We have listed just a few of the support groups available.  If you have a particular favourite that does not appear here, please let us know their details and we can share your find with everyone.

Contact a Family

Contact a Family is a charity that provides support advice and information for families with disabled children. They have two types of networking, firstly for local groups which have a range of disabilities, and secondly a national condition-specific group (particularly useful if your child has a rare condition). They also produce a wide range of leaflets to download, including ‘Living Without a Diagnosis’ and ‘Fathers’ to name just a couple. Their helpline number is 0808 808 3555 and their website is http://www.cafamily.org.uk/

Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a national voluntary organisation which enables carers to take a short break from their responsibilities.  They aim to deliver high quality services for carers and people with care needs. http://www.carers.org/

Disability Challengers

Disability Challengers is a charity that is dedicated to providing disabled children and young people with essential play and leisure opportunities.  The run Saturday and holiday play schemes for children aged 4-12 regardless of how profound or able they are with their disability.  They do have a long waiting list, but once you have had your ‘first visit’ you can book either morning or afternoon sessions or a full day.  You don’t stay with your child; you just pick them up after their great day!  Our members use their venues in Epsom, Leatherhead, Bookham, Dorking.  Some venues even take mainstream siblings.

They also run youth schemes for those aged 13-18 as well as adult groups for 18-25 year olds.  Fun Swims are held monthly at the Spectrum in Guildford, and they also host Family Days twice a month at their base in Guildford.  To find out more contact them at 01483 579390 or see their website http://www.disability-challengers.org

Down Syndrome Association

The Down Syndrome Association supports people with Down syndrome and their families. They also strive to improve knowledge of this condition and champion the rights of people with Down syndrome. http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/

Down Syndrome Education International

Down Syndrome Education International is a charity that focuses on the education of people with Down syndrome around the world. Through scientific research they publish practical information, organise conferences and provide advice and consultancy services. http://www.dseinternational.org/en-gb/

Down Syndrome ok

Down Syndrome ok is a parent-led registered charity offering help for people with Down syndrome, parents, carers, professionals in the South east of England.  They are affiliated to the DSA (Down’s Syndrome Association). They periodically run excellent information days to help both parents and professionals with specific issues relating to Down syndrome. http://www.downsyndromeok.org.uk/

Family Fund

Family Fund gives grants to severely disabled children aged under 16, especially to families on low incomes. They will consider funding for anything that would benefit the disabled individual, including bedding, clothing, washing machines, and holidays. http://www.familyfund.org.uk/

Homestart

Homestart is an informal and friendly support for families with young children in their own homes. Their volunteers offer time for listening, help with the children, a break for the parents, and practical help. You can refer yourself. http://www.home-start.org.uk/

InterAKtive

This charity supports families who have a child, or children, on the autistic spectrum, or a child with similar communication difficulties. The group enables children to experience a range of activities that may, in the normal course of events, be difficult for them to access. http://www.interaktive.org.uk/

Mencap

The Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults provides a wide range of advisory services for parents and professionals, including financial and legal advice. They campaign for improved and increased services for people with a learning disability. The local societies offer advice and support to individuals and families. https://www.mencap.org.uk/

National Autistic Society

They champion the rights and interests of all people with autism and aim to provide individuals with autism and their families with help, support and services they can access, trust and rely upon which can make a positive difference to their lives.  Their website provides information on Aspergers syndrome as well as autism. http://www.autism.org.uk/

Epsom & Ewell Phab

Epsom & Ewell Phab is a club for youngsters where we live up to the motto: ‘Making More of Life Together’.  Run on Friday evenings for children aged 8-16, youngsters have the opportunity to take part in sports, art drama, music and running a radio station!  Although the focus has been kids with physical disabilities, they also take able bodied members as well as special needs such as learning difficulties. They need to be comfortable choosing their own activities without one-to-one (once they’ve settled in).  There is a long waiting list that you can sign up to before your child is 8. http://www.phab.org/

Reach for the Stars

The SCAMPPS family support group. Meetings will be held once a month on a Monday from 9.30am until 11.30am at Leatherhead Trinity School and Children’s Centre. For the upcoming dates see our news section