Another Lucky Lottery Player Wins Big!

Mrs Nash and her winner's cheque

Mrs Nash and her winner’s cheque

We would like to congratulate another very lucky lottery winner.

Lilian Nash from Tonypandy won the weekly prize of £1,500 and sent us this lovely picture of herself holding her winner’s cheque.

“I would like to say a big thank you for my luck in winning your lottery and for all the work you did to help my grandson when he was younger,” Lilian said.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to Lilian, who donated £100 of her win back to us.

Our ‘Count Me In’ Lottery is one of our best fundraising initiatives and helps us to fund much of the support we provide to children and their families.

If you would like to find out more about our ‘Count Me In’ Lottery and find out how you can join and be in with a chance of winning the weekly £1,500 prize, check our lottery pages.


The Cerebra Innovation Centre showcase their new Writing Slope

The Cerebra Innovation Centre Writing Slope

The Cerebra Innovation Centre Writing Slope

Here at the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC), we’ve been very busy lately making lots of exciting new products to help children with additional needs.

One such product is the new prototype writing slope. It has many innovative features that we believe make it the best writing slope available anywhere! It has been developed for any children who may need a writing slope to aid their writing, drawing, posture and hand control and also converts effortlessly into a reading stand.

Using magnets and a gas strut we have enabled lots of adjustability without using knobs and mechanisms so it looks beautiful, and the easy-open and soft-close lid removes any finger trapping risks. The reading and writing ledges help to hold papers, exercise books and reading books in place. They are interchangeable by “popping” off and “snapping” on with the magnets recessed into the faces, and they store inside the slope when not used.

One of the really exciting features is the pen holder. It flips up and down depending if you are writing/drawing or reading, and fits Berol pens directly into the block. This clever system enables children with reduced motor skills to remove and replace the pens with more independence and also by removing the pen lids, means the lids cannot be chewed or lost and eradicates the choking risk. This clever system also makes for easy checking to see if all pens are present at the end of class. The pens can be changed for dry wipe pens to work on the Formica white board finish. There is a hand hold cut out of the back for easy mobility.

The great news is that we have 10 writing slopes that are looking for new owners. All we’re asking for is a small donation of £50 to contribute towards production costs. They cost us almost £200 to make so it is only a small contribution that we are asking for and less than any other writing slope on the market.

If you would like to find out more about the writing slope, or would like to give one a new home then contact us on 01792 483688 or

Books in the library on autism

Library booksWe have a great number of books on autism in the library.  Here are just a few of the most popular ones:

  • L6178 – A Will of His Own: reflections on parenting a child with autism by Kelly Harland
  • L6133 – Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum by Chantal Sicile-Kira
  • L6179 – Animal Assisted Interventions for Individuals with Autism by Merope Pavlides
  • L6428 – Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the Life Span by Digby Tantam
  • L6015 – Autism Spectrum Disorders: the complete guide by Chantal Sicile-Kira
  • L6359 – Autism the Facts by Simon Baron-Cohen
  • L6221 – Autism: a very short introduction by Uta Frith
  • L6027 – Autism: facts and strategies for parents by Janice E Janzen
  • L6496 – Carly’s Voice: breaking through autism by Arthur Fleischmann
  • L6337 – Children with Autism: a parents’ guide by Micheal D Powders
  • L6583 – Colour Coding for Learners with Autism: a resource book for creating meaning through colour at home and school by Adele Devine
  • C0193 – Explaining Autism by Robert Snedden
  • L6581 – Gardening for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Special Needs by Natasha Etherington
  • L6514 – George and Sam by Charlotte Moore
  • L6256 – Growing up Severely Autistic: they call me Gabriel by Kate Rankin
  • L6595 – Navigating the Medical Maze with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Sue Ming
  • L6255 & L6332 – Playing Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum by Julia Moore
  • L6532 – Raising to New Heights of Communication and Learning for Children with Autism by Carol Spears
  • L6498 – Silently Seizing: common unrecognised and frequently missed seizures and their potentially damaging impact on individuals with autism spectrum disorders by Caren Haines
  • L6392 – Sleep Difficulties and the Autism Spectrum Disorder by Kenneth Aitken
  • L6405 & L6614 – Speak Move Play and Learn with Children on the Autism Spectrum by Lois Jean Brady
  • C0091 – Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
  • L6526 – The Anger Box: sensory turmoil and pain in autism by Phoebe Caldwell
  • L6491 – The Autistic Brain: thinking across the spectrum by Temple Grandin
  • L6495 – The Reason I Jump: one boy’s challenge from the silence of autism by Naoki Higashida
  • L6077 – The Siege: a family’s journey into the world of an autistic child by Clara Claibourne
  • L6186 – Through the Eyes of Aliens: a book about autistic people by Jasmine Lee ONeill
  • L6267 & L6308 – Understanding Autism for Dummies by Stephen Shore
  • L6207 – Voices From the Spectrum: parents, grandparents, siblings, people with autism by Cindy Ariel
  • L6174 – Why Does Chris Do That? by Tony Attwood
  • L6591 – Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs by Louise Goldberg


  • AV6399 – A is for Autism by Tim Webb
  • AV6136 & AV6539 – Autism and Me by Rory Hoy
  • AV6397 – Living Along the Autism Spectrum

If you would like to borrow any of these books, it is free, just contact Jan on

We also have many books on High Functioning Autism and Aspergers, that are not necessarily covered in this list.

Calling all Carmarthen Quizzers!

QuizzerCerebra are getting ready to hold our first ever Annual Charity Quiz Evening in Carmarthen and we want you to get involved!

Do you think you have the knowledge to be crowned Carmarthen’s smartest? If so then get together a team of five and put yourselves to the test!

The quiz will be taking place at Carmarthen Town Football Club, Richmond Park on Thursday 11th June and will pit teams against each other for the title of “Carmarthen’s Smartest”. As well the prestige that comes with winning, teams will also be competing for a top cash prize of £300 and of course the much coveted trophy!

There will be eight rounds in total on subjects ranging from current affairs to music so there will be something for everyone no matter what your area of expertise may be! As well as the quiz, there will also be an auction and raffle where you will be able to pick up some fabulous prizes.

We would like to encourage local businesses and quizzers to get teams of five together so you can show us what you’re made of! The entry fee is £50 per team and this includes a lovely pie and mash supper courtesy of Hughes Pies. For those who need a little encouragement, there is also a fully licensed bar on the premises.

All proceeds from the evening will go directly into improving the lives of children in the Carmarthen area so there really isn’t an excuse not to get involved.

There is a maximum capacity of 20 teams who can take part on the evening and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so register your team today by calling 01267 244221 or emailing

You can register your team here.

News – April 2015

A stack of newspapersEducation

Revised SEND Code of Practice
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (England) has been revised with updated sections on support for children and young people in youth custody, (from 1 April 2015).

Implementing the 0 to 25 special needs system: further education
The 0-25 SEND guidance for Further Education has also been updated.

SEND: guide for parents and carers
Updated guide on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). (Dept for Education).


Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), Centre for Wales
The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust has opened a new centre in Llanelli, Wales. It is for those who have lost skills following an accident, stroke, assault or illness, which does not have to have been recent.  People admitted will normally be aged 18 or above.

Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) Programme
IPC is a new approach to providing health and social care services for complex needs, putting the choices and administration of the care more into the hands of user families and individuals.  It is currently being tested in a selection of pilot areas.  (NHS England).

The daily jobseeker
Tips for those looking for work, (Dept for Work and Pensions).

Specialist Employability Support
A new Specialist Employability Support (SES) programme, for people with disabilities who need extra support to be able to work, is to be run through nine existing residential training colleges:  the Shaw Trust; Remploy; Kennedy Scott; Steps to Employment (St Loyes, Enham and Portland Colleges); the Royal National College for the Blind; and the Doncaster Deaf Trust. (Dept for Work and Pensions).

Health and care

Depression in children and young people
Updated NICE guidance, CG28.

Mental Health Act
Updated reference guide to help understand the Mental Health Act 1983, (Dept of Health).

Mental health and behaviour in schools
Guidance for identifying and supporting school pupils who may have unmet mental health needs (England), (Dept for Education).


Factsheets for households claiming Universal Credit, and tips on budgeting:

Shared Parental Leave
Guidance for employers on implementing shared parental leave and pay, (Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills).

Updated guidance documents about Personal Independence Payments, March 2015, (Dept for Work and Pensions).


2015 No. 838, The Legal Aid, Community Legal Service and Criminal Defence Service Amendment) Regulations 2015.  Coming into force between 24 March and 24 April 2015, various Direct Payments made (for example to parents in connection with a child’s EHC Plan) will not be included in calculations to determine whether they are eligible for Legal Aid and various other legal payments (applies to England and Wales).

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015, to make provision about safety of services; integration and sharing of information relating to users of health and social care services in England; professional regulation; and other matters.  Parts of the Act will be brought into force using further legislation in different parts of the UK.

Consumer Rights Act 2015.  Includes:  consumer contracts for goods, digital content and services; unfair terms; letting; a student complaints scheme; and various other matters.

2015 No. 876, The Child Trust Funds (Amendment No. 2) Regulations2015.  From 6 April 2015, these regulations enable money in Child Trust Funds to be moved to Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) with the same or other providers.  The “lifestyling” period for a stakeholder account must now begin with the child’s 15th birthday (instead of the 13th birthday).

2015 No. 993 (C. 68), The Care Act 2014 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2015 (England and Wales), means that some of the provisions of the Act are in force from 1 April 2015.

2015 No. 914, The Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2015.  Made mainly to allow existing social care legislation to continue in place in Wales while it changes in England.

2015 No. 779 (W. 62), The Use of Invalid Carriages on Highways (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2015.  From 9 April 2015, these regulations describe equipment (e.g. medical equipment) that may be carried, in relation to the total weight, which the user needs.

2015 No. 995, The Care Act 2014 (Transitional Provision) Order 2015 (England).  As Section 1 of the Care Act 2014 comes into force, it will alter the conditions for some people who are already in receipt of social care services.  This Order puts transitional provisions in place to cater for that group.

2015 Nos. 86-105, 146, 150.  In connection with The Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015, provisions allowing parents or adoptive parents of children born or adopted after 5 April 2015 to share their parental leave, and other measures.

2015 No. 127 (C. 8), The Education (1998 Order) (Commencement No. 7) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.

From 6 March 2015, brings into operation part of the 1998 Education Order which means that the Department of Education must approve school courses leading to external qualifications for pupils who have reached the upper limit of compulsory school age.

2015 No. 185, The Employment and Support Allowance (Repeat Assessments and Pending Appeal Awards) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.  In operation from 30 March 2015, also covers some outstanding claims made before 30 March.

2015 No. 154, The Community Care (Personal Care and Nursing Care) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015.  From 1 April 2015, these regulations introduce charges for care, above certain thresholds, as health and social care are more closely combined.  Related legislation 2015 No. 157, The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Modifications and Saving) Order 2015 arranges for Integrated Joint Boards for health and social care, and interim arrangements up to a deadline of 1 April 2016.

2015 No. 158, The Continuing Care (Scotland) Order 2015, from 1 April 2015, also 2015 No. 156, The Aftercare (Eligible Needs) (Scotland) Order 2015, make provision for continuing care for children and young people who cease to be looked after by a local authority.

Resources – April 2015

ResourcesOver the Wall
Charity providing free camps for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Time Specialist Support Ltd
Autism befriending and support agency covering the North West of England.

Breaks for carers
Information on carers’ breaks and respite care, (NHS Choices).

Some useful links for arranging holidays: 

Kids Sleep Dr
Free app for parents to record children’s sleep patterns and read tips relating to the patterns,  (Evelina Childrens Hospital).

Company supplying scents / aromas with potential uses for additional needs.

Pupil premium: schools with good disadvantaged pupil results
Lists of schools in England that have achieved notably good results in basic subjects with disadvantaged pupils, and those where such pupils made notably good progress between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 (Dept for Education).

Maternity and Paternity Leave
Calculator for parents’ leave and pay from 5 April, (only applies to England, Scotland and Wales).

Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled
Article by Vince Tuscano about being ready for emergencies, (Survival Life).

Managing medical devices, April 2015
Guidance on the acquisition, maintenance, re-use and disposal of equipment used in disability or sickness.  It also includes advice on accessories such as batteries and chargers.  The guidance is designed for organisations providing equipment to members of the public, but would also be of interest to families maintaining equipment themselves, (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, MHRA).

The Cerebra Innovation Centre Needs Your Help!

Hatch LogoWe recently wrote about Hatch – a website that allows designers of equipment for children with additional needs the opportunity of bringing some of their products to the wider market, making them more readily available for the children that need them.

The team at the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) have recently joined the site and need your help to bring some of their best creations to life!

Hatch creates a platform for professional product designers to post ideas for items to help solve problems that children with additional needs may be encountering. Products that are submitted then appear on the site for 90 days and during that time, members of the Hatch community can add their comments, suggestions and vote if they want to see the product professionally manufactured. That’s where you come in!

We need as many votes for the Oxy-Gem, BOUNCE!, Cerebra iPad Case and Weighted cap/ hat as possible to see them more widely manufactured.

At the moment, all of these products are created in-house by our CIC team and are produced individually when a parent requests them. If they were to be manufactured by Leckey – the company behind Hatch, they would be available to a larger audience meaning that more children would be able to benefit from such products.

The great news for Cerebra would be that a percentage of the royalties from each product sold would come directly to us, ensuring that our Innovation Centre can continue to design new and exciting things to help children with additional needs.

You can find out more about The Cerebra Innovation Centre on our website or by contacting For more information about Hatch, please visit their website.

New Website Invites Anyone to Invent Devices for Children With Additional Needs

Hatch LogoA new website called Hatch has been launched to provide a platform between parents of children with additional needs and professional product designers.

Hatch was created in conjunction between Leckey and Firefly who have previously worked with Cerebra to manufacture our GoTo Seat.

The idea of the site is to allow people to submit their ideas for special needs products like the GoTo seat that could be life changing for children around the world.

The platform is quick and easy and allows the public to vote on their favourite submissions. The most popular ideas then go through a review process by a panel of experts including Design Engineers, Therapists and Parents working with Leckey and Firefly.

James Leckey, CEO said, “We’ve learnt from experience that we’re better together. We receive ideas for new products on a daily basis from a wide range of people including therapists, parents and designers.

These ideas show remarkable creativity and skill. Hatch will give us the structure needed to properly review these product ideas, but more importantly find out from the special needs community which of them will change lives.

Hatch is where creativity meets the real life challenges of special needs families. If the right idea comes along – we will try to make it a reality.”

Hatch will make sure that the new products and equipment, most needed by children with special needs will be available for sale as soon as possible.

Claire Smyth, whose 6 year old son Daniel is profoundly disabled, is excited about the arrival of Hatch.

Claire said, “As parents we’re already modifying existing products to suit our own child’s needs, when in fact many other families might also benefit from these adaptions. Finally we have a voice and an opportunity to influence the type of equipment available to our children. I know many parents will be excited by Hatch and will have many life changing ideas that can make a real difference to kids with special needs across the world.”

The Hatch website is online and now accepting registrations and ideas from all over the world.

To get involved or learn more, visit

Altrincham Golf Ladies Club Together to Raise Money

Maria Wilson with some of the ladies from Altrincham golf club

Maria Wilson with some of the ladies from Altrincham golf club

We were very pleased to hear that the lady members of the Altrincham Golf Club have chosen Cerebra as their charity of the year and have raised a fantastic £1,467.19 to date.

The club’s lady captain Ann Hunt led the proceedings and has helped to arrange many different fundraising events over the course of the year. Amongst some of the events that helped the ladies raise the money were a Lady Captain Day, an Easter Raffle and a Hot Pot supper.

As well as many of the group activities that have taken place over the course of the year, one member of the club, Sheila Ball raised £375.00 on her own by doing a 10K run. The race took her from Deansgate in Manchester, through Old Trafford and ending at Salford Quays.

Cerebra Regional Officer Maria Wilson met with the ladies at the golf club to pick up their cheque and to present them with a certificate of appreciation.

Everyone at Cerebra are very grateful to the ladies of Altrincham Golf Club and all of their efforts which go towards helping children with brain injuries across the country. If you would like to find out how you can help Cerebra with fundraisers like the Altrincham Golf Club ladies, check out our fundraising page.

Freemasons Raise Money at Ladies Night

Ken Miller, chequeCerebra recently received a fantastic donation of £500 which was raised by Freemasons in Bridgend at their annual Ladies Night.

Ken Miller of the Lodge visited our Head Office in Carmarthen to present the cheque which was gratefully received by Cerebra staff.

Ken has helped Cerebra personally in the past and decided to put us forward to become the chosen charity for the evening.

“The Ladies Night was very well received by those attending. There was a large raffle for donated prizes other money raising games. The money from this event traditionally goes to a local/national charity. The principle reason for us holding the Ladies Night is for the Lodge members to thank their wives or partners for their forbearance in accepting attendance by their other halves at meetings,” Ken told us.

Cerebra would like to thank everyone who attended the evening and to thank Ken for nominating us.