Parent Carer Support

Hello, we are Alison Donoghue and Sara Carlton and we are Parent Carer Support and Development Workers. We are funded by the Big Lottery to deliver a 5 year project supporting families of children with disabilities and additional needs. This project started by asking families what the main issues were and what support they needed. The project was then developed around the feedback and the service now offers an initial visit to register with the service and be given information about Carer Breaks funding, the Carer Discount card and to find out what support is needed. This is done by the local Carer Support Co-ordinator who covers your area. If necessary they will then refer you to Sara or Alison to access the following.

    • Specialist advice, information and practical support in connection with accessing special education, grants, benefits and a wide range of NHS and other services.
    • Support in meetings with professionals, to ensure your voice is heard.
    • A range of local support groups developed by DCCS or in partnership with other organisations like North East Autism Service (NEAS).
    • Courses, workshops and information to improve knowledge of, for example, how to deal with challenging behaviour, or how to look after your own health and wellbeing.
    • Working with a wide range of professionals to ensure that Parent Carers are given the recognition they deserve and influence the development of health and social care services.
    • The opportunity for Parent Carers to get involved in developing this service as well as wider NHS and Social Care services through meetings, surveys and focus groups.
    • In addition to a regular newsletter and website, a specific Facebook group has been set up to enable Parent Carers to have up to recieve up-to-date information; and also offers the opportunity to make comments and discuss current issues.
    • Family trips and events throughout the year.

If you would like to find out more contact: Alison who is covering for Rachel McCreesh whilst she is on leave. Alison covers the former local authority areas of Durham, Chester le Street and Derwentside area, on 0191 5006012 or email or Sara, who covers the Easington, Sedgefield and Durham Dales areas, on 01325 524606 or email


Alison Donoghue - 0191 5006012

Sara Carlton

Sara Carlton- 01325 524608


If you would like more information, click here to contact us and we will be happy to help.