Empowering Families: A Recap of Our Recent Work

December 2023

At Bristol Parent Carers the past term (September-December) has been a whirlwind of activity, driven by our unwavering commitment to supporting families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)across Bristol.

Our team has been on the road, visiting 35 schools this term, meeting with 180 parent carers to provide crucial peer support. These sessions not only ensure that parent carers are well-informed about their statutory rights and the rights of their children to an inclusive education but also serve as a vital platform to spotlight the invaluable work of organisations throughout Bristol. We have also worked with SEND and You and Carers support Centre to deliver 6 peer support coffee morning session in North and South Bristol, ensuring we connect with a wide and diverse range of parent carers.

In addition to our outreach efforts, we’ve successfully hosted 12 parent carer training sessions in collaboration with esteemed organisations such as Geldards, SOS!SEN, and BIBIC. The overwhelming response, with 520 registered attendees, underscores the demand for these insightful sessions where parent carers gain practical tools and tips to bolster their families.

Exciting developments are also underway, including the imminent launch of our new website. Although the process is taking a bit longer than anticipated, we assure you it will be a treasure trove of helpful information. We have also been hard at work strengthening the forum’s leadership, welcoming five outstanding new trustees and two dedicated staff members, we are currently in the final stages of recruiting a third member to enhance our dynamic team.

Moreover, our commitment to transparency and empowerment extends to the creation of informative documents. We’re actively producing resources that demystify aspects of the special educational needs landscape, from understanding the role of an Educational Psychologist to navigating the complexities of education health and care plans.

In our pursuit of co-production excellence, we are developing a charter with Bristol City Council and local Health Services that places the voices of children, young people, and families at the heart of all system co-production efforts. Our team is also delivering impactful inset training in schools, focusing on effective collaboration with parent carers, and providing inclusion support with funding from NHS England to enhance awareness and understanding of supporting sensory and other neurodivergent needs.

Collaboration remains a cornerstone of our efforts, as evidenced by our partnership with the Integrated Care Board and our parent carers colleagues in North Somerset & South Glos to address prolonged wait times for certain health needs. We are in the very initial stages of this vital project and we are determined to contribute to improvements that will positively impact our community.

As we reflect on these achievements, we are energised by the knowledge that our work is making a tangible difference in the lives of SEND families. The journey continues, and we look forward to even more impactful initiatives in the days ahead. Together, we are building a community where support, understanding, and empowerment thrive.

If you would like to get involved in our team please do complete the form below, we would love to hear from you.