Huge shout out to parent carer forums this Volunteers’ Week!

3 mins read

Monday 6 June 2022

Tags: parent carer forums, parent participation, volunteer week

It’s National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and we just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to the thousands of parents who volunteer as part of their local parent carer forum.

Parent carer forums work in partnership with local authorities, education settings, health providers and others to make sure services in their area meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families. 

The volunteers that run forums carry out a wide range of activities. Whether it’s representing parent experiences at local authority or health provider meetings, running events or offering a warm welcome to new members, the unpaid work they do is core to helping forums reach out to their communities and reduce isolation while pushing for service improvements for families of children and young people with SEND.

We asked parent carers what they like best about volunteering for their local parent carer forum and here’s what they said:

“I feel like putting my energy into changing things for the future helped me deal with the present. I learnt so many strategies that helped at the time, and still do.”

“What I like most about volunteering is meeting other parents/carers and feeling like I’ve made their day just that bit easier by listening to them and letting them know they aren’t alone and pointing them in the right direction to find the support they need.”

“I chose to become a committee member, first and foremost I think it’s important that all SEND parents and carers are informed of all the help and support that is available to them. I also believe that as a collective voice we have a much greater chance of making real changes to improve ours and future children’s lives for the better.”

I became a member as I want to make a difference in my area and how SEND is done in my area to the best of my knowledge, and get what’s right for parents and young people.”

Inspired to find out more about forums?

Watch our videos What is a Parent Carer and What do they do?, to find out more about them and how parents across England are helping improve local and national services for children with SEND and Making a Difference, Why Should I Join My Local Parent Carer Forum? to hear parent carer forum members talking about why they got involved with their local parent carer forum.

Find your local parent carer forum.

Read more about parent carer forums, how Contact supports them, and the difference they make.