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More than 60 people attended a free event designed to help families with children who haveĀ  special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The Local Offer Live event, at Central Library, helped families learn more about the services available to children and young people aged up to 25.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Families who have children and young people with additional needs will often find it challenging to locate information about the services that benefit them. This event is one way we can alert families to what’s on their doorstep.

“There are many benefits when meeting in person, including the useful conversations you strike up, networking with community groups and the ability to ask questions.”

The Portsmouth Local Offer is a service run by the council that supports special educational needs and training in the city. The drop-in event brought together 14 community groups and organisations who provide information and advice.

The event, on Wednesday 7 December, invited local professionals to talk about topics including education and neurodiversity. Those who attended were able to ask questions after each presentation.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for education at the council, said:

“The role community groups and organisations play in Portsmouth is vitally important. The support they offer families and the advice they give plays a key role in how people access services. It was fantastic to see such a great reception and we look forward to hosting more events in the future.”

The Portsmouth Local Offer website is available 24/7 online with information on special educational needs and/or disabilities services for parents/carers, health professionals and young people. For more information, visit