Empowering families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities


Stay Connected: e-Bulletin

Here is this week’s e-bulletin with links to relevant articles and information, along with details of some great events we have coming up. Please also join our Facebook group to keep right up to date with our events as they are published. Our website continues to be updated with our Coronavirus FAQs, AnimationsVideos and wide range of Fact Sheets.

Reaching Families presents - An Evening with Dean Beadle

Dean Beadle is an inspirational speaker who has toured the UK for ten years sharing his experiences of being Autistic. He has recently also spoken in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. We are delighted to have Dean join us on our Facebook Group for a Live Chat Video Session with an opportunity for members to interact with him and ask their questions. Dean is an amazing speaker and the evening will be an inspirational one with some humour along the way.

Please join us on our Facebook Group Thursday 16th July at 8pm for an hour and a half of inspiration and humour.

Please help us and get the chance to win a £25 voucher!

Please can we ask for your help again in completing another VERY short survey to help us monitor how Reaching Families has been doing during the course of the pandemic. If you could spare just 5 minutes to complete this it would be a massive help to us in continuing to adapt and deliver our services, thank you.

More information needed on the government's educational catch up program

The Education Committee has written to the Minister of State for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP, to seek further information on the catch up programmes and how they might support children with SEND.

Coronavirus guidance for young carers in an easy-read format

Guidance, published by Public Health England, for young carers under 25 who give essential support to a family member who has a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction.

Why removing restrictive barriers must be part of our response to Covid-19

The pandemic has shown without doubt that we all need as much space as possible to be able to get around safely. But not all of the walking and cycling routes in the UK are fully accessible to everyone using them.

Children’s Safety Online:

Keeping children with SEND from “getting lost in digital space”

Children with disabilities often use the internet in the same way as their peers, but lower levels of awareness of danger can make them more vulnerable. Internet Matters have launched a new online safety hub for young people with SEND, including online safety advice and a range of activities.

Online safety at home with Thinkuknow

Thinkuknow have produced some age-appropriate resources, videos and activities you can look at with your child to support their online safety at home.

And finally…

Neighbours throw a surprise prom night for teenager with Cerebral Palsy

Family, friends and neighbours in Andover threw a socially distanced surprise prom and disco for Stacie, who was gutted when her end of school prom was cancelled because of Coronavirus.

We hope you find some of the above helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to access any support or if we can help you with anything.

Coming up next week

Making Sense of Challenging Behaviour Workshop
(During the All Things SEND Event by WSPCF)

3 pm – Tuesday 14th July
Eventbrite tickets have now closed – please contact office@wspcf.org.uk to enquire about a place.

Umbrellas Virtual Zoom Group

10.30 am – Wednesday 15th July
Email: hannah@reachingfamilies.org.uk

Mindfulness Workshop

Explore Mindfulness practice using exercises for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) from the comfort of your home.
7 pm - Wednesday 15th July
Book via Eventbrite here

Live Facebook Chat - An Evening with Dean Beadle

An interactive live video chat session with Dean on his experiences of the pandemic and lockdown.
8 pm – Thursday 16th July
Please join us on our Facebook Group for an hour and a half of inspiration and humour.


Delivered via Zoom with Different Planet Arts, Sensory Theatre:

Inclusive Play

10.30 am – Thursday 23rd July
Book via Eventbrite here

Multi-Sensory Storytelling

10.30 am – Thursday 6th August
Book via Eventbrite here

Reaching Families Coronavirus Survey


Reaching Families are pleased to present our report into the challenges faced by families of children with SEND during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our online survey of over 400 West Sussex families points to major challenges in parental exhaustion, mental health and wellbeing, homeschooling, shopping, and looking further ahead, preparing our children for returning to school.

We are using the findings from the report to adapt our services, share with local partners and urge central government to do more to support families of children with SEND during the course of the pandemic. Our grateful thanks to everyone who participated in the survey.

Guardian article


Please see an article published in The Guardian this week written by our Director Brian O’Hagan, making a powerful case to government that they need to provide more support to our families during the pandemic.

Photograph: Janine Wiedel Photolibrary/Alamy

Reaching Families: Coronavirus Action Plan

Owing to the Coronavirus pandemic Reaching Families has cancelled its programme of activities for the summer term. This includes all of our support groups, training workshops, Face -2- Face befriending and group counselling. Once the current lockdown has been lifted we will look to restart all of the above work as soon as possible.

However, Reaching Families is not closing during the Coronavirus pandemic, in fact we expect to be busier than ever. The times we so suddenly find ourselves in requires us to reinvent how the organisation works, to use technology and creativity to reach families in need, to find new ways of ensuring parents and families stay connected. With that in mind we have developed a Coronavirus Action Plan that will ensure we can still deliver key service during these difficult times. Please see the accompanying poster for the broad outline of our plan. For more detailed information please visit our Stay Connected page.

Stay Safe
Stay Connected

Co-op Local Community Fund

Reaching Families has been chosen by the Co-op Local Community Fund to be one of their charity partners for 2020. Co-op members can choose to support Reaching Families every time they purchase Co-op branded goods, 1% of which you can opt to be donated to our charity. If you are not a Co-op member but would like to join please use the following link: https://coop.co.uk/membership.

Click on the logo below to view our Co-op Community Fund page:


Co-op Local Community Fund