Our Voice has today signed the 'Enfield Declaration' - a request for the government to consider fairer funding for our Borough. The declaration has been created by the Over-50s Forum, to draw attention to the under-funding of the Borough of Enfield.
Our Voice represents parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and special needs - some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society, and who have been disproportionately affecting by funding cuts, and we, therefore, felt it was important to lend our support to this plea for fairer funding.
You can read the full wording of the declaration here.
The fourth Our Voice 'Meet the SEND Heads' Parents' Conference took place on Thursday 28th November 2019. Below are the presentations and handouts, and a summary of the Q&A panel session.
Inclusive Activities in Enfield workshop (AccessAble presentation)
We are looking forward to welcoming Parents and Carers to our Meet the SEND Heads Parents Conference next week on Thursday 28th November. The event is now almost full, so if you have not already booked, please book as soon as possible.
You can see the full agenda here.
Question and Answer panel session
The Q&A panel session with the SEND Heads is at the heart of our conference. See our full list of panel members.
Parents and carers attending the event are invited to send any questions for the panel in advance. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 26th November at the latest. Although we will accept new questions on the day (time permitting) priority will be given to any questions submitted in advance.
You might want to have a look at the updates from the different service areas below when thinking about your questions.
Updates from Local Authority and Health
- Update on outstanding questions from Parents' Conference February 2019
- Joint Service for Disabled Children
- SEND Services
- Integrated Learning Disabilities Service
- Health (covering Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Dietetics, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Physiotherapy and Complex Nursing).
- Educational Psychology Service
- Travel Assistance
The latest edition of our newsletter has just been printed and will be distributed via schools shortly, as well as being available in selected libraries, colleges and Doctors' surgeries.
We have a packed edition with news about:
- reports from our recent events
- events we have coming up over the autumn and winter (parents' conference, Christmas party and pantomime trip)
- new members joining the Our Voice team - and an opportunity for you to get more involved by volunteering with us
- GP checks
- Updates from the Joint Services for Disabled Children, Educational Psychology team and Speech and Language
- Information about things to do locally.
You can read the newsletter here.
Save the Date for 28th November - Our Voice Parents' Conference
We are pleased to announce that our next Parents' Conference will take place on 28th November 2019 at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield, registration from 9.30.
Following a successful third conference in February, we continue to listen to your feedback. You told us you would rather have a longer Q&A session and no presentations, and we have arranged the agenda accordingly. Additionally, we will have a choice of workshops, and the opportunity to book one-to-one appointments with key professionals from across different service areas. If you would like to have your say on our workshop topics, please complete our survey.
See the Save the Date flyer for more details.
Booking for the conference will open late September (initially for members only).
Wondering what to do over the summer holidays?
Have a look at our 'What's on this Summer?' Guide for lots of information on local activities this summer.
You might find it helpful to look at Contact's Guide to Holidays Play and Leisure
If you are planning to get out and about you might find it useful to look at the AccessAble website or mobile app. The website provides information about accessibility for more than 200 venues in the Enfield area and thousands of other venues across the UK and Ireland, including shops, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, railway stations, hotels, colleges, universities, hospitals and more. Use AccessAble to find everything from wheelchair access to information about lighting and noise levels.
A few activities this summer:
Trampolining at Jump In
Jump in are running relaxed sessions each Sunday morning (including during the holidays) from 9 am to 10 am - for details see our trampolining flyer.
The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is running inclusive football sessions for children and young people aged 5 to 11 and 12 to 16, this summer. The sessions will take place at the New River Sports Centre, on Tuesdays 30th July, and 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th August. For more details including booking information, please see here.
See here for information about the adjustments made in Autism-friendly cinema sessions.
Enfield Cineworld has an autism-friendly screening of The Lion King at 11 am on Sunday 4th August. Full details here.
Odeon Luxe Lee Valley
One Sunday a month, ODEON host a sensory-friendly screening designed to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for people with sensory sensitivities and their loved ones. Their next session will be a screening of The Lion King on Sunday 28th July at 10:15 am. Tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 23rd July here.
Our Summer party this afternoon is now fully booked.
If you have already booked a place, we look forward to seeing you there!
If you can no longer attend, please could you let us know so that we can release your places to a family on our waiting list?
If you have not yet booked please do not just turn up - we do not want to have to turn anyone away but we do have a limit on numbers for health and safety reasons (as well as catering arrangements). You can book a place on our waiting list via Eventbrite, but we already have several people on the list so we are unlikely to be able to accommodate many more people.
At our Parents' Conference, we were pleased to welcome the Leader of Enfield Council, Councillor Nesil Caliskan, who gave us an update on the proposed budget for Enfield including funding for services relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. You can see her presentation here. Parents and carers told Cllr Caliskan about their experiences, some of the challenges they faced and the impact of cuts to funding.
Following these discussions, Our Voice continued the conversation by sending an open letter to Councillor Nesil Caliskan, the Leader of Enfield Council, giving our views (and those of our members) on the critical importance of avoiding any further cuts to SEND funding. This open letter was referred to at the Council budget meeting (where two members of the Our Voice team were in attendance to hear the discussions). We are pleased that Cllr Caliskan has now publicly stated her commitment to avoiding any further cuts to children’s services or adult social care. You can read the letter: Here