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United Kingdom - Page 2 of 5

UNITED KINGDOM

Pam Green was successful in being offered the post of 'named person' for Contact a Family.

Sharon Kilday has started a support group for parents of children who have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). She has raised funds, formed a committee and acquired premises. Sharon has been successful in getting guidelines for teachers written into Oldham's education policy. Sharon recently met up with a Partner from Scotland in order to exchange information and ideas.

Daniel Doherty is chair of Manchester People First and is on Paul Taylor's Leadership for Change course.

Steven Daw has appeared on TV and is thinking of taking up acting in order to promote self advocacy and disability awareness. Steven is now employed working closely with disabled people.

Judy Aspinall has fulfilled her dream to go to university. She has successfully offered to do consultancy work on disability awareness in order to fund herself. Her particular interest is around sign language and physical assess.

Clair Lewis has gone on to do training with DAN (Direct Action Network) as a self advocate. She has also successfully challenged the medical profession about their traditional response to people who have restricted growth – her daughter has restricted growth. Clair wants her to have some say about using growth hormones. Clair has written some brilliant poems that are now used in Partners courses here in the UK and in the USA. She has recently set up a Partners network through e-mail.

Ruth Card has given presentations to the medical profession about epilepsy, together with Sandra Barrett from the '96 course. Ruth attends all the events possible in the NW.

Hazel Crossland has formed a circle of support around her son, who was "sent away to a large institution". She wants him to be able to live in his own community. Hazel is working closely with Rochdale Authorities.

Vicky Hughes has been to Westminster to talk to MP's about disability issues. She is working closely with other Partners in Oldham.

Phil Palmer is a whiz on IT. He has done work with Jen Taylor presenting on the Partners course, is designing a Partners web page, and is a constant support to many of the Partners, sorting their computer problems out, and getting them on e mail. He gives lots of his time. He is looking for work around disability issues, and has gone part time in his present job.

Margaret Cook, Gail Chorlton and Anne Mc Dowell became great friends on the course. They have assisted Paul Taylor in some work around advocacy and support, and Margaret and Gail are working with local nurseries on the inclusion of all children. They are also supporting Anne to access INCA, a supported employment initiative, in order for her to fulfill her dream of getting a job. Margaret's son's life has been totally transformed since she graduated from Partners.

Thresa Brine has stopped her battle with services, used the skills she has learned on Partners, and got her son, Charlie, the downstairs bedroom he needs. She then has gone on to get him a place at his local mainstream school. Theresa is working with families in the NW and other parts of the country and has enabled several children with high support needs to have places in their local school with the appropriate support.

Karen Evans — Karen was successfully elected to council in Oldham, and has got onto the social services and education committees. This is a first for Partners world wide.

Pat Ayres has been successful in getting her granddaughter Kate into mainstream school. Pat is her granddaughter's guardian, and she is now getting telephone calls from all across the country for help and advice. I have put her in touch with my contacts and we are linking families with 'good people' in their area.

From Merseyside

Tracey Robinson is starting her new job soon. She is supporting parents whose children have Autism, acting as a bridge between them and the education authority. This is a new and exciting post. Tracey says that the skills and information she has got from Partners got her the job.

Bill Heron is the chair of People First Liverpool and European representative. He says that Partners has taught him so much already and will help him to help others through his work with People First. Bill and Karen Flood have set up a business. They have been given a rent-free office and legal help from social services. They are working with Partners who have young children in order to educate doctors, social workers, etc. in Liverpool. Bill is on the Leadership for Change course. Bill and Karen chaired a day with self advocates, which enabled us to gather information to give to the government, to advise them on the learning disability strategy.

June Hill has formed a support group for parents who live in her area of Merseyside. She offers support and advice on education issues. June is also taking part in the Leadership for Change management course. She is developing the History of the Parent's Movement presentation in order that we have more than one person able to give this very important presentation. June is 'head of creation' on many of the presentations given by the Liverpool transition group.

Karen Flood has joined the board of Liverpool Citizen Advocacy scheme. She hopes to represent the group in Europe. Karen is also taking part in the Leadership for Change course. Karen and Bill Heron have written a play, with the help of some professional writers (Brookside). They're going to put the play on in schools, youth clubs etc. Karen is going to contact a Partners from Scotland who wants to do something similar.

Several Partners are working with a consultant pediatrician on "sharing the news", advising on the best way to let parents know that their child has a disability.

Several Partners are working with people who are doing a review of services for disabled children at Alderhey hospital, sharing their experiences and making recommendations.

Some of the participants have formed a transition working party. They are making appointments with service representatives, preparing themselves by deciding questions and nominating a spokesperson and timekeeper. These meeting have been very successful.

Four Partners have applied for jobs; three of those with Parents Partnership, an education advisory service for families.

A number of Partners are helping to make a promotional video, which Paul Taylor will take to Portugal at the end of May.

Louise Halpin - a single parent has got a job as a classroom assistant in a mainstream school. She is appalled at what is happening there and intends to make positive changes, Partners-style.

More UK Testimonials: Page 1, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5

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