Who We Are
We are an independent, non-political group that represents parents and carers of children and young people (0-25 yrs) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), in Derby City.
We are funded by the Department for Education as the recognised Parent Carer Forum for Derby City.
The Forum is a voluntary group of parents and carers who want to make a difference. Helping to give all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities the best possible future.
We welcome new members and volunteers.
We have regular events and meetings and keep parents and carers informed about what’s happening in Derby, as well as wider issues which can impact on our children and young people.
- We work on local issues and have input at a regional and national level.
- We work in partnership with education, health and social care organisations, to get the best outcomes for our children and young people.
- We give parents and carers a voice, encouraging them to give feedback on a range of issues.
- We signpost to services that can offer support and advice.
Co-Chair: Rachel Rule
I originally joined the Forum as an outreach worker and now Co-Chair alongside Sarah. In the past, I have held a range of volunteering positions, including: family support with Barnardo’s, art therapy with the Schizophrenia Fellowship, a befriending service with the CVS, and working in orphanages in Romania.
I have worked in a home setting as a personal assistant supporting a young person who was a quadriplegic and had Cerebral Palsy.
I’ve also worked in early years as a qualified teacher.
Since having my own family, I now have my own business and help other families save money.
As a parent carer, I am learning as I go along and my top tip is… always be kind to yourself! Something we often forget as we face challenges and guilt daily.
I Hope you enjoy being part of the Forum as much as I do. The friendships you make are amazing!
Co-Chair: Sarah Stenson
As Co-Chair, I mostly attend education-related meetings with the local council and other organisations to get parent carer voices heard.
I also work in the background, helping things to tick over with the other Co-Chair, Rachel. Ensuring that our community continues to grow and develop.
I am a mum to two very special girls with SEN.
In the past, I worked full-time in education and hold a Diploma in Childcare & Education. But, after struggling with childcare and dedicating time to my youngest daughter’s needs, I decided to set up my own business which has been running successfully for 6 years.
I feel very passionate about getting the voices of children, and parent carers heard at the very top where they can make a difference. I dedicate a considerable amount of my free time to this as these are the children of tomorrow.
Having gone through the struggle of seeking support for both my girls, I want to make the journey a little easier for other families.