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Meet the Steering Group members

Elizabeth Johnston (North) - I am a mum to 3 boys who have a variety of disabilities and additional needs. I have been involved in parent participation for a number of years and have really enjoyed working with other committed parents to get “In It Together” up and running. I am a parent representative for the North and I am one of the regional representatives who pass on the views of Northumberland parents to the regional forum. I know that a lot of work that we are doing with “In It Together” will not directly impact on my children’s futures, but hopefully it will make a difference to children and young people coming through the system now.

Jacqui Simpson - (North) - I have lived in Northumberland over 25 years.  I have three grown-up children and a son who is a very complex young man. I have been involved in local support groups for a number of years offering support to many families in the area. And now I really want to make a difference and improve the outlook of children and young people with disabilities in the county.

Alison Bravey - I have worked in the area of special educational needs (SEN) for most of my working life - as a special needs teacher in both Australia and England, and then as an SEN officer. I moved to the Parent Partnership Service 9 years ago. My role includes providing information, support and advice for parents of children with special educational needs. I have always strongly believed that a close partnership between home and school is crucial for meeting a child’s needs. I want parents to have confidence in the Parent Partnership Service as a confidential and impartial service which is run at ‘arm’s length’ from the Local Authority.

Amanda Richardson - (South East)

Helen Cowans - (South East)

Nicola Strachan - (North)

Eileen Robinson - (West) - I am mum to 4 children, and a former nurse. Parenting children, some of whom have special educational and additional needs taught me that knowledge empowers me to support them. I have volunteered in my local area in various roles for many years, setting up a small branch of the NAS 10 years ago. I, somewhat reluctantly joined the Steering Group of In It Together 3 years ago as there was no one representing the views from West Northumberland. I am passionate about making a difference and not shy about challenging anything I feel is unjust or unlawful especially when it relates to children, young people and even adults with additional needs. Being involved with the Steering Group has provided me with invaluable support, training and another means of supporting my own and other families struggling to meet the needs of their children. I am proud to be part of, and work with other members who share my values.

Sarah Hanlon - (West)