As a parent of children with special needs, I know first hand the challenges, barriers and joys that parents/carers face. In the early days of the diagnosis of my children, I had to look really hard to find the support that I needed for our family. While attending an ADHD parenting course, I met Nikki, another founder of BRAAIN. When we both realised we lived fairly close to each other we both agreed to meet up once the course had finished.
We very quickly realised we weren’t the only parents/carers that were struggling to find support so we set up a support group to help others. The support group has been running since 2017 and has had many people attend.
We’re now looking to extend our support by offering a service that helps people to navigate the support they need via a telephone call or a web chat. I’m hugely passionate about helping people and am thrilled that BRAAIN is able to offer even more support.
Outside of my work with BRAAIN, I’m an active member of many special needs groups and organisations. I have also volunteered at a local special needs playgroup for 5 years.
I’m also a parent of children with special needs. I attended one of the support groups that Emma and Nikki were running in the early days. I found talking to other parents in a similar situation so helpful. It was good to hear that I wasn’t alone and the group were able to offer up lots of helpful organisations and services that I could contact.
I was so passionate about the work of the support group, I offered to become more involved with the group. Nikki, Emma and I put our heads together and developed BRAAIN. We wanted to help people find the information they needed whether they had a diagnosis, were going through the diagnosis process or didn’t have a diagnosis. We still have the same aim and values today.
I’m delighted that BRAAIN is able to take that next step and help even more families.
Outside of my work with BRAAIN, I’m a Learning Support Assistant at a special needs school.
I’m a special needs parent too. When you are realise that your child needs additional support, it’s really tough, both emotionally and physically. You don’t have the time or the headspace to search for hours to find the information you need to support your child. It was a huge frustration of mine when my child went through the diagnosis process. You receive a diagnosis and then are left just to manage.
That’s why we set up BRAAIN. We want to help other parents at a time in their life when it's tough, really tough. We want to guide parents/carers to the support they need and help them to meet other parents/carers that have children in a similar situation.
BRAAIN is so important to me. Helping families’ to feel less alone and have a better informed special needs parenting journey is something we’ll always strive to achieve.
In addition to my work at BRAAIN, I’m a professional communicator with over 10 years in the charity sector.
As a parent of a child with special needs, I’m really passionate about the work of BRAAIN. Getting the right support for my family has been a challenge as it is for many families. However, when I have been able to access the support I need, this has been truly life changing for my family.
Working as one of the Directors for BRAAIN means I’ll be able to help other families navigate their way through parenting a child with special needs and use my experience to make a difference.
As a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor) I have some professional experience of ADHD and Autism. However, my knowledge and awareness significantly increased after my daughter was diagnosed with both conditions as a teenager. Sadly I am all too familiar with the challenges in getting a diagnosis and the lack of support and information before and after a diagnosis. This is why I have become one of the Directors for BRAAIN to ensure parents/carers, like me, are prepared and empowered through the network of support and information BRAAIN provides.
I moved here from Australia in 2001, originally for two years, but have now made England my home with my husband and three children. For the past 16 years I have both worked and volunteered supporting parents through children's charities and I’m a big supporter of my local community. With an interest in data, processes and the many behind the scenes things that are needed to help make a success of any venture, I’m excited to work with the team at BRAAIN to share my knowledge and help support the essential work they are doing for local families.