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FIS Newsletter - Easter 2024

FIS Newsletter - Easter 2024

Welcome to our newsletter for Easter 2024, combining MyFIS and MyFIS+ which we hope you'll find interesting and helpful.

In this edition we’ve got lots of interesting news about:

Don’t forget that if you would like more information about anything in this newsletter or anything to do with family life, then get in touch with the York Family Information Service, telehopne: 01904 554444, or by emailing: [email protected].

FIS Newsletter

Recent newsletters

Read our other Family Information Service (FIS) newsletters covering useful information on family life, and being a parent or carer in York.

Whats on this Easter and Spring

York has lots to offer for families, children, and young people this Easter school holiday and throughout the spring including free and low cost activities. From the 'I Spy Trail' to the Great British Spring Clean, visit Raise York What’s On to find out more.

New tool for teaching children about money

Teaching your children about money from a young age helps them develop the skills they'll need as adults.

We can show you how to talk to 3 to 11 year-olds about money. This doesn’t need to be complicated; children can learn about money from being involved in everyday activities. Visit: Money Helper.

Family Hubs updates

We're very excited to have a number of guests attending the family hubs in the next couple of months!

Baby Band

Baby Band logo

Baby Band will be visiting our Hubs in April, running free sessions aimed at babies and toddlers who are 4 months to 3 years old.

See Baby Band on:

  • Tuesday 16 April, at Hob Moor Children’s Centre, rom 10.00am to 11.00am.
  • Wednesday 17 April, at The Avenues Children’s Centre
  • Wednesday 24 April, at Clifton Children’s Centre

Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs)

Logo - Humber and North Yorkshire Maternity and Neonatal Voices; working in partnership to improve maternity and neonatal services.

Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) are parent-led, independent advisory groups of volunteer service user representatives and professionals, who help improve local maternity care.

MVPs will be visiting Hob Moor Children’s Centre on Tuesday 16 April, from 9.00am to 12.00 noon; they'll be in our general hub room, but also have access to a private room if you would like a one-to-one chat... Come and speak to Helen about your experiences with maternity services in the area.

Edible York

Edible York logo

Edible York is a local charity supporting the people of York to become closer to the food they eat. They aim to improve the conditions of life for the inhabitants of York particularly through community gardening and horticultural projects.

They will be in The Avenues Children’s Centre Family Hub on Wednesday 24th April 9am-12noon, helping with a planting activity. Stop by to plant up some vegetables to take home. You can also chat to they about how they can provide free help to you grow fruits and vegetables at home (Tang Hall residence only).

Family Navigators

You can find the Family Navigators each week at:

Raise york

  • Children’s Centres - Drop in for free children’s play and craft as well as some refreshments:
    • Tuesday and Thursday, from 9.00am to 12.00 noon, at Hob Moor Children’s Centre
    • Wednesdays, 9.00am to 12.00 noon, at Clifton Children’s Centre
    • Wednesdays, 9.00am to 12.00 noon, at The Avenues Children’s Centres

Explore, Libraries and Archives (logo)

  • Explore Libraries and Archives - Come along for Storytime 10.30am to 11.00am and pick up some information whilst you’re there:
    • Thursdays, 10.00am to 1.00pm, at Acomb Explore
    • Fridays, 10.00am to 1.00pm, at York Explore (except 29 March)
    • Fridays, 10.00am to 1.00pm, at Tang Hall Explore (except 29 March and 26 April)

See the latest 'warm welcome' timetable.

Regular Outreach: Collective Share House

The Collective Sharehouse; our community food support (logo)

The Collective Share House is for resident of Micklegate Ward only, and you can only visit once a week. Access the food bank, and get some useful information, and on a Tuesday, have a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Visit on:

  • Wednesday 27 March, 5.00pm to 6.00pm
  • Tuesday 9 April, 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday 24 April, 5.00pm to 6.00pm
  • Tuesday 14 May, 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday 22 May, 5.00pm to 6.00pm

Regular Outreach: Community Canteen at Tang Hall Community Centre

Tang Hall Community Centre logo

Visit the Community Canteen at Tang Hall Community Centre; come along for a free meal, chat and children’s activity between 4.00pm and 5.00pm, on:

  • Thursday 28 March
  • Thursday, 11 April
  • Thursday 9 May
  • Thursday 23 May

One Off Event: Mumbler Nearly New Sale and Expectant Parent Event

York Mumbler, your local parenting community (logo)

Mumbler Nearly New Sale and Expectant Parent Event is taking place on Sunday 24 March, from 2.00pm to 3.30pm, at the Poppleton Centre; We'll have a Family Information stall.

Mumblers says: "Mumbler Nearly New Sales are for buying or selling pre-loved baby, toddler and children’s items such as clothes, toys, nursery items or maternity wear. We'll have some guest experts for you to chat to at their stalls covering feeding, baby wearing, nappies and fab classes and groups. They'll give you some top tips on an important aspect of parenting in those early days".

One Off Event: Acomb Library Easter Event

Explore, Libraries and Archives (logo)

Visit the information stall at Acomb Library running alongside their SEN Easter event on Tuesday 26 March from 1.45pm to 4.00pm.

The event is aimed at children aged 3 to 7 years - book on ticket tailor for "an informal and relaxed story time with Easter themed arts and crafts, delivered by Joy Richardson. This activity is aimed at children with additional needs (both SEND and adoptive families) and provides an opportunity to enjoy making crafts and meeting other families in a relaxed setting.

One Off Event: Better at York Stadium

Better (logo)

Stop by York Stadium to pick up some free and impartial family information, on Wednesday 3 April, between 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

New help towards childcare costs

Childcare choices

From April 2024, working families with a 2 year-old can apply for 15 hours towards the cost of childcare.

  • For children turned 2 years between 1 January and 31 March 2024, the deadline to apply for the help towards 15 hours of childcare is 31 March 2024, visit
  • For child turning 2 years between 1 Apri and 31 August 2024, you can start your funded place the term after your child turns 2 years old which will be from 1 September 2024.

To keep your 15 hours help towards the cost of childcare for 2 year-olds you'll need to check your details are up to date every 3 months.

  • Working families mean if you or your partner expect to earn (on average) at least £167 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage).
  • You or your partner are not eligible if you individually expect to earn £100,000 adjusted net income or more.
  • You can apply for the 15 hours funded childcare for working families of 2 year-olds on the Childcare Choices website and eligible families can start to use the funded place from the term after their child turns 2 year olds.

Existing 15 hours for 2-year-olds

The new offer is separate to the existing 15 hours funding for 2-year-olds.

Families are eligible based on one of a number of criteria, such as: household income, certain benefits, certain criteria if their child has a disability or additional need, children who are adopted or looked after in care or families with no recourse to public funds.

For more information or to apply visit: Raise York, childcare for 2 year olds.

Bereavement Café

Woman smiles as she hugs another for emotional support.

A new Bereavement Café opened on 13 March 2024, it aims to support bereaved people to help them understand what they are going through.

When you're bereaved of someone you loved, the emotions you feel can be confusing. Bereavement counsellors and other helpers will be there to listen to people’s stories. Each person’s grief is unique, but we'll teach a little about the grief journey most people go through, and you may recognise yourself in what we say.

Anyone can join us at any point and come for 6 sessions. The group may not be helpful if your grief is recent, and you know you would be very distressed in public. However, grief can take any of us by surprise. If you do get distressed, don’t worry. One of us will take you to a quiet space to talk.

Sessions will be held on Wednesday's from 1.00 to 3.00pm at York St John Communities Centre, 32-34 Clarence Street, York, YO31 7EW, on the following dates:

  • 13 March 2024
  • 8 May 2024
  • 10 July 2024
  • 11 September 2024
  • 13 November 2024
  • 8 January 2025

We also warmly welcome anyone interested in helping family and friends with their grief, as well as anyone interested in learning more about bereavement support.

We've also teamed up with Pets as Therapy, and Nikki our Centre Manager will be bringing along Nola to some of the drop-in sessions! Nola loves a cuddle and meeting with new people, so will be sure to give you a warm welcome if you join one of the sessions and want to say hello to her.

Volunteer with the Youth Justice Service

The Youth Justice Service are looking for voluntary Community Panel Members. Community Panel Members represent the local community when a young person has been given a Referral Order from Court. The Panel Members support young people who have offended and engage their parents or carers to ensure that:

  • young people take responsibility for their behaviour and the harm caused by their offending
  • young people change their behaviour in order to promote good outcomes for themselves and communities
  • guide young people to build upon the positive factors in their life to prevent reoffending

Panels happen weekly and your attendance as a panel member is done on a rota basis. Comprehensive training is provided and reimbursement of travel expenses as well as regular supervision and ongoing support.

As a Community Panel Member, you will pre-read reports from Youth Justice Officers on the young person’s offence and circumstances, support the young person and parents in the panel to reach contract agreements. You'll ensure the victim’s wishes are heard, where applicable and review the young person’s progress on the contract which includes investigating any non-compliance and consider any return to Court or in most cases congratulate and reward good progress.

To ensure that youth offender panels are representative of the local community there are no unnecessary restrictions on recruitment. Selection is based on personal qualities rather than professional qualifications. Training will form an integral and compulsory part of the recruitment process to ensure that community panel members are equipped with the appropriate skills.

If you're interested and would like further information please contact Alison Cammiss, Volunteer Service Manager:

Little Vikings Family Card

Little Vikings; York for kids (logo)

The Little Vikings Family Card gives your family access to discounts and special offers from family-friendly businesses in and around York throughout the year.

From classes to cafes and even tourist attractions, we’re delighted to bring you more family experiences for less. Head to the Little Vikings website to see our latest offers and discounts. The Little Vikings Family Card is free to any family that would like one: collect yours from the Visit York Information Centre (Parliament Street, York) and other outlets.

Keep checking back for new offers throughout the year, too.

Booking holidays safely

North Yorkshire community messaging (logo)

Most of us look forward to an annual holiday or short break which, more often than not, we find and book online. But fraudsters also love the internet. They use fake websites, listings, emails, advertisements, social media posts and texts, and also phone calls to trick us into paying for a holiday or other travel to 'Never-never Land'. In other words, it simply doesn’t exist.

To help save you from losing your holiday and your money, we’ve put together some expert tips on safely searching and booking holidays and travel with confidence. Read the tips via: Get Safe Online: Booking Holidays Online and Travel Safely.

Educational Psychology Support Line

Have a question or concern about your child’s wellbeing or learning? The Educational Psychology Support Line is available during term time providing a confidential telephone service staffed by Educational Psychologists.

Open to all parents/carers of children with additional needs or SEND living in the City of York or attend an educational setting in York (who have not had recent Educational Psychology involvement).

Calls of up to 30 minutes are available on Wednesday mornings 9.30am to 11.30am. To book a slot email: [email protected] with your name and contact telephone number. You will be contacted the following Tuesday with a time slot. Bookings closed each week at 5.00pm.

Parent and Carer Neurodiversity Webinars

These sessions for parents and carers are live, online session that are 90-minutes long, and have been tailored for parents and carers of children in York schools.

The topics covered are:

  • Understanding and supporting sensory integration
  • Understanding and supporting ADHD
  • Understanding your child’s early development (age 7 and under)
  • Understanding and supporting emotional self-regulation
  • Understanding diet and nutrition

Parents and carers can get more information about the sessions by contacting Emma Weaver from the ADHD Foundation, email: [email protected]

Children with disabilities or additional needs

York SEND Local Offer

Get involved; have your say on the York SEND Local Offer website which has been live since October 2023 - we're keen to know whether families are finding it easier to use than the previous site. Visit and share your thoughts via the new survey.

Talk2Me Campaign

The Access4all young people’s group, has been working on a campaign called 'Talk2Me' which aims to encourage professionals to speak directly to young people when the conversation is about them, if that is what the young person wants... Watch this space to learn more about the campaign, see what the young people have developed and see how you can get involved.

Speech and Language Therapy referral process

Remember, there have been changes to the way you refer into the Speech and Language Therapy service!

If you've read the information and tried the strategies on York Hospital advice sheets, but still have concerns about a child or young person's speech, language, or communication skills, you can make a request for help.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provide training to parent or carers and professionals across a range of clinical specialisms. The details of any upcoming training sessions and how to get booked on can be found on the Speech and Language training therapy.

Update on CAMHS Referral

There is a new way of making a referral to CAMHS for an Autism or ADHD assessment, available via the York SEND Local Offer website:

Introducing new staff members

Demi, Associate Designated Clinical Officer, says: "Hello, I am Demi Parker, a new Associate Designated Clinical Offer for York, and North Yorkshire place. My clinical work has primarily revolved around patient acute mental health care, is the crisis teams, which also included the street triage, liaison team and the home treatment team here in York. Additionally, I spent seven impactful years working in Children's Safeguarding at Tees, Esk and Wear Valley. This experience has shaped my understanding of the importance of providing support for young people and ensuring parents have the necessary resources to meet their children's needs."

Kate, Designated Clinical Officer, says: "Hello! I'm really pleased to be able to introduce myself as the new Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for North Yorkshire and York. I joined North Yorkshire and Humber ICB at the end of November 2023. I am a Speech and Language Therapist by background and have come into the DCO role from a clinical role within South Tees NHS Foundation. I have a background working with children and young people with SEND and have clinical specialisms in Learning Disability and Down Syndrome. Throughout my career in SALT, I have been passionate about supporting CYP and their families to achieve the best outcomes; I have worked closely with them, as well as local authorities and other health care providers to support this. I am really excited to be taking up the DCO role so I can combine this passion with my clinical skills to make a difference to the CYP and their families - who are the heart of everything we do."

Becky, Teacher of the Deaf, says: "Hi, I'm Becky and I joined the Deaf and Hearing Support Team in January. I have worked in different areas of the country but most recently in Doncaster. I have mostly worked in primary school resource bases with severely and profoundly deaf pupils, so I am used to being based in a school. I am really enjoying meeting the young people on my caseload and getting to know them and their families."

Emily, Reintegration Support Worker, says: "Hello, my name is Emily Walker. I am the Reintegration Support Worker, and I joined the Specialist Teaching Team in November. I support children and young people who are finding attending school difficult. I work with school, the child, and the family to support and plan ways we can work together to increase attendance and ensure that the children and young people I work alongside feel safe and happy in their school. My role means I get to meet lots of people across the city and visit lots of different settings. I am really enjoying meeting the families, getting to know some fantastic young people and working alongside such inspiring and passionate teachers."

Don't keep us a secret!

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Register with the Information Service

Is your child under 3? By registering with our Information Service you'll receive tailored information (on an adhoc basis) about:

  • groups and activities
  • 2 year-old funding
  • opportunities to take part in research specific to the age of your child

Register with the Information Service.

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