1st April 2021 - Press Release
Voice4Parents, Wolverhampton’s independent parent carer forum, is delighted to announce that following a successful grant application through City of Wolverhampton Council it has been awarded funding which will allow the forum to provide 200 activity, sensory and wellbeing packs to SEND children and young people living in Wolverhampton during the Easter Holidays.
Voice4Parents is Wolverhampton’s independent parent carer forum whose representatives are parents and carers of children and young people (aged between 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) living in Wolverhampton. Voice4Parents works closely with families living in Wolverhampton and as a strategic partner, with the Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group. Working in coproduction to shape and improve services, by gathering feedback from parents and carers and listening to families’ experiences.
During 2020/2021, Voice4Parents gathered feedback from parents and carers, engaging with them on Facebook. Parents and carers told us that families are in desperate need of sensory items to help with children and young peoples’ anxieties and mental health. Many families have not been able to access any help or support over the past 12 months due to COVID 19.
Following on from the success of Pears Foundation funding, Voice4Parents received, to provide wellbeing packs to SEND families in February 2021, Voice4Parents decided to apply to City of Wolverhampton Council in order to provide activity, sensory and wellbeing packs to SEND children and young people during the Easter holidays to address the gap in leisure for SEND families.
“Many parents and carers have told us that they are struggling with the lack of respite they have received during lockdown. The aim of these packs is to help provide some form of respite, leisure activities and general wellbeing support over the Easter Break” Voice4Parents’ chair Sarah Baker.
The funding is part of City of Wolverhampton Council, HeadStart Wolverhampton, Community Fund and #YES and is being granted to ensure funding gets to frontline organisations and their communities. Voice4Parents would like to acknowledge the support given to provide sensory, activity and wellbeing packs to our SEND children and young people.
For your child or young person to be one of the 200 to receive a pack please click on the link below and complete the survey around leisure in Wolverhampton for SEND children and young people.
The closing date for the Easter packs is Wednesday 7th April 2021, all packs will be delivered on Saturday 10th April 2021 by one of Voice4Parents volunteers.
In order to be eligible for our Easter activity pack your child or young person must live in Wolverhampton, and have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Applications can be made for each child or young person with SEND it is not per household, please note a separate application must be made for each child or young person with SEND living in Wolverhampton.
31st March 2021
Click here to read this week's Voice4Parents update on Pears Foundation funding for the sensory and wellbeing packs plus information on the latest funding the forum has received in order to provide Easter activity packs for children and young people with SEND living in Wolverhampton.
Voice4Parents, Wolverhampton’s independent parent carer forum, is delighted to announce that following a successful grant application through Pears Foundation it has been awarded funding which will allow the forum to provide 200 sensory packs to SEND families living in Wolverhampton, with the first 100 applicants also receiving an Amazon Fire 7-inch tablet.
“During the first lockdown we heard from many parents and carers about how they felt isolated and alone and how they were struggling with the lack of respite they had received. The aim of these packs is to help provide some form of respite” Voice4Parents’ chair Sarah Baker
This funding is part of the Government’s £750m charities package and is being granted through Pears Foundation’s trusted, long-term partners to ensure funding gets to frontline organisations and their communities. Voice4Parents would like to acknowledge the philanthropic support of Pears Foundation.
Voice4Parents feel that the funding will help provide support for SEND families to be able to engage in coffee mornings, focus groups and other online events, break down barriers of isolation and enable them to have some form of respite.
If you live in Wolverhampton and have a child or young person with SEND and would like to receive one of the sensory packs (one per household) please click on the link below to fill in the application form by the 28th February 2021.
The first 100 applicants will also receive an Amazon Fire 7-inch tablet.
2021 Coffee Mornings
Voice4Parents has enjoyed hosting this year's coffee mornings online, it has been lovely to see so many of you when we have had to stay indoors or keep our distance. The coffee mornings will resume in 2021 where we hope to invite professionals from SEND services to come along and answer any questions you may have. If you wish for a particular service to be invited then do please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for next year's virtual coffee mornings are:
Friday 29th January 2021 10am to 11:30am
Friday 26th February 2021 10am to 11:30am
Friday 26th March 2021 10am to 11:30am
30th September 2020
Voice4Parents have set up an affiliated community group to work with local community and support groups for families with SEND children and young people. The community group will enable Voice4Parents to promote and support these groups as well as engage with their parents and carers, gathering their views and experiences of SEND services and provision in Wolverhampton. We will take this feedback, as one voice, to strategic meetings we attend with professionals and heads of these services. One member of our Voice4Parents community group is the parent and carer support group for Walsall, Wolverhampton and surrounding areas, who have just published their Autumn newsletter which you can read here (link at bottom of page)
Voice4Parents Summer 2020 Newsletter is now available, it has updates on what you told us about your experiences of lockdown and what we did with this valuable information along with updates on what is happening in Wolverhampton including the consultation on the draft SEND strategy which we urge you to take part in. To read the newsletter please click here
Our newsletters are emailed to all our wider group members who have joined our mailing list, along with information on events, workshops and coffee mornings, consultations, surveys and requests for feedback on specific services and facilities in Wolverhampton, throughout the year.
If you wish to be added to our mailing list please click here.
10th May 2020
It is a very worrying time for us all at the moment, Voice4Parents' Co-Chair, Sarah Baker, has listened to many of your questions the forum have received over the last few weeks and has sent them all to the Local Authority (LA), the Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG), Wolverhampton Information Advice and Support Service (IASS) and Health Watch, you may have seen on Facebook the response we had, for those who haven’t seen them already click here
25th April 2020
Like many of you over the last couple of weeks our steering group members have been busy juggling home life, adapting to the current situation, home schooling, staying safe and running Voice4Parents “virtually”.
Over the coming months Voice4Parents' steering group will be getting together (virtually), to discuss how we move forward with the running of the forum, how we engage with you, our members, and how we work with the local authority, health and other local SEND services.
Please keep checking here for updates and please stay safe!
13th January 2020
Voice4Parents' Steering Group members will be meeting on Wednesday, 15th January, to discuss plans for the coming year.
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Voice4Parents-Wolverhampton, where you can find out what's happening in Wolverhampton, what Voice4Parents are currently involved in and you can also complete surveys and our latest polls.
17th December 2019
Voice4Parents' steering group members are parents and carers themselves and work on a voluntary basis. Voice4Parents have now finished work for the year and will return in January 2020 once our children and young people are back at school.
Our Voice4Parents end of year bulletin, 2019, is now available click here This is emailed to all our wider group members who have joined our mailing list, along with information on events, workshops and coffee mornings, consultations, surveys and requests for feedback on specific services and facilities in Wolverhampton, throughout the year.
If you wish to be added to our mailing list please click here.
27th November 2019
The Co-Chairs of Voice4Parents presented the forum's report, based on the results of the Annual Survey, to the SEND Partnership Board in Wolverhampton today. The report will be used along with Wolverhampton's Spotlight on SEND report and the JSNA report to help shape the SEND Review for Wolverhampton over the next 5 years.
Click here to read the report
6th & 7th November 2019
Sarah (Co-Chair) & Lucy (Administrator) attended the annual National Network Parent Carer Forum (NNPCF) conference, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet other forums across the country, as well people from Contact, and to be involved in the Parent Carer led discussion around what we would like focused on in the select committee SEND review.
5th September 2019
THANK YOU for taking the time to complete the Voice4Parents annual survey, all of the views and experiences you shared are being collated into a report and will be presented to the SEND and Commissioning Partnership Board at the end of November, and will be available on our website as soon as possible. Click here for the report.
1st February 2019
This week some of the steering group members met to plan an event to relaunch the forum and give parents and carers in Wolverhampton the opportunity to meet the steering group members and get to know more about the forum and what we do.
Watch this space for more details over the next few weeks.
21st November 2018
Co-chairs Sarah and Tracy are attending the National Network of Parent Carer forums (NNPCF) annual conference in Coventry. The two day conference marks the 10th year of funded participation of parent carers through parent carer forums. This program has been successful in many ways, but crucially it demonstrates the positive impact of engaging with parent carers at a strategic level throughout service design and commissioning.
This year the NNPCF will showcase the successes of parent carer forums and highlight the journey we have travelled so far, reflecting back on some of the challenges we have overcome as well as some of the achievements we should celebrate.