12 July 2022

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

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It's National Co-production Week! In this special issue of the newsletter, find out how parent carers and young people are having a say in the city and how you can join them.


The Local Offer Team

Email: localoffer@manchester.gov.uk / 0161 234 1946

Searchable directory: www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

Welcome to Manchester Local Offer / Local Offer SEND Information Hub 

Twitter: @MCRLocalOffer


National Co-production Week 2022

National Co-production Week is back for a seventh year from 4th-9th July 2022. It shares good practice and celebrates the contribution of people who help to make services better. Find out What co-production is and how to do it.  


In Manchester, we are lucky to have an incredible community of children and young people and their parents and carers who are willing to work with us. Our SEND Co-production Charter provides the framework for us all to work together, keeping children and young people at the heart of everything we do.


SEND Co-production Charter

Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council logo



We are incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve together with the Manchester Parent Carer Forum, Manchester Parent Champions, Changemakers, the Working Together Group, and everyone who has contributed, however small – it all matters! We know there is still more to do and want all children, young people and their parents and carers to have an opportunity to get involved and have their voice heard. 


A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to our SEND journey over this last year. We look forward to continuing this journey with you.



Local Area SEND Inspection

SEND in Manchester collage of photographs

We are really proud that inspectors recognised co-production with families as one of Manchester’s strengths when we had our local area SEND inspection in November 2021. In the final findings, the inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission highlighted the culture of co-production and collaborative working in Manchester and the strength of multi-agency working between professionals and with the children, young people and families they support. The inspection survey showed that two thirds of parents felt they had been involved in making decisions about the help and support they receive.


Inspectors acknowledged the strong working relationship with parents and carers through the Parent Carer Forum, Parent Champions and Working Together group which influence education, health and care at strategic level. The Changemakers young people’s group was also highlighted in the report and their role in helping shape the city’s leisure offer. 


Thank you to all the parents, carers, children and young people who took part in the inspection.


Not sure what co-production is? Here are some brilliant examples from Manchester!

SEND Community Offer

Collage of summer activities

The SEND Community Offer is an on-going programme of free activities co-produced with parent carers and young people. Over 1,400 families joined activities during the 2021 summer holidays, with the Changemakers, Manchester Parent Champions and our community delivery partners co-creating this video.


In the last year, over 50 young people have taken part in the various Young People Voice Projects, offering exciting activities which young people have said they want, like anime and skateboarding.


Travel Training 

Travel Training quotes

Since the autumn, free Travel Taining has been on offer to Manchester young people aged 14-25. This offer was co-produced with parents and the Changemakers in response to young people telling us they wanted to be able to travel more independently. Run through Greater Manchester Youth Network with seasoned Travel Trainer Phil Samphire, it has proved really popular and is changing young people's - and parents' - lives. 


About Me

About Me is a new template that captures children and young people’s interests, strengths and support needs. Recognised by services and settings across education, health and care, it means better support and experiences, whether a healthcare appointment, starting a new school or visiting a social venue for the first time. Co-production has been absolutely central to About Me at all stages, from the first idea in 2019 through to designing the About Me templates and testing them with members of Manchester Parent Carer Forum in 2021.


Lyndene Early Intervention Service

The Manchester Partnership, involving Manchester Parent Carer Forum, co-produced the Lyndene Early Intervention Service, an innovative short breaks and outreach support service. The partnership were recently announced as the winners of the national ‘Connected Procurement and Commissioning’ iNetwork Award for innovative and collaborative co-production.


Social Worker Training

Parents have generously given their time to support our social workers in thinking about the delivery of services from a parent perspective. Feedback has been very positive, showing increased knowledge, awareness and confidence, and prompting important reflection on our ways of working.


Support Not Sympathy

Support not sympathy collage of faces

Over 100 young carers co-produced the lyrics and storyline for ‘Support Not Sympathy’, a music video following a young carer, showing how hard her daily life can be and how a bit of support can go a long way to making things easier. Young carers starred in the video too!  


Manchester Parent Carer Forum

Manchester Parent Carer Forum logo

'Since the forum launch in 2017 and the publication of the SEND Co-production Charter back in 2018, Manchester has come quite a way towards building a co-productive culture across Education. Health, Social Care, and universal services across the city. Not only has the forum been actively involved in co-production at the strategic level with service leads and at the operational level with practitioners, opportunities for individual parents/carers and for other groups to get involved in consultations, listening sessions and focus groups have been made available more and more over the past couple of years.


Over the past year in particular, we have been involved in plenty of partnership work, even through the tricky times brought about by the pandemic and our own caring roles within the team. Indeed, co-production in our city was recognised as exemplary practice by Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) when they visited Manchester in November 2021 for the Local Area SEND Inspection. This is all very promising, as SEND services can only truly be at their best when developed and regularly reviewed together with the people who use them - parents, carers, children and young people.


However, the work is not yet done! We highlight great work this Co-production Week with the hope that it will encourage more services to adapt their way of working and make partnership working business-as-usual. Of course, parent/carer involvement is vital to making this happen, so we encourage you all to get involved by joining events & meetings, answering the occasional surveys, and otherwise giving us feedback about local services by reaching out to us via email or social media.


Together, we can achieve better decisions and brighter futures for Manchester families. You can help make this happen.'  


Read more about MPCF's co-production activity over the last year in this blog.

Manchester Parent Champions

Manchester Parent Champions logo

Geraldine Hills 

Manchester Parent Champions


'Hello everyone! It’s your friendly Parent Champion Rep here. What a busy year it’s been for the Parent Champions. I am proud to say our collaboration with SEND services is still going strong and we have achieved so much over the last year. Here are some of our highlights:


  • We have a wonderfully supportive Facebook community with over 878 members and that number grows daily. A very big thank you to all our members for making it a safe and friendly place to go for friendship and support.


  • We’ve had a lot going on as part of the SEND Community Offer. In parks alone, we’ve had Tree Tops activity, magical interactive plays, stories from Libraries, and fun and games at Debdale Water Park.


  • We’ve collaborated with a charity called Carefree who have offered to provide short breaks for carers.


Family ice-skating
  • A favourite piece of collaborative work from last year was the ice-skating before Christmas. The Parent Champions and Manchester City Council worked in partnership with Skate Manchester to provide over 50 families with autism-friendly sessions. What a laugh we had slipping and sliding everywhere!


It’s all about communities sharing information and supporting each other. Collaborating keeps us strong and connected.'


GMYN Changemakers

GMYN logo

The Changemakers are a group of young people aged 14-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They meet regularly to contribute to local decision-making, review services for disabled young people in Manchester, and to develop their own self-advocacy skills, independence, and friendships. They are supported by Greater Manchester Youth Network in partnership with Manchester City Council as part of their youth leadership provision.  

Recently, the group has been in discussion with services - including Transport For Greater Manchester and Manchester Local Care Organisation - about how they can be improved and made more accessible for the future. They have also raised awareness about issues that are important to them, co-producing and delivering training on autism, marching with collaboratively designed banners and t-shirts at Manchester Day Parade, and creating resources that can be displayed and handed out to better inform the public about SEND.



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