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Date archive for: February 2016

Support for young disabled people and their families

Posted in Accessibility, Cerebral Palsy, Disability Awareness, Equality & Diversity, and Making a difference

It’s sometimes hard for young disabled people and their families to find the support that they need and even harder to make their voices heard.

SENDIAS is a project in West Berkshire which aims to support young disabled people, up to the age of 25 and their parents/carers.  They want young people and those who care for them to have more of a say in how services for disabled children are shaped and delivered.

The service is free and confidential and advisors can help guide disabled young people through the development of Education Health and Care Plans.

 

For more information, please visit www.westberkssendiass.info

Even if you’re not in West Berkshire, they can help you find support in your area.

A knock for working parents

Posted in Accessibility, Disability and kids, Disabled Access, Disabled Parent, Family, Making a difference, Motherhood, and Personal

For almost two years now, our little boy has attended the local nursery and I’ve always said, it’s the best decision we’ve made.  Jack absolutely loves it and has developed so much under their care and I’ve never worried about him being there.  The nursery offered concessions that other local nurseries didn’t and most importantly, it’s fully accessible, unlike most of the other local nurseries.

So you can imagine our distress and disappointment recently when we received a letter, stating that not only were prices increasing but that almost all of our concessions were now being removed.  These include:

  • Changing the opening time from 7.30 to 8am and expecting parents to pay more for this reduced service. Opening at 8am puts working parents under immense pressure to get to work on time, particularly those who don’t work locally.
  • Expecting us to pay for a service when we can’t access it.  Every year, the nursery closes for two weeks at Christmas and up until now, we didn’t have to pay for this.  Now we are required to pay for the Christmas break, all bank holidays and times when we take our children on holiday – we used to get 2 weeks half price for holidays.  This totals four weeks of extra fees for a reduced service.
  • Fees are now payable upfront from September, meaning that in August (peak holiday time) parents are expected to pay double their fees.

These decisions have a massive impact on us and our families and yet they have all been taken without any consultation and without any thought or consideration for how parents will manage these changes, either practically or financially.  This is both arrogant and offhand.

As a wheelchair user, this nursery is the only nursery that I am able to get to which is fully accessible.  To make all of these changes without consultation is very upsetting, given my very limited options for childcare.

There is a meeting next week for parents to voice their concerns but we have been told already that non of these decisions will be reversed. I think this is extremely arrogant and disrespectful to parents – the people who are paying to keep their “business” afloat.  The Government offer various incentives for parents to work and then we have these changes enforced upon us – it doesn’t make any sense.

Now proud Trustee of Cerebral Palsy Sport

Posted in Accessibility, Cerebral Palsy, Disability and kids, Disability Awareness, Media, and Personal

At my book launch back in September, one of my guests told me about a charity which was looking for new trustees – Cerebral Palsy Sport.  I wasn’t sure though.  I’ve never been into sport and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the time to commit to the charity.

Nonetheless, I decided to take a look at the CP Sport website and I have to say, I was interested. The main focus of the organisation is support people with Cerebral Palsy to reach their sporting potential and to improve their quality of life through sport, physical activity and active recreation.  Having worked in a charity for seven years previously, I felt I’d have something to offer them, even if I wasn’t especially sporty!   After a phone call with the CEO, I was hooked and decided to put in an application.

After a very friendly and welcoming interview, I am proud to say that I’ve been appointed on to the board and am looking forward to the new challenges which lie ahead. My first being to support the Charity with its “Get. Set. Raise” Appeal this March – which is also Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

The aim of the appeal is to raise £10,000 and there’s 3 main ways that people can get involved:

  • “Do your bit in your sports kit”  – go to work or school in your sports kit and make a donation;
  • Organise a sports themed event – bake sale, sports quiz or a mini-Olympics;
  • Take on a personal challenge – the choice is yours!!

 

I’m proud to be apart of this brilliant charity and would urge you to get involved too!