Support for Children & Young People


We're a national programme brought about by the Department of Education (DfE) through the Council for Disabled Children. We're here to support you and your parents/carers, because in September 2014, there were changes on how support for those with special educational needs is planned. These changes are known as the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms. As part of these reforms all statements of SEN will be replaced by 2018 and all Learning Difficulties Assessments by 2016, with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), which seeks to combine all care and support into one plan.

There are a number of online videos that help explain about EHC Plans, here are just a couple of options:

What are Education, Health and Care Plans?

Charlie Minnion's EHC Animation



Our Independent Supporters can help you and your parents make sure that your views, wishes and feelings are heard and taken into consideration in the development of the EHC Plan. We help you understand the whole process and will stick with you throughout it.

Our trained Independent Supporters have vast SEN, educational or disability-related experience. We are 100% independent and we'll help you understand your EHC Plan.

Links and Resources


Go online to Trafford Council's Local Offer to find out what services are available for you.



If you want to get our support, get in touch with us directly. We also accept referrals from any provider or agency working with you as long as you say it's ok to get in touch with us on your behalf. 

Most of the information we need can be gathered by you or your family so we have made the process really simple. 

The Process

A parent, young person or any other statutory provider or agency can contact us the following ways:
Ring: 0161 872 6879 (9am-4pm answerphone out of hours)
Write: Independent Support Service, Ground Floor – East, Oakland House, Talbot Road, Manchester, M16 0PQ
Social Media: @IS_trafford


-- Initially, we need the following  ---
Name: Your name
Name: Your parent(s) or carer(s) 
Contact: Telephone/Address
DOB Age/ School Year
Consent: Approved by
Referral: Contact name and details


File DownloadDownload the Independent Support Referral Form

What you can expect

Once we have a referral, we will assign an Independent Supporter who will then contact you and your family to arrange a first visit.

We try to contact you or your family by the end of the next working day of receiving a referral and if we don't hear back from you within 5 working days, we'll assume that you do not require our support.

File DownloadDownload a document describing what we can do

File DownloadDownload the information about the referral protocol

File DownloadDownload a blank template


What We Do


Help the young person who is new to the EHC process

Act as a named contact person for the young person throughout the assessment and planning process.

Support the young person to transfer from a Statement of SEN or LDA to an EHC Plan.

Support the young person to contribute to the EHC Plan.

Support the young person to contribute to the EHC plan.

Support the young person to understand the local offer and personal budgets.

Signpost to other services if necessary.

Arrange meetings at a place that's convenient for the young person and their family.



Meet the Team

Hello, I’m Elizabeth Stanley, the team’s Project Director. I’m mum of three gorgeous children, the eldest of whom has severe learning difficulties. Prior to working as an Independent Supporter I was a special needs coordinator for 18 years in a variety of different schools. I like to be busy and love learning new things, but at the weekends, I can often be found on my allotment or on the snow. I believe that every person is unique and as such services and support should be designed around them and their needs. Education, Health and Care plans are the start of a different way of thinking about supporting children and young people, with support based on outcomes and aspirations and delivered as a whole package. If you want to contact me, email
My name is Julie Blinston and I've worked in the field of special educational needs for fourteen years, first as a teaching assistant in both mainstream and special school and then within the administrative arena of this work. I have been with Independent Support Service Trafford since October 2014 and am thoroughly enjoying this new position working with children, young people and their families by supporting them in the development of their Education Health and Care Plans. My interests are creative crafts, reading and going to the theatre.
My name is Vicky Cusick and I work part-time as an Independent Supporter in Trafford. I’m a mother of twins so understand the joys and challenges parenting can bring. I enjoy working with children and families and have previously worked as a teaching assistant supporting children who have SEN. If you want to contact me, email me at
Working as an Independent Supporter is very rewarding and no day is ever the same. I enjoy working with families from different backgrounds and cultures and the alliance that is created through the EHC development stage. Before working at Independent Support I worked for Manchester Metropolitan University as an Outreach Ambassador, working with children and young people of all abilities to raise their career aspirations. In my spare time I enjoy Latin American and Ballroom dancing.


Email us at or use our contact form

T: 0161 872 6879                  Twitter: @IS_trafford            Facebook:  /independentsupporttrafford

Ground Floor East, Oakland House, Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0PQ

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A project managed by Voluntary Community Action Trafford