News For SEND Families From Manchester Local Offer





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Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter. We're delighted to share news about free ice skating as part of the SEND Community Offer!


The Local Offer Team

Email: / 0161 234 1946 - searchable directory

Welcome to Manchester Local Offer / Local Offer SEND Information Hub 

Twitter: @MCRLocalOffer


Our Next Drop In

November Drop In poster

Our next drop in is on Wednesday 16th November 10am-12 noon at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe. It’s a chance to meet a range of services and ask your SEND-related questions. You can also chat with Manchester Parent Carer Forum (MPCF), Manchester Parent Champions and other parent carers. 

Future dates - 10am-12 noon:

Wednesday 14th December, Manchester Youth Zone, Harpurhey

Wednesday 11th January, Moss Side Powerhouse


Free Ice Skating Is Back

Entrance to skating rinkFree ice skating is back this winter! It’s part of the SEND Community Offer, funded by Manchester City Council for SEND families living in the city.

Sessions are with Skate Manchester at Cathedral Gardens on Wednesday 16th November 7pm, Thursday 24th November 6pm and Monday 28th November 6pm, 45 minutes each. SPACE parent carers will be there half an hour beforehand to meet you and help with getting ready in time. The site is wheelchair accessible and lights and music will be low. Children need to be aged 3+ (3-9yrs to be accompanied on the ice by an adult, 10-12s with an adult who is watching at all times). See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The SPACE Group are putting together a Social Story to support your experience.



skating rinkBookings are by TEXT ONLY and, to make things fairer, are within two set times:

  • Friday 11th November, 9.30am-1.30pm - 50% of the tickets will be available
  • Saturday 12th November, 1pm-5pm - 50% of the tickets will be available

Within those times, text The SPACE Group on 07749 116211 with your name, preferred dates, how many adults/children places you require, children’s ages and postcode.  All texts sent within the allotted times will be responded to. You’ll be sent a text from the team, so please don’t presume you’ve been booked on without receiving the confirmation. Happy skating!


Other Stuff To Do

Funny Face Competition

Funny Face competition poster

You have until 8pm on 17th November to share funny faces in the Manchester Parent Champions and The SPACE Group Facebook groups. All entries will be placed in a random draw for free family tickets to Lightopia at Heaton Park on Thursday 24th November, 6.30pm. Faces can be drawings, photographs, whatever you like! All entries will be placed in a random draw and 3 families from each Facebook group will be selected!


Mini Members Club

Poster for Mini Members Club

In addition to their usual weekly club, Manchester Youth Zone are trying out a new Mini Members Club every Sunday for children with disabilities and additional needs aged 4-7. It starts on Sunday 13th November, 10.30am-12 noon, and runs for six weeks, including multi-sports, messy play, sensory room and more. Siblings welcome. Booking is advised as spaces are limited. Contact Corrina at or 0161 203 5333.


Activities At Manchester Deaf Centre

Manchester Deaf Centre has a number of activities for children and young people. There's the Sign and Play group for children aged 0–5 and their families every two weeks on a Tuesday. There’s also the I Can Youth Club for 11–16-year-olds and the I Can Get On project for 17–24-year-olds – find out more about these on the Centre’s website


Free Activity Programme

Laughing boy with familyGreater Manchester Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) offer a free 10-week programme for children and young people aged 5-17, connecting them with inclusive sports and activities in their local neighbourhood. They can also provide your family with simple tips and advice on how to eat healthy and improve your lifestyle. They welcome children and young people with SEND who are identified as being above a healthy weight. Speak to a health professional at your GP practice, check out the PARS website, or contact PARS for more information - or 0161 511 0300.

Access Friendly Children's Library

Colourful children's libraryThe new Z-Arts Children’s Library opened last month. This fantastic facility in Hulme is open to children across the city. It is home to lots of books that celebrate diversity and has been designed for families where there are disabilities and additional requirements. More on the Z-Arts website. Pop along and take a look!


Father Christmas baubleManchester will be getting into the Christmas spirit with a series of Festive Sundays in the city centre. Over six Sundays from 13th November to 18th December, there will be roaming puppets, supersized penguins and illuminated bands. See Visit Manchester for times and locations.


Welcome To The Changemakers

Changemakers collage

The Changemakers are a group of young people with SEND aged 14-25 who make sure young disabled people’s voices are heard across Manchester.

This might be through youth-led campaigns and projects, advocating for inclusive services in the community, and sharing opinions with decision makers. It’s a great way of meeting new people, developing skills, and trying new things. The group meets every Thursday evening from 5–7pm in the city centre at Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN), Greenfish Resource Centre, Oldham Street. Travel to and from sessions can be supported in a number of ways. Contact Luke at or 07592 845246 for a chat. 


Cost Of Living Support

£50 Laptops For Low-income Families

Hands typing on laptopManchester City Council's Digital Inclusion team can support you in getting online.This includes free data sims from all Manchester Libraries and low-cost devices. There is a current offer of £50 laptops until 23rd December - see the Community Computers Shop. Evidence of low-income status needed. To contact the Digital Inclusion team, text 07860 064128 or email

Cheaper Broadband

Millions of households are missing out on cheaper broadband bills. Many providers offer social tariffs for households on certain welfare benefits, such as Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Visit Ofcom to find out more.


Financial Support

Manchester City Council has brought together information in its ‘Help with the cost of living crisis’ hub, including financial help in a crisis, basic furniture and foodbanks, as well as the new cost of living advice line.


Disability Grants lists a wide range of charities and trusts offering grants to families with disabled children. Turn2Us offers an online grant search.


Local Offer logoCheck out the ‘Benefits & Grants’ section in our Local Offer SEND Information Hub for more information on financial support. If you look under ‘Household’, there is also information on energy and equipment.

Winter in Manchester 

There is a new easy read leaflet about help for people in Manchester this winter. It includes what to do if you get ill, support with money and ways to keep warm.


Other News

Covid & Flu Are About

Covid and Flu Campaign Poster

Don’t let these two get in your way! We can all keep Manchester moving this winter with a free Covid-19 autumn booster and annual flu vaccine. Find out if you're eligible and book yours today at Get My Jab


Accessible Vaccination Clinic

There is an accessible Covid vaccination clinic at Ross Place in Ardwick, M12 4AN, on Saturday 19th November, 11am-3pm. Please book an appointment by calling the Gateway on 0161 947 0770 or texting their helpline on 0789 003 6892. The Gateway can book a free taxi if needed and a BSL interpreter. See the easy read guidance for more information.


Know Your Rights

Older male carer and Carers Manchester logoCarers Manchester is holding a number of events for Carers Rights Day to raise awareness and knowledge of your rights as a carer. The sessions are at the Friends Meeting House in the city centre on Thursday 24th November, 9.30am or 1pm, and Saturday 26th November, 10am. Check out the Carers Manchester calendar for more details and how to book, and for information on other carers events.


Parent Carer Groups In Wythenshawe

SENsitive is a supportive and welcoming group for parent carers of children with additional needs and disabilities. They come together to share their hopes, struggles and advice through lived experience. The group meets on Mondays 10am-12 noon at St Aidan’s Community Centre, 230a Wythenshawe Road, M23 0PH. Find the group on Facebook (SENsitive) and Twitter (@SENsitive_Mcr) or contact Gerry Flanagan at or 07825 219 214.


There is also a new and friendly Wythenshawe Parent Carer Group at Benchill Community Centre on Thursdays 1-2pm (term time). Please get in touch before attending - contact Colette on 07853 841290 or


Poster for Wythenshawe carers group

New Parent Carer Group For South Manchester

SPACE Group logoThe SPACE Group are starting a new South Manchester Group in Burnage. This welcoming group of parent carers will meet fortnightly at St Margaret's Church on Burnage Lane M19 1FL. Contact or 07749 116211. The group still meets in the north of the city every two weeks. Get in touch to find out more. 

News In Brief

classroomContact helpline advisers recently ran a busy Q&A session in their Facebook group for families new to the social care assessment process in England. Here are 5 of the most popular questions. The page includes further links around this subject. The next Q&A is around school attendance. It's on Thursday 10th November, 10-11.30am in their private Facebook group for parent carers.

Earlier in the year, the Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel ran a survey for disabled residents, the largest of its kind in the UK. They have produced a report with recommendations for action. While the survey focussed on the cost of living, it looked at many issues that are relevant to the entire country.


Drawing of a houseLast year, a working group for Greater Manchester Autism Consortium developed some housing guides around getting a tenancy and eviction. The guides have been updated and can be found on the GMAC website. Here is some general renting advice from Citizens Advice.

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