Everyone working for Greenwich Parent Voice is a volunteer. We all care for a child with special needs.
We work together to inform, connect and empower all parents and carers of disabled children.
Knowledge is power! By giving parents up to date information on all the issues that affect them we put them back in control. As the main 'parent facing' organisation for special needs in Greenwich we are often the first to announce service developments, activities and events locally. We give carers the latest information about legal changes and their rights.
Special care is taken to make complicated topics such as the SEND Reforms easy to understand for everyone. It's important that our information - and the chance to participate - reaches everyone, regardless of where they live, their language, culture or ability. To make this happen we partner with agencies that can help us such as council support workers and community leaders.
Looking after a child with special needs can be isolating so we bring parents together to support each other. Carers of children with disabilities often suffer from extreme stress, lack of sleep, ill health, depression, anxieties around bullying and financial hardship. Nothing beats talking to another carer in the same situation, someone who really 'gets' what you and your child are going through.
Other parents can be the best people to turn to for advice and tips. What works for one child with a particular disability can work for another. Our members have a wealth of experience which you can tap into, and be part of.
We are networked in to all the children's services in the borough and many groups that support disabled children. This means that even though GPV cannot provide advocacy or case support we can signpost carers to people that can help them.
Our ultimate goal is to empower parents and carers. Our role for the Department of Education is to make sure that parents participate in decision-making such as education, health, social care and employment. Changes in the law have meant that parents have a new, important role in planning for their children, so we help them to use their expertise.
We also want them to feel in control of family life and their own physical and mental well-being. We do this by encouraging them to speak out, to get out of the house, try new things, meet other carers and get active in their communities.
Parents are the single biggest influencers in the life outcomes of disabled young people. We feel strongly that by supporting parents and carers we can help all our children to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Greenwich Parent Voice is part of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums. For more information about the NNPFC visit their website at http://www.nnpcf.org.uk