Connexions Sunderland is an information, advice, guidance and support service that is delivered by professionally qualified Personal/Careers Advisers.

The service is offered to young people aged up to 25 with special educational needs, to enable them to progress into suitable employment, education or training. 

This may include advice and guidance on preparing for adulthood, including education, employment, training, apprenticeships, volunteering and personal development opportunities

Help is usually delivered on a one-to-one basis in the form of information, advice and guidance about career and learning decisions and how choices will affect futures and young people with identified special education/learning difficulties and/or disabilities can usually be seen in a range of locations including schools, college, community centres, training providers and Jobcentre plus. 

Arrangements also exist so that named link advisers are available within secondary schools and/or special schools to speak with targeted pupils and/or parent/or carers about barriers to participating in education, employment and training. 

If you are a student in school or are a parent/carer of a pupil who wants to access Connexions help, please check arrangements with the Head of Year via the school office.

Alternatively for appointments, or to find out about any of the services provided by Connexions Sunderland, please call 0191 561 7333

The Local Offer

Sunderland's Local Offer provides information on the services that children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies, including health, education and social care.

Education, Health and Care Plans

Young people with special education needs or learning difficulties and/or disabilities may require additional support to make a successful transition into adult life, and help through an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Education, Health and Care Plans are replacing Statements of Special Education Needs and Learning Disability Assessments (also known as a ‘Section 139a’.)

Please contact 0191 561 7333 if you would like further advice on EHC Plans. 

You can find other sources of information at Sunderland City Council website and following links.

Sunderland Carers' Centre

The Carers’ Centre offers confidential information, advice and support to carers, including support at meetings with social workers, consultants, psychiatrists etc.

The Centre also runs support groups (including ones specifically for parent carers of disabled children and young people) and courses on carer-related subjects, as well as organising social activities for carers, producing a monthly information sheet and a newsletter every two months. 

Sunderland Carers Centre is able to offer support to families going through statutory assessment process for a new Education, Health and Care Plan or conversion from a Statement of Education Need via Independent SEN Support for Families and Young People.

For more information contact the Carers’ Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Southwick, Sunderland SR5 1SF. Telephone 0191 549 3768, Fax 0191 549 5094, e-mail info@sunderlandcarers.co.uk. Alternatively, visit their website.

Parent Partnership Service

Parent Partnership can signpost parents to appropriate education services. Support can be offered to families with a child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) including:

  • Supporting parents of children with SEN in understanding the SEN Code of Practice
  • Offering information on schools, SEN agencies, national and local support groups
  • Supporting families through the special needs process.

For more information, parents can contact the Parent Partnership Co-ordinator, Sandhill Centre, Grindon Lane, Sunderland SR3 4EN. Telephone 0191 561 5643.

Sunderland Youth Development Group

City Equals Young Advocate Group are a group of young people between the ages of 14 to 25 that have learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD).The group are a voice for young people with LDD City equals are here to work on behalf of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. The group are always looking for new members. If you are interested and if you want to find out more please pop in to the Sunderland award centre or call number below. Sunderland Youth Development Group

For more information please e-mail angela.mills@sunderland.gov.uk.

Talent Match

Talent Match North East is led by the Wise Group and delivered by Remploy in Newcastle and Sunderland providing a range of activities that will support young adults aged 18-24 to find work or start their own enterprises.

The programme targets young adults who are furthest from the jobs market,   including those who are completely outside of the benefits, work and training system and facing severe barriers to gaining the skills they need to get into work.

If you would like to find out more, please contact coaches Kelly Huggins or Jamie Hounslow at Remploy on Telephone 0300 456 8034 or e-mail newcastle.branch@remploy.co.uk.

Health Transition Team (Learning Disabilities)

If you have a child with learning disabilities between the age of 14-19 years of age, living in Sunderland, the Health Transition Team can provide support and advice in your child’s transition from child to adult health services.

A small team of learning disabilities nurses and a support worker are based at Monkwearmouth Hospital offering individual health assessments for your child from the age of 14, towards the development of a health action plan or health transition plan. This is a person centred approach to health, with the aim of your child accessing all relevant health services from child into adulthood. 

Call Telephone 07468 710 832 or click here for more information.