Making life easier out and about

Help with travel

Blue Badge Scheme

A Blue Badge is a disabled parking permit. It helps people with disabilities or health conditions park closer to their destination. To qualify for a Blue Badge, you (or your child) must have an enduring and substantial disability. You will need to provide evidence of this. This can now include non-visible conditions like autism.  To apply you will need to meet the criteria and provide evidence of the disability.  More information can be found on the Local Authority website, where you can make an online application.

You are eligible for the Blue Badge parking concession scheme if your child either:

  • Receives the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Is aged two or above and has severe walking problems.
  • Is under three and has a condition which means they either need to be accompanied by bulky equipment or kept near a vehicle at all times.

Disabled adults on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) also qualify for a Blue Badge if they score eight points or more under the PIP activity of ‘moving around’.

If your child doesn’t qualify for a blue badge automatically under the above rules, they may still qualify under the so called ‘assessed route’.

Cambridgeshire’s Blue Badge Scheme is run by Cambridgeshire County Council

Help getting a car and driving lessons

Mobility Scheme

The Motability Scheme helps disabled people hire a car or instead a scooter or powered wheelchair, and Scheme customers might qualify for a driving lessons grant.

You can join the Motability Scheme if your child is awarded the highest rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Your child’s award must have 12 months left to run.

Find out more by visiting the Mobility Scheme website.

East Anglian Driveability

An independent charity with Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors that specialises in enabling outdoor mobility fully accredited by Driving Mobility.

Find out more by visiting the East Anglian Drivability Website

Help with road tax

You can get a 100 per cent rebate on Vehicle Excise Duty if your child is awarded the DLA mobility component at the higher rate or PIP mobility component at the enhanced rate.

A 50 per cent rebate is made where someone qualifies for PIP mobility component at the standard rate.

For more details, call the DLA unit (0345 7123 456) or PIP unit (0800 917 2222) or visit the government’s website.

Help with bus travel

All local authorities operate schemes allowing disabled people of any age to apply for a bus pass or voucher for free bus travel. In some areas an essential, named carer accompanying the disabled person is also entitled to free travel.

You can find details of how to apply in Cambridgeshire here

Disabled Person’s Railcard

Buying this railcard entitles disabled people and a companion up to a third off most train fares. For further information visit the disabled person’s railcard website.

National Rail Passenger Assist

There is help for passengers who need extra assistance when travelling by train.  Whether you need a hand with bags, help to find your connection or physical assistance to get on and off a train this team can help.

School transport

Cambridgeshire County Council can provide transport or help with the costs for eligible children and young people. You can find out more on their website

Hidden Disabilities Sunflowers

Not all disabilities are visible – some are hidden and not immediately obvious, such as learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to identify, acknowledge or understand the challenges you face.

Be visible when you want to be

Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you may need additional support, help or a little more time.

Some supermarkets and airports provide lanyards and wristbands free of charge.  You can find items to buy on the Hidden Disabilities website.

Carer’s Card and What If? Plan

Carer’s card

Carer's emergency card

It has always been valuable for people looking after a family member or friend to be identified as a carer.

The Caring Together carer’s card is a good way to help you be identified as a carer, whether this is when you are at the shops, GP surgery, pharmacist or other places. (We would also recommend you make sure that the GP of the person you look after is aware that you are their carer).

For carers who have a What If? Plan with Caring Together – a plan which can be activated if something happens which means they cannot carry out their normal caring duties – the card is now dual purpose.

If you don’t yet have a carer’s card you can find out more by emailing Caring Together at or by calling 0345 241 0954.

Registering for a What If? Plan

If the person you look after lives in Cambridgeshire you can register a ‘What If? Plan’ with Caring Together.

The What If? phone line is then available for you to call 24-hours a day if you need to activate your plan. This includes them getting in touch with a named contact, such as another family member or friend, to make them aware of the situation and to put the agreed plans into action.

If you are a carer who is caring for an adult, they can also provide urgent support to the person you care for, in the event of you being unable to care for them.

This free service is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Find out more at

Max Card

There is also a card used by lots of leisure activity providers that helps you to access discounts for children with special needs and/or disabilities. It is called a Max Card.  In Cambridgeshire, you can only access it through Spectrum.  Their membership is free (which they require) and the card costs £3.  You can then use the card to obtain discounts on all sorts of activities including theme parks operated by the Merlin Group – Alton Towers, Chessington and Legoland for example.

Get on the Special needs Community Information Point (SCIP) database

SCIP – the Special needs Community Information Point – is a database for Cambridgeshire children and young people aged 0- 25 years who have special needs or a disability, and their families.

Get on the SCIP Database – the Special Needs Community Information Point register in Cambridgeshire.

Join SCIP and you’ll get:

  • SCIP Card
  • Activity Passport
  • Email update on local events and activities
  • Information specific to you child’s needs

If you would like to get information and advice on events, support groups or services for your family, sign up to the SCIP Email Network and SCIP Card which you can use if you need assistance when you’re out and about.


This free card helps you to let others know that your child has special needs and/or a disability.  It is issued by the Local Authority and you can use it when asked for proof of a child’s needs.

The Card was developed following requests from families who sometimes need help while out with their child, especially where the disability or condition is not visibly evident, when a child is likely to react to a situation such as load noises, or is in an uncomfortable situation and may react in a way that draws attention.

Activity Passport

This booklet will help you to provide essential information about your child when they are going to an activity such as scouts, play schemes, organised activities, etc.

It contains essential information about your child such as:

  • Emergency contact details
  • Medication
  • Recognising triggers for anxiety / becoming unsettled
  • Likes and dislikes

There is no charge for the Passport. You are entitled to a Passport if your child/young person is enrolled on the SCIP Database. The SCIP Co-ordinator can also be contacted for information specific to your family’s needs.

How to join SCIP/Contact

To join SCIP and apply for a SCIP Card complete the online form.

Contact SCIP Co-ordinator, Joan Adamson. Telephone: 01480 379 827. Email:

Safe Places Scheme Cambridgeshire

The Safe Places scheme currently runs in Huntingdon, Ely and Whittlesey, where local businesses and shops offer temporary refuge to vulnerable people in need.

And it’s hoped to extend the scheme maybe to Cambridge and the south in 2018.

Supported by Voiceability and the Speak Out Council and Cambridgeshire Constabulary, businesses sign up to offer help and then display special stickers in their windows to show they are part of the scheme and a safe place for anyone feeling threatened or anxious.

A person needing help shows their stay safe card to a member of staff who will help them call the emergency contact on the card – or the local police or safeguarding service.

The card tells people exactly what to do to help the person. This includes their name, the contact details of the person they need to get in touch with and what to do if you cannot get hold of them.

Safer Places Maps

Stay Safe Card for vulnerable peopleApply for a safe place card

To get a card for your son or daughter,   please telephone  VoiceAbility on  01223 555800.



Further ideas that might be helpful when out and about…