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Year of Success for Parent Participation Group

Left to right: Melissa Jones – Chair, Joanne Myall, Helen Church –outgoing Chair, Annie Carpenter – Secretary, Bronya Smith – Treasurer and Janice Gibbons.

Parent Carers Aiming High (PCAH) brings together parents of children with disabilities and additional needs to work in partnership with policy makers and practitioners – with the aim to improve the services and support available from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

At its recent Annual General Meeting in Saltford, outgoing Chair Helen Church described how the PCAH had moved forward in the last 12 months: “We have produced a film for professionals to gain insight into the lives of the people they aim to help. “Children Like Ours” highlights parents’ personal experiences and will be used a training tool to encourage the sharing of best practice.”

“We are embedding parent participation within the our work, said Dee Chaddha, Strategic Planning Officer at Bath and North East Somerset Council. “Parent Carers Aiming High is a valuable resource to draw upon and we are thankful to those parents who give us their time to share their views. Their involvement ensures that services being commissioned by the Council deliver what’s required and offer even better value for money.”

The Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reform is leading changes to support provided locally for disabled children from birth to 25 years. Parent Carers Aiming High is involved in the development of the reforms, focussing on the aspirations, expectations and independence of young people with disabilities in the area. 

PCAH was set up in 2009 by the Carers’ Centre, the charity that supports the 20,000 unpaid carers living locally. Incoming Chair Melissa Jones thanked the Centre for its support, especially Carers’ Officer Lorraine Frapwell. “I want to see Parent Carers Aiming High continue to grow and develop over the next 12 months. As well as our family events and regular meetings, we aim to set up monthly participation groups across the area to ensure more parents are listened to. By being involved in PCAH, parents can have a voice and make a difference to the lives of their children and families.”

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