Useful Local Organisations

ACRE Family Support Team (Alafia)

ACRE support black and minority ethnic families with a child or young person (0-25) with additional needs or disabilities. Parent carer support group and special needs evening Krazy playdays.

Contact: 0118 951 0279


Age UK Berkshire

Age UK Berkshire offers a wide-range of services to make life easier for older people:

  • Information & Advice
  • Support for carers
  • Befriending
  • Getting out and about
  • Easy Shop
  • Handyperson – this service helps people over 50 and those with disabilities
  • Home Help Plus
  • Home from Hospital Service
  • Dementia Support
  • Money Management
  • Social Prescribing

Contact: 0118 959 4242


Age UK Reading

Age UK Reading offers a free and confidential information and advice service for older people, their families and carers.

You can access the information and advice service:

By phone: 0118 950 2480


Information and advice officers are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 2:30pm.

Age UK Reading also offers befriending, a Happy Feet Nailcutting service and social activities.

Autism Berkshire

Autism Berkshire, previously known as The Berkshire Autistic Society, was set up in 1990 by parents of children with autism, autism-related problems, Asperger Syndrome and challenging behaviours. They provide a variety of clubs and services for children and adults and their families. Their main aim is to enhance the support currently available with the purpose of improving the quality of life for children and adults with ASD, their carers and families within the Berkshire community.

40 Caversham Road

Contact: 01189 594 594



CommuniCare offers information, advice and support.

  • Benefits
  • Services for carers
  • Debt Advice
  • Divorce and Separation Support
  • Employment Advice
  • Form Filling
  • Housing Advice
  • Monthly Legal Clinic.

233 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS

Contact: 0118 9263941


Dingley’s Promise

Dingley’s Promise is a charity that provides a place where children, from birth to five years, with special needs and disabilities come to develop skills through therapeutic play. More than this, it is a place where their parents and carers are welcome, where they can make friends and share experiences. (Formerly known as Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centre).

Kennet Walk Community Building
Kennet Walk
Kenavon Drive
Reading RG1 3GD

Contact: 0118 327 7424


Parenting Special Children 

Parenting Special Children offer specialist parenting support to families of children and young people with special needs and/or disabilities in Berkshire through training courses for parents in autism, ADHD, Sleep and ‘Looked after Children’ as well as a diagnosis support service.

Contact: 07990 761676


Reading Information & Advice Service for SEND

Reading Information, Advice and Support Service for SEND (Reading IASS) offers free confidential and impartial advice and support to Reading parents and carers who have children (up to the age of 25) with special educational needs. The service also offers all parents (whether the child has special educational needs or not) advice and support with secondary transfer. This service operates during term-time only.

Contact: 0118 937 3421


Reading Local Offer

Reading’s Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support and services are available in the local area. This information can be found by visiting

Contact: 0118 937 3777 (option 2) Lines are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.


Stepping Forward

Stepping Forward works to facilitate access to services, information, resources and life opportunities so all people affected by disability can live a full life.

Experienced staff can help with Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications thanks to funding from the Berkshire Community Foundation.


Stepping Forward, 12a Southview Park, Caversham RG4 5AF

Reading Families’ Forum

Reading Families’ Forum is a voluntary group of parent carers with children and young people with a variety of special needs and disabilities. It holds a coffee evening and parent carer steering group every half-term.

Contact: 07516 185380  – Fran Morgan, Forum Facilitator


National organisations

ACE Education Advice & Training

Advice and information for parents is available via their advice line and the popular ‘My Child in School’ advice booklets are available for download.

Telephone advice line: 0300 0115 142.

Normal opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.


Down’s Syndrome Association

Down’s Syndrome Association provides Information for people with Down’s syndrome and their families and carers.

Specialist advisers can provide information and support on issues such as health, social care, benefits and education for people with Down’s syndrome.

Helpline: 0333 1212 300



(Independent Panel for Special Education Advice)

This is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All their advice is given by trained volunteers.

General Advice Line: 0800 018 4016  Tribunal Help Line: 0845 602 9579

The Disability News Service

News service which focuses on issues such as discrimination equality, independent living, benefits, poverty, activism and campaigning and human rights, but also covers employment, transport, education, housing, crime, and arts, culture and sport.


The disability organisation in England and Wales whose focus is people with cerebral palsy. Their aim is that disabled people achieve equality and a society in which they are as valued and have the same human and civil rights as everyone else.

SEN National Advice Service

Offers independent advice on SEN.

Freephone help-line 0808 808 3555, Mon – Fri 9.30am -5pm


Visit the SEN National Advice Service online at