Every local authority in England has a Local Offer. It is a government search engine that puts all the information about education, health and care services, leisure activities and support groups in one place.
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and
To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.
(SEND Code of Practice section 4.2)
Charities are organisations that are set up for ‘public benefit’ (i.e. their purpose is to help others). There are many thousands of charities nationally, so it can be hard to know where to start when you are looking for help or advice.
SENDIAS is not an emergency service. Our Young Person Advisors work part-time and it can take up to 5 working days for them to respond to your enquiry. If you need help urgently, here are some useful contacts:
In a medical emergency: if you’re in immediate danger and it’s a medical emergency, call 999 straight away
For mental health support: if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, or are concerned about someone who is, please dial 111 and select option 2 to help you get the support you need.
If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, you can text the word SUSSEX to 85258. This free, confidential, anonymous text support service is available 24/7 and is led by volunteers who have been trained to have a conversation and can support you to get to a calmer place.
You can call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123 The Samaritans is a free service which is available 24/7. When you call, a volunteer will answer the phone. They will listen to you and help you talk through you concerns, worries or troubles.
The NHS Staying Well services provide extra support for when you feel you need it. You can contact and refer yourself directly to the service. Find your nearest Staying Well service.
StayAlive app: If you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide, you may find the StayAlive app helpful. Download it from the Apple App store or Google Play.
You may also find the following apps and online community helpful for your mental health and wellbeing:
Mind Out: if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you can get online support to help you with your mental health from the charity Mind Out.
If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan, the local authority will allocate you a Planning Coordinator. The name and contact details of your Planning Coordinator will be on any letters sent to you or your parent/carer about your EHCP. If you’re not sure who your planning coordinator is, you can contact SENAT (West Sussex SEN Assessment Team). SENAT are the local authority team responsible for children with Special Educational Needs who have an Education Health and Care Plan, are requesting one, or who are going through the process of an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment. Find out more information about SENAT and it’s processes.
SENAT is made up of two teams:Team SOUTH and Team NORTH. Both teams consider and then co-ordinate EHC needs assessments for new pupils, as well as oversee the monitor and review of existing EHCPs for those in their own area.
SOUTH: Covers the all southern areas in West Sussex including Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst, Petworth, Worthing, Steyning, Littlehampton, Angmering, Shoreham, Portslade and Hove and is responsible for all children and young people living in this area. Contact Team SOUTH: Email: SENAT.South@westsussex.gov.uk Tel: 03302223120
NORTH: Covers the all northern areas in West Sussex including Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath and is responsible for children and young people who live in these areas. Contact Team NORTH: Email: SENAT.North@westsussex.gov.uk Tel: 03302222722