The Rhondda Cynon Taf Parent and Carer Network provides help and support to parents and carers who are bringing up a disabled child and who live in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
To register with the Network, the person you care for must be aged between 0 & 25 but you don’t have to be receiving services to be eligible for support.
The Network aims to support parents in a variety of ways and includes:
Provision of information about services, events and activities in the area.
Opportunities for training, which may help to support you in your caring role.
Signposting to services with other agencies, which may be able to help with specific difficulties or issues that you are experiencing.
Age Range 0-25
Referral to Service: No referral is necessary just completion of a registration form
Contact: Network Officer
Telephone: 01443 668839
Latest Information, Training and Events
Contact a Family Cymru are holding a disability friendly screening of the Lego movie, with lowered lights and sounds, in Blackwood Miners' Institute on Thursday, July 24, from 3pm to 5pm.
The movie will be a great chance for all the family to come together and enjoy a good film, as well as find out loads of useful information from Contact a Family. The snack bar will be open and you can bring your own food. Find out more in the information leaflet.
Contact a Family's latest newsletter is out now, with updates on bedroom tax, events, news on the new chief executive, budget matters and so on. Find out more in the newsletter
Young people aged 19 and under can make some moves to Moving On Up summer dance school, which is being held in RCT and is completely free of charge. Organised by Artis Community Arts, Moving On Up is for able-bodied and disabled children and runs from August 12 to 16 in Nantgarw. There are specific classes for those aged seven to 11 and those aged 12 and over. Find out more in the information leaflet.
Smalltalk newsletter is a great way to catch up on the latest news, find out what is happening and get involved! Enjoy the latest edition of Smalltalk newsletter
To take part in current consultations please see the "Have Your Say" section below.
Care Matters is an excellent round-up of news and information for carers. Enjoy the latest edition here
The Carers' Newsletter is also a great way to keep up to date on what is on offer for you and your family. Enjoy the latest edition of the Carers' Newsletter
The Carers' Support Programme also has an extensive programme of events, including creative writing, peer support, mental health forums and more. Download the Programme to find out more.
New! Star Factor Stage School for adults with learning disabilities
Star Factor is a new initiative providing the service of music, drama and dance workshops to adults with learning disabilities. This service will provide the individual with an additional recreational activity that can be incorporated in their care plan to improve their quality of life.
At Star Factor our aim is to provide a stage school, supporting our participants by encouraging them to learn and build on transferable skills including communication, teamwork, building self-esteem and confidence.
All of the Star Factor team have an extensive background in music, dance and drama and are passionate about supporting people in our community. We promote social inclusion encouraging participants to build relationships in class and supporting them while they channel their energy by being creative.
There will be rehearsals every week and the opportunity to showcase talents in front of an audience, on stage in a theatre, two to three times a year.Star Factor is NOW RUNNING at Waun Wen Community Recreation Centre,3 Waun-Wen, Porth, Mid Glamorgan, CF39 9LX.
The sessions start on Wednesday, July 2 from 6pm to 7pm.The course costs £150 per 12 week term.
Download the enrolment form and standing order form. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenging Behaviour Support Group
This group meets every other Thursday in the new cafe at St Catherine's Church in Pontypridd from 10am to 12pm (evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm during school holidays).
The group is run by parents and carers, for parents and carers. No diagnosis is necessary. It allows you to discuss more about your child, their behaviour, where to seek help and services that are on offer. It offers peer support in a friendly atmosphere. Find out more in the information leaflet.
Autism-friendly films are shown in nearby cinemas.
There are also monthly autism-friendly films in a cinema near you! For more information about the great films showing near you, visit the Dimensions website
Starting April 29: Spectrwm Youth Dance
Dance class for young people aged 11 and over with disabilites. Starts Tuesday, April 29. From 6.30pm to 8pm in St Catherine's Church, Pontypridd.
For more information, ring Louise on 01443 490390 or email email@example.com
Upbeat Music Specialist
Upbeat Music provide specialist, structured music sessions for people with learning disabilities of all ages. Sessions offer anyone with a learning disability the opportunity to enjoy music at their own level. Along with developing musical skills, the sessions also include opportunities to work individually and as part of a group, develop social skills and communication, gain confidence and self-esteem, perform at organised concerts/events and work with qualified/experienced staff.
Upbeat is now running adult and children's basic skills music sessions weekly on Tuesdays in Tonteg Community Centre.
Adults: 2 - 3pm and children: 4.30 - 5.30pm.
Visit the Upbeat Music website or the Upbeat Music Facebookpage . You can also contact Liz Upham on 07583 639 281or email her
Sherman Theatre Group:
Inc Youth Theatre Group is a regular theatre group for those aged 15 to 22, with or without learning disabilities, offering a chance to improve their skills, meet new people and perform in a professional theatre. Due the massive success of the theatre's first Inclusive Youth Group, it is now running a second sessio and is inviting new members to attend from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. For more information, contact Kelly Barr, Creative Learning Assistant at the Sherman Cymru, Senghenydd Road, Cardiff. Tel: 02920 646983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
follow the theatre on twitter @shermancymru or Sherman Cymru on Facebook. Visit www.shermancymru.co.uk
Sports classes and support groups:
Weightloss and healthy eating class launched. The Weight For It group in Ferndale focuses on healthy eating and cooking on a budget. It's not what you lose, it's what you gain! Find out more in the information poster
Now happening! Creative Dance and Movement Classes
Young people aged 14+ living with disabilities and additional learning needs in Rhondda Cynon Taf have an opportunity to take part in a brand new creative dance and movement class every Tuesday in St Catherine's Church, Pontypridd. The class will be run by Artis Community and our Service has been guaranteed a small number of places so hurry up and book your place because they will run out quickly! ! For more information email Lowri on Lowri.M.Owen2@rctcbc.gov.uk
Weekly Moving MOJO - Dance Sessions for Children with Disabilities
Sessions are held on Tuesdays from 5pm-6pm at Capel Farm Resource Centre, Tonyrefail, CF39 8LW. For more information call Michelle on 07719 832345 or mail email@example.com
Find out more about Moving MOJO dance sessions for children with disabilities
Michael Sobell Sport Centre and Llantrisant Leisure Centre. Instructor: Alwyn Heath - 6th Dan. Disability Wales Insport Bronze level club
Tel: 07974 650274
South Wales Pirates Wheelchair Rugby
Llantrisant Leisure Centre Training Tuesday 10am-1pm. Contact Amanda Thomas
Tel: 07950 545014
RCT Tigers Football Club
The RCT Tigers train every Saturday and the players range from 6 years of age and up.
Tel: 07581 161066
Provide bicycles, mountain bikes and specially adapted bikes, trikes and go-karts for hire on a safe cycle route at Rhondda Sports Centre and Michael Sobell Sport Centre.
Tel: 07786 523587
Cwm Gymnastics: Based in Abercynon Sports Centre. It is an inclusive club that welcomes participants with any disability.
Tel: 07983 460110
Children's Disability Swimming Class at Abercynon Sport Centre:
This class is free to attend and siblings are also welcome. It takes place from 4pm to 5pm on Sundays.
Tel: Angela Ellis 07814905096
Information and support
Real Opportunities works across South Wales, providing support for those aged 14 to 19 with severe and complex needs,a learning disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their latest newsletter is out now
Family Fund Grants:
Family Fund is the UK's largest grant provider to low-income families who are raising disabled or seriously-ill children and young people. Last year, it helped with essential items such as washing machines, fridge-freezers, clothing, bedding, contributions towards the cost of hospital visits and even much-needed family breaks. The scheme can also help with tablets, laptops and sensory toys to help children with education and play needs.Family Fund can provide assistance once every 12 months for families with children aged 17 and under, so those who have received funding before, can apply again. To find out about upcoming events in Wales as well as details of how to apply, visit www.familyfund.org.uk or contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Tel: 0844 974 4099
New information for parents:
A new guide for parents on developmental delay has been launched. This much-needed guide is for parents and carers who think their child is not developing as they ought to be, or who have been told that their child has developmental delay. It contains information on:
How children progress in the early years
What developmental delay is
Why a child might be slower in development and how parents can help their child
Top tips from parents who have gone through similar.
It also contains a pull-out poster with important milestones in a child's development.
In the guide, the main message for parents is that support should be put in place early on to help a child with developmental delay develop skills. This should not be dependent on the child being diagnosed with a named medical condition.
Download the new guide for Families
Ask Autism Training
To celebrate the launch of Ask Autism training courses half price courses are being offered. For more information please follow the link. http://www.autism.org.uk/
Early Birds Healthy Minds
The Early Bird Healthy Minds programme is a six-session parent support programme to help promote good mental health in children with autism (including Asperger syndrome). Please email your details to RCTParentandCarerNetwork@rctcbc.gov.uk for referral onto the Early Bird Course.
Carers Relaxation Pamper Voucher Scheme
The voucher (is a one-off and not a course or an ongoing service), is designed to provide support to carers experiencing stress, anxiety, tiredness or who may have physical problems in relation to their caring role. The vouchers can be offered in combination with a sitting service to ensure the carer has a respite break. For an opportunity to receive a voucher please contact Caroline Poole on 01443 668839
NEW - Spectrum Support Group for Parents of Children with Additional Needs
Parenting a child with additional needs can come with its challenges and sometimes families find themselves not knowing where to turn for help or support.
Through sharing experiences and knowledge, parent support groups can help to empower parents, improve confidence and self esteem as well as reducing isolation and providing a few hours respite and a cuppa with likeminded people.
The aim of the group is to provide practical and emotional support to parents who have children with Learning Disabilities, Autism, ADHD, Challenging Behaviours and Communication Difficulties. Guest speakers are also a regular feature at the group sharing valuable information that you might not otherwise hear about.
The group meet at 10am on the 2 nd Wednesday of every month at Hirwaun YMCA, Manchester Place, Hirwaun, Aberdare, CF44 9RB
For more information about the group contact Zoe Parfitt on 07916294001 or just turn up on the day. The group is friendly and welcoming so you needn’t be worried about coming along.
Cerebra Pro Bono Programme
The laws of the four nations of the UK place enforceable duties on public bodies to provide education, health and social care support for disabled children.
The research evidence suggests that disabled children and their families experience considerable difficulties in accessing these rights and, in consequence, in receiving good quality health and social care, and educational provision.
It is against this background that the Cerebra Pro Bono Programme has been established at Cardiff Law School.
The Programme will provide legal support for disabled children and their families. Cardiff University law students will be the programme’s advisers.
This work will be supervised by qualified staff as well as by firms of solicitors. If more specialist advice is needed guidance will be given about getting that support. The service is free of charge.
Please contact our helpline for more information 0800 32 81 159 or email info@Cerebra.org.uk
Please note that the Cerebra Pro Bono programme is not able to help with clinical negligence or personal injury claims.
Click this useful link if you have a child with a disability who is looking at going into further education or about to look for employment. http://www.greatwithdisability.com/index.php
Caudwell Children’s Family Support
This programme offers families with a disabled or seriously ill child (0-18) the support they need. The free service works around the needs of families, using skilled volunteers to help with practical necessities like applying for grants, finding local support groups and information about medical conditions. Find out more in their information leaflet
Contact a Family
The organisation has produced an information guide on benefits, tax credits and other financial help, focussing on those aspects that affect families with disabled children. View the information guide online
Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety: A Guide For Parents
Are your children safe online? Dowload Cerebra's information booklet for more information
The popular Gelli venue runs a fun social group for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 12+ living in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Download the poster for more information .
Team Around the Family (TAF)
This Rhondda Cynon Taf Council initiative is a new way of working together with children, young people and their families to overcome challenges and to bring about positive change. It is being delivered by Fframwaith, which is the partnership that brings together all the services that are working to improve life in RCT for children and their families. Visit the dedicated Fframwaith webpages to find out more
It has been rolled out across the county borough to help as many families as possible. Visit the dedicated Fframwaith pages to find out more
This is our new and unique bilingual website and mobile app for 14-25 year olds in Wales for your Apple or Android device. It offers practical solutions via their survival guides, live messaging and secure forums. Find out more and download the app now!
Deaf for Equality and Fair Opportunities (DEFFO!)
Deffo has produced a DVD called Children and Young People’s Rights, which explains young deaf people’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in British Sign Language. It includes youth-led filming with examples of real life scenes made by deaf young people. Enjoy the film and find out more about it
Are you aware of the Code of Practice for Social Care?
The Code of Practice sets out the standards of conduct that service users can expect to receive from a social care worker. Find out more on the Care Council for Wales website
Adult Autism Advice
This is a new information service designed for adults with High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome living in Rhondda Cynon Taf, who do not meet the criteria to access traditional support services. You do not need a diagnosis to contact Adult Autism Advice. Visit the dedicated Adult Autism Advice web pages to find out more.
Have Your Say - Current Consultations and the chance to share your views
Children's Commissioner for Wales needs your views on short breaks
Are you affected by short breaks? Would you like to have your say? The Children’s Commissioner for Wales is undertaking a key piece of work that will examine the short breaks provision in Wales. As well as providing support to parent carers and other carers, short breaks have an important role in offering disabled children and young people opportunities to enjoy the rights associated with social activities. During the next few months, the Commissioner will be meeting with disabled children and young people and their carers to hear their views about the short breaks provision. Anyone affected by short breaks are asked to take part in an online survey available on the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ website If you would like to contribute, you can complete the survey online
A paper questionnaire, if preferred, is also available by calling 01792 765600. All responses will remain anonymous.
All current consultation can be found on the Consultations Page - we would love to hear from you!