News

1 Voice has been very busy this first part of the year. We have been trying to the negotiate the best deal for our families, there has been a sizable cut in the budget for services and we have had to inform Brent about the most important services that need safeguarding. Cutting some of the help to our most vulnerable families will be more costly in the long run.
We urge you all to make your
voice heard if your service has been taken away purely for financial reasons and not taken account of your families
well being. Brent has given us the opportunity to have our say so please attend the meetings. Ask your questions and get answers. Together we can improve the outcome. Three of our members have been invited to be involved in the strategic planning panel for Adult Social Care.

Transport

We have been in consultation with SEN school transport team to improve the service and train their members of staff to a higher standard. They will implement some new systems that will make it easier for the staff to have a idea of the children and their needs at a glance.

Short Breaks and Play Schemes

There has been a huge change in the provision for play schemes in the summer break. The criteria for the children who will get a place has
been changed. There will be a lot of children who will not be offered a play scheme place this year. It is really up to us Parent/Carer’s to campaign against the increasing erosion of our much needed services.

SEN Play Group

1 Voice have been commissioned to engage with families with children with disability and encourage them to come to the SEN play groups. There will be 6 of these groups across the Brent area most of them are housed within the Children’s Centre. These group will be running in:

  • Barham
  • Willow
  • Granville Plus
  • Treetop
  • Wembley Primary
  • St Raphael’s

Leaflets are available with all the details. All Children’s Centres will welcome all families with children with special needs living in Brent. The families might want to visit all of them, they would be very welcome. There will be lots of activities and useful information and its a good place to make friends with other families who understand and empathize with your situation.
During the School Holidays we take siblings on a day out so the Parent can still attend the group. Children 8 yrs and under can stay and play. Special activities will be arranged for them.
1 Voice is looking for any parent who is willing to volunteer to help with these groups. Your experience and expertise is invaluable, passing it on is rewarding.
We need all types of support, so if you are not confident to volunteer within the group you can help out with the administrative side. The amount of time you give is always negotiated to suit both parties. We refund authorized expenses on production of receipt. For more detail please contact us.

What’s Next

We have met with a Manager of Cricklewood Bus Garage Mr Leroy Webley. The Bus Company is keen to work with us and support and help our Charity to organize Days Out, Tours of Buses and Mini Fun Days for our children. We look forward to working with them and appreciate their support.
We are always looking for local companies willing to become Friends of
1 Voice Community and to support us.
If anyone is working for an organisation that is looking to help and contribute to a local community group please get in touch.
We hope to organize a day out in the summer break. Ideas are welcome.
We are also organising another Fun Day last year’s one was very successful and the families would like us to run another one. We will be looking for volunteers and member to run activities on the day. There will be more details about this nearer to the time.
1 Voice has encouraged our members to take part in courses that are useful in managing and understanding different circumstances. Many parents have given up their job to be full time carers and some loose the confidence to go back to work. The courses that are offered empower the parents and they gain confidence to go back to work and manage their family as well. The courses offered were:

  • Makaton
  • Pediatric First Aid
  • Key worker Course
  • CAF Course
  • TAF Course
  • Portage Course

 Family Fun and Consultation

On the 31st October 2012 we ran a jointly organised Family Fun and Consultation day at the Village school which generously provided the venue for the event. The event was opened by Councillor Butt, who is the current leader of Brent Council, and he was accompanied by a number of councilors who have an interest in disabled children’s services. We were also lucky enough to have the Mayor, Michael Adeyeye with us for the afternoon, and he opened the raffle along with Councillor Sandra Kabir and Sharon Stockman, Head of services for disabled children.
One purpose of the day was to consult with parents and children on the services they receive, and in the planning and delivery of future services from the agencies involved through a panel of representatives. All views and ideas have been recorded and are being used to plan for the next short breaks review.
Also, we offered parents and their children the opportunity to have a fun and relaxing day. We welcomed over 500 parents, children, councilors and professionals to the event. Families were offered free entry to all fun, educational and pampering sessions which included face painting, creating art work and a craft corner. We also provided a roaming entertainer who performed magical tricks and balloon modelling, creative artists who assisted children to make a piñata and paper mache work. For parents, we provided Henna and nail art and yoga sessions. We also provided a bouncy castle, compliments of Brent Play, and this was enjoyed in a joyous and noisy fashion by most of the children, alongside a variety of indoor sports. Many of the children loved the sensory room and the soft play area which the Village school had made available to them.

We served delicious hot and cold food in our buffet, and there were plenty of refreshments available for all to enjoy. We also had a cake stall and a raffle which were a great success, and the proceeds will be used to provide on going activities through 1 Voice, for the families of disabled children in Brent.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers, for giving up their time in setting up the day and making it a great success. We would also like to thank all of the professionals and therapists who attended and spent time meeting the families and the children, giving advice and signposting to available services; and in particular to all of the businesses and shops
who generously donated food, drinks, raffle prizes and goodie bags. But our biggest thank you goes to all of the families who attended and made the day such a success.