Who Are We?
The Hampshire Parent Carer Network is an independent parent-led group set up to ensure that the families and carers of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs can participate fully in the development of services within Hampshire. Our shared mission is to improve and enhance the experiences and opportunities of children and young people with additional needs and/or disability by enabling parents and carers to be heard and be at the heart of decisions, development and delivery of services in Hampshire.
Meet Gail Bedding – HPCN Chair
I have been involved with Hampshire Parent Carer Network since the beginning of 2014. I have an eleven-year-old profoundly disabled son who has positively shaped the lives of everyone in my family; 13-year-old twins and two step children, so life is never dull! I have worked for Parent Voice and Cool2Care; have helped set up and run a music group for disabled children and their siblings and I’m a Parent Trustee of Short Break provider, Challengers.
I feel passionate about the role of Hampshire Parent Carer Network within Hampshire and that we can change the way the local authority and the NHS do things. Only we as parents know what our lives are like living with disabled or SEN children and how they can be improved. The more parents that can work with us and share their experiences, the more we can shape the services we need and make a difference to the lives of our children, parents, carers and their families.
Jo Maxwell-Heron - Participation Worker, Basingstoke
Hello, my name is Jo Maxwell-Heron and I have been working for Parent Voice in Basingstoke for the last four years.
I live in the North of Hampshire with my husband and our two children. My son who is now 14 has a rare genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis. He was diagnosed when he was 3.5 years old. As a parent of a child with additional needs, we have overcome lots of difficult situations and I was keen to help others overcome theirs.
I joined HPCN as a Participation Worker 18 months ago. I am delighted to be part of such an enthusiastic and energetic organisation. Helping parents to become empowered and their views heard and listened to by Hampshire County Council is fundamental to improving services.
Nick Hutson, Parent Representative
I am the parent of a young person on the autistic spectrum (Asperger/ADHD diagnosis). I am currently involved in the schools project for HPCN and represent the organization on Hampshire advisory groups related to autism and mental health. We have recently been through the process of transferring my son from a Learning Disability Assessment to an Education Health Care Plan.
Wendy Davey, Trustee
Hi. I am a Hampshire Parent Carer Network Trustee with special responsibility for communications. I also work as an HPCN parent representative through work streams related to Hampshire’s Local Offer, 16+ transition, and a range of other transformation initiatives for children with special educational needs and / or disabilities in the County. I am actively involved with Talk Together, an HPCN project which aims to enable and empower parent carers with children attending mainstream schools by fostering productive home-school relationships. I am determined to empower our young people by ensuring their needs, and the voices of their parent carers, are represented whenever decisions are being made about health, education and social care in Hampshire. I live in North East Hampshire with my family, which includes a young person with additional needs. I have a working background in arts and third sector communications, and in education.
Sally Barnett, Participation Worker
I live in East Hampshire with my husband, dog and two adopted daughters of 20 and 26 years who both have additional needs. I grew up in Surrey and started my working life as a ballet, dance and drama teacher. I was very lucky and had a long and varied career teaching all ages from 2 years to 70!
When my youngest daughter moved into our family her behaviour was so challenging that life changed in an instant and I decided to give up my teaching career. As luck would have it I was almost immediately offered a job at my local pre-school where I had volunteered to support my daughter and there I stayed for 12 years. I became more and more interested in supporting children with additional needs and so took on the role of SENCo within the setting and was able to access what was then a good training programme for Early Years practitioners.
As my children grew I felt I wanted a role where I could concentrate on helping families of children with additional needs but I still needed to be around for my children in the school holidays even though they were both quite grown up. So I went to work for Parent Voice. Initially I was a Bridging Worker working alongside the Short Breaks team promoting inclusion and trying to expand the choice of activities for disabled children. I’m now a Parent Voice worker in East Hants providing advice and support to families of disabled children. I am also an Independent Supporter guiding and supporting families through the Education, Health and Care Plan assessment process.
I have always thought it is very important for parents to participate and have a voice in shaping services for the future so I’m delighted to be running groups for HPCN too.