Self Harm Parent & Carer Network

Join other parents and carers across your area in a free workshop to support you and your family.
Facilitated by West Sussex Mind,YMCA Downslink Group and supported by Allsorts Youth
Project, you will be able to talk with other parents and carers to hear what is working for them,
discuss your support needs, hear from guest speakers and get updates on the latest initiatives,
research, resources and policies. Please see attached flyer for more information.

FREE holiday activities this summer! Summer Holidays Activities and Food (HAF)

To support families with children aged 4 to 16, who receive benefits-related free school meals, HAF are offering free holiday activities and food. 

Visit the Summer HAF Directory throughout the summer.  Additional providers and opportunities are regularly added. Book quickly to avoid disappointment, as spaces will be limited. 

If families wish to receive direct updates, please email and ask to be added to the distribution list. 

To learn more, please contact: 

Melanie Kinnear – HAF programme manager 



FREE SUMMER ART CLUB For children in care and their siblings aged 5-13
The Artworks Tree: Printing, Painting & Patterns


Mon 26 July: Orientation and Making from 10am to11am
Tues 27 to Thurs 29 July: Making from 10am to 11.30am
Fri 30 July: Show and Tell from 10am to 11.30am
Every Day: Bronze Arts Award Mentoring from 12noon to 12.30pm
Mon 26 July: Orientation and Making from 1.30pm to 2.30pm
Tues 27 to Thurs 29 July: Making from 1.30pm to 3pm
Fri 30 July: Show and Tell from 1.30pm to 3pm

Celebrate Summer with new creative skills brought together into an Artworks Tree to display your work. You’ll
learn to print personalised bunting with found objects, paint cartoons and anime without a paintbrush, and
sculpt recycled items to create your 3D Artworks Tree and a bird or creature to live in it.
There are separate activitiesfor each session from Monday to Thursday, so come for one or all of the activities.
Families are invited to join us for Show and Tell throughout the Friday session to see our creations.

Making materials:

We provide a box containing four individual packs to your home with everything children
need to complete all the activities. Each activity is carefully designed for children to be able to do on their own,
but some may need support during the session. Each pack will include some suggested follow on activities
you can easily do at home with leftover materials or common household items to keep the creativity going!


We’ll need an email address to send you the Zoom link. Please arrive on time so we can get started.
You’ll need Wi-Fi and a computer, tablet or smartphone with camera and microphone, preferably in a quiet
space where children can work undisturbed. If you have more than one child participating, please put them
on separate devices if possible. If you have technical difficulties during the session, please alert us and we’ll
try to resolve them with you. Please have your phone nearby – we’ll check in with you if your child goes off
screen unexpectedly.


This is a shorter session on Monday to try out Zoom, meet other children, see the artists and
get a taste of what to expect with a short activity. All are welcome (carers can stay throughout if they wish).
Evaluation: We ask parents/carers to be present for 5-10 minutes at the start of your child’s first session to
help them complete our evaluation questions. You’ll need to repeat this process at the end of Show and Tell
on Friday (or the last session your child attends if you haven’t booked Friday). Evaluation is anonymous and
helps us develop activities that support well-being and creativity, so your participation is much appreciated.
Booking: Booking in advance only, for the whole week or individual days (no new arrivals on Friday please).

Arts Award:

Children can work towards an Arts Award while they are with us:
Discover and Explore Arts Awards

Year 1 to 6 children can achieve Discover or Explore levels within 1 week if they attend most of the sessions.
Arts Award is accredited and children will receive a certificate from Trinity College London.

Bronze Arts Award

Year 6, 7 or 8 children can work towards a Bronze Arts Award. To complete the award they will need to attend
at least three of our week-long art clubs, mentoring sessions and complete some creative homework. To
participate, your child needs to attend the MORNING sessions. We provide 30 minutes of additional mentoring
for Bronze Arts Award every day after the club session (with a 30 minute break in-between). While they will
need to do some homework, our artists will inspire and support them to do this successfully. Bronze Arts
Award is a Level 1 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework, equivalent to a GCSE grade 1-3.

Contact Hadia Saeh at the Virtual School: or 01273 293992

Please provide us with the following ESSENTIAL information:
email address to send the zoom links to
postal address to send the kits to
dates of sessions you wish to book (including orientation – please come if you can)
names and ages of all children attending
express interest in Bronze Arts Award for year 6, 7 or 8 children
names and mobile numbers for carers or parents
any conditions or access issues we should be aware of
permission for your address and contact details to be passed onto Future Creator

Holiday Activities Food Programme

A newly launched film featuring Marcus Rashford MBE calls on parents to sign up their children to the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF).

The HAF Programme supports children and families in the school holidays. Outside of term-time, the Programme provides healthy food and enriching activities to free school meal eligible children in every local authority in England. The Programme has been significantly expanded – please sign up for this or ask your child’s head of school or key worker if you would like help doing this.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme – YouTube

Summer HAF Directory

Letter to parents from the Secretary of State for Education

Today the Secretary of State for Education has written an open letter to parents encouraging continued regular testing, to support all the hard work schools and colleges have been doing to increase participation.

The Public Health England COVID-19 resource centre has been updated with new testing resources to support your outgoing communications to parents and students in secondary schools and colleges. This includes:

social and poster resources – to stress the importance of continued testing and reporting in settings and on school social media channels
a test explainer kit with practical resources to support self-testing at home, including the vital step of reporting

Update to the contingency framework following the announcement on enhanced response areas

We have updated the contingency framework following the government’s announcement on enhanced response packages to tackle the Delta variant in some areas.

The contingency framework describes the principles of managing local outbreaks of COVID-19 in education and childcare settings. It covers all types of measures that settings should be prepared for, which includes those that may be recommended as part of an enhanced response area.

All education and childcare settings should have outbreak management plans outlining how they would operate if any of the measures described within the contingency framework were recommended in their area for any reason.

Secondary schools and colleges should ensure their outbreak management plans cover the possibility that it is advised that face coverings should temporarily be worn more widely in settings in their area and that asymptomatic testing sites (ATS) may be required. Additional guidance has been issued to the Directors of Public Health advising that they work in partnership with schools and colleges before reinstating ATS. The green ‘How to Guide’ details how schools and colleges should set up and run an ATS, as they did in March 2021.

If settings are concerned about COVID-19 issues in their area and think additional measures in their setting may be required, they should discuss with their Local Authority, Department of Public Health or Health Protection Team.

The information below has not changed since our last update

Department for Education COVID-19 helpline

The Department for Education COVID-19 helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic can be accessed using the links below:

Guidance for early years and childcare providers
Guidance for schools
Guidance for further and higher education providers
Guidance for local authority children’s services
Guidance for special schools and other specialist settings

Supporting a child with anxiety and building resilience

I’d like to let you know about a series of free online workshops that we’re running to support parents/carers whose children may be struggling with anxiety, self-esteem and with showing resilience. 

The sessions are for small groups of parents/carers who would like to support a child who is troubled by anxious thoughts and behaviours, and to develop strategies to build resilience.

 Feedback from parents has been very positive:

 “Listened to our concerns and gave us some great advice and tools.”

“Gave me confidence in my parenting skills.”

“It was good to meet other parents going through similar things with their children.”

“Gave practical tips as well as reassurance. I feel I’m better able to support my child with their anxiety.”

Supporting a child with anxiety (2 x 75 minute sessions):

  • Recognise the signs of anxiety and anxious behaviours
  • Find the language to discuss worries with children
  • Get practical tips to support a child through anxious thinking. The sessions encourage parents to reflect on their responses to their child’s anxiety to help the family make progress

 Date of workshops:

Mondays 7 and 14 June 10-11.15am

Tuesdays 15 and 22 June 1-2.15pm   

 Building a child’s resilience (3 x 1 hour sessions):

  • Parents can learn ways to help a child to make sense of their feelings, not be overwhelmed by them and to self-regulate
  • Encourages parents to reflect on their expectations of their child
  • Shows parents how to build a positive mind-set in their child so they’re not afraid of failing   

Date of workshops:

Tuesdays 8, 15 and 22 June 10-11am

Tuesdays 29 June and 6 and 13 July 10-11am

Parents and carers can book by email:, or  by visiting Family learning online classroom (