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These are very worrying times for us all, more so for the families of disabled children. Many of our families chose to go into voluntary isolation well before the Government directive of 23rd of March as a common cold, let alone this virus, could be fatal to some of our most vulnerable children.

As we are all in lock down we are scouring the internet to find fun and educational things for you to do as a family.

Live Schedule 

For those of you who like a bit of structure in your lives; here’s what various celebrities are offering you and your kids for free daily to help with their education while schools are closed:

9.00am – PE with Joe Wicks
10.00am – Maths with Carol Vorderman
11.00am – English with David Walliams
12.00pm – Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver)
1.00pm – Music with Myleene Klass
1.30pm – Dance with Darcey Bussel
2.00pm – History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days)
4.00pm – Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri)

Non-daily events include:
Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests
9.30am Wednesday 25 March – Geography with Steve Backshall

For your older kids, here are 50 free revision resources for 11+, GCSEs and A-Levels:

Kindly agreed to be shared from the Skint Dad Community Group

Zoom Chat

Communication is so important to us especially in these uncertain times. We are personally contacting all our families by phone and messenger but Zoom is a brilliant way of having multiple people on a call so you can speak to friends and relatives at the same time.
We will be having regular Zoom chats with our groups as even though we can’t see each other we can still all be together.

Zoom offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings. Try Zoom for as long as you like – there is no trial period. Your Basic plan has a 40 minutes time limit on meetings with three or more total participants.

Nurse Dotty Books

A Southampton intensive care nurse has created a book to help reduce anxiety in children caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The free online publication, entitled Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus, has already been downloaded 15,000 times and used in schools and nurseries prior to their closures.

It was written by Molly Watts, a staff nurse on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Southampton Children’s Hospital, who penned it after a nightshift last week.

Audible Free

For as long as the school closures last, Audible are providing 100’s of kids audio books across six languages free for streaming to PC, laptop, phone or tablet.

Story time with David Walliams

David reads you his stories so your little/big one can sit and listen.

Free eBooks

If you have been struggling to order any reading books we found these for free so you can carry on reading.

Maths & English Activity Packs

AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust are delighted to release their first education activity packs for primary and secondary school pupils.

With schools being shut for many over the coming weeks, the Community Sports Trust have designed these activity packs which will encourage the children to use their thinking, creativity and problem solving skills, whilst helping to develop areas of maths and literacy.

Special Educational Needs and Disability

What is SEND or special needs? SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability. SEND and Special needs are terms used for a wide range of individualised needs. Twinkl produces a variety of different types of SEND resources for special needs children. The resources are suitable for special needs and mainstream schools. Some of the needs that we produce resources for include autism, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and ADHD. We also have resources to support a SENCO and for understanding what an EHC plan is.

ChatterPack: Home Learning Resources

We wanted to do something positive to ease the burden on schools and families during this undoubtedly worrying time. So, we asked the education community to send in links and ideas for free home learning and the response has been phenomenal!

Whether you’re a teacher of any age group who is making plans for home learning, or a parent/carer needing some ideas so you can plan ahead, hopefully, some of the links below will help.

ALN: Home School

This site is designed to benefit parents and carers of young people who have additional learning needs who may have to be home schooled during the Covid-19 outbreak.

HeartSmarts Adventure Learning

Now more than ever, children need every advantage to help them understand & navigate their emotions, build resilience & security, and interact with the ever-changing world around them.

The HeartSmarts Adventure e-learning program is super fun, engaging and interactive; for kids 4-6+. Individual, family and classroom licenses available – all at no cost during our 100,000 Coherent Kids Initiative.

Plant Science 

Endeavour is Kew’s free online learning platform, full of teaching resources for Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

Plan a plant hunter expedition, investigate plants used in medicine and explore habitats under threat.

From exciting videos of Kew scientists to fun infographics and white-board presentations, Endeavour has everything you need to deliver engaging lessons in plant science and the environment.

The Sensory Project

The resources are loosely grouped into those aimed at people with additional educational needs, those specific to learning about COVID 19 and the changes it is implementing in our lives and those aimed at students who attend mainstream schools.

Sensory Learning

There are many options for home learning packs and ideas for children who can access worksheets and online teaching resources. Sensory learners need sensory learning ideas. Preferably simple and free ones. This list of 150 (ish) ideas should give you some ideas to try at home, EYFS settings and classrooms. You may also like our post on Scavenger hunts for children at home.

Autism Resources 

Resources for adults/ children with Autism, shared from The National Autistic Society.

Non Screen Activities 

What can you do when there’s no school and you’re stuck at home? Here are 25 fun ideas to choose from.

Exercise With Joe Wicks

Starting Monday 23rd March Joe Wicks is going to be hosting a free workout aimed at kids LIVE on his YouTube channel. He also does P.E live everyday.


Mr Higgins, Head of PE at Victoria Education Centre has posted a brilliant idea for an inclusive indoor version of Boccia. No need for all the paraphernalia of the official game, you can use some easily accessible bits and pieces. A great activity for all abilities! Watch this space for more from Simon.

Kids Cooking Club

FREE online cooking classes for kids with The Kids’ Kitchen live on the Facebook page. Subscribe to the mailing list to receive the weekly newsletter, recipe handouts etc on the website.

Stay at Home Activities

While we normally love the great outdoors, we’ve pulled together some inspired indoor activity ideas (if we do say so ourselves). Keep your kids learning new skills and having fun (and avoid hearing ‘I’m bored’ every 30 seconds) all in #TheGreatIndoors.

Visual Engine

Visuals Engine is really useful website which allows you to create and print symbol based resources for free. Choose a template, click the boxes and add either images from Google or symbols.

Live Zoos & Aquariums 

Zoos may have closed but you can live stream 13 Zoos and Aquariums from all over the world.

Disney in Virtual Reality 

Disney are offering free virtual reality rides from the comfort of your own home.

Calling Harry Potter fans 

Here is a website Just for you.
On the link above you can bring Hogwarts to you! There are fun and interactive puzzles and quizzes.

Mad 4 Animals

Many of you will know AJ from Mad 4 Animals and will have seen one of his amazing animals shows. He combines education, entertainment and humour into his fact filled shows.
He is frequent posting really interesting animal updates with his large menagerie of fascinating creatures. These are great conversation starters for your children.

Fun Art Ideas

Some really clever but simple art ideas for children with all abilities using hands and feet.

Art & Music

Don’t skip out on art and music while your kids are home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Art and music help kids develop discipline, creativity, confidence, critical thinking skills. It helps build connections with others, improves memory and teaches about different cultures. It strengthens language, reading and math skills. Plus, the arts make us feel better and we could all use a little more of that these days. Here are online art and music resources to inspire kids at home.

Singing Hands

Hello and welcome to Singing Hands! We are Suzanne and Tracy and we would like to introduce you to the amazing world of signing with Makaton. Our unique and enthusiastic approach is designed to help develop someone’s communication potential through music, songs, games & activities. We focus on learning language in a way that it is motivating, engaging and most of all, fun!

Singing hands will be offering free sessions at 10:30 every day commencing Monday 30th March on Fb, You Tube or Zoom for some Makati fun.

Keeping In touch 

Dear all

This is a difficult time for us all, but we are especially aware of the difficulties that our families are facing during the coronavirus outbreak. We want to do all we can to help you during this incredibly stressful time. There are a few provisions in place that can provide you with some direct support:

Many parents and carers are finding being in isolation particularly tough, and we are offering telephone support sessions with our mental health advisor Hayley Cheshire any time between 3pm and 5pm Monday to Friday. You can talk about absolutely anything – there might be something specific that is concerning you, or you might just want a friendly chat with someone. This might be as a one-off call, or as an opportunity to speak to someone more regularly. If you would like to get in touch, please email

There is also specific counselling support available for parents who are pregnant, or with children under the age of 2, through another local baby charity. The Dorset Parent Infant Partnership (dorPIP) are offering free thirty-minute video or telephone support sessions to help combat the effects of increasing social isolation. There is more information available on their website as well as a link to apply via We will let you know of any other support services as we find them.

It is important to remember that there are many people involved with the DCF who want to reach out and support others. Patsy has already spoken to many parents since the crisis began, and together with Adrienne, will be regularly calling parents to find out how you are getting along and ‘checking in’ with you. We also have a wonderful support network of parents, to include – Lisa, Emma, Danni, Gemma, Dan and Laura, who are offering a befriending service to others in the same situation.

We hope our Facebook groups will continue to also provide a useful platform to raise concerns, offer advice, and provide a source of companionship and comfort to you all. Please do let us know if you have ideas for other ways to bring together our community of parents and carers.

Please remember, we are in this together and no-one needs to feel alone.

If you would like to get in touch about anything, please email or

LiveWell Dorset

Mental health & physical well being.

This is a free service funded by our council to promote health and well being to residents of Dorset.
They can help with losing weight, giving up smoking, drinking less, eating healthier and exercising more, plus can help you feel a lot better about yourself. Advice is both on line and also by phone 0800 840 1628.


Crisis teams support people who are in a crisis (for example due to psychosis, severe self-harm or suicide attempts) by giving assessments and short-term help to make sure they don’t need to go to hospital. They support people in the community – which could be in your own home.

The Crisis Response Service is available at the following times:

5 to 11pm – Monday to Friday
9am to 11pm – Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Anyone can call them on 01305 214500.


Connection is a 24/7 phone helpline for people of all ages in Dorset who are experiencing mental health issues and need support. Call 111 and select ‘mental health’ or dial 0300 1235440 to access support as part of the Dorset Crisis Response Service.


If you are desperate to talk to someone, the Samaritans can help – they offer emotional support and a listening ear 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:

Call them on 116 123 (24hr).

This is a FREEPHONE number that can even be called from a mobile that has no credit. Your call will not appear on the phone bill.

Dorset Mental Health Forum

This page contains the telephone numbers of helplines and support networks for people suffering with mental health problems, and their carers. Mediation and advice services are listed, plus Community Mental Health Teams within Dorset.

Mental health and well-being

The Leonardo Trust is an independent Charity set up in 2001 to support people in Dorset who care for a sick or disabled friend or relative at home. They can help with many things and are now offering a Carers helpline mon -fri 10am to 2pm.

Calming breathing Techniques 

Thank you to lisa Davis from Squidge & Pop who has asked to share this with any one working in a care home and people with SEN. This breathing technique is a fantastic way to support the chaos and relax a bit! This needs to be practised daily to ensure when times get harder and work stress increases even more.
These techniques are learned! Uploaded onto youtube ready for places that can’t access social media channels.
Lots of additional sensory activities on Squidge and Pop Facebook page.

COVID -19: CAMHS Dorset Support 

We know this is a worrying time and CAMHS Dorset is adapting as the Coronavirus impacts our daily lives.

Below you will find some resources that can provide some support, advice and guidance during this difficult time.

How to access shopping & how to register for priority food slots

If you are self-isolating and do not have local friends, families or neighbours to help you please call the BPC helpline on 0300 1237052 or complete the online form and they can arrange for a volunteer to go shopping for you. Please read their tips and advice on how to stay safe while self-isolating.

NHS Healthy Start Scheme

This has some very useful information on it.

  • A list of companies doing deliveries.
  • How to access the school meal voucher scheme ( if eligible ).
  • How to apply for the Healthy Start scheme which is free weekly vouchers to spend on health foods, vitamins and infant formula milk.

We Can Help

We also have a bank of wonderful volunteers who are happy to do your shopping / pick up from click and collect etc if your child is vulnerable and you are not able to get food or collect prescriptions.
Please email


Opening times: 8am-10pm daily, and 10am-4am on Sundays. ​

The store will limit entry during busy times to ensure a 2m distance between customers, as well as having distance markers on the floors of all its stores.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: ​Aldi is dedicating browsing time for emergency workers (NHS, police and fire service) 30 minutes before the regular opening times every Sunday along with priority ahead of queues every day, will be opened up to other key workers including the fire service, care home workers, St. John’s Ambulance staff and first responders. You will need a relevant ID in order to enter the store.

The elderly, (over 70) and most vulnerable will be able to browse in-store 30 minutes early between Monday and Saturday.


Opening times: 8am-10pm Monday to Saturday. On Sundays 11am-5pm.

The number of people allowed in-store will be limited to ensure social-distancing can be employed. Its cafes and deli counters have also closed to prioritise getting essential products to shelves.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: NHS workers will have priority in store on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am-9am.


Opening times: The majority of Co-op stores will now be open from 7am-8pm, while stores with a petrol station will close at 11pm to allow access to fuel.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For NHS workers, vulnerable customers and people that care for them, Co-op stores have dedicated from 8am-9am on Saturdays and 10am-11am on Sundays to accommodate them.

Rationing: When delivery slots online do become available, you will only be able to order up to 20 items. Selected products will be limited to two per person, but vary stores to store, so check your local for details.


Opening times: Iceland has reduced its opening hours, which vary by store. To check the opening times of your local store, use the store locater on its website.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The last hour of trade in Iceland stores will be dedicated to NHS customers, with photo ID as proof. In its food warehouse stores, NHS workers will be allowed early access for the first-hour trading at 7am. Again, this varies by stores, so make sure to check your nearest store online.


Opening times: Lidl stores are open as usual and its advising customers to check its store finder to find out the opening times of your local store.

It’s also introducing so-called “cough and sneeze-proof” screens at its checkouts and extra security to ensure customers maintain social distancing measures. Goods from the bakery will now be pre-bagged.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: While there are no priority shopping times for key workers and the vulnerable, Lidl has partnered with Royal Voluntary Service to donate fruit and vegetable bags to NHS workers.


Opening times: Marks & Spencer is open as normal, with the exception of its outlet stores that only sell clothing and homewares, and its adjusted opening hours vary store to store, find your local one below.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For older and vulnerable customers, the first hour of trading in the supermarket is on Monday and Thursday. For NHS and emergency workers, it is Tuesday and Friday.


Opening times:  7am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and in England and Wales, Sunday opening hours will be 9:30am-4pm.​ Access to the website can be upwards of a 15 minute wait during busy periods.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: ​It has introduced an NHS hour at all of its stores Monday to Saturday from 6am-7am and between 9am and 9:30am on Sundays.

Morrison’s have just introduced a next day essential item delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable.
Over the phone customers can choose from a ‘ take away menu of 47 essential groceries. Their Community Champion will deliver and you can pay using chip and pin

To order phone 0345 6116111 and select option 5.


Opening times: Sainsbury’s stores will be open between 8am and 8pm between Monday and Saturday. Sunday opening hours will remain the same but vary across the country so check the store locater for your local store times.

The supermarket has limited the number of people permitted to enter a store at any one time, meaning queueing systems are in place where needed. It has also reduced the number of checkouts available in its supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations and will be introducing safety screens at manned checkouts.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For the elderly, disabled and carers, Sainsbury’s is dedicating 8am-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for shopping. NHS and social care workers will be able to shop in supermarkets for 30 minutes before they open, from 7:30am-8am, from Monday to Saturday.


Opening times: Tesco’s opening hours vary store to store, so check the trading times of your local store here. The supermarket has stopped its 24-hour stores to give staff enough time to replenish shelves.

It has also increased its number of home delivery slots, meaning some store opening times will change: “To give us time to pick more online orders, stores which have an online grocery operation will open their doors a little later – from 8am. Our customers can check the opening hours for their local store on our website.”

It encourages anyone who is able to safely come into stores to do so, to free up online delivery slots for those most in need.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For vulnerable and elderly customers, Tesco stores will be prioritised between 9am-10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

NHS workers will have access to a dedicated hour to shop every Tuesday and Thursday and Sunday before checkouts open. These amended shopping hours do not apply to Tesco Express stores.

Rationing: There will be a purchase limit of 80 items per order. Tesco has removed the restriction of three items of one product per customer with the exception of toilet roll and paper goods, household and personal cleaning products including hand sanitisers, packets and tins of food including pasta and rice, fresh eggs and home baking.​​


Opening times: Waitrose shops are open as usual Monday to Sunday, but specific times vary store to store, so check the branch finder here for your local shop.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The first opening hour of every Waitrose store will be prioritised for elderly and vulnerable shoppers, which again varies shop to shop.

For NHS staff, Waitrose is setting aside hard-to-find and essential products, and giving a priority checkout service to ensure NHS workers get through the store speedily.

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