteria for the scheme there are other ways United Utilities can make your water bills more affordable until the restrictions eventually lift. Download the application pack from the United Utilities website, which has an application form or you can apply online. You can also call the affordability team at United Utilities on 0800 072 6765.


Energy Advice

As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, energy bills are a big worry for many homes throughout the winter, especially as we have all been staying indoors more. Citizens Advice Manchester offer free, confidential, independent advice to help you make savings on your energy bills, get more energy efficient around the house, access a range of additional financial support to keep you switched on through the winter, and much more. Advisers can also answer questions around welfare benefits, debt and money, employment, and housing. Call Citizens Advice Manchester for free on 0808 278 7800 or visit their website to find their online advice services.


For more information on benefits, money and household matters, see our Coronavirus Advice & Information.


News In Brief

Carers Manchester logo

Carers Manchester Christmas Open Hours - Carers Manchester are open every day except the Bank Holidays (Christmas Day, Monday 28th December and Friday 1st January). Here’s the timetable and for their latest news, see their most recent bulletin.



Christmas Resources For Parent Carers - A Christmas parcel of support resources for parents and carers over the Christmas break from Witherslack Group.

Transport for Greater Manchester have signed up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. Disabled people can choose to wear a lanyard bearing a sunflower logo as a subtle way of letting others know that they may require additional support, assistance or a bit more time. Find out more here.


Bike wheel

Manccyles and GMYN are offering an exciting opportunity for young people in Manchester aged 13-16 coming under social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) to take part in a weekly cycling project. Participants are provided with a bike and safety equipment and the chance to develop independence, build resilience and learn cycling skills. Sessions start in January and are every Saturday, 12 noon – 3pm, meeting in Hulme. For further information or to refer a young person, please contact Euan Davies on 07534466607 / euan.davies@gmyn.co.uk.


Have Your Say

Local SEND Surveys

Manchester Parent Carer Forum and Manchester City Council are working together to find out your views on a number of matters. We want to hear what you have to say to help shape services and make them better for you.


Summer picnic

Short Breaks - What did you think about this summer’s offer? What worked well? What could have been improved? Tell us your thoughts and suggestions here.


Also, the Council is looking to increase the range of providers to deliver specialist short breaks. If you receive a package, tell us about the behaviours you expect from the providers.


Covid test

COVID-19 Testing Centres – We’re trying to find out about your experiences and concerns around local coronavirus testing centres. Have you been to one? Do you have any concerns about going to a centre? Do you have any suggestions or tips for other parents? Tell us here.



New Plans For Manchester Hospitals

You are invited to comment on exciting new plans to transform hospital sites in North Manchester and Wythenshawe. They are at the heart of a once in a lifetime vision to improve health and wellbeing for local people over the next 10 to 15 years.


North Manchester General Hospital - Plans for the North Manchester Health Campus on the North Manchester General Hospital site proposes two new hospitals, plus a range of supporting services and facilities for the community. You can find information on the plans and how to share your views.


Wythenshawe Hospital - The hospital site will form the centre of a new sustainable health village, also offering employment, leisure and retail opportunities to the Wythenshawe community. Find information on the plans and how to share your views here.


Both consultations are open until Friday 29th January 2021.


Potential Council Tax Increase

The Council is facing a difficult budget position in 2021/22. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant increased costs – especially for services which support the city’s most vulnerable people. The anticipated hit to next year’s budget from COVID-19 costs is £134m. The Council believe it is important to protect the frontline services and social care which so many rely on. The Government’s recent Spending Review allowed councils to increase Council Tax by up to 1.99 per cent, plus an additional 3 per cent precept to help meet adult social care costs. Manchester City Council are considering using this full possible amount – which would raise around £8.5m – to help protect services from further cuts and especially to support adult social care for those in need. Find out more and how to have your say here. Open until Thursday 24th December 2020.


Bus stop

Bus Consultation

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are making changings to buses in GM. We know many SEND families rely on the buses and may have views on this. If you are interested have a read here on what is being proposed. It tells you how you can take part in the survey in different ways. Open until Friday 29th January 2021.


Survey For Deaf Young People

The National Deaf Children’s Society wants to learn about the experiences and views of deaf young people aged 13-25 around work experience and volunteering. It will help in understanding what opportunities there are and how they can be improved. Check out the survey and BSL video here.

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