Our Voice

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News News

17-02-2024 Youth Evening

We're delighted to announce that booking is now open for our first-ever event for young people with additional needs aged 14 – 25.

You have been telling us for some time that whilst you love our family parties for younger children, some of your teenagers/young adults, would really welcome an event just for them.

We are planning our event on Saturday 17th February 6 -8 pm at the Ponders End Youth Club.

See the poster here

Numbers are very strictly limited and all places must be pre-booked via Eventbrite.

Parents/carers will be expected to remain in the building but will be in a separate area to the young people so everyone can relax!

We have lots of fun activities planned for the young people including a disco, photobooth, popcorn and candyfloss machines, slushies and pizza.

Coffee, tea and biscuits for parents and carers, and a chance to chat with other parents and some of the Our Voice team.

Book here.

06-02-2024 What's On this February half-term?

Our latest What's on this February Half-Term guide has information on a variety of SEND-specific and accessible events, activities and over-the-school February half-term holidays. 

Don't forget to also have a look at our general 'What's on- Play and Leisure in and around Enfield' Guide here which is regularly updated with ongoing SEND-specific and inclusive events (please note that some of these are term-time only, so if you are planning to go along to anything, please check first). 

The information in the booklet is correct (to the best of our knowledge) at the time of writing, but please do check with the individual venues and schemes, and please bear in mind that many activities and events must be pre-booked. 

The Local Authority's most recent booklet on playschemes for the school holidays is here and there is additional information about the playschemes on the Local Offer here

06-02-2024 Follow up from the Our Voice Presents:Get to Know SEN Services event on 31st Jan 24

Following the 'Our Voice Presents:Get to Know SEN Services' event on 31st Jan 24, please see below key resources from this event. 

Additional information will follow shortly. 

30-01-2024 Drop in session at Ponders End Youth and Family Hub

Our regular drop-in service is now running at the Ponders End Youth and Family Hub. Members of the Our Voice team will be on hand once every two weeks (alternating between a 10 am to 1 pm session on Wednesdays and a 12 – 2 pm session on Tuesdays) to listen to your questions and issues and point you in the right direction to resolve the issues you are facing. Or you can just take the opportunity to offload and have a chat with other parents who experience some of the same challenges as you.

See our booklet here for more information, including details of what the hubs are, what support they offer and what events are coming up.

The dates coming up in January and February will be:

Wednesday 7th February

10 am to 1 pm

Tuesday 20th February

12 pm to 2 pm

Wednesday 6th March 

10 am to 1 pm 

Tuesday 19th March 

12 pm to 2 pm 

 

The venue is the Ponders End Youth and Family Hub, 129 South Street, Enfield, EN3 4PX (next to the Oasis Hadley Academy)

More information about our regular drop-in sessions is on our flyer here. 

25-01-2024 Preparing for adulthood

If your child has an EHCP and is now in year 9 or above, it is important to start thinking about what will happen when they get to the age of 16 and become legally responsible for making their own decisions, and perhaps start to think about their future in terms of getting a job or living more independently. We know that this can be a worrying time for parents and carers, and it is important to start thinking about the transition as early as possible so that you will be well-informed and ready to support your young person through the changes.

The Local Authority's Preparing for Adulthood booklet is a key document to help you understand the process and support. You can see this booklet on the Local Offer here and there is an easy-read version here and additional information about the process here

We recommend that you should attend as many of the Preparing for Adulthood online events as you can. It is worth starting as soon as possible and you may wish to repeat some of the sessions over the next few years.

Preparing for Adulthood events

Full details of the Preparing for Adulthood sessions are available here.

The next sessions are:

Getting a Home Wednesday 7th February 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, online via Microsoft Teams. 

Health Services and Keeping Healthy Friday 8th March 10.30 am - 12.30 pm at Waverley School 

Day services 22nd March 10.30 am - 12.30 pm online via teams

Getting a Job 3rd May 10.30 am - 1.30 pm at Waverley School 

If you are unable to attend a session, the presentations will be added to the Local Offer Preparing for Adulthood page here shortly after each session. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see links to each presentation. 

Drop in sessions

On the first Friday of every month, parents and carers of young people aged 16 and over can join the monthly drop-in sessions 10 am - 12 pm at the Integrated Learning Disability Service in Hertford Road, where you can talk to a member of the ILDS team, and Jane Richards from Families in Transition to Adulthood. More information on the flyer here. The next session will be Friday 2nd February. If you would like to attend please book an appointment by noon on the previous day. If this day does not work for you, please contact Jane to discuss an alternative timing.

You are welcome to bring your young person along with you. 

21-01-2024 Give your views on primary and secondary schools and enter our prize draw - closing 31st Jan

Last chance to give your views and enter our prize draw. The closing date for entry to the prize draw will be Wednesday 31st January

We would really like to hear about your experiences when looking at either primary or secondary schools, for your child with additional needs. 

We know that all schools are meant to be inclusive for children with Disabilities and Special Needs – but is that the reality? If you visited schools in Autumn 2023, did you feel that your child would be welcomed and supported at the schools you visited and spoke to, or were you discouraged (whether actively or more subtly) from sending your child to that school?

Please let us know about your experiences (both good and bad) by completing the short survey

Secondary School survey here 

Primary School survey here

It should only take around 5 minutes to do. You can do a separate survey for any school you visited - good or bad!

To thank you for your time we will randomly select 3 survey entries from each of the two surveys to receive a £20 Amazon voucher (see survey pages for details). The closing date for entry to the draw will be Wednesday 31st January. 

Thank you! 

18-01-2024 What's On - play and leisure

Our guide to What's On - Play and Leisure in and around Enfield has lots of information on local SEND-specific and inclusive activities in and around the area (including some days out in Central London and further afield). 

This guide focuses on ongoing term-time activities (although some continue during school holidays), and will be regularly updated with the latest activities and dates, so do check back regularly. We will also let you know about relevant one-off events via our weekly updates to members - please join our mailing list to receive these, if you haven't already done so. 

In addition, we usually publish a short 'What's on?' guide during each school holiday, featuring information about specific activities during the next holiday period.  

If you know about any relevant local, accessible activities that aren't included in our guide, please do let us know - email us at info@ourvoiceenfield.org.uk 

03-01-2024 Have your say - important local consultations

A core part of our work at Our Voice is our regular engagement with the Local Authority and Health services as they develop strategies and services. As part of this work, we often respond to local consultations, but it is also really important for more parents and carers, and young people, to have their say on local developments that affect children and young people with additional needs. This news item looks at how you can give your view on some important current consultations that impact children and young people with additional needs and their families.

See also our news item here about proposals to change the Council Tax Support Scheme which will affect anyone in receipt of a carers discount for a young person aged under 18. Closing date 21st Jan.  

You can see details of all the Local Authority’s current consultations here.

If you have any queries about any of these consultations or need help with sharing your views, please email  haveyoursay@enfield.gov.uk.

Adult Social Care Travel Assistance

The new draft Adult Travel Assistance Policy sets out how Enfield Council propose to provide and fund travel assistance for adults with assessed eligible needs. Service users and their parents/carers are invited to give their views.

The Adult Travel Assistance policy applies to individuals who :

o    Are aged 18 and over

o    Need travel assistance to meet eligible need under the Care Act 2014

o    Are an ordinary resident in Enfield. 

Please note: This policy does not apply to young adults (aged up to 25) who have special educational needs and are in education (for example in school or college) or training. 

However, Our Voice feel it is important that you fill in the 'CARERS' version of this questionnaire, even if your child or young person hasn't transitioned to Adult Services, and thus, isn't receiving 'Travel Assistance support’ from the council yet. This is because this policy could affect your child or young person in the future, if, when they are assessed (at 18), they are eligible for Travel Assistance.

There is also an Easy Read version of the policycase studies, and an accessible survey 

This consultation will close on 9th January 2024

Enfield Autism Strategy

The draft Autism Strategy (PDF) sets out how we will work together as a partnership to improve the lives of autistic people, their families and carers in Enfield.

This document includes autistic people of all ages and shows how the National strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026, will be delivered in Enfield. To identify local needs, people with lived experiences and partners in education, health, social care and the voluntary sector (including Our Voice) have already been engaged with.

This has resulted in identifying 7 priority areas;

o  Celebrate and value the positive aspects of autism and the achievements of autistic people

o  Provide needs-based support

o  Enable fair access to education

o  Support more autistic people into employment

o  Recognise and combat isolation and loneliness

o  Provide inclusive mental health and wellbeing support

o  Improve support within the criminal and youth justice system

Anyone with an interest in the issue (including parents and carers and young people) is now invited to give their views on the draft Strategy.

You can share your views by completing the questionnaire. Alternatively, if you have difficulties completing this, you can instead fill in the easy-read version of the questionnaire (PDF).

The Closing date is 14 January 2024 (11.59 pm).

Health and Wellbeing strategy

The Health and Wellbeing Board is developing a draft Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy to replace the current Strategy. The new draft strategy (PDF) sets out their vision: to empower every Enfield resident to live healthier for longer.

In Enfield, the long-term ambition is for every resident to Start Well, Live Well and Age Well. This means:

o    Support every child to have the best start in life and to thrive from conception to the age of 19 or 25 for children and young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) - Start Well

o    Support our communities to live active, healthy lives and work with partners to provide high-quality and accessible health services - Live Well

o    Support people to maintain good health and independence well into older age, ensuring every stage of life is valued and spent in the best possible health - Age Well

The Strategy brings together a series of 12 priorities for the next 6 years, based on these important stages of our lives.

The Health and Wellbeing Board would like to hear your views on the draft Strategy. You can share your views by completing the standard questionnaire. Alternatively, you can complete the easy-read version      The consultation will close on 29 January 2024 (10 am)

28-12-2023 Telephone support line from the EPS

The Enfield Psychology Service (EPS) offers a telephone support line which gives parents and carers an opportunity to talk to a member of the EPS team about any concerns they might have in relation to their child. 

See the flyer at https://www.enfield.gov.uk/educationalpsychologyservice/telephone-support-line-for-parents-and-carers

You can either request a call using the link on the flyer, or by phoning 0208 379 2000.

20-12-2023 Group for parents of babies with additional needs

‘Me & My Baby’ is a group to support the parents of babies with additional needs (aged up to 18 months), which offers you a safe space to meet with other parents in a similar situation and share, learn, support and talk together.

The group will run from 24th January to 6th March (excluding half term week) from 9.30 am to 11 am at Bay Tree House,  Christchurch Close, EN2 6NZ.

See the attached booklet for full details.