National award for South Glos Parents and Carers

July 22 2019
National award for South Glos Parents and Carers

A GROUP which gives a voice to families of children with disabilities has had its work recognised with a national award.

South Glos Parents and Carers was nominated for the Excellence in Parent Carer Participation award as part of charity Contact’s ‘Together at 40’ celebrations.

The group was presented with the award by Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi during a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster and hosted by Radio 4 Women’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey.

SGPC is the parent carer forum for South Gloucestershire, representing families of children and young people, aged up to 25, with additional needs.

Founded 10 years ago from a meeting of eight parents in a coffee shop, the group now has more than 1,150 members and 40 volunteers, providing a range of services.

The first SGPC community base opened in Kingswood in 2009 and its head office is in Poole Court, Yate.

In London to receive the award were SGPC members Rachel Trueman and Leonie Pollinger, who both live in Emersons Green (pictured below, centre and left, with Mr Zahawi).

Rachel, an SGPC founder and its chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award. Our passion and our drive are to see service improvements for our community and making sure that we are fully involved in the process.

Over the past 10 years we have been working really hard to build trust and relationships with education, health and social care services, with the sole aim of working co-productively together in mutual understanding towards positive change. We have had successes but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Our community is our motivation.  Without our community giving their time and energy attending our events, completing our surveys and giving us their views, winning this award would not have been possible.”

Julie Bye, a parent who nominated the group, said: “They are a force for change, but also hugely supportive. They run a counselling service and training for parent carers to empower them to get jobs.”

Any parent carer of a child with additional needs in the area, diagnosed or otherwise, is welcome to join the SGPC community and access the services and support offered, which include low-cost counselling, workshops, accessible stay and play, drop-in support sessions, support groups, written guides and a closed Facebook group.

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