Clearly Speaking | Specialist Children and Family Support Services (Buckingham)

Coronavirus status: OPEN ONLINE

At this very difficult time, we are still trying to provide some respite for our families and plan to hold smaller sized groups within the garden and open space of our Centre.  We are dependent upon the availability of our volunteers and the advice which continues to come from local and National Government. 

We ask families to please “ like “ our Facebook site so that they can receive messages about any fun, active and social activities we are able to run. The are then also able to call the Children & Family Centre to register themselves and their children, within the clubs or activities their wish to access, (We do ask that as we work to try and provide more regular events and clubs for all ages, that everyone is patient and pays for places as soon as they are confirmed so that we can make sure as many children and young people have access to their clubs and activities throughout the summer, failure to pay will result in the place or places being re-offered, and payment may not be refunded depending upon the notice provided).  At this time when places will need to be restricted due to the space available, we cannot leave clubs unable to run or groups to be so reduced that our members are unable to benefit from the social environment they so desperately need to develop skills and confidence.  Thank you for your understanding on these issues.

We plan to reopen the regular clubs we run throughout the year, as these cover all age groups and provide discrete, specialist environments for members who have a wide range of abilities and difficulties, or disabilities.  We accept a wide range of referrals from G.P's, Health visitors, schools, colleges paediatricians, mental health services etc.  As we plan, with our members and families, we will of course fully consider the well-being of everyone involved, but we continue to be concerned about the additional pressure family isolation and pressure being unable to follow established routines places upon the positive mental health of children and young people, and we will be mindful of these issues as we plan and prepare our clubs and activities.

we will try to keep our details updated as quickly as is possible as we work towards a return to our usual weekly clubs and activities.  Thank you for your patience.  

Clearly Speaking is a support service for all families who are supporting, guiding, or caring for members who have special needs, and, or disabilities, we specialise in supporting those on the autistic spectrum disorder, which may underlie a number of other disabilities, e.g. Social Communication difficulties, Cerebral Palsy, Dyspraxia, (often noted to Specific Learning Difficulties), Anxiety Disorder, depression etc.  We also provide guidance and support to frontline professionals who wish to understand the impact an Autistic Spectrum Disorder can have on children, young people, or indeed, adults they are working with. Our charity offers independent and specialist support to families and those with any level of special need and/or disability in and around Buckinghamshire. The service supports young people aged 0 to adulthood and supports older members to become volunteers, learning essential life and work valued skills. For more information please  visit our website.

We have over 25 years of experience of working with those who live with autism and associated difficulties, and have designed supportive, successful programmes designing to help with the very difficult transition to greater independence, and eventually, adulthood.   We are always happy to share our expertise and other charities and organisations have benefited from partnership programmes,  whereas we also offer specialist, individual advice and support for our families, delivered within weekly activities in our own facilities in Buckingham. Our local centre provides the privacy to meet with families or young people when needed. The centre also provides the space and independence to run our services and activity groups on site, after we plan with our families.  we welcome all those committed to improving the lives of children and young people with special needs, and disabilities, volunteers are key to our wonderful kind service and promote an environment of inclusion and equality with positive role models for all children and young people.  Please do get in touch if you wish to know more.

What we do and whom we support

We work with all families who are referred by local family services, e.g. GP's, Paediatricians, Teachers, adult mental health services etc.  We also support parents who self-refer due to their concerns about their child or another family member, and we will provide opportunities to meet with others, talk through their concerns and help or sign-post them, or, assess young people and adults who may have 'fallen through the net' and are struggling to become independent, or to fit in with peers or feel comfortable within social settings. This could be because of difficulties with social communication skills, self-esteem high levels of anxiety, mental health difficulties and confidence. We specialise in supporting families over longer periods of time, (there is not limit to the number of sessions, or access to beneficial clubs and social groups), particularly when supporting those who have hidden special needs or disabilities such as:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  • Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Learning difficulties. (disabilities, we will not turn anyone away, we always discuss issues and the difficulties faced with parents and the child if appropriate)
  • Psychosis (and related anxiety disorders)
  • Related disorders affecting depression, anxiety, mental health and social communication.

We are working with children and young people who struggle with a wide range of difficult issues. These include

  • Self-harm.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Difficulties remaining on task and feeling positive or accepted.
  • Associated challenging behaviours such as bipolar disorder, psychosis and sensory integration difficulties.

We run individual support sessions and small group meetings providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based intervention. These adapted sessions suit the needs of those attending and have achieved fantastic success.   Many young adults come  back and speak about how they moved forward, and gained better control of negative aspects of their condition and the positive support they received at Clearly.  It is also helpful to those children who feel hopeless, or who "hate social situations",  and are just starting out on their journey,  to hear their stories.

Support for parents and carers

Advice and action plans

We will listen to you and check we fully understand your worries and concerns.  We will then try to be understanding and will provide specialist advice  from professional volunteers and staff. We will provide you with time and support, and an action plan to help achieve goals for yourself and your child/children by:

  • Supporting you.
  • Giving you accurate helpful advice and information.
  • Sign-posting you to agencies and services in your local area who can also help.
  • Working with you or your family as appropriate.
  • providing weekly small group chat (play for small children), sessions, such as Monday's knit & Chat.
  • identifying specific weekly sessions for children to provide you with affordable respite throughout the year. 

Support attending meetings

We can help you to prepare for meetings, reviews and appeals and understand your child’s entitlements. We can help you prepare for review and planning meetings with schools, colleges, nurseries, social care and health services. If we are available and you feel that an independent supporter would be helpful, we will come with you.  We will make sure you understand any reports or minutes and notes you are sent, when you bring them in to a private meeting at the centre.  We hope to empower you to feel confident when you meet with others about your child or family member. 

Tribunal Cases

We will prepare tribunal cases and translate official reports with you. If appropriate, we will take the lead in making an application for:

  • Higher Tier Funding (HTF).
  • SENDIST Appeals.
  • Education, health and care (EHC) plans. 

Key Workers and Support to Nurseries and Schools

We provide a key-worker to your family. We also provide specialist advice and support to nurseries and schools. This advice covers hidden special needs and disabilities. In particular those with autism, ADHD, a specific learning difficulty such as, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, and associated mental health difficulties. 

Confidentiality, Safety and Wellbeing

We work closely with health, social care and education practitioners. Confidentiality is our priority. Approaching Clearly Speaking is private and not shared unless you instruct us to do so.

The safety and wellbeing of children and young people is always our priority. We do all we can to provide them with equal opportunities to achieve their true potential. We aim to remove barriers faced by children and young people with a disability, special need, or mental health difficulty. If we sounds like an organisation that can help you, or if you want to get involved in our work, please contact us. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Janet Nicks
Contact Position
Special Needs Consultant
Clearly Speaking

The phone numbers provided have answerphones attached to them.  Please do call 01280 824871 and leave a message, with a clear phone number where you can be reached.  Sadly if the number is not clear, or is given too quickly, it may not be possible to reach you.  Please also keep trying if you do not get an answer, there are times when the centre can become extremely busy and our administrative assistant is currently only very part time.

we can be reached by email and we will always try to respond within one week, clearly if it is urgent this will be much quicker.

We apologise for any frustration caused by the illness of some members of our key volunteers and we hope that this improves as we move into a more positive time ahead.  we are currently working hard to increase our volunteers and the access we can provide for all those who come to our charity for help and support.

Where to go

Clearly Speaking
Children and Family Centre
London Road
MK18 1AS
Venue Notes

We are located between Buckingham Upper School and Swan Leisure Centre. Buses stop across from the centre that go to and from Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Bicester. 

Geographic Area Covered

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Opening times vary according to bookings, organised sessions and clubs. Booking is essential.
Time of day
Session Information
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1pm to 6pm
Alternative Saturdays and Sundays (please check our events calendar via Facebook) Youth Club, or Dungeons and Dragons 10am-3.30pm

Other Details

Cost Description

We charge a small amount per activity group to pay for art and craft materials or tuck shop. We encourage those who uses the diagnosis or tribunal services to donate towards costs of paper, ink, Janet's time and travel costs. If you are struggling financially, you may consider volunteering. We will never ask for money towards any services except for our activity groups, where discounts are available to those on benefits, retirees, or those have more than one child attending.

Age Ranges
Junior Activities | 5 to 12 years
Senior Activities | 13 years to 18 years
Adult groups | 19 years and over
Family Groups 0 to adult
Disabled Car Parking Space


Referral required
Referral Details

Clearly Speaking ensures that all parents, carers, and young people can ‘self-refer' to access all the specialist services for a reasonable price. We encourage everyone to self-refer by completing asking for a registration form to be sent out for completion.  these can be brought into the centre when meeting with the club leader who will be working with you and help will be provided to complete the forms there. You can also ask for the forms to be sent out by emailing us at:

Local statutory agencies can also referrer families, and welcome Clearly Consultants to join multi agency teams supporting the family.  These agencies include:

  • GPs.
  • CAMHs.
  • NHS Teams
  • Schools and nurseries.
  • Health and social care services.
  • Youth advisory services.

Local Offer


We work very hard to address the inequality often experienced by children and young people throughout their education, leisure and as they work hard to build social relationships and friendships. We provide opportunities for children, young people and their families to enjoy the feeling of belonging and of success whenever possible.

Contact Name
Janet Nicks
Contact Telephone
Contact Email
Local Offer Links
Clearly Speaking Website
Local Offer Age Bands
16 to 18
12 to 15
25 plus
19 to 25
2 to 4
All ages
0 to 1
8 to 11
5 to 7
Needs Level
All Needs Met
SEN Provision Type
Universal service (No referral required)

General Local Offer Response

What outcomes does your service or activity aim to achieve for children and young people with SEND and their families?

Our aim it to remove the many barriers children and young people face as a result of their disability, particularly those who have a hidden disability and associated anxiety or mental health difficulties.

we provide as many opportunities as possible for friendships to be formed and for children and young people, and adults who are often left alone an isolated as they enter adulthood and are trying to manage greater independence, with the opportunity to reach out for help when it is needed, and to develop positive relationships which we support to be sustainable by teaching more positive social skills and friendship.  this has a positive impact upon mental health and confidence, increasing opportunities for employment and positive adult relationships.

We want to help those with a hidden disability to have fun, to experience less anxiety where possible and to be less vulnerable as they learn how to keep themselves safe, or to know when to ask for help.

How can children and young people with SEND and their families start to use your service or activity?

Call or email Clearly.  When we have everything in place to Socially Isolate ourselves, to use the most appropriate PPE, and to make sure everyone will be safe, to come to meet us at Clearly at our Children and Family Centre and meet the team,  we can then assess children and family members who may need help or want a club to attend, and identify the best club for them.

When the virus is no longer a consideration, you will be able to call and book an appointment or email us to begin discussions.

How is your service or activity fully accessible to children, young people with SEND and their families, for example, facilities, support from staff?

Our centre is accessible for those in wheelchairs or who have mobility difficulties, these is a lift, a disabled toilet in the attached youth centre and a shower and changing facilities within our building.

All volunteers and staff and trained and experienced in working with children and young people who have a range of difficulties who attend sessions they are supporting.  the registration process makes it possible to gain a great deal of information and advice from the family and the child themselves so that we are able to work out the best care and support plan possible and ensure that all children/members, have the very best of times when they attend our clubs and activities.  

all members follow their own journey and will access their groups or clubs at a speed and style that suits their needs.  we always point out that this is not compulsory, it is fir them to enjoy and to hopefully, develop some new friendships.

How do you communicate with children, young people with SEND and their families?

We use a wide range of communication styles including Makaton, (a basic sign language), PECS, finger spell, visual cues and following the advice of families as to how each individual member prefers to communicate.  

we will often take cues fro special schools and those who have worked with the children for a number of months or years.  we will also invite them in to meet with those who will be working with the new member, and to support a smooth transition into the new club or activity they want to try. 

What training have your staff and/or volunteers received to support children and young people with SEND and their families?

We offer training to all staff and volunteers as well as our partners within the youth services and schools.  our parents often join us f the training is beneficial for themselves and Clearly, e.g. Safeguarding, First Aid, Sing and Sign etc.  Volunteers are encouraged to come and ask for training they feel would be helpful. last year we offered Food and Hygiene Cert Level ii as we are cooking for others within a very positive.  Those with learning difficulties are supported to be able to access courses and adaptions are made to ensure accessibility is appropriate.

What future plans does your service or activity have for developing its SEND provision, for example, training, facilities?

We really want to expand our gardening and outdoor projects and need more outdoor cover to do this.  we also want to have more accessible buildings for cookery as we do not have enough accessible space tp make this work well.  Our ability to teach adults with an Autistic Spectrum and associated mental health difficulties has mad a huge difference over the past eighteen months, but we need to grow this space to increase the projects potential.

We want to be able to bring isolated adults with disabilities, into the centre by minibus or increase access to those who may feel lonely or isolated.  We would also like to have hub kitchens we can use around the county and increase access one day a week for those who are usually overlooked as a result of the nature of their difficulties.

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