Colburn SEND group benefits from housing association grant

Children at the SEND centre in Colburn.

A support group for families with children with additional needs has used a grant from a housing association to open a sensory toy library.

SEND Parent Support Richmondshire initially began as a six-week project providing support for parents with children with special educational needs and disability during the 2022 school summer holidays.

However, it proved so popular it is now a permanent weekly fixture at Colburn Village Hall

SEND Parent Support Chair Charlotte Little said: “Once you enter the world of SEND it can be very complicated, there’s many barriers and hoops to jump through and parents really appreciated somewhere they could turn for help and support and activities for their children.”

As well as expert advice on a wide range of issues from home schooling to applying for carers allowance, Send Parent Support also provides stimulating activities for families to enjoy. The Broadacres grant will allow a range of sensory toys to be bought, enabling families to borrow and try out at home.

“These specialist toys can be expensive to buy so we thought a toy library would allow families to try them out first before making that financial commitment,” said Charlotte,

Items include wobble cushions, balance boards and sensory socks – a full length body sock which provide the comfort of a blanket and helps stimulate the sensory system.

The group meets every Tuesday 6pm-7.30pm in Colburn Village Hall and also hosts online sessions and Facebook group. For further details contact

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved by the Association’s own residents, via a Community Development Fund Panel.

Broadacres resident Mags Crook, who is on the Panel, said: “This is a wonderful initiative supporting children and their families in our community.”

People/organisations who would like to apply through the Community Development Fund can visit to find out more.