Sometimes the most useful people to offer support are other parents who have been there before you. There are quite a few regular parent-to-parent support groups that meet locally.
Some are general groups for parents of any child with a special need or disability; some are groups for parents of children with a specific condition or disability.
General ‘disability’ support groups
Amaze (in association with local community projects) runs regular, friendly coffee mornings for parents of children with SEN, disabilities, health problems or behavioural issues in Moulsecoomb, Hangleton & Knoll and Whitehawk.
The Moulsecoomb coffee mornings take place at Moulsecoomb Primary School on the second Tuesday of the month. The Hangleton and Knoll coffee mornings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month at St Richard’s Community Centre on Egmont Road in Hangleton and the Whitehawk coffee mornings are on the last Thursday of the month at The Whitehawk Inn. All parents and carers from schools and neighbouring areas are welcome. Each session gives parents the chance to get together for a cuppa and a chat as well as to hear some expert advice from one of the services or groups who work with families of kids with SEN and disabilities in Brighton and Hove. For details of future coffee mornings visit our events page.
For more information, email Paolo@paccbrighton.org.uk or call Paolo on 01273 234862.
Amazing Futures/Peer Support Project
Amazing Futures is an Amaze project that matches young people with additional needs with other young people who can give them advice and support. As part of the project, we run fun fortnightly term time sessions for young people with additional needs – mixed group for 14 to 25s and young women’s group for 16 to 25s. Find out more in our young people section or contact Sue Winter on email@example.com or 07483 111648.
Brighton Pebbles is a parent-run group for families with disabled children aged 4-14 who live in Brighton and Hove. They run a weekly drop-in at the Manor Road Gym in Whitehawk which welcomes families with children with any disability, in special or mainstream schooling. Pebbles also organises monthly social and leisure activities and even getaways to places like Knowles Tooth Family Centre in Hurstpierpoint. Most activities are subsidised wherever possible. Pebbles stress they are not a childcare service and that parents/carers are expected to accompany their children at all times. Call 07506 105265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can find full details of Pebbles activities on the Brighton Pebbles website.
Dads Like Us
Dads Like Us is a regular social group for fathers and male carers of children with additional needs meets in the function room of the Stoneham Pub in Hove on the last Thursday of every month, from 7.30-9.30pm. For more information, email Darren Walker, Dads Group Coordinator, on email@example.com or you can contact Amaze on 01273 772289 or firstname.lastname@example.org
They have a closed Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/dadsgroupbrighton
Early Birds Support Group (formerly Wee Ones)
Early Birds is a support group for parents of premature babies. They meet twice a month, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, at West Hove Children’s Centre, West Hove Infants School from 10am till 12 noon. Call 07832 350332, or email email@example.com for more details.
Little Darlings is an after school club for children aged 0-8 with any additional needs and their parents or carers. They meet on Wednesdays at Hollingdean Community Centre. They also run summer activities. Call 07799 414837 or visit https://hollingdeancommunitycentre.org.uk/activities/little-darlings
A free self-advocacy group for 16 -25 year olds with learning disabilities run by Amaze in partnership with Speak Out. Meets fortnightly at the Young People’s Centre on Ship Street, Brighton. Contact Sue Winter on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07483 111648
Sweet Peas parent and toddler group for children with special needs meets on Fridays, from 12.15 to 3pm at Tarner Children’s Centre, Ivory Place, Brighton. Call Kerry on 07875 377 961.
Worthing KiDS and Dapper Snapper (WKDS)
WKDS is for families across Sussex who have children with special needs up to age 15. They run regular get togethers, outings and activities including dance, drama and swimming clubs. Call 07570 768893 for more details or visit the WKDS website.
Support groups for specific conditions
Can’t find the group you are looking for?
If you know of any regular groups that are not listed here, please contact email@example.com and tell us all about them.
If you cannot find a group that’s suitable for your child’s specific condition here, Contact a Family may be able to help. They are in touch with hundreds of groups across the UK and can even give advice on setting up your own group. Call them on 0808 808 3555 or visit the CAF website.