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West Midlands

Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

In the West Midlands, we carry out our service through our regional office in Birmingham, home-based workers and volunteers. Working at a local and regional level, we have up-to-date information on local services and support for families. 

Our West Midlands team offers:

  • Advice, information and support to help families find out what is available locally
  • Workshops, events and opportunities to meet other families with disabled children
  • Regular newsletters and ebulletins with useful information for families
  • Guidance for support groups and forums to help them to reach and involve parents
  • Resources for professionals help them point families to the right local services
  • Workshops for professionals working with families.

We work together with government and voluntary organisations. We also take part in local and regional networks to shape policy and ensure the needs of families with disabled children are represented.

The team covers the whole of the West Midlands area including: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Solihull, BlueStaffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Worcestershire. 

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and the MariaMarina Foundation.

Contact

Office address

Contact Midlands Team:
Touchbase Pears
Bristol Road
Selly Oak
Birmingham B29 6NA

 Local contacts

Alternatively, you can either email helpline@cafamily.org.uk or call our freephone national helpline on 0808 808 3555 from 9.30am-5.00pm, Monday-Friday. Advisers can arrange an interpreter over the telephone if needed.

Local news

Birth to Five: Early Years Workshops Birmingham

We are running a series of four free workshops for parents of disabled and special needs children aged from birth to five. 

The workshops will help parents understand how they can get what they need for their child; know where they can go to get further information and support; understand money matters and look at strategies for encouraging positive behaviour.

Find out more on our local events tab below.

Newsletter: E-bulletin West Midlands Spring 2017

Keep up to date with all our latest news. Download the West Midlands E-bulletin Spring 2017.

To sign up to receive our e bulletin direct to your inbox - or to send in any items for inclusion in our next issue -  email wendy.flynn@cafamily.org.uk

Hospital appointments: parking charges and help with travel

Do you know you are able to claim a reduced parking charge if you are attending Birmingham Children's Hospital either as a patient or a visitor? 

To qualify for the reduced fee, you must park at the Whittall Road car park and verify your ticket electronically at a ticket machine placed near the main desk at the hospital reception. The reduction will be applied automatically when you are paying for your parking.

Patients on benefits might also be eligible for help with travel costs. 

If you qualify for any reimbursement, you must produce travel receipts.

Check NHS England's health costs and travel costs pages.

Parents wanted for research

The Cerebra Family Research project at Warwick University is appealing to parents and carers to take part in vital research which could help shape policy and support services for disabled children for years to come. 

The charity wants to explore the experiences of parents caring for a child with learning disabilities. They aim to involve 1,000 families, making this the largest study of its kind in the UK. If you would like to take part in the study you can find more information online or by emailing familyresearch@warwick.ac.uk

Local events

The Contact Midlands team organises a number of free workshops for parents and carers of disabled children.

Our programme includes the workshops listed below. If you are interested in any of these workshops, please email us at westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call us on 0121 274 0437 to book a free place

Accessing Public Services

Thursday September 20, 10.30am-12.30pm
Church Lounge, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, B29 6HT

Do you have trouble accessing support services for your disabled or special needs child?   Research shows this is often the case. This free workshop delivered by Cerebra aims to unpick these problems and to equip parents with practical and effective strategies to address them.  The workshop will consider:

  • Commonly occurring problems facing families accessing services
  • Recognising different types of dispute
  • Problem solving approaches

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

School and College Transport issue

Tuesday 25 September, 10.15am.12.30pm
Shoosmiths, 6th Floor, 2 Colmore Square/38Colmore Circus, Birmingham, B4 6BJ

This is a free workshop for parents which will look at school transport issues.  The workshop will be facilitated by a solicitor who specialises in education and special needs issues.

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

DLA workshop, Making an Effective Claim                                                              

Friday 28 September, 10am-12.30pm
Allens Croft Disability Resources Centre, Allens Croft Road, Kings Heath, B14 6 RP

This is a free workshop for parents/carers of children with disabilities or special needs.  The workshop will show you how to deal with common issues:

  • How to complete a claim form effectively.
  • Rules for claiming Disability Living Allowance.
  • The process of challenging a benefit decision through the appeals process.
  • Other disability benefits you may be entitled to claim.

The workshop is being run in partnership with Allens Croft Disability Resource Centre & NHS Birmingham Community Healthcare. It is an informal session and you will have a chance to ask questions and receive information on where you can go to get further help.

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437 

EHC plans: understanding the legal framework & Getting the Content Right     

Monday 15 October, 10am-12.15pm
Venue:  Donnington Community Hub, St Matthew's Road Donnington, Telford, TF2 7RB

A series of two workshops looking at Education Health and Care Plans. The first session, Understanding the legal framework, focuses on the benefits of an EHC plan, the process of getting an EHC plan and what to do if you are refused a plan.  The second session (Nov 2018) focuses on Getting the Content Right.

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)                                                    

Wednesday 17 October, 10.15am-12.30pm
Church Lounge, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, B29 6HT

A free workshop for parents whose children will be moving from claiming Disability Living Allowance to PIP at 16, or parents who are applying for PIP for post 16s.  The session will show you how to deal with common issues:

  • The process of claiming PIP
  • Rules and criteria relating to PIP
  • How to complete a claim form effectively
  • Information on the face to face sessions & what to expect
  • The process of challenging a benefit decision through the appeals process

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

Education Health Care Plans: Getting the Content Right                             

Monday 19 November, 10am-12.15pm
Venue:  Donnington Community Hub, St Matthew's Road, Donnington, Telford, TF2 7RB

This is a free workshop for parents of disabled and special needs children. Gurvinder Kaur, a specialist solicitor with Access Legal, will discuss:

  • Getting the content of an Education Health and Care plan right
  • Understanding the transfer process from statement to EHC plan
  • Annual Review

Gurvinder will be able answer any questions parents might have.

To book, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call0121 274 0437

Brighter Futures workshop programme, 6 weeks                   

Six Wednesdays from 21 November to 12 December, 10am-12pm
Limbrick Wood Centre, Thomas Naul Croft, CV4 9QX

"I used to dread these meetings, but I prepared questions in advance. Because of the workshop, I was more in charge of holding the meeting and I asked for things Adam needed. The meetings have gone much better.

A welcoming and informative series of workshops for parents and carers of children aged 0-8 who have additional needs.  The programme runs over 6 weeks and aims to equip parents with the skills and confidence to get the support they need for their child.  It will help parents to prepare for meetings with professionals regarding their children and to be confident in making decisions for their child.   The sessions also cover practical parenting issues and discusses money matters.   

Personal Budgets and direct payments in education and social care

Thursday 22 November, 10.15am-12.30pm
Shoosmiths, 6th Floor, 2 Colmore Square/38Colmore Circus, Birmingham, B4 6BJ

This is an interactive workshop for parents discussing personal budgets and direct payments and how they can be used.  It will also look at what parents can do in cases where their request is refused.

The workshop will be facilitated by a solicitor who specialises in education and special needs issues.

To book a place on this workshop, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437