Ed Balls recognises commitment and energy of everyone involved in parent carer participation
Monday 23rd September 2019
Ed Balls with parent Joyce from Lewisham Parent Carers Forum
Last week Contact hosted a fundraising event where guests heard Ed Balls in conversation with BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey.
For those with long memories, when Ed Balls was a Treasury minister he announced Aiming High for Disabled Children in 2007. This ground-breaking approach - the result of campaigning by Contact and other charities - put disabled children and their families at the heart of the government spending review, which included funding to help establish parent carer forums across England for the first time.
At the event, Ed recalled the powerful parent carer stories he and other government ministers heard at a series of parliamentary hearings organised by Contact, about the lack of respite, childcare and the importance of involving parents in developing and planning local services.
Most importantly, Ed talked about the energy of all those involved in parent carer forums and how wonderful it is hear that, even in today's tough times, forums continue to thrive, giving parent carers a vital voice in local and national planning and decision making.
Guests also heard from parent Joyce, who told the room about the support she had received from Contact, which helped her grow in confidence - and how she is now a proud member of her local forum in Lewisham.