The latest trends in SEND in Peterborough are concerning, as our analysis shows increased strain on the system and more negative reporting from parent carers. From parental blame to lack of support and involvement in decision making, there are clear challenges. Have you experienced similar issues? If so please let us know by emailing




Dear all,


Every year we run a survey looking at how Parent Carers in Peterborough experience local SEND services, and it is now time for us to run it again. Please can you help us by sharing the following survey and letting us know if you can who you have shared it with, how and when? If you are sharing from within Peterborough City Council you will be invited to complete a spreadsheet with these details in due course.


Family Voice Peterborough Annual SEND Survey 2024

The survey is open until 31st January 2024 and closes at 5pm

We are offering 100 Parent Carers the chance to win tickets to local family activities as a thank-you for participating.

Link to survey



New mental health text line – HEAR 85258

A new mental health free text messaging support service has launched in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help those who are struggling to cope.

Launched by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and in partnership with the national service SHOUT, the free to use text service HEAR 85258 provides real-time support to people of all ages who are struggling with their mental health.

When texting the word HEAR to 85258, the person will be connected to a trained volunteer who will take them from a place of crisis to a place of calm. During the confidential and anonymous conversation, the texter will be supported and signposted to local and national mental health services.

Texting HEAR to 85258 is free, discreet and runs 24/7. It won’t appear on any bills and requires no app, data, password, or registration. It is available for anybody who lives, works, or studies in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

For more information about what mental health services are available in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, visit

If you feel your or somebody’s life is at risk due to their mental health, dial 111 and listen for the option for the mental health crisis team.


Family Voice Peterborough will no longer be offering caravan short break holidays.

Our charity has taken the heartbreaking decision to sell our two caravans at Butlins and Haven because we are no longer able to compete with the prices offered directly by those parks.

It is now possible for you to book breaks directly with Haven and Butlins for far cheaper prices than we can offer.

Together with spiralling maintenance and running costs, we feel we can use those funds in better ways to support our families.

It costs us £30,000 a year to maintain and provide the caravans and, in the current cost of living crisis, our charity, like many others, is struggling to raise all the income we need to cover all our costs.

We are looking at providing a short new break offer for families and will update the website with more information when this has been approved by our Trustees.



We have been working alongside Peterborough City Council and My Family Our Needs to produce a new booklet, the Peterborough Guide. 

This guide is for Parent Carers of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities from birth to 25 years of age and includes resources, blogs, and a range of advice from health and education to money and legal issues.

You can access the guide here:






Contact is proud to support a parent-led campaign, founded by Natalie Hay, aimed at stopping disabled children missing out on free school meals.

As part of the campaign, Contact is hosting a free online Zoom meeting with human rights lawyer Alex Rook and Barrister Steve Broach.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 19 September at 10.30am for one hour.

Cameras will automatically be turned off during the session to ensure the anonymity of those attending.

Book your place on our Free School Meals webinar | Contact




The Council for Disabled Children (The CDC) have created a guide to help health professionals and parent carers improve conversations around prescribing psychotropic medication for children who are autistic or who have a learning disability.


This guide is supported by NHS England and developed with a parent carer co-researcher, based on workshops with parent carers and medical professionals.


They heard concerns from professionals and parent carers that autistic children and those with a learning disability are being prescribed medication they don’t need, the implications of medications are not being explored, or medication is being prescribed without clear information about its impact and how it will be reviewed.


To address these challenges, the CDC worked with parent carers and medical professionals to develop a guide that would benefit:

·      Parents and carers of autistic children and young people or those with a learning disability

·      Professionals who prescribe medication for children and young people who are autistic or who have a learning disability (like a general practitioner, pharmacist, nurse, psychiatrist or paediatrician)

·      Other professionals supporting this group of children (like teachers, SENCO’s, social workers, staff in child and adolescent mental health service e.g., CAMHS)

You can access the guide here.


The guide is separated into the five key sections below:

1.      Why are conversations about medication more complex for autistic children and young people and those with a learning disability?

2.      Parent and carers views about what works and doesn’t work in conversations about medication

3.      How to have effective conversations when medication is being considered

4.      How to have effective conversations when medication is being prescribe

5.      The importance of medication reviews and how to get the most out of them

Within each section there are downloadable checklists with questions that both parent carers and professionals can use to discuss medication prescription, use and review for a child or young person. There are also practical tools and resources within each section to help gather evidence and provide information on specific issues.


This project supports the STOMP-STAMP campaign.

STOMP (stopping the over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both) and STAMP (supporting treatment and appropriate medication in paediatrics). STOMP and STAMP aim to:

·      Stop the over-medication of autistic people and those with a learning disability

·      Ensure children and young people get the right medication, at the right time for the right reason

·      Improve access to wider (non-medical) support that gives children and young people choice, control and a good quality life

You can find some more information out about both the projects here.

Preparing your Children and Young People for Adulthood

After discussions with Parent Carers we have further investigated your concerns around preparing your children and young people with SEND for adulthood. 

Please find below our findings,  and the steps we’ve taken; and keep an eye out for further work in the future!