About the Forum
Being the parent of carer of a child with special needs can be a lonely, demanding and frustrating experience.
We believe it is vital that parents and carers have a voice about their child’s education, health and social care. The Parents Forum works in partnership with parents and professionals in the key areas that affect us and our children.
As well as the ‘big’ stuff, the forum also provides advice and support for parents…. From a cup of coffee, the opportunity to meet other parents, leaflets and information to invitations to training events and conferences.
I am a parent of two children. My son has a range of SEN and was diagnosed over several years with Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, ASD, ADHD and Dyslexia. I gave up my career in administration and resource management to concentrate on our son.
Through our journey I became increasingly passionate about gaining insight into the world of SEN, local provision and how it would impact his life and ours. My goal initially was to increase my knowledge of policy and procedure to ensure that my son was able to access, and be supported within the local education system. I realised that the path was not straightforward, I didn’t take it alone and the struggles outweighed the smooth sailings. I joined the Parents Forum 5 years ago in search of answers, to influence positive change, build partnerships and help other parents following my footsteps on the path I had just walked.
Self-improvement was important to me and I became a parent governor at a local primary school from 2009-2011. I worked closely with the school as part of the Governing Body Team who contributed to the schools successful Self Evaluation. I co-ran a voluntary group called Sportism providing sports and leisure activities for children with high functioning autism/Asperger’s syndrome, and their families from 2010-2014. I was Chair of Trafford Parents Forum from October 2013 until the forums incorporation to a limited company with guarantee in December 2014. I am now the forums Director, and I am committed and incredibly passionate about ensuring the voices of Trafford parent carers, SEND children and young people is heard locally and beyond. I am also committed to working in partnership with SEND key stakeholders in Trafford, influencing and embedding positive change for children and young people with disabilities, SEN, and/or additional needs, and their families.
Through my involvement with the Parents Forum and as an active parent representative, I have contributed on Pathfinder Task and Finish groups, local SEN review meetings, third party stakeholder activity and Parent Partnership Steering group. I have also taken the opportunity to engage with training offered by the Parents Forum attending numerous courses and workshops concentrating on Parent Carer Forums, SEND Pathfinder, SEN reforms and Co-production. In 2012 attended the Mediation Practioners Certificate course and I am now a certified Mediation Practioner.