We’ve recently applied for a DfE grant for 2016/2017 and are very grateful to everyone who supported our application:-Carol Payne, Wandsworth Council’s Head Special Needs, Disability and Psychology Service, Rina Patel, Wandsworth Information, Advice and Support Service and Susan Reid, Deputy Head of Early Years. We’re expecting to receive a £15k grant to fund forum activities until April 2017.
We spent all our £15K funding for 2015/2016. We used it for paying parents, parent consultation events, newsletters, representing families at strategic Council meetings, training parents and administration of the group.
We currently have 19 parents on the steering group, of whom about 10 meet every month and about 300 parents on the wider forum.
We are really keen to strengthen parent participation in Wandsworth, as it makes sense to empower the people whose everyday lives are affected by disability. Because we are all parent carers, we know there are limits on the time people can commit to getting involved. With this in mind, we will prioritise our activities so that families can feel the benefits of working together, without too much extra effort.
We think one way to do this is with a strong website and links that enable parents to get in touch with each other and other services. Another way is for us to get parents and professionals together at termly events, so that information and experience can be shared face to face.
We will also continue to publish our termly newsletter to keep you informed. If you have any other suggestions for ways in which families can help each other please do get in touch.