Darlington Association on Disability Logo showing the letters D.A.D. breaking through a wallDarlington Association
on Disability
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What OfSTED said about DASH…

‘Children are confident and self-assured to lead their own play.’

‘Staff effectively foster children's emotional well-being. They are caring and reassuring to children who are fairly new to the setting. This helps children to develop strong bonds and secure attachments and to settle quickly in their surroundings.’

‘Partnerships with parents are positive. Staff communicate well with them and provide feedback about their children's activities and daily routines.’

‘The quality and standards of the early years provision - Good’

On Tuesday 8th August our Honey Bears play scheme was inspected by OfSTED as part of the routine inspection process, giving the play scheme an overall rating of Good.

We are delighted with the outcome of the inspection and the hard work of the Children and Young People’s Service and the volunteers who support DASH to ensure that we continue to provide a high quality service.

A full copy of the report can be found here

DASH Funding Update

We are pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing funding through the Better Care Fund to support DASH play schemes.

The funding will enable us to provide a limited number of subsidised places for children and young people and give us some funding towards trips and trip transport costs.

The schemes will be running from Monday 24th July to Friday 18th August.

If you would like more information do not hesitate to contact the Children and Young People’s Service on chyps@darlingtondisability.org or 01325 489999.

‘Well Teddy Clinic’

Children and young people recently took part in a ‘Well Teddy Clinic’ to start conversations about NHS Paediatric (children’s) Services so that they were able to share their views about what is important about the care and support they receive and how this can be improved.

This was part of the Better Health Programme, which was about how the NHS in Darlington, Durham and Tees can improve care for patients. Their views will be used to shape a public consultation later this year.

Photo showing children taking part in Well Teddy Clinic

Above photo shows children taking part in "Well Teddy Clinic"

Great North Run - support DAD

Briony, a member of our Children and Young People’s Service, has generously and bravely decided to run this year's Great North Run in September in support of DAD.

A big thank you Briony and good luck!

To help Briony reach her target and support DAD, please visit her JustGiving page

DASH Playschemes Recruitment

Volunteers needed please!

Do you have spare time in the holidays?
Do you have a sense of fun?
Would you like to gain experience working with children?

If the answer is yes, you may be ideal to join a team of volunteers on DAD’s DASH Play Scheme.

Previous experience is not needed. Training is provided. You must be aged 16 or over.

For more details or an information pack, contact:

Phone: (01325) 489999
Email: directpayments@darlingtondisability.org
Text: 07624818780

Contact us as soon as possible as pre-checks are needed before you can start!

What does our Children and Young People’s Service (ChYPS) offer?

ChYPS provides a range of services to support children, young people and families.

Independent Support

Independent Support provides support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), and young people with SEN, through the coordinated  assessment and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) processes introduced on the 1st September 2014 by the Children and Families Act 2014. 

Inclusion Support Service

The Inclusion Support Service provides one-to-one support to children and young people to access play and leisure opportunities of their choice and is usually funded through Social Services.


This is an inclusive Bridging Support Service that supports children and young people to access and participate in play and leisure opportunities of their choice. The project aims to work with play and leisure providers to enable them to become inclusive for disabled children. The service also organises, promotes and delivers training to play and leisure providers.

Young Leaders

ChYPS provides Inclusion, Participation and Leadership opportunities for disabled young people aged between 12-25 years. As well as regular forums the project also provides training and opportunities for personal development. The intention is that young disabled people gain skills and experience in order to influence DAD and other services. Young Leaders have their own section within DAD's website

DASH (Inclusive play scheme for children)

DASH provides 3 inclusive play schemes throughout the school holidays to all children, disabled and non-disabled children.

Honey Bears - children aged 3 - 7 years old.

Busy Bugs - children aged 8 - 12 years old.

The Buzz - young people aged 13 - 15 years old.

DASH promotes a free play structure, but some structured activities are also provided, including indoor and outdoor play sessions, workshops, trips to the seaside, soft play, swimming and bowling.
Through trained staff and volunteers we are able to maintain a high level of support for children. All staff and volunteers are fully DBS and reference checked.

DASH judged as ‘Good’ by OfSTED

DASH play schemes were recently inspected by OfSTED and found to be ‘Good’ in all areas. The inspection was carried out on the Honey Bears play scheme for 3 - 7 year olds and judgements made about the quality of the provision.

The report highlights our strengths in;

• providing a welcoming inclusive environment
• providing a wide range of activities and experiences which build upon childrens interests
• how well children are safeguarded and their well being supported and
• the fair, calm and consistent approach of staff.

We are delighted with the report and its findings which reflect the hard work,commitment and enthusiasm of staff and volunteers that support DASH.

A full copy of the report can be viewed here.

Contact details

For more information about any of our services, or to request a General Information pack about DASH, please contact:-

DAD Children and Young People’s Service (ChYPS)
1P Enterprise House
South Entrance
Valley Street South
Telephone: 01325 489999
Text: 07624818780
E-mail: chyps@darlingtondisability.org

Please use main office number listed above to contact staff during school holidays. Your message will be forwarded to ChYPS staff.

OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education)

For Complaints or concerns you may have, contact Ofsted directly on:
Tel: 0845 601 4772

Can You Help?

We are constantly seeking funds to enable us to continue providing a high quality play provision in Darlington.
Could you organise a sponsored event or activity?
Does your employer have a community charity of the year?
Does your bank/building society offer a scheme that "Match funds" and money raised for local charities?
Would you or anyone you know like to make a regular monthly donation of £2, £5 or £10 by Direct Debit?
Do you have any further fundraising ideas you would like to undertake?
For more information on ways that you can support the work that ChYPS does with children and young people see DAD’s Support Us webpage.