Brighton welcomes our new support network for parents of disabled children

Guest post from Amanda Mortensen, Scope Face 2 Face Coordinator in Brighton & Hove.

On Wednesday we launched a new Face 2 Face parent support network for parents of disabled children in Brighton and Hove.

Group photo of befriends with a cake

Over 40 people attended the launch including many local parents who welcomed the service as a new source of support for families. The day celebrated the achievement of the 12-strong team of befrienders who have really bonded over the past two month’s intensive and innovative Face 2 Face training programme. Russell Evans, Area Manager, Scope South East, presented training certificates to the new team of befrienders.

Many professionals also attended including local authority leads for children’s disability services and Sue Shanks, lead councillor for children and young people in the city. Susan Brown, from the funders The People’s Health Trust also came along and said that the launch really brought the idea of Face 2 Face “to life”.

Diana Boyd, one of the new befrienders and mum to two sons with speech and language difficulties and epilepsy, said that she had really gained a lot from the intensive training programme and felt excited about being part of a team of befrienders offering such a special service to parents new to the process.

Fellow befriender Reza Ataie, dad of severely autistic twin girls added, “What a nice day! Such a big turn out and what a fantastic reunion.”  And befriender Sara Wilson, mum to a little girl with cerebral palsy added: “Fantastic launch, so proud to be a part of it.”

The launch was preceded by a free legal workshop from solicitors firm Pennington and barristers 7 Bedford Row. The legal team gave presentations on medical negligence and education.

The service is now open for referrals and the team will also be working on setting up bespoke parent-led groups over the coming months.

If you’d like more information please contact me by emailing amanda.mortensen@scope.org.uk or calling on 07436810608.