Useful links during Covid-19 lockdown

Helping Children Understand

Multilingual Story Book

A collaboration of more than 50 humanitarian organisaitons has produced a storybook to explain to children, available in over 24 languages here

Picture posters

Photosymbols have produced easy to read picture posters to explain the new rules that begin on Wednesday 13th May here

Mencap Story Book

Mencap have produced a picture story book explaining how important it is to keep clean to combat Coronavirus which you can access here

Coronavirus – A Book for Children

Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it, which you can access here.

How NOT to go to School – Parsley Mimblewood Saves the World

This book has been written by a school teacher to help his students understand the school shut down. It is free to download here.

What is the Coronavirus? – A Social Story for Autistic Children

A social story about coronavirus that can be accessed here.

Easy Read Lockdown update – 11 May

Easy Read Leaflet comes from Easy Read Online, it is based on the Government information from 1st June 2020 and explains the new rules as well as updated advice regarding shielding. Other resources by Easy Read are here

General Community Support

Kent Together

24-hour helpline set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication. It is a collaboration between KCC, central Government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS, emergency services and other partners to ensure help is at hand for vulnerable people. Kent Together website or tel 03000 41 92 92

Maidstone Community Hub

Working with local volunteer and community groups the Maidstone Borough Council Community Hub will provide a service to anyone of any age who is in need of additional support at this time. Its specific focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies and will be open Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm. Visit the website to find out more

Tonbridge and Malling Community Hub

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is also offering support to this group and others who are vulnerable and cannot get help from friends, family or neighbours. Call the Community Support telephone line 01732 876152 – open 08:30-17:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00-16:00 at weekends or visit the website.

Tunbridge Wells Community Hub

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is also offering support people who are vulnerable and cannot get help from friends, family or neighbours. Contact them online or Contact by phone: 01892 554497 (9am – 5pm)

Kent Support and Assistance Sheme for those in Crisis

KCC’s Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) may be able to help you if you are having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency. The support can be accessed via its website

Local Foodbanks

Follow this link to find out local foodbanks

Mental Health

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Young People

If a young person or their parents are not sure what support is needed, then they can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 123 4496 to talk through what information, advice and support might be appropriate. This is also the number to call if a child or young person needs urgent mental health support.

For people of all ages needing immediate mental health support, just text the word “Kent” to 85258. This is a new 24/7 text service provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line as part of the Kent and Medway Release the Pressure campaign.

Kooth

Kooth is a mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people aged 10 to 16 across the whole of Kent. The service is free and can be accessed at www.kooth.com. It’s a place to get advice, information and support 24/7. Young people can chat to a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 10pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 10pm. 

MoodSpark

Accessing www.moodspark.org.uk or www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk to learn about mental health and find tips and resources to keep emotionally healthy.

Text Support

Texting ChatHealth for support around physical and mental health on 07520 618850. The number is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Children and Young People’s Counselling Service

Self-referring to the Children and Young People’s Counselling Service at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/forms/school-health-service-referral-form

Big White wall

Accessing the Big White Wall if aged 16+ for anonymous support through https://www.bigwhitewall.com

Maidstone Mind’s Youth Recovery Action Plan

Youth Recovery Action Plans are designed to offer 1 To 1 Youth Support to young people who may benefit more from individual support instead of group-based activities. You can find out more here

CAMHS Resources

This link will take you to a really useful CAMHS site, which has information leaflets about all aspects of mental health, links to apps and specific advice regarding coronavirus.

KCC Summary

KCC have produced a handy summary of support available to people about Mental Health Support. Click thumbnails below to view.

Emergency Financial Help

Please contact Space 2 Be Me if you want more information regarding the following

Kent Community Foundation’s (KCF) Emergency hardship grants

These are for families with children with complex needs. KCF are able to provide cash hardship grants to families direct up to £1,000 to help with either buying essential things for the home or just to help pay the bills over the next few months. Space 2 Be Me can refer families so let us know if this is something you would like to apply for.

KCC Toys Scheme

A grant of £250 is available to purchase toys or equipment to help disabled children during lockdown: you must be accessed a short break service in the last 6 months to access this through Space 2 Be Me. Please contact info@space2beme.org.uk if you wish to find out more: we will be contacting those eligible.

One way you can use your £250 if you are eligible is to spend £100 on a special membership rate with Emporium Plus for children age 5-17 who access our short breaks as above. It covers the rental of 1 high value item and 4 lower value items over the course of a 12-month period. More information can be found on their website

Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme supports children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances, and is delivered by Family Fund – for items that meet a child’s most basic needs such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to provide a hot meal and other items or services critical to child’s wellbeing. Space 2 Be Me can refer families so let us know if this is something you would like to apply for.

Family Fund

Grants to families living in the UK, with children aged 0-17 who have a life-limiting condition or a high level of need due to a disability or condition lasting 12 months or more. Requests will relate to the needs of the disabled or seriously ill child and their family, including items such as; sensory toys, family breaks, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment and clothing. Applications can be made by the family – though you will need to provide details of a professional reference such as a social worker, Teacher or Health visitor that knows the child. The fund will not consider requests for items that a statutory agency has a responsibility to provide. For more info or to apply, visit their website.

Benefits and Advice

Universal Credit

Citizen Advice Bureau has set up a dedicated helpline 0800 1448 444.

Disabled Children/ SEND Resources

Contact

Please find the resources for families with disabled children with advice and ideas here.

Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children also have a resource page which you can access here.

KCC SEND announcements

KCC have released messages to you as parents/carers on their Local Offer

Government Advice re EHCPs

They official government advice relating to the changes in law relating to EHCPs can be found here

Government Notice about returning to School

Official update entitled Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening

IASK

For information advice and help regarding education matters for SEND in Kent. See their website here – they are holding virtual advice sessions but you must call 03000 41 3000 or email iask@kent.gov.uk to book an appointment.

IPSEA

Independent legal advice charity IPSEA’s FAQs on EHCPs and Send Provision have been updated on 12th May 2020 when last checked and can be accessed here