Throughout the many years of managing the DfE grant funding and running our local parent carer forum and also the years of running the CIC, we have been able to work and collaborate with many amazing individuals. They have been instrumental in our development and success in their own unique way. The SEND sector is indeed in some ways very unlike a lot of sectors because of how surprisingly expansive and complex its connected parts are. It is also fair to say experts who have spent decades in the sector would acknowledge how much there is still to learn about all the moving parts. Everyone’s perspective from children/young people, parents and carers, local and national government, voluntary sector, and businesses have different experiences and needs from the sector hence the need to collaborate and share ideas and best practices.
Our ongoing Community Champions training have yielded some very successful outcomes where the individuals were able to launch and develop their own ventures. These are usually parent carers who wanted to develop their skills and expertise further. The CIC was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to develop this training.
Below are just some of the key people we have worked (or currently work) with. If you would like to understand our network in more detail, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Needless to say, we are always looking for more opportunities to collaborate with the right professionals, please get in touch for a conversation.
Michelle Johnson: The Healing Centre & The Caring Community Hub Harrow (CCHH)
Michelle is a foster carer for a family member. She is also a trained Drama Therapist, a youth worker, and qualified as a General Nurse. She has worked with all areas and ages of the community as a Drama Therapist, and also worked in General nursing and paediatrics. Michelle is passionate about supporting her community and also working on a project to create a centre where vulnerable people can go to receive support in difficult times, so along with her husband, she created The Healing Centre. One of the aspirations and attributes of The Healing Centre is the mini hubs in each borough around the country called the Caring and Community Hub (CCH). Michelle launched a very successful pilot programme for the first of the hubs in Harrow called CCHH, with our intensive help and is currently in the next phase of the organisation’s development. You can contact Michelle for further information at email@example.com.
Sharon was the Chair and former Director for Brent Parent Carer Forum CIC (BPCF CIC). She has four children, 3 boys and youngest child (a daughter) was diagnosed with Autism and learning disabilities. Her main profession is a Legal Secretary and she previously worked with top Law firms for over 25 years, but left to be a full time carer for my daughter. She is also a qualified Beauty Therapist and also training to be a Counsellor. Sharon was also once a director with Special Needs Communty CIC and left to start her own CIC for Brent called BETHESDA COMMUNITY CARE CIC. We supported Sharon in to sustain her organisation Bethesda Community Care CIC which reaches out to the community to promote RESILIENCE to vulnerable children, young people and adults who do not get the support they need to help them to thrive in the community. You can connect with Sharon for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayley was the former assistant chair at the parent carer forum in Hammersmith and Fulham called Parents Active, which has been going for 20 years. I was also the former director of SNC for a short while.
She was inspired to start an inclusive playground project in her local area by her daugther Mia. The forum and Hayley started a campaign titled We Want to Play Too! to raise awareness of the lack of play space for severely disabled children. They were successful in working with their local auhtority and other funders who helped them fund the installation of several specialist disability and accessible equipments in their local parks. Hayley supported us in Harrow to launch our own campaign and develop our own disbaility adventure playground which was opened in 2020. We raised £110k with the support of Harrow Council. Visit : https://www.facebook.com/WeWantToPlayToo),
Hayley was also the receipient of an award at the Contact (national charity), Together at 40 Awards evening as winner of the Parent Power Award for her work on the project campaign and development, 2019. Hayley now runs her own design company. (https://www.parentsactive.org.uk/aboutus/achievements/
Reena is an Autism parent; consultant, speaker, writer & trainer; lawyer & former ombudsman; chair of governors & inclusion governor at a local Harrow school; Trustee at Aubilities & REF
Reena’s mission is to educate about life with autism and promote honest conversations about autism, especially within Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. She is passionate about recognising cultural and personal biases, stigmas, and misconceptions and supporting families, organisations and communities on their journey to understand autism and how to talk about it courageously. She mainly conducts this through creating workshops, talks, and resources. We collaborated with Reena on some workshops and supported her to secure funding to enable her to launch her training programmes for parents. To get in touch to find out more, You can contact Reena at email@example.com
Other Professionals & Specialists
SNC IT Consultant
Kiran is a Lifestyle Coach, Author, Founder and Editor of Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire and My Unique Home. Kiran has always been passionate about helping women envision, create and design the beautiful life they truly desire, to show them how they can start to live their life more fully and most importantly. Kiran is also an IT Consultant that supports SNC’s strategic objectives including, the communications, marketing, and social media development. You can contact Kiran on 07920226190 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Iram Yaquab– 1 Voice Community
Iram was the former chair of the Brent Parent Carer Forum in the early days. She is a parent to 4 children with her son who is now an adult with learning difficulties. Iram is also the CEO of One Voice, a charity based in Brent that supports families with disabled children. As neighbouring PCFs, we worked closely with the Brent forum often attending PCF networking meetings, and subsequently, when we ceased managing our respective forums, Iram was instrumental in helping to support the CIC. You can contact 1 Voice at email@example.com
Thomas Brosnan- Thought-Based Therapy
Thomas is a teacher and therapist at a local special (high) school who supported us in the early development of our disability-friendly and all-ability adventure playground development. He was instrumental in getting the SEN pupils in his school engaged in the project objectives and contributing to its design. Thomas also runs his own therapy business called Thought Based Therapy. You can contact Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tunde Alabi- DARE Playscheme
Tunde is a trained SEN specialist teacher who left his teaching job at a special school to start the very successful DARE Playscheme based in Brent. The playscheme is highly sought after and provides much-needed respite for parents/carers from several local boroughs. The facility provides an environment where children and young people can learn in a fun, relaxed, safe, and secure place. The playschemes are mostly funded by Direct Payments that families receive or privately funded or directly commissioned by the local authority. DARE enjoys a strong working relationship with the four main neighbouring local authorities operating nearby (Harrow, Brent, Barnet, Ealing, etc) who highly value his consistently high-value proposition due to the nature of high demand from families. DARE is seen as one of the few provisions locally available and consistently relied upon by these LAs. We have been working collaboratively with DARE to support families falling through the gap and looking at opportunities to increase capacity in the borough. Visit DARE https://dareplayscheme.co.uk/.
Amy Jones- Gl Jones Playgrounds
Amy was a source of great help as one of the senior management at her own family business developing quality SEN specialist adventure playground equipment around the country. We were first recommended to GL Jones from our connection with Hayley Wedgbury from the Hammersmith and Fulham Parent Carer Forum and their adventure playground project. Our working relationship with Amy has been instrumental in the project surviving the pandemic where many were been shelved as priorities shifted. We persevered with the earnest support of Amy and GL Jones who were eventually officially confirmed as the chosen contractors by Harrow Council officers through the many varied quotes we had obtained. Amy provided the expertise to help us understand the specialist nature of SEN playground equipment. The project eventually raised a total of £110k and we were able to complete phase 1 in October 2020 just before of the pandemic took a downturn into the series of lockdowns. We managed to secure the funding for phase 2 despite the long delays caused by the pandemic and the rising cost of raw materials such as steel on the global markets. We are expecting GL Jones to complete phase 2 of the development in early 2024. We also expect to involve GL Jones in future developments of other park locations around Harrow subject to the approval of and in partnership with the Harrow Council procurement department. You can visit GL Jones at https://www.gljones-playgrounds.co.uk/
Libby Giarraputo– SEND FSPA Project Coordinator
Libby is the SEND Family School Partnership Award (FSPA) Project Coordinator. We were recommended to Libby through our colleagues in Harrow Early Support, Early Help department. Libby was looking to provide a new training programme, funded by the John Lyons Foundation for the mainstream schools. We were invited to provide our expertise and collaborate in the joint training for Signposting Training for Schools in Harrow. The training involved local SENCOs. We supported the project with the resources we had developed from our information support service for families.