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Mainstream Schools Therapy Service

Ryegate therapy block

The mainstream schools therapy team is made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and therapy assistants who specialise in supporting children with physical disabilities who are attending mainstream schools across Sheffield. We work together to help children achieve their full physical potential, promote independence, develop life skills and to support their families.

Initial assessments take place at Ryegate Children’s Centre. We will ask questions about your child’s motor difficulties and complete a physical examination.

Together we will identify therapy goals and agree what we are going to work on. These goals may relate to school life, home life or leisure activities out in the wider community. We will plan our input around the goals that we set and how best to achieve them.

Therapy input will be different depending on your child’s needs at that time e.g. there may be blocks of increased therapy input when there is a greater need or times of less input. Treatment may take place at Ryegate, school, home or out in the community, wherever is most appropriate. We sometimes run activity groups to work on specific skills.

 We may work with other professionals involved in your child’s care including:

  • consultants
  • schools
  • orthotics
  • British Red Cross
  • Equipment and Adaptations Service
  • wheelchair services
  • charities

This is to ensure a joined-up approach to your child’s care.

Groups and clinics

All the groups and clinics run by the mainstream therapy team can only be accessed via a referral from your child’s physiotherapist or occupational therapist. They will work with you to discuss you and your child’s goal and to ensure that the group or clinic is the right choice. Not every group or clinic is suitable for every child.

Bike Group

What: 1:1 bike riding sessions run by our therapy assistants to help your child with a specific bike riding goal.

Why: For those children who may not be able to access the Ryegate Bike Group.

When: Several sessions throughout the year in a variety of park-based locations.

Boot Camp

What: A circuit style group for children aged 8-16 (under the care of any physiotherapy or occupational therapy team within the Sheffield Children’s Hospital) using weights, ropes and tyres.

Why: To improve overall fitness, improve strength, balance, work hard and most of all have fun together!

When: Usually in the six week summer holidays at park-based locations across the city.


What: Our CPIPS and Goldsmiths clinics are for our children who have limited mobility.

Why: We work with parents and carers to ensure we help maintain children’s body shape and posture using recognised assessments.

What: Several clinics held throughout the year.

Football Group

What: A sport specific group for children aged 6-12 to learn and develop football skills in a non-competitive environment.

Why: To learn to play a team game in a friendly, supportive environment, learn ball skills and have fun.

When: School holidays.


What: 1:1 Hydrotherapy (warm water) sessions held at Ryegate in the centre’s hydrotherapy pool.

Why: We use hydrotherapy to help meet your child’s therapy goals; this can be following surgery or to improve function or confidence in daily tasks. We sometimes use hydrotherapy to help your child transition into community swimming lessons and swimming as part of the family.

When: Our hydrotherapy sessions run every week on a Wednesday afternoon and we offer extra sessions in the summer holidays when we can.

Teen Group

What: A group aimed at our older children to help develop life skills in a supportive environment.

Why: To support teenagers under the care of physiotherapy and occupational therapy to try new skills and face new challenges that will help them become confident and independent young adults.

When: Sessions held each year.


From parents:

  • “My child enjoys showing us what he has done with the therapy assistant. He always looks really proud of himself when he does the exercises.”
  • “The therapist always offers good advice and tries to point us in the right direction.”
  • “My child is now showing a positive approach to writing and fine motor activities and there is a noticeable difference with his handwriting.”

From children:

  • “The programme helped me get stronger.”
  • “The therapy assistant helped me a lot because now I can tie my shoes.”
  • “Physio was so much fun and exciting and helped a lot to improve my strength in my legs.”

Useful websites

Contacts in Sheffield

Early Years Inclusion Team
0114 273 6411

Community Continence Service 
0114 305 3240
Support for children with wetting, soiling and toilet training problems.

Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service (SNIPS)
0114 273 4017

Sheffield Sling Surgery
Advice about slings

Community based groups in Sheffield

Burton Street Foundation
0114 233 2908
A community of services and groups for people with learning and physical disabilities

0114 386 3313
Sheffield based parent and family support group, run by parents of children with autism

ACCT youth group
Nicola 07527 824034
A youth group for teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome and High Functioning Autism

Computer Club Sheffield University
For children with ASD

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (local offer) services, events and activities
From Sheffield City Council

Sports clubs in Sheffield

Coach 2 Include
07580 051508
Sports coaching on Saturdays at Hillsborough College for children with special needs

Handsworth Football Club
07581 746027
Inclusive football sessions

Sheffield Smashers Boccia Club
Boccia club at Ponds Forge on Thursday evenings

Climbing for all
Climbing sessions at The Foundry

CP Teens UK RaceRunning 9+ years, Wednesday, 7:30-8:30pm
CP ‘Tinies’ RaceRunning 3-8 years, Friday,  5:30-6:30pm

Sheffield Steelers
Wheelchair basketball

Support groups and information

CP Teens UK
Support, events , activities and social network aimed at teens with cerebral palsy 

Muscular Dystrophy UK
National organisation providing information and funding research. They have published a range of factsheets about muscle wasting conditions.

Accessible Derbyshire
Information about accessible places in Derbyshire

Clothing and shoes

Marks and Spencers
Clothing range for children with special needs including easy dress uniforms, specialist bodysuits and sleepwear

Canvas shoes to fit over AFOs

Trainers with Velcro at the back to go over AFOs


Disability Grants
Website with list of charity funding providers for equipment

Cerebra, freecycle
Listing service for specialist equipment that is no longer needed. All equipment must be offered free of charge.

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