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SEND news and updates

Wigan Central Family Hub

Family Hubs are a new way of bringing together all the support a family may need, from pregnancy through to young people turning 19 (or 25 if they have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND)). Family hubs will operate as a network of services within your neighbourhood to provide accessible and connected services and support to all families. These services will work together to provide high quality support for the whole family, so that children, young people, and families will get the right help at the right time.

Our first Family Hub was launched on the 14th October 2023. Families are welcome to visit and see what services there are on offer to advise and support.

  • Where? The Meadows, Ridyard Street, Wigan.

Riding the Rapids Teenage course

Riding the Rapids is a free course for parents and carers of children who have a diagnosis of Autism, severe learning disabilities or complex physical disabilities. The course aims to help parents to understand and manage challenging behaviour shown by their child.

Research shows that parents and carers who attend Riding the Rapids can:

  • Make effective changes to their child’s behaviour
  • Increase their coping skills and confidence in dealing with behaviour

The course takes place for two hours and runs for twelve weeks. Each weekly session covers a different aspect of understanding and managing the behaviour of children with Autism or another disability. There are primary age and teenage courses available.

Contact Parentingsupport@wigan.gov.uk for more information.

  • When? Starting from 08/11/2023
  • What time? 12:30 – 14:30
  • Where? Wigan Central Family Hub, The Meadows, Ridyard Street, Wigan.

Understanding your child – Solihull Approach course

This is a free nine-week course to help:

  • Understand your child’s behaviour and how they communicate.
  • Recognise how your child is feeling.
  • Reduce the difficulties you face in everyday life.
  • Improve how you communicate with your child.
  • Understand the importance of play.
  • Develop good routines and boundaries.
  • Improve relationships between you and child for a happier and calmer home.

Contact Parentingsupport@wigan.gov.uk for more information.

  • When? Starting from 8/11/2023 every Wednesday
  • What time? 17:30 – 19:00
  • Where? Wigan Central Family Hub, The Meadows, Ridyard Street, Wigan.

Parental Relationship Drop In

For parents together or separated experiencing issues in their relationship which could impact on family life.

This session is open to parents and professionals and can be accessed face to face or via Microsoft Teams.

Contact k.cheetham@wigan.gov.uk for more information.

  • When? Starting from 18/10/2023 every third Wednesday of the month
  • What time? 9:30am – 11:30am
  • Where? Wigan Central Family Hub, The Meadows, Ridyard Street, Wigan.

SEND Champions programme

Wigan SEND Champions are a group of parent/carers, foster carers and practitioners who come together on a regular basis to share experiences, knowledge and learn from each other to support children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) in Wigan Borough.

We are offering a regular virtual sessions with the objectives to upskill, share knowledge and best practice on a wide range of specific topics covering SEND.

You do not need to attend all sessions, we would like you to be involved in the best way that works for you!

We welcome parents and carers of children with SEND as well as practitioners working with children and young people with an active interest in SEND who wish to learn from others and make a difference in our local community.

  • To become a SEND Champion or book onto any of our training sessions you can email admin@wiganpcf.org.uk or SENDChampions@wigan.gov.uk for more information. If you are a Wigan Council employee you can sign up for the training on My Job.

Area SEND inspection explained - information for parents and carers

The government has published guides for parents, carers, children and young people about inspections of local services for children and young people with SEND.

Free webinar: Spotlight on supported internships

This free recorded webinar is particularly designed for parent/carers of young people with additional support needs, and/or SEND, and for young people who are moving into adult life and are interested in employment.

It was organised by the national Internships Work programme, funded by the Department of Education, in partnership with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and Family Fund. families and want to know your thoughts on services.

Wigan Council Social Media Launch

We are delighted to announce that we now have Instagram and Twitter/X accounts to share what is happening in the borough to support children and young people with SEND and your families. Find us by searching @wiganlocaloffer on both social media platforms, we can’t wait to see you.

NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care SEND Engagement Survey

Are you a SEND child or young person, family member or professional working with SEND? NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care (Wigan) in collaboration with partners are keen to understand the lived experiences from Children, families and professionals about Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services in Wigan. They are currently reviewing their support of SEND young people and their families and want to know your thoughts on services.

ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity - A Teenager’s Guide to ADHD

In partnership with NHS London and young people, ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity have produced a strength-based guide to living successfully with ADHD for teenagers. It discusses staying well, achieving in education, managing relationships and more.


We are always looking for feedback on the content of the Local Offer. We are required by The Children and Families Act 2014 to report on any feedback that we receive and what we have done in response to it. You can find a link to our latest report below.

A Team Voices

A Team voices will support young adults aged 11-18 living with Autism/ADHD to build participation skills, develop their voice and feel empowered to participate in decision making at a local level.

The group will work together to share views and experiences to create positive change for members and other young adults like themselves living with autism, allowing them a voice and opportunity to potentially change the way people and services view them. A Team Voices will provide a space for young people living with Neurodevelopmental conditions to support one another, plan and lead their own projects, events and campaigns.

  • Where? The A-Team Hub, Trafford House, Platt Fold St, Leigh WN7 1JH
  • When? Every Tuesday
  • What time? 5pm – 6:30pm.

If you would like to get involved, you can call 01942 316072 or email caroline@leighcommunitytrust.co.uk with any questions or enquiries.

National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) Time To Talk Next Steps

As we enter 2023 too many young people with additional support needs lack confidence and ideas about their future. With funding from the National Lottery Community Fund until 2024, Time to Talk Next Steps is already changing lives.

Our experienced team work with young people across England (with a further pilot in Scotland) to provide virtual 1:1 support to build confidence and help navigate life's challenges.

We work without labels. Young people don't need to have a diagnosis or Education Health and Care Plan. We also provide support to parents and carers through our partnership with Contact.

We welcome direct requests from parents/carers and professionals and always ask that young people are aware of a request made on their behalf. If you know a young person who would benefit get in touch.

Access to work scheme - support for individuals with a disability or health condition

Access to Work is a government scheme that can pay for extra support to help individuals start or stay in work. The support that individuals are offered will be based on their needs and could include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace. It may pay for additional support on top of any reasonable adjustments an individual has agreed with their employer.

It is available for those with health conditions (either mental or physical), or a disability that affects individuals at work. An Access to Work grant does not need to be paid back and could pay for a range of different support that an individual may need, including:

  • Support workers to help the individual
  • Specialist equipment to make working easier
  • Help with the cost of travel to work and back
  • Mental health support    

You can check your eligibility and apply for Access to Work on the GOV.​UK website (external link). The Department for Work and Pensions has produced an easy-read factsheet (external link) to help raise awareness and also have a YouTube sign channel (external link) containing a range of informative videos.

Healthy Start Scheme - Help to buy food and milk

If you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4 as well as receiving benefits then you may be eligible for the NHS Healthy Start Scheme.

Disability Cost of Living payment toolkit – reminder

Over the next few weeks, six million disabled people in the UK will receive a one-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment as part of the government’s Help for Households Support. Those who had confirmed payment of their disability benefit for 25 May will receive the £150 automatically by their usual payment method.

The Department for Work and Pensions has produced a Disability Cost of Living Payment toolkit to help councils to communicate the Disability Cost of Living Payment with a range of resources such as easy read information sheets, suggested newsletter and social media copy, a frequently asked questions document, a British Sign Language (BSL) information video and wider Help for Households information:

Wigan and Leigh Neurodevelopmental Focus Group

Across Wigan Borough all partners including health, the local authority, education, parent carers, and the voluntary sector, are working together to review the Neurodevelopmental offer for our children and young people.

We're meeting once a month to discuss how services can be improved in Wigan for parent carers of children and young people aged 25 and below.

We'll be looking at how you get referred, the support you can expect along the way and how we communicate with you. This will support positive outcomes and ensure you're provided with the right support when you need it.

Keep checking this page for updates and information on services available, how to access them and what support we can offer.

Wigan Tourette and Tics Support Group

This group offers peer to peer support for parents and carers of children with tics or Tourette syndrome. Families are welcome who have not been diagnosed.

  • Where? Wigan SEND Hub, Ashland House, Ince-in-Makerfield, Wigan
  • When? 1st Tuesday of the month during term time
  • What time? 10am - 11am.

Wigan Parent Carer Forum Coffee Mornings

Drop-in coffee mornings for parent carers of children with SEND with the opportunity to speak with a range of professionals and meet other parent carers. All coffee mornings are held on Tuesdays.

  • Where? Parent Carer Forum, Ashland House, Ince-in-Makerfield, Wigan
  • When? 3rd Tuesday of the month from January 2023
  • What time? 10am-11am.

For more information please contact Parent Carer Forum via their website or social media.

Embrace behaviour support sessions

Monthly support group for parents and carers to explore and share different strategies, approaches, ideas and information.

  • Where? Wigan Youth Zone, Parson’s Walk, Wigan WN1 1RU
  • When? These events are currently being held on the last Monday of each month, 6pm-8pm.

For more information please contact Andy on 01942 233323. Please note that you are asked not to bring children to the sessions

Autism awareness and workshops

A full programme of online training for parents and carers of children and young people with autism is available.

Neurodevelopmental Pathway drop-in sessions are held in various venues across the borough, giving parents and carers the opportunity to speak to professionals.

SEND Network

This is a partnership of local, regional and national organisations and groups supporting children and young people with SEND and their families.

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