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Information and Advice

Dorking Nursery School and Family Centre

Our Family Centre is open for information and advice 48 weeks of the year. 

We provide information and signposting on a range of services including:

  • health
  • jobs and training
  • special needs
  • child development and behaviour
  • speech & language
  • child safety
  • family support
  • breast feeding
  • Citizens Advice
  • Post natal depression groups

Please do contact us for more information on any of our services.


Caleidoscope CIC is not for profit community organisation supporting families with autistic children. They offer individual support, training for parents and professionals as well as inclusive classes for children such as Art and Lego. 

On their social media page, there are weekly competitions for the children to get involved in.

"We offer professionalism in relaxed, non judgmental environment.

Our mission is to break the stigma of autism, raise awareness and promote social inclusion."


Family Information Service (FIS)

Register for free online guides for families
Bringing up children is a lot of fun but can also have its challenges and times when receiving some advice would be helpful.

If you are a Surrey resident you can have free access to three online parenting guides that include top tips from childcare, education and NHS health experts.

Understanding your pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby
Understanding your baby
Understanding your child 0 to 19 years
The online guides contain advice relevant to expectant parents, parents, grandparents and carers of children of all ages including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Access to the guides is unlimited with no expiry date, so you can return as and when you need and want to. Each guide has between 9 to 11 sessions which last roughly 20 minutes each, there are also activities that can be carried out between courses.


Family Outreach Support

Our outreach workers run groups at our Goodwyns Road site and in the community. In addition they are able to support some parents in their homes, at the Centre and/or on the phone if they have a particular need. If you feel you would benefit from such 1:1 support please speak to Centre staff or your health visitor.

The aim of our outreach service is:

  • To offer in-depth social, emotional and practical support and advice to families/ carers in the family home or other venues as appropriate, including Centre sites.
  • To enhance parenting skills in order to improve short and long-term outcomes for children.
  • To build confidence, self-esteem and resilience within family members.
  • To support families to independently access targeted and universal services for the benefit of themselves and their children.

Food Bank - Dorking Area

The Dorking Area Food Bank - Helping Local People in Crisis

The Trussell Trust runs the largest network of foodbanks in the UK, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis. Thirteen million people live below the poverty line and in the last year we gave 1,182,954 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis.

The Foodbank is open at The Christian Centre, Church Street, on Tuesdays 4.45pm to 5.45pm and Thursdays 2.30-3.30pm.

Families can ask for a foodbank voucher from both our Goodwyns Road and West Street sites as well as from CAB, Health Visitors and St Johns Primary School. 

Please call us on 01306 740095 to arrange collection of a voucher.

Jigsaw South East

We are no longer living in lockdown however, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we are still in a period of anxiety for everyone, but especially for children and young people. Please know that Jigsaw (South East) is here and will do their best to support all who need it and to answer any queries you may have.

Following updated Government guidance, some of their services are being delivered face-to-face outside, in a COVID-secure, socially distanced environment.  However, the rest of the services will continue to be delivered online and by telephone, email or text, until it is safe to do otherwise.


Referrals can be made over the phone or by email – please call Jigsaw on 01342 313895 if you need support or advice. Their dedicated Helpline is staffed between 9am and 12pm weekdays. *Outside of those hours please leave a message or use the contact form and they will respond as soon as possible.

Alternatively you can email: info@jigsawsoutheast.org.uk


Learn with me!

Learn with me - child development tips for parents and carers of 0-5s. It will help get your child off to a great start through fun activities...and its all free! Just visit... http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/family-information-service/education-and-learning-advice-for-families/early-learning

Mary Frances Trust

Mary Frances Trust are the mental health and emotional wellbeing charity for adults in Surrey, supporting people for as long as they need, inspiring them to find ways to restore and maintain their mental wellbeing.

"We work hard to challenge mental health stigma and promote emotional self-care." 





During the current climate, it can be difficult to know what to do during pregnancy.

Below are some links from SASH (Surrey and Sussex Healthcare) with advice and outlining the support and services they are still able to offer parents to be:

Self referral maternity form: https://www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/self-referral-maternity-form/

Maternity care during the Coronavirus: https://www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Covid-19-patient-info-leaflet-2.pdf

A video from SASH Maternity: https://www.facebook.com/666080096901548/posts/1563167783859437/?vh=e

SASH Coronavirus maternity helpline number (for non urgent queries relating to Coronavirus): 07971 937588, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm


Portage Early Education Support Service

Portage is a specialist teaching service for pre-school children from birth to 3½ years, with significant developmental delay or complex needs. The Portage service supports families making regular home visits (usually weekly or fortnightly) to support children's development through play. Portage teams work very closely with all the other relevant professionals supporting the child and family to ensure everyone is working towards shared goals. The length of Portage home visiting support varies depending on the needs of the child, lasting between 6-18 months. The service also provides support to ensure successful transition into nursery. Children who are around 3 years old and present with social communication needs are offered an alternative home visiting programme (CAPP) which is a 6 month programme.

To find out more about the Portage service or to discuss a referral, please contact Jo Matthews or Rachel Le on 01737 737777.

Postnatal Peer Support Groups

As we are unable to home visit at this time, our families will be receiving a call on a weekly basis to provide support and advice. We are sending our families weekly newsletters with mental health advice, ideas to keep busy and updates on local services and support. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please let us know. 

Although we are unable to meet face-to-face, we are holding virtual coffee mornings for some parent and volunteers to have a catch up and offer assistance to each other. 

We are also running several virtual support groups for families. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about this.

To sign up, fill in a self referral form on our website www.homestartelmbridge.org.uk

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to contact us on: enquiries@home-start-elmbridge.org.uk


Speech and Language Advice

If you would like to find out more about how to support your child's speech and language development, we also run various workshops and have leaflets that might help.

Children learn to talk at different rates. If you are concerned about your child's development, we can give advice and ideas to try at home and follow up with other services if needed. Please ring to find out more on 01306 740095.

Surrey Wellbeing Partnership

Weekly online support

The Surrey Wellbeing Partnership (a group of voluntary sector organisations working together to help improve the wellbeing of Surrey children, young people and families) is working together with the NHS to empower parents to meet the emotional needs of children, young people and families during the pandemic. They have teamed up with Dr Kathryn Hollins of Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust. Kathryn is their local expert - she is a Consultant Parent, Child and Family Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, specialising in parenthood, pregnancy and family relationships.
Each week on their Facebook page, Dr Kathryn Hollins will be sharing ideas and tips on how to meet the emotional and developmental needs of our children during this difficult time.

Please follow the links below and join this fantastic group:

Useful Websites for Information & Advice

Surrey FIS - Surrey Family Information Service - useful, free & impartial local service for families with children 0-25

Gov.UK - Information on a range of services including Job Centre Plus, housing, benefits, childcare & parenting, citizenship & living in the UK, money & tax, and disabled people

Childcare Choices - find out about the government's new ways to help parents with childcare costs. Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support

30 hours funded childcare for working parents - Family Information Service info

Gingerbread - provides expert advice, practical support and campaigns for single parents

Fatherhood Institute - UK's fatherhood think-and-do-tank

Dorking Schools' Partnership - network of local schools providing help and information

Think U Know - guidance for parents on how to keep children safe from sex abuse, both on and offline

Parent info - provides high quality information for parents about their children's wellbeing and resilience in the digital world

Parent information leaflet - Where and how to seek help when your child is unwell

CAPT - Child Accident Prevention Trust - free child safety advice

Surrey Against Domestic Abuse - offers help and support for anyone in the county affected by domestic abuse

FEET Funding - find out more about free funding for two year olds to attend nursery provision 

To find out more about two year funding in Surrey, watch these two video clips:-

Find a Dentist - find an NHS Dentist near you

Sexual Health - find NHS services near you

Immunisations - NHS advice on immunisations/vaccinations

Children and Family Health Surrey - NHS nursing and therapy services for children and families across Surrey

Parent Zone - Experts in digital family life - Advice and information to help parents keep children safe online, eg parental and privacy controls, how family-friendly are the games and apps your kids like to play? and more

CEOP - Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (National Crime Agency). Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Report it to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors.

Forms for protecting and safeguarding children - If you are a professional involved in protecting and safeguarding children in Surrey these are the forms you will most commonly need.

WEA - Free courses

The WEA are running a series of FREE online (via zoom) courses in partnership with East Surrey College for residents in the East Surrey area, covering Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge and Epsom & Ewell. These courses requires participants to pre-register with Richmond Fellowship (Mental Health Charity) to obtain a pin number.

Visit: redhillcc@richmondfellowship.org.uk or Tel 01737 771282 then visit www.wea.org.uk to enrol.