Community Connector newsletter – helping families find support

Welcome to our November Community Connector newsletter!

For our November edition, we have focused particularly on what we believe are the most pressing concerns for families. This includes financial support, along with the help available for both children's and adults emotional well being.

We have also spotlighted a different service in each of our quadrants that we have met with over the last month!

Aside from the suggestions we have made in this month's newsletter, there are also many more services to be found on our Family Information Service directory, so please take a look.

We hope this information will be helpful to you


Financial support

Food and essential items

If you are struggling financially, you may like to contact one of the services in the shortlists below, which includes details of local foodbanks:

Free period products can be collected or donated at most libraries in Surrey, you can find more about the scheme on the Period dignity across Surrey webpage.

Finances:

The following services may be able to offer or help you find financial support:

Our Family Finance web page provides further details of the financial support available to families including organisations offering financial support to families.

Clothing, furniture and school uniforms:

The services on this shortlist can also assist families in need of clothing and furniture. If you are worried about school uniform costs in September our Paying for school uniforms web page, provides suggestions and services who can support.

You may also like to contact Surrey County Council's Health and Welfare Hub which helps signpost people to information about financial, health and welfare support available.


Mental health

Support with children and young people's emotional well being

It is understandable that children and young people may have a number of worries both generally and after returning to school. The following services may be helpful to them if they want to speak to someone about how they are feeling or need more immediate support..

  • Childline is a free, private, and confidential service for children and young people where you can talk about anything. The phone service 0800 1111 operates between 9am and midnight.
  • The Mindworks 24/7 mental health crisis line, is available for children and young people who are worried about themself, a friend, or for parents worried about their child or young person. It can be contacted on 0800 915 4644, is open all day and all night, seven days a week.
  • CYP Haven are safe spaces for young people to drop into to talk about worries and mental health confidentially. There is also a phone service and virtual workshops operating alongside the face-to-face sessions. The opening times and phone number are listed on their website.
  • Kooth is a free, anonymous, confidential, safe, online wellbeing service, offering counselling, information, and forums for children and young people aged 11 to 18.
  • The Mix offers information and advice about any subject to children and young people from 13 to 25. It provides helpline and online support.

If you are concerned about your or another child's emotional wellbeing, you can contact the Young Mind's Parent Helpline on 08088 025544.

Support for parents and carers emotional well being

If you have found that your mental health is poor at the moment, there are a number of services that can offer advice or emotional support, including both national and local helplines and online support services for parents


Surrey County Council Fostering Team: Together we can give children a childhood film

We had to mention a new film Surrey County Council's Fostering team have created in collaboration with other Local Authorities across England. The aim of the film is to reach people who may be interested in becoming foster carers, and could provide nurturing, positive homes for children and young people across the country who need them.

The video below speaks for itself, why not watch it?

If you're interested in learning more about fostering, visit the Surrey County Council fostering webpages.


Internet safety

Our Internet Safety web page has tips and advice for parents and carers. Childline have also produced an online tool called Report Remove to assist young people in reporting online nude images and videos of themselves – and getting them removed from the internet.

Find out more about the Report Remove tool in the clip below


Spotlight on services

Over the last month we have met with a variety of different services, who support families in different but similarly inspiring ways. We wanted to mention one in each quadrant.

North-East (Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Epsom, and Ewell)

  • Elmbridge Mencap provides help, advice, facilities and support to people with learning disabilities and their parents and carers, in Elmbridge and the surrounding areas. Based at the purpose-built Burview Hall, Walton on Thames, Elmbridge Mencap offers a Sensory Garden, two Sensory Rooms, a Large Hall and Games Room. The building is designed to be accessible to all. Amongst other services, Elmbridge Mencap run a youth club on Wednesdays, and a monthly Family Fun Afternoon on Saturdays. In addition to group activities, families can book the Sensory Rooms for a small fee.

North-West (Woking, Runnymede, Surrey Heath)

  • Appeer which is based in Woking, is run by a group of parents/carers of autistic and neurodivergent girls and autistic and neurodivergent women who have personal and professional experience in this field. They provide online and in person sessions and programmes which support A Positive PEER approach, through which autistic Girls, Teens and Women and those around them can connect through sharing interests and receiving support.

South- East (Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge)

  • The Friday Night Project at Tandridge Leisure Centre, runs every Friday in term time from 7pm – 9pm The session includes an hours swim and inflatable session, and then a choice of activities including dance, fitness, circuits, boxfit, team games, dodgeball, and gym sessions. Sessions cost £4, to book a place please call 01883 716717. Option 1 or come along just before 7pm and pay on the day. Parent consent form required. Any questions about the Friday Night Project, please email: hctandridge@freedom-leisure.co.uk

South-West (Guildford, Waverley)

  • Suzie Sings and Signs is a fully accessible music, song, dance, and role play (with Makaton signing) session that currently runs on Saturdays in Hindhead. Children and young people from birth to 18 years old are welcome, it doesn't matter their previous experience or ability, the sessions are inclusive and fun for all.

If you have any services, events, or suggestions you think should be added to this page, please let us know: surrey.fis@surreycc.gov.uk