Coronavirus help and support page

To help support families during the coronavirus crisis, we have gathered as much information and as many helpful resources as we can onto this page.

This page includes links to –

– official government advice

– resources from DCP organisations

– resources relating to particular conditions

– regional specific resources

– helplines and other sources of advice and guidance

This page will develop over time as advice and resources are developed; and as you tell us what you would like more information about.

If you have any comments on this page, please email

If you know of any further resources you would like to see here, please email both and

If you have any questions for government, please email  The Council for Disabled Children will be collating these questions and sending them to the Government.  They will also be publishing a weekly “Frequently Asked Questions” newsflash. Sign up for the newsflash here.

Official government advice

The government has published a range of advice for families; for schools; and for local authorities.  The Council for Disabled Children have pulled together the key guidance here.

Resources, information and ideas for activities

Advice from Contact, including on health, education and benefits.

Advice and support from Scope.

Advice and support from Mencap, including an Easy Read Guide.

A collection of information and support from Sense in a range of accessible formats, including British Sign Language and Easy Read.

Information about grants for families from the Family Fund.

Special Needs Jungle latest coronavirus information.

Coronavirus and the SEND Law, including a collated e-book, from lawyer Hayley Mason on Special Needs Jungle.

Advice to support people to stay well when socially distancing and for families to support their children from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists

A range of resources – including a virtual timetable – and links to support from Swings and Smiles

30 day challenge – easy to do activities with the kids every day, including videos and live sessions – from Swings and Smiles.

Swings and Smiles blog on mental health for parents.

Information from Sibs for parents of young siblings, along with a mini-blog for siblings of disabled children staying at home

Inclusive play toolkit and a YouTube video with ideas for fun activities whilst staying at home, from Sense.

Ten ways to keep my child with complex health needs safe, from WellChild.

How to talk to children about coronavirus, and some activities for toddlers and young children, from I CAN, the Children’s Communication Charity.

A range of resources, including a social story about coronavirus and a visual timetable, plus other links, from Challengers.

Activity videos from the KIDS early years team – how to make play dough; and story time (The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Bedtime Story)

Home learning resources from Special Needs Jungle.

Home learning resources from ALN Home Learning.

Resources and activities for families of children with SEND in the early years to use at home, created by early years professionals from Dingley’s Promise.

Information for young carers and young adult carers, including on looking after yourself and the person you care for.

Hospital Communication Passport from Include Me Too.

As part of their Pod-Ability podcast series, Variety have produced two episodes with a coronavirus crisis focus – one on managing your child’s sensory needs and another on looking after your child’s mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown.

Condition specific advice

Q&A for families caring for seriously ill children – and also top tips for professionals – from Together for Short Lives.

Information and resources from Rett UK for families supporting someone with Rett syndrome – but also suitable for other people with complex needs – including communication resources; home schooling tips and families activities.

Information and advice for autistic people and their families from the National Autistic Society.

Tips for young people and tips for families on managing health anxiety and isolation from Ambitious About Autism (pdf files)

Information for families of deaf children, from NDCS.

Information for young people with epilepsy, from Young Epilepsy.

Advice and resources for families of children and young people affected by a brain injury, from The Children’s Trust.

Information for people with sight loss, from Guide Dogs.

Tips for staying at home, from the Fragile X Society.

Information from Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK for families affected by SMA, including advice and support from leading neuromuscular experts; tips for mental health and wellbeing; and ideas for keeping entertained at home

Information and resources for people who have Down’s Syndrome and their parents/carers, from the Down Syndrome Association.

Resources from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation for the families of children, young people and adults with severe learning disabilities who display behaviours that challenge.

A ‘Make your own sensory kit at home’ guide, from Variety, designed with children and young people with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other conditions which affect a child’s sensory profile, in mind.

Regional/Local advice

All local areas have SEND Information and Advice Services – find yours here.

Search for organisations that support unpaid carers in your area; from Carer’s Trust.

Interactive map of local mutual aid groups

Making national guidance relevant for families in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove – from Amaze.  Also from Amaze, ideas on spending time indoors.

SNAP’s Coronavirus Family Guide, particularly for families living in Essex.

Information from the Dorset Children’s Foundation for families with sick and disabled children living in Dorset.

Links and ideas for home-based activities from the Cambridge Rare Disease Network.

Helplines etc

A number of Disabled Children’ Partnership organisations run on-line and telephone helplines; and on-line communities.

Contact helpline0808 808 3555

Together for Short Lives Family Helpline for families caring for seriously ill children – 0808 8088 100 

Together for Short Lives “Family Together” Facebook support group.

Mencap helpline and on-line community.

Scope helpline and “coffee lounge“.

Moderated chat forum for siblings aged 7 to 17 from Sibs.

I CAN’s Enquiry line for questions about a child’s speech and language development; open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30am to 4:30pm on 020 7843 2544

Variety’s closed Facebook support group offers a safe, private, supportive and understanding space to share experiences with like-minded parents and families.