The Stephen Wiltshire Centre (SWC) is a specialist centre for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families, who live in Hammersmith & Fulham.
The centre opened in 2018 and is named after Stephen Wiltshire - an artist who has autism and attended Queensmill School in Hammersmith.
The centre offers:
- information, advice and support
- drop-ins and group sessions delivered in partnership with local services and agencies
- services that support families to meet professionals and peers
- short breaks including after-school clubs and holiday play schemes
- a range of other services (including the Short Breaks Review Team and Integrated Keyworker Team).
Vitamins and fruit and veg Rose Vouchers are not available to collect at the SWC but the centre is able to direct you to the right places where you can get both if needed.
Play and stay sessions for under 5's
The SWC runs play and stay sessions for children aged 0 to 5 with SEND.
These are called 0 to 5 Little Explorer Groups. The child does not need a diagnosis to attend the group but will have identified additional needs.
0 to 5 Little Explorers is a drop-in group, where families with under 5’s can attend and receive support and information in a play environment, from staff at the SWC.
The structure of the session includes free-play, song-time, and snack-time with all activities differentiated to ensure all children can access them.
There are 2 sessions per week during term time, on Wednesdays, 12pm to 2pm and Fridays, 10am to 12pm.
There is also a session at Old Oak Children's Centre on Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon.
This session is delivered jointly with the staff from Old Oak Children’s Centre and SWC and follows the same structure as the group at SWC.
Being a carer can be rewarding, but also physically and emotionally challenging. Short breaks provide carers an opportunity to take a break.
Short breaks also give children and young people the same opportunity as others to develop new friendships, take part in new experiences, learn new skills, and have fun whilst achieving positive outcomes.
Find out more about short breaks for Disabled children.
Short breaks programme
We deliver short breaks to children after school, at weekends and during school holidays. Depending on the needs of the child this support may be accessed without a needs assessment.
Our approach to short breaks is:
- to carefully plan activities to make them fun for children with a range of needs
- to employ staff who are well trained and can meet the needs of children we support
- to ensure the premises are fully accessible, providing quiet spaces, hoists, as well as sensory and other engaging toys
- working closely with families to identify which children will work best together and where friendships might develop to ensure all children can have freedom within the space but also have any risks well managed.
Short breaks available without an assessment
H&F residents with a child aged 8 to 18 may be able to access the SWC core offer, without an assessment.
This depends on the needs of the child which are considered by a suitable social care worker.
We are exploring delivering 0-8 stay and play sessions. Further information will be available in the New Year.
The core offer includes:
- 6 days of holiday club during school holidays
- 1 after school club every fortnight.
Action on Disability also provide a core offer and they can be contacted directly about their short breaks.
Short breaks requiring an assessment
A wider range of services may be available after school, weekends and during the holidays for children with higher levels of need, aged 8 to 18.
The choice of support under the SWC targeted offer is a decision between the family and allocated worker.
This could be a Social Worker from the Disabled Children’s Team, a Short Breaks Review Worker or an Integrated Keyworker who are family support specialists for children with SEND. They complete an assessment and request the support to be funded via a panel.
They complete an assessment and request funding through a panel. This could include an offer of direct payments or other funded short breaks.
Please visit Guide to direct payments for parents and carers for further details
We want parents and carers to be involved in the development of the centre and we welcome any feedback.
Any organisations wanting to run workshops, trainings, or surgeries for parents and carers, or young people with SEND are welcome to use the centre. Contact the centre for further information.
Services available at the SWC are only available to residents of Hammersmith & Fulham. If you are interested in visiting the centre for any of the activities, events or services listed and you live outside of the borough of H&F, contact your local authority who may be able to fund sessions for you to attend. Email email@example.com for details of costs for non-H&F residents.
The children's disability register
H&F hold a register of Disabled children. You do not have to register your child but it can have benefits if you do.
Find out more about the H&F Children's Disability Register.
For further information about services at the SWC and for advice and support on support available for children with SEND (0 to 18), you can contact the SWC:
Tel: 020 8753 4443
Duty telephone line open Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 12.30pm
Address: Stephen Wiltshire Centre, Queensmill Road, SW6 6JR