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We are delighted to have received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK, we also have service users from across the world: grandparents, parents, foster parents, carers and adoptive parents who contact us because they've heard about our services and have told us they have tried many other services, unfortunately they do not come close  to the way the special educational need family support groups help and advice. We provide what other don’t, a HOLISTIC network of quality. We consistently deliver life changing services that meet all the complex difficulties these families find themselves in.

The charity is equivalent to using mainstream and un-orthodox strategies to ensure all client's needs are met to the highest standard. This is the reason we have been chosen from thousands of other organisations to have been granted by the King of England award for our services delivery, which is effectively an MBE.

Historical context, MBE stand for "Member of the Order of the British Empire." It's an honour awarded by the British monarch to individuals and charities who have made significant contributions to various fields, and charity work, consistently delivering specialised public service.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty the King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.

Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK.

The Special Educational Needs Families Support Group charity was developed over 32 years ago through despair of individuals and families that we're desperate for help and understanding. The complexity of Special Educational Needs (SEN) laws is overwhelming to many parents that contact us, they often feel isolated and fearful for their children's futures.

We are now working with the third generation. We have been instrumental in changing national and local policies, developed additional charities and support groups, empowered young people and adults to take an active part in securing school and college placements. We have also supported apprenticeships and helped people find accommodation.

The award is for the thousands of children and young people with SEN and their families that we have supported. It is also for the unselfish and dedicated volunteers that are impassioned to make a positive difference to the lives of every person and child they help. The award recognises the outstanding services that we the Special Educational Needs Families Support Group repeatedly deliver. The audit was rigorous and intensive, we were amazed to be nominated and never imagined that we would win this award given the thousands of other volunteer organisations that are established.

Representatives of Special Educational Needs Families Support Group will receive the award crystal and certificate from the Lancashire Lord-Lieutenant’s Mrs Amanda Parker, DL, as His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire.

In addition, two volunteers from the special educational need’s families support group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May/June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Volunteers will also be invited to a garden party at Holyrood house in July 2024.

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                   Special Educational Needs Families Support Group Christmas Appeal                                                      Bringing Joy to Every Child** 🌟




















Dear Santa's helpers 


As the holiday season approaches, we at Special Educational Needs Families Support Group are reaching out to you with a special Christmas appeal. This year, we are focusing our efforts on bringing joy and support to marginalized families in need that have children who have special educational needs and face many  challenges


Imagine facing the festive season with the added complexities of caring for a child with unique needs and uncertain tomorrows. This is the reality for many families in our community, and we believe that together, we can make a difference.


**How Can You Help?**

This Christmas, we are seeking your support through vouchers or donations that will directly benefit these families. Your generosity will provide not only the essentials but also moments of respite and joy during a time that can be particularly challenging.


**Why Your Support Matters**

By contributing to our Christmas appeal, you are helping create cherished memories for families who often navigate life's journey with added difficulty. Your kindness ensures that every child, regardless of their circumstances, can experience the magic of the season.


**Ways to Contribute**

1. **Monetary Donations:** Your financial support allows us to tailor assistance to individual family needs.

2. **Gift Vouchers:** Practical and thoughtful, gift vouchers empower families to choose items that best suit their unique requirements.


**Spread the Word**

Share our Christmas appeal with your friends, family, and colleagues. Together, we can amplify our impact and reach even more families in need.


Let's make this holiday season truly special for every child. Your generosity can be the spark that lights up their world.


To contribute, please visit [Donation Link] or contact us at [Contact Information].


Thank you for being a beacon of hope and joy this Christmas.


Warm regards,




Charity Number 1055954

0161 755 3482 or 07990594060


August/September young people's and parents feedback from consultations events held in the parks.

 Paul's view age fourteen. " I am forced to go to school every day by my parents they think that I'm getting help and support I have learning difficulties. The reality is I barely have any contact with any support staff, my teacher looks through me like I am invisible. When I asked for help the reply is the same ( read what I have given you this will refresh your memory and you can access extra help by logging onto the schools online  tutorials.) I think they may have special educational needs as they know I cannot read and do not have access to a computer, or they do not care.

Matilda age sixteen I have cerebral palsy and living in foster care at my special needs unit. all the time it is challenging. I try to listen and learn there is a NHC plan in place but it's only a piece of paper. It is demeaning to me and it  gives the false impression that my needs are met when they are not. There's lots of meetings, loads of jargon with no resources, every person at them ask the other person what they're going to do to help me. For them to  pass it around the table like a hot potato. No one commits to anything.  Education asks the health services and they asked the social services - then they ask the SENCO. Result of all this time wasting is an NHC plan that is updated and put into filing cabinet to be forgotten about for another year. If on the rare occasion I am asked about what I want and the challenges I am facing they are always met with silence and discharged as not appropriate. I want to shout," stop talking at me and help I am failing as you all watch." nobody is taking responsibility for the complete mess of a vulnerable person education and well-being.

Roger age twelve  Get Me Out of here everything is too hard I have no friends my support worker is very bossy the teacher is unkind I tried hard with my homework my grandma took me to the library and photocopied things for me to put with my homework. I was very happy and proud when I gave it to the teacher on Tuesday, he said your handwriting needs improving. He didn't read my work, he knows I have special needs and physical disabilities. I have had three operations on my hand and it is not my fault I cannot write as good as the other children. Special is just the label that stops teachers and support staff from seeing the real child, ME.  Criticism which highlights my disabilities more is the norm for me at school. if there time and effort were put into actually helping me we would all benefit . NHC plans are not the answer because they are meaningless in practise, people hide behind them and adults are proud that the school has special educational needs policies, review meetings, and SENCO'S.  It should be children and young people's education that matters, not meaningless policies. I need reassurance and appropriate teaching role models, not criticism about my handwriting. I will never try to please teachers as they cannot see me as a person. Those first his words made me burn inside from embarrassment in front of the other people in the classroom. The children take lead from their teachers learning how to negatively interact with disabled people well done Mr R.

We are an independent impartial support network.

Some of our services include:


Practical support  Advocacy  Mediation   Guidance   Outreach Service 


Education  Therapy  Forum Events    Inclusion activities


Community Resources  Drop-in Surgeries   Raising Awareness.


Social Fund Training

Telephone Helplines    

Volunteer Opportunities




We are proud to have been “ nominated for The Queens Award for voluntary services"


Following over a 30 years of outstanding delivery of services, we have been recognised for this prestige and unique award.

We were independently of the charity nominated by non-partisan people and services of:  Young people - Families -Carer's - Voluntary organisations - Statutory services also other representatives.

We are immensely proud to have met the rigorous criteria that following an index audit by the Queens award deputies that concluded our outstanding continuity and excellent consistent service delivery

The cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis refers to the fall in real disposable incomes that the UK has experienced since late 2021.

The government has responded to the crisis with several packages of support throughout this and last year. The latest updates on support were announced in the Spring Budget, including an extension of the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG),  however, the recent fall in the energy price cap means this support will now end.

Despite extensive government support, household incomes are not keeping up with living costs and are not expected to return to 2021 levels in real terms until 2027.

Some households face a higher effective inflation rate because they spend a higher share of their income on energy and food, the prices of which are increasing fastest. On average, poorer households spend more of their income on these essentials.

The government is providing additional support to those on lower incomes through direct payments but the expected decline in real household incomes means poor households will continue to face hardships. For example, the Joseph Roundtree Foundation has reported that 75% of the bottom 20% of low-income households in the UK (4.3 million) have gone without essentials.  

Overall, the worst-affected households are those on low incomes with higher-than-average energy bills (for example if they have a large family). While these households have received additional payments from government, these are not sufficient to match the increase in energy and other costs.

Farmers' Market Visit

In May 2022, the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) surveyed 101 of its organisations representing 194 independent food banks across 94 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. 93% of organisations reported an increase or significant increase in the need for their services since the start of 2022. 95% of organisations reporting increases said it was due to the cost-of-living crisis

Close to 3 million emergency food parcels were distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the past 12 months — the most parcels ever distributed by the network in a year.

Sainsbury's has also confirmed that it'll be offering kids free hot meals or a lunch bag over half-term.

Parents will just need to purchase any of the adult main meals for £5.20.

The offer is available in all Sainsbury's cafes between February 13 and February 24.

Asda has confirmed it will be running its popular £1 kid's meal scheme throughout the summer holidays across all of its 205 cafes.

The deal will run until the end of the year.

Morrisons supermarket alongside Warburtons are rolling out an initiative called Ask for Ellen, if you visit your local morrisons you can Ask for Ellen and you will be provided with two crumpets Jam and Butter No questions asked.

This offer is currently running from 17th of July till the 13th of August Nationwide. 

The Tesco is offering its 'kids eat free' deal to help parents with the cost of feeding from now until the beginning of term.

The ever-popular offer means that when a paying adult presents their Clubcard and spends as little as 60p in one of 310 Tesco cafes across the UK, they will get a free kids meal.

The deal will run on weekdays from July 24 to September 1 in England and Wales, from now to September 1 in Northern Ireland.

And in Scotland, the offer will run from now until August 11.

Food banks in the UK are run by charities. To get a food bank voucher, you need to visit a referral agency, such as Citizens Advice, children’s centres, or health visitors. The agency will take some details from you to complete the voucher, which will help them to identify the cause of your crisis and offer practical guidance. 

Citizens Advice 

Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848 Adviceline (Wales): 0800 702 2020 

Carer's Assessments

Anyone who needs care and support can have a needs assessment. It doesn’t matter how simple or complex their needs are, or what their income or savings are. Anyone aged 18 and above, who appears to have a need for care or support can have a needs assessment, regardless of the level of those needs or the person’s financial resources. 

Even if you as the carer are providing all the care the person needs, they are still entitled to an assessment.  

Remember that carers can be eligible for a needs assessment too. If you think you could do with extra help and support, you can request a needs assessment for yourself too. You can have this as well as a carer’s assessment

How do I get a needs assessment for the person I look after? 

Anyone can request a needs assessment for another person. The Social Services department of the local council or trust has a legal duty to carry out a needs assessment once they become aware of the person’s potential needs.  

The process will differ depending on where you live so download our country specific factsheets about assessments to find out more. 

Contact the local council or trust of the person you look after. Tell them you help someone who needs care and support and ask for a needs assessment for them. 

If someone needs urgent support, the local council or trust can provide services before an assessment has been carried out. In this case, they will carry out a full assessment as soon as possible to make sure the right support has been put in place. 

You can find contact details for your local council on GOV.UK. In Northern Ireland, you can find your trust at NI Direct

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More information on needs assessments

How will the needs assessment be carried out?

How will the assessor decide whether someone is eligible for support?

What happens after the assessment?

What help might the person I look after get?

How much will the person I look after have to pay? 

The local council or trust will carry out a financial assessment (or means test) for the person you care for. This will look at their income and capital and work out whether they need to contribute towards the cost of their care. 

The council or trust can’t charge anyone else for their care, including you or anyone the cared for person lives with. 


What if I’m not happy with the outcome or service?

If you, or the person you are looking after, are having issues with the local council/trust, the NHS or a care service, you or they could look into making a complaint to try and resolve these issues. 


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Other assessments

It may be helpful to know about other assessments that are available to help provide support. 

Assessments for young carers

If you’re under 18 and help to look after a relative with an illness or disability, then you’re a young carer. It’s important that you decide how much and what type of care you want to give, and whether you want to be a carer at all.  

You shouldn’t be doing the same things as adult carers or spending most of your time caring for someone else. Disabled adults are entitled to support from their local council or trust, so it’s important they have their own needs assessment to find out what help they can get. 

As a young carer, your carer’s assessment will be different to the one adult carers have. It will look at the help you and your family need. It can also decide whether it’s appropriate for you to be a carer, and whether you want to continue in your caring role.  

The assessor must look at your education, training and leisure opportunities, and thoughts about the future. They should involve you, your parents and anyone else you want to include. You should get a written record of the assessment including whether the council thinks you need support and whether they’ll provide it.  

If you’re 16 or over and not in full-time education, you may be eligible for help finding work and benefits such as Carer’s Allowance.


If you care for a child who is under 18

If you’re a parent who cares for a disabled child, you’re entitled to a parent carer’s need assessment. It’s your chance to talk about the things that could make looking after your child easier. You may get services or direct payments to meet your assessed needs.  

If your local council or trust thinks you may need support as a carer, then it must offer you an assessment. If it doesn’t, you can request one. 

The assessment must take in account: 

  • whether you have needs for support, and what those needs are 

  • how much support you’re giving your child and whether you’re willing or able to give the same level of support in future. It’s important to be realistic about what you can do 

  • your wellbeing 

  • the need to safeguard the child being cared for, and any other children you have responsibility for. 

This assessment can be combined with one for your disabled child, if you wish, and carried out by the same person. 

If you care for a disabled child but you’re not their parent - for example, if you’re their grandparent - you don’t have the right to a parent carer’s need assessment. However, you can still request a carer’s assessment to find out what help you may be entitled to.


What is a carer’s assessment and how does it differ from a needs assessment?

A carer’s assessment is specific for adult carers who are 18 or older and is separate from a needs assessment. It is an opportunity for you to put forward what additional support you might need to make your life easier as a carer. This could be anything from help with taxi fares to hospital appointments, to temporary care cover put in place so that you can have a break every so often. For more information, see What is a carer’s assessment?’ 

The Trustees and Volunteers have also been awarded Level 1 POQSSO Quality Mark's. This is a Quality Assurance system, it sets out a charities professionalism demonstrating that we have in place stable outstanding governance practices financial risk management procedures and a robust system for measuring outcomes.

This Means By achieving the PSQSSO Level 1 mark the SENFSG have successfully demonstrated qualities suchs as:

sound governance-leadership and management-well planned user centred services which are monitored well.

Robust financial procedures

Working well within our team as well as with other organisations. Focusing on learning and development. 

Our Vision
Our Mission


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