East Sussex Parent Carer Forum announces new chair

We are delighted to announce that Holly Riley-Saxby will be the new East Sussex Parent Carer Forum (ESPCF) chair. Holly will lead the forum through its next phase (July to December 2020), working to ensure that it delivers on its vision, mission, and values, while championing co-production of services with parent carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) across East Sussex.

Holly says:

“I’m mum to two boys, age 8 and 10. My eldest is autistic, with sensory difficulties and social, emotional and mental health needs. I got involved with volunteering for local and national SEND charity and community organisations following the battles that our family had to navigate to help our son, and my passion for helping other families was ignited. I also worked in a respite club for children and young people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities”.

“Having supported many families going through various different SEND legal issues, it is frustrating to see just how many of us are having to face the same fights time and time again in a seemingly never-ending loop. This is why I feel so passionate about ensuring that parent carers, and of course our children and young people themselves, can come together and have our experiences taken into account and our views put at the heart of services when making decisions which affect US.

“Having been on the initial ESPCF committee, I’m looking forward to getting really stuck in and continuing the amazing work the whole team have done so far to get ESPCF off the ground.”

Holly takes up the post following ESPCF’s set-up period, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to Jo Nye and Emily Sanders, our interim co-chairs, whose hard work and incredible dedication in establishing the forum has given it the best possible start.

ESPCF structure

Jo Nye will continue to be involved with the forum, volunteering her time as vice chair to support Holly and lead on priority workstreams. However, for a short time, and in line with ESPCF’s conflict of interest policy, Jo will be stepping back from her role as she is currently going through a tribunal process with her young person.

Continuing in their roles to support and grow the forum are Denise Banks, engagement coordinator, and Becky Jones, administrative and communications assistant.

It has been a challenging time for all parent carers, which has inevitably had an impact on the original recruitment plans for staff posts (this is why we’ve put in place short-medium term arrangements for now), and in developing ESPCF committee membership. Staffing
options will be revisited again later this year as we learn further what capacity is needed to run ESPCF effectively and how we can make best use of our resources. However, we now have a full team and are looking forward to representing the views of parents and carers to
influence services which impact upon the lives of our children and young people with SEND.

ESPCF committee and steering group

We are keen to hear from anyone interested in joining the ESPCF Committee and are also setting up a wider advisory steering group to help connect with the many support groups across the county. If you are interested, please contact Denise Banks denise@espcf.org.uk

Contact details & further information

Email: info@espcf.org.uk

Phone: 0300 770 1367

Website: www.espcf.org.uk

Become an ESPCF member: www.espcf.org.uk/become-a-member/

Visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EastSussexParentCarerForum

If you are a parent carer of a CYP with SEND, and live in East Sussex, you can join our closed Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/ESPCF

You can find us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EEspcf