I am a parent of 3 adopted daughters, all of whom have social, emotional, and learning needs. Our eldest daughter has had a Statement or EHCP since she was 5 and has attended the whole range of schools – mainstream, ARP, Special, Independent Special – and is now transferring into Adult services. I have been a FACT member and rep since 2013 as I believe that if the views of parents are not known, the services being offered will never meet need, but we achieve most if we help to change things rather than simply complain about them.
I am a mum to two boys, one has SEN. Having lived experience of ASD, ADHD, dyslexia and emotional based school avoidance (EBSA), I have navigated the SEND system for several years. I started work at FACT Bucks in January 2023 as Participation Lead. I believe involving parent carers in decision making is key to successfully improving outcomes for our children and young people to thrive.
I have 2 children, one of which has SEN supported by an EHCP. While navigating the SEN system, I realised how difficult it is and I wanted to get involved in something which would make an impact on the system for the benefit of children and families to come. I have a career in Leadership and Management in the not-for-profit sector developing programmes which tackle complex social issues in areas of youth, community, disability and family support. I joined FACT in 2022.
I began volunteering with Parent Consultative Group (PCG) from 2003 and have been with FACT Bucks from the beginning when this replaced the PCG and became the local carer forum. I am the mother of 2 children both now adults. My eldest has ADHD and is currently on the waiting list for a diagnosis of autism. My youngest is severe/moderately autistic with limited language, a learning disability and sensory difficulties. He has been through the school system in both a Communication Department (now ARP) in mainstream and a special school and then onto a residential specialist college in Hampshire. He now lives in a residential setting in Devon. I have felt privileged to have had the opportunity to make the parent/carer voice heard to help shape services for children and young people with SEND, and I hope to continue to do so through to adult services.
I am mother to three adult children and am Treasurer to Fact Bucks. My son is registered visually impaired and, while accessing support for him in school was difficult, the support given at university was fantastic enabling him to fully enjoy his course. My younger daughter was always extremely active and fidgety and has been diagnosed as ADHD as a young adult. We all have the diagnosis of Elhers Danlos.
I was a founding member of the Parent’s Support Group around 2000 which became Fact Bucks and I undertook the government training courses that were available to Parent Forum members when the 2014 Children and Families Act came into effect. I am a long-term Trustee of The William Harding Trust in Aylesbury and my knowledge of Children and Young People with additional needs aids the decision making on applications. I worked at Bucks Vision with children and families and was on several national committees relating to VI children including one working with publishers to make digital textbooks available to children with visual impairment and those who have problems accessing the printed word. I am the designated Trustee for disability at The Queens Park Arts Centre.
I have two school age children including a teenage son with rare single gene defect that causes problems in neurodevelopment. He was given his first statement in 2011 aged 3, and I joined FACT two years later. I have a professional background in finance and surveying historic buildings, and was previously a school governor. I am part of FACT because I think that the best way I can improve things for all children with SEN is by making the system listen to families at all levels. If necessary I will read every NHS report and sit in every local authority team meeting until it is automatic that parents are involved.