Summer Holiday Fun!

Hi all,

Hope everyone has had a relaxing first few days of the summer break from school. Just thought I’d share some information about inclusive/disability friendly upcoming events across Manchester.

This information is taken from Manchester’s Local Offer website (the easiest way to find it is to go onto the council website and type ‘local offer’ into the search bar). This is an A-Z of information and services for families with SEND. We have had a workshop on the Local Offer at school a number months ago and there will be another one next academic year. It’s certainly worth familiarising yourself with this service if you don’t already use it.
The activities below are inclusive for children with additional needs and their families:

Wythenshawe Inclusive Games Thursday 27th July at Wythenshawe Park, everyone welcome!

Family Inclusive Sports Activities Weekly Inclusive sports and swimming activities for all the family in Abraham Moss, Gorton and Wythenshawe.

Jump Space Inclusive trampling running term time and over the summer . Based in Stockport.

Inclusive BMX Session. Running every Tuesday evening, term time and over the summer – this is a lovely indoor session to visit at Manchester Velodrome, for young people and their siblings. Volunteers always welcome!

Simply Cycling. This runs at sessions throughout Manchester outside and there are adapted cycles to suit your need.



The following are classed mainstream activities but definitely still worthwhile looking into:


The Lowry Open Day 2017  Sat 5 August  10am – 4pm

Join us for The Lowry Open Day – a chance to experience what goes on behind the scenes. Try your hand at sound and lighting, learn how to perform a stand-up routine, and enjoy a taster of our bar and restaurant. Book by 24th July 2017.

Open Access Holiday Schemes. These are available citywide. Please contact the quality Team in advance if you have a child with an additional need, to see how your child can be supported on 0161 245 7171 or email:

All Sorts to Do. This is a brilliant citywide resource, for sports, leisure, parks, libraries and museums and fun days out for all the family.

Free swimming for everyone under 17 over the summer.

Manchester Summer Reading Challenge. Explore Manchester Libraries, look for reading benches designed by young people in Manchester as part of the Libraries Treasure Hunt and join in craft activities at Manchester Libraries this summer. Pick up a treasure map from your local library!


Mary from the Information, Advice & Support Service (IAS) also has the following ‘Top Tips’ message…
“Remember, many theatres, concert Halls in Manchester offer discounts if you are a carer, so always tell them first that you are a carer and ask what support or discounts that they offer. The same can be said for many leisure activities for example Experiment Science Museum in Yorkshire, some Merlin Leisure Provisions like the Camelot Experience in the North West and also offer other benefits, for example bypassing queues if you have a child with an additional need”.


I hope you have a wonderful break and enjoy some quality family time together. Advice from other parents would be to plan your days, try and stick to a bit of a routine, meet up with friends, and have a balance of busier and quieter activities. Here are a few key contacts if you feel you need further support:

The Contact Centre – 0161 234 5001

Talbot House – 0161 203 4095

Information, Advice & Support (IAS) – 0161 209 8356

Lifted Carers Centre – 0161 498 0312


Best wishes to all,

Peggy Parker (Parent support Advisor @ The Birches)


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Today’s Drop-in and Support Session + An Important Parent/Carer Survey

Today, I attended the parent/carer drop-in session at school – something I, unfortunately, haven’t done in quite a long time. Being that it’s been a sad week for many of us in Manchester, Peggy, the school’s Parent Support Adviser, thought we should focus today on positive things, things that make us happy. There was mention of The Newman Holiday Trust, an organisation that provides holidays for children and young people with special needs and disabilities, and even of slimming coffee! Of course, there was some getting-to-know-yous (it was a big group today), stories about our lovely children, and sipping of brew. A Really Nice Guy <wink, wink> even brought in some ice cream for the group. We also joined in the minute of silence in honour of the Manchester attack victims.

I was also hoping to be able to spread word to the group about a survey that Manchester Parent Carer Forum (MPCF) published, which is meant to gather parent-carers’ views on how Manchester’s Education, Health, and Social Care (EHC) settings are doing in terms of meeting the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). MPCF is a group of volunteer parents-carers that works to represent the ‘voice’ of parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND. The survey is one of the ways with which they gather this collective voice, which will be then fed back to meetings and discussions with the local authority and the EHC settings, with the aim of shaping and developing services available to our children. Please click on the following link if you would like to answer the survey and/or learn more about MPCF:

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International Women’s Day 2017

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy International Women’s Day!

A time to appreciate and honour the girls and women in our life – and of course the men who support and encourage them!

A time to also consider the challenges many women around the world face and ensure that we do all we can to support equality of opportunity and respect the rights of all people.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is about ‘Being Bold’ – showing confidence and not being afraid to take action. For more information on how to get involved visit the website below.


And last but by no means least…a huge well done to all the wonderful females who are pupils, parents, carers and staff at The Birches School and community, past and present. I hope your day is filled with joy and fun (…and a hot cup of tea at the very least!).


Best wishes,

Peggy (Parent Support Adviser)

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