Housing Needs Survey

The Councils and CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) in Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham want to find out about the housing that people with learning disabilities, autistic people or those with mental health issues would like for the next 5-10 years.

To make sure people with learning disabilities, autistic people and those with mental health issues, and their carers have a say about what housing they would like we would like you to complete an online survey which can be found at this link  https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ICSLivedExperience/

In each question you will be asked to choose from a few options or write in an answer. If you want to save your answers and come back to the questionnaire you can do that, but please make sure you complete the survey by 28th August,  5:00pm.

If you would like a paper copy of the survey please contact Liz Zacharias at liz@campbelltickell.com

If you have any other questions about the survey please contact Annie Field at annie@campbelltickell.com

The results will go into a report that will help the Councils and the CCGs to make decisions about the type of housing that they will develop for people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues.

We will also share the results of the survey with people with lived experience of learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues.


Covid19 – News on restrictions, permissions, support & other information

Please forgive the less than ideal organisation of the many items in the page below. Information is coming in to us regularly and items are being added all the time. The information includes:

What you can and what you can’t do (from the Government – Updated 31st July):

For links to all government guidance and support in connection with Covid-19 see this page: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
(updated 31st July)

Easy read government guide to the new rules (from 11th May)
Spreading the news – May 2020
For more easy read and explanatory material on coronavirus, government advice etc see lower down this page

The full text of the government’s Recovery Strategy, published 11th May, can be downloaded here:

 Information about face covering
Government Guidance (Updated 23rd July) : Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

For advice on exemptions from the NHS and printable exemption cards download: mask exemption cards

Some suggestions about choosing masks from ‘Autism Wellbeing’. See here (PDF): Choosing masks

See also our News item of 21st June

Hospital Visiting (from the NHS):
An immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit if you are supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

See full statement here: Visitor-Guidance_8-April-2020
(NB Sheffield health authorities say, please check with the specific ward  before you visit.)

Preparing a Covid19 Hospital Communication Passport and Supporting Resources
for children and adults with special needs:

NHS COVID-19 ‘Grab and Go’ Hospital Passport
A quick form for people with a learning disability and / or autism to complete if they need to go to hospital. Ideally it should accompany the complete hospital passport (see item above): C0381_NHS Covid-19 Grab and Go LDA Form

‘Coping with COVID’ for people struggling with their mental health during Coronavirus
Sheffield Health and Social Care have a phone line and are providing an online course ‘Coping with COVID’ for people struggling with their mental health during Coronavirus. These services are available to anyone, you do not have to have accessed mental health services in the past: https://www.shsc.nhs.uk/news/new-support-people-struggling-their-mental-health-during-coronavirus

Sheffield City Council Changes to Services / Support for People


National Autistic Society Guidance and Top Tips
The NAS’s latest guidance on coronavirus and some handy top tips for dealing with its impact:

The Government’s Plan to Support the Social Care System (16 April 2020):
A commentary by the National Autistic Society

Sheffield Carers Centre – Update on Services for Carers
see PDF : Update from the Carers Centre

Sheffield Carers Outreach Project Virtual Carers Groups
Sheffield Carers Outreach Project are offering a number of Virtual Carers Groups,  starting this week (28th April).
These groups are for both adults with LDs and/ or autism and their carer/ parent.
See the posters on this page
and to find  out more please e-mail the Carers Outreach Team at: cope@sheffieldmencap.org.uk.

Covid-19: Supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities
Guides from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) for families and professionals supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Disability Sheffield
Support from Disability Sheffield during Covid-19 Crisis

Coronavirus – Easy Read Guides from the UK Government
Spreading the news – Update May 2020
Social Housing and Coronavirus

Easy read posters and other easy read resources on the government’s latest rules and guidance on coronavirus
From keepsafe.org.uk: On face masks, government’s rules May to June, shielding, testing and other issues, including editable posters:

Coronavirus A Book for Children
by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
You can download the free book here:   https://nosycrowcoronavirus.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/Coronavirus_ABookForChildren.pdf

Ideas, activities, resources during the lockdown
mainly – but not only – for people with a learning disability and their families, from the internet: see this page

See also Sheffield Carers Outreach Project Virtual Carers Groups above

RNIB Bookshare
Interesting for organisations and parents  of learners with a print disability. Accessible textbooks and resources for learners with sight loss, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and qualifying physical disabilities. “RNIB Bookshare UK education collection provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. We offer a range of accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. We now have 545,905 titles with more being added all the time!” See https://www.rnibbookshare.org/ 

Be alert to Coronavirus Scams and Fraud
(Courtesy of Triodos Bank): https://www.triodos.co.uk/articles/2020/be-alert-to-coronavirus-fraud?utm_source=Service&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=Read-more&utm_campaign=04_2020-Coronavirus-fraud—retail


Improving physical health for people living with severe mental illness, learning disabilities, and autistic spectrum condition

Organisations in Sheffield (including the NHS, Sheffield City Council, and the voluntary/community sector) have been working to improve how they support people living with severe mental illness, learning disabilities, and autistic spectrum condition, to be healthier.

Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, together with Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield City Council have published a draft strategy which is available to download here.

And an easy-read version which you can download here.

There is also a survey to:

– Help organisations to prioritise and put plans into action

– Ask for feedback about how COVID has affected the physical health of people living with severe mental illness, learning disabilities, and autistic spectrum condition – so we can use this feedback to influence how we use the Strategy to help improve services and support in relation to this.

You can access the survey here.

And there’s an easy-read version of the survey to download here.

If you would like to request a paper copy, a translated version, or would like to complete the survey over the telephone please email liz.tooke@nhs.net or call 07980 948809 to arrange.

Information on Face Covering

Wearing a face covering is now mandatory in hospitals and on public transport in England .

(See here for update on wearing face covering in shops, mandatory from 24th July)

Because of confusion about what this means and about exemptions to these rules Sheffield Autistic Society are providing a number of links.

The government’s guidance, such as it is, is contained in the document “Staying safe outside your home
which was updated on 5 June 2020. See section 10 for specific guidance on face coverings

WHICH have produced a useful article on this topic: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/06/coronavirus-should-we-be-wearing-face-masks/ – Which?

The organisation Keep Safe has produced easy-read guidance and materials based on the latest update to the rules on face covering (15th June).
This includes detailed advice on exemptions, posters and various exemption cards that you can download and print. There are exemption cards for autistic people and cards for people with learning disabilities.

In South Yorkshire, Travel South Yorkshire’s Journey Assistance Cards help passengers with hidden disabilities or older passengers discreetly get help from the driver or conductor so they can travel on public transport with confidence. They also aim to help drivers and conductors be aware of any assistance or information requirements you may have. The series of cards now includes a card stating ‘I am exempt from wearing a face covering’ .You can download the cards here.

Connecting people in Sheffield with Learning Disabilities and Autism

Sheffield Autistic Society received the following message from Kathryn Littlewood of Disability Sheffield:

“Sheffield Voices is hosting a coffee morning twice a week at 11am on Tuesday and Thursday for anyone with a learning disability and Autism. We are reaching out to people who might be isolated and are having problems.

We are also filming people on Fridays about their experiences. people will need access to ZOOM to join in with both the coffee mornings and filming.

We are working with Inclusion North and LDE to bring up to date easy accessible information into these meetings for people as we have been concerned that people are not understanding what is happening with staying indoors and staying safe.

Please can you share info around your colleagues. if the meetings get too big then we will put more events on

If anyone is interested in joining in on what we are doing please can you contact us on either 01142536750 or email me at kathryn.littlewood@disabilitysheffield.org.uk for the details”


Kathryn Littlewood

Development Worker

Ideas, activities, resources during the lockdown

Susan Kirkman has sent us the following ideas, mainly – but not only – for people with a learning disability and their families, from the internet:

Through the Maze are sharing ideas for activities to do at home on their website here.

A lot of self advocacy and community groups are sharing ideas and what they are doing through regular on line meetings. You can watch a recording of those meetings here.

Books beyond words have a book called Good Days and Bad days during Coronavirus. It can help you think about what makes a good day and how you plan for that.

Listening Books are offering a huge collection of audio books for children and adults including bestsellers and books for education and well-being.

Technology start-up AutonoMe is offering a free version of their app to any person with a learning disability in the UK.

Future Directions are hosting a live interactive music session on their Facebook page every Friday at 13:30.

Guide for frontline NHS staff re support of LD and autistic patients in hospital with coronavirus

Sue Kirkman has kindly sent us the following link which, although this is for NHS staff primarily, it may be useful if any of our relatives need to go into hospital:

Following NHS producing a clinical guide for frontline staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability and autism during the corona virus epidemic  they have now produced an easy read version https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/04/clinical-guide-for-staff-supporting-patients-with-a-learning-disability-autism-or-both-easy-read.pdf