Who we are

Overview of Umbrella

Umbrella enables disabled children, young people and young adults to realise their full potential.

  • We empower parents and carers, supporting them in their care of their disabled child/young person
  • We provide exciting, stimulating activities for children and young people which encourage the development of skills, whilst having fun, giving disabled young people opportunities that non-disabled children take for granted

Umbrella supports any family with a disabled child aged 0 to 30. Umbrella is able to support a child or young person no matter what their disability as our services are person centred to meet individual needs.

We are based in Derby City and provide local services in Derby City, Amber Valley, Erewash, South Derbyshire and South Derbyshire Dales. We also provide a limited number of parent services in the rest of Derbyshire.

Our Misson

Umbrella’s vision is to enable disabled children and young people to realise their full potential in an integrated society.


Provide best practice in empowering parents and carers of disabled children, young people and young adults


Provide high quality services which are safe, secure and conducive to personal development


Influence society so that disabled children and young people are fully included in all aspects of society, recognised for their abilities


By pursuing these goals together, we will reduce the impact of disability on families today and create a fully inclusive world tomorrow.

Umbrella is a local charity, strongly influenced by parents and carers of disabled children. As a local charity we are constantly growing and changing to meet the needs of local families with disabled children.

Umbrella provides services from a wide range of venues across Derbyshire. We have an office within the Ronnie MacKeith Child Development Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital.  Umbrella House in Mackworth is used as a venue for a wide range of Umbrella services and activities.

Umbrella welcomes contact  from anyone connected  with a disabled child or young person – including parents, carers, grandparents, social workers, teachers and youth workers.

Our Values

Always informed by the needs and experiences of parents and carers of disabled children and of young adults themselves, we will be:


Making sure that we reach out to and involve people from every group and community


Challenging ourselves and others to question the status quo, be pioneering, and embracing change

Quality driven

Making sure that we reach out to and involve people from every group and community


Making sure that we reach out to and involve people from every group and community

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Activity Support Workers?
Activity Support Workers (known as ASWs) are our staff who look after the children and young adults, whether it’s on a one to one outing to the cinema or a group session at Umbrella House, they are the team who directly provide the support.
How can I find out more about which services I can access from Umbrella?
Our Information office and Family Support team are based at The Ronnie McKeith Child Development Centre at Royal Derby Hospital. Please call 01332 785658 and we will be delighted to talk you through the various options.
What are Independent Support Workers?

Our Independent Support Workers provide advice and support for parents of children with SEN (special educational needs), and young people with SEN, through the EHC (education health and care) processes. They are here to work alongside parents by offering time-limited support such as liaison across different agencies and advice on personal budgets. Creating support that can be tailored to the particular needs of individual parents and young people. Independent Support Workers are independent from the local authority

How will and Independent Support Worker help me?
Our Independent Support team will help you to understand the local referral process and local offer. They will:

  • Act as a named contact person throughout the EHC assessment and planning process
  • Help you to put together the one page profile for your child or young person
  • Work with you if you are new to EHC plans or help you to transfer a Statement of SEN or Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) to an EHC plan.
  • Liaise across a range of local services and help you to gather the information required for an EHC plan;
  • Provide you with information to help you understand personal budgets;
  • Signpost you to Information Advice and Support Services (IASS) when the issue is outside the remit of an Independent Supporter.
Will the Independent Support Service support me at the EHC plan annual review?

Independent Support assist with the views and wishes of the young person and parent looking over the draft plan and once the plan is finalised, the service comes to an end. If further support is needed SENDIAS and DIASS can offer assistance.


Do you provide PA's (Personal Assistants)

We do not use or employ personal assistants (agency or self employed assistants). Umbrella recruit and employ their own staff to ensure the correct training has been received, relevant insurance cover is in place and necessary police checks are carried out.


Can I fundraise for Umbrella?
We welcome the support anyone has to offer Umbrella. If you want to raise funds, you can visit our How you Can help pages for more information. We are a very busy team and will try and support as many events as we can but please don’t be offended if we can’t attend an event as we can’t promise to get to them all them all.


How can I volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Joanne Drake who is our Volunteer Services Coordinator. She will be able to tell you more about how you can help. You can contact Jo on 01332 521229 or by emailing joanne.drake@umbrella.uk.net. You can also find out more information here



What is an Education, Health & Care assessment?
This is the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. It is a full investigation of your child’s needs. An EHC needs assessment is a legal process led by the local authority – Derby City or Derbyshire.  The majority of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream settings. However, some children require a lot of extra support – for example, your child may need a lot of adult support for most or all of the school day. They might need a large amount of help from specialist services, such as speech therapy. Your child may need to go to a special school where staff have the training and expertise to support their learning.


You, your child’s education setting or your child, if over 16, can ask your local authority to carry out an EHC needs assessment. The local authority gathers information about your child’s needs from:

  • you and your child
  • the nursery, school or college your child attends
  • an educational psychologist
  • health and social care services
  • other people who know your child.


For more information contact Umbrella’s Independent Support Team on 01332 785658



What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?
An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. The plan is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment.


An EHCP can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.


EHCPs are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting (a college, school, nursery). Although the plan include health or social care needs, your child will not get a plan if they only have health or social care needs that do not affect their education.


EHC plans are drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment. You, your child’s education setting or your child, if over 16, can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment.


For more information contact Umbrella’s Independent Support Team on 01332 785658