New Programme Supports Parents and Carers of Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

25th January 2024

New Programme Supports Parents and Carers of Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Parents of children with additional needs or disabilities in the county can access a free eight-week skills-based programme with therapy and online peer support.

The SEND Dynamic, run by parents with lived experience, has teamed up with mental health charity DRCS to offer parent carers access to a weekly daytime peer group with support, led by a qualified psychotherapist/counsellor.

The eight week programme, called Looking After You Too, runs from February 1 from 10.30am until 12 noon, at the Richard Shaw Centre on Pride Park, with limited places remaining.

Vicky Wright, Manager and co-founding Director of The SEND Dynamic said: "Our service aims to provide practical tips and strategies to make everyday life easier for parents whilst navigating the education, health, and care system.

"Looking after yourself as a parent is easier said than done. Finding the time to prioritise your own health and mental health needs as a parent is hard, but as a parent of children with additional needs or disabilities, it can be virtually impossible.

"Whether you are battle scarred from fighting the system, or still in the middle of the overwhelm, hit a wall and feel it is all just too much, this group is a safe space for you."

Janette Smeeton, CEO at DRCS, said: "This is a fantastic organisation. DRCS will be providing a facilitator to run the group, who is a qualified therapist accredited with BACP and has lived experience of parenting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

"These parents have their own set of unique circumstances and we hope to become a valued source of help for them."

The new daytime course follows the well-received evening programme developed and delivered by The SEND Dynamic's Advisory Panel member and volunteer Anji Taylor, who is a parent with lived experience and the Clinical Lead at Talking Mental Health Derbyshire (TMHD), a partner of DRCS.

The SEND Dynamic, which is part of the charitable Disability Direct group, aims to empower parents of children with SEND to understand their children’s rights and best navigate the education, health, and care system.

The organisation, a not for private profit community interest company limited by guarantee, offers both free and payable advice and low cost practical services to parents in person and online.

These include information on Special Educational Needs law, guidance for common daily challenges, such as tackling sleep problems and anxiety, balancing care of multiple SEN children and practical tips for dealing with SEND paperwork and support in meetings through free bookable 30-minute advice appointments, legal surgeries and webinars.

DRCS operates as a partner of TMHD, which is a provider of the NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression programme for Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust.

Derbyshire-established DRCS has a 30-year track record of working with individuals suffering from common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions. DRCS also works with businesses and schools.

DRCS operates from bases in Bakewell, Derby, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Belper, Long Eaton and Matlock treating people from the Amber Valley, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak, Derby City, North East Derbyshire.

For further information about DRCS visit or to access To book onto The SEND Dynamic course visit and complete the enquiry form.

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