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Buzz Network - For Parent/carers Of Disabled Children

The Buzz Network is a group for Southampton parents/carers of children with disabilities/special needs. It is open to children with any disability from ADHD to visual impairments, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. It is funded by Southampton City Council who work closely with the Parent Carer Forum to make sure it is meeting parents' needs.

Short Breaks Review and Redesign and 2017-18

Short Breaks Review and Redesign

As you are aware we are currently undertaking a full review and redesign of our Buzz Network Short Breaks Offer. This gives us the opportunity to engage and co-produce with Southampton Parents/Carers and children and young people on how the offer will look in the future.

To date we have held a number of focus group meetings with the Southampton Parent Carer Forum (SPCF) who have collected views for the wider parent carer population through a number of platforms including; short surveys, social media and in direct contact with families. We have visited schools (both in mainstream and special) and colleges to gain the views of children and young people. Additionally we have linked with our neighbouring local authorities to look at their Short Break Offers to support the focus groups thinking for how Southampton’s offer could potentially look in the future.

We anticipate moving into the consultation period in the autumn 2017. During this period, Claire Pritchard (SPCF Co-ordinator) and representatives from the Southampton Parent Carer Forum (SPCF) will be working together with Officers from the Short Breaks team at Southampton City Council to deliver a joint presentation on the key changes being proposed as part of the consultation. The dates, times and venues for these events will be shared as soon as we have the official date for the consultation launch.

Delays in Direct Payment Process – April 2017 – September 2017

The buzz network would like to acknowledge that the current process for setting up Personal Budgets has not been as efficient as we would have hoped and we’d like to apologise for any inconvenience that delays to receiving payments has caused. There is very high demand for direct payments this year and we are moving through these and the internal processes involved as quickly as we can. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding on this matter.

Short Break allocation October 17 – March 18

We can now confirm that any redesign of the existing Short Breaks Offer will not be ready for implementation before April 2018. To this end, we can now confirm that we will be replicating the existing level of short breaks allowance for the period 1st October 2017 – 31st March 2018. This means that for those using our One2one service that you will have another allocation of 17 hours for this period. For those who have applied for a direct payment since April 2017, you will receive another payment of £200. You do not need to reapply if you have already applied for a direct payment since April 2017. We aim to process these payments before the 1st October 2017.

This payment will also be available to new applicants. All new applications for a personal budget must be received before 20th December 2017 to access the Personal Budget for this financial year. Any applications received after 20th December 2017 will still be eligible to join the Buzz Network and access our Play Schemes, Community Based Activities but will be unable to take up the offer of a personal budget or One2one service.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Julie Lemarquand
023 8083 2069 (Wednesday and Thursday)
023 8083 3881 (Monday-Wednesday) - Beth Carter

Please see our full range of Short Breaks offered by the Buzz Network ranging from One2one Support, Personal Budget, Play Schemes and Community Based Activities offered at subsidised rates.


Other Details


Age Ranges
From 0 years 0 months to 18 years 11 months
Referral required
Referral Details

Who can join?

Any parent/carer of a disabled child aged 0-19 living within Southampton City Council boundaries whose child meets the eligibility criteria shown below.

You are automatically eligible if you are able to tick one or more of the following categories for your child:
- In receipt of higher level Disability Living Allowance
- Has a statement of special educational needs
- Is receiving a service from Jigsaw
- Is receiving a service from Complex Children’s Health Team
- Is receiving a service from Community Children’s Nursing Team
- Is receiving a service from Occupational Therapy Service
- Is receiving a service from Physiotherapy Service
- Is receiving a service from Portage Service
- Is receiving a service from Child Development Centre 

Or, if you are able to tick any two of the following for your child:

- Receives SENCO Support
- Normal activities are interrupted by frequent health needs, affecting progress in development or education
- Requires frequent use of specialist equipment including wheelchair/buggy and/or help from carer to get around
- Requires regular support with basic self care functions e.g. eating, going to the toilet, washing, dressing and/or need more regular supervision through the day and sometimes at night than you would expect for a child of their age
- Does not hear spoken words and/or needs help to make up for complete loss of sound awareness and may have hearing aids or implants
- Needs special support and understanding from someone else to communicate
- Has very little or no sight and/or are registered blind or needs support to move around

Any Other Notes

Once parents have joined they have access to 4 main services:

- Regular newsletters about local events and special offers. Confidential advice available.
- Regular breaks/ respite from caring while your child enjoys time with their One2One worker.
- Low cost playschemes with specialist staff
- Environments Support at mainstream activities from Mencap's Ypod service

How can you join?

Contact the Buzz Network and Personal Budgets Officer, Julie, on  023 8083 2069.
You can also request an enrolment form by emailing or download one from this webpage via the link on the lefthand side of this page.

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11-16 years)
Primary (4-10 years)
Early Years (0-4 years)
Transitions to Adulthood (16+)
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type

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