Update aka we’ve been a bit busy
Well life really got in the way the last few months. We’ve been busy in the background but to be honest, I (Debs) had lost my passion for writing updates as I had gone down that dark road of trying to write to meet the approval of google rather than our readers.
So every post had to be SEO friendly, have keywords, an image of a certain size, alt text, meta descriptions, focus words, internal links, be a certain length, etc. It started to take away the joy of writing.
Add to this the really poor education system and the stress of having to organise a change of placement for two of my children and the challenge of dealing with anxiety – always so hard when it’s your child and you can’t make it better. I will be writing about the experiences in an upcoming series on our Facebook page and I know many of you will relate to everything I share.
Katie and I have been busy but realise we need to let you know what we’re up to and so we have agreed today that I am going to be writing for you guys and not google rankings – we’re going to be keeping it authentic.
May was manic. I organised a festival – Festability – in Kent for people with SEN and Disabilities. Mobiloos, BSL Interpreters, quiet areas, ear defenders, etc were all available and we had over 1700 people attend. For the record, not that I like to brag, but that was more than Glastonbury’s first festival. They had 1500. I entered a whole new world of jargon filled chat! Ped Barriers, Gennies, EVRVs! It was worth the chaos though as my son now thinks I am the coolest mum in the world and of course, I am not going to disillusion the poor boy.
Then as that finished, we waltzed straight into the BAPS Awards. We love these awards, it’s an evening of fun, laughter and far too much alcohol. It’s always great when people bring along family and friends to support them on the evening and I am sure none of us will forget the lovely Emma Murphy’s mum.
The winners were very entertaining when they received their awards from the super lovely Gethin Jones. He was a really nice guy – not up himself at all! I’m pretty sure he has never had that intro before.
You can see the winners over on the My Family Our Needs site
Next year’s BAPS Awards are already being planned and this year we are doing something a bit different. Watch this space.
June has been a very exciting time for us. Not just catching up with our BAPS Awards colleagues about next year and chatting with the winners on social media. We have been busy in the background.
Katie has been organising and facilitiating meetings with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and families to look at positive ways they can work together better.
She has also been organising and facilitating meetings with NHS England and families around the issues facing families with LD and Epilepsy to contend with.
In addition, we have been in talks with seven providers and are organising another Stronger Together weekend event for parents and providers to look at “staying out”. We have focused before on what happened, how our children ended up in ATUs and how we have fought to get them out but often once out, the problems arise and no one is prepared. We want to look at how this can be changed.
If you are a parent who is interested, get in touch with Katie – firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also had fun delivering some workshops – not something we get to do as a team very often so a huge thanks to Doncaster Parent Voice for inviting us along.
We deliver several workshops – get in touch if you would like to book one.
We are also working on a launch in November for a brand new project which has come about as a result of our Parent Carer Health report.
BAPS of the Month
We have been very bad and not shared the winners of our BAPS of the Month awards for May or June. Apologies to the winners and the Sponsors.
Our winner in May was Isabelle Garnett. Many of you will know Isabelle, she had a huge campaign to Get Matthew Out – and since he has been out, she has spent all of her spare time helping other families to fight the system and sat in so many meetings to raise the parent perspective and make sure people listen. She has been nominated by several people, all of whom have appreciated the dedication she has to making sure that others do not have to live her experience.
I remember first meeting Isabelle when Matthew was still in an ATU. Her comment “he has a real zest for life and I miss that every single day” has stayed with me to this day. I couldn’t relate to having a child in an ATU but I could relate to having that zest for life taken from my daily existence.
She is a much deserved winner of the May BAPS of the Month.
Our June winner was Yvonne Newbold. Again, many of you will know Yvonne. She runs the very popular Facebook page – the Special Parents Handbook, and is an author of a book by the same name. She is also actively involved in supporting families who live with violent challenging behaviour.
I am lucky enough to be able to count Yvonne as a friend – we regularly put the world to rights over pizza and tea! She is one of my go to people when I need to sound off about how cr*p the system is and we all need those people in our lives.
I was delighted when she was nominated because despite this lady having so much going on in her own life, she somehow manages to give so much time to others to help them.
A huge thanks to our BAPS of the Month sponsors. Choice Support and Community Living Magazine who provide us with funds for a £20 Amazon voucher for each monthly winner together with LifeRaft who provide a lifetime subscription to their online data management site – a way to stay on top of all the information that comes with caring for your child.
Nominate now for July:
We are now taking nominations for our July award.
If you know a Blo**dy Awesome Parent, someone who goes the extra mile or perhaps is going through a battle with the system and needs to know they are not alone, then it takes two minutes to fill in the form and nominate them.
Either click the image above or click here to nominate
Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.