Information, Advice and Family Support

With funding from the Big Lottery, an essential part of our work is keeping in regular contact with parents/carers, letting them know we care and helping to identify ways in which we may be able to offer support.



Umbrella offers a single point of access (SPA) at our Ronnie MacKeith Centre office where families can call or drop in. The service offers advice, support and signposting to other agencies and services, including services run by Umbrella.

If you need someone to talk to, you are welcome to stop by for a cuppa and a chat with our friendly team. Parents/Carers are not always looking for a quick fix, sometimes they just want someone to listen, someone who will not judge them but provide a listening ear and at Umbrella we recognise that parents/carers should be emotionally supported, that the needs of children change, that services alter and that views of parents/carers should be respected by professionals.


Support Groups

Parents and carers tell us they feel stressed, often isolated and lonely. This is where our support groups make a big difference.

Why come to a support group?
  • Meet other parents/carers in similar situations
  • Hear what others have to say
  • Learn new information
  • Share emotions safely
  • Form new friendships
  • Enjoy the opportunity to socialise
  • Relieve stress
  • Share issues/ideas to help pinpoint action plans
  • Don’t feel alone any more


Sharing problems with like minded individuals can often help pinpoint the right information to help make processes easier. With all of this in mind, we currently facilitate 5 parent/carer support groups throughout Derbyshire

  • Derby city, Meet the first Wednesday of each month 10am – 12pm at Broadway Baptist Church, 166 Broadway, Derby DE21 1BP
  • Erewash (Long Eaton), Meet the last Wednesday of each month at 10 am – 12pm. Adult Education Centre, 173 Derby Road, Long Eaton NG10 4LL
  • South Derbyshire (Etwall), Meet the second Wednesday of each month at 11am – 1pm.Hilton Village Hall, Peacroft Lane, Hilton DE65 5GH.
  • Amber Valley (Belper) ,Meet the second Thursday of each month at 10am – 12pm. Strutts Building, Derby Road, Belper DE56 1UU.
  • Derby City group 2, Meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1pm – 3pm.  Haven House Carers retreat, 31 Charnwood Street, Derby DE1 2GU.
  • Male Carers Group, meet the first Monday of the month at 6pm to 7.30pm, please call 01332 785658 for details of the venue.

Full details including dates and attendees of upcoming support groups can be found here


Other parent/carer events
  • Family picnics– an event for the whole family. Parents/carers tell us they sometimes find it difficult to access mainstream events or local parks with their disabled child because they feel people stare at them. They feel safer and secure to come knowing other families will be there. Picnics are usually organised during school holidays when the weather is warmer.
  • During carers week in June we like to particularly acknowledge the hard work all parents/carers do, by holding an event such as a spa day, creative carer event or a shopping trip.
  • We sometimes go out for lunch or hold fuddles especially at Christmas time. Parents can get involved in organising fundraising events which is always fun!

What our families say…

You meet people who understand

What our families say…

Get lots of tips to help you cope

What our families say…

Relief to be around others who understand

What our families say…

I have got a lot more inner confidence and I can go out into the community with my head held high again.