↵In addition to the main local and national carer organisations, there are other organisations or groups that offer support for parents and carers in some way or another. Some are local and some offer support through a national network or online through forums.
21&Co is a local registered charity run by parents. Formed to help children with Down's syndrome and also their parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and other family members and friends.
ADHD Embrace offers support to parents/carers of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Carers in Mind is an all-age service. This means they support children, teenagers and adults who are supporting a person of any age with a mental health problem, either diagnosed or not diagnosed Either carer or the person who is cared for must live in the borough of Richmond.
Crossroads Care Richmond and Kingston Home and community respite services to carers and the people they care for. They also run clubs for children with special needs.
Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) - KCIL’s mission is to provide information, advice and support to all disabled people living in the Royal Borough of Kingston and the surrounding areas and to empower them to have a voice, take control of their lives, and be treated equally. KCIL provide the SEND Personal Budget Brokerage Service for children and young people in Kingston and Richmond.
Kingston Mencap is a local registered charity which support adults with a learning disability, and their families and carers.
Skylarks provides a supportive and active community for children with disabilities and additional needs. They care for the whole family, providing opportunities to join in, develop and feel empowered. Skylarks want to remove the isolation that can be created for families and their children who have a disability or additional needs. They offer advice surgeries, support groups, therapies and training workshops for parent carers.
Momentum - a charity that supports children and families affected by cancer and life limiting conditions. Based in Kingston and open to families across SW London and Surrey.
Phyz Local parents of children with physical disabilities who feel that there is a need for a place where we can meet and chat and support each other. Children with physical disabilities and their families have a particular range of things to deal with and we felt that a way of connecting families and sharing experiences would be useful.
Richmond AID is a charity run by and for disabled people in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and surrounding areas. They support people of all ages with all disabilities, including physical and sensory impairments, mental health issues and learning difficulties. They aim is to support disabled people to live independent lives and to have the same opportunities as non-disabled people. They also support parent/carers with services such as counselling.
Richmond Borough Mind runs Carers in Mind to provide support for people of all ages caring for someone with mental health issues, living in the borough of Richmond.
Who they help
- Carers in Mind is an all-age service. This means they support children, teenagers and adults who are supporting a person of any age with a mental health problem, either diagnosed or not diagnosed
- Either carer or the person who is cared for live in the borough of Richmond
- The person cared for has a non-organic mental health issue.
Richmond Dyslexia Association (RDA) is a voluntary organisation which aims to promote awareness of dyslexia and literacy difficulties in the Richmond Borough and to advise parents and teachers on the advice and support available.
Richmond Mencap is a local registered charity which supports children, young people and adults with a learning disability, social communication conditions and additional needs (including ADHD) and their families and carers.
Richmond NAS are a friendly parent-led group aiming to support families and individuals mainly in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames living with autism. They hold coffee mornings, liaise with other groups and provide regular updates via emails; our core objectives being support, information and awareness. They have a comprehensive information pack available to download on their website.
Ruils is a local charity that supports children and adults with disabilities to live independently, be part of their community and to live life to the full. They provide information, advice, befriending and activities.
SEND Parent Power is open to all and is based at the Castlenau Centre in Barnes. This is because the group feel there is a local need to be met by having an informal group that is local to Barnes, that parents and carers can drop into easily.
The Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) in Kingston and Richmond offers advice and support across a wide range of subjects. This may include help with personal budgets and how to use the Local Offer plus:
- support with understanding reports and letters, attending meetings and preparing for assessments and reviews
- information and signposting to support services in your area
- support with Transition and Preparing for Adulthood
- support with and signposting to mediation
SWL Girls Connect is a support group for parents of girls with Autism, covering several boroughs. They hold coffee mornings in a range of locations.
If you would like to attend please contact the group by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following local organisations also run specific groups for dads or male carers.
MAN&BOY recognises that ALL children, regardless of age or gender can benefit hugely from the positive, on-going involvement of a significant adult male in their lives and research has shown that this involvement has proven benefits. Improvements in educational attainment, increased self-esteem, better health outcomes as well as improved behaviour are all identified as potential positive outcomes.
MAN&BOY currently concentrates on supporting boys aged between 9 and 12 ( school years 5,6,7 & 8 ) as they believe that this transition from junior to secondary school is particularly important in a boy’s life and that a supportive, encouraging male role model can make a huge difference to their self-esteem.
What are the criteria? – Boys who:
Are in school years 5, 6, 7 & 8 (although we will consider boys outside of this age range where appropriate)
Are struggling with life (E.G. boys struggling with behaviour, difficulty in making friendships, becoming withdrawn)
Would benefit from time spent with a significant adult male in their lives (dad, step-dad, granddad, uncle, older brother, family friend, etc) identified by the parent/guardian
NB. We are particularly keen to receive applications for families who may be disengaged with school or disadvantaged in some way
You can learn more at www.manandboy.org
DADinfo is home to the largest connected community of active, involved Dads through its interactive forum, providing great peer to peer support and advice for what can be one of the most challenging and rewarding life experiences.
Support for families with children under 5 years - Children's Centres
Children's centres are places where all families with children under five, and expectant mothers and fathers, can go to help their children to get the best start in life. The facilities and activities are designed for young children and their families.
All children's centres will offer informal support for parents and a place for your child to play and learn.
Children's centres work with a wide range of partners to ensure that we can help families in whatever area they need.
Services in children's centres include:
- child and family health services
- information for families and carers
- early education and information about childcare
- support for children with special needs
- outreach and support to families in need
- adult education classes with crèche facilities
- helping parents find training and employment
Welcare South West London
Welcare provides emotional and practical support for children and families experiencing temporary or long-term challenges.
Any family with at least one child up to the age of 13 living in the areas covered by our 5 centres can receive support from Welcare and we will assess what help we are able to provide on a case by case basis.
Kingston WelCare is a friendly and welcoming place for parents and families of all backgrounds to meet, support each other, and receive guidance and advice about the daily challenges of parenting.
Our services include regular drop-in family sessions, a cafe and play area, events and activities for families, and support for parents experiencing mental health challenges.
Home-Start Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow is a family charity whose mission is to give a supportive start to struggling families with children in those critical early years under the age of 5.
Through the home-visiting work of our volunteers we offer emotional and practical support to parents, guiding them through and building their resilience to the demands and stresses that parenting brings. Ultimately helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.
Support if you have adopted a child
Children adopted from care can have ongoing needs, and you and your child may benefit from support. The support you are entitled to is outlined here by First4Adoption in The Adoption Passport: a support guide for adopters. Adoption services and support for Kingston and Richmond are provided by Adopt London South
Caring Matters book collection
A collection of over 60 books about carers and caring. Some of the books are very general, others are aimed at people caring for someone with specific illnesses and/or conditions.
All books are kept at Kingston library but can be accessed from any library.
Online counselling services and help and advice lines
Some of the support organisations already listed will offer counselling services for parent/carers and children and young people.
The following are national organisations that offer counselling or emotional support services.
Contact Listening Ear - 1-1 telephone appointments for parent carers looking for emotional support.
Family Action is an organisation that transforms lives by providing practical, emotional and financial support to those who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation across the country. Their FamilyLine supports parents and carers via telephone, text message and email.
Navigate is a national mentoring service that provides emotional support for parents of disabled children.
Navigate is open to any parent or carer who:
- lives in England or Wales
- has a child who is going through or has received a diagnosis in the last year.
About the service
Navigate is a six-week programme that aims to put you in touch with a personal advisor, helping you to talk about your feelings and concerns.
There are also other counselling services that you may wish to consider. You can find details by searching for "counselling" in the Local Offer Directory Search on this website.
Scope Navigate Service is a national mentoring service, that provides online emotional support for parents and carers of disabled children who are finding out about their child’s additional needs.
Navigate is open to any parent or carer who:
- lives in England or Wales
- has parental responsibility for a child under 18
- this child is on a pathway to diagnosis or has received one in the last year
Contact is a UK-wide charity for families providing support, advice and information to families with disabled children. Their freephone helpline can put you in touch with other families in the same situation, local or national support groups and give you medical information about your child’s disability.
Contact also has regional offices providing support and helping you to find out what is available locally.
Down's Syndrome Association offer you information, support and advice on any question or concern you have related to Down’s syndrome. They have specialist advisers who can provide you with information and support on issues such as health, social care, benefits and education for people with Down’s syndrome. They can help you to access support locally and may be able to direct you to other sources of information.
Launched in Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week 2019, the Shifting Perspectives Podcast is brought to you by the Down’s Syndrome Association and hosted by Richard Bailey, photographer and curator of the Shifting Perspective project.
It tells the stories of people who have Down’s syndrome as well as of their families and carers, raising a smile, providing insights and challenging commonly held attitudes and prejudices.
Family Life Plus: a relationship support site for new parents raising a child with a disability.
Grandparents Plus is the only national charity (England and Wales) dedicated to grandparents and their role in the care and development of their grandchildren. They have an advice section on their website for grandparents with disabled grandchildren and for those providing kinship care.
SWAN UK (syndromes without a name), is the only specialist support network available in the UK for families of children and young adults affected by a syndrome without a name. We work with families of affected children and young adults aged 0–25, providing support and information in hospital, at home and in their local communities.
SWAN UK offer 24/7 access to support and information via our members – online communities, regular opportunities for parents to access face-to-face support as well as running regular whole family events.
A team of volunteer Parent Reps work locally to help facilitate our SWAN UK Local Networks, providing on-the-ground support and educating local services and professionals about the issues faced by families affected by undiagnosed genetic conditions.