Information, Advice and Support


In this section you will find details of services providing information, advice, support, advocacy and mediation covering a range of areas related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).  You can also find details of various support groups in the 'What's on' section with additional services in the Council's Family Information Directory.


The following services can assist with matters such as requesting Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Universal Credit, Carers assessments and a range of other services.  Please click the links for further details:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau for free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to help people resolve their problems with money, housing, employment and more.
    Click the link to access further information about telephone, email or, face-to-face appointments from the Walworth site or the Peckham Site.

  • Big Local Works  provides essential Benefits and Welfare support and information. Offering a confidential service for support with Universal Credit, DLA, PIP, Freedom Pass, Benefit Tribunal hearings, and more. 

  • Contact for telephone helpline and online support. Contact's Benefiting You service provides support to Southwark families making a new claim for DLA.  You can download Contact's guide to claiming DLA here (pdf, 668kb) and the Benefiting You flyer here (pdf, 116kb).   

  • Southwark Local Support team provides emergency support to vulnerable people (including severely disabled people), who are facing severe financial hardship   

  • Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help 

Clothing Grants

Details of school uniform grants for children aged 11 years old, who are transitioning from primary school to a secondary can be found on the Southwark Council website.  


Family Fund

Family Fund are the largest provider of grants to families living on low incomes, who are raising disabled or seriously ill children or young people aged 17 and under. Their grants bring practical and essential help that is often a lifeline to a family. Such as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys, computers, iPads and much needed family breaks. They can consider helping a family once every 12 months, up to the young person’s 18th birthday.

Tel: 01904 550055


React provides assistance to financially disadvantaged families who care for a child with a life-shortening illness. This can range from specialist mobility equipment, such as car seats, buggies, wheelchairs, trikes, hoists, postural chairs or adjustable beds, to educational equipment such as fibre optics, communication and speech aids, sensory toys, computers, laptops, touch screen tablets. As well as, kitchen appliances, clothing and bedding.

There is no limit to the number of families that can apply for React financial assistance, or a limit to the amount of applications they can make.
To apply download the React Application Form (pdf, 147kb). Download the React Service Leaflet (pdf, 287kb) for more information.

Tel: 020 8940 2575
Website: React Charity Website



Turn2us helps people struggling financially to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. They can support you online, by phone or face to face through partner organisations.  Visit the Turn2Us website for further information.


One Hub

Visit the One Hub website for details of grants and bursaries for young people aged between 11 and 19 (up to 25 if you have special educational needs or a disability) .

  • Southwark Carers - aims to provide Carers with more choice and control over the support they need and enabling them to tackle the issues that cause them the greatest stress in their caring role. 
  • Future Men - support boys and men from childhood to 25+ to help them become dynamic and healthy future men.   This includes the Boys’ Development Programme, delivered to boys in the final years of primary school, preparing for transition, and at various stages of secondary school.
  • Down's South London - a South London parent-run charity offering a unique, specialist early intervention therapy service for babies and young children with Down’s Syndrome and a local support network for their families.
  • Sickle Cell & Young Stroke Survivors - advice support and support to parents of children and young people aged 0-25 living with sickle cell anaemia and childhood stroke
  • Metro Spark, Youth LGBTQIA+ Support Group - Spark is a youth group in Southwark for LGBTQIA+ young people aged 13-19, and up to 25 with SEND
  • Christians Against Poverty - provides free debt help and local community groups across the UK. Our free services, run with local churches, provide practical and emotional support and show people that there is always hope.  Please click here for Southwark contact details.
  • Oasis Hub Waterloo - Helping to put food on the table for struggling families through the work of Waterloo Food Bank. They also provide a debt advice service, and work with young vulnerable people who have been impacted by violence.  An immigration service is available to people living in Southwark and Lambeth who are using a food bank or who may need a foodbank. Please click here to complete an Oasis Hub referral form..
  • PohWER provide NHS complaints advocacy  
  • Healthwatch Southwark gathers and champions the views of local users of health and social care services, in order to identify opportunities for improvement and to influence how providers deliver care. 
  • Social Prescribing Service - here to listen to you, to put you in touch with the people, organisations and activities that aim to help you to feel better. The service is free and confidential.

Advocacy services helping you to understand your rights and options and to express your wishes. 

Mediation Services

  • IPSEA - Independent Provider of Special Education Advice
  • Rainbow Trust - support for seriously ill children and their families in the family home and local community.  
  • NDCS -  the National Deaf Children's Society offer information, advice and support to families with a deaf child.
  • Coram  provide free legal information, advice and representation to children and young people, families, carers and professionals.  School exclusion advice for professionals is provided through the Coram School Exclusions Hub 
  • Scope is a disability equality charity providing information and advice about a range of matters related to SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).
  • Shine - providing specialist advice and support for spina bifida and hydrocephalus.  
  • SIBS - support for people who grow up with or have grown up with a disabled brother or sister.
  • Mencap - information and advice about a range of matters related to SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).  This includes a Wills and Trusts service.
  • Afasic - advice and Information Services for children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties.
  • Family Fund - supports families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.

  • CICS is an independent, voluntary group run by parents whose children have cochlear implants to help others whose children already have implants and those who are considering cochlear implantation for their child.
  • The Stroke Association offers a Childhood Stroke Support Service – providing information, advice, support and networking events to families affected by stroke in childhood.
  • EASS (Equality Advisory and Support Service) advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights including disability discrimination.
  • National Sleep Helpline is a nationwide helpline service which includes professionals who are specialists in supporting children and families with a SEND diagnosis.
  • Support SEND Kids is a knowledge hub for you to ask about the EHCP process, or anything else SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).
  • SeeAbility specialise in supporting people who have learning disabilities or autism, who may also have sight loss.

The SIAS (Southwark Information, Advice and Support) Team - Provide impartial, confidential information, advice and support about special educational needs and disabilities, (0-25 years old).

Find details of services available in neighbouring boroughs, by visiting the: Neighbouring Borough Local Offer Websites.