Support events

Courses and events to support parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Events are held across Norfolk, and are organised in date order.

Has your child been diagnosed with ASD or ADHD or are you waiting for an assessment?

Come along to this friendly support group, run by Great Yarmouth & Waveney Autism Support Service in Gorleston, for information, advice and a listening ear.

Dates and times:  First and third Tuesdays each month, 10am-12pm

Venue:  Macey Room, Shrublands, Magdalen Way, Gorleston NR31 7BP

Further information:  Contact Sonia Poulton (family support worker and administrator at Family Action) at or 01493 650220.

Do you want an opportunity to improve your British Sign Language and practise conversional signing in a relaxed and informal setting?

Come along to the Locomotion Cafe at The Garage.  Each session is free to attend – just drop in.

All are welcome, regardless of previous experience.

Dates and times:

  • Friday 17 August, 10-11am
  • Friday 14 September, 10-11am
  • Friday 5 October evening ‘Sign & Wine’ session (bar open to purchase your beverage of choice), 7-10pm
  • Friday 12 October, 10-11am
  • Friday 9 November, 10-11am
  • Friday 14 December, 10-11am

Venue:  The Garage, 14 Chapel Field North, Norwich NR2 1NY

Further information:  Please call the Garage on 01603 598646 or 01603 283382.

Your Own Place work with 18-25 year olds from all backgrounds – those leaving care, leaving school, leaving prison, leaving supported accommodation, going to college or university or just leaving home for the first time. They are there to take the stress and anxiety out of transition in young people’s lives.

Midweek three-day tenancy courses are offered in Norwich.  They’re jam-packed with engaging activities, resources and information.

Groups tend not to be bigger than eight.  Free follow-up sessions are offered as well, particularly for those seeking to improve their money skills.

Dates and times:

  • Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 September, 10am-4pm
  • Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 October, 10am-4pm
  • Tuesday 30 October to Thursday 1 November, 10am-4pm
  • Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 November, 10am-4pm
  • Tuesday 11 to Thursday 13 December, 10am-4pm

Venue:  The Training Flat, 23 Johnson Place, Norwich NR2 2SA

Bookings and further information:

Each place costs £275.  Please go to or phone 01603 611910 to make a referral.

An introduction to Signalong, the key word sign-supported communication system based on British sign language which is used to help both adults and children with impaired communication to understand and express their needs, choices and desires.

Learners will learn how to apply signing in their own environment, with an emphasis on the practical application of signing and using all vocabulary in the Signalong Phase 1 manual (at least 360 signs).

This 15-hour accredited course is run over five consecutive Mondays at the Hamlet Centre.

Dates:  Mondays 10, 17 and 24 September and Mondays 1 and 8 October

Times:  6-9pm

Venue:  221 St Leonards Road, Norwich NR1 4JN

Bookings and further information:

The cost is £85 per learner, plus £19 for a Signalong Phase 1 manual. For more information or to book, contact Tanya Hubbard (Training Coordinator) on 01603 765405 or email

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a course for parents or carers of a child who may have, or is under assessment for diagnosis of, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Run as a small group that meets for two hours once a week for three weeks, this course focuses on identifying possible internal and external triggers for behaviour and considers strategies to support the autistic child to manage this.

Families develop personalised plans for their child which can be shared with schools and other settings. They also have the opportunity to meet other people in similar situations, share experiences and learn new strategies.

Dates, times and venues:

All sessions run from 10am-12pm.

  • Mondays 10, 17 and 24 September - Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE37 7RB
  • Thursdays 11, 18, and 25 October - Downham Market Children’s Centre, Snape Lane, Downham Market PE38 9JE
  • Mondays 5, 12, and 19 November - St James Hospital, Extons Road, King’s Lynn PE30 5NU
  • Mondays 3, 10, and 17 December - Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE37 7RB

Booking:  Any parents or carers who would like to attend should call Family Action in Swaffham on 01760 720302 or go to for more information.

Your Own Place are recruiting Volunteer Tenancy Mentors for young people aged 16-25 across Norfolk and are offering free training over two days.

Mentors complement other support workers or social workers.  They are aged 21 and over and are from all backgrounds, someone whom a young person can turn to for help, informal support, money skills guidance, goal setting – or just someone to chat to when they are moving to independence.

As a mentor you will acquire:

  • New skills, confidence and a peer network just for you!
  • A volunteering opportunity in your local community
  • That great feeling from helping a young person who really needs your support

Locations, dates and times:

All sessions run from 10am-4pm.

  • Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 September - Lowestoft
  • Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September - Bury St Edmunds
  • Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September - Ipswich
  • Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 October - Norwich
  • Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 October - Stowmarket
  • Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 November - Ipswich
  • Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December - Norwich

More information:

Please get in touch with Rebecca White at, on 01603 611910 or 07530 028446, or go to

Anyone with a learning disability is welcome to join Mencap’s community support group in Norwich.

Your chance to have your say about things that matter to you, have fun and make a difference!

Dates and times:

  • Thursday 13 September 2018, 11am-2.30pm
  • Thursday 8 November 2018, 11am-2.30pm
  • Thursday 17 January 2019, 11am-2.30pm

Lunch and drinks provided.

Venue:  The Garage, 14 Chapelfield North, Norwich NR2 1NY

Booking:  To secure your place, please email Mencap or

A training programme run over an eight week period for parents of children who have, or at risk of developing, behavioural problems.

This training aims to:

  • Increase parental confidence and competence in managing common behavioural issues
  • Improve parents’ communication and parenting issues
  • Reduce stress associated with raising children

Dates and times:  Fridays 14 September to 2 November, 10am-12pm

Venue:  Spring Gaywood Nursery, Queen Mary Road, King’s Lynn PE30 4QG

Booking:  Please telephone 01553 762805

An informal support group run in association with ASD Helping Hands for parents of children with additional needs, including global development delay or speech and language delay, who would benefit from a greater understanding of children’s senses and how they learn.

This session will look at ‘Social Stories’ in particular – a method of helping your child to learn how to cope in social situations.

Date and time:  Wednesday 19 September, 10-11.30am

Venue:  Hunstanton Children’s Centre, Avenue Road, Hunstanton PE36 5BW

Bookings:  Please telephone 01485 534228 or 01553 762805

A half-day course to consider ways of making information easier to understand and read by people with learning disabilities.

Every person who finishes this course will take home a free copy (worth £25) of the guide ‘Making Information Accessible’.

Dates and times:

  • Thursday 20 September, 9.30am-12.30pm
  • Tuesday 20 November, 9.30am-12.30pm

Venue:  Opening Doors, 38A Bull Close, Norwich NR3 1SX

Cost and bookings:  The course costs £60 per person.  Email or call 01603 631433. Visit for further information.

A free ten-week course for any parent, grandparent or carer with children aged up to 5 years.

Want to know more about understanding your child’s behaviour and growing up?  Then come along to explore issues such as:

  • Communication
  • Having fun together
  • Ages and stages of growing up
  • Temper tantrums
  • Sleep

Dates and times:  Thursdays from 20 September, 12.30-2.30pm

Venue:  Heacham Infant & Nursery School, School Road, Heacham, King’s Lynn PE31 7DQ

Booking and further information:  Please call 01485 534228

An opportunity to explore the role that sensory processing may have in making the simple and essential task of feeding and eating both a challenge and a difficulty for many children with neurodevelopmental difficulties and their families.

  • Why do some children stick to the same foods, the same colours, the same textures?
  • How can we help children to be more willing to explore new and different foods?
  • How can we deal with cravings or difficulties stopping eating from a sensory perspective?
  • Putting non-food items in the mouth – good or bad idea?

These are the sorts of areas designed to build on the knowledge and understanding gained from the Level 1 workshop about sensory systems and arousal levels.

The course will deal more specifically with understanding this complex area of food and eating, and explore interventions and strategies that can make a practical difference for family life.

Date and time:  Monday 24 September, 10am-2.30pm

Venue:  The Dragonfly Hotel, Beveridge Way, Hardwick Narrows, King’s Lynn PE30 4NB

Cost:  Parents/carers £65, professionals & staff £75. Cost includes buffet lunch and refreshments, handouts and other materials.

Bookings and further details:

Contact Lynda Niles (Occupational Therapist) for an application form.  Or you can text your contact details to Lynda or call her on 07411 177747.

Three ten-week course modules run during term time for professionals, parents and carers.

Dates and times:

BSL Module 101

  • Monday 24 September to Monday 3 December, 6.30-8.30pm

BSL Module 102

  • Monday 7 January 7 to Monday 18 March, 6.30-8.30pm

BSL Module 103

  • Monday 29 April to Monday 15 July, 6.30-8.30pm

Venue:  City Academy Norwich, 299 Bluebell Road, Norwich NR4 7LP

Cost and bookings:

£240 for professionals, plus the cost of exams (£93 for the three exams, any retakes are extra).  Limited places for a parent of a deaf child at a reduced rate of £75 are available.  You must have a confirmed place before attending.  Contact Heather Riseborough for more information.

Family Action and Contact are running a free session in Swaffham to give tips and advice on how to access support for your child with additional needs.

Come and share your experiences, meet other families, and pick up advice and support.

Date and time:  Thursday 27 September, 10am-12pm

Venue:  Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE37 7RB

Bookings: Please contact Susan Wood, Health Champions Project Worker at Family Action at or 01760 720302

Norfolk practitioners are welcome to this free support meeting, which is for anyone using Intensive Interaction to support someone (whatever age) who has a learning disability and/or complex needs including autism.

The group discusses ideas, troubleshoots barriers that arise and shares different work perspectives.

Date:  Friday 28 September

Time:  9.30am-12pm

Venue:  Dereham Hospital (Northgate Room), Northgate, Dereham NR19 2EX

Booking and further information:  Spaces are limited so please contact Tina Allen, communication development worker, at or 01553 666 to book a place or if you need more information.

Please note that the week commencing Monday 8 October is Intensive Interaction Week – a week when it is hoped that people across the world will collectively do something 'a little bit extra' to help promote Intensive Interaction for those who need it.

Signalong is a system of signs based on British Sign Language which is designed to help people with communication difficulties to understand and express their needs, choices and desires.

The six-week Foundation Training course teaches participants all the skills necessary to gain access to the entire Signalong vocabulary.

Dates and times:  Fridays, 9.30am-12.30pm from 5 October - 16 November (half term 26 October - no session)

Venue:  Dereham Hospital, Northgate, Dereham NR19 2EX

Cost:  The course fee is £85 which includes an Adult Learning Disability Core Vocabulary Manual and a Signalong Certificate.  Participants will be expected to attend all six sessions.

Booking: Contact Tina Allen (West Norfolk community learning disability team) at or telephone 01553 666680 for a booking form, which needs to be completed by 28 September.

Signalong is a system of signs based on British Sign Language which is designed to help people with communication difficulties to understand and express their needs, choices and desires.

The six-week Foundation Training course teaches participants all the skills necessary to gain access to the entire Signalong vocabulary.

Dates and times:  Tuesdays, 9.30am-12.30pm from 9 October - 20 November (half term 23 October - no session)

Venue:  Park View Resource Centre, Birch Tree Close, King’s Lynn PE30 5QD

Cost:  The course fee is £85 which includes an Adult Learning Disability Core Vocabulary Manual and a Signalong Certificate.  Participants will be expected to attend all six sessions.

Booking: Contact Tina Allen (West Norfolk community learning disability team) at or telephone 01553 666680 for a booking form, which needs to be completed by 28 September.

A free sensory information session in Swaffham for parents and carers led by independent occupational therapist Lynda Niles.

If you would like a greater understanding of the sensory processing difficulties your child might be experiencing then come to this friendly informal session.  Lynda will be sharing her experience and there will be the chance to meet other parents of children with similar difficulties.

Lynda will also be telling you about the services she offers as how you can access them.

Date and time:  Thursday 11 October, 10am-12pm

Venue:  Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE37 7RB

Bookings and further information:  Please contact Swaffham Health Champions on 01760 720302 or email

ASD Helping Hands’ annual training and information day takes place in Norwich and features several special guest speakers, including:

Julie Adcock

  • Following on from last year’s session that saw people queuing outside the door to hear Julie's experiences of working with ‘Girls on the Spectrum’ – a full day workshop looking specifically at the difficulties that girls with ASD have and how professionals parents and carers can help and support them

Lynda Niles

  • Once again following on from the success of last year’s sensory workshop –Lynda is returning to deliver a full morning on sensory difficulties and strategies to help and support

Doug Melia

  • New for this year! Doug joins us to discuss the legal implications of safer handling and physical intervention and what we mean by reasonable force

Date and time:  Tuesday 16 October, 9.30am-4.30pm

Venue:  The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich NR7 8SQ

Bookings:  £30 (including refreshments and lunch) per delegate – reduced to £20 for a limited period

Further information:  Telephone 01362 288110, email, or go to

Everyone is invited to visit Your Own Place to find out a little bit more about what they do at the Training Flat in Norwich.

They'd love you to pop in for a slice of cake and chat about working together.  Admission is free – just turn up!

Date:  Wednesday 17 October

Time:  10am-4pm

Venue:  23 Johnson Place, Norwich, NR2 2SA

Further information:  Contact Rebecca White at, on 01603 611910 or 07530 028446

Being an ADHD parent can be a challenge, taking incredible patience and strength.

This six-week programme will show parents how to understand their child by tapping into their world.  Learning ADHD specific techniques and strategies is the answer, in turn improving family life.

Dates:  Friday 2 November to Friday 14 December, 10.30am-1.30pm

Venue:  Thoresby College, Queen Street, King’s Lynn PE30 1HX

Cost:  £95 per person

Bookings:  Please email or go to

An accredited course run by The Hamlet that is suitable for anyone who provides support for those who use Signalong as part of their communication.  Participants must have previously completed Signalong Phase 1 training.

This course aims to develop the skills that learners already have, to understand the communication process and to develop learners’ abilities to communicate with those who have communication impairments.

Dates and times:  Saturdays from 10-24 November, 10am-3.30pm

Venue:  221 St Leonards Road, Norwich NR1 4JN

Cost:  £85 per learner plus £19 for a Signalong phase 2 book.  All learners will be required to complete a written test at the end of the course and throughout the course their practical work will be observed.

Booking:  Please contact Tanya Hubbard (Training Coordinator) on 01603 765405 or email

Are you passionate about special educational needs and disabilities, confident, willing to learn and able to listen?  Do you drive and have spare time to volunteer?

A free training course run over three days is available to support young people, parents and children 0-25 years with SEND.  Become a volunteer and make a real difference.

  • Give information advice and support
  • Provide help with paperwork
  • Explain procedures
  • Offer support at school meetings


Introduction day:

  • Wednesday 12 September

Compulsory full day training:

  • Tuesday 20 November
  • Wednesday 21 November
  • Thursday 22 November

Please note that this course will also consist of online training to be done at home.

Venue:  Swaffham Assembly Rooms, Swaffham Market Place, Swaffham PE37 7AB

Bookings and further details:  Booking is essential for this free training.  Please email  For information about Norfolk SEND Partnership go to

An opportunity for anyone to meet, play, share experiences and celebrate successes with parents, school staff and other professionals in an informal setting

Open to all parents and carers of children with additional needs or disabilities.

Dates and times:

  • 21 November 2018, 10am-12pm
  • 13 March 2019, 10am-12pm
  • 5 June 2019, 10am-12pm

Venue:  Fred Nicholson School, Westfield Road, Dereham, NR19 1JB

Booking:  Email or call the school on 01362 693915 for further information or to register your interest in attending.

Was this webpage helpful?