Additional help and support


Support worker with families in a group session

You can find information in this section about how children and young people can learn to travel independently, support for transport, and Disability Living Allowance.

Independent travel training

Learning to travel independently can be a key step on the pathway to adulthood.The benefits of travel training for young people can be far reaching:

  • increasing independence and confidence,
  • improving self-esteem
  • enhancing life skills and employability. 

Beacon Hill School has an onsite road safety and independent travel facility. Here young people can learn how to how to cross the road safely and how to use pedestrian crossings. The school also has a replica metro station and a fully equipped metro carriage.

This video, by The Children’s Society, explains how Independent Travel Training supports young people to learn to travel by themselves on public transport to and from school or college.

Public transport

Children and young people with specific special educational needs could be entitled to public transport concessions.

See Nexus for more information.

Disabled parking (Blue Badge)

Children and young people with specific special educational needs could be entitled to a Blue Badge.

Changing Places toilets

Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability.

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets.

We have facilities at:

Whitley Bay Customer First Centre (library)
Whitley Bay Waves Leisure Centre
North Shields Customer First Centre (library)
Wallsend Customer First Centre (library)
Hadrian Leisure Centre in Wallsend
Howdon Library in Wallsend

A map and guide to all Changing Places toilets in the UK is available on the Changing Places website, under the Find a Toilet section.

Radar keys

The RADAR National Key Scheme (NKS) provides independent access to locked disabled toilets for disabled people throughout the country. These toilets are kept locked (to prevent vandalism and misuse) and you need a key in order to gain access to them.

The toilet keys are required by and specially designed for disabled persons. Please note that these keys must not be purchased for use by able bodied persons.

Now Available from £2.50

The price includes a list of toilets within North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne. A National Key Scheme Guide, which gives details for the whole of the UK, can be purchased from the scheme operators Disability Rights UK. Alternatively, a free search can be carried out online at ''.

The keys can be purchased in person (by appointment only), or by post. For further information and / or to make an appointment, please contact the North Tyneside Coalition of Disabled People on 0191 296 1437 or by email


Disability Living Allowance


Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child.

Contact provide helpful information about DLA for families of disabled children.

Disabled Student's Allowance

Students at College may be able to access extra funding.

Find out more: see Disabled Student's Allowance

Free Parenting Courses

North Tyneside

Parents-to-be, parents, carers, grandparents and every resident in North Tyneside can access these parenting courses completely free of charge:

Click here for link to courses




Contact is a charity that runs a range of workshops, information sessions and online events, for families with disabled children.

Workshops and events

Early years workshop  (Autumn 2022)

Support organisations for children, young people, parents and siblings

Support organisations for parents and carers:

Local (North East) 

North Tyneside Parent Carer Forum - The parent led forum in North Tyneside for those caring for a child or young person aged 0-25 years with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Down's Syndrome North East - A charity supporting people with Down's Syndrome and their families.  Providing families with opportunities to meet socially in person and online.  The charity also provide support and training to parents.

Pathways 4 All - Term time coffee morning Thursday 9.30-11.30am at Tim Lamb Centre.  A great opportunity for parents/carers of  children/young people with disabilities/additional needs to connect with other parents.

Take 5 and chat - parenting additional needs A cafe drop-in for parents and carers  Whitley Bay Baptist Church (small hall) Whitley Bay .  Take 5 and Toddle walk and talk session.  Surround yourself with people who get it.

The North East Autism Society - Offer toddler groups, parent/carer support groups, family networking (online advice and support).


National Organisations

Cerebra is a charity set up to help families with children aged 16 and under withy brain conditions examples include: Autism, ADHD, Down's syndrome, Learning disabilities, Cerebral palsy, Epilepsy, Development delay.

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) within the Ministry of Defence provides advice, support and guidance to Service parents, educational establishments and local authorities on educational issues relating to Service children, including issues relating to SEN and regarding the educational well-being of the children and young people belonging to families in all 3 services. All advice given is impartial, child-centred and focuses on the best interests of the individual.  Any Service family, anywhere in England, can access CEAS support. 

The CEAS team is comprised of qualified teachers and experienced case advisors who can answer queries predominantly via email and telephone.

Define Fine

National parent carer led organisation which offers peer support to help parents advocate for the support their children and young people who experience school attendance difficulties need, to be able to learn and achieve.

Scope - Navigate:parent mentoring

The Navigate Service is designed for parents who have a child on the pathway to diagnosis, or who have a child diagnosed with a disability or impairment within the last 12 months.

Navigate will offer parents six weeks of phone based and online mentoring designed to provide emotional and practical support at the start of their journey as a parent to a disabled child.  Parents will be allocated a personal adviser who they will speak with on a weekly basis;  the service is entirely parent-led, and parents will choose the focus of the support.  However, the advisor's are not able to advise or assist on benefit claims or specific condition management.

Parents will need to self-refer into the service and can access more information and the online referral form here: or call them on 0808 801 0510.



Support organisations for children and young people:

Local (North East) -

National - 

Support for siblings:

Local (North East) - 

National -