Robin Dawson – Chair
I have lived in Barnet all my life. As a parent / carer to my son who lives with multiple complex needs since shortly after his birth I know what demands, emotional, physical and practical are made of all parent carers. Now 20 years old he lives in independent living accommodation in Edgware with two other young men, is fully supported, and attends Barnet and Southgate College. Ben previously attended schools outside the Borough.
My other full time role is as director of a company selling fresh fruit to the supermarkets and to the wholesale markets. I have been in this role for 15 years prior to which I worked in logistics and distribution in the automotive sector.
I have sat on various committees for my synagogue, including being its Co-Chair for three years. I continue to chair its Kindergarten Management Committee.
I really do believe that the BPCF has a two pronged role, to assist statutory bodies to meet their commitments to disabled children and their parents and carers; and to assist parents and carers with knowledge and information about those statutory bodies.
Teresa Bull – Vice Chair
I have 4 children. My eldest is 18 years old, has profound and multiple learning difficulties and is in his last year at Mapledown Special School. He lives at home with his 3 sisters, aged 16, 13 and 9. I worked for many years in the NHS before giving up work when my children were small to be a full time mum and carer. I currently do voluntary work with adults who have learning disabilities and run a trampolining club for young people with disabilities.
I joined the BPCF when it was formed in November 2014 as I recognised the need for parents to be able to have some input into the services their children receive. Over the years I have had support and inspiration from some fantastic parents as I came to terms with my son’s disability and, in my turn, I would like to support other parents. I believe that an organisation like BPCF is a great way to reach as many parent carers as possible and give them a voice to inform service providers of our children and young peoples’ needs. After all, we are the experts on our own children.
Nigel Harris – Treasurer
I am the treasurer of the Barnet Parent Carer Forum having become involved shortly after the Forum started in late 2014; as a qualified accountant I will make sure that we manage and spend our limited funds well. I have three children: two sons of 20 and 16 and a 22 year old daughter, who has cerebral palsy. She has always attended special schools, having been a boarder at school and then college since the age of 11. We are now in the crucial “transition” phase and making plans for her to return to live as independently as she can within the local community with a daily programme based around accessing local services.
I have joined the Forum because I know how much knowledge and expertise parents of children and young people with special needs acquire and want to ensure that it is used effectively both to help others and to inform and improve the decisions being taken by those who develop and provide services for them. The Forum will ensure that our views are properly gathered and represented.
Rachael Ward – Communications Group Member
My son has a range of learning difficulties and is at Oak Lodge School. I work part time for a number of voluntary sector organisations including Resources for Autism and am sure that the Barnet Parent Carer Forum will be a really important addition to the information and advisory groups available to parents and carers locally.
Gita Mehmood – Steering Group Member
I am the parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Condition and I joined the forum in order to help parents to have a voice in how and which services are delivered for disabled children. Like many others, I have been frustrated by how hard it is to get the support my child needs.
I urge other parents to join the BPCF as I truly believe that parents should be involved at every stage in decisions that are made by key professionals who are responsible for designing and delivering services that greatly affect our children.
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