Southwark Independent Voice: New group to help parents of children with special educational needs

Josh Salisbury (16 October, 2019) Education

"Other parents understand what you are going through," said chair Nicky Rolfe

32712Attendees of the Southwark Independent Voice launch event, including Cllr Jasmine Ali, MP Harriet Harman and forum chair, Nicky Rolfe

A group for parents of children with special educational needs has been launched to help  mums and dads in their battle to get the right support.

The launch event of the Southwark Independent Voice forum on September 19 saw parents, councillors and gather for a workshop about siblings and other family members of those with special educational needs.

Monthly events are planned, covering an array of areas from mental health to education.

The group aims to empower families, particularly those from hard-to-reach communities, to be able to navigate the process to getting support for their children, as well as providing social events for people with similar experiences.

It also hopes to be a voice for parents of children with special education needs with the council.

“I started another support group,” said chair, Nicky Rolfe, “and through that you realise how much stronger you are together.

“Other parents understand what you are going through.”

The forum will share information about how to access support while also providing social events for parents too.

“It’s the parents who know their child, and who are experts in their child,” added Cllr Jasmine Ali, who holds the Southwark Cabinet portfolio for Children.

“Every child is different, but [through this] we can learn from each other, but also the council can learn from the parents.”

The group’s next event is being held on October 17 at the Links Community Hall in Rotherhithe New Road.

Held from 10am to 1.30pm, it is on ‘How to Reduce Stress and Increase Positive Emotional/Mental Health’.

More details can be found by visiting their website, southwarkiv.co.uk

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