Further Information and Support

Helpful organisations and contacts for SEND

Contact – A national charity for families with disabled children

Contact provide a free helpline for parents and carers giving information and advice on a range of issues, including medical information, benefits advice and information about special educational needs.

Contact details:

Telephone: 0808 808 3555

Email: helpline@contact.org.uk

Website: www.contact.org.uk

Dorset Council – Local Offer

Dorset’s Local Offer provides information, advice and support on provision for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

The Local Offer also links to Dorset’s Family Information Directory so you can search for services and find out how to access them, all in one place.

Find out more here – Local Offer 

Dorset Parent Carer Council – DPCC

Dorset Parent Carer Council is run by parents for parents and families. They work to provide a strong and unified voice for families in Dorset aiming to inform all agencies that offer help, advice and benefits to children and families.

Contact details: Elaine Okopski

Telephone: 07827 793 244

Email: dpcc@dorsetparentcarercouncil.co.uk

Website: www.dorsetparentcarercouncil.co.uk

The Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) is the umbrella body for the disabled children’s sector in England. They are the only national body that brings together the diverse range of organisations that work with and for disabled children to support the development and implementation of policy and practice.

Contact details:

Telephone: 020 7843 6000

Email: CDC@ncb.org.uk

Website: www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk

0-25 Dorset Youth Association (Lynne Rockey)

Dorset Youth Association runs health and wellbeing-focused volunteer youth clubs and activities across the county. The 0-25 VCS Forum hosts face to face General Meetings in Dorchester.

Website: https://www.dorsetyouth.com/0-25-vcs-forum

ASCape Support Group 

ASCape is support group for 0-18 year olds and the parents of children who struggle with ASC and Social Anxiety.

Website: https://ascape.club/signposting/

Dorset Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice SEND Project in Dorset also provide free and impartial advice to parents and carers of under 25 year olds who have special educational needs or disabilities.

NYAS Dorset (Youth Advocacy Service)

The National Youth Advocacy Service stands up for children and young people’s rights, making sure their voices are heard and that they get the help and support they need.

Website: Independent advocacy – Dorset Council

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice – IPSEA

IPSEA offer free and independent legally based information, advice and support. To help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

They also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents, carers, professionals and other organisations.

Contact details:

Telephone: 01799 582030

Email:  office@ipsea.net

Website: www.ipsea.org.uk

Health Watch Dorset

Healthwatch Dorset is the county’s independent health and care champion.  It exists to ensure that people are at the heart of care. Healthwatch Dorset can also help people find the information they need about health and care services in their area.

Contact details:

Telephone: 0300 111 0102

Email: enquiries@healthwatchdorset.co.uk

Website: www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk

YMCA – The Chatterboxes

The Chatterboxes is a youth action project led by young people with disabilities aged 11-25 years old from Bournemouth, Poole and other parts of Dorset.

Website: https://www.ymcabournemouth.org.uk/youth/the-chatterboxes-disability-action-group/

Diverse Abilities – Awesome Nights

Diverse Abilities hosts a weekly youth club for young people aged 13 to 18 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The club runs weekly events on Wednesdays, between 7-9 p.m.

Website: https://diverseabilities.org.uk/awesome-nights

Dorset Advocacy

Dorset Advocacy’s independent advocates help to ensure that rights are upheld and that peoples’ views, wishes and needs are heard, respected and acted upon.

Website: https://www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk/