For the last 12 months the Shropshire Parent and Carer Council (PACC) and Parents Opening Doors (PODS Telford) have been working together on a lottery bid for the Reaching Communities Programme. We are really pleased to be able to announce that they have been successful in this bid and have secured a grant in excess of £300,000 to support their work for the next three years. The funding will enable PACC and PODS to continue and develop their work across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. The main focus of the work will continue to be on providing parent carer participation opportunities, accessible and relevant information and the chance to access a peer to peer support network. The funding comes at a key time for parent carer forums with the increased role they will have to play in the delivery of the SEN reforms in particular.
The funding will enable Participation Coordinators to be recruited for both Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, along with increased administrative support. There will also be a Face 2 Face Coordinator recruited to deliver the Face 2 Face Scheme across the two areas, offering support from trained befrienders to more families.
“We are really excited about this news. There is so much work to be done and we hope that the funding of these posts and the associated activity, will enable us to take full advantage of the current opportunities for parent carers to be involved in decision making, on an individual and strategic level. We also want to provide more opportunities for families to meet and share experience and knowledge because we know from our previous work how much this is valued.”
To make the most of this opportunity however what PACC really need is your support. PACC is totally reliant on the information that local parent carers share with them about their daily lives and experiences. They need to know what works and what needs to be improved and they need you all to say it out loud. There will be increasing opportunities for parent carer representatives to get involved in PACC work, and to support this PACC will be providing training so that those of you who would like to get involved can develop your skills and confidence in this area.
If you are interested in training to become a PACC parent rep or would like to become a member of PACC they would love to hear from you, please contact Sarah Thomas on 0845 601 2205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . More information about PACC’s work is available on their website but please bear in mind this website is currently under review and so is not updated regularly. www.paccshropshire.org.uk