Online Workshops: Creativity, Well-being and Lived Autistic Experience

We are very pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to take part in a series of four online workshops, Creativity, Well-being and Lived Autistic Experience, starting later this month.

Please see the flyer below for full details of the workshops.

The workshop will be facilitated by Helen Purdie who many of you know from the group and has run a fantastic session for us before and therefore we are very pleased to be able offer this opportunity free of charge to anyone wishing to take part. Places are limited so you may want to register your interest as soon as you can

For more information please contact the Helen at

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:

National Lockdown rules (Updated 5th April):

Spring 2021 Roadmap Out of the Current Lockdown  (Published 22nd February):

For links to all government guidance and support in connection with Covid-19 see this page:

National lockdown: Stay at Home Easy Read (downloadable), from Cabinet Office:

Covid Vaccine Easy Read (downloadable):

Sheffield City Council Changes to Services / Support for People

Key public safety information to help support Sheffield’s various communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s all free to use and supplied in various languages and formats:

 Information about face covering
Government Guidance (Updated 12th March 2021) : 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

SpeakUp Spreading the News “What if I have to go into hospital?” Easy Read Guide published 3rd November 2020
Speakup  Spreading the News 3 November 2020

‘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:

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

See also

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:

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.

Vaccination: An NHS  film for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people about vaccination.

Disability Sheffield
Support from Disability Sheffield during Covid-19 Crisis

Coronavirus – Easy Read Guides from the UK Government
Social Housing and Coronavirus

Easy read posters and other easy read resources on the government’s latest rules and guidance on coronavirus
From On face masks, government’s rules, 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:

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

See also materials from Sheffield Childrens Hospital and Widgit Software

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 

Be alert to Coronavirus Scams and Fraud
(Courtesy of Triodos Bank):—retail


Neurodevelopment Transformation Programme – Invitation to a Workshop on Tuesday 23rd March

Neurodevelopment Transformation Programme

Invitation to a Workshop on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 from 10.30 -12.30
For parents/carers of a child or young person with autism or other neurodevelopment need (for example Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

(please note a Zoom link will be sent after registration)
Join us to hear about the Sheffield Neurodevelopment Programme and help shape what we are focussing on now and what we need to focus on in the next phase.

Do you have an interest in, or are you a parent/carer of a child or young person with autism or other neurodevelopment need (for example Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD))? If so, then local NHS organisations and Sheffield City Council, together with the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum, would like to invite you to their first workshop to discuss and contribute to the Sheffield Neurodevelopment Programme.

You will hear about how the programme started, the changes that have taken place so far, and have the opportunity to contribute to what we are looking at now, and what we need to do next.

In particular we are looking for your input into:
• How we can support front-line staff to identify and support vulnerabilities and other early signs of neurodevelopment needs.
• What support should be available for parents, families, and young people to help them manage neurodevelopment needs.
• Explore which services could be delivered closer to home, for example in schools.
• What improvements should take place in the way we do assessments.

If you are interested in joining us, please register using the following link. An invite will be sent out to you in due course with further information, together with a link to join the meeting. Places are limited, so please register as soon as possible:
We look forward to seeing you on the Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Physical Health Grants for Autistic Adults in Sheffield

For not for profit, voluntary/community groups and charities who support Sheffield based Autistic adults, small grants have been made available, through Voluntary Action Sheffield to promote physical health in autistic adults

You can download a description of the scheme Improving Physical Health Guidance Document and an application form Improving The Physical Health of Autistic Application to complete and to email to Melissa Simmonds at VAS. For more information please contact


Help with completing the census return – from Autism Plus

Suzanne Eusman of Autism Plus has forwarded the following:

Autism Plus Census Centre!

Autism Plus are from this week open as a census centre for the National census- we are able to book appointments and support people who might need additional support in completing the census across the Sheffield City Region. We will be taking phone appointments and supporting people to complete the census over the phone currently due to covid restrictions.

This is open to anyone not just those with autism but we are keen to ensure that can offer support to as many people as possible and their families to complete the census this year.

Our centre is taking appointments from now up to the 30th April which will be the final date for completing the census.Any questions at all please contact me.

Kind Regards

Suzanne Eusman FIEP | Head of Specialist Employment Services
Autism Plus Specialist Employment Support
T: 01143840284 | M: 07966571297
W: | E:
A: The Exchange Brewery, Bridge Street, Sheffield, S3 8NS

Identifying Early Signs of Worsening Health in LD

Identifying Early Signs of Worsening Health – Training for Family Carers of Persons with a Learning Disability

The NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme is inviting family carers to take part in a workshop. Attending the workshop will help you to be able to identify when the person you care for is becoming more unwell (deteriorating health) and how to tell a health professional about that. The workshop is free and only for carers of someone who is over the age of 16.

RESTORE2™ mini is an award winning tool specifically designed for carers to help you to identify soft signs that someone you care for may be unwell and what you should do next. This version of Restore2min™ has been specially adapted for people caring for those with a learning disability.

We are inviting family carers to take part in this important one off 90 minute training session which will help you to identify soft signs of deterioration and then seek the right help at the right time.

What you’ll learn

  • how to identify soft signs of deterioration
  • how to use a simple communication tool (SBARD) to communicate effectively with health care professionals so you can get the help you need at the right time

How long is the training?

The training takes about 90 minutes

When is the training?

We are offering the training every working day from Tuesday 23rd February to Friday 31st March 2021 at different times in the day. There are over 30 sessions for you to choose from. The link below will direct you to the NHS England and NHS Improvement events page where you will be able to select your preferred day and time. There are limited places for each training slot, so please register early to make sure you get the date and time you want.

Please click this link to register your place on the training.


Exercise Equipment Grants for Autistic Adults

Can I apply for equipment? – If you are an Autistic person living in Sheffield, YES.

What can I apply for? – Any single sports or exercise item that is £60 or less, and that Sheffield Cycling 4 All can buy and get delivered to you at home.

How do I apply for equipment? – You can either email or phone or text 07565695296.

Will I have to pay anything? No.

We will be asking you to fill out 2 forms. The first one at the beginning and second three months later.
This is so we can monitor how you are getting on and if the exercise equipment has made a difference to you.
We would also love photos of you enjoying the kit.

Coronavirus Resources for Children and Families

  1. From Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Coronavirus resources for children and families

2. From Widget Software

Widgit Software have quite a lot of recently updated Covid support materials that can be accessed here.

They’re also making Widgit Online available for free to families in January during the current lockdown.

Government propose changes to the law around mental health

The National Autistic Society says, “the Government has published promising new proposals to change mental health law in England and Wales which could result in fewer autistic people being wrongly sent to mental health hospitals. This is a huge step forward. We and hundreds of thousands of campaigners have been calling for changes to mental health law for years, so it respects autistic people’s rights. At the moment, it allows people to be sectioned because they’re autistic – even though autism isn’t a mental health problem. The proposals will change this in some really important ways.

It’s right that the Government has listened and is taking action. But it’s important to remember that these changes will take years to come into force and, crucially, won’t end the scandal of autistic people being stuck in mental health hospitals alone. The Government and NHS need to stop autistic people reaching crisis in the first place, by investing in better social care and mental health services that work for autistic children and adults.”

See the full information published by the National Autistic Society, who have been instrumental in helping to bring about the proposals.