UCL clinical trial of probiotic for autistic children with tummy problems.

Susan Simmons the parent of an autistic young man, a registered nutritionist and a researcher at University College Hospital, is currently running a clinical trial of a probiotic for 3-16 year old autistic children with tummy problems. They are hoping that the probiotic will reduce gastrointestinal problems and also lead to greater benefits in mood and behaviour.
The trial is a double-blind placebo controlled crossover trial which means that every participant will get the active treatment for 12 weeks and also the placebo for 12 weeks with a 4 week break in the middle. This means that each participant will be involved in the study for almost 7 months. It involves 3 visits for the child and the primary carer to University College Hospital which is near London Euston station over the course of 7 months; It may be necessary for participants to take time off school to attend the hospital visits. Unfortunately, they are not able to refund travel expenses. There are no blood tests involved but they do ask parents to collect a stool sample from their child 3 times during the trial. Trial participants must not have taken probiotics or antibiotics for 1 month prior to enrolment to the study.
The probiotic being used for the trial is called Vivomixx and more information about this can be found at https://www.vivomixx.co.uk
You can find out more about the trial here:
They already have 44 people enrolled in the study and 21 of those have already completed. However they still have 38 places available if you know of anyone you think this might be of benefit to their child and are willing to answer a few questions to see if their child meets the eligibility criteria. If so, they can they email susan.simmons.16@ucl.ac.uk  with their name, phone number and some dates and times that it is convenient for her to call. She can then go through the eligibility screening process to find out if your child would be eligible to join the study. 
They should have some results from the study next year and I would be happy to email a summary of them if people are interested. 

All health and social care workers are to be given mandatory training on autism and learning disabilities after the death of a teenager.

Oliver McGowan, 18, died at Southmead hospital in Bristol in 2016 after being given a drug he was allergic to despite repeat warning from his parents.

The government has announced funding of £1.4m to develop and test the new training package.

Training is not currently mandatory and varies, a government spokesperson said.

The targeted programme will be “named in memory of Oliver McGowan and in recognition of his family’s tireless campaigning for better training for staff” a government spokesperson said.

It will draw on case studies which “capture exactly why NHS and social care staff need learning disability and autism training” the spokesperson said.

An independent review is to be carried out into Oliver McGowan’s death.

Courtesy of BBC West Health Correspondent Matthew Hill

Oliver McGowan was young and physically fit. Even though his care notes clearly stated that he was allergic to anti-psychotics, he was given them whilst being treated at Southmead Hospital.

The drugs caused his brain to swell severely and he died in intensive care. His parents obtained a report, carried out by the local Clinical Commissioning Group which found his death was potentially avoidable.

CCG bosses subsequently intervened to take out this damning finding.

Oliver’s family’s one consolation is that other parents will be listened to in future.

The announcement by the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, also confirmed all 2,250 people with a learning disability and autism who are inpatients in mental health hospitals will have their care reviewed over the next 12 months.

For those in long term segregation an independent panel, chaired by Baroness Sheila Hollins, will oversee their case reviews to improve their care and help support them move back into the community as quickly as possible.

A series of trials is due to run in 2020 before a wider roll-out of the training which aims to improve quality of care and life expectancy.




Camden Listening & Counselling Centre

Click here to download flyer (PDF 114KB)

Parliamentary committee calls for greater protection from online learning disability hate crime

The Petitions Committee, a parliamentary committee of the House of Commons, has published its report “Online abuse and the experience of disabled people”. The report reveals the extreme level of abuse that disabled people receive online, calling for legislative change to give them same protections as those who suffer hate crime due to race or religion. Learning Disability Today

Registering with your GP: understanding your rights

Wembley Compassionate Fund

Have you heard of the Wembley Compassionate Fund? Probably not, even though we have been going since 1904! We are a small charity, originally set up by Wembley District Nurses long before we had a National Health Service, to provide practical help to the sick, poor of Wembley. We can help with a variety of needs, such as school clothing, bedding, essential household appliances, and so on. You can find more examples and read all about us on our website www.wembleycompassionatefund.co.uk


Information Advice & Guidance course for people involved in or wishing to be involved in giving Information Advice & Guidance. Free if you meet the critieria.

Click on image to download flyer (2mb PDF)

NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Information, Advice or Guidance (QRN: 601/4321/6)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)     (165kb PDF)


ACAVA Studios, Barham Park,
660 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA0 2HB
Make contact to show interest and for more information

£10 per session
call 020 7209 4289 or
email siobhan@actionspace.org


Brent CCG has been engaging with Brent people over the month of August, including the Health Partners Forum held on August 29th, attended by over 85 members of the public. Brent CCG has undertaken outreach at a number of venues/events to gather feedback from local people. Details of the commissioning intentions can be found here. A short survey can also be found at this link. An initial report on the outcomes of this engagement exercise is expected by the end of October and at the next Health Partners Forum in January 2019. For more information, please contact Michelle Johnson at brentccg.engagement@nhs.net.


Under One Roof (UOR) is a new project designed to assist all Advice 4 Renters visitors and clients to better manage their tenancy beyond their initial legal matters.

With the help of trained volunteer mentors; clients will be offered the support needed to live independently. UOR can also give short term legal assistance in the form of an

appointment or letter.  Under One Roof Leaflet (1mb PDF download).


The London Borough of Brent and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) are publishing the draft Harlesden Neighbourhood Plan and inviting your responses and representations as part of this consultation. The draft Plan has been produced by the Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum to guide future development within the Harlesden Neighbourhood Area, which is located within the OPDC and London Borough of Brent local planning authority areas.

The Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum was established in 2015 by local residents and businesses. The draft Plan sets out the vision for the neighbourhood area, and contains a number of planning policies and community aspirations that will help to achieve this vision. More information about the Forum can be found on their website: www.harlesdenneighbourhoodforum.com.

We are inviting your responses on the Plan until Thursday 20 September 2018. You are invited to comment either be e-mailing planningstrategy@brent.gov.uk or in writing to Planning Policy, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ.

The documents are available to view or download at www.brent.gov.uk/hnp or www.london.gov.uk/opdcconsultations. During the consultation period, the Plan will also be available to view at the following places:

  • City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, More London Riverside, London SE1 2AA (Mon-Thurs: 8.30am-6.00pm, Fri: 8.30am-5.30pm)
  • Wembley Library at Brent Civic Centre HA9 0FJ (Mon-Fri: 8.00am-8.00pm, Sat-Sun: 10.00am-5.00pm)
  • Harlesden Library, 49A Craven Park Road, London NW10 8SE (Mon-Thurs: 10.00am-8.00pm, Fri: 10.00am-6.00pm, Sat: 10.00am-5.00pm, Sun: 12.00pm-5.00pm)

The deadline for receiving your comments is 5.00pm on 20 September 2018.

Please note all representations, including the name of the individual or organisation who commented, will be made publicly available.

Any representations may include a request to be notified of of OPDC’s and the London Borough of Brent’s decisions under regulation 19 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 in relation to making (adopting) the neighbourhood development plan.

We look forward to hearing from you.

VI ICT Courses – College of North West London

The College of North West London offers IT courses specific for blind and partially sighted people at Entry 3 and Level 1 to include keyboarding training (albeit it would be very helpful if potential learners had prior basic keyboard skills), Word-processing, Spread-sheet, Database, E-mail, Web Design and PowerPoint software using a combination of Windows keys and assistive technology programs JAWS screen reader and Zoom-Text magnifier/reader.  These are part-time day courses  accredited by City & Guilds and runs for a duration of one year from September to June.

Please telephone 0208 208 5458, if no one is available , leave a message and someone will get back to you.

Classes are held two days a week for each level – Entry Level on Tuesday/Wednesday and Level 1 on Thursday/Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm.  At the end of the Level 1 course, students have the option to integrate into mainstream to continue IT at Level 2 or Level 3  or pursue another course of their choice. L2 IT courses are held on Thursday (10.00am – 5.30pm, Friday (10.00am – 3.00pm) and Level 3 Wednesday (9.00am-3.00pm), Thursday( 9.00am-5.00pm). We have up-to- date Windows 7, JAWS 16 and Microsoft Office 2016.

New Brent Art Group
exciting new art group for young people aged 16 – 30
who have a learning disability

Click here for further details. (2207KB) PDF

Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) is an arms-length management organisations (ALMO) and community housing company owned by Brent Council.
While the council owns the homes and takes responsibility for housing policy and strategy, we are responsible for the day-to-day management of
housing services to over 9,500 council tenants and 3,000 leaseholders (12,500 altogether

Volunteers needed
CVS Brent are looking for volunteers to take part in their Social Isolation in Brent initiative. Volunteers will help the most isolated in Brent,
as well as learning new skills and receiving work experiences. Previous volunteers have recently moved into employment,
so the project provides a great opportunity for those looking to get into work. Find out more.
Disability Rights UK

wants to share some exciting information with you about The Leadership Academy Programme; 
Please visit our website for more details of the outcomes from the first year’s programme; http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/leadership
Places are offered on a first come first served basis and payment will be expected as soon as your provisional offer has been made.
For further information or if you are interested in applying? please request an application from The Leadership Academy Executive; Katrina.morris@disabilityrightsuk.org

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, celebrates 20 years of giving with 20 special grants
To mark 20 years of grant giving in the Capital, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has awarded an exceptional £20,000 grant to Brent Mencap

You can also get advice and help from the following organisation:
Citizens Advice Brent (CAB)
270 – 272 High Road
NW10 2EY

You can visit the CAB at any one of 13 Children’s Centres if you have children under 5 years old.
Visit CAB at Brent Housing Partnership if you are a council tenant.
Visit CAB at Catalyst Housing Association if you are a Catalyst tenant.
Visit CAB at Westminister Drug Project if you are affected by drug and alcohol abuse.
Visit CAB at Brent Civic Centre every Monday & Thursday or Call them on 020 8438 1249 Mon to Fri 10am-4:00pm.

You can also check out Brent Advice Matters (BAM) Website http://www.bam.org.uk

Saturday Playgroup

@ The Village School Grove Park, Kingsbury, London NW9 0JY
Every Saturday Term – Time
Available sessions:
Morning session: 9am – 12pm (3 hrs)
Afternoon Session: 12pm – 4pm (4hrs)
Full Session: 9am – 4pm (7hrs)
Ages: 3 – 19     £11/hr
Contact: Tunde Alabi @ The Village School on 07721857224 or daresaturdayplaygroup@gmail.com

Download a booking form


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