With a baffling amount of support services, discounts and activities available for parents and carers in West Sussex, a local website is helping people to navigate the labyrinth.
The Local Offer website is launching a new series of webinars to support parents and carers of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from the comfort of their own home.
The first webinars will be one-hour workshops focussing on how to use the Local Offer website (a one-stop-shop for information on services and events), a SEND discount card (Compass Card West Sussex), and Short Breaks (a support service for leisure and social activities outside of school).
If the trial is a success, further webinars will be released throughout the year looking at other support services for children and young people with SEND.
Stephen Hillier, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “This is an exciting approach to enable online learning and sharing which we hope will build on parents’, carers’ and professionals’ current knowledge and give them the opportunity to have their questions answered by experts.
“It is essential that parents, carers and professionals who care for children and young people with SEND have access to a wide range of support. They are incredibly committed people so we need to make it as easy as possible for them to have access to workshops – this is where the webinars come in.”
The Local Offer site, which has more than 3,000 regular users, is launching the trial of webinars in February.
The first webinars will take place on 10 February from 10am to 11am, 13 February from 1pm to 2pm, and 7 March from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
During the webinars, viewers (who remain anonymous) can interact and instant message the speakers. There will also be a recording of the webinars posted on the Local Offer website afterwards.