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  • Advice for families during Covid 19

Advice for families during Covid 19

This video from Dr Hilary Jones explains the importance of Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.  Please click on the link to watch. 

Dr Hillary Jones Video

Grace House COVID-19 response - #StayWellStayTogether

Grace House understands how challenging this lockdown is going to be for everyone, so we want you to know that we are here for you and still providing support services. A member of staff will be in the office every day taking phone calls and co-ordinating services. Other staff will be working from home, but still very much available. If you work closely with one of the team and you want to get in touch; just send them an email and you will hear straight back. In the meantime, please stay safe.

For information about the National Lockdown check out The Sunderland City Council Website

Lots of Covid vaccine scams are taking place. Action Fraud is warning you to remain vigilant as criminals are taking advantage of the roll out of the #COVID19 vaccine to commit fraud.

All information regarding the vaccine and how you will be contacted is below

The government has announced that everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing twice a week from 12th April. You can order the tests online and it is extremely quick and simple. Order tests to your home today by clicking here


If you can’t access food or medicines or need other support SCC are here to help. They can support with requesting priority supermarket delivery slots, help with shopping or collecting prescriptions and offer support for your general wellbeing.

They can support if you are shielding, if you’ve been asked to self isolate or if you’re feeling vulnerable.

Visit 👉 or call us on 0800 234 6084 8.30am - 5pm every day.

Symptoms of Coronavirus include, a high temperature, new continuous cough and a loss or change in your sense of taste and smell.
If you develop symptoms your household contacts will also be required to self-isolate. More information on self-isolation is available on the NHS website

Some useful information in each area is below:

The North Hub contacts are as follows:

Southwick Ward                               Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project –

Castle & Redhill Ward                     SNCBC – or

St Peters Ward                                  Sunderland Community Action Group –

Fulwell Ward                                      Friends of Fulwell/North East Sport –


RCCG Living Faith in Roker are part of the food parcel network and receive referrals for food parcel support and Salvation Army Southwick also provide food parcel support on referral.  NB referrals are usually via social workers, welfare advice guidance etc they are not a self referral support.  The partners on the Hub also informally provide surplus food via their projects which do not require referral

Useful social media page below:

Grace House has quickly developed a range of online activities to support families remotely. We are delivering Creative Cuppas (art therapy and peer support) The group used to meet at Grace House weekly, but we are now hosting the sessions online.

Other online sessions which have been introduced since lockdown include.

  • Zumba
  • Journaling for wellbeing
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness (group activity)
  • A range of children’s activities which have included Circurama and a Magician.
  • Interactive activities have been developed; age and ability appropriate resource packs (such as gardening activities, planting and growing seeds) which we have delivered to families upon request.
  • An information newsletter informing parents of not only Grace House development and opportunities but community wide support

Feedback from You Are Not Alone Sessions:

“I am really enjoying the sessions and finding them really helpful. Thank you for providing all these sessions it really does help to feel a sense of connection in these times of self-isolation.”

“All of these activities are great I'm enjoying them all. I was a bit put off being on camera, but you don't have to put your camera on until you feel comfortable.”

Finally sat down and just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to all involved with Creative Cuppas. The group is a lifeline for me on a Monday. The combination of creativity, sharing and kindness today was overwhelming for me at times. Laura Conlon’s artistic input and wit has been amazing and thank you to Lyn for keeping us going. Look forward to “seeing” you all next week


For regular updates on these activities please follow us on Facebook or email We are also on Twitter, @GraceHouse10 and Instagram

In addition to the above support offered to families we are very proud that our Short Breaks has remained open, delivering a crisis intervention type model, ensuring delivery to those families who face crisis and breakdown if this intervention isn’t provided.

The support of additional funding we have recently received from the National Lottery Community Fund will now enable us to deliver the following activities which are a direct response to COVID 19

  • Proactive telephone support available 4 days per week, where we will actively ring families to find out how they are managing, we will also make the number available to all Grace House families so they can ring us directly with their concerns
  • An anxiety support group led by a practitioner, which will address the concerns parents/ families have about coming out of lockdown and dealing with a changed society
  • Family therapies such as counselling, our past emphasis has always been on the individual, so this is very much a shift of direction for Grace House. But COVD-19 has had an impact on the whole family
  • We are offering remote counselling via telephone or video link to help support our clients.  If you would like any more information about our counselling services please contact Chris Pretty by email on 
  • Updates and resources available on our website; so that all the information relating to COVID 19 are all in one accessible place with IT support and admin for Zoom sessions
  • One to one mindfulness, art therapies – innovative ways of addressing anxiety and providing a distraction from stress. email Lyn on for more information
  • Sleep therapy (parents tell us that children are experiencing disturbed sleep patterns) and the change in routine has had a massive impact on this
  • Additional Family Activities to our existing planned programme with age/ability resource packs upon request, these packs will be suitable for the child’s individual needs, using Makaton instructions where required, sensory equipment and interactive activities which we can share progress using social media where appropriate to create a connected community. Email Lindsey on for more information

If you would like to make a donation to support our work please click here 


Face Masks; advice from the Government: 

If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops. From 15 June, you must wear a face covering on public transport. You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

Useful links for parents and family carers:

Healthwatch Sunderland have lots of advice on their website around Coronavirus, for more information  Click Here

Funding for families:

Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3 million of direct support in 2020-21, which is expected to help more than 75,000 families in England. Click here for more information      This will take you to the website. 

Council for disabled children:

The Council for Disabled Children have released a new support service. You can submit your question via and they will answer the questions on a weekly basis. click on the link below for the most recent questons and answers. 

FAQ - SEND support during the Coronavirus pandemic

Sensory Apps 

Sensory App House creates apps for stimulation, relaxation, fun, digital art and speech therapy. Our apps can be used by therapists and educators to help younger people with visual and speech development and sensory issues.

Click Here for more information


New Report from Sibs - Coming second all the time:

Children and young people growing up with a disabled brother or sister often get less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers. Lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic has created further isolation and challenges for this group of vulnerable children. Sibs released a survey in May 2020 asking parents just 5 questions. 874 parents responded. Read the report here


Government information: 

Sunderland City Council advice regarding Coronavirus

Support from the Government for children with SEND

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Other information and support: 

Useful information & resources for families from Learning Disability Matters 

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child


Grace House
Bardolph Drive

Visitor information

Office opening times

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Visiting times (by appointment)

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed