The following are some of the major points included in Acts of Parliament which relate
to disability access and care.
The Children’s Act 1989
The Act enshrined the importance of the child being paramount, and under Section
17 of Part III it gives local authorities a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare
of children. A child with a disability or a child with a parent who is chronically
sick or disabled is included in the definition of a ‘child in need’.
Community Care Act 1990
This Act brought about huge changes in helping people who needed care and support
to live in the community with dignity and independence.
Carers Act 1995
This Act recognised the rights of carers but relied upon the service user being assessed.
Services were not necessarily offered to a carer. It assessed the carer’s ability
to continue to provide care.
Carers and Disabled Children’s Act 2000
This Act recognised the right of a carer to an Independent Carers Assessment and
considered the possibility of a carer’s need for services.
Disabled Facilities Grant (Statutory Instrument) 2002
If you or someone you care for and who lives in your property is disabled you may
qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of alterations and adaptations
to enable the person to remain in their home and be cared for. Grants are given by
the local authority under Part I of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration
Act. It is advisable to seek advice from a qualified person in relation to the work
that will need to be carried out.
Disability Discrimination Act 1996-2004
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA includes parts I, II and III) and its implementation
covers the period from 1996 – 2004. The Act aims to end the discrimination faced
by many disabled people. It gives rights to people with disabilities in employment,
access to goods and services and allows the government to set minimum standards so
that people can use public transport easily.
In part III, service providers may have to consider making permanent physical adjustments
to their premises.
Human Rights Act 1998
This act stated that everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall
be deprived of his/her life intentionally. Included under Article 14 is the Prohibition
of Discrimination, stating that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth
in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as
sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Several websites give more information about these Acts and Grants:
Advocacy is about being able to speak out about the things that matter to us and
having the support that we need to ensure that we are listened to. It is about having
choice and control over our lives.
Advocacy Partners is a leading independent organisation which has been providing
services to people with disabilities in south west London and Surrey since 1981.
It recruits, trains and supports volunteer advocates as well as employing staff,
to provide independent representation and to enable people to participate more fully
in the community.
For more information contact (between 9am-5pm):
Advocacy Partners in Croydon, c/o Heavers Farm Day Centre, 122-124 Selhurst Road
020 8771 6296
Advocacy Partners, McMillan House, 54 Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park, Surrey KT4
First Friday is a self advocacy group that meets every two months at Heavers Farm
Day Centre,122-124 Selhurst Road, SE25 6LL.
They discuss subjects suggested by members of the group and sometimes have speakers.
If you are interested in joining the group, phone one of the following contacts:
Wayne Bayliss020 8655 3484
Sedley Wilson020 8771 0325
Susan Kabia Smith020 8684 0831
Paul Welch020 8764 8822
Croydon People First is a self advocacy group run by and for adults with learning
difficulties. They meet once a month at Cornerstone House, Willis Road, Croydon and
new members are very welcome.They discuss issues of concern to their members and
sometimes have guest speakers.
Project Manager: Geraldine O’Shea
Croydon People First, St Oswald’s Parish Hall, St Oswald’s Road, Norbury SW16 3SB
To qualify for most Disability Benefits you must satisfy the rules about residence
and presence in Great Britain. This generally means that you have been ‘present and
ordinarily resident’ in Great Britain for not less than 26 weeks of the last 52 weeks.
This is a continuing test. It applies to any day for which you are claiming benefit.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
You can claim this Benefit from the age of three months until 65 years. To qualify
for DLA you need to prove that you have had the disability for at least three months.
There are two elements to DLA: the care component (high, middle and low) and the
mobility component(high and low).
If the child has reached 3 years of age and has already qualified for high rate care,
you can apply for high rate mobility. If not, you will need to wait until the child
is 5 years old to apply for the high or low rate. DLA is not means tested. It is
paid regardless of any other income or savings and is not taxable.
This is payable to people who care for a minimum of 35 hours per week. The person
you care for must be receiving either the DLA middle or high rate component of care,
or the Attendance Allowance (see below). You can earn up to £79 a week (2004-2005)
without the benefit being affected. You cannot claim this allowance if you are in
full-time education, ie attending a course for more than 21 hours per week.
If you are over 65 you can claim the allowance, but as it overlaps with the state
pension, only the higher of the two will be paid. The Carers Allowance is counted
as income and is taxable.
It is advisable to contact the Benefits Helpline for more advice:
If you are ill or severely disabled you can claim this Benefit if you are 65 years
and over. It can help you to pay for the extra costs that you incur in looking after
The allowance comes in two rates: high and low, depending on the level of care support
that you need. Mobility is not taken into account for Attendance Allowance. It is
not a means tested Benefit and is paid regardless of any savings or other income
you may receive. It is not taxable.
If you have a terminal illness you can apply for Attendance Allowance or Disability
Living Allowance under Special Rules.
You will need to have a Doctor’s certificate (DS1500) to confirm your condition and
your claim will be dealt with quickly, ie within two weeks.
This is an extra income which is included in the calculations to make up Income Support.
This Benefit is paid to you if you have a disability or an illness which prevents
you from working. There are two types of Incapacity Benefit: contributory and non-contributory.
If you have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions for 3 years prior to
your claim, this is classed as contributory.
Non-contributory incapacity benefit can be paid to young people under 20 (or in some
cases 25) who are incapable of working and who claim no later than the day before
their 20th birthday. These people are eligible for incapacity benefit without the
need for National Insurance contributions.
If you have any queries of a general nature regarding your benefits, or if you want
to find out what benefits you are entitled to, you can call the National Benefits
Helpline free on:
0800 882200(Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm)
To find out how your claim is progressing, or which date an Appeal has been set for,
you can call:
If you live in certain areas within the London Borough of Croydon, you may be able
to get help from the Croydon Benefits Helpline:
0800 731 5920Mondays, 2 – 7pm
Wednesdays, 11am – 2 pm
Fridays, 9am – 12 noon
Croydon Mencap provides a comprehensive benefit and welfare advice service, including
home visits and attendance at Appeal Tribunals.
Contact Terry Aylen, the Family Services Co-ordinator, for help with Council Tax
Rebates, Disability Living Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Carer Allowance
and the Blue Badge Scheme.
·Discounts for certain households (single occupancy, status disregard)
·Reductions for properties occupied by someone with a disability (disabled relief)
·Rebates for people on a low income (council tax benefit)
If there are fewer than two people living in a property, there is a discount of 25%
if someone lives alone and 50% if the property is empty. Certain people are considered
invisible when calculating how many people live in a property.
For example, carers are ‘invisible’ if they are living with and caring for a disabled
person who is not their spouse, co-habitee or child under 18. The disabled person
must receive the higher rate of Attendance Allowance or DLA care component and the
carer must be providing an average of at least 35 hours a week of care. More than
one person can be classed as a carer, and they don’t have to be receiving Carers
Reductions may be available if a property has been externally adapted or if someone
needs an extra room because of their disability (for example if a downstairs room
has been converted into a bedroom or an additional bathroom). In this case the Council
Tax will be calculated as if the property was in the next band down.
If you are on a low income you could qualify for Council Tax Benefit. If you receive
Income Support, you can apply for a full rebate. If you get Carers Allowance, you
may be eligible for extra Council Tax Benefit through the Carer Premium. Single people
paying Council Tax and living with someone on a low income can apply for Alternative
Maximum Council Tax Benefit (a second adult rebate).
For more details or to challenge a decision contact:
Council Tax Department
London Borough of Croydon, Municipal Offices, Fell Road, Croydon CR9 1BQ
Advances in screening and diagnosis have led to many people being aware that their
unborn child may be born disabled. However, this is not always the case as many forms
of learning disability are not detectable either during pregnancy or for some time
after the baby is born.
The usual pattern of contact with health services following delivery involves Midwifery
then Health Visitor services and your family GP. If there are any concerns about
the child’s health or development, they are often referred to other health professionals
for further assessment or advice, such as a paediatrician, physiotherapist, speech
and language therapist, or clinical nurse specialist for children with special needs,
Social services are also able to offer advice and support if your child has needs
that are not related to their health. They can be contacted at the Initial Contact
Service based at Taberner House (020 8686 4433), who will advise if your child is
eligible for any type of service or special equipment.
Other agencies and voluntary groups who might be able to offer support and guidance
and practical assistance are listed under Local Support Groups & Organisations or
Also, you can phone Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) to find out more about voluntary
and parent-led groups.
020 8684 3862
Crystal Centre for Children’s Services
This is the base for a number of health services for children including audiology,
speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Referrals for
assessments can be made by a health professional such as the child’s GP or health
020 8274 6854
Social Services – for Children with Disabilities
Can be contacted at:
Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 2BA
020 8686 4433
Through the Children’s Services Division of Social Services, the Council provides
support to promote and safeguard the welfare of children in need.
Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 defines children in need as follows:
·He/she is unlikely to achieve or maintain – or to have the opportunity of achieving
or maintaining – a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision
for him/her of services by a local authority under this part;
·His/her health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further
impaired, without the provision of such services;
·He/she is disabled.
The Services for Children with Disabilities comprises an Assessment and Child Care
Team, Resource Team and a residential respite unit at Calleydown. Croydon offers
a range of services for children/young people with a disability who meet the eligibility
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for one of the above services, a child/young person must:
·Be living within the borough of Croydon;
·Be under 18 years old;
·Have a permanent and substantial disability and be assessed by a social worker from
the Assessment Team of the Services for Children with Disabilities, as being in need
of one or more of these services.
Disabilities include learning, physical and multiple disabilities (which may include
health needs). It excludes unrelated emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties.
Any child/young person who appears to be eligible will be assessed, but only those
who are considered to meet the necessary criteria can be offered support.
Once a child/young person is accepted as eligible, there may be a waiting period
because services are allocated according to need and availability.
Services might include one or more of the following:
·Short breaks (home based) where a child/young person visits the carer’s home for
a few hours or for an overnight stay
·Domiciliary care where a carer visits the home of the child/young person
·School holiday schemes and a Saturday Scheme
·Calleydown (a local residential unit providing day care and overnight stays)
·Special placements (in cases where none of the above services are appropriate or
·Support via an independent agency or Direct Payments
Occupational Therapy Services
Services for Children with Disabilities works in close co-operation with the Croydon
Primary Care Trust. If you have a child/young person who has a permanent and substantial
disability who requires aids or equipment and/or has a need for adaptations to your
home, Health Trust staff will assess the need and organise appropriate services.
Occupational Therapy Services are based at:
47 St James Road, Croydon CR0 2UR
020 8684 4254
If Social Services are told by anyone that a child or young person (from newborn
babies to 17 year olds) is at risk of or is actually experiencing significant harm,
the law states that they must make enquiries.
Everyone in the community has a responsibility to protect children, and members of
the public are encouraged to report an incident if they think a child is at risk.
Professionals who work with children – for example teachers, health visitors and
doctors – have a duty to report suspected abuse or neglect to Social Services.
Enquiries are then carried out by staff from the Assessment, Child Care, Children’s
Disability or Leaving Care & Independence sections, and in some cases they need to
work with specially trained police officers. The initial aim of the enquiry is to
establish whether a child is suffering or is likely to suffer ‘significant harm’.
If you suspect that a child is at risk contactSocial Services – Children’s Services
020 8686 4433
Or if it is an emergency phone the Police on:
Other agencies to contact for advice are:
Weston House, 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH
0800 800 5000
Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 1QG
020 8550 8822
Studd Street, London N1 0QW
Children’s Disability Register
What is it for?
The Register is a list of children who have a disability and who receive – or may
one day need to use – services from Health, Social Services, Education or voluntary
organisations. It helps the Council plan local services for disabled children and
young people, eg leisure activities, short breaks, etc, and is a contact point for
important milestones such as transition to adult services.
Who can register?
You can register your child if he/she is under 18 years old and has a disability.
No one has to register, but parents of all children with a disability are encouraged
to as it helps plan services for the future. When you register, you can choose to
leave out certain questions if you wish. If you are the parent or guardian of a disabled
child you can fill in the registration form. If you are a disabled young person aged
16-18 you can fill it in yourself, or get someone you know to help you.
Who sees the information?
The Register is kept on a computer. It contains statistical information – figures
only with no names – and is given to organisations who ask for it. Personal information
can be given only to certain people in Health, Education or Social Services who need
to know it.
For further information contact:
Register Services, Orchard Hill, Fountain Drive, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 4NN
020 8770 8254
Children’s Information Service provides information about child care providers, childminders,
day nurseries, nursery schools, out-of-school care, holiday schemes, and pre-school
is a statutory educational service for parents/carers and schools as prescribed by
the Special Education Needs Code of Practice 2001. They particularly support parents/carers
(and those with a legal responsibility) of children with Special Educational Needs
The CPPS aims to provide information and advice that is independent, neutral and
confidential on all aspects of Special Educational Needs/Disabilities, the SEN framework
and local education policy.It can also help parents/carers to resolve disagreements,
and provides information on local mediation, the Disagreement Resolution Service
and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
For more information contact:
Croydon Parent Partnership Service
Strand House, Nursery Road, Croydon CR7 8RE
(NB This service may move in the future)
020 8656 6551
Sure Start is an organisation which brings together both statutory and voluntary
agency workers, and the local community, to promote and secure healthy development
and learning opportunities for young children under four and their families.
It does this by providing a wide range of services in partnership with local parent
and community groups, and particularly seeks to engage those families who do not
currently access services because they are experiencing difficulties.
For more information contact:
The Programme Manager,
89 London Road, Croydon CR0 2RF
020 8649 8441
Portage and Early Childhood
Portage can begin when a child is a few months old and support can continue until
the child enters an educational placement. The Portage Worker visits the child’s
home weekly and works with the parent. The Portage checklist is used to establish
a baseline of the child’s current abilities.
Portage teaching breaks down tasks and skills into small steps so that they can be
made into daily activities and provide appropriate learning activities.
Early childhood support is offered to children who are referred during the year before
they are due to enter nursery or reception class. It can provide a block of up to
six weekly visits to assess the child and give educational advice to parents, as
appropriate. This service can be accessed through the Special Educational Needs Support
Service (see below).
Special Educational Needs Support Service (SENSS) is part of the Integrated Support
Service consisting of teachers, nursery nurses and specialist teaching assistants
who have a wide range of qualifications and experience of working with pupils with
special educational needs.
The service can be contacted at:
Davidson Professional Centre, Davidson Road, Croydon CR0 6DD
Rutherford School – an independent school for children aged 2-12 years with profound
and multiple learning difficulties, physical disabilities and complex medical needs.
Contact the Garwood Foundation for more details:
020 8681 0460
Croydon Opportunity Pre-School Group provides pre-school faciliites for children
with speical needs and their famlies. They are based at:
South Norwood020 8654 3975
Selsdon020 8651 4760
Croydon Community Childminding Networks
Network Childminders care for children with additional needs and are part of a nationally
recognised quality assured scheme approved by the National Child Minding Association
(NCMA), the Department of Education and Skills and Ofsted.
Each Childminder accesses further training on an ongoing basis to meet the needs
of individual children as well as for their own personal development. They also receive
regular visits from their co-ordinator.
These support visits (about every 8-10 weeks) can document a high standard of care,
which help reassure parents that the service they receive from a Network Childminder
is above the minimum National Standards.
Only childminders who are part of a Network can apply to become accredited and be
eligible to draw down Educational Funding for any 3 and 4 year olds in their care.
Network Childminders can access a toy library and sensory room; use the equipment
lending scheme and many other resources. They also have their co-ordinator for support
and advice, as well as other members of the Early Years Team including Portage.
Outings and other events are held throughout the year giving opportunities to meet
other childminders and their children, and are always open to parents.
For more information please contact:
Childminding Networks Development Officer
020 8239 4485
or the Children’s Information Service
0845 1111 100
Crossroads provides a service for children who may not already be receiving a service,
and parents/carers can self refer by contacting:
Croydon Crossroads Ltd, 410 Brighton Road, South Croydon CR2 6AN
Connexions is a service providing information, advice and support for all 13-19 year
Young people with Special Educational Needs can continue to receive help from Connexions
up to their 25th birthday, should they require it.
The service allows young people to access information, support and practical help
by linking up many different agencies and services to help them make important decisions
which affect their lives.
Connexions Croydon Centre,
112-114 High Street, Croydon CR0 1ND
Open:Monday to Thursday, 9am – 5pm
Friday, 10.30am – 5pm
020 8401 0301
National Bureau for Students with Disabilities (SKILL) is an organisation which provides
opportunities and support for students with disabilities in post-16 education, and
training for employment.
0800 328 5050
Croydon College offers part-time and full-time courses for young people and adults
with learning disabilities. The college works closely with organisations such as
New Directions, Status Employment, the Shaw Trust, etc.
A week-long Skills Link Summer School programme gives prospective students the opportunity
to experience college and to discuss suitable education options.
For further information contact:
Croydon College, College Road, Croydon CR9 1DX
020 8686 5700
Carshalton College – also runs courses for students with special needs
CETS (Continuing Education and Training Service) provides information, advice, guidance
and support for adults with learning disabilities who would like to join a CETS course.
CETS offers a range of courses particularly designed for adults with a learning disability,
many of which are accredited, as well as the opportunity to join in the main programme
of courses. The service works closely with group homes and individuals.
If you are new to CETS, contact Learner Support to make an appointment with the Learner
Support Co-ordinator who will give guidance about courses, arrange visits, and identify
any support needs.
Contact (between 9am–4.30pm):
Learner Support Disability, South Norwood CET Centre, Sandown Road, South NorwoodSE25
Community Learning Disability Team(including Care Management)
The Joint Community Learning Disability Team (JCLDT) is a team of staff from a range
of professional backgrounds who support adults with a learning disability, and their
carers, living in Croydon.
The team is made up of staff from both Croydon Social Services and Surrey Oaklands
NHS Trust working together to ensure people’s needs are met:
Adult Placement Officers, Care Managers, Independent Living Officers, Community Learning
Disability Nurses, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Dieticians, Art and Music Therapists,
Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists.
The aim of the JCLDT is to ensure that adults with learning disabilities living in
Croydon (and those from Croydon living elsewhere) receive the essential health and
social services required to maintain their health and live free from abuse, unacceptable
risks and neglect of basic needs, in liaison with other professionals.
People are eligible for assessment by the JCLDT if:
1.They are over 18 and a Croydon resident; and
2.The person has a learning disability which was present before the age of 18, as
defined by a recognised assessment such as:
a)A psychological assessment;
b)A Statement of Education Needs;
c)Medical diagnosis of condition; and
3.As a result of the learning disability, the person has significant functional restriction
in capacity for independent living which may include severe restricted capacity in
one of the following activities:
Self care, communication and language, mobility, accessing mainstream services, accessing
a support network, social functioning.
To make a referral for any of the services provided by the Team, you can phone or
JCLDT, Rees House, 2 Morland Rd, Croydon CR0 6NA
020 8239 4441/2
An initial assessment will then be arranged to ensure that eligibility criteria for
the appropriate services are met, and to identify needs.
If your need is urgent, telephone Taberner House on:
020 8686 4433
If you provide a substantial and regular amount of care for a relative, partner or
friend, or you have parental responsibility for a child with a disability, you have
a legal right to request a Carers Assessment.
There are two Acts which you may wish to refer to: The Carers Act 1995 and the Carers
and Disabled Children’s Act 2000.See Acts of Parliament section
The Department of Health’s carers website has a wealth of information including the
leaflet A Carer’s Guide to a Carers Assessment which can be downloaded in Arabic,
Bengali, Chinese, Greek Gujarati, Punjabi, Somali, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese,
as well as English.
For general information on Carers Assessments, visit the website:
If you are a carer and want to have an assessment, contact the JCLDT on:
020 8239 4441/2
Independent Living Fund
If your needs or those of the person you care for have not been fully met after the
assessment, it may be possible for Social Services to refer the case to the Independent
Living Fund. This national fund pays for extra care for people aged 16 to 65 with
very severe disabilities.
0845 601 8815Mon–Thurs, 9am-4.30pm
Advice, support and information for older carers of people who have a learning disability
Christine Rickells, JCLDT (Monday – Wednesday)
Rees House, 2 Morland Road, Croydon CR0 6NA
020 8239 4200
Christine is a Care Manager and arranges assessments, reviews and appropriate services
for the person with a learning disability, and reports back to social services management
about issues and service needs of older carers.
Local organisations should let her know if they have any issues concerning older
All organisations – whether private, voluntary or statutory – should have a Complaints
If you wish to make a complaint or a suggestion about a particular service, organisation
or person, you should ask the organisation concerned for a copy of its Complaints
This document will describe how it will deal with your complaint – which could be
informal or formal – and will set out specific timescales within which it has to
respond. Each organisation has its own procedure.
If after going through the complaints procedure carried out by the organisation you
are still not satisfied with the conclusion, you have the right to contact an external
body which will be named within the Complaints Procedure.
If your complaint is about Social Services, and you have gone through their complaints
procedure, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can
investigate complaints where there has been maladministration such as unreasonable
delay, or failure to follow proper procedures. You can do this up to 12 months after
Croydon Mencap is a local society affiliated to national Mencap but is independently
run by a Board of Directors. It is a registered charity and raises its own funds.
It works with people at a local level providing activities and advice in a variety
·Benefits and Welfare Advice
·Children’s Play Centre
·Saturday Social Club and Sports Club
·Monday Evening Social Club
A variety of social and fundraising events are organised throughout the year and
a bi-monthly Newsletter is sent to all its members.
Direct Payments are cash payments that enable people to buy for themselves services
that would otherwise be arranged directly by the Social Services Department. With
this option, community care service users will have more independence, choice and
control over their care arrangement.
Who can have Direct Payments?
Direct Payments can be offered to all people aged 18 and over; this includes unpaid
carers, parents/ parental guardians of a disabled child, 16 and 17 year olds with
a disability who are:
·Receiving (or about to receive) community care services
·Willing and able to manage such payments (independently or with assistance)
What can Direct Payments be used for?
Direct Payments can be used to purchase personal care or help with domestic tasks
inside and outside the home, eg dressing/undressing, having a shower or bath, preparing
a meal, doing housework, going shopping, going to college, etc.
At present, Direct Payments cannot be used to purchase equipment or day care services.
Can you get Direct Payments and Services?
Yes, you can have money to buy some help yourself, and still receive other services
in the usual way.
If you choose Direct Payments you will be responsible for arranging the services
·If you choose to employ someone directly to assist you, you will have specific responsibilities
as an employer but you will be offered professional advice and support to help you
fulfil your obligations.
·If you choose to use a Care Agency to provide all the services you require you will
not have to employ your own staff and you will be offered advice when choosing a
·You will need to open a separate bank or building society account into which the
payments will be made; keep financial records and submit regular returns to the Council.
You can contact the Direct Payments Support Service who can provide information about
direct payments when you are considering the different service options. The Service
can assist you in the initial stages and offer support as and when advice, information
and training are required.
Each Job Centre Plus has a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) who has experience
of meeting the requirements of disabled people seeking employment. The DEA will establish
any training and work preparation requirements, as well as identifying potential
The local officers can be contacted at:
17-21 Dingwall Road, Croydon CR9 2TN
020 8700 8369
Thornton Heath Office
72 High Street, Croydon CR4 8YY
020 8918 5695
24 Whytecliffe Road South, Purley CR8 2YU
020 8700 8269
Other agencies who may be able to help you are:
6 West Way Gardens, Shirley, Croydon CR0 8RA
020 8655 3344
Status Employment offers a supported employment service helping people with disabilities
to find and retain paid jobs. Time is spent getting to know the person individually
before beginning the job search, and help with CVs is provided together with mock-interview
practice and attendance at interviews, if required.
3 Imperial Way, Croydon CR0 4RR
020 8255 5468
Crosfield provides paid employment in light industrial work for people with disabilities.
Anyone interested in working there needs to be referred by a Disability Employment
Advisor based at a Job Centre. For further information phone Crosfield.
The Shaw Trust
95 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HR
020 7960 2480
Local Contact, based at Croydon College:
Phil Carter – 020 8633 1554
The Shaw Trust is a national charity that provides training and work opportunities
for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health
or other social circumstances.
c/o Cherry Orchard Centre, 171 St James’s Road, Croydon CR0 2BY
If you have any large items of furniture you no longer need, there are several furniture
projects operating in Croydon who may be able to help you. They can usually arrange
to collect items from you, which they will then sell to raise funds for community
projects, or pass on to vulnerable people who may be setting up in their own accommodation.
Cherry Orchard Furniture Project
171 St James’ Road, Croydon CR0 2BY
020 8689 2625
The Community Furniture Project
13a Mayo Road, Croydon CR0 2QP
020 8689 9490
Mind Furniture Project
020 8768 1222
If you have any smaller items to dispose of, charity shops are usually happy to take
good quality items for sale in their shops.
(formerly Croydon Sutton & District Spastics Society)
The Garwood Foundation provides a range of services for both children and adults
Rutherford School – an independent school for children aged 2-12 years with profound
and multiple learning difficulties, physical disabilities and complex medical needs.
The Bramley Hill Centre – a day centre for adults 18+ with severe and multiple disabilites
providing them with a place to work and the opportunity to develop their individual
skils and abilities.
Jean Garwood House – a residential home for 14 adults with severe and multiple disabilities.
Three of the residents share an independent living training flat wich is used as
a stepping stone for independent living in the community. Jean Garwood House also
provides respite care for one person at a time.
Welfare Support Service – an independent support service for children and adults
with disabilities, their families and carers.
NHS Direct is a confidential telephone service which you can phone if you are feeling
unwell and need advice from a nurse, or for health advice and information. They can
also tell you where to find your nearest doctor, pharmacist, dentist or support group.
NHS Walk-in Centre – 45 High Street, Croydon
020 8666 0555
Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays 9am–10pm
Primary Care Trust (for community health services)
Knollys House, 17 Addiscombe Rd, Croydon CR0 6SR
020 8274 6000
You need to register with a local GP in order to access basic health care. If you
have a problem in doing so, or if you need general advice, contact the Patient Advice
and Liaison Service (PALS):
020 8274 6333
There are three other contact numbers for PALS which you can access if you need help
or advice, depending on which service you are using:
020 8401 3210Mayday Hospital
0800 731 2864South London and Maudsley Trust (SLAM)
01372 204191Surrey Oaklands
Learning Disability Nurses can also offer support and advice. See Community Nurses
If you have gone into hospital, the Joint Community Learning Disability Team may
not know you have been admitted, but social workers at the hospital will liaise with
the Team when you are due to leave, should you need ongoing support at home.
People leaving hospital should have a hospital discharge plan which includes:
·The name of a specific member of staff at the hospital who is responsible for checking
that the patient is discharged properly.
·Details of any support, help, equipment or adaptations which are to be set up before
discharge, and information about who is responsible for their provision.
·Details of any contacts to be made to community health services, eg GP, District
Nurse, Social Worker/Care Manager.
If you are a carer of someone being discharged from hospital, you should be given
at least 24 hours notice before they are sent home. If you are not happy with the
way the person you care for is to be discharged, you can contact the PALS service
Although this Guide is primarily aimed towards people with learning disabilities
we know that some people with learning disabilities also experience mental health
difficulties at various times in their lives. In the first instance you may want
to talk things over with your GP, who should be able to advise you on who else to
contact, if necessary.
Or you may choose to seek advice from the Joint Community Learning Disability Team
(JCLDT). They may suggest a referral to the Team’s psychiatrist.
Contact the JCLDT on:
020 8239 4441/2
Other useful contacts:
MIND in Croydon
26 Pampisford Road, Croydon
The Mental Health Foundation
Containers House, 9th Floor, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9QB
TheMental Health Foundationis a leading UK charity working in mental health and learning
disability, pioneering research and community projects. It aims to improve the support
available for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.
Sexual Health and Relationships
From time to time you may feel that you need help or support with your personal life
or relationships. Talking things over with your friends or family could help, but
you may wish to speak to someone privately, outside your immediate circle of friends
If so, you can contact the JCLDT on:
020 8239 4441/2
and they can put you in touch with the most appropriate agency, for example Community
They can also offer advice about sexual health screening and family planning.
Also there are some voluntary organisations who may be able to offer you advice or
support, depending on your particular need.
A useful website to visit is:
(then go to personal & sexual relationships)
This Department of Health website now incorporates SPOD, which was an organisation
providing information and counselling on sex, personal relationships and disability.
Sexual Health Information Line
0800 567 1233
3rd Floor, 24-32 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HP
This a national organisation providing a range of services to victims and perpetrators
of sexual abuse who have learning disabilities. It also provides training and support
to those working with them.
Respond Helpline0808 808 0700
Community Continence Advisor can give information and advice, or arrange an assessment.
Parkway Health Centre, Parkway, New Addington, Croydon CR0 0JA
The range of options available in Croydon are summarised below and described in more
detail in the publication Leaving Home, Moving On: Housing Options for People with
Learning Disabilities in Croydonwhich can be obtained by contacting:
But how do I find out what is right for me.........?
It is important that you think about what sort of housing you will need (for example,
do you want to live on your own or share with other people?) and whether you will
If you think that you will be able to live independently, with the support of your
family and friends, then you should get a Housing Application Form from Croydon’s
Housing Department so that you register the fact that you need accommodation. You
should include any information about having a learning disability on this form as
this may mean you are given some priority as being vulnerable under the Housing Act.
There are quite long waiting lists for housing but registering as early as possible
To get a form and find out more about your options you can contact:
If you feel you will need support then it is important that you have your needs assessed
by a care manager from the Joint Community Learning Disability Team. The care manager
will work out with you what level of support you will require and what type of housing
and support package will best suit your needs, and will also help you to fill in
Housing Application Forms etc.
Joint Community Learning Disability Team
Rees House, 2 Morland Road, Croydon CR0 6NA
020 8239 4446/7
The main housing and support options that you may want to choose from are summarised
Registered Care (regulated by the Commission for Social Care Inspection)
Registered Care Homes are generally larger than group homes (see below) and can have
twenty or more residents, although many are much smaller with typically three to
nine residents. Personal care and full board are provided, and there’s usually 24-hour
A list of the registered care homes accredited with Croydon Council is available
The Social Services Contract Unit
020 686 4433 ext 62807
and the Inspection Reports are available on the Commission for Social Care Inspection
In an Adult Placement Scheme (sometimes called ‘adult fostering’), the local authority
supports and supervises families who provide a place in their own home, some of which
are registered. Someone less disabled may be in supported lodging in an adult placement
scheme, where they rent a room or bed-sit in a family home and receive minimal support.
The Croydon Adult Placement Scheme can be contacted on:
020 8686 4433 ext. 63516
Supported Housing takes many forms – it means any type of housing and support which
is not a registered care home. Although not inspected and regulated in the same way
as registered homes there are systems for checking that these services are safe and
of good quality:
·support agencies which provide personal care are registered with and inspected by
the Commission for Social care Inspection
·there is a Supporting People Team in each local authority which is responsible for
monitoring the quality of supported housing schemes
·the social and health care staff from the local learning disability team continue
to support and review people who take up places in supported housing schemes
Group Homes (or shared housing) are usually smaller than registered care homes, with
three or four people sharing. Support staff either visit regularly, or are there
during the day and sometimes also overnight as well. People who live there have tenancies
and may do their own shopping, cooking and housework, with help from staff.
Cluster Units, either on one site (like sheltered housing for older people) or occasionally
spread across a neighbourhood. Support staff are usually on hand and there may be
shared facilities such as a laundry and communal lounge. This type of housing is
often suitable for people who want to live more independently than in a home but
still have some support. Flats or bed-sits are self-contained.
Individual Placements/RentingMore people with learning disabilities are now renting
properties from local authorities, housing associations, or private landlords and
receiving “outreach” support - this means that someone will visit regularly and help
with various aspects of daily living. There are also a few companies who specialise
in renting to people with learning disabilities. Alternatively, if the family home
is rented, your son or daughter may be able to take over the tenancy. Renting is
not just an option for less disabled people, as there are several ways in which funding
can be obtained for round-the-clock carers.
The NHS in Croydon provides interpreting services in more than 50 languages, including
British Sign Language, for patients who are non-English speaking. This help can be
given either over the phone or in person.
If you, or someone you know, needs this service, tell a member of NHS staff and they
will make the arrangements.
If you are using the NHS Direct telephone service, tell the person on the line which
language you speak, and an interpreter will be connected to the line within a few
If you need help in accessing the services in this Guide, please ask an English-speaking
person to contact the Learning Disability Team at Taberner House.
For information on a variety of art, music, drama and video activities contact:
020 7209 4289
Croydon Contacts provides supported leisure activities for young people aged 11-18
with special needs. They also have an 18-plus club for adults with learning disabilities.
The group is currently in a transitional stage, and hopes to provide other services
in the near future.
Croydon Mencap runs clubs for different age groups and abilities:
·Saturday Social Club (twice a month)
·Saturday Sports Club (once a month)
·Evening Social Club (weekly)
·Youth Club (weekly)
For more information contact Croydon Mencap at:
60-61 Leslie Park Road, Croydon CR0 6TP
020 8662 9201
A social club for young adults with learning disabilities, providing music, dance,
entertainment, cooking, crafts, games and other activities.
The club is held at St John’s Church, Bensham Manor Rd, Thornton Heath on Wednesday
020 8684 4808
Diamond Riding Centre
Woodmansterne Road, Carshalton SM5 4DT
If you are interested in horse riding, contact the office Monday to Friday, 9am and
5pm. There is a high demand for places so you may be put on a waiting list.
020 8643 7764
Heart n Soul isan arts organisation led by people with learning disabilities. Among
other activities, they regularly hold a disco – The Beautiful Octopus Club – at Croydon
Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon.
Booking Office at the Clocktower – 020 8253 1030
For more information contact:
Heart 'n Soul, The Deptford Albany, Douglas Way,
London SE8 4AG
020 8694 1632
Magpie Dance is an inclusive group of dancers with and without learning disabilities
who work with artists, giving performances and under-taking dance classes and workshops
in and around London. Their aim is to encourage people of all abilities to take a
full and integrated part in the artistic life of the community through dance.
If you would like further details about dance classes, workshops or performances,
Avril Hitman020 8467 3331 or
John Cutting020 8657 0558
They now also have a Youth Group targeted at the 16-25 age group.
If you would like more information about the youth group, contact:
David Nurse01245 475770 or
The Phab Club
A club for people with physical and learning disabilities.
Dering Place, Croydon CR0 1DT
020 8760 0361
The Croydon Sports Partnership promotes and provides sports opportunities for young
people and adults with special needs. The Partnership runs beginner, intermediate
and advanced swimming clubs and a weekend sports club during term time for young
people aged 8–19 years.
During holiday periods, the RAP schemes take place also for young people aged 8–19
years, and these offer the chance to try a wide variety of sports including swimming.
For adults there is the opportunity to join established athletics and cycling clubs.
For more information contact:
Pearl Sethna, Sports Development Officer, Disabilities, Croydon Sports Partnership,
Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 1ET
Provides inexpensive childcare facilities, including a nursery, breakfast club, after
school club and holiday club.
Croydon Voluntary Action
97 High Street, Thornton Heath CR7 8RY
020 8684 3862
CVA is the Council of Voluntary Service for the Borough of Croydon, serving as the
umbrella organisation for voluntary and community groups. It provides information,
practical services, support and training, and aims to promote and develop effective
voluntary action and community activity within the borough.
Open 9am – 5pm
St Oswald’s Parish Hall, St Oswald’s Road, Norbury SW16 3SB
020 8764 8822
Provides information, advice and advocacy to people with disabilities in Croydon,
·Support for community projects and social enterprises run by people with disabilities;
·An alternative format service – large print, tape, disk or Braille translations;
·Members bi-monthly bulletin giving updates on current disability issues;
·RADAR keys for accessible toilets;
·Themed open meetings on disability issues;
·Disability equality training and access consultancy;
·Training in assistive computer technology.
Downs Syndrome Support Group
26 West Hill, Sanderstead CR2 0SA
020 8651 6198 – Daphne Jones (Croydon)
020 8642 3720 – Shirley Quemby (South London)
Face to Face
Based at Home Start – 020 8667 0207
Offers a free one-to-one confidential befriending service to parents of children
with a disability who are coming to terms with their child’s diagnosis or who are
in a crisis. All befrienders are themselves parents of children with a disability,
who have been through a training programme.
Open 9am – 4pm
The Garwood Foundation
1a Melville Avenue, South Croydon CR2 7HZ
020 8681 0460
See Garwood Foundation section for details
72 Coxwell Road, Upper Norwood, SE19 3AF
020 8771 0907
Provides child and family support, a drop-in service for parents, 10am – 12noon,
and after school sessions.
Wallis House, 42 South Park Hill Road, South Croydon CR2 7DU
020 8667 0207
Offers free support, friendship and practical help to families with at least one
child under five. Families are visited regularly in their own homes by volunteers
who have all had experience of parenting.
Parents in Partnership, Croydon
26 West Hill, Sanderstead CR2 0SA
020 8651 6198
A network of parents of children with special needs, working with all agencies involved
with their families.
Parent to Parent
Waterside Centre, 26 Avenue Road, South Norwood SE25 4DX
A support group offering information and support to parents of a child/young person
with a disability/special needs, in a friendly relaxed environment. Under-fives welcome.
Occasional social events. Phone for details.
Race Equality Partnership Croydon
020 8688 8122
An independent voluntary organisation funded by Croydon Council and the Commission
for Racial Equality. It aims to challenge racial discrimination and promote equal
opportunity in the borough. If you feel that you have been treated differently or
abused because of your race, you can call them for assistance and support.
Shrublands in LeaF House
25 Shrublands Avenue, Shirley CR0 8JD
020 8777 1855
Arranges support services for families with young children.
Sickle Cell/Thalassaemia Centre
316-320 Whitehorse Road, Croydon CR0 2LE
020 8251 7229
Counselling, information, advice, screening and support to clients and their families/carers.
1 Ramsay Court, Church Street, Croydon CR0 1RF
020 8688 5151
Family support services for unsupported parents and their children.
Based at Cornerstone House, 14 Willis Road, Croydon CR0 2XX
Contact:Anita DavidsonMobile: 07976 912 915
Organisations in Croydon linking together to support families with a disabled member.
A call to What’s New! will direct you to the most appropriate services.
Mencap is the leading national charity working with and for people with a learning
disability and their families and carers. It campaigns for equal rights and greater
opportunities, and challenges attitudes and prejudice. It provides advice and support
to meet people's needs throughout their lives. It also runs several Mencap Homes
throughout the country.
A network of more than 1,000 Local Societies are affiliated to the national body,
and are supported at district level by the Community Support Teams.
The regional Community Support Team seeks to improve the daily lives of people with
a learning disability by supporting the national campaigns and by developing an active
network of local groups and individual members. The team comprises three Support
Officers for local groups in London, two District Development Officers and a Gateway
Award and Leisure Officer.
The following are national charities/organisations, helplines and other useful contacts.
ASBAH (Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus)
42 Park Road, Peterborough PE1 2UQ
Offers advice and information to individuals with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus
and their families. It has a network of area advisers covering most of the country
and works with around 50 local associations.
Asian Child Protection Helpline
0800 096 7719
A helpline run by the NSPCC
Asian Health Agency
Suite B, Fairfield Works, Fairfield Road, Hounslow TW3 1UZ
020 8538 7703
See The National Autistic Society
Providence House, Providence Place, London N1 0NT
020 7226 2260
Asthma Helpline – 0845 701 0203
Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm
The National Autistic Society
393 City Road, London EC1V 1NG
020 7833 2299
Autism Helpline – 0845 070 4004
Monday to Friday, 10am–4pm
ADHD UK Alliance (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
c/o Contact a Family, 209-211 City Road, London EC1V 1JN
020 7608 8700
Helpline – 0808 808 3555
Local Co-ordinator: Alison Whyman at Victoria House – 020 8686 0383
British Institute of Learning Disability (BILD)
Campion House, Green Street, Kidderminster,
Worcestershire DY10 1JL
An organisation committed to improving the quality of life for people in the UK with
a learning disability.
VIA campaigns for the right of people with learning disabilities to lead ordinary
lives in the community. It carries out research, provides information and advice,
runs conferences and training for people with learning disabilities.
The Wolfson Centre
Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AP
020 7837 7618
Independent assessment of communication and mobility needs.
A variety of specialist equipment is available if you have difficulty with daily
living skills. Many items are free, and available through the occupational or physiotherapy
department of the health service.
The Disabled Living Foundation has a helpline which offers advice on what equipment
may be needed to enable you to live more independently. It also provides training
for health workers and a comprehensive database on what equipment is available:
0845 130 9177
Croydon Staying Put is a Home Improvement Agency for elderly, disabled or vulnerable
people. It gives advice on improving or adapting your property to enable you to stay
in your own home, and also on safety issues.
They can be contacted through:
Environmental Services, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3BT
020 8760 5505
BT customers who have a chronic long-term illness or disability may be eligible for
BT’s Priority Repair Service, if your telephone is a vital emergency link to family,
friends and carers.
The service safeguards your line free-of-charge, and faults are dealt with as a priority
– day or night, at weekends or over Bank Holidays.
0800 800 150
Other telephone companies may have similar schemes.
Disability Equipment Register
National register of used disability equipment. Also publishes a monthly subscription
magazine to enable people to buy and sell on a one-to-one basis.
In order to access Adult Respite Services provided by Croydon Social Services, you
need to contact JCLDT.
See Community Learning Disability Team section.
The options for Respite are:
Overnight respite stays at
Heather Way and Craignish
Domiciliary Support – someone to come and sit in your home, or to take out the person
you care for.
Direct Payments – these can be given to the individual for him/her to buy the services
that he/she chooses to have, which may not be traditional respite-type services.
This has to be agreed through Care Management.
Also, see Leisure as some of these activities provide a break for carers.
You may also self-refer to providers such as Croydon Crossroads and other private
respite care providers. Unless funded by Carers’ Grant Funding, you may be expected
to pay the cost.
Crossroads provides trained support workers who will either sit with or take out
the person you care for in order to give you, the carer, a break.
Currently Crossroads provides short breaks for carers, where a support worker can
provide a break of between two hours to two weeks. This service is free to the carer
as it is presently funded through the Carers’ Grant.
In April 2005 Croydon Crossroads is working in partnership with McMillan Cancer Relief
to provide respite care to carers in situations where the cared for person has a
life-limiting illness (not necessarily cancer). You may self-refer to this service.
The London Taxicard scheme offers Londoners with a mobility impairment reduced fares
in black cabs. To qualify you must have a long term or permanent illness or disability
which prevents you from using or significantly limits your use of pubic transport.
The scheme is not available to people who suffer temporary disabilities, for example
a broken leg.
The cabs in the scheme carry ramps and are accessible to wheelchair users. The Taxicard
may be used for any type of journey, for example shopping, visiting friends or GP
appointments. It should not be used for hospital appointments, as the health authority
should provide transport for these.
Your Taxicard can be used anytime, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, subject to taxi
availability and trip limits. The number of Taxicard trips is currently being reviewed.
It is very important to make a will, but leaving money to someone with a learning
disability may change their entitlement to benefits. Seek advice from a solicitor
or other agency offering legal advice.
For advice about wills and other legal issues contact:
Mencap Legal Service,
123 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0RT
020 7454 0454
The Disability Law Service provides free advice on setting up a will or trust for
disabled people, their families and carers.