Swansea Parent Carer Forum LogoSwansea Parent Carer Forum are a voluntary group of parent carers all with children with additional needs, their aim being to make sure that services meet the needs of disabled children, young people, adults and their families.

This is their lockdown story:

“Back in March we, like many other groups, were planning for the new financial year – looking at growing our membership, working with partners and planning workshops, training and events for the year.

How life has changed!

Overnight parent carers of children with additional needs found themselves completely isolated with all our support gone, no school, no childcare, no specialist services and no extended family support.

Luckily a week before lockdown our leadership team discovered a little-known piece of software - “ZOOM”! This was quickly adopted for our leadership team meetings which went from once a month to weekly as we adapted our way of working.

We quickly discovered how flexible and convenient this new way of working was for our volunteer leadership team. We could meet when we wanted without having to leave our homes; we did not have to rush off to appointments and end of school pickups; we could record meetings so those unable to attend could catch up.

As services also moved to online video conferencing we were able to continue to give a voice to our membership locally and also nationally.

We also had more time for paperwork and on the 1st of June SwanseaPCF became a registered charity. In the same week we applied for and were successfully awarded a grant from the Moondance Foundation to help us in getting up to date information out to families. Issue 1 of our COVID FAQ’s for parent carers went out in May with an updated issue 2 in June.

Click here to read issue 2

We are now planning for our first virtual workshop for parent carers on Sleep, in partnership with Contact, a national charity that supports parent carers.

Its been a steep learning curve but we have embraced the challenge and we are stronger for it. Thank you to our membership who have shared their experiences and to our partners in the local authority and health who have worked with us to find solutions.

Please visit our website and join our members"