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Autumn Bulletin 2013 We’ve also been busy up in the north, with another first, running our first family film day in Scala Theatre in Prestatyn. On a horribly rainy day we had a brilliant turn out for ‘Justin and the Knights of Valour'. During and after the film, children had the opportunity to leave the cinema and attend a fantastic drama workshop with Simon and Vicky of Pigtown Theatre Company.

We’ve been straight back into running events this September and on the first weekend back after the start of school, Contact a Family Cymru ran a film day in Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan. Over 80 people came from all around west Wales to the event, where we showed ‘Despicable Me 2’ which was very popular with the families. Circusdayze ran circus skills workshops, both during and after the film; one for children who were happier to play than watch all the film and then again for everyone. This was very well attended, with lots of juggling, stilt walking and ribbon twirling fun had by all! It was lovely to see both children and parents gaining some new skills and learning together. This was our first event at Theatr Mwldan and we had many great comments from parents about the event and the venue.

The feedback we had from the event was excellent and it was brilliant to see families getting to know each other, sharing ideas and thoughts, including one parent saying that ‘knowing that everybody has these problems shows we’re not the only ones'. Richard Jones Wales Manager 07809 260210 Andrew Kirby Information and Enquiries Service 02920 396624 ,Monday - Wednesday Katherine Wyke Workshops and Events 01978 351769/07904672614

Going digital... Contact a Family Cymru is improving our news and information service for families and professionals. From the start of next year we will be issuing a new monthly E-Newsletter and producing a series of new information guides specifically related to Wales. To enable us to provide this improved service we will stop producing the termly paper newsletter you are reading right now. There will be one more copy in spring 2014. What you need to do... Please contact us at with your email address so we can send you the monthly E-News. We also understand that some people don’t have internet access and may miss out on the new E-News. So, if you wish to receive the E-News as a paper copy, either by fax or post, please call Andrew on 029 2039 6624.

Wales Policy Update These statements will give a clearer picture of how the Welsh Government sees the Bill furthering the best interests of the child, and moving on from existing duties, such as section 17 of the Children Act 1989. UK Government rejects changes to PIP

Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Bill The Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Bill continues to progress through the National Assembly. The Bill, if passed will provide the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need social care and support. The Bill is particularly important for families of disabled children and amongst other changes aims to give people greater freedom to decide which services they need. The Welsh Government believes strongly in the Bill's family and community approach, which has become known as the 'people model'. However many families and children's charities have raised concerns about the lack of a child focus to the Bill. Earlier in October Deputy minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas, who is responsible for the Bill, informed the National Assembly that other the coming months the Welsh Government will agree the general principles of the Bill and would make a series of statements that would provide further information in areas such as assessment and eligibility, portability, charging and safeguarding. To find out more go to:

Contact a Family is disappointed that the UK government has not amended the more stringent physical mobility test used in the new personal independence payment (PIP) scheme. Under the disability living allowance (DLA) scheme, a person is entitled to the higher rate mobility component if they are 'unable or virtually unable to walk'. Usually claimants are considered to be 'virtually unable to walk' if they cannot walk more than 50 metres. Under the new PIP scheme, the relevant distance is reduced to 20 metres - so someone who can walk more than 20 metres without difficulty may not get the higher (enhanced) mobility component of PIP on the grounds of physical mobility. Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family said: "We're very disappointed that the government, having finally undertaken this consultation, have not listened to organisations like ours and individuals who will be adversely affected by these stringent new rules.� To find out more go to: PIPWales For more information about Policy in Wales or just to speak about the issues that matter to you in Wales, email Richard Jones our Wales Manager directly at

Family Fund is the UK’s largest grant provider to low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children or young people. Last year, they helped 4,830 families across Wales with essential items such as washing machines, fridge-freezers, family breaks, clothing and bedding as well as contributions to hospital visiting costs. They also help with tablets, laptops and sensory toys. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child. Family Fund recently helped Kerry, from Cwmbran and her 10 year old daughter Eleri who has Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Kerry said: “We were given a grant for a washer-dryer which has been invaluable. Eleri’s condition causes her to sweat a lot so frequent changes of clothing and bedding are needed, getting them washed and dried can be a nightmare.” The Fund has also recently launched a low cost travel insurance policy in partnership with Holiday Direct Ltd. This has been specifically designed to be flexible with the complex travel needs of families raising disabled or seriously ill children. Visit If you would like to know more about working with Family Fund to better support families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people across Wales, please contact Ann Shercliff by email: 01792 361498 or 07789995138.

SNAP Cymru is an all Wales charity. Their aim is to advance the education of families, children and their parents/carers and professionals working with those who have or may have additional learning needs. SNAP Cymru will empower families (parents, carers, children and young people) to ensure their voices are heard within the area of Additional Educational Needs and where necessary help the children and young people to be listened to and participate fully in any planning or decision making which may affect them. They offer advice and support on many issues that may affect children and young people’s education and development including – 

Advice on rights and responsibilities, understanding a child’s Individual Education Plan, the statementing process, ensuring right support is in place in school through school action/action plus.

Other barriers including: exclusion from school and education, appeals and tribunals, truanting or non-attendance, disengagement from education, employment or training, poverty, transition, bullying, deprivation, English or Welsh as a second language.

Inclusion also extends to our volunteers of all abilities and varied roles whether looking for work experience while at school/college or university, retired or building confidence to get back to work. For further information or support – Please call their Helpline on 08451203730 or visit their website at

In your area Cylch Teulu/ Family Circle-Anglesey


The group is called ‘Cylch Teulu/ Family Circle’ as they feel that the family unit is an important aspect for any family, but it is imperative for a family with a child with special needs as it means stability.

Thrive provides access to play for children with disabilities. They currently support more than 150 families from across South Wales.

They hope to offer their own and other attending families’ experience to group members and offer parent and sibling support whilst also having lots of fun during the activity sessions.

Subsidised entry to play sessions.

Subsidised family days out, trips and events.

Access to training.

Access to Thrive Cardiff Facebook group .

Weekly programme of events.

Parent fun nights out.

Social functions for children and the whole family

Cylch Teulu/ Family Circle is a new group for 'families' with a child with a disability to come along and take part in activities such as sports and craft sessions. The group is about social inclusion within the community and a chance for families who have a child with a disability to get together twice a month. Contact Suzanne Griffiths & Emma Byast on 07964903580/ 07876702975

Disability Sports Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) SportRCT are a team dedicated to getting the population of RCT more healthy and active. They organise local sporting opportunities for individuals, families and support clubs, organisations, businesses, facilities and individuals to deliver sport and activities across RCT. They specialise in working with these individuals, community groups, families and sport clubs who are either disability specific or who are inclusive for people with disabilities. Shelley Jones – Disability Sport Wales Development Officer:

Membership benefits include access to the following, for the whole family:

To find out more about Thrive go to their web page at or find them on Facebook by searching for Thrive Cardiff.

Llanrwst Family Coffee MorningConwy Come and join them for a coffee, chat and get support from the team . Its a chance to meet other parents who have children with a disability or additional needs in a friendly and caring environment. They look forward to meeting you. Monday afternoons at 1.30 - 3.00pm They are held at the Llanrwst Family Centre,Church House, Watling Street, Llanrwst , LL26 0LS.

01443 490242/07881 268184 or email her at

Please contact Ffiona Williams on 01492 574140 or email her at

Contact a family Autumn 2013  
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