“Staying Connected, Staying Safe”

Information for Parents and Carers of students with SEND

Welcome to our webpage which is dedicated to parent carers of young people with SEND. The college would like to support you and your family at home during this uncertain time.

This page is designed to give you ideas and resources which you can use to support your young person during the day. There are also links to external organisations who can give you guidance and support over the coming weeks.

We're in this together. Stay safe at home.

10 June 2020

College will have limited reopening from 22 June

The College will open for small numbers of priority students from 22nd June. The vast majority of our students will remain at home and online delivery will continue for the majority of students...


The college has a team of specialists who are here to support you and young person while you stay safe at home. Get in touch if we can help you and/or your young person with any of the following:

  • A regular phone call to see how you are doing
  • Support with homework and/or online work or activities to do at home
  • Support with therapy needs such as Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy

Call our team if you need any advice or support:

If you need to talk to someone about learning support for your young person, simply email one of our Learning Support Managers:

If you need to talk to someone about therapy for your young person, simply email our Therapy Manager:

If you need to talk to someone about a Foundation course (entry level), simply email one of our Heads of Curriculum:

If you need to talk to someone about a safeguarding issue, simply email one of our Safeguarding Managers:

Resources, activities and ideas to support you and your young person to plan your time at home

Educational Resources and Activities

Online resources compiled by the government to support you and your family to stay and learn at home:

Gig Buddies
Gig Buddies is running online music festivals to celebrate young talent and creativity. You can support your young person to perform or simply tune in to see the performances. Our young people have the right to stay up late!

East Sussex County Council
Activity ideas for children and young people with special needs and disabilities. Including tips on looking after yourself and talking to your children or young person about the coronavirus.

The BBC has compiled some useful resources, activities and support to help you and your family during lockdown:

National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society has collected a number of resources to support autistic people and their families during the changes to learning and staying at home:

Special Needs Jungle
Special Needs Jungle has some really good resources to support people with more complex and sensory needs during their time at home:

Connexions 360
If you are starting to think about 'what's next' for my young person, the Connexions 360 page has lots of resources to get you thinking about progression

Guidance on any exceptions to the Government rules for people with SEND

Your Rights

People with autism will be exempt from new rules insisting everyone must wear a face covering on public transport.

Organisations that can you help you to manage your finances while you are at home


Turn2Us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track during Covid-19 and in the future.

Lots of places are trying to support you to stay at home. See what's on offer in your area.

Practical Support

Foodbank is ready to help
If you need any support with food for you and your family, Foodbank is ready to help. It has created an online system of food vouchers which the college can complete for you on your behalf. Please contact your Safeguarding Manager (see contacts) who will talk to you about this. You should receive your delivery the next day.

ESCC Information about supermarkets
If people don’t have anyone living nearby who they trust to help them, they are being advised to get in touch with their local community hub. We hope this summary will help community hubs to signpost people to supermarket services that they may find helpful. Download summary here.

People in Partnership Directory of Community Support
Really useful directory letting you know about all of the support is available in your local area. Click here to download.

If you or your young person are struggling during lockdown, there are a range of resources and information which are there to support you. The new STAY social media campaign is an e-wellbeing service for young people, support for young carers and advice for parents - Click Here.

Information Pack for Family and Friend Carers
Sussex Partnership Adult Learning Disability Services have created a booklet full of useful information to support you and your family during this very challenging time. There are tips and advice to keep you and your young person safe and well during this very uncertain time. Click here to download.

Positive Approaches to Support
This website has been created for families who care for children, young people or adults with a learning disability or developmental difficulty (including those who are autistic). Family carers will find information about positive approaches for supporting wellbeing and supporting choice, independence and communication for their relative. Family carers will also find information about how to support their relative if they display behaviours that challenge.

Supporting Autistic people as lockdown eases
In this booklet the National Autistic Society offer some further ideas and resources which may be helpful for professionals and families supporting autistic people.
Click here to download.

Awesome and Autistic in a post-pandemic world
Siena Castellon is 17 years old and autistic. You can listen to her talk about being autistic, lockdown, the cancellation of her A levels, advice for young people and her book, "The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide":

Managing Transitions
Moving from school to college or from one course to another can present challenges for young people in normal circumstances. The experience of the pandemic may bring up more complex emotions than usual. To respond to this, Mentally Healthy Schools has pulled together lots of resources to help parent carers talk to their young person about change. Click here to download.

Groups and organisations that will give you the opportunity to talk with people who are in the same position as you

Parent Power

  • Carers O'clock
    If you would like to talk to people who are in a similar situation to you, Carers O'clock could be the right place at the right time. Click here to download more information.

  • East Sussex Parent Carer Forum
    East Sussex Parent Carer Forum is run by people who are experiencing similar issues to you. They make sure that the views of parents and young people with SEND are at the heart of all decision making. They also have some great resources to use whilst your at home with your family:


  • Zoom
    If you would like to stay connected with your friends or join the chat with East Sussex Parents and Carers you can use Zoom. This short tutorial is a beginners guide to using Zoom for the first time.

  • NEW Parents and Carers Helpline
    A new helpline has been launched to support parent carers of young people with SEND. An educational psychologist is available to support parent carers with a range of issues including anxiety and behaviour.
    Download details here.

Groups and organisations that will be able to give you the support you need to look after yourself so that you can continue to look after the people who rely on you

Well-Being and Mental Health

Southdown Peer Support Service

Please see the latest information regarding the Southdown Peer Support Service here:

We recognise that during this challenging time connecting with others is an important part of maintaining positive health and well-being.

As well as supporting current clients, the ESCN Peer Service are also accepting new referrals for 1:1 support. This can be ‘light touch’ , supporting you/clients to manage their mental health and well-being during this challenging time, or more long term support for up to 6-8 weeks.

Support will be provided by a Peer Specialist who draws on their own lived experience and recovery journey to mentor and guide others. The Peer Specialist will enable you/your clients to identify strategies/tools to help manage your mental health and promote recovery and well-being. Where needed, they will also signpost to relevant services.

Support will be provided over the phone, however, our team are also exploring new communication platforms and methods to meet the current needs of the community.

To ease the referral process, we have adapted our current referral form (
click here to download).

Please send completed referral forms to:

For further support/ information about this service please contact Michelle Trunchion (Team Manager) on 07772 613945 or by email at michelle.trunchion@southdown.org

Online Mutual Aid meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Cocaine Anonymous
All fellowships
SMART Recovery

Eastbourne Volunteers

Eastbourne Volunteers have launched a telephone befriending service –if you know anyone who needs support get in touch with Helen Burton at eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com.

Community Hubs in East Sussex

The contact point where residents of East Sussex can turn if they feel they need some extra help in coping with the effects of coronavirus or if they know someone else who needs help. Click here to download details.

Managing Anxiety

10 Tips to support you with your well being during coronavirus

Are you a parent or carer who is concerned about the mental health of your child or teenager? Do you just want some hints and tips on working with your young person while you are together 24/7 at home? Visit www.minded.org.uk

East Sussex Mental Health Directory
The East Sussex Mental Health Directory has a wealth of information about supporting yourself or someone you know with their mental health. There are lots of useful websites and links to organisations who are there to support you and your family during this challenging time:

FREE courses that you can do while you are at home. Learn for fun, to gain a qualification or to simply pass the time

Learn Something New

New online, short course learning opportunities at East Sussex College

These courses are free if you are over the age of 19 and have lived in the UK or and EU country for the last 3 years. Please see the link below for information about all the courses, where to go for more information and how to apply. Please note that all applications and requests for further information are via Grasp Learning team on Tel: 030 300 39777 or Email: info@sussexskillssolutions.co.uk, not the Community Learning team.


As part of the enrolment process, you will be asked to do a short Information, Advice and Guidance questionnaire and will also be asked to complete a short maths and English assessment. These should be nothing to worry about and are to assess that you will be able to complete the course independently.

Future Learn

Free course on autism which has been updated to include information about the coronavirus:

Free Online PBS Awareness Course

Free course from BILD to raise awareness of the benefits of using Positive Behaviour Support with young people who have behaviours which challenge:

Supporting Parent Carers and Young People with SEND


  • Our FAQs about CV-19 and the lockdown is targetted at parent carers and young people with SEND and is updated as new information becomes available.
  • Wellbeing info and links for parent carers, children and young people.
  • Leisure, learning and lockdown info for families (separate sections for families, YP, parent carers).
  • Our Amazing Futures group for young people is continuing to offer group support and activities by moving to Zoom. Parents of young people accessing this service have an active Whats App group
  • Amaze host two of the Sussex parent carer forums. They work closely with the Local Authorities and health services to ensure that the voice of parent carers is heard and are involved in planning. They are a good way to link in with other families.
  • Our Face2Face service offers peer support to parent carers at time of new diagnosis or new challenges.
  • Ambitious about Autism is an organisation which aims to support all autistic young people to learn, thrive and achieve and lead fulfilling lives.

East Sussex College