About UsWe are parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within Devon local authority. We are all volunteers who want to make things better for the families, children and young people of Devon.
- After a bit of a false start in September 2019, we really got going as a Parent Carer Forum in January 2020, hosted by Somerset Parent Carer Forum. The co-chairs have spent 2020 making connections and meeting lots of new people.
- Our first year saw our brand new Facebook group of parent carers grow to over 400 people with lots of activity including opportunities for feedback, peer support and information sharing.
Our Steering Group has grown to include 9 fabulous and motivated parent carers who are keen to use their experiences and connections to make a real difference for SEND families here in Devon. [Link to Steering Group page]
In February 2021, we moved into our new office in Teignbridge Business Centre near Bovey Tracey. We’re really looking forward to welcoming parent carers for meetings once we’re allowed.
- In March 2021, we became a Community Interest Company with our cochairs, Victoria and Julia as Directors. This means we are a fully independent and recognised organisation, ready to grow as an effective voice for SEND families in Devon.
Our MissionWe connect with parents across Devon and this helps us to understand the wide picture of what life is really like for families – identifying problems as well as what’s working well. We work in partnership with the Local Authority (LA), the NHS and other professionals to make sure that services in Devon are accessible and meet the needs of children and their families.
We connect with
Parents and carers
Parent carer support groups
Neighbouring and national Parent Carer Forums
Education, Health and Care services
We aim to empower by
Training and Supporting PCFD reps
We work in partnership to influence
Connecting With More Parent Carers
More carers, more voices.
Recruiting PCFD Reps
Creating a more driven and strategic voice.
Including Seldom Heard Groups
Expanding the Ambassador Volunteer Project.
Victoria moved to Devon with her family in 2014, and has two boys with SEND. She has worked in both education and social care with children and young people with additional needs and is also involved in The Scouts.
Victoria is passionate about the difference receiving quality support and services at the right time makes. She has been involved in the forum since intial talks to create a new Forum for Devon families at the end of 2019 and wants to help improve services for all families.
In her own time Victoria enjoys spending time in her camper van at the beach or on the moors.
Julia moved to Devon with her family in 2011 and has four children, two with SEND, one of whom has an EHCP. She previously worked in the NHS as an intensive care nurse, but since moving to Devon has become involved in her local community, running a playgroup in her village and becoming a Scout Leader in the closest Beaver Colony.
Since her children’s special educational needs have become more evident, Julia has become more and more aware of the challenges faced by children and young people with SEND and their families. She believes that working with decision makers to hold them to account and offer a solution based approach to change is the most effective way to make things better, both locally and at regional or national levels.
In her spare time, Julia loves exploring the beautiful Devon outdoors with her family, especially the quieter spots on Dartmoor or the south coast of Devon. She has run the London Marathon for the national communication charity Afasic, and would love to do more running.