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Contact a Family provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. We've gathered the details of some of these in your area. For the details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact a Family Scotland E-bulletin

Contact a Family produces a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.


Office address

Contact a Family Scotland, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@cafamily.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email Susan for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email Donna for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Susan Brogan; email Susan for volunteering opportunities with us (Tuesday).

News for Scotland

Parent/Carer iPad Training - Norton Park Conference Centre, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, 22 August, 10am - 12pm.

Family Fund, in association with Kindred and Mindroom, are running free training sessions to help you understand more about how your iPad works (or at least keep up with your children!)

The Apple Education Trainer will be available after the workshop to help with any difficulties you might be experiencing when using your iPad and to answer any iPad-related questions you have.

To register for a workshop, or for more information, email digitalskills@familyfund.org.uk or call 01904 571076.

Family Fund Information and Support Day

Join Contact a Family Scotland at the Family Fund Information day in Glasgow on 24 August at Maryhill Burgh Halls, 10am - 2.30pm. 

Learn more about support services, grants and information available to you and your disabled child or young person. Contact a Family will also highlight some of the family photographs from their recent photography exhibition 'My Family -  love, life and laughter'. The photos highlight family life and celebrate families with disabled children across Scotland.

Learn more about all the organisations or get help with your Family Fund application form. Free iPad support will be available to help you get the best from your iPad if you bring it along. Drop in anytime between 10am and 2.30pm; refreshments available.

For further information, please visit the Family Fund


Vodafone work shadow opportunity for young disabled people in Scotland

Volunteering Matters have asked Contact a Family to share with you this unique opportunity for young disabled people aged (16-20). 

Participants can take part in a work shadow day at a local Vodafone store. This programme is aimed at young people with disabilities who are currently considering their career options. Participants who are interested should contact Emma Warr, project officer at Volunteering Matters, for further information or an application form email Emma.Warr@volunteeringmatters.org.uk or telephone 01727 370717.

Family Fund - new Sleep Support Hub

Family Fund have just launched their sleep hub Tired Out to support parents and carers of disabled children with sleep issues by providing information, useful tips and a wide range of resources in one place.

For more information about how the Family Fund can help visit Family Fund.

New video - Preparing your child for hospital

This unique video produced by What, Why? Children in Hospital shows parents of children with autism and learning disability talking about how they prepare for a hospital stay and using healthcare services such as visits to the doctor or dentist. To view the video visit Preparing your child for hospital video.


Scottish families celebrate love, life and laughter in My Family photography exhibition

Girl on unicycle

A huge thank you from Contact a Family Scotland to all the families who took part in our photo exhibition, My Family: love, life, laughter, and to the donors, funders, families and other guests who made a very special evening of 25 May in Edinburgh.

My Family: love, life, laughter highlights the challenges and triumphs of raising a disabled child. It was displayed at a private viewing organised by the Scotland team and hosted by Baroness Linklater of Butterstone.

Award-winning photographer Rebecca Lee spent time with two families to capture the ups, downs and differences in life for families with a disabled child. The exhibition also featured photos submitted by parents across Scotland, sharing their stories and precious moments in time.

The resulting exhibition was a celebration of the everyday lives of families with disabled child and helped to promote positive imagery of families with disabled children.

With her unique insight into life with a disability, Rebecca's work is about showing a person at their best in life and ability. She explained: "The disability is often evident, but the real message of the photo is hope and achievement." The guests on the night stepped into the families' lives for a while and gained a sense of their understanding.

A special feature of the exhibition was the photographs that were shared by families from across Scotland and curated alongside Rebecca's portraits. The photographs were snapshots of happy times or just a moment in a child's life. The children and young people's portraits delighted the guests, especially their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, as well as themselves.

The Contact a Family Scotland August e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland August 2016 e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact a Family e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@cafamily.org.uk.

Local events


Challenging Behaviour - free parent seminar
Tuesday 2 September, 10:30am - 12:30pm
King Malcolm Hotel, Dunfermline, Fife

Join Kindred for this free seminar for parents of children with additional support needs. With guest speaker Simon Robinson (Barnardo's Intensive Behavioural Support Service - BIBSS). Facilitated by Claire Edwards (parent consultant drawing on her own experience of being a parent of a child with a disability).

Priority will be given to parents/carers who live in the Fife area. To book a place call 01383 745 651 or email FifeEnquiries@kindred-scotland.org


The Curly Hair Project Autism Workshops - 23 August, King Street, Perth

The curly hair project is a UK social enterprise dedicated to supporting women and girls with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their loved ones. The Autism and Anxiety Workshop includes emotional understanding and strategies for managing anxiety. Ideal for parents, families and teaching staff. Please note that these talks are just as relevant/applicable to boys as it is to girls. For more information visit the Curly Hair Project.


The Purple Service - for children under 5 with epilepsy conditions, Bridge of Allan, Stirling

The Blue Sky Autism Project are offering a free pilot service for young children with an epilepsy condition to develop social, communication and play skills. Specialist early education and therapy programmes will involve small group play sessions alongside individual sessions. For more information, contact Chris or Sara on 01786 834171.

West Lothian

Signpost Parent Engagement Forum -first meeting 29 August

Plans are being made to create a forum for parents/carers of children with additional needs, which will provide an opportunity for people to put forward their views, and contribute to shaping & improving services for their children. The time and venue are to be confirmed- so please contact Signpost if you are interested.

Parent support group events

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@cafamily.org.uk

Summer activities

If the summer break is a challenge for you, here are a few ideas we have found for activities and play schemes in Scotland with more listed on our website. If you know of something in your area please let us know and we will share it on the website for other families.

  • Schools often circulate information about play schemes, activity clubs and sporting sessions in the local area, so it is worth looking out for these leaflets before the end of term. 
  • Your local authority website will have links to clubs, play sessions and activities during the summer so go on line to find out more.
  • Charlotte's Tandems - if your son or daughter is unable to ride a bike independently, you can borrow a tandem (free of charge) to enjoy the wonders of cycling. 
  • The Wheelyboat Trust provides wheelyboats to fisheries across the UK to enable wheelchair users to get out on the water and fish. There are 13 wheelyboats at different locations around Scotland, including Highland, Perthshire and Fife.    
  • Local parent support groups often run family activities in the summer, so if you have not managed to link up with a group yet then call the Contact a Family Scotland office on 0131 659 2930 to find your nearest one.

By Area

South Ayrshire

Schools Out programme has a list of holiday activities for school aged children.


Play Alloa provide activities and social opportunities for children during the summer.


The Yard Dundee.


Lochore Meadows has a range of specialised equipment available for people with disabilities for land and water activities

Fife Direct website.

Disability Sport Fife.


Glasgow Life website for some multi-sport options.

Linn Park Adventure Playground.

Redivale Adventure Play.


High Life Highland Summer Activity programme.


Active East Lothian.
The Inc Consortium provide holiday sessions, activity days and residential opportunities for children and young people with additional support needs in Edinburgh.
Beach Wheelchairs loan these free of charge from their Beach Hut at North Berwick.
The Yard Adventure Centre in Edinburgh.

Cherry Road Activity Club in Bonnyrigg is a social recreational club with activities for young people with disabilities. Tel: 0131 663 8170.

Shetland Isles

Disability Shetland.

Stirling and Forth Valley

Plus Forth Valley Ltd.

Find local services at


Our SENDirect service is a website where families of children with disabilities or special educational needs can search for and compare local support, activities and services.