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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

Blue Badge - Pilot Scheme to Extend Eligibility

From 1 April 2016 a 12 month pilot was started across Scotland to change the Blue Badge Scheme to include people who have a diagnosed mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability.  To apply you must ask your council for a paper application and if your application is successful you will be given a blue badge for a 12 month period. You can apply up to 31 March 2017.

Pokémon Go - Keeping your Child Safe

The NSPCC has released Pokémon Go: a parent's guide to keep children safer whilst playing on the new Pokémon Go app.  Includes Pokémon Go explained! Visit their website for full information.

Scottish Government Consultation on Social Security in Scotland - Deadline: 28 October 2016 

The Scottish Government is publishing a consultation on social security in Scotland, to gather views and inform future decisions, including the development of the forthcoming Social Security Bill. For further detail and to take part visit Scottish Government SS Consultation.

The Scottish Government also want to hear what people think specifically around disability benefits in Scotland. The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) is organising three events for people with learning disabilities and the people who support them to claim their benefits. This could be a family member, a friend, an advocate or a support worker. These free events are being held in Edinburgh on 29 September, Girvan  on the 6th October and Dundee on the 4th October.

Public Event on Proposal to Proceed with Moving Paediatric Inpatient Services in Glasgow - Tuesday 27 September, Paisley

After initial engagement with patients, parents, families and health care professionals the Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are now proposing to proceed with the move which would see paediatric emergency, elective inpatient and day case care transferring from the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHC). 

To attend the event please contact Rachel Killick, Patient Experience Public Involvement Manager by email public.involvement@ggc.scot.nhs.uk or Tel: 0141 201 0309.

Health and fitness project for visually impaired children

British Blind Sport First Steps initiative is a six month project supported by Scottish Disability Sport. The aim is to improve visually impaired children's health and fitness by encouraging an active lifestyle. For more information contact Scottish Disability Sport Tel 0131 317 1130 or email admin@scottishdisabilitysport.com

Make sure your child is protected from Flu

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer agrees that children aged 2-5 should have the flu vaccine. Contact your GP to arrange their appointment. Find out more about the flu vaccine for children at immunisationscotland.org.uk/childflu. You can talk to your practice nurse or GP or call the NHS inform helpline on 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88) for further information. The helpline also provides an interpreting service.

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.


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

Argyll and Bute

Autism and Transitions: Understanding Your Role - Parent Events,  Saturday 22nd October
Lochgilphead Resource Centre, Mcewan Road, Lochgilphead, 9.15am-12pm
Vital Spark Hub, 52 Hillfoot Street, Dunoon, 3pm-5.45pm

As part of The Scottish Strategy for Autism Autism Network Scotland and ARC Scotland will run these free learning events covering aspects of transition including your rights during the process, key legislation and why does autism affect a transition.
To book a place, please email Lynsey at autism.network@strath.ac.uk or call 0141 444 8145.



Autism Friendly Play Sessions -  Time Twisters, Unit 5, Catalyst Park, 2B Bankhead Drive, Edinburgh, Wednesday 28 September and Wednesday 26 October,  4-6 pm

The Tailor Ed Foundation are running play sessions for children. These sessions are held to create a less busy play session for children and families who may find it difficult to access mainstream provisions. Siblings are welcome to attend. A member of Tailor Ed staff will be present at these sessions. The session cost is £4.55 per child (adults enter for free). For families who want to attend but need help with the cost, there is a small budget available for this. Contact Tailor Ed Foundation at contact@tailoredfoundation.co.uk or call 0131 624 8970 for more information.



Contact a Family Scotland is guest speaker at CHIP+ event in Inverness
29 September, The Pines, Drummond Road, Inverness, 12.30pm (includes light lunch)

Join Susan Walls, manager of Contact a Family Scotland, in Inverness at the Children in the Highlands Information Point (Chip+) annual general meeting. For further information and to note attendance, please contact CHIP+ by email: info@chipplus.org.uk or Tel: 01463 71189

Transitions from Secondary School information Session, 3 November, 10.00am-12 noon, The Pines, Drummond Road, Inverness

Pines Autism free information session on transitions from secondary school. Come along and hear from organisations such as UHI, Cantraybridge, the Highland One Stop Shop and the Shirlie Project about opportunities for young people. Booking not required. For further details Tel: 01463 720056



Stirling University Information Day for Visually Impaired Young People, 27 October, Stirling University

The Looking to the Future Transitions Team at RNIB are planning an event for visually impaired S4 - S6 school pupils, college students and parents/carers of young people with visual impairments. The event will offer an opportunity to find out what is available in terms of education and employment and the types of support that can be accessed. It is open to young people with visual impairments across Scotland, their parents, carers and professionals.

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


Volunteering for Contact a Family Scotland

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact a Family
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

Would you like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland? 

My name is Susan Brogan and I am the volunteer coordinator at Contact a Family Scotland. We currently have a volunteer helping at our office, a local volunteer in Fife, raising awareness of the work we do, and five National Council members.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and are currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:

Parent/carer volunteer 

We value the knowledge and experience a parent carer has and would love to have your help in shaping our information service for families with disabled children in Scotland.

This could involve sharing your views and ideas when we are putting together our publications andfactsheets, raising awareness of our service in your local community, helping at information stands or being part of a parent carer focus group. We also actively seek to involve parent carers on our National Council, which may be something you would be interested in.

National Council volunteer

The role of the National Council Member is to advise and support Contact a Family's work in Scotland. We would love to hear from parents or professionals who may be interested in joining our current members.

If you would like find out more about one of the above roles or explore other possibilities for volunteering, I would be happy to chat to you. Please note I only work one day a week, but if you leave your details I will get back in touch with you. You can contact me on 0131 659 2931 or email susan.brogan@cafamily.org.uk  


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.