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Greenwich Parent Voice

News Archive

Latest News Items from the top:

Gift and info packs for parents of disabled children

Greenwich Parent Voice are proud to be putting the finishing touches to our new Gift and Information Packs for parents of children with special needs and disabilities. We’ve spent the past year working on the packs which are designed to give parents, especially those with a new diagnosis, a much needed boost and clear route to information that can help them navigate those confusing early days.

We have created attractive fabric bags containing leaflets on all the key services, opportunities for disabled children and some special gifts to give parents and carers a little treat. We all know how tough getting a diagnosis can be and this is our way of letting carers know that help and support is out there. The bags are completely free and will be handed out by doctors, teachers and out-reach workers across the whole borough of Greenwich. Over 1000 have already been ordered. GPV is run on entirely voluntary basis and we have gathered some parent volunteers to help stuff the bags and deliver them on and after July 13th.

We’re still looking for extra items to add to the bags to make them a really lovely gift. If you can contribute something or know a local company who may like to donate, please get in touch by info@greenwichparentvoice.com as soon as possible. Disabled children are a huge part of our local community, and everyone will know a family in need. Let’s get together to support these amazing carers and their fantastic children. Thank you.

Willow Dene parents ramble with GPV

Today we joined Willow Dene parents in a magical woodland ramble near their school. Fully kitted out in wellies and walking shoes we ventured off the beaten track, through the brand new-new forest school area and into the wild woods next to Dukes Farm. It was really good fun. We helped each other navigate the paths, branches and undergrowth, even fording a small stream. It felt like we were miles out of London in the countryside surrounded by lush greenery and the woody fragrance of the forest.

The biggest surprise was coming across a group of quite docile horses in a clearing. One of them took a liking to parent Sheila and followed her to the end of the forest! We cut through the vegetable gardens of Dukes Farm, assisted by a friendly gardener who allowed us to use their gate to the exit. On the way we took a peek at the organic crops getting ready for the summer harvest.

At the end of the walk, by a bed full of enormous wild poppies, we met some of the people who run Animal Days out. This is a Greenwich charity that provides animal experiences for children, including SEND specific sessions. We had a chat, a good look at their goats and checked out some brand new pigs who seemed very happy in their muddy new home.

On the way back to the school one of our group did some skip-hunting and came across not only a very pretty lampshade to recycle, but also a microwave oven left out for a passer-by to take! We ended the walk in the cosy Family Room at Willow Dene with packed lunches and a well-deserved cup of tea. We all had a good laugh together about our experiences on the walk. We will definitely do it again – come with us next time!

Parents and Carers ‘Meet the Managers’ in Woolwich

Parents and carers from across Greenwich were able to chat directly to senior managers at the GPV ‘Meet the Managers’ coffee morning event this week at the Coffee Lounge in central Woolwich. They were joined by key officers from Children’s Services including Tracy Russell, Assistant Director for Children’s Services; Joan Lightfoot, Head of Integrated Services for Disabled Children; Jodi Mathers,Team Leader for CWDT; Diane Osbourne, SEND Reforms Lead; Grace Taylor, Policy and Projects Officer and Stephen Gordon, Group Manager for Disabled Children. A non-stop supply of hot drinks, cakes and juices for parents’ little ones kept the conversation flowing well into lunchtime!

It was a really positive atmosphere of fact-finding and discovery. Managers told us they found it invaluable to speak in person to some of the families they support and hear their stories.

Some parents also said they felt they left armed with the ‘missing piece of the jigsaw’ in terms of managing support for their child. Others felt reassured to see the human and caring face of the people making important decisions about their children.

We will be holding another ‘Meet the Managers’ event next Autumn so keep an eye out for details of this. It will be free to come, no booking required and with hot drinks and snacks provided.

Update: Summer Scheme for Complex Needs

Some of you will be aware that there have been some last minute changed to the provision of the summer scheme options for children 11-25 with complex needs. Now finally the plans have been confirmed: the the Charlton Park Academy Transition Summer Play Scheme will be the ONE and ONLY scheme, incorporating the CACT summer play scheme, and will be based at Charlton Park Academy.
The scheme will now be open for students aged 11-25 years old and will also be open to young people 11-25 who do not attend Charlton Park Academy.
Please see a letter/statement below from Mark Dale-Emberton, Co-Principal Charlton Park Academy, outlining the new arrangements. Please note new booking and registration details.

Dear Parent/Carer

We would like to apologise for some confusion regarding the summer schemes offer available to young people in Royal Greenwich this year. As a result, we have decided to combine two separate schemes so that the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) summer programme will now be combined and delivered by Charlton Park Academy (CPA) as part of their offer. Both CPA and CACT are very sorry for any confusion and concern this may have caused. Any young person registered on the CACT summer programme will have their registration transferred to the CPA programme.

The revised dates the scheme will be running are:
25th July – 29th July
1st August – 5th August
8th August – 12th August
15th August – 19th August
The times for the scheme will be 10-3pm

Pick ups will be from 8:15-9:00 and drop offs will be no later than 4pm

As part of this new revised agreement we will be holding some additional registration sessions at Charlton Park Academy on the following dates, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to register their interest. Young people will need to either be a resident or attend a school in Royal Greenwich and aged 11-25 to be eligible for the scheme.

Registration dates/ Venue Charlton Park Academy
20th June 2016
21st June 2016
22nd June 2016

Please note that you are able to request up to four weeks, however only one week is guaranteed. Once registered you will be contacted to confirm your child’s place on any additional weeks and to arrange payment.

Additional Payment sessions that will take place on the following dates:

Payment sessions/Venue Charlton Park Academy
12th July 2016
14th July 2016

Charlton Park Academy is on Charlton Park Road, Charlton, London SE7 8HX

Tel: 020 8249 6844 Fax: 020 8317 8053 Email: mailbox@charltonparkacademy.co.uk Principal: Mark Dale-Emberton www.charltonparkacademy.com
All registration and payment sessions will be held at Charlton Park Academy, Charlton Park Road, SE7 8HX (entrance via main reception).

The cost of the programme will continue to be £125 per week. Concessions are available upon request and subject to meeting concession criteria (available upon request).

Our summer play scheme is for children of all disabilities and provides them with the opportunity to socialise with other young people. Each day the children will be picked up by CPA buses. The scheme is based at CPA with both on and off site activities, appropriate to the needs of the young people which may include:

Seaside Trips
Farm/Zoo Trips
Move/Physio Sessions
Theme Park Trips
Pub Lunch/ Bouncy Castle’s Trip
Disco and BBQ
Arts and Crafts and many more
(All trips are subject to change)

For further information please call 07785 794274 or email ceather@charltonparkacademy.co.uk
Chris Eather
Afterschool/ Holiday Scheme Coordinator, Charlton Park Academy

We believe that this revised scheme will lead to more children being given a wider choice of activities to ensure that their choices and needs are met and that they have even more fun with their friends and with our staff that know them well.

Yours faithfully,
Mark Dale-Emberton
Co-Principal Charlton Park Academy.

New! Summer and Saturdays Scheme for Charlton Park Academy Students

Chris Eather, formerly of Activ Kids, is now running new weekend and activity scheme for children and young people studying at Charlton Park Academy. This is a brand new scheme, not to be confused with the existing schemes already offered by Charlton Athletic Community Trust.

Chris tells us “The new schemes offer great benefits for young people. All staff associated with the schemes are experienced and trained members of staff at the school. Staff will be carefully allocated to students who have existing knowledge and relationships with students and this will help to decrease any anxieties for parents booking on. All behaviour management, medical and risk assessing procedures will be continued from school day to day protocol. All activities on the scheme will be nurtured to meet the needs of the individuals to ensure a fantastic experience for all.”

For now the schemes are only open to students at Charlton Park Academy. 

Booking now: Summer holiday schemes

Willow Dene Special School, Greenwich Toy Library Association and Charlton Athletic Community Trust have just released their registration forms for the Summer holiday activity schemes. Book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

Willow Dene Summer Play Scheme

Age Range: 5-12 years

This play scheme is aimed at Royal Greenwich children who are working at early P Levels with sensory needs and communication difficulties. We have planned a programme of events which will include visits, outdoor play, soft play, cinema, on site swimming, art and play activities.

The programme runs on the weeks commencing 25th July and 1st August. 9:15 AM – 3:15 PM
Location: Willow Dene School, Swingate Lane, London SE18 2JD
Cost: £20 per day (reduced fees may be available on request)
Transport may be provided
Greenwich Toy Library Summer Play Scheme
Age Range: 5- 12 years

An exciting summer programme of activities, trips and outings specially designed for disabled children in Royal Greenwich aged 5-12 years. 5 hours spent in the community exploring parks, museums, seaside resorts and other places of interest.

The play scheme runs on weeks commencing 25th July, 8th August, and 22nd August. 10am – 3pm
Location: 47 Abbey Grove, Abbey Wood. SE2 9EU
Cost:£20 per day (reduced fees may be available on request)
Transport may be provided

Click on this link for the registration of interest form for either Willow Dene or the Toy Library scheme.

Registration form GTLLAWillow Dene

The deadline for these both is the 8 June 2016

Charlton Athletic Community Trust

CACT have announced that booking is now open for their summer holidays scheme 2016 taking place across the four weeks of August.

The Summer Play Scheme is a fun and exciting activity programme for young people with disabilities (aged 13-25) in Greenwich. The scheme involves a range of exciting activities and trips, including the Great Greenwich Bake Off,trips to disability-friendly theme parks, adventure playgrounds, bowling, farm trips, and a disco and BBQ each Friday. Young people will be collected in the morning from home on minibuses and dropped off again in the afternoon.

The programme will take place each day from 10am – 3pm.

CACT will work in partnership with the Local Authority to ensure those young people who need the provision most are able to access it.

Registration is required for your child to gain a place on the programme. We will be holding several drop-in registration sessions over the next few weeks. For information on time, date and location of the registration sessions which run from 26 May to 7 June please click to view the form here:

Summer Play Scheme 2016

The fees for the programme will be £125 per week as a contribution towards transport (concessions may be available on request), and this can be paid at a later date. For further information on this scheme or any other CACT disability services please call 07983 549801 / email alexandra.levey@cact.org.uk

The latest Short Breaks information

With half term coming and parents already starting to make plans in advance for the long summer break we thought it would be a good time to publish a link to the latest short breaks summary for Greenwich.

Click on the link below to see this:

Short Breaks in Royal Greenwich-3

Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their families. These breaks are designed to give parents and carers a break. They also give children opportunities to try new activities, make friends and have fun.

A short break could be for a few hours, an evening, overnight or over a weekend. It could include a local club such as Scouts, Brownies or a local sports club. Short breaks can also take place at home, in a paid carer’s home, in the community or in a residential setting.

To access most short breaks, you won’t need an assessment. However there are some specialist short breaks where a social care assessment needs to be made first. Get in touch with the Children With Disabilities team at the council for more information on this. Phone 020 8921 2599 or email


GPV voices in Parliamentary debate

GPV parents contributed to a speech made by Matthew Pennycook MP in a debate in Parliament on Autism Awareness. Matthew has been a great champion of parents of disabled children in Greenwich, speaking with us regularly and looking at what may be done to improve outcomes for our children.

His speech on 28 April 2016 was part of the backbench business debate on World Autism Awareness Week. Mathew made the point that while awareness is essential, we must go further towards acceptance of people with autism in society .

He also gave GPV a great ‘shout out’ in the speech which was exciting for us to hear, especially for those parents who had made the journey to Westminster to hear the debate in the public gallery. Other MPs also gave impassioned speeches rich with stories from their own constituents and some MPs spoke movingly of autism within their own families.

Thanks to all parents who have given us so much insight and first hand accounts of what life is like for our disabled children. Your contributions, which helped shape our briefing on autism for Matthew, are influencing debate and decision making at the highest level.

You can watch Matthew’s speech in the movie clip below and read the transcript beneath.


“It is an absolute pleasure to follow that speech by the hon. Member for Berwick-upon- Tweed (Mrs Trevelyan), and I congratulate the right hon.Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) on securing this debate and on her contribution over the years.

We have touched on autism awareness and autism understanding, but I would like to focus on something not explicitly mentioned so far—autism acceptance. As hon. Members have noted, public awareness of autism has grown dramatically in recent years, aided by a proliferation of books, media articles and not always accurate portrayals of people with autism on television and in film. This explosion of information on autistic spectrum disorders and the incorporation of individuals with autism into everyday culture has helped to familiarise people with the condition, and it is right that we celebrate that achievement.

Essential as it is, however, awareness alone has not necessarily led to greater understanding of ASDs, and it has not prevented the perpetuation of stereotypes and clichés, as even a cursory Google search would attest. Awareness alone has not keep people with autism from being abused, has not helped them find jobs and has not supported them to live independently.

In short, we will not overcome ignorance and help those with autism—young and old—to live independent and fulfilling lives simply by increasing awareness alone.

I am lucky enough to have in my constituency a fantastic organisation called Greenwich Parent Voice. It is a group of exceptional parents, some of whom are in the Public Gallery today, who came together to support each other and to fight for a better deal for their children, each of whom have special educational needs or disabilities ranging from the mild to the most profound and complex. They have not only helped to deepen my understanding of ASDs and the challenges faced by those with autism and their parents, but have made clear to me, over the course of many meetings, that what is really required is acceptance of autism.

Anyone who has sat and listened to parents or carers of children with autism or adults with autism for even a short time will know that the system in place at the moment, despite some improvements, still does not work. Whether it be through the problems in transferring from a statement to education, health and care plans, the difficulties trying to secure specialist support in the care system, or the strain of supporting children with autism into adulthood, the system causes families unimaginable levels of stress and exhaustion.”

(Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North) (Lab)


“In common with other speakers, my hon. Friend is making a very powerful speech about awareness and understanding. Does he agree—I thought his remarks were leading towards this—that we also need to translate such awareness into some hard practical action on service delivery, and that this applies whether it be about education or housing? My hon. Friend, like others, has been dealing with parents of autistic children who are forced to share rooms or to live in 10th or higher storeys in tower blocks because housing policy does not reflect the needs of autistic children. We need to build on greater awareness, but also to resource it and turn it into some practical action that will really assist people.

(Matthew Pennycook)

“My hon. Friend makes a very good point. I have dealt with allocation cases myself, and I agree that detailed policies need to be put in place that are based on recognition of the particular needs of autistic children and their families. As I have said, having to navigate the system as it stands can cause those families unimaginable stress and anxiety. Those who can grow the sharp elbows necessary to navigate the system often do so at great personal cost, and, as the hon. Member for Mid Derbyshire (Pauline Latham) said, not everyone has the ability to do that.

The range of challenges faced by those with autism and their families is vast, and this is not the debate for delving into any particular one in great detail. My sense is, however, that our collective will and readiness to do something to help people on the spectrum would be stronger if more of us were not only aware of autism and understood it, but were more accepting of it as a society. If we were, I suspect we would be compelled more urgently to address the lack of suitable childcare provision for autistic children and the fact that too many schools are still not autism-friendly and too many children are not getting the support they require. We would be compelled more urgently to address the prevalence of mental health conditions in those with autism, and the isolation that young people with autism too frequently face in school. We would be compelled to address the cliff edge in support—that is what it is—that still faces autistic people in too many parts of the country as they transition to adulthood. We would also be compelled to address the huge challenges that still face autistic adults in terms of diagnosis, employment and housing.

I have no doubt that these challenges will be overcome in time, not least because more and more people with autism and their families, such as those who helped establish Greenwich Parent Voice in my constituency, are advocating more strongly for themselves. I believe that each of us here in this Chamber and in the wider country can hasten the process by working towards a society in which more of us are not only aware of autism and understand it, but accept those with it and indeed celebrate them and their contribution—not only as family members and friends, but as classmates, colleagues and members of our communities.”

A support programme for carers of kids aged 0-5

A new programme to support carers of children 0-5 with suspected SEND. Mencap, Greenwich Mencap and the Tizard Centre (University of Kent) are running a new programme for family carers to offer support, information, and advice for children 0-5 years. They would like to invite family carers over the age of 18 who have a child (aged 0-5) with a suspected learning or developmental disability to take part in the free programme running at The Greenwich West Community & Arts Centre, 141 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8JA.

The programme is free of charge and will consist of 6 x 3 hour sessions. If you are interested in attending contact: antonia@greenwichmencap.org.uk

About the Early-Positive Approaches to Support programme


Early-Positive Approaches to Support is an innovative programme that is being trialled by Mencap, in partnership with the Tizzard Centre, University of Kent, who have developed the course, to support families who have children with a diagnosed or a suspected learning/developmental disability/delay.


The free programme runs for 6 sessions, will be practice focused, and looks at building your skills and capabilities to support your child to develop and thrive.

The programme will support parents to:

Detect challenging behaviour at its earliest stages.

Understand the causes and triggers for challenging behaviour and find ways to reduce these proactively in the future

Build new skills and techniques to manage a range of issues, such as sleep management and communication

Increase the ways you can support your own wellbeing

advocate for therapies and support that meet your child’s needs

When and where

The programme is running from 1-4pm on Mondays from the 29th February at The Greenwich West Community & Arts Centre, 141 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8JA.


The programme referral criteria is: Parents who have a child aged 0 – 5 where developmental delay/LD has been suggested…Parents whose child either have a diagnosed learning disability, or be suspected of showing early signs of one…Parents who are concerned that their child is beginning to display challenging behaviour.

You need to live in the borough of Greenwich.

Either one parent or both can attend the training.

March 6: Bike Day in Thamesmead

The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Now’s the Time (NTT) and Trust Thamesmead are teaming up for THAMESMEAD BIKE DAY on Sunday 6th March!

Based around the Thamesmead Leisure Centre it’s going to be a great family day with lots of activities to get people cycling for fun. Learn to ride a bike, improve your skills or enjoy a social ride around Thamesmead with your family, everybody age 7+ is welcome! You can borrow a bike for the day or hire one for a month (for only £1!!) and there will be bikes for sale to suit every budget with prices ranging from as little as £30 up to £150.


  • Dr Bike: Free bike health checks: All day 10am toil 5pm
  • Family Cycle Training, Learn to ride a bike:10am til 12noon. Bring Comfy trainers and gloves (bikes provided if you need one)
  • Bike Market & Cycle Hire Quality bikes at an affordable price 10am til 1pm. Bring Photo ID. Cost = £20 Deposit, £1 hire fee
  • Family Cycle Training: Thames Path Family Ride 1pm til 3pm
  • Comfy trainers and gloves (bike provided if you need one)
  • Bike Maintenance Course: Learn the essentials of ‘Bike First Aid’
  • 3.30pm til 5.30pm. Bring your bike and email enquiries@bikeworks.org.uk to guarantee your place.

Look out for Thamesmead Bike Day on Greenwich Get Active website, Greenwich Time and other local media and come along on the 6th March!! If you have any questions or would like some flyers or posters to help promote Thamesmead Bike Day email joel.demowbray@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

Coffee meet for Thamesmead parents

GPV are holding a coffee morning for Thamesmead area parents of children with special needs at 10-11.30am in Bishop John Robinson School, Hoveton Rd, London SE28 8LW on Wednesday 24 February. Come and meet other parents of children with special needs, with or without a Statement or EHCP and with any type of additional learning need. Relax with a hot drink and a snack, and chat informally about what’s on your mind with other parents who understand.

Greenwich Music Therapy Service will also be coming to tell us about how music therapy can help children with ASD and other special needs and disabilities.

Share tips, find out information that can help your child and meet Jo and Viv from Greenwich Parent Voice.

Come to the school reception at 10am and ask to be directed to the GPV coffee morning. See you there!


New Short Breaks for children with ASD

Children and young people with ASD can join a new Short Breaks programme run by Charlton Athletic Community Trust. The sessions run on Monday evenings and are currently free-of-charge, alternating between being based at Hawksmoor Youth Club in Thamesmead and an external trip/activity each week. Click on the links below to see the most recent timetables and to give you an idea of the many all-ability activities being offered, including indoor climbing, a sensory session and golf.



Parents who would like to find out more information and/or register their child, should call Alexandra Levey on 07983 549801 or email at alexandra.levey@cact.org.uk

GPV Health Survey

We want to hear what you think about health service provision in Greenwich. The new Greenwich Parent Voice Health survey enables you to report back on all aspects of health care for your child with special needs. This includes GPs, hospitals, specialist consultants, mental health services, clinics and therapeutic services.

Tell us what’s working well and where you think changes must be made. The results will be anonymised for sharing with managers at Oxleas Foundation NHS Trust and with our local clinical commissioning group.

Please take a few minutes to fill this survey in, so that together we can improve the services our children receive. Click on the link below to start.

GPV Health Survey

For printed copies please email us.

Disabled Children – A legal handbook

Disabled Children, Second Edition is the definitive guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families. It aims to empower disabled children and their families through a greater understanding of their legal entitlements. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the differences between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.

This latest edition contains a new section on mental capacity and decision making as well as a dedicated chapter on the legal remedies available to disabled children and their families to enforce their

rights. It also covers the key provisions relating to disabled children and other children ‘in need’ included in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the new ‘Working Together’ guidance.

It is essential reading for the families of disabled children, their advocates and lawyers, voluntary and statutory sector advisers,commissioners, managers and lawyers working for public authorities, education, social and health care professionals, students and academics.

The authors

Stephen Broach is a barrister at Monckton Chambers specialising in public law challenges in relation to disabled children and their families, disabled adults and other vulnerable groups, including

all children ‘in need’.

Luke Clements is the Cerebra Professor of Law at Leeds University and a consultant solicitor specialising in public and human rights proceedings on behalf of socially excluded groups,

primarily disabled people.

Janet Read is an Associate Professor (Reader) Emeritus in the Institute of Health, University of Warwick. Her research and publications focus on the circumstances and rights of disabled children and adults and the development of effective services for them.

Contents: Understanding disabled children’s lives / Legal fundamentals / Mental capacity and decision-making / Children’s services / Education / Health (including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) / Housing / Carers / Equality and and non-discrimination / Transitions to Adulthood / Legal Remedies.

For chapter by chapter free PDF downloads visit this site:


The book is £50 to order or £40 with a GPV forum discount. To buy this book please print, fill in and return the oder form viewable by clicking on the link below:

Disabled children 2 Special Offer flyer

GPV legal event empowers parents

Over 100 parents from every part of the borough attended our all-day legal information event in the centre of Woolwich today. Disability Barrister and legal expert Steve Broach presented an in-depth talk about rights for disabled children and their families.

The presentation covered every aspect of the legislation that determines the education, health and social care provision that our children must receive, with or without a statement or EHC Plan. He also answered questions throughout and talked through some of the different scenarios and problems that parents face – and what to do about it.

Steve touched on issues of great importance such as mental capacity, parents’ rights as carers and the use of Tribunals and Judicial Reviews as tools to ensure our children’s needs are met.

We also learned many new and useful facts, for example; very few of us knew that we are all entitled to a Parent Carer Assessment, in order to make sure we are supported adequately as carers. As one parent put it: “Steve answered questions I didn’t even know I had!”

We all enjoyed a free light lunch, and hot drinks throughout, and Steve continued to advise parents throughout the breaks. Parents took home with them a printed copy of the presentation and a goodie bag filled with info leaflets for local services, GPV gifts and a Healthcare survey.

It was great to see parents chatting together at the breaks and a feel a real sense of solidarity and shared struggle uniting us all. We left informed and empowered, a great outcome for the day.

To see the slides in full click on the link below:

GPV slides_Jan 16

We hope to see you at the next one in 2017!

GPV presents at commissioning event

Toay Joanne and Vivien from Greenwich Parent Voice took part in the Royal Borough of Greenwich 0-25 Children and Young People’s Therapies Service Market Engagement Event in Deptford. In short, this was a meeting bringing together a range of senior professionals across all the therapies that your child might need (Occupational Therapy, Physio, Speech and Language (SaLT) to discuss how services should be delivered in future.

We gave a presentation on the recent Speech and Language service consultation project earlier in the year. We described how we had worked with the council to visit schools in different areas in the borough, mainstream and specialist, talking to parents about current SaLT provision and what they thought could be improved. This took place concurrently with a consultation with children and young people. The points raised in both consultations are already influencing commissioning.

Today, we took the findings to an even wider audience: future providers who will bid for the SaLT contracts in Greenwich, schools, managers in the council, health trusts and commissioners. This was our chance to make sure parents’ needs take centre-stage, at the earliest stage of service planning.

We also joined in round-table discussions about what parents should expect from the therapy services in future. We were really impressed by the importance placed on parent empowerment by the professionals, who felt as strongly as we do that parents should be fully supported to get involved, not just at meetings and goal setting but also in co-working, so that we can extend the therapy delivered at school into the home. We spoke about the current obstacles to this and how that could be changed.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included how future service providers can also contribute ‘social value’ in Greenwich; this could include employment oportunties, best practice models and training opportunities. Also on the agenda: creating ‘communication-friendly’ environments, improving working links between different therapies and the important issue of the earliest possible intervention.

In our opinion, today’s event was a really enouraging indication that parent views are actually influential in designing services. The feedback you give us at our coffee mornings, walks, drop-ins, online and in schools really does have an impact in changing things for the better. We will keep you posted in the development of this commissioning process for therapies, which concludes in Autumn 2016.

New! All Ability inclusive BMX sessions

Greenwich Inclusive weekly BMX sessions launch on Saturday 28 November. The launch session is completely free and is inclusive to anyone with any disability, ASD, Learning, sensory, physical disabilities, mental health conditions, behavioural conditions, we are also a deaf friendly club so everyone is welcome to join!

When? Starting 28th November 2015 and Saturday mornings thereafter

Where? Hornfair Park, off Shooters Hill Road, SE18 4PE on the far side

of the park opposite the Lido

What time? 9.30-10.30am (please arrive by 9.15am for welcome & to sign

consent forms)

What do I bring? bikes, helmets & gloves all provided but please feel free to

bring your own bikes just in case

This session is open to anyone with any disability so come and join the fun. Please feel free to spread the word about this launch and this regular weekly session as they’d love to see lots of riders.

Please click on links for:

Greenwich inclusive BMX_membership form

Greenwich inclusive BMX_welcome pack

All forms will be available on the day but if you are able to fill in a

membership form before hand and bring this with you this will save time

on the day giving you more time to ride the bikes.

If your child/rider would be more comfortable with a sibling/parent/carer

nearby we would be very happy to have them stay during the session so

please do bring friends & family to watch, help out & join in.

Any problems on the day please feel free to ring Adam Thomas on 07840 528 587 if you get lost. He will be the tall man in a blue Access Sport coat!


For more information:

3 Durham Yard | Teesdale Street | London E2 6QF
Tel: 020 7993 9883
Mobile 07840 528 587
Email: adam.thomas@accesssport.co.uk

Sign up for the new ‘CACT” Short Breaks

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) is pleased to now be registering for the next ‘Short Breaks’ weekend programme, taking place every Saturday from 9th January to the 13th February 2016.

‘Short Breaks’ with CACT is a scheme for young people with disabilities aged from 13-19 years (and up to 25 years where part of a support plan) in the London Borough of Greenwich.

The scheme involves a range of exciting on- and off-site activities including theatre and

cinema trips, bowling, swimming, crazy golf, as well as trips to the farm, zoo and adventure playgrounds, to name a few.

‘Short Breaks’ are for young people across the borough and we provide services for all types of disability. Please note that priority will be given to children who have not yet accessed any of the Short Breaks schemes.

The scheme will run from 9am – 2pm every Saturday for six weeks, with transport provided.

How to register

Registration is required for your child to gain a place on the programme. There are two ways to register:

 – Call Alex Levey

Call Alex on 07983 549801/ email on alexandra.levey@cact.org.uk to arrange a suitable time and date to get your child registered.

 – Register in person

Alternatively, we will be holding drop-in registration sessions on the following dates:

  • Valley Central: The Valley, Floyd Road, SE7 8BL on Monday 30th November 2015 at 2pm – 4pm
  • Charlton Park Academy: Charlton Park Rd, London, SE7 8HX on Thursday 3rd December 2015 at 9.30am – 11am
  • Hawksmoor Youth Club: Bentham Road, Thamesmead, SE28 8AS on Monday 7th December 2015 at 10.30am – 12pm

The fees for the six week programme will be £255  – concessions may be available upon request. This can be paid with cash, cheque or via direct payments, and payment will be arranged once your child has been registered.

For further information on this scheme or any other Short Breaks services please call 07983 549801 or email alexandra.levey@cact.org.uk 

What do you think about your EHC Plan?

Has your child had an EHC plan? Royal Greenwich wants to know how it was for you!

Last year Greenwich took part in a national survey called POET (Personal Outcome Evaluation Tool) and 11 parents and 24 professionals responded.

Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) found out that while most respondents felt that the new way of working gave a good picture of the child and their needs, and parents felt more involved in their child’s plans, one ‘outcome’ it did not help with was children and young people being part of their community.

So, the council has changed the ‘profile’ that the school completes with parents and young people. They are now asking schools to think with you about how your child or young person’s special need or disability affects them outside of school, for example when going out with friends or family or being part of clubs. This is part of the ‘care’ element of Education, Health and Care plans. They are also writing an information sheet for parents to help them to understand what this means for them.

This year RBG are taking part in the survey again but really need at least 50 parents, 50 professionals and 25 young people to complete the survey. So far 16 parents and 4 young people have taken part this year so they need a lot more to get the best possible picture of your experiences!

Your involvement will help RBG to:

  • compare the council to other Local Authorities; there are 75 different areas taking part.
  • find out what is not working well so they can make changes.
  • give parents and young people the chance to have their say.

The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and your answers are anonymous. You can go directly online to complete the surveys or you can ask for a printed copy to be sent to you.

There are two versions of the survey, one for parents and carers and a slightly different survey to be completed by the child or young person who has the plan.

So please help RBG to make things better by letting them know your views and helping your child to complete one for themselves where possible. Click on the the links below to start.

Survey for Parents and Carers

Greenwich (LB) – Survey for parents of children and young people who have an Education Health and Care Plan:


Survey for children and young people

Greenwich (LB) – Survey for children and young people who have a Education Health and Care Plan, their life and the support they get:


The deadline for completing the surveys has been extended to the 11th December.

The results will not be received until January at the earliest but RBG will let parents know when they do get them and involve them and young people in thinking about what needs to be done to make things better based on the results. 

12 November: GPV takes parents to the Houses of Parliament

Greenwich Parent Voice will be taking a group of twelve parents to the House of Commons for a private meeting with Matthew Pennycook, Member of Parliament for Greenwich and Woolwich and Teresa Pearce, Member of Parliament for Erith and Thamesmead. They will be telling Matthew and Teresa face-to-face what support parents and carers need to ensure the best possible life outcomes for their disabled children.

GPV asked SENCOs (special educational needs co-ordinators) in every school in Greenwich to nominate a parent who would like to meet their MP. Twelve parents from were chosen from this group at random and each was asked to contribute to an agenda of discussion points covering education, health, social care, housing and employment.

The diverse agenda covers issues ranging from the need for teen areas in paediatric wards in hospitals, to the introduction of Autistic Spectrum Disorder training for all teaching staff in schools. GPV will also be asking for MPs to support a new ‘Disabled People Community Inclusion Bill’ (LBBill). This draft bill aims to give disabled people new rights to make meaningful decisions about where they are living and how they are to be supported. The agenda points are listed in full at the end of this post.

Joanne Delap, Parent Director of GPV said: “In this age of austerity and government cuts, it’s even more important for carers of children with special needs to make their voices heard. Services need to improve and our children must have the same oppotunites as their peers. This meeting is a fantastic opportunity for parents to speak directly to politicians and get their message across.”

After the meeting with Teresa and Mathew, parents will be given a special guided tour of the House of Commons followed by lunch together in Westminster, travelling back in time for the school run.

Summary of discussion points

  1. The LB Bill is a draft bill, produced and developed by family carers, people with learning disabilities and professionals. We think the proposals in the LB Bill are well considered and would work to truly improve the lives of people with disabilities. We urge the Government to consider adopting the LB Bill.
  2. There needs to be better training in schools for teachers to recognise the indicators of special educational needs, so that interventions can be made as early as possible. As ASD affects more than 1% of the population all teachers and teaching assistants should receive specific ASD training. We would like support from MPs for a new ASD Accreditation Mark programme for schools. This would especially benefit the increasing numbers of pupils with additional needs who do not qualify for guaranteed support through an EHC Plan.
  3. With regard to the new EHC Plans and the implementation of the Children and Families Act, we would like to see efforts being made to ensure that the new systems are not used to reduce support for children as a way of cutting costs. Parents have to fight, sometimes harder now, for support for their children and to access legal safeguards for provision. The reforms were supposed to change this. In some cases the new system is being used to manage parent expectations down on what statutory entitlement, if any, their child will receive.
  4. We believe increased funding is needed for SENCOs to enable them to manage their workload and be effective. Often they are working in part-time positions and find the volume of demands on their time overwhelming.
  5. Key stage assessments should take into account specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. For example at Key Stage 2 a dyslexic student is given no concessions in the spelling test.
  6. More initiatives and greater support for children are needed post 16;once they leave school there is very little help for them socially or to find meaningful fulfilling employment.
  7. There is a real need for co-ordinated diagnostic pathways that are standardised across all Health Trusts. At the moment many children are waiting months for a diagnosis and then once this has been made, even longer for support to be put in place. There is a lack of co-ordinated communication to parents or single entity responsible for communication across social care, health and education. Lack of support can push families to crisis point.
  8. Speech and language communication therapy should no longer be effectively withdrawn at age 16. For children with lifelong communication needs this needs to be provided according to need, without age limit.
  9. Hospitals need to recognise that it’s not appropriate for teens to be cared for in either the adult wards or with much younger children.Teens need special areas within paediatric wards.
  10. More support is needed for parents wishing to explore alternative therapies and alternative strategies for their children, and more research funding for alternative therapies.
  11. There needs to be a visible commitment to improve consistency of quality of services across Education Health and Social care. Quality of service is not a priority and varies dramatically. Managers need to be obliged to improve quality.
  12. More initiatives and support are needed for siblings to recognise the impact on them of having a disabled brother or sister and the caring role they may have for life.
  13. Every child with a disability should have access to an allocated social worker if they feel they need one.
  14. New rights for blue badge holders are needed to access affordable spaces in new housing developments. Blue badge holders who are road tax-exempt (those who have the greatest physical difficulties) need to be given more privileges in the Blue Badge scheme.
  15. Parents of children with disabilities need more support in the workplace if they are to balance employment with the demands of caring. Employers need to be encouraged to offer flexible working arrangements and carers should not be penalised when, for example, they have to take children to frequent hospital appointments or attend necessary meetings.
  16. Single parents of disabled children who are earning above the threshold for carers allowance may also have a demanding care responsibility. They should be able to access financial support for carers.
  17. We are looking for recognition that parent forums are being used as a free resource by the DofE to support the implementation of SEND Reforms. Forums feel exploited and overworked and this undermines their sustainability.

More information about the proposed Disabled People Community Inclusion BIll (LBBill)


 Register now! CACT Short Breaks 7 Nov to 19 Dec

Register now for the Charlton Athletic Community Trust short break scheme for 7 November to 19 December

A notice from CACT:

Dear Parent/Carer

We are pleased to inform you of the latest Short Breaks programme taking place on Saturdays,with the next six week block being held from 7th November to the 19th December 2015.

‘Short Breaks CACT’  is a scheme for young people with disabilities aged from 13-19 years (and up to 25 years where part of a support plan) in the London Borough of Greenwich. The scheme involves a range of exciting on- and off-site activities that will be tailored to the needs of the young people taking part. The scheme will run from 9am – 2pm every Saturday for six weeks, and each session will include transport for your child to and from the facility at which we will be based that day.

Please note that priority will be given to children who have not yet accessed any of the Short Breaks schemes.

We will be holding drop-in registration sessions at two locations on the following dates:


Valley Central

The Valley, Floyd Road, London, SE7 8BL Mon 2nd November 2015 2pm – 4pm

Charlton park Academy Park Road, London, SE7 8HX Tues 3rd November 2015 9.30am – 11am

Once registered, you will be contacted to confirm your child’s place and to arrange a payment.

Please note that your child is not guaranteed a place on the scheme, and payment will only be taken once your child’s place is confirmed.

The fees for the half term programme will be £255 (concessions may be available upon request).

This can be paid with cash, cheque or via direct payments.

Please bring proof of Royal Greenwich residency or school attended by the young person. If you cannot attend either the registration or payment sessions, please contact us to make alternative arrangements.

For further information please call Alex Levey on 07983 549801 / email on


Carers Centre events this term

The Carers Centre have produced a brochure outlining all the amazing offers, events and opportunities available to carers in Greenwich over the coming months to December. Click here The Stables Activity Programme to read the full brochure.

When booking activities you can book up as many as you like in one go, or you can book on an individual basis.

Places will be based on a first come first served basis and payment will need to be taken to secure a place. Unfortunately, you cannot add your name to the guest list without payment. If you wish the person you are caring for to attend one of the Day Opportunity sessions then please book at least a week in advance. The ‘Support 4 U’ respite service is available for you to use whilst you enjoy activities. Please enquire about charges. This service will need to be booked in advance.

There are a number of Day Trips happening across the rest of the year. All trips use either a large 46 seater accessible coach or minibuses. When you ring to enquire about a place or to book please explain if you are travelling with a wheelchair or walking aid so that they can make sure the transport offered can suit your needs. There are limited places for wheelchair travellers on all transport so please book early. All of the day trips are to places that offer accessibility to suit all needs. ‘Pick up’ places are in Woolwich, Charlton and Eltham so please enquire at time of booking.

The December short break to the Bath Christmas Market will be booked on a first-come first-served basis. A £50 non-refundable deposit is required to secure a place. The Stables are happy to help you save for this break by offering a ‘saving account’.

To book a place for all or any of these activities please call 0300 300 22 33 and speak to Paige or email paige.knuckey@greenwichcarerscentre.org

The Carers Centre is based at The Stables, 76 Hornfair Road, London SE7 7BD

Main contact number: 0208 102 9635



GPV Bookclub gets off to a great start

On Monday 22 June we gathered at the lovely Crafty Cafe in Abbey Wood to share parent views on our first book, the Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. We discussed the main themes: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts and the ties between generations. Having parents around the table with diverse heritages made for some really great discussion. It was good to relax and reflect on our own identities living in multi-cultural London, and those of our children; the book provided a great jumping-off point for this.

One parent spoke about her upbringing in the Bangaldeshi community of Tower Hamlets and painted a most inspiring picture of how she chose to show her family and peers that a traditional way of living can co-exist with freedom and self-determination. Our Iranian parent shared with us her experiences of negotiating between two very different cultures and being proud of her identity as an Iranian.

We spoke about how cooking and food can be significant as symbols of assimilation but also act as a powerful connection to our roots. We had a laugh with two parents of Irish descent who recounted some amusing anecdotes on the very common anxieties of ‘fitting in’.

Thanks to Sharon and her team for providing a warm welcome and a wonderful comfortable space for our meeting, with the most impressive hot chocolates and tasty snacks! We will definitely be back to the Crafty Cafe soon.

We can’t wait to see you all at the next one! Venue and date yet to be confirmed so keep an eye on our web and Facebook/Twitter.

Here’s the book we will be talking about:

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory.

“Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings the tumult and intrigue of The Wars of the Roses to vivid life through the women of the House of Lancaster and the House of York, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. A woman who won the love of a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth fought tenaciously for the success of her family — her daughter who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower. An active player in the power struggles that surrounded her, she made hard and courageous choices, always trying to protect those whom she loved. Informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills, Philippa Gregory gives an unforgettable voice to an extraordinary woman at the heart of a devastating conflict.”

Click here to find out more about this book on Amazon.

And get in touch if you’d like the GPV book club to visit your neighbourhood as well.

New Greenwich Park Play Area – Is it accessible?

We were contacted recently by a parent concerned about accessibility in the new children’s playground at Royal Greenwich Park. She wrote to Royal Parks expressing disappointment, and pointed out that this is not just a missed opportunity but also may not be compliant with the standards set out in the Equalities Act 2010.

Royal Parks asked their architects LUC to reply. Here’s what they said:

“The recently completed refurbishment works at Greenwich Park playground is the third phase of improvement works in an on-going series of enhancement works by The Royal Parks. The project began with the additional play pieces to the eastern end of the playground and refurbishment of the sand pit as part of the legacy of holding the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics events in the Park. In Phase 2 a Masterplan was prepared along with a strategy for phasing future works (due to budget constraints), based on a ‘Pioneering’ theme to reflect Greenwich’s history as the starting place for explorers to sail out and discover the new world. A central piece of equipment in the form of a large tepee was installed to replace an old play piece that has been damaged due to wear and tear.

– The third phase of work sought to implement the next stage of this vision Masterplan and to continue the approach towards a more natural play based area that better integrates into the setting of the Park. Numerous old pieces of play equipment nearing the end of their lifespan were also replaced.

– The sequence of the different phases of work moves from east to west across the width of the playground, which is logical in the sense that the main vehicular entrance into the playground is on the far western boundary. Therefore each new phase of work is unlikely to obstruct or damage previously completed phases.

– The completed phase is geared towards the more junior age group (approx. 5-10 years), although it provides something for each of the age groups. The eastern end caters for more older children, while the future proposal for the western end is aimed towards younger children with more accessible play features.

– The new scheme is comprised of a series of open areas for social and competitive play, with more intimate spaces offering a sense of exploration and discovery. A new network of paths have been designed to link these zones, around a central dry river bed that runs organically through the centre of the site. This river bed will continue into the later phase and is designed to expand into a flatter open space. The ornamental shrub, perennial and tree planting create a sensory environment to help soften the aesthetic appearance and create a more varied and playful space.

– The design was laid out with accessibility of all users in mind, and aimed to marry in with the existing ground levels where possible, with accessible routes to all areas. In some areas the levels were adjusted to create a sense of excitement and a challenging transition between different zones, which wouldn’t be easily accessible by everyone but could be with assistance. Whilst the use of steps was avoided there are some stepped areas, that can be playful features for some children. The new play equipment pieces were chosen because they offer a broad range of interests and activities both at higher level and at ground level. The swings were the most popular item from the existing playground, and were reinstated with the same number of seats. The accompanying plan demonstrates the accessible areas that are completed (in blue), with the current future proposal (in red).

– Whilst the majority of the new surfacing is a level, fixed surface such as rubberised play safety surfacing, there are some areas of play bark which can be challenging to some people with mobility issues. Play bark is a natural material and enables children to connect with their natural surroundings while creating a softer play environment. As the playground has only just been completed the bark needs time to settle and compact, after which it will form more of a stable surface, as can be seen in some of the earlier completed phases to the east end of the playground.

– At LUC we adopt an ‘Access for All’ policy towards all designs that we carry out, as we believe that all users should be able to enjoy the outdoor environment. Park users can comprise of the elderly, children with mobility issues, visibility and hearing impairments and even mothers with very young children and prams can suffer with difficulties of access. We ensure that all of our schemes comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010, as well as the UK Building Regulations 2000 (and various amendments), notably Parts K and M.

Throughout the development of the master plan we consulted with our Friends Group and held consultation days within the playground itself , displaying the plans and listening to feedback.”

Viv and Jo from GPV visited the park on a busy Saturday, and found it to be very cramped, and inaccessible for children with mobility problems needing carer support and certainly for any child using a wheelchair.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts and if you have visited with a child with a disability. Tell us by email or login to comment below, or on our Facebook.

Thank you.

The latest Short Breaks menu

This is an up-to-date list of the Short Breaks available at the moment in Greenwich for our children with special needs and disabilities age 0-25.


In the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we want children and young people to receive the right help at the right time to build the resilience they need to be safe, healthy and achieve.

Short break services deliver fun, positive experiences for children and young people with disabilities who live in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to spend time away from their main carers whilst also giving parents/carers a rest from caring duties.

Short breaks also give children and young people the chance to do something they enjoy, to develop friendships and to participate in a range of creative and cultural experiences that contribute to their quality of life, inclusion within the local community and motivation to learn.

The newly commissioned short break services will replace those previously available from Greenwich Mencap and Greenwich Leisure and Toy Library. They will commence from April 2015 and are for children and young people with disabilities from ages 5-18 (and up to 25 where part of a support plan) living in the borough who are unable to use services already available.

Please note that some services are available from 1st April 2015 and some will be introduced during April 2015. Please contact the service manager for the start dates and for further details.

To ensure services meet individual needs and provide appropriate levels of support, the services are provided across two levels.

  • Targeted Services

Targeted services provide breaks of up to 2 hours and are available to children and young people with disabilities who are unable to use mainstream services already available.

  • Targeted Plus Services

These services support children and young people with complex needs, including those with severe Autistic needs and/or severe learning disabilities, who require higher staffing ratios. Targeted Plus services provide longer breaks of up to 5 hours with higher levels of staffing.

If you are not sure which service will be the best option for your child/young person, please call the service manager of the short break you are considering, to discuss your child’s/young person’s needs. They will be able to advise you on the suitability of their service.

Name of the Organisation


Service Type

This service provides both Targeted and Targeted Plus services.

Service Description

An exciting range of after school, holiday and term time activities for disabled children aged 5-12 years as follows:


  • Term time Saturday Clubs
  • Sleep overs during school holidays

Targeted Plus:

  • Activity days and Play schemes during school holidays

When will activities take place


  • Term Time – ASD Activity Days- Saturdays – 10am to 12pm
  • Term Time – ASD Activity Days- Saturdays – 1pm to 3pm
  • School Holiday – Activity Days – Monday to Friday – 11am to 1pm
  • Sleepovers are held during school holidays, please contact the service manager for further details of times and dates.

Targeted Plus:

  • School Term Time – Play Days – Saturdays – 10am to 3pm
  • School Holidays – Play scheme – Saturdays – 10am to 3pm

Where will activities be delivered

Greenwich Toy and Leisure Library, Newhaven Gardens, Eltham SE9 6HQ (base for 2 hour activities), longer days spent in the community.

Activities will include trips to parks, museums, theatres, seaside, city farms and zoos.

Activities are delivered in wheelchair-accessible venues and cater for children with sensory needs. Please call the service manager to discuss specific needs.

Who to contact

Service Manager: Deborah Cavill

Contact details

Tel: 020 8854 7090

Email: Deborah@gtlla.org.uk

Can your child receive support from the service

Targeted Services:

Targeted services provide breaks of up to 2 hours and are available to children and young people with disabilities who are unable to use mainstream services already available.

Targeted Plus Services:

These services support children and young people with complex

needs, including those with severe Autistic needs and/or severe

Learning disabilities who require higher staffing ratios.

Targeted Plus services provide longer breaks of up to 5 hours

with higher levels of staffing.

If you are not sure which service will be the best option for your child/young person, please call the service manager of the short break you are considering, to discuss your child’s/young person’s needs. They will be able to advise you on the suitability of their service.

How your child can be referred to the service

Self-referrals can be made directly to the service.

You can also be referred by a professional such as a social worker, nurse and by schools or community organisations.

There will be an assessment of self-referrals to determine whether the service is right for the child or young person.

How to complain about the service

In the first instance complain directly to the service manager listed above.

If the problem is not resolved then contact RBG Children’s Services Commissioning Team on Telephone number: 0208 921 5655.

Email: childrens-services-procurement@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Is transport provided

Specialist transport may be available, please contact the Service Manager to discuss.

Name of the service


Service Type

This service provides both Targeted and Targeted Plus services.

Service Description

An exciting programme of activities during school holidays and term time weekends that offer disabled children and young people, aged 13-25years, opportunitities to meet other young people, develop friendships, emotional skills and life skills. Activities include personal improvement programmes centred on education, health, social inclusion, citizenship, enabling young people to develop skills and confidence and providing potential pathways into education, employment and training.


  • 2 hour (up to 5 hours by arrangement) sessions during school holiday day times.
  • Overnight breaks at an activity centre during school holidays with the option to link into holiday activities as a build-up.

Targeted Plus:

  • 5 hour activity sessions during term-time weekends.
  • 5 hour activity sessions during School holidays.
  • Please contact the service manager for specific times and details.

When will activities take place


School holiday activities will be delivered between 10am to 3pm.

Overnight breaks are arranged to take place during the school holidays at a local activity centre. Please contact the Service Manager for further details.

Targeted Plus:

School Term Time Weekends will be delivered from 10am to 3pm.

School holiday activities will be delivered between 10am to 3pm.

Where will activities take place

The activities will be provided from a range of local venues including:

  • Hawksmoor Youth Hub, Thamesmead SE28
  • The Link, Woolwich SE18.
  • Avery Hill Youth Hub, Avery Hill SE9.
  • Valley Central Youth Hub, Charlton SE7.
  • Woolwich Common Youth Hub, Woolwich SE18.
  • Local Schools

Activities are delivered in wheelchair-accessible venues and may cater for children and young people with sensory needs. Please call the service manager to discuss specific needs.

Who to contact

Alex Levey

Contact details

Tel: 0208 850 2866

Email: shortbreaks@cact.org.uk

Website: www.cact.org.uk

Can your child receive support from the service

Targeted Services:

Targeted services are available to children and young people with disabilities who are unable to use mainstream services already available.

Targeted Plus Services:

These services support children and young people with complex

Needs, including those with severe Autistic needs and/or severe

Learning disabilities, who require higher staffing ratios. Targeted

Plus services provide longer breaks of up to 5 hours with higher

levels of staffing.

If you are not sure if this service will be the best option for your child/young person, please call the service manager of the short break you are considering, to discuss your child’s/young person’s needs. They will be able to advise you on the suitability of their service.

How your child can be referred to the service

Self-referrals can be made directly to the service. You can also be referred by a professional such as a social worker, nurse and by schools or community organisations.

There will be an assessment of self-referrals to determine whether the service is right for the child or young person.

How to complain about the service

In the first instance complain directly to the service manager listed above. If the problem is not resolved then contact RBG Children’s Services Commissioning Team on Telephone number: 0208 921 5655

Email: childrens-services-procurement@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Is transport provided

Specialist transport may be available, please contact the Service Manager to discuss.

Name of the service


Type of Service

This service provides a Targeted service.

Service Description

Horse and pony riding sessions for children and young people with disabilities from ages 5-18. Riding sessions are available on

Tuesday evenings, weekends, Easter and Summer holidays.

When are activities available

Tuesday evenings for ages 5 -18yrs from 4.45pm to 5.15pm.

Easter Holiday Pony morning for ages 8-18yrs on 9/4/15 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Summer Holiday Pony morning for ages 8-18yrs date to be confirmed. Please contact service manager for details.

New Lodge offer riding classes at the weekend which integrate children with special needs with children with no special needs but these are not covered by the sessions funded by Royal Greenwich. These sessions are available (subject to an assessment) on Saturdays from 11am to 1.30pm and Sundays from 10am to 1.30. Please contact service manager for details.

Where will activities take place

New Lodge Riding Centre

Mottingham Lane,

London SE9 4RW

The venue has limited wheelchair access; please call the service manager to discuss.

Who to contact

Hilary Crawford

Contact details

020 8851 6447


New Lodge Riding Centre

Mottingham Lane,

London SE9 4RW.

Can your child receive support from the service

Targeted Services:

Targeted services provide breaks of up to 2 hours and are available to children and young people with disabilities who are unable to use mainstream services already available.

If you are not sure if this service will be the best option for your child/young person, please call the service manager of the short break you are considering, to discuss your child’s/young person’s needs. They will be able to advise you on the suitability of their service.

How your child can be referred to the service

Self-referrals can be made directly to the service. You can also be referred by a professional such as a social worker, nurse and by schools or community organisations.

There will be an assessment of self-referrals to determine whether the service is right for the child or young person.

How to complain about the service

In the first instance complain directly to the service manager listed above. If the problem is not resolved then contact RBG Children’s Services Commissioning Team on Telephone number: 0208 921 5655

Email: childrens-services-procurement@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Is transport provided