Supporting families with disabled children in Waltham Forest
A Message From Vanessa Moore - Parent Particpation Director WFPF
In January 2008, at the first meeting of WFPF I volunteered to help set up the group. Little did I know what I would be getting in to!
From the beginning I was surprised by the number of people who turned up to forum meetings and the passion and committment they had to try to change the services our disabled children and young people access in the borough. As a mum with a daughter with autism and other complex issues I had experienced many of the problems raised by other parents and carers in acccessing services for their children and hoped that with a collective voice we would be able to bring about change.
With the help of other forum members I was able to make links to key service providers in the borough and soon invites to consultation meetings came rolling in. I have been encouraged by the willingness in the borough to embrace parent participation and believe that working with service providers is essential to both improve services and raise awareness of unmet needs.
In the first year membership of WFPF grew so quickly we had to find funding to sustain the group and put in place structures to support a growing organisation. In the second year our membership doubled and this time we needed to find office space as we could no longer run the group from our own homes. Over the past six years it has been a rollercoaster ride in running the forum but I am amazed and proud of how our forum has developed. We are now involved in many important consultations both locally and nationally and provide support for families of disabled children and young people through a range of activities. Every week we make new contacts not only in the borough but throughout the country, where we are able to make the views of parents and carers of disabled children and young people heard. Each year we expand on this work and develop the forum further.
All of the work you see described in these web pages has been carried out by WFPF members and therefore we hope that parents, carers and professionals visiting our website will be encouraged and inspired by our work.
Please join us to add your voice. We have many ambitious plans to implement over the next year and need more parents and carers to help. WFPF is also a great place to meet other parents and carers in the same situation and I have made many new friends and learned so much from their experiences, which has been invaluable.
I hope to welcome you as a member soon.
A Message From Carol Prideaux - Parent Particpation Director WFPF
I have two teenage children. My youngest child has severe ASD and is non verbal. He is also epileptic and although this had been under control through medication, it has recently become more prevalent, resulting in more frequent hospital appointments. In my pre autism life I taught in primary schools in Newham for 12 years and came across many parents who struggled to access appropriate educational resources for their children.
I have been a memebr of the forum since it started and at the inaugural meeting I agreed to become Secretary of the forum. That quickly became Co Chair and now Parent Participation Director. Over the years I have watched and helped the forum to grow and I am very proud of the way the forum has developed. I have also made many new friends and learned and shared much with other parents. During the last few years we have achieved a great deal but there is so much more to do and it would be great if you as a parent, carer or professional could join us to make our forum even stronger.