Community Connector online newsletter – helping families find support

We are Jasmine, Jez and Patrick and we are Community Connectors at Surrey County Council. We are passionate about helping families find the right support. Our online newsletter is our place to share new or existing services we come across. We'll also provide helpful information, based on what families and practitioners are telling us in the community.

Don't forget, there are more services to be found through our Family Information Service directory, and our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services directory.

This month

Support for children and young people

Support for families:

We hope this information will be helpful to you.

Support for children and young people

Things to do over the summer holidays

Surrey-wide venues

  • Club 4 Summer Holiday Camps are free for children aged from 4 to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals, and are running at venues across Surrey. Club 4 mixes fun activities, friendship, food and fitness for at least four days a week over July and August. They also run an online superheroes camp for children who may be shielding due to Covid or otherwise unable to attend the physical camps. Search Club 4 events and activities to find the clubs running in your local area.
  • For those into music and dance, Surrey Arts are offering free performing arts workshops, with an opportunity to perform in an end-of-week show.
  • Eikon are running a summer programme of free online events for 11 to 17-year-olds.
  • The Surrey Nature Explorer Passport encourages children aged 4 to 12 and their families to go on nature-related adventures this summer while also asking them to write, draw, or video about their activities. Children can complete up to 15 fun and creative activities with a chance to win exciting prizes. Surrey Nature Explorer Passports are available at all 52 libraries across the county.
  • Whilst visiting the library, why not take part in the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge? This year they have joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund as part of Wild World Heroes, a celebration of reading that will inspire children to stand up for the future of the planet.

Activities in Elmbridge:

Activities in Epsom and Ewell:

Activities in Guildford:

Activities in Mole Valley:

Activities in Reigate and Banstead:

Activities in Richmond:

Activities in Runnymede:

Activities in Spelthorne:

Activities in Surrey Heath:

Activities in Tandridge:

Activities in Waverley

Activities in Woking:

Health and wellbeing support for children and young people

To seek advice on the health and development of your baby or toddler or to make an appointment with a health visitor, call the Surrey-wide 0 to 19 Advice Line on 01883 340 922.

Useful advice, tips and resources are also available on the Children and Family Health Surrey website.

There are a number of services that young people can use to receive confidential expert advice to help support their mental health and emotional wellbeing. We've listed some local and national services that offer online or telephone support to children and young people.

Sadly, many young people will have experienced the death of a loved one over the past months. Our Helping children cope with bereavement web page has the details of services that may be of use.

Report and Remove - helping young people to remove nude images and videos of themselves from the internet

Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation have launched 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. The video below gives a useful overview of the Report Remove service.

Support for families

Practical support

Food, clothing, furniture and financial advice

If you are struggling financially during this difficult period, you may like to contact one of the services in the shortlists below:

You may also find the Financial help page on the Surrey County Council website helpful, and further assistance can be gained from your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

The Government have now launched a new debt respite scheme called Breathing Space which gives people sixty days of protection from debt collections on many types of loans and arrears, and a pause on interest and penalty fees, giving them more of a chance to get on top of things with the help of a professional adviser. There is also a related scheme for those receiving treatment for a mental health crisis.

You can find more information about Breathing Space from Citizen's Advice.

The services on this shortlist can also assist families in need of clothing and furniture.

Free period products

Surrey County Council is proud to be partnering with charity Binti International to provide free period products in selected locations across Surrey. You can pick up free period pads from the Binti collection boxes (no need to ask – just help yourself) from one of 42 participating Surrey libraries. A Binti app is also available to show you can find the nearest location where free period products are available to collect (and where you can donate them too). The app is available to download on the Apple app store for IOS users or the Google Play Store for Android users.

Mental health support

If you have found that your mental health has suffered under the challenging circumstances of the past year, 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.

Relationship support

If you are finding that your relationships have been put under strain, perhaps more so with the effects of the coronavirus restrictions and the economic downturn, the following shortlist provides details of support and counselling services that may be of help.

Intergenerational Mediation

If family relations are under such strain that it is severely impacting upon your child's wellbeing or education, you may like to consider an 'intergenerational mediation' process, where trained mediators help family members to improve how they talk and listen to one another and guide them to finding solutions to problems. Mediation Surrey offers a free service to Surrey residents. Applications are made via a professional such as a GP or social worker.

Find out more about intergeneration mediation from Mediation Surrey.

Parental separation

If you or your partner are in the difficult situation of separation or divorce, these are services providing support after separation who can give valuable information, advice, guidance and support.

Domestic abuse support

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are concerned that someone may be, please contact one of the services on the domestic abuse information for families page.

Remember, if you need immediate help and support, phone the 24-hour National Domestic abuse helpline on freephone 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, please call 999. If you cannot speak without endangering yourself, or cannot make a noise to communicate, the call handler will activate a Silent Solution system and may ask you to press 55 to confirm consent to transfer your call directly to the police.

Support for anti-social behaviour

It is a sad fact that not only have the national lockdowns seen an increase in referrals to domestic abuse services, but also a rise in reports of disputes between neighbours and anti-social behaviour. If you have been experiencing difficulties in your community, here is a collection of suggested services that can help.

Support for victims of crime

The lockdowns and tier restrictions have thankfully reduced total crime rates across the UK. However if you or a loved one have been a victim of a crime, we know how isolating and upsetting it can make you feel, even more so in a time of social distancing from family and friends to support you. This shortlist of services offering support to victims of crime provides links to services who can offer information, guidance and help.

Spotlight

Our Place: Free Online Parenting Guidance Courses for Surrey Residents

Surrey County Council and Children and Family Health Surrey have pre-paid for every parent and carer in Surrey to access a full programme of courses offered on the Our Place website. The courses provide guidance on parenting babies, toddlers and teenagers, as well as supporting children with mental health issues and with autistic spectrum conditions.

To access the courses for free, simply enter the code ACORN on the online course page.

Further information and support