A Positive Second Year | Southend SEND

A Positive Second Year | Southend SEND

2020 has been our second year in operation.

In early Spring we launched our open information Southend SEND community page.  We joined Southend Local Offer the same month.

We began our extremely well-attended coffee mornings, where parents had a chance to befriend each other, feel accepted and free to speak seriously and light-heartedly among friends.

As the New Year emerged, we were hit hard by COVID.  We moved to virtual coffee mornings, advocacy, and support.  We designed and provided hundreds of sensory packs to children suffering at this stressful time.

We were awarded a large grant which we used to support those in most pressing need, ensuring that their health needs were understood and that they moved towards receiving appropriate support.  We advocated for and supported large numbers through extreme difficulty.

We taught disabled children and families the importance of sensory regulation and the use of sensory aids which we provided.

We were proud to provide detailed advice, SEND navigation and signposting.

We helped many parents fill in forms and we attended assessments and meetings with them.

The group pulled together to bond and support its members.

We held competitions and chat groups.  One such competition in partnership with Blade Education was successful in the summer.

We have funded the online courses for parents this year including Zones of Regulation by Ace Sen and Donna Boygle Sensory re-integration.

The COVID period has been particularly harder on our families who were suffering long before COVID.

This Autumn saw the establishment of our Community Projects/Fundraising team and an expansion in volunteers.  This has allowed us to help go where the people and the help needed to be…and make real and immediate positive change. We are so grateful to all of them.

We regularly have an Act of Kindness section where parents help each other with items & help they may need.

Our Christmas Events such as our Christmas Raffle, Christmas Pet Competition, Christmas Calm down sensory packs to 50 parents, 30 visual Christmas timetables to parent carers & discounted Adventure Island Tickets have been received well. We also arranged a Father Christmas to visit one of our housebound autistic child.

Together we have become a proper community with its own voice.

Jamie Langstone
JLangstone@savs-southend.co.uk