Working Together


Safe Places

At her sons Review meeting a parent raised concerns about her son independently travelling in York.  She had heard of Safe Places but couldn’t find any information on where they were.

Progress with Safe Places was raised during the Autism Strategy meeting on the 13/12/18.  The relevant website (York CVS) was identified plus a list of current Safe Places. Meeting participants concluded that Safe Places needed promoting and ideas were raised as to how numbers could be increased. A proposed action was that Safe Places could be promoted through activities on World Autism Day.

Staff fed back to parent and the AHS SENDCo.

The parent was pleased to know where the Safe Places are and will go through the website to get her son a Safe Space card.  She said this will help lesson her and her sons’ anxiety when he is out in York.


Parent said.. we did...

A parent contacted the teacher for the deaf via Local Offer for advice about son who has a conductive hearing loss. He was not issued a hearing aid so hadn’t been referred by school.

Following a phone call with mum and subsequently school, the teacher of the deaf visited the child and school to support them and provide information.

The parent was delighted and sent a card of thanks to Specialist Teaching Team.

Opportunities Fair 2019

The 10th Opportunities Fair was held at Askham Bryan College on the 26th June 2019. The day was attended by over 180 people; schools from around York attended the event with their students so they could find out more about what is available in York to young people with Special Educational Needs after they leave school.

At the fair, we had over 25 different providers who ran stalls in the main hall – these providers came with any resources they thought may have been useful to the young people on the day. It was great to see the young people asking questions to the providers and they went home having learnt something new.

Throughout the day there were workshops run by United Response, Animal Care from Askham Bryan College, York’s Independent Living and Travel Skills Team from York City Council, Horticulture from Askham Bryan College, Graphic Design run by York St John University, Plant Production run by Brunswick Nursery and a life skills workshop run by the Specialist Careers Advisers team at the council too. The young people were able to choose 4 workshops throughout the day to attend and every workshop ran so well. We cannot thank the teams that came on the day enough for their hard work and support on the day.


It was so lovely to get such great feedback and we cannot wait for next year!


“I have already found the day useful and I have been here less than 10 minutes”
“The day went so smoothly, everyone knew where they needed to be and when”
“The kids really enjoyed the animal care workshop, it was really modern and had a really lovely feel”
“I loved the animal care because I like the bits when we got to stroke and hold the snakes, I fancy doing it for my college course as well”
“I’ve enjoyed it at Askham Bryan college, I’ll come again”
“It was all about plants and stuff, probably the best one I’ve done so far”







Young People's Conference London

2 young people from York, one who is involved in the Youth Council and the other who is a part of Access4All had a great opportunity to go to London with Jess Haslam and Laura Brown to attend a Young People's Conference. The day was all about disabled children having all options open to them. We decided what participation was and talked about the United Nations Rights of the Child. We talked about:

  • Being listened to
  • Having opportunities in life and in your local community
  • Being part of a group

Accessing information on line is the best way to get good information. Councils need to have good on line information and easy access to e-media.

The Education, Health and Care plan shouldn’t be all about education only. It should be about other things. Young people need to say what they need day to day.



It was a great day, and the boys and I can not wait to share what we learned with our groups.


York Celebrates Autism

An event ran at SPARK in York, celebrated autism for an entire day! If you attended, tell us what you thought and watch the carpool video, here, the video was made by amazing people around York to raise awareness of autism.


Following our first Young Peoples Group of 2019, we were very excited to hold another group on the 8th March. This time the group:

•    Chose a name
•    Chose venues to inspect
•    Developed questions to ask venues
•    Practised giving feedback to venues after the inspections.

Well done team! It was great work! This training will come in very handy when we are out in York next month beginning these inspections.

We had a ballot to choose the name for our group – It was a close vote, but in the end the name Access4All was the winner.

We also invited Steve Rouse from Choose2Youth Club to talk to the young people about his experience  in previous inspections from young people through the ‘Good Place to Come’ award. He told the group what it was like for him being inspected - he told us that it was nerve-racking but very rewarding when Choose2Youth Club was given an award for being accessible. The club implemented a couple of changes the young people had suggested, and these are still in place. Great to know the inspection made a difference!

In the next upcoming months, we will be inspecting over 10 different venues across the York area to see how accessible they are, so make sure you check back to see what we thought!

Where do I go if..? Making Sense of SEND. Support Leaflets.

During a meeting with parents on the 21st February we discussed two new leaflets which are being created by the SEND team at York City Council. To ensure that parents/carers and public are receiving as much information as possible on the options which are available to them in any scenario, we have worked with a number of groups at different stages to write two new leaflets and they have been sent to all the parent forum/support groups.


:#: Where do I go if..?:#:


This leaflet is designed to help parents know where their first port of call is. If they have a query or concerns about their child it suggests the first place you would go to in order to find out more.


:#: Making Sense of SEND.:#:


This is a dictionary of all the acronyms and technical language we use within the world of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Many professionals and some parents use them all too often. This booklet should provide the answers – explaining what they mean.


YOU SAID WE DID: When discussing these leaflets, one parent informed us of how useful it would be to have these available on school websites alongside their specific SEND information. Therefore, once these leaflets are completed, we will ensure that they are sent to schools and hopefully will be uploaded to their websites too.

Thank you to all those who have helped. We are doing final revisions now and will be publishing them shortly.


The First Young People’s Event of 2019


‘Judged by young people for young people’ - Quote from young person.


We are delighted to let you know that the first meeting of the new Young Advisor’s group was held on 8th February. This group will go out to youth clubs, libraries and other venues to provide feedback on how inclusive the group or venue is. The aim is to find out if it is a good place to come? They will also act as an advisory group to the Local Authority and health on how to improve services for disabled children.


We were joined on the day by Victoria Pearson from Fulford, Ruth Thompson from York Inspirational Kids, Emma from Milthorpe School and Jess Haslam from York City Council.

The young people had a great day of training on the role with the national charity KIDS which leads on participation.

You will hear more from this group in the future. Watch this spot!


The young people enjoyed participation activities and discussed the reasons for being part of a participation group and providing feedback to settings and venues.



:#: The young people described::#:


Benefits to services:

Tell them how it really is:

By listening to our suggestions it will become more accessible for all

 ‘A better quality of service’


Benefits to young people:

It can make me feel proud (being involved)

Gives you a voice and being listened to... which makes you feel good.

A better future for young people.



:#:The group are choosing their name currently. They currently have a survey monkey running, which includes::#:


  • Teens4Change
  • Sparkles and Shine
  • Open your eyes
  • Access4All
  • Come Alive
  • Making Changes
  • This is Us
  • Socks


The next meeting will decide on the name of the group, the criteria for advisory visits and plan the first venue to inspect!



Educational Psychologist supports carers of Children in Care

Carers of children and young people who are in care asked for a meeting with an Educational  Psychologist (EP).

The EP for Children in Care attended a support group to provide an overview and advice. Feedback was very positive.

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming to talk to our connected carers today; your input was so helpful.  It was so kind of you to stay so long – I hadn’t anticipated we would take up so much of your time.”


Jessie Fund Music Group

Parents asked for more Jessie’s Fund music groups.

Portage Home Visiting Service worked with Jessie’s Fund to run a termly music group. A musician and a Portage Home Visitor have facilitated this. The Portage Home Visitors are now trained to run this every term. A highlight from a parent during a My Support Plan review was:

“Jessie’s Fund Music group, my child loved it, made friends and enjoyed the rhythm of the music, we would love to be part of the group again”,



Working Together in 2018

Centre of Excellence

It has been an exciting year for the Centre of Excellence.  We have worked with parent carers, young people and partners to develop plans for a new centre for disabled children and young people.  Please see links below for more information.

York's Centre of Excellence

York's Centre of Excellence update December 2018


Going to Audiology

Parents asked the teachers of the deaf to help their children understand what was would happen when they went for an appointment in audiology. This social story can now be used to help many children, so they are not anxious about going and will begin to enjoy the experience.

Going to Audiology - Social Story


Applefields School

Applefields School have been listening to young people and making changes.

1. We got rid of the bell!!! It used to make some of the young people with autism shake! – we listened

2. Our student council are supporting us on the design of our coming website

3.  We increased the range of sweets on offer at our tuck shop!


Our Let's Celebrate Event

In October we hosted our Let's Celebrate Event to mark the 4th year of the successful implementation of the 2014 SEND Reforms.

We heard from some amazing speakers. 


Here are some of their stories:

Karen - Fred's Journey and Toy like me

Karen - Autism Drop Ins for Parent Carer's

Nicola - Early Years Childcare and Inclusion Service






York Family Information Service and Information Service for Young People

01904 554444 / 01904 555400

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