SGPC advocates for you with your feedback on services
Jo is just like so many of the parent carers that we meet in our support groups and in our online community. Her son has several diagnosed disabilities and like so many SEND parents was juggling a million emotional and practical issues. There was the journey of acceptance and dealing with her inner turmoil, adjusting expectations and fears for the future. This is alongside learning and implementing new behaviour management strategie and a new style of parenting and trying to access the myriad of services, each with their different contacts, appointments, thresholds and gatekeepers.
The mainstream school she had chosen for her son, despite all their promises of support had done little, her son had attended school for just two and a half hours a day for the past 6 months. No amount of pushing for the support she needed appeared to be working. Her days were limited due to the pressures of a very short school day, she had another young baby and was unable to go to the local toddler and baby groups in the mornings due to needing to stay near the school and her afternoons were taken up trying to meet the gap in an education her child should have been getting.
She was burning out and exhausted but also so angry and feeling the real injustice of the situation where service providers were not meeting their legal time lines or their purpose, this had created the massive knock on effect of difficulties and excuses and ultimately discrimination.
Jo found her way to one of our support groups after a recommendation from another community member. "I was so relieved when I found SGPC. Here was a group of people who understood exactly what I was going through. My friends and other familiy members just couldn't quite grasp what I was going through, they weren't on my journey and ultimately it wasn't their problem. As mum I dealt with everything, my husband being at work and not attending the meetings and making the phone calls and dealing with the fob offs and excuses wasn't where I was. I felt really isolated and was growing angrier and angrier and could think of little more than the injustice of the situation"
Jo found after a while that she was able to get to a point where she wanted to take action, to make sure others didn't have to go through what she went through, but from her experience she knew she needed to speak to the right people, give her feedback to the right people to bring about the change that she wanted to see.
"I was a member of some online groups that allowed me to vent, which was something I really needed for a time and was a source of emotional support from strangers, but I was reaching a place where I was done with talking about it. I knew something had to change but was tired of taking on services on my own. I needed to find a way to be heard and I found out about SGPC participation and how they gather views of parent carers and take these to meetings with the local authority, health services and social care. They can talk to the right people and have access to the right people"
Jo was delighted to learn that all she needed to do was to fill in a short online feedback form and that the information is collated and SGPC reps take all the anonymised feedback to the meetings we attend and boards that we sit on.
We are happy to say that Jo's situation has greatly improved and when she was ready, she became a rep herself, attending meetings and working for the change she wants to see, to try to bring about a time when nobody else has to experience the difficulties her familiy experienced. If you would like to do the same and let your views known at any time about anything you experience, be it good or bad, we would love to hear it and who knows, you may get that sense of empowerment and of making a difference within your community too.