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Active Futures

Our aim is to support self-management of a condition deemed ‘incurable’ and inadequately serviced, to give better support and quality of life for a wide group of patients diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Type III (Hypermobility type) and possibly some Classic type BUT NOT (at outset) vascular EDS patients or any other type.

As part of this vision we would like to offer ‘Activity’ groups for children aged 5-16years. Physiotherapy, if offered, is time limited and many children are then expected to go on and join main stream sports clubs to continue their activity. Children with this condition often need to increase muscle strength to support lax joints, improve stamina in order to keep up with peers and have balance/co-ordination issues and gross motor skill delay. This means that children often lack confidence and basic skills to be ready for main stream clubs. Our aim is to provide a weekly activity group to provide consistent activity, a supportive environment to develop muscle strength, core strength and basic skills. Each child will be individually assessed and evaluated to track their progress. We also plan to link up with local sports clubs so that when the child feels ready and if they have an interest in a particular sport we plan to offer a handover, educating the club and supporting the child in the transition.

01923 271191

Adult Autism Service (Bedfordshire)

Within Bedfordshire and Luton we provide an Adult Autism Service (AAS) for adults aged 18+.

The service provides assessment, treatment and advice for people who are suspected as having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and require a definite diagnosis, followed by help to access the most appropriate service e.g. health, social care or support group.

The service operates on a multi-disciplinary model of local and community based assessment and diagnosis and works alongside existing Specialist Health Services, Local Authorities, independent and voluntary services.

01234 310593

Bedfordshire and Luton Wheelchair Service

The key purpose for our service is to clinically assess and provide appropriate wheelchairs and associated equipment (posture and pressure care) to clients with a long-term mobility need, (over 6 months). The Wheelchair Service will continue to support the clients and maintain any issued equipment. Having the most appropriate mobility equipment can improve quality of life, facilitate independence, enable access into the wider community and reduce the risk of developing deformity for our clients.

The wheelchair service provides training for the community prescribers of basic wheelchairs for adult clients that are not totally wheelchair dependant. We offer specialist assessment for adult clients that are totally wheelchair dependent, all children and bariatric clients. We run a bespoke seating service for clients with complex postural needs that require made to measure / moulded seating. We are able to pressure map as part of a specialist pressure care assessment and provide a range of complex cushions. We work closely with seating companies and hold regular clinics for equipment trail or review.

Each new episode of care is completed within 18 weeks of referral and this is normally sufficient for most clients, however if something takes longer to resolve we would continue to work with the client until the clinical situation required. We accept referrals for review throughout the time the client has the equipment, and have an approved repairer contract to ensure that the wheelchairs are properly maintained while it is on issue.

We currently review all bespoke seating clients annually. We would like to offer a review service for all children and powered wheelchair users but we are currently not commissioned to do this.

01525 631349

Contact A Family

Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children

We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.

Please click the link to open to the Contact A Family website

0808 808 3555

Down's Heart Group

Provides support and information for families and carers of people with Down's Syndrome and heart issues, specifically related to the heart but touching on other areas as affected by the medical problems.

03001 021644

Mental Health and Wellbeing Services

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) provides mental health services for people in Bedfordshire.

The service has been commissioned by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council.

We are committed to the ongoing development of mental health and learning disability services.


01525 864430

SENSE - Communicator Guide Service

A Communicator Guide offers specialist one to one support to people who have developed or are developing a sight and hearing loss. This is known as acquired deafblindness.

People with acquired deafblindness fall into two main groups -Adults with acquired deafblindness - such as those born with Usher syndrome and those who have been disabled by an accident, and Older People - who have developed sight and hearing problems due to age related medical conditions. Those over the 70 are more likely to be affected.

Our Communicator Guides have received extensive training in communication and guiding skills, their role is to support the Deafblind person to access the world around them, facilitate communication, maintain their independence and to enhance their quality of life. The Communicator Guides enable each person to use their hours of support in any way they wish, which may include: shopping, social activities, sports activities, companionship, reading and attending appointments.

02084 490964

SENSE - Intervenor Service

One-to-One support to Deafblind children and adults, acting as an enabler for the individual to help in their social and personal development, as well as health and general wellbeing.

By providing one-to-one support to congenitally Deafblind children or adults, an Intervenor acts as an enabler, promoting the person's social and personal development, encouraging their independent skills and facilitating their communication with the world around them. Intervenor support may be provided in the person's home, in their local community, in an educational or vocational setting or a combination of these.

Intervenor schemes are usually funded by direct payments, individual budgets, social services, local health or education authorities. A person-centred approach to planning for leisure, learning, social, and vocational opportunities, enables Deafblind people to develop new skills and increase their independence. Individual programmes focus on daily life experiences and will include encouraging the use of residual vision and hearing, communication, development of cognitive skills, mobility, orientation and social skills.

Activities which might be included in an individual plan are: college courses, sport and leisure, art and craft activities, shopping, cooking, IT, use of public transport. Choices are made by the Deafblind person to suit their needs and interests.

02084 490964

Sensory & Communication Support Team - Visual Impairment Team

The Visual Impairment Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (SCST). The team consists of 2 Qualified Teachers for Visually Impaired Pupils (QTVI), 4 Specialist Support Assistants (STA) and a Resources Officer/Technician.

We support children and young people who are aged 0-25, their families and staff. We visit home and educational settings in order to facilitate and monitor their access to learning.

We work with the relevant professionals and families to enable the CYP to access all aspects of the academic and social life of their educational setting. The QTVI or STA visits the CYP at agreed intervals according to need, using the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The keyworker liaises with staff/ family on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team has strong links with other professionals who work with visually impaired CYP including Orthoptists, Paediatric Ophthalmologists and Mobility Officers.

Our work includes the following:
• Assessing access to the curriculum.
• The loan of specialist equipment and software as required by individual pupils.
Offering advice and support in the modification and differentiation of curricular materials.
• Providing INSET to schools/settings, (small group or whole staff), to raise awareness of the implications of teaching a pupil who has a visual impairment.
• Discussions with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems or difficulties relating to their access to the curriculum due to a Visual Impairment.
• Discussions with parents / carers, SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
Contributing to IEPs
• Contributing to the statutory assessment process (EHCP) and Annual Reviews
• Writing reports for the school/setting, outlining observations and discussion points arising from the visit. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate.

We currently run a half-termly group at the CDC for young VI children and their families.

We hold occasional ‘Leisure & Lifeskills’ sessions for CYP with severe Visual impairments who attend mainstream schools.

01234 300710

Sensory and Communication Support Team: Support for Pupils with Hearing Impairment

The Hearing Impaired Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (S&CST). We support children and young people aged 0-25, their carers /families and staff in educational settings. All Bedford Borough pre-school children diagnosed with a hearing loss are visited at home and/or in their pre-school setting in order to facilitate and monitor speech, language and communication development. In Bedford Borough’s mainstream and special schools, including the Hearing Impaired Provision, pupils who have a hearing impairment are offered support from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). Pupils who have hearing aids/cochlear implants are seen regularly; advice is given regarding pupils who have temporary fluctuating hearing difficulties or who have a unilateral hearing loss.

The HI team aims to work with the relevant professionals and parents/carers to enable the pupil to access all aspects of the academic and social life of the educational setting. The ToD visits the pupil at agreed intervals according to need, as identified in conjunction with the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The ToD. liaises with a designated member of staff on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team liaises with, refers to and receives referrals from other agencies as appropriate e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.

Role of the qualified Teacher of the Deaf

• Visits to pre-school children at home, in clinic and the educational setting
• Observation of school age pupils in class as appropriate
• Discussion with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems of difficulties
• Discussion with the SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
• Under discussion with the SENCo, contribute to an IEP
• Contribute to the statutory assessment process and to annual reviews
• Acoustic check and maintenance of hearing aids and FM systems
• Carry out language assessments
• Offer advice on modification and differentiation of curricular materials
• Provide INSET to the school/setting, either small group or whole staff to raise awareness of the implications of a hearing loss in the classroom.
• Write a report following each visit the school/setting outlining observations and discussion points arising from the session. This may include practical advice relating to the hearing impaired pupil to be shared with all relevant staff. Any action points will be recorded. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate
• Follow Local Authority Guidelines on Safeguarding Children

01234 300710 (voice & text)

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