South Glos Parents & Carers CIC ''We are all Parents & Carers who have children with additional need or a disability working to create a community to support one another'' AIM AND MISSION To see improved services and stronger families linked into the SEND community, which will contribute to achieving better outcomes for families of children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities in South Gloucestershire. Our mission is to bring about positive change for families with children and young people (0-25) with special educational and/or disabilities in South Gloucestershire. STRATEGIC PRIORITIES Engaging our community through listening, informing and influencing Empowering our community through supporting and information Enabling our community to improve their own well-being We run the Parent Carer Forum for families who have children with Special Educational Needs and Disability. We collect the wider views of families to represent the collective view. We work in partnership with Education, Health & Social Care commissioners and providers to see improved services and support for families in our SEND community, which will in turn contribute to achieving better outcomes and well-being for all We work co-productively with service providers by attending meetings, sitting on boards, panels, views and feedback from our community to make their voices heard We work as a critical friend to those who provide services to our community We provide informal support for parents & carers who have a child with ANY Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) from physical disabilities to social communication, anxiety to learning disabilities etc. A child does not need a formal diagnosis for Parents and Carers to access our service. WEBSITE AND CONTACTS Website: www.sglospc.org.uk Email: [email protected] Tel: 01454 501 009 Social Value Contact: Rachel Trueman (contact details as above) CASE STUDIES An introduction to South Glos Parents & Carers can be viewed here. ''Parent to twins Lisa finds a place of acceptance and support at our Little Treasures Group'' Lisa has twins. Parenting twins can be challenging enough, however, one twin has autism and isn't meeting their development milestones in line with other children, is over active and unaware of danger and risk. Lisa has been asked not to return to her local toddler stay and play group due to her child's behaviour and the fact that her autistic child escaped the poorly secured venue whilst Lisa was attending to her other child's needs. Lisa is devastated, isolated, in desperate need of help and support and her mental health is suffering and in decline. She feels she has nowhere to go where she is welcomes or un-judged. A health visitor recommends our Little Treasures stay and play group (0-preschool) sessions which are held once a week during term time. Little Treasures is a vibrant group held in a safe and secure environment with sensory play equipment and sensory activities, Makaton singing sing-alongs and story time along with crafting activities and a healthy snack. Provision and food are planned around each child's needs to enable inclusion. Lisa finds in Little Treasures a supportive group ran by dedicated and experienced volunteers where her children are accepted and valued. This is a space where she and her children are not judged but are celebrated and Lisa can talk to other parents who are on a similar journey, get information and emotional support. Lisa's mental health begins to improve and she feels less isolated and has somewhere to go and look forward to each week during term time. Eventually when Lisa's own children start school she herself becomes a volunteer in turn to help other parents and begins rebuilding her confidence and skills ''Who cares for the carers? It's good to talk! Our Counselling Service'' The last two years had been so challenging for Becky. Her child has been diagnosed with autism and a sensory processing disorder and has not been able to attend school full time, only attending for 3 hours a day. The local authority have not processed the EHCP, it has been nearly a year since the process started, as a result all the support that was agreed for when her son started school was not in place. His placement in mainstream education is failing and the knock on effect at home has been an ordeal. Becky has not been able to take her young baby to any mother and baby groups as her time is spent walking to and from school in the mornings, leaving her no time in between for anything else. Becky has no transport and cannot take her older child to any other groups as he is too old. Becky is isolated and has not had the company of other parents for a number of months and feels judged in the playground at drop-off. Her mental health is declining. Once her son is moved to specialist provision and an EHCP is finally in place she begins to try and process all of her anger, feelings of injustice, poor treatment and judgement but can't get passed them. Family and Friends don't understand, try to minimise or distract and Becky just feels unheard and stuck. Becky is referred to South Glos Parents & Carers to their low cost counselling services. She found that having the time and space to feel heard, understood and not judged helped her dramatically. ''I was able to process all of the difficult feelings I had with someone who wasn't going to judge me or move the subject on to something else. Over the weeks I began to feel less angry and now I have been able to give mental and emotional energy to other things and start to put myself back together and feel like my old self again. I feel like I can be more of the mum I want to be. I don't know where I would be without South Glos Parents & Carers''