Local Offer - Advice and Support

Find out which organisations can give you independent help.

This page contains information on Benefits and Allowances, services for Carers, Families and Friends and information on Grants, Disability Aids and Equipment. If you are looking for advice and support from Doncaster's specialist education support services then you can find more information on our Education Support Services webpage. We also have lots of other useful links at the bottom of this page.

Benefits and Allowances 

Active Independence

Active Independence offers information, advice, advocacy and training to disabled people, families and carers to promote independent living. We help people to navigate through the health and social care systems plus specialist disability benefit support to tribunal level. We have an active PA register and support families through the whole recruitment and selection process. PAs have access to a confidential PA support service. Free interactive online courses. Self referral process. 

Tel: 07917 607730
Email: Info@activeindependence.org

AI Complaints Procedure
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Carer's Allowance

You could get £67.60 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.

If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.

Council Tax Discounts

Council Tax assumes two adults (aged 18 and over) are living in your property but in some circumstances you may be entitled to a reduction.

For information on disability or medically related Council Tax discounts, please visit the Council Tax discounts and exemptions webpage.

DIAL Doncaster

DIAL Doncaster offers free welfare benefits advice and supports people with appeals and tribunals. The service can include benefit checks, form filling, reviews and tribunal representation. The primary focus of this service is to support those with multi-faced and complex needs who do not have the ability themselves, or support networks in place.

Tel: 01302 327800
Email: advice@dialdoncaster.co.uk

Direct Payments

Direct Payments can be used for a number of things - but are usually used to employ a Personal Assistant (PA) to work directly with your disabled child or young person. The money is paid at a set hourly rate (from which you will be responsible for ensuring tax, insurance and national insurances are paid). Direct Payments can be used to give you a Short Break from your caring responsibilities for your child. Doncaster Council's Children's Commissioning Team facilitate Direct Payments, for further information contact the team.

For new Direct payment queries email - CWB@doncaster.gov.uk  

For existing Direct Payment queries contact:

Tel: 01302 736740
Email: CommissioningBusinessSupport@doncaster.gov.uk 

For support regarding HR matters please contact Payroll Masters directly:

Tel: 0800 073 0039
Email: info@payrollmasters.org.uk

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) if you have a: 

  • Disability
  • Long-term health condition
  • Mental health condition
  • Specific learning difficulty like dyslexia

The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16
  • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

The DLA rate is between £23.70 and £152.15 a week and depends on the level of help the child needs.

Local services who can support you with a DLA application

Online support to complete a DLA application

The DLA form is long and requires lots of information. So to help, Contact’s benefits expert Derek has recorded three videos taking you through the process. Keep an eye out for more videos soon, or read our other tips on completing the DLA form.

Disagreeing with a decision

If you disagree with a decision, e.g. the amount of money your child is entitled to, or if your application has been declined, you can can challenge this decision (this is called asking for a mandatory reconsideration). You can find out more about this on the Contact website

When your child turns 16

Your child will need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when they turn 16.

Your child will get a letter inviting them to apply for PIP. The letter will be sent:

  • shortly after their 16th birthday
  • when they leave hospital, if they were in hospital on their 16th birthday
  • about 20 weeks before their DLA award ends, if they were awarded DLA under the rules for people who are terminally ill

Your child’s DLA payments will stop unless they apply for PIP by the date given in the letter.

If they apply by the date given in the letter, they’ll continue to receive DLA until their claim is assessed.

Further information

Contact’s Frequently Asked Questions tool can help you find answers to some of the most common questions about DLA and other benefits.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you’re ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you:

  • financial support if you’re unable to work
  • personalised help so that you can work if you’re able to

You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a national benefit that can help to pay part or all of your rent if you are a tenant and on a low income. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

Universal Credit has been rolled out across Doncaster and you may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit for help with your rent.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both:

  • a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition

You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.

There are 2 parts to PIP:

  • a daily living part - if you need help with everyday tasks
  • a mobility part - if you need help with getting around

Whether you get one or both parts and how much you get depends on how difficult you find everyday tasks and getting around.

Local services who can support you with a PIP application

Disagreeing with a decision

If you disagree with a decision, e.g. the amount of money you/your child is entitled to, or if your application has been declined, you can can challenge this decision (this is called asking for a mandatory reconsideration). You can find out more about this on the Contact website.

Personal Budgets

If you need social care support from Doncaster Council, we think you should have choice and control over which services you access to meet your needs. Personal Budgets give you this choice and control.

Personal Budgets are the way of delivering social care to people in Doncaster. They are designed to help you take control of your own social care budget, manage your support and choose the services that suit you best. It puts you at the centre of the planning process as you are best placed to understand your own needs.

If you have been assessed as being eligible for care services from Doncaster Council, you will be told exactly how much money you have to spend on your eligible care and support needs. This amount of money is known as your Personal Budget. 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Find out more about Universal Credit.

Carers, Family and Friends

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.NHSBelow, you can find services which offer information and support to carers, family and friends.

Aspire - Mexborough Autism Coffee Morning

Do you have a child who has autism or a child who has autistic tendencies? Then why not come and meet other parents/carers at our free monthly coffee morning. 

Our coffee morning gives parents the opportunity to share their worries, ideas and important information with to help each other. We invite professionals to attend to share strategies and give advice and there may also be speakers from health and education services in attendance. 
  • Location: Derwent Road Community Room, Derwent Road, Mexborough, S64 0QF
  • Date: Every second Friday of the Month
  • Time: 10am-12pm
For more information, please contact Sarah on 07794513468 or through Facebook: Aspire - Mexborough Autism Coffee Morning


Families where a child has a brain condition face challenges every day. Just to learn, play, make friends, enjoy and experience the world can feel difficult, even impossible. But we don’t believe there is any challenge that can’t be overcome.

Our Vision is that every family that includes a child with a brain condition will have the chance to discover a better life together.

Our Mission is to listen to families that include children with brain conditions. We use what they tell us to inspire the best research and innovation. Then we help them put the knowledge into practice so they can discover a better life together.

Who we help:
We use ‘brain condition’ to describe any disorder or disability that affects the brain, including those caused by illness, genetics or traumatic injury. Brain conditions include (but are not limited to) autism, ADHD, Down’s syndrome, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and developmental delay. We help children aged 16 or under.

Visit the Cerebra website for more information. 

Doncaster Carers Wellbeing Service

Doncaster Carers Wellbeing Service can support you in your caring role, help you to stay connected in your community and give you a balance in your life. 

Their expert staff and people with lived experience can provide one-to-one support, peer support and up to date and relevant information to support you as a carer.

Visit the Doncaster Carers Wellbeing Service website for more information.


Tel: 01302 986900
Email: enquiries@makingspace.co.uk
Facebook: Doncaster Carers Wellbeing Service

Doncaster Partnership for Carers (Doncaster Carers Centre)

Doncaster Partnership for Carers provide a range of services for carers and the people they care for including parent carers and older carers. We offer free advice and information, a telephone befriending service, counselling, a legal clinic as well as a range of social support clubs / groups for parent carers, older carers and BAME carers We also arrange social outings, days out, themed parties for families with children with a disability / long term condition and offer a range of activity sessions for all ages.

Campaigning – We work with and help facilitate Doncaster Carers Forum (the campaigning voice for all adult carers), Doncaster Parent Carers Forum (the raising awareness forum for all parents of children with SEND - Special Educational Needs and /or Disability) and the LADDER Group (the campaigning group for young people with SEND) all these groups meet at the Carers Centre.

Tel: 01302 637566
Email: dpfc@doncastercarers.org.uk

Carers Support Poster
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Carers Therapies Poster
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Carers Wellbeing Sessions
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Caudwell Children

Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. We also run our Enable Sport programme for talented disabled athletes and our Destination Dreams holiday for children fighting life threatening conditions.

Tel: 0345 300 1348
Email: charity@caudwellchildren.com
Address: Caudwell Children, Minton Hollins Building, Shelton Old Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 7RY

Doncaster Deaf Children's Society

Doncaster Deaf Children's Society affiliated to NDCS in December 2014. It is run by parents and carers of deaf children, working together with local health and educational professionals.

All of the local groups registered to NDCS are very different. Most get together regularly and organise occasional activities for deaf children and their parents.

Tel: 0207 014 5919
Email: doncaster@ndcsgroup.org.uk

Doncaster Parent's Voice (DPV)

Doncaster Parents Voice (DPVoice) are an independent group of parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with disabilities and/or special educational needs (SEND).  Our aim is for all children, young people and their families living with disabilities/additional needs in Doncaster to have the same opportunities, hopes and aspirations as other families in Education, Health, Social Care and leisure. We are run by a steering group of parent carers with a vested interest in shaping services fit for purpose for children and young people and their families living with disabilities and/or SEND. To achieve this we have parents representatives working with the local education, health and social care commissioners and service providers.

  • We hold a parent/carers coffee morning at Doncaster Carers Centre on the last Thursday of the month (apart from school holidays), 10am to 12pm
  • We have a family night out session on the first Tuesday of the month at Diamond, 35-46 Wood St, Doncaster, DN1 3LH from 6.00pm to 8.30pm in partnership with the LADDER Group
  • We are the Doncaster suppliers for the MAX CARD - a discount entry card for disabled children and young people
  • We hold information sessions, events, training, activity sessions and pamper days for families throughout the year. Please see our DPV Facebook page and Events section for the latest details
  • We engage with other local parent carer support groups

We provide information for parents on a range of issues including education, health and social care services either over the phone or face to face If you would like to learn more about Doncaster Parents Forum or you are a parent/carer of a child with an additional need looking for information or support then please do not hesitate to contact us, either by telephone, e-mail or Facebook.

Tel: 01302637566
Text: 07917690590
Email: dpvoice@doncastercarers.org.uk

DPV - More Information
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KIDS - Mediation

If you have any concerns regarding a decision made by the Local Authority in relation to your child’s special educational needs, we would always encourage you to contact the SEN service in the first instance.

However, if you feel that you wish to seek independent advice, guidance or support, information about the SENDIAS service is included separately on the Local Offer page and refers to the process of mediation. You can also visit our Appeals and Disagreements page to learn more about disagreement resolution, mediation and tribunals. 

For your information, here is more information regarding the Kids SEND Mediation Service.

KIDS SEND Mediation:

Resolving disagreements for children and young people with SEND

KIDS Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Mediation helps parents and young people resolve disputes about Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and Plans, as well as other SEND related issues. We have a team of specialist accredited SEND mediators with many years of experience.

Disagreements are usually with the local authority (LA) and sometimes with the school or college. Health and Social Services can also be involved.

Parents and young people can use mediation before making an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. Mediation is very successful and means you may not have to go to tribunal. Around 85% of mediation meetings result in an agreement. If you are not happy with the outcome of mediation, you can still make a tribunal appeal.

Our service is free of charge. It is for children and young people with SEND (or who may have SEND) age 0 to 25 and their families.

How does Mediation work?
  • Mediation is quick and informal and there is little paperwork.
  • The mediation meeting takes place somewhere near you and usually within about a month of your request. At the moment, all mediation meetings are done online, for example using Teams or Zoom.
  • Your caseworker and your mediator help you prepare for the meeting from start to finish and they will answer any questions and concerns you may have.
  • Mediators are impartial and do not take sides or tell you what to decide.
  • There is just one mediation meeting and it takes around 2 hours with as many breaks as you may need.
  • The mediator manages the meeting and makes sure that everybody's voice is heard and that the focus remains on the needs of the child or young person.
  • The mediator ensures that everybody works together to find solutions that are in the interest of the child or young person.
  • At the end of the meeting the mediator helps put the agreements reached in writing. The mediation agreement is signed by all present and a copy given to everybody.
More information

For more information please contact Kids Mediation on the contact details below:

LADDER Group - Learning about Disability, Differences, Equalities and Rights

We are a group of young people aged under 25 years with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and long term health conditions, who are passionate about making a difference and getting our voices heard.

We need you to join us and be the voice of under 25 years with:

  • Autism
  • Learning impairment
  • Mental health issues
  • Physical disabilities
  • Sensory impairment
  • and any long term health condition 

We work with Young Healthwatch and Doncaster Youth Council to give the group a louder voice when talking to / working with Education, Health, Social Care and Transport services.


LADDER Group Report

Read the LADDER Group report Jan to Sept 2018.


Watch this short video to find out more about the LADDER Group.

Live Inclusive

Live Inclusive (previously South Yorkshire Centre for Inclusive Living) have a variety of services for disabled people and those living with long term conditions. Services include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Information
  • Support at appointments
  • Help to increase confidence and reduce social isolation

Tel: 01302 592400
Email: enquiries@liveinclusive.co.uk 
Address: Office E, 1 Cavendish Court, South Parade, Doncaster DN1 2DJ

Parenting Course for Parents/Carers of Children with Additional Needs

'Understanding your child with additional needs', is an online course for parents, relatives and friends of children who may have a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits. It is a substantial course, similar to ‘Understanding your child’ but it has been rewritten for parents of children with additional needs. 

Families in Doncaster can access this free course online with the code: STGEORGE 

Scope - Navigate

The Navigate Service is designed for parents who have a child on the pathway to diagnosis, or who have a child diagnosed with a disability or impairment within the last 12 months.

Navigate will offer parents six weeks of phone based and online mentoring designed to provide emotional and practical support at the start of their journey as a parent to a disabled child.  Parents will be allocated a personal adviser who they will speak with on a weekly basis;  the service is entirely parent-led, and parents will choose the focus of the support.  However, we are not able to advise or assist on benefit claims or specific condition management.

Parents will need to self-refer into the service and can access more information and our online referral form on the Scope website or call us on 0808 801 0510.

Navigate Poster
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Navigate Poster 2
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Navigate Poster 3
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Sibs / Young Sibs

Sibs is the UK charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults. Sibs exists to support people who grow up with or have grown up with a disabled brother or sister. It is the only UK charity representing the needs of over half a million young siblings and over one and a half million adult siblings.

Young Sibs is for children and young people who have a brother or sister who is disabled, has special educational needs or a serious long-term condition. It is for siblings in the UK who are under 18 years of age.


SENDIAS can provide independent information, guidance and support for parents/carers of children with any level of special educational needs and/or disabilities. We also provide support for young people up to 25 who have disabilities too.

The best results can be achieved if parents, carers, teachers and others involved with you or your child work together to make a difference to your child's education and the lives of young people. We work with agencies and professionals to give parents/carers and young people the information you need to achieve the best possible future for you or your children.  We support you by enabling you to have a voice.

Tel: 01302 736920
Email: sendias@doncaster.gov.uk 

Grants, Disability Aids and Equipment

Caudwell Children

Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. 

Tel: 0845 300 1348

DIAL Doncaster

DIAL Doncaster offer a variety of disability aids and equipment including:

  • Sale of Radar Keys, Car Stickers and Blue Badge Holders
  • Short-term wheelchair hire service

Tel: 01302 327800
Email: advice@dialdoncaster.co.uk

Doncaster Community Equipment Service - NRS

Doncaster Community Equipment Service is an integrated community equipment service commissioned by NHS Doncaster CCG and Doncaster Council to provide health and social care related equipment; such as walking aids, toilet raises, commodes etc.

Assessments will be undertaken by an Authorised Prescriber who will usually be an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Nurse.

Tel: 0300 1000 243
Email: enquiries@doncaster.nrs-uk.net

Advice and Support for Adults

We provide support for:

  • older people
  • people with disabilities
  • people with mental health problems
  • people with learning difficulties
  • people who misuse drugs or alcohol
  • young offenders
  • vulnerable people and those who may be being abused

Email: adultcontactteam@doncaster.gov.uk

Find out more about what help is available to help you live independently.

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you’re disabled and need to make changes to your home, you could get a grant from your local council to help with the costs. The changes can include:

  • widening doors and installing ramps
  • improving access to rooms and facilities - eg by installing a stair lift or a downstairs bathroom
  • providing a heating system suitable for your needs
  • adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use

To request an assessment for an adult or child call the number below or visit the home improvements and grants webpage.

Tel: 01302 737391

Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, we provided 88,407 grants and services worth over £33 million to families across the UK.

We believe that all families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people should have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families. Beginning with those on low incomes, and considering all conditions against our own eligibility criteria (based on the social model of disability),we aim to make a difference to outcomes for disabled or seriously ill children and young people and the lives of the families raising them across the UK.

We support this aim by providing grants for essential items such as kitchen appliances, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets/computers, furniture and clothing. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and these grants help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures.

We also provide a range of programmes and services, as well as information and advice to families that apply to us, in order to help them access more of the support that may be of help to them in raising their child or young person.

Watch our animated videos on how to apply and should I apply? for a snapshot of what we need from the application form and our criteria.


Tel: 01904 550055
Email: info@familyfund.org.uk
Social Media: Family Fund Facebook | Family Fund Twitter | Family Fund Instagram

Live Inclusive

Live Inclusive (previously South Yorkshire Centre for Inclusive Living) have a variety of services for disabled people and those living with long term conditions. Services include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Information
  • Support at appointments
  • Help to increase confidence and reduce social isolation

Tel: 01302 592400
Email: enquiries@liveinclusive.co.uk 
Address: Office E, 1 Cavendish Court, South Parade, Doncaster, DN1 2DJ

Useful Links 

Local Offer Homepage

Last updated: 17 November 2022 11:31:08

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