Archive for “June, 2021”

Huw Stephens launches free festival for young people in Wales

Your Future Festival 2021 is a virtual event with advice and support from schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers

With so much uncertainty due to the pandemic, students across Wales need hope for the future.

To make sure young people don’t miss out on the opportunity to find out more about their options in and after education, radio presenter Huw Stephens has teamed up with Welsh Government to launch Your Future Festival.

Taking place June 21-25, 2021, Your Future Festival is an unmissable virtual event, helping young people to understand and make decisions about their next steps.

What is Your Future Festival?

Your Future Festival is an online platform full of resources to help your child understand and find out more about the different options available to them. With information from choosing GCSEs to starting a business, applying to university to building confidence there’s something for everyone from Year 9 and over. We might be living and learning in very difficult times, but there are still opportunities available and extra support in the transition from one year to the next.

So, whether your child knows what they want to do, is unsure, or needs additional support and extra help deciding, there’s advice and support from schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers so that they can decide on the right path for them.

When does the festival take place?

Scheduled to start on June 21, the virtual festival is an unmissable event that you can join online, wherever you are, at any time.

And all content will be available to view on the event page after the festival, so you don’t need to worry about missing out.

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10 Ways You Can Help Your Kid with Special Needs Sleep Better at Night

This is a guest article by Charles Vallena (


Everyone needs a peaceful slumber for optimum health and wellness. Children sleep more than adults because it is necessary for their growth and development. 

Unfortunately, children with special needs can have problems sleeping because of physical, mental, and developmental issues. If you have such a child, here are ten ways you can help your kid with special needs sleep better at night. 



1. Create a Relaxing and Cozy Environment

Putting soothing and relaxing items in your child’s bedroom can improve his sense of security whenever you tuck him into his bed for the night. Soft lights, mellow sounds, and a comfortable mattress, pillows, and blanket can all help in calming his mind. 

According to Dr. John DeGarmo of the Foster Care Institute, using weighted blankets can encourage relaxation and improve mood by promoting the more efficient release of dopamine and serotonin, allowing kids with special needs to sleep better.


2. Play Soothing Sounds

Studies show that music can induce a mental or physical state conducive to sleep, while also blocking external or internal stimulus from disrupting the sleep. Calming music can send your child to slumberland in as little as three minutes. You can also use his favorite audiobook to help him fall asleep.

It would be best to set the soothing music on continuous play. Should your child stir and wake up in the middle of the night, he can fall back to sleep a lot faster because of the familiar calming sound.

3. Have an Early Dinner

Having dinner as close to bedtime as possible will not help your child fall asleep fast, said experts at Sleep Matters . His digestive system will still be too busy processing the food he ate at dinner time. It would be best to have dinner at least two hours before going to bed.

It will also help kids with special needs to fuel up at dinner. You can give them healthy, complex carbs and proteins to put low blood sugar in check. The body processes proteins and complex carbs a lot longer than simple sugars, preventing a dip in blood glucose that can awaken your child at night.

4. Avoid Stimulating Drinks and Food before Bedtime

Avoid giving your child stimulant foods and drinks before bedtime because these food items activate some neurotransmitters that can make falling asleep difficult and keep him awake longer. 

Dark chocolates, aged cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, spicy foods, cured meats, pizza, onion rings, French fries, sugar cereals, chocolate cakes, and energy drinks are a no-no. 

Additionally, avoid caffeine. For example, a cold brew coffee has a caffeine content of 200 mg for a 16-ounce cup.

5. Ask Your Doctor for a Melatonin Supplement

Contrary to what many people think, melatonin does not put you to sleep. However, it prepares the mind into a state of relaxed and quiet wakefulness, promoting sleep. It calms the brain, allowing it to slow its processes for regenerative and restorative rest and sleep.

You can ask your doctor to prescribe a melatonin supplement for your kid with special needs. The recommended dose is 0.3 to 0.5 mg about an hour before bedtime. If your child has ADHD or autism spectrum, he may require a larger dose of 2 to 6 mg.

6. Consider Using Natural Remedies

If you are not comfortable giving your child synthetic melatonin, you can ask your doctor about natural sleep-promoting remedies. For example, Dr. Nicole Beurkens recommends Valerian1000 essential oil to children with neurodevelopmental disorders, cognitive impairment, and ADHD.

Another natural remedy you can try is Vetiver essential oil. You can rub this essential oil on your child’s belly button right before he goes to bed. Some parents are also successful in helping their kids sleep better at night by using a diffuser for the essential oil.

7. Get a Lightbox

Children with specific learning disabilities can benefit from a lightbox to help them sleep better. Studies show that a normal circadian rhythm promotes efficient memory consolidation, an integral component of learning. 

Light therapy can help reset your child’s circadian rhythm, promoting sleep, and allowing him to fall asleep faster. The trick is to use the correct light intensity to reset the body’s normal body clock. Exposing your child to very bright light for 30 minutes in the morning can also help.

8. Make Space in Your Bedroom

Most kids with special needs wake up at night feeling anxious and scared. In many instances, they get out of their bed and head straight to their parents’ bedroom to feel safe and secure. If your child happens to be like this, you may want to modify your bedroom.

If your bedroom has ample space, adding a small bed can help provide your child a temporary safe haven for him to feel safe and comfortable. He can continue his sleep without waking you up. A futon mattress is perfect for bedrooms with limited space.

9. Consider Giving Your Child a Body Pillow

Body pillows are perfect for maintaining optimum spinal alignment and pressure point relief. However, did you know that it can also provide your child a sense of security and feelings of comfort?

Giving your child a large body pillow he can hug during sleep can help him stay asleep better. He feels more secure, mimicking the sensations of having his mom cuddle him as he goes to and stays in slumberland.

10. Put Your Kid Snuggly to Bed

Many kids consider their blankets and beddings as a form of security. It helps them feel calm and relaxed, allowing them to sleep better. Unfortunately, constant movements during sleep can remove the blanket or loosen the bedding, awakening the child.

It will help if you put your child to sleep and tuck in the blanket tightly under the mattress. Doing so will give your child a sense of safety while also feeling comfortable. You can weigh down the edges of your kid’s blanket to keep him snug.


There are more than ten ways you can help your kid with special needs sleep better at night. One thing parents must remember is to understand and appreciate their children’s unique needs. It will give them an idea of the best possible approach to secure a more peaceful and restful slumber for their young loved ones.

SNAP Cymru once again achieves the Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark (SQM)

Lindsay Brewis Vice Chair of SNAP Cymru NEC & Amanda Daniels Joint Interim CEO accept the SQM Award

Following a successful application and audit process against the requirements of the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) Standard, SNAP Cymru has once again achieved the SQM accreditation. The accreditation highlights the organisations commitment to client care and best practice.

SNAP Cymru are a very well-run organisation with people who are deeply committed to continuing to provide a quality service to the communities that they serve.  Their procedures were found to be very well-established and to operate smoothly.

We were really pleased that Dafydd Thorne our auditor highlighted that:

“People across the whole organisation benefit from a highly inclusive culture, within which team members are committed to supporting one another and sharing ideas and good practice”.

As a standard that is only awarded to organisations who meet the highest levels of management and customer care, SQM accredited organisations undergo rigorous independent assessments every three years. This ensures that they meet required standards of excellence in areas such as client care, case management and risk management.

The Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) is a standard owned by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and was developed to help ensure that members of the public in need of specialist advice receive a quality service.  The SQM is independently audited by an Recognising Excellence on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency.

SQM requires organisations and Law firms to show that they comply with industry standards for business management and financial control as well as having in place good systems to manage the work with clients. The standard covers supervision and client care, access, running the organisation, plans and organisational issues, including and file reviews, meeting clients’ needs, and a commitment to quality, complaints and feedback. 

“The levels of training provided to people across the whole organisation are exemplary and reflect a deliberate policy that maintains that high quality training will encourage people to feel valued as well as building capacity and encouraging staff retention”

Dafydd Thorne SQM Auditor

We had to pass rigorous desktop audits and these were followed up by on site audits and interviews, including examination of our case files, policies and procedures.  We provided a comprehensive demonstration that all of our systems are to the required standard and in many areas significantly above what is required.   Holding the SQM demonstrates our commitment to the provision of quality services. To achieve the standard we continually improve our systems, our staff and volunteers take quality seriously and work extremely hard to maintain these standards. All of this ensures increased client and funder confidence.



“We are delighted to have secured our SQM standard for the next three years and to be recognised as an organisation that excels in providing quality services for families throughout Wales.”

Caroline Rawson Joint Interim CEO

“Were delighted, this accreditation is proof of our commitment to delivering a quality service. It is a formal recognition of the way in which we work, clients come first and we always act in their best interests.  It also reflects our thorough in-house systems and processes which enable us to be more effective and efficient in our service delivery.  We invest in people and new technology, to give an accurate, efficient service that is good value.”

Amanda Daniels Joint Interim CEO

30 PARK PLACE invite you to the Welsh Education Law Conference 2021

30 PARK PLACE Chambers is running their hugely popular Welsh Education Law Conference again this year. The conference will take place online, covering eight areas of insight for local authorities, the general public, schools, health authorities and lawyers – including the impact of new legislation.

The annual conference usually takes place in person but this year, due to the current Covid- 19 restrictions governing events in Wales, Legal News Wales will support chambers in hosting the event, split across two lunchtime sessions on the 16th and 23rd June 2021 (1-2:45pm).

Donations for SNAP Cymru

In lieu of an attendance fee this year, 30 PARK PLACE are very kindly asking all those that can make a donation to SNAP Cymru to support the work we do. (Recommended donation fee of £5 pp). To make a donation, please visit:

We are very grateful for every single gift that we receive. 30 PARK PLACE’s support and any donation received will go a long way to help us help families, children and young people with additional learning needs.

Programme & Speakers

Day one: 16th June, 13:00 – 14:45

Overview of the new legislation  what has come into force and when it will be implemented: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what schools have to do – including fee paying schools: Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what local authorities have to do: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Day two: 23th June, 13:00 – 14:45

The new legislation – what education professionals have to do (ALNCOs and EPs): Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what parents have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what FEs have to do: Michael Imperato, Partner & Head of Public & Administrative Law, Watkins & Gunn

The new legislation – what health authorities have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new Education Tribunal regulations: Mark Allen, Barrister & Head of the Education Team, 30 Park Place.

WELC 2021 will be hosted via Zoom, by Legal News Wales. Useful information on the platform and accessing the event is listed below.
for more info see Welsh Education Law Conference 2021 | 30 Park Place Chambers
Book your place here