Happy New Year

So here we are.  31 December 2016.  Where did this year go?

We have had a really amazing 2016.

Stronger Together

The highlight for all of us would most certainly be the event we held in Birmingham this year.  We met with several parents of children and young people who were either in an ATU or had been in an ATU.  It was a really emotional weekend but also, somehow, it managed to be a place to share laughter as well as tears.

From that weekend, we produced a few reports

These were mentioned in The Guardian and have been circulated widely around NHS England and various CCGs.

We now work regularly with families to feed into a variety of NHS England projects and have spoken at numerous conferences to raise awareness of the issues families face.

BAPS – Blogging Awards

Another big event for us was the launch of BAPS – Our SEND Blogging Awards.

The finals will be hosted in May by the lovely Sally Phillips.  Our judges include Brian Lamb, Elaine Maxwell, Sarah Maguire, Phil Brayshaw and a great host of other SEND parent bloggers.

Tickets are still available so why not treat yourself to a night out with lots of people who will just get it or, as a practitioner, to show your support for the families who not only live this but write about it to help other families.

Parent Groups

We wrote a series of posts on running a parent group.  The feedback on these posts have been truly humbling.  So many people have contacted us to say how useful they were and how much they seemed to have landed just at the right time.

If you haven’t had a look yet, then why not add them to your reading list for 2017

So what is happening in 2017?

BAPS – new site

First of all, we have decided to launch a brand new site called BAPS.

This site will be focussed on you, the parents!  Yes, a site all about you.

BAPS will

  • share downloads to help you get organised with the paperwork,
  • share downloads to help with the chaos of medications,
  • share tips on how to plan for the week ahead
  • share tips on how to make time for you
  • share tips on how to create a one page profile
  • share tips for those families who have just received a diagnosis
  • share checklists to make sure you don’t miss things with the new system
  • share tips on how to set up a blog if you want to begin
  • share tips on how to write that book you keep meaning to write
  • share tips on how to set goals for this year and reach them
  • share tips on running a campaign
  • And lots of other useful posts to help you in 2017

So pop over to the site now, sign up for updates.  There will be a new post every Sunday morning.  This will give you Sunday to think about how the new tips can work for you and then you can start taking action with small steps every Monday morning.

We have decided to run this totally separate to BUT.  BUT will focus on INfluencing and INvolving parents.  BAPS will focus on INspiring and INforming parents.  So BUT will be more aimed at campaigning for change whereas BAPs will be aimed at helping families to work within the system we have.

Don’t forget to like our new Facebook page and join our Facebook group    The group will be all about sharing tips and ways to stay upright.

NHS England and CQC

We will be continuing our work with NHS England and also the CQC around the issues families are facing in ATUs.


We are hoping to have another event for families around ATUs.

We will continue to support the families we can and connect them with people who can help when we can’t.  We know our limitations and appreciate the vast wealth of knowledge and support available from others.


In the next month or two, we are launching a whole series of posts for practitioners.  These will be ones you don’t want to miss.

Thank you

May we wish you all the best for 2017 and say a big big thank you to each and every one of you.  Your support and encouragement has been so fantastic this year.  When we have hit brick walls, you have been there to help us climb over and when we have had an idea, several of you have jumped forward to help us get things off the ground.  We really are Stronger Together.





Debs Aspland

Mum to three great kids, each with a different SEN. Transplanted from the NW to the SE. Co-founder and Director of Bringing Us Together

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