Parent Noticeboard

Spotlight on the Local Offer

The Essex Local Offer provides information about help available to children and young people (aged 0 to 25) with SEND.  

Take a look at the information about financial support.

New name for the SEND Bridge Bulletin 

The SEND Bridge newsletter is for Essex families who have children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND).

 The change is to align the newsletter with the Essex Local Offer website. From next month, the sender will be the Essex Local Offer, instead of the SEND Navigators. If you have a question about the name change, please email the SEND Navigators. 

 To sign up to the newsletter, visit the Essex Local Offer website.

Help us improve the Essex Local Offer

Have you accessed a great service, group or activity for young people with SEND? We want to increase the number of opportunities on the Local Offer website.

Share your feedback on a SEND-related service to help other families benefit


News and information

Basildon Skills Show: 17 October  

Attend the Basildon Skills Show on 17 October 2023 at the Towngate Theatre, 3.30pm to 7.30pm. Essex County Council (ECC) are working with Basildon Council to support young people to attend this year’s Basildon Skills Show. 

The last hour of the event, 6.30pm to 7.30pm, is specifically for individuals with SEND. It will include representation from ECC’s Preparing for Adulthood, Social Care and Targeted Employment teams. There will also be 50 employers, education, and training providers.  


Online Events for Parents/Carers of Autistic Children   

The East of England Peer Education Hub with Autism Central and Essex County Council will be running free online support sessions for parents and carers of autistic children (with or without a diagnosis), facilitated by parents and carers, for parents and carers: 

  • Anxiety and Autism session on Monday 4 September, 2pm to 3.30pm  
  • Parent/Carer drop-in session on Tuesday 12 September, 12pm to 1pm 
  • Supporting Sensory Needs session on Wednesday 20 September, 9.30am to 11am 
  • Joint Session for Parents and Personal Assistants on Thursday 21 September, 10am to 11.30am  
  • Parent/Carer drop-in session on Tuesday 26 September, 12pm to 1pm  

Visit the Autism Central website to register for a support session.


Castledon School Careers Fair: 28 September

Visit the Castledon School Careers Fair on Thursday 28 September at Wat Tyler County Park, 10am to 6pm. All young people and families are welcome, regardless of age, educational setting, and EHCP status. 

Come and meet Disability Confident employers, social opportunities, and SEN friendly provisions. There are also guest speakers including Toni Horn (Think Differently).  

For more information call 01268 761252. 


Supported Internships Graduation 

Young people with SEND celebrated finishing their hospital internships with a graduation ceremony.  Over the past year the interns have worked in Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals. This has provided them with skills and experience that they can use in the next stage of their career. 

Read more about the graduation and programme, run by Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Chelmsford College, and South Essex College, in partnership with Essex County Council. 


Council for Disabled Children: Decision Making Toolkit 

The decision-making toolkit is a guide to support parents, carers and anyone working with children and young people with SEND.  

It is designed to be used with young people to support them to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf. 

Visit the Council for Disabled Children’s website to find out more about the decision-making toolkit.  

Share your returning to school stories with Essex Family Forum (EFF) 

The return to school can be challenging for many, adjusting to new routines, new schools or returning to old ones.  Sometimes the transition is managed well, sometimes it is difficult. There are those whose children, for whatever reason, aren’t returning to school and that can be tough.   

We want to continue our aim to improve experiences for SEND families. Visit the EFF graffiti wall and share your returning to school stories with us. 

Calm at the Castle: Colchester Castle 

Visit Colchester Castle on the first Sunday of the month, 3pm to 5pm, for Calm at the Castle. These relaxed visiting times are designed for anyone who would appreciate a quieter atmosphere. They minimise sensory stimulation by turning off audio and visuals, whilst providing a sensory space off the main gallery.   


Essex Library Service: App accessibility 

The Essex Library Service e-library apps have accessibility adjustments. Libby App and PressReader both have options to enlarge text and use the voiceover function to make reading with a visual impairment easier. 

Visit the Essex Library Service website to find out more about the e-library and other accessible options. 

The Essex Local Offer

Hello! Welcome to the October edition of The Essex Local Offer newsletter
News and information

Say hello to... SNAP 

Spotlight on the Local Offer


News and information
Essex Local Offer Roadshows
Are you the parent/carer or family member of a child with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?  
Do you have questions about accessing support in your area or questions about SEND support available in Essex?  
Would you like to link up with other parents in your area?  
If you do, please come along and see us at the Roadshow. There will be representatives from Essex Family Forum, SENDIASS, as well as representatives from the education teams and local support groups. The roadshow is a drop-in event with no need to book. 


Find out more about the roadshows on the Essex Local Offer website.  

SEN sessions at Chelmsford Science Festival
Visit Chelmsford Science Festival on Saturday 21 October and Sunday 22 October. They are offering quieter, more relaxed SEN sessions at 9am on both days. The session will include fewer people and activities. Noise and lights will also be turned down. 
Tickets are free. SEN hour tickets grant entry for the whole day, so no need to book additional tickets if you wish to stay longer. 

SEN Halloween Disco
Join the SEN Halloween Disco hosted by Lexden Springs Appeal Fund on Sunday 29 October, 2 to 4pm. The disco is taking place at Greenstead Social Club and the ticket includes a light up toy, sweet bag, unlimited squash and games.   

Free toileting webinars for parents and carers
ERIC UK are hosting a series of webinars to support you and your child with their bowel or bladder condition or toileting challenge. These free webinars are taking place between 9 and 12 October. 


Visit the ERIC UK website to view the webinars on offer.   

Youth Voice Conference
Young people ages 11+ are invited to take part in the Youth Voice Conference and share their views on key topics that affect young people in Essex. The conference includes free lunch, an information fair and fun activities.  

Brighter Opportunities for Special People (BOSP) Autumn Newsletter
Find out about new services offered by BOSP in their autumn newsletter, including their new parent & carer peer group and individual sensory sessions.  
Visit the BOSP website to access their newsletter. 

Getting workplace ready for young people with a Vision Impairment (VI)  

Take part in an employability programme which addresses the challenges faced by young people with a VI. The three-month programme will help young people to navigate the world of work. It includes in-person small group coaching and accessible online learning.  


The course is taking place from 30 October 2023 to 30 January 2024. It is aimed at young people with a VI aged 18 to 29 who are not in education, employment or training and looking to enter the workplace. 
Visit the Royal National College for the Blind website to find out more. 
The Greenwell Academy
The Greenwell Academy is a new school in Harlow. It is located on a temporary site on Commonside Road. It will move to a new, purpose-built building in 2025. The school provides a nurturing, safe and engaging environment for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs. Children and young people are educated in small groups and the curriculum is tailored to meet individual needs. 


To find out more about the school, visit The Greenwell Academy website. 
Young people needed to join the National Children's Bureau
The Young National Children's Bureau is inviting young people aged 11-18 (or up 24 with additional needs) to speak out about things important to them. This will help shape the work of the organisation. It a great opportunity to learn new skills and meet people.  


Find out more and apply via the YNCB website. 

Make a difference to a child's life
Laura is a nurse and fosters 10 year old disabled Lizzie one weekend a month. This offers crucial support to Lizzie and her birth family. 


Laura says: “I’m making a difference to a child's life. I can pursue my passion around my full-time job and still have time for myself.” 


Lizzy's mum told us: “I wish there were more people like Laura that would come forward. Families desperately need that break, especially if they have other children to care for.” 


Join an information event to find out more. 

STRM Charity recieves new funding from Active Essex
STRM are offering free bouldering sessions for children and young people who are neurodivergent and/or have disabilities


Bouldering can help build motor skills, co-ordination, balance, core strength, and self-confidence. This can in turn, help to enhance well-being. 


To find out more, visit the STRM Charity website. 

The Multi Schools Council sets out its long-term plan

Over the summer the ambassadors set out their priorities for the MSC. This is an exciting and ambitious plan to increase SEND awareness everywhere. The group has also been asked to lead a new SEND forum across the East of England which will give more young people with SEND a voice! 


 View the full plan on the Multi-School Council website. 

A reminder from the Essex Family Forum: Annual Reviews
A friendly reminder from the Essex Family Forum that the Local Authority must review and amend an EHCP when a child or young person transfers from one phase of education to another. This includes:
Early years education to school 

Infant to Junior school 

Primary to Secondary 

Secondary to Post – 16 education 

At the start of the school year it is important to consider the following: 
Has the date for your child’s Annual Review been set yet?  

What do you hope the outcome will be? 

Who needs to contribute to this? 


You can find out more about the Essex Family Forum on their website.  


More information about annual reviews can be found here. 

Say hello to... SNAP
Find out more about what the team at SNAP have to offer


Tell us about what you do:
SNAP supports families with children who have additional needs and/or disabilities across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. We support children and young people between the ages of 0-25 years old with or without a diagnosis.  


We run child and family sessions where parents can meet and chat with other families who may have similar experiences. During this time, the children can play in a fun, safe and non-judgemental environment.  


For parents, we also provide: 

training about different needs, such as emotional regulation, ASD, ADHD and much more 

face to face meetings where we listen, give support and signpost to helpful agencies  

activities such as a parent choir and coffee morning 


We also run a range of activities for children and young people, including: 

school holiday sessions (for 0 to 25 years) 

after school sessions (for 6+ years) 

drama group (for 11+ years) 

SNAP+ social group (for 11+ years) 

girls/non binary group (for 11+ years)   

They are a great opportunity to socialise with likeminded peers. We also have a tuck shop in our social groups run by the children and young people. 

What would you like families and young people to know?
Once you are part of SNAP, we will support you until your child is 25 years old. We hope to empower families to support their child or young person.  


Our sessions are a great opportunities to meet other children, young people and families. The Family Support Advisors in these sessions are happy to answer any questions and provide information. We also offer tea, coffee and biscuits! 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

We love to give families information about their conditions, needs and the support available to them. We provide a safe, fun place where families get information and children and young people form friendships. Our families have said we have changed their lives and have supported them through difficult times. 

How can families find out more?
Visit our website, download our magazine or contact us by email or telephone (01277 211300). 

Spotlight on the Local Offer
We are committed to improving the Essex Local Offer for children and young people with SEND. Thanks to your suggestions, we continue to add quality SEND support services, groups and activities to the website all the time.  

Visit the online directory to see some of the new services added recently.  



Contact Us

01268 753 652

Rushbottom Lane