Apply for free healthy secondary school meals now if your child is eligible

We’re pleased to let you know that Southwark Council will be providing free healthy secondary school meals for many secondary school pupils this academic year 2023/24. This is to help families through the cost-of-living crisis that we know is still affecting many residents. We are grateful to The Mayor of London who is funding free primary school meals across London. Southwark Council has already provided free healthy school meals to all primary pupils since 2013, and so the additional funding from the London Mayor will now enable us to expand our offer to secondary school pupils: • from families who get Universal Credit • and who are not currently eligible for government benefits related free school meals (FSM) if their household income is more than £7,400 per year. Spa School invites you to apply, if your household is eligible. The form to claim can be found by clicking this  

Mayor of London Letter - Free School Meals

City Hall is ensuring all primary school children who attend state schools in London will receive free school meals for the full academic year, starting this September. More information on the letter below;

Mayor of London letter - Free School Meals

Southwark Local Offer - Strategy for Young People 0-25 Years with SEN and Disabilities

Southwark Council published a strategy for young people aged 0 to 25 years with special educational needs and disabilities in September 2022.

You can join the Southwark Strategy in Action online event and see a range of videos and presentations which will provide you with a snapshot of some of the work being done across a range of services and organisations

Visit Southwark Council's [] Local Offer pages to watch the videos each day this week.

Keeping Families Strong

Southwark Council Family Early Help Service are running a series courses which are delivered by parents, who have already benefited from this learning with their own children and families. The programme will help you be the best for your children, whether you are living together or apart. Topics include looking after yourselves as parents, recognising and managing your child’s emotions, learning positive parenting strategies as well as working together as a team to support your children. Suitable for parents of children aged 2 to 11yrs - further information can be found here. 

Cost of Living Crisis

Southwark have published helpful advice and information on the cost of living crisis - more details can be found here. The latest 'cost of Living Support' newsletter can be found here.

Heart N Soul

Heart N Soul run activities for children and young people with autism and other disabilities.  Find out about their latest activites here:

One Hub

Southwark Council have a new ‘digital’ hub. The hub can be accessed at  (the website has been designed with smart phones in mind so the best user experience is when accessing it from a phone).

The aim of the website is to enable young people and families to find comprehensive, easy to navigate and up to date information about what youth related activities and services are available in the local area. More information can be found here.

A helping Hand

For advice and organisations to help you, and your family save money, and listings of cheap or free activities - click here 


Southwark Council are running an information session for those starting secondary school in September 2023 (applying this year, 2022).

We would love to see as many faces either virtually or in person as possible. Please pass this information on to your parents. The session is for those with SEND.

Happy to answer any questions should you have them!

Southwark Information, Advice and Support Team

Children’s & Adults Services | Education Access 0-25 T: 020 7525 3104

Working days: Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday

SIAS drop-in sessions take place every Tuesday, 9:30am – 1:30pm

Click here to book a slot at the virtual drop in.

Southwark Local Offer: information on services available to children, young people & adults (0-25) with SEND

LGBTQ+ Services that offer support for parents and carers

Gendered Intelligence:

Support group:  Gendered Intelligence offers support for parents and carers of young trans, non-binary, gender diverse and questioning young people and children. Their groups for parents and carers take place twice a month. Coming to a group is a great opportunity to meet other parents and carers who understand your situation, share stories and advice and make friends. The parents and carers group are facilitated by an experienced member of the GI team. - Link

Parents and carers sessions:  GI provide half day (3 hour) trans awareness sessions enabling parents and carers to broaden their understanding of young trans people’s experiences. The session is based around interactive exercises, encouraging participants to get involved in thinking through what gender means to us all and how you can better support your child / young person. GI will create a structured, but informal space for you to explore the topics and to ask questions. - Link

Resources for families:

A Guide for Parents and Family Members of Trans People in the UK

Report on the Issues

Trans Youth Resources

Gendered Intelligence Reports

Resources for Professionals

Trans Community Conference Reports

Further resources for families  

Free2Be: website

1:1 Support for Parents of LGBTQ+ Children: Free2Be work with parents and family members at all different stages of their journey - whether your child has just come out and you’re feeling confused or shocked, or whether your child is now an adult and has been out for years and you’d just like to meet other rainbow families

Proud Parents - Supporting Parents of Trans and Gender Variant Children: Free2B delivers a monthly support group for parents of trans and gender variant children. The group aims to support common parenting themes and concerns, as well as trans specific issues.

Online sessions: Free2Be are currently running 1 hour online sessions every Wednesday fortnight in response to covid lockdown - dates can be found on their website

Resources for families: Parent guide

FFLAG: Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Dedicated to supporting parents and their LGBTQ+ children - Link

Support: tans support, family, religion and many more - Link

Parent’s groups - Link 

Belief and faith parent support groups - Link

Imaan supports LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources.

KeshetUK is a registered charity that aims to ensure that Jewish LGBT+ people and their families are included throughout Jewish life in the UK.


Books for teachers and parents:

Books for parents:

My Child’s Gay

My Child’s Transgender

Families Together London

Families Together London is a London-based support group and listening ear for the parents, families and friends of LGBTQ+ people. Some parents, families and friends may not find it easy that a child, family member or friend is LGBTQ+, and may find it hard to support them. Families Together London hold two meetings every month in London. Meetings are confidential, and offer a friendly and relaxed place in which to talk. 

Covid update: face-to-face monthly meetings are temporarily suspended , in the meantime, FTL are providing the same level of support via telephone, email, and three virtual Zoom meetings every month. Two of these replace the previous face-to-face London meetings, for all parents. The third, newly added, is specifically aimed at parents of transgender children in response to increased demand.

Helpline: 01189403160, 07951104745,


Library with books for parents and to give to children - Link

Family lives

Offers advice and support on a wide range of issues for all families including parents of LGBT children, such as supporting your child coming out - Parent Line Plus


Mermaids supports transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families involved in their care. They have online forums and hold residentials annually for trans children / young people and their families to come together.

In the link above you will find advice for common questions regarding having an LGBTQ+ child.

Local groups

Resources for Parents

Helpline 0808 801 0400 Monday – Friday: 9am – 9pm


National organisation campaigning for LGBT equality. Good source of information on a range of subjects from bullying, education rights and equality law -  Visit website.

Resources: Autistic and Trans Zine

Bullying UK

Good source of information should your child be a victim of bullying. Includes advice and guidance on how to challenge your child's school if you are unhappy with their response - Link


PFLAG is the United States' first and largest organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

Despite being based in the US there are still amazing resources on their website that can help families understand and support their LGBTQ+ child better - Family Support

Extra Resources:

Being a Parent of a Trans Child - All Sorts Youth project

Magpie Dance - Free online dance classes

Magpie Dance, a dance charity that works with people with learning disabilities. We have an exciting opportunity for people with learning disabilities to take part in FREE online dance classes with our expert facilitators and live musician. Please see click here for further information.

Autism Voice

Autism Voice is a registered charity working to enhance the health and wellbeing of people (children and adults) with autism and/or learning disabilities and their families from mainly the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities. They work to ensure autistic people from minority communities are recognised, accepted, included and valued as equal members of society. You can find out more about their work and read their latest newsletters here: 

Southwark Inclusive Yoga

Southwark Inclusive Yoga for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent young people resumes Thursday 5th May from 4.30 – 5.30 pm.

Family, friends and siblings welcome! All disabilities/abilities welcome! Sessions are adapted to suit everyone’s needs.

Come together and practice mindful yoga for everyone from different abilities and backgrounds.

Session information:

Southwark Inclusive Yoga

Where: The Lodge.Space, SE16 2UB

When: Thursdays (starting 5th May) – 4.30 – 5.30 pm

Cost: First session free, £3 thereafter

Age: 13 – 20 years old (if you are above the age of 20 and would like to attend, please do get in touch as you will be welcome).

Register here:

Southwark Parent to Parent Peer Advocacy

Parent_to_parent_peer-advocacy_leaflet_ PARENTS


LGBTQ youth support in Southwark  

METRO provides services to all people experiencing issues related to sexuality, identity, gender and diversity. Southwark Council is one of METRO’s funders. METRO’s LGBTQ Youth Lead for Southwark is Nicola Jones (07980 633 945,

The Spark LGBTQ youth group is now back in person every Wednesday evening in Camberwell. See the flyer here:

METRO also offers 12 weeks of free counselling for 8-18 year olds based at their office in New Cross. Please contact Nicola for further information and discussion.

Information from the school nursing team

Evelina London Children’s Hospital has information regarding COVID-19 immunisation for young people 12 years and older. You can find out more here. (


Parents of children 5-19 years can contact a school nurse via text for confidential health advice, appointments and support: 07520 631 130


Young People aged 11-19 years can contact a school nurse via text for confidential advice, support or to make appointments: 07507 332 150

The Nest in partnership with HYP (Healthy Young People) Southwark are offering free training workshops held over Zoom to parents/carers on topics such as drugs, healthy relationships, mental health and more. This is open to all parent/carers living in Southwark.

The sessions will begin on Tuesday 14th September, 6-7pm. You can see the flyer here.

To register and for full details of all the workshops and support groups please use the Eventbrite link:

30 Days of Self Care

30 Days of Self Care - This pack contains 30 days of self care activities to improve you wellbeing.

Soft Play Sessions for Pupils with SEND

The venues below offer specialised sessions for pupils with SEND and / or autism. 

  • Cookie island ( 0-2 years £4.50,  3-11yrs - £6.95 off peak*/£10.00 peak)
    Location: Gallions Reach Shopping Park, 3 Armada Way. Beckton London E6 7ER

Support from Social Services 

If you need support over the summer the contact number for Southwark All Age Disabilities Team is 0207 525 5372. 

You can contact Southwark Social Services 24 hours a day calling 0207 525 5000 and asking to speak with a duty social worker. 

7 Top Tips To Support Reading At Home

Reading together at home is important for all pupils at Spa Camberwell. Follow the links below for Seven Top Tips. 

7 Top Tips (English)

7 Top Tips (Bengali)

7 Top Tip (Lithuanian)

7 Top Tips (Polish)

7 Top Tips (Punjabi)

7 Top Tips (Urdu)

Online Safety

Whilst there are huge benefits to being online in order to stay connected to family and friends during this period, the government recognises many parents may feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. This guidance outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to receive support and advice.

COVID19: support for parents and carers to keep children safe online


Information on Screen Time

Listen Up Live - Relaxed online concerts for children with SEND

Child Mental Health

Tips for Parents and Carers


Southwark have set up a helpline for residents and parents to call to access free digital skills training on 03333 444 019 (option 1). 


IXL learning 

Storyline Online


ICT Games 



Oxford Owl

Phonics Play

Letters and Sounds

Crickweb Litracy 

Primary Homework Help

Fun English Games 

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