21 July 2021

Image of SEND Summer Special - Manchester Local Offer

SEND Summer Special #1 - Manchester Local Offer Newsletter

Manchester City Council sent this bulletin at 21-07-2021 10:31 AM BST

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

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With the Manchester Parent Carer Forum and Manchester Parent Champions, we’ve co-designed a fantastic community offer for SEND families living in the city. It's been funded through Manchester City Council. Some of the activities have also received extra funding from the government’s Holiday Activity Fund (HAF), supporting children and young people on free school meals. And it’s all free – with more to come!


The Local Offer Team

Email: localoffer@manchester.gov.uk

0161 234 1946, Twitter - Manchester Local Offer @MCRLocalOffer



SEND Community Offer


These activities are for SEND families living in the Manchester City Council area. They've been put in date order so you can see what is coming up - with activities starting this week! You need to book though - first come, first served.


SEND Summer Walks

There are free walks over the holidays for the city's children and young people with SEND (up to 25 years) and their families in some of the city's parks. It’s a chance to have a fun time together as well as meet other families from across the community. Every child and young person gets a gift and every walker gets a picnic and a drink for free. For more information and to book your places, please contact Dave at Thrive Manchester on 07921 291093 or walks@thrivemanchester.org.uk. Update: The walk on Friday 23rd July will be at Wythenshawe Park rather than Fletcher Moss. 


Summer SEND Walks listing


Pedal & Picnic

bike wheel

Join Simply Cycling for an all-ability guided ride and picnic. The activity runs over the summer holidays from Monday 26th July to Thursday 26th August and is for up to 8 Manchester people per ride (additional parent support can be added if needed). Simply Cycling bring bikes that all the family will be able to ride or be supported to ride - including wheelchair accessible bikes and trandems - and the routes will be geared around needs and abilities. The cycling will be at Boggart Hole Clough (North) on Mondays 10am-12.30pm, Longford Park (Central) on Tuesdays 10am-12.30pm and Wythenshawe Park (South) on Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-3.30pm. The rides don’t need to start at these parks as alternative meeting points can be arranged. Booking essential – call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Sensory Rooms

The popular Sensory Rooms at Redbank House in Cheetham Hill are back! Free slots are available at various times during weekdays from Monday 26th July to Friday 3rd September. Manchester families only and booking essential – call 0161 214 5959 or email info@redbankhouse.com.


Sensory room


Virtual Summer Music Club

Billy and Andy music school

During two weeks of the summer holidays, Billy & Andy's Music School will be running a free virtual music club for young adults with additional needs living in Manchester. Whilst at the club, participants will get the chance to explore song-writing and learn how to use the sounds around them to create beautiful sounding music. The club runs through Zoom from:


  • Monday 26th to 30th July
  • Monday 9th to Friday 13th August

The sessions will start at 11am and finish at 1.30pm with time for a short break in the middle. Book through Eventbrite. Young people can attend multiple sessions, but they can join as many or as few as they like. Any questions to info@billyandandy.co.uk or 07429 826053. Check out the School on Instagram and Facebook.


Tree Top Trek

Enjoy free two hour sessions of tree-riffic bouncy adventure in the high trees at Heaton Park with Tree Top Trek. Play high up on huge bouncy nets with super-fast slides and aerial walkways. These free special sessions for SEND families living in the city of Manchester take place every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer holidays, 10am-12 noon, age 3 and upwards. See the website for FAQ, including what to wear. Booking essential - call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Tree top trek


Market Garden & Forest School 

Market garden

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the holidays, from 27th July to 25th August, the Community Market Garden in Platt Fields is running special sessions for Manchester SEND families, with nature crafts, gardening and campfires. Sessions are morning and afternoon each day. Booking essential – call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Outdoor Storytelling

Storytelling logos

Join free outdoor storytelling sessions for Manchester SEND families, followed by lunchtime snacks:


  • Platt Fields – Wednesday 28th July
  • Wythenshawe Park – Thursday 29th July
  • Heaton Park – Wednesday 4th August

Each session is 11am-12 noon, meeting at the park cafes. The storytellers are from Manchester Libraries in collaboration with Read Manchester. Booking essential - call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Play At Anson Cabin


Anson Cabin are holding free inclusive play activities for Manchester SEND 5–13 year olds every Friday in the holidays, 10am-12 noon and 1-3pm. Activities include arts and crafts, group games, elemental and sensory play activities, with refreshments provided. To book, please call 07756 591948 and speak to a member of the cabin team (there may be additional sessions available during the week subject to availability). Anson Cabin Project is at 38 Meldon Road, Longsight, Manchester M13 0TR.   


Magical Theatre

Feelgood Theatre

Step into the magical world of storytelling as Feelgood Theatre presents their brand new tales, Dancing by Moonlight written especially for Heaton Park and a snippet of the old favourite Alice Through the Looking Glass. Come and meet Dee the dancing donkey, the Queen of the Fairies and the White Rabbit in two special free performances for Manchester SEND families on Saturday 31st July at 1pm and Sunday 1st August at 3pm. Gather at the Farm Centre café archway for a performance of around 50 minutes, bringing chairs or mats to sit on. Booking essential - call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


There are also other free performances for Manchester residents - book through the Feelgood website.



Boating At Heaton Park


Manchester SEND families can have fun on Heaton Park lake every Monday morning in August. Sessions are every half hour from 10am-12 noon with a choice of swans (four-seater pedalos) and rowing boats (seats four). Booking essential – call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.



Children's Adventure Farm


Following the popular visits in the Spring, we’re offering free sessions at the Children's Adventure Farm again! Available slots are:


  • Tuesday 3rd August - 10am, 11.30am
  • Saturday 7th August - 10am, 11.30am
  • Sunday 8th August - 10am
  • Thursday 12th August - 3pm
  • Sunday 15th August - 10am, 11.30am
  • Tuesday 17th August - 10am, 11.30am

The farm is at Reddy Lane, Altrincham WA14 3RE. You need to be able to make your own way there. Booking essential – call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Drama With Odd Arts

Odd Arts have an exciting programme of free summer activities at Moss Side Powerhouse, supported by an inclusion worker. Sign up by emailing yasmin@oddarts.co.uk. If a young person has additional needs, let Yasmin know and they will be supported to take part and have fun.


Odd Arts poster


Sow The City - Food & Forage


In this doorstep project, Sow the City is sharing free Food Growing and Foraging Activity Packs to help your family engage and connect with nature. Inside you’ll find everything you need to grow tasty and colourful Rainbow Chard at home - seeds, pots, compost pellets, a trowel and gloves. Follow the easy to read information sheet on how to get growing, find out about growing projects to visit in your community, and how to start foraging for wild food in Manchester. For Manchester families only - to book your pack, call 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Mosaics With Venture Arts

Craft colours

Venture Arts are back this summer with another free, artist-designed box project that contains everything you need to make fun pieces of art at home. This year VA artist Sally Hirst has created a foam mosaic project for SEND families to get involved with over the summer holiday. Sign up for this doorstep project by calling 0161 219 2125, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.


Summer Family Packs

Healthy food

Manchester Parent Carer Forum have partnered with 4CT Limited to deliver ‘Happy, Active, Healthy SEND Summer Family Packs’ to families in Manchester. They’re like the paper bag sensory and activity kits that many families loved last summer and at Christmas but with an Explore Manchester and health and nutrition twist! Parents or carers of SEND children and young people within Manchester may apply, with those who receive Free School Meals to be given priority. Find out more here and the online application form.


Other Summer Stuff

Creative Activities From Starling

Starling image

Starling have planned some super-exciting summer workshops for neurodivergent young people aged 13-25 in Trafford, Manchester and Tameside. It’s a chance to try a range of activities run by professional artists, like animation, character creation, comics, digital art, creative writing, music, storytelling, performance, sensory arts, puppet-making and screen printing. The workshops are free and every Thursday in August, with lunch included. Starling will get young people there if they don’t have transport and there’s no pressure – they can take part as much or as little as they like. To find out more send Starling a message 07508 371703 or hello@starlingcio.org.uk - sign up here.


Open Door At Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery are re-starting their autism-friendly sessions. Open Doors is a series of creative workshops especially for autistic children and those with other social communication needs, their families and carers. You can get hands on with a variety of making activities, explore the art gallery or just spend time together in the new children’s space, The Lion’s Den. A quiet room is also available. Book via Eventbrite for the sessions are on Tuesday 10th August and Tuesday 24th August. 


The Crisp Sandwich Cafe

Bird with crisp bag on head

You can now book free tickets for The Crisp Sandwich Café, a dance theatre performance for autistic young people. There will be two performances of ‘The Crisp Sandwich Cafe’ each day between Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th August at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in the city centre. It will be autism-friendly throughout and set up for COVID-safety. The performances are for up to 8 autistic young people accompanied by carers/family/friends or single groups of young people accompanied by their group leader/s. Find out more and book tickets here.

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