Southwark Parent Carers Council
speaking up for families with disabled children

Local Services

This page offers signposting to services but is not a comprehensive list. We will be adding to this page and updating it regularly. Please contact us if you would like to add or change any information:

Southwark Council: Local Offer

From September 2014, under the new Children & Families Act, all local authorities have to produce a Local Offer detailing all local services for children and young people with SEN and disabilities. Southwark Council's Local Offer website has just been launched - please send your comments on this website and any services you receive to the contact details in Have Your Say section. There are also plans to open a Parents’ Resource Centre or one-stop-shop to give families information and advice.
Southwark Council SEND Reforms page

There is a useful Glossary of terms at the end of this page.

Southwark Council

Children’s Services: Sunshine House

Sunshine House, Southwark’s child development centre on the corner of St Giles Road and Peckham Road in Camberwell.
Children’s Services, Southwark Council, 
Sunshine House, 27 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH

Children with Disabilities and Complex Needs Social Work Team

A specialised team within social care who can become involved with families where there is a disabled child with a severe and permanent disability. The Team is made up of Social Workers, Social Worker Assistants, a Communication Specialist, support staff and managers.
Tel: 020 3049 8250 Children with Disabilities

Short Breaks

Short breaks are opportunities for disabled children and young people to have time away from their families or primary carers, to relax and have fun (see below). They also provide parents and carers of disabled children with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities. You can download the Short Break provision document here.

Family Link

Family Link provides support to children with disabilities and their families. We aim to find an ongoing carer for your child. We support your family by linking you with a carer so your child can have planned, short breaks with them. With Family Link children make new friends, have new experiences and you get a break. Family Link

Transition to Adulthood

The transitions team can support young disabled people and their families, enabling them to move from children’s to adult services. Transition to Adulthood

Special Educational Needs (SEN) team

Southwark Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) team holds weekly drop-ins for parents and carers every Friday morning from 9.30 to 12.00 at Sunshine House, 27 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH.

The SEN team processes requests for and conducts statutory assessments, attends annual reviews and oversees transitions and placements. You can call to make an appointment for a 20-minute slot or alternatively just drop in and wait to see one of the team. Special Educational Needs Section: tel: 0207 525 2719. SEN information on Southwark website.

SEND Reforms

Southwark Council's information on the SEND Reforms (to be implemented by September 2014): SEND Reforms

Home to School Transport

Southwark Council Children & Adults Services Dept
4th Floor, Hub 3, PO Box 64529
London SE1P 5LX

Southwark SIAS (formerly Parent Partnership)

Gives information and advice to parents and young people on special educational needs, personal budgets, social care and health. SEN drop-in sessions for parent/carers:

    • Tuesday mornings 9.30am to 12.00 noon
    • Thursday afternoons from 4.30pm to 6pm

Both above sessions at Sunshine House, 27 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH.

  • Thursday mornings 9.30am to 12.00 noon at the One Stop Shop, 151 Walworth Road, SE17 1RY.

The sessions offer information, advice and guidance to help make informed decisions about your child’s education. You can also telephone the Parent Partnership team on 020 7525 5256. Email: or go to:

Speech & Language Drop-ins for Under-5s

An information and advice service for parents with children aged under five years at children’s centres around Southwark. Advice and help is offered if you have any concerns about your child’s speech or language development. Find out times on the Southwark Council website here.

Southwark Community Learning Disability Team (adults)

The council works closely with the NHS, voluntary and private organisations to provide a better range of day opportunities, education, housing and employment services. Find out more

Disabled Parking Permit - Blue Badge applications

You can apply online for a Blue Badge on Southwark Council's website

Southwark Council — website links:

Children & Families 

Family Information Directory

Family Information Service


Sunshine House

Community health services at Sunshine House, Southwark’s child development centre on the corner of St Giles Road and Peckham Road in Camberwell. Including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, Occupational Therapy, community paediatricians, CAMHS and more.
Children’s Services, Southwark Council, 
Sunshine House, 27 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH

Southwark CCG — Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is made up of all 45 GP surgeries in the local area. We are responsible for planning, monitoring and paying for most of the health services you will receive as a resident of Southwark.

Healthwatch Southwark

Healthwatch is the new independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public on health services. Healthwatch will play a role at both national and local level and will make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.

1 Addington Square, London SE5 0HF tel: 020 7358 7005

Southwark Community Learning Disability Health Team (adults)

This service provides support to Southwark people who are over 18 years old and have a learning disability and their carers. The team is made up of nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and audiologists. Find out more here

CAMHS — Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Behavioural support. By referral from GP, or social worker or community paediatrician at Sunshine House.

Southwark Health & Wellbeing Board

A statutory committee of the council and a forum where the council and key partners from health and care system work together to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities - following its Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Find out more here

Support groups & other service providers

Contact a Family Southwark — information, advice and support to parents and carers of disabled children

Contact a Family,
Cambridge House,
1 Addington Square,
London, SE5 0HF,
Tel: 020 7358 7799,
Contact a Family national office: The Contact a Family freephone Helpline is an advice service for parents and  family members caring for a disabled child. They also have a dedicated  SEN (Special Educational Needs) service to advise families on any aspect of their child’s education.  Freephone helpline 0808 808 3555 (9.30 – 5pm Mon-Fri)  email:   or go to website

Family Lives - Independent Support - help with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Family Lives offer an Independent Support service in Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark. Independent Supporters can provide information and support to parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who are being assessed for, or transferring to, an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Tel: 020 3131 3150


 To find out more information about the Independent Support service, visit:

KIDS charity for children 0-5 years

Every Friday (term-time only) KIDS has a drop-in at Sunshine House from 9.30-10.30. They can provide parents, carers and professionals with advice and can also accept (self-) referrals. KIDS is a charity that works with disabled children 0-5 years of age and children with development delays in Southwark. If you have any questions about the Kids service, contact them at:
Kids Southwark,
Bells Gardens
19 Buller Close
London SE15 6UJ
Tel: 0207 635 9080

Southwark Carers

Southwark Carers provides information, advice and support to Carers. Also activity groups, legal advice, carers’ assessments and a support group for carers of people with autistic spectrum disorders.

Have set up a new legal service

Southwark Carers also run a support group for ADDitude Group for carers of people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers , attention Deficit disorder (ADD, aka ADHD), and other demanding behavioural problems.

Southwark Carers,
54 Camberwell Road,
London SE5 0EN
Tel: 020 7708 4497 or go to their website.

Southwark Parent Carer Council (PCC) — that’s us!

A voluntary parent carer forum made up of parent carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs — we work in partnership with service providers to fight for the best services for our families. There are parent carer forums for most boroughs and regions throughout England. Come along to one of our coffee mornings — look out for the next date in Events.

Cambridge House Children and Young Person's Advocacy

Cambridge House Advocacy provides an advocacy service for children and young people aged 0-19 who have a disability. Advocacy makes sure the young person is listened to and promotes their rights. Referrals can be received directly from the child/young person, family, professionals or carers. Tel: 020 7357 7007. Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, Camberwell, SE5 0HF.

Down’s South London (DSL)

A parent run charity providing a free, unique early intervention speech therapy service to local children with Down’s Syndrome aged 0-6 years. Contact: Gun Akyuz. Tel: 020 7701 9521


A national charity that provides advice on any issue on Special Educational Needs. There is a free, friendly, independent and confidential telephone helpline for parents and others looking for information and advice on Special Educational Needs (SEN). And a Southwark drop-in is at Waterloo centre open from 5.30 to 7.30 on the fourth Thursday evening of each month. From November 2014, twice a month on the second and fourth Thursday evenings of each month.

At Chaplin Close Community Hall, Gray Street, London, SE1 8TU. Press 39 on the entry keypad, then the call button, and ask for the SOS!SEN advice centre. For more information:

Autism Support

National Autistic Society (NAS) Southwark

Volunteer members of the Southwark Branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS) run friendly drop-in support groups for parents/carers of children/young people on the autistic spectrum:

Dates and times of sessions are as follows:

    At Alfred Salter Primary School, Quebec Way, Rotherhithe, SE16 7LP
  • Last Friday of the month, 10am-12pm
  • At The Crooked Well pub (upstairs), 16 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY
  • Every 2nd Monday evening of the month, 7.30-9.30pm

If you would like to receive information about dates and times of NAS Southwark meetings, or join their mailing list to receive news of events and services, please email , or tel: 020 3049 8013. Or find them on Facebook:

Resources for Autism

Resources for Autism provide practical services for children and adults with an autistic spectrum condition and for their families and carers.

They also run local holiday and other respite play schemes for children and young people with autism. To find out more, contact or tel: 020 8458 3259 or go to their website:

Parent Partnership Cygnet Group: 11-14 years

Cygnet is a parenting support programme for parents and carers of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition aged 11-14 years. Offering practical strategies to implement at home and an opportunity to meet others in a similar position and hear about their experiences. Held at Sunshine House. For more information or to book a place, please contact Southwark Parent Partnership on 020 7525 5256 or email:

Short Breaks

Southwark Council publishes a list of Short Breaks in the borough. You can download this from Short Breaks on Southwark Council’s website.

The full list of short break providers can be found on Southwark Council’s document above but here are some examples. Some of them will require referral from the Children With Disabilities team.

  • Salmon Youth Centre
  • Camden Society
  • Fast Forward
  • Resources for Autism
  • Tideaway Sailability
  • Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground
  • Whippersnappers
  • Disability sports clubs
  • Orient Street — overnight respite
  • Family Link

From September 2014, Southwark Council will be under obligation under the new Children & Families Act to publish its Local Offer on its website, which provides full details of services available to children and young people with disabilities. They are also planning to establish a Parents’ Centre or one-stop-shop for parent carers. Look out for updates here.

Please also look at our page Clubs & Activities, which details sports and leisure clubs and activities for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs.


Cinema CEA card

The Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card is a national card that can be used to verify that the holder is entitled to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. For those on Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.

Transport for London: New ’Turn Up and Go’ assistance service

TfL has launched a new “Turn Up and Go” assistance service for mobility and sight-impaired customers at all London overground stations. Staff will provide assistance without the need to book in advance. This gives greater choice and flexibility for making spontaneous journeys; the service is already in place on London underground. For more info:


Taxicard is a scheme that provides subsidised transport for people who have serious mobility impairment and difficulty in using public transport. Taxicard holders make journeys in licensed London taxis and private hires vehicles, and the subsidy applies directly to each trip.
Southwark Taxicard: Tel: 020 7525 3230 Email:

Glossary of Terms

This glossary is to help understand some of the terms used, especially in the upcoming SEND reforms:




A Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) is the body responsible for organizing and buying all the health care in a geographical area. CCG’s are led by local GPs and other medical people who work with patients, local communities and local authorities to plan the health services in their area.


Children and Young People


Department of Education


Department of Health

EHC plan


Education, Health, and Care Plans. These are the documents that will be used to describe a child or young person, how they should be supported and what outcomes or improvements they are expected to make over time.


Further Education


Family Information Service


Family Services Directory


Independent Specialist Provider – This is an organisation that is provides services for children with a disability. It can be a voluntary organisation as well as a private company.

Joint Commissioning

Commissioning means buying or purchasing services, joint commissioning means when Health Education and Social Care do this together.


Local Authority


Learning Difficulty Assessment


A young person who is not in Education, Employment or Training


An outcome is a way of measuring the progress a child or young person makes as a result of the support they receive.   It is a way of making sure that the help they get is working and helping them.

Pathfinder & Pathfinder Champions

A pathfinder is a local authority area who has been testing piloting the SEN reforms.

A pathfinder champion is a local authority who has been given extra responsibility to support other areas implements the SEN reforms. Bromley is the London Pathfinder Champion

Personal Budgets or


A personal budget is given as an agreed amount of money from social care/health/education to buy the services. The purpose of a PB is to give parents and carers more choice, and ensure help and support is targeted to each individual child or YP. For those eligible for a PB, a Support Plan agreeing desired outcomes and how these will be achieved with a PB, will be drawn up.


Preparing for Adulthood is an organisation that promotes and train schools and local authorities on how to plan for young adults with a disability


South East 7 – a group of 7 local areas in the South East of England, acting as a SEND Pathfinder.


Special Educational Needs. A learning difficulty or disability which makes it more difficult for a child to learn or access education than for most children in the same age group.


SEN Coordinator (based in educational settings) The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is responsible for coordinating special educational provision within mainstream schools.



Voluntary and Community Sector. This sector consists of organisations and groups set up on a voluntary basis and funded through charity fundraising and grants.