15th April 2021 

Covid 19 Testing and Vaccination for PAs

Please check the current guidance relating to Covid19 testing and vaccination for your PAs. In brief, all PAs are entitled to a rapid Lateral Flow (LFT) test twice weekly, followed by confirming PCR testing for positive results. PAs should order their rapid LFT kits from the universal testing portal as the current portal closes on 26th April. Click HERE for full information.

Lateral Flow tests are only for those without symptoms, anyone with symptoms should self-isolate immediately and book a test online or by calling 119. Click HERE to book your test. 

Personal assistants are eligible for their Covid-19 vaccination as a frontline health and social care workers if any person they are caring for is clinically vulnerable to Covid-19.
PAs should now access an appointment for their vaccination by contacting their GP or any GP in the area they work in. If you cannot access an appointment via this route, or do not have an eligibility letter for your vaccination, then please contact your Local Authority vaccination lead on kcccovidvaccinations@kent.gov.uk


17th July 2020

 Fact Sheet for wearing of Facemasks

 We have received several calls from families regarding the forthcoming changes to the wearing of facemasks being introduced from Friday 24 July.

From that date, in addition to needing to wear masks on public transport and in hospitals, people will need to wear masks in shops and supermarkets.

There is a list of exemptions that may apply to our members.

These exemptions are as follows:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are traveling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape risk of harm, and you do not have a face-covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

The government guidance document can be viewed HERE

Naturally, you may be anxious about being questioned or fined if your child’s disability is a “Hidden Disability”.

There are items available now to address this issue. Some examples of products can be viewed through the links below.



Beams will have a supply of cards from the hidden disability store very soon and we also have their sunflower lanyards for sale. If you would like to purchase a lanyard please contact the family advice team on 01322 668501 x1 or familyadvice@wearebeams.org.uk


An announcement of support on behalf of KCC and CCG Commissioners

We have seen an increase in distress in young people, specifically 10 to 16 who are feeling socially isolated and may be struggling with conflict or relationship difficulties at home. In addition, we know that young people who display behaviours associated with neurodevelopment conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or ADHD are likely to find it more difficult to recognise their distress and access support associated with their wellbeing.  

Action is being taken across schools, health services, and social care to try to identify young people who may be particularly vulnerable to emotional distress at this time. However, we would like to draw your attention to a range of support available to young people and their families. 

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Young People:

If a young person or their parents are not sure what support is needed, then they can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 123 4496 to talk through what information, advice, and support might be appropriate. This is also the number to call if a child or young person needs urgent mental health support.

For people of all ages needing immediate mental health support, just TEXT the word “Kent” to 85258. This is a new 24/7 text service provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line as part of the Kent and Medway Release the Pressure campaign.

Other services that young people can access directly are:

  • Kooth is a mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people aged 10 to 16 across the whole of Kent. The service is free and can be accessed at www.kooth.com. It’s a place to get advice, information, and support 24/7. Young people can chat with a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 10 pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6 pm and 10 pm. 
  • Accessing www.moodspark.org.uk or www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk to learn about mental health and find tips and resources to keep emotionally healthy.
  • Texting ChatHealth for support around physical and mental health on 07520 618850. The number is monitored Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Self-referring to the Children and Young People’s Counselling Service at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/forms/school-health-service-referral-form
  • Accessing the Big White Wall if aged 16+ for anonymous support through https://www.bigwhitewall.com


KCC quite “Please support us in reaching out to the children and young people of Kent. Thank you for everything you do to support our county’s children and young people”.

Beams Family Advice Team are also available on familyadvice@wearebeams.org.uk or 01322 668501 option1 


An Announcement and Survey

on Behalf of Commissioning for Disabled Children, Kent County Council

This notice is for families who currently access a grant-funded short break activity programme, we have asked Beams to announce this to you on our behalf.

Our specialist Short Breaks providers and many Direct Payment carers (PAs) have not been able to offer their normal services and most activities that provide much-needed breaks for both disabled children and young people and their families have been cancelled. Disabled Children and Young People Services are having to make some major changes to the usual service offer due to the impact of COVID-19 and we would like your input into how best we resume services.

On Sunday the government announced measures to ease the restriction and has published its plan outlining the roadmap on how easing of lockdown restrictions is being planned. You can access that announcement HERE

We would like to start planning how best to support families to access a form of a short break. There are of course many considerations on how these services will be run including the measures needed to keep your children/ young people, family, as well as staff safe. We will be working with Beams to ensure that all the governmental recommendations are in place and that expert recommendations are followed to help keep your children and young people safe.

We are consulting with you to through this survey so we are better informed by you and understand if you would like to access short breaks and what else we could consider putting in place: Please only complete this survey if Beams as your provider has requested you to do so.

If you have any issues with completing this survey please contact Commissioning for Disabled Children E: commissioningfordisabledchildren@kent.gov.uk


Useful Download. Please click HERE for Children’s activity booklet


Parent Support

We have support materials to help you explain to your child about what is going on around them at present.

Coronavirus Social Story Click HERE for download

Hospital and Coronavirus explained Click HERE for download

Please see the images in the gallery below.

Coronavirus Social Story images

There are 17 pages of images.

Hospital and Coronavirus Explained

There are 9 images.