I have worked with children and families for over 20 years and am so proud to be part of Esteem Team as the Family Support Manager. As a parent of two children, I understand the impact of support (or a lack of it) on your family. Life can be full of pressures as well as the happiness and fun times that come with being a parent. But it’s fair to say there is often a lot more to consider when you have a child with additional needs and/or a disability. On top of meeting your child’s needs, the systems in place to help your family can be complex and exhausting. It can feel like a journey of endless forms, meetings, referrals, assessments and appointments, even before a possible diagnosis. Sadly, there is often a focus on the negative but despite any challenges, remember that our children offer just as much to the world as any other individual. It’s just that sometimes, a little more support or doing things another way makes all the difference.
We can’t change the systems but we can be alongside you wherever you are in your journey, helping you to feel less overwhelmed and hopefully equip you to feel more informed and empowered to advocate for your child and family’s needs. I strongly believe when a parent is well supported, they are in a much better position to support their child.
Part of my role is to support families on a 1:1 basis with practical issues such as form filling and signposting to other relevant services that may be able to help you. If you feel this may be a service you need, please contact us.
I also run our parent/carer CATCH (Coffee And Tea Chat and Help) group where you can come along, grab a drink and meet other parents and carers in similar situations. There is no pressure to share your situation, no need for any official diagnosis in order to attend and it’s a friendly, welcoming group. Plus someone else makes you a cuppa which is always a winner in my book!
To see the CATCH up sessions running, check out our Esteem CATCH and SEN Support Facebook page
When I’m not working, I like to hang out with my teenagers who have introduced me to the worlds of D&D and Musical Theatre. I also like watching films, reading, walking my dog, rand tea.