ABOUT US

Melissa Chesman

Chair

I ‘m a mum to an amazing 15 years old , who has a diagnosis of ADHD as well as autism. We have had a very difficult journey through the process of diagnosis, schooling and securing an EHCP. I don’t want other families to undergo the same experience as we have. I am passionate about empowering fellow parents and carers to seek the best care and provision they can for their own disabled children and young adults. I believe that as parents and carers we know what is best for our children. One of the ways on ensuring this happens is to participate in consultations, meetings and events held and organised by our local authority, health and education professionals.

Becky Newman

Vice Chair

Hi I’m Becky, single Mum to three children. Twin boys and a daughter.
I’m currently a full time student going into my final year at Nottingham Trent University studying Psychology and Sports Science.
I have to admit I knew nothing about SEND until it became apparent that one of my twin boys had many delays in development which  proved to be a battle for many years,  not only getting him the help he needed at school but also finally getting him a diagnosis of ASD.
He is currently twelve and nursery first confirmed my fears when he was two.
He is now diagnosed with autism, at a special school achieving  which was previously not believed in at  all by previous teachers  (and myself) at his mainstream primary but thanks to his EHCP gaining him a place at Birchwood Vale, he has gone from strength to strength.
Learning Disability CAMHS have been instrumental in getting sam a diagnosis.
I chose to become a parent rep for RPCV as I wanted to give something back to other families out there as I have  had to learn a lot about the processes of EHCP and send law along the way.
I enjoy attending meetings, going to conferences and meeting so many people along the way but most of all I like to see each child getting the chance to thrive in the right setting for them.
When I’ve graduated next year - I hope to set up a working therapeutic place for families with the help of some amazing animals as my assistants.
Watch this space!
Becky

Claudi Cockburn

Steering group member

Hi. I'm Claudi (pronounced "Cloudy"). I adopted my twin girls from Guatemala as a single mum when they were tiny babies. It turns out they both have cerebral palsy to differing degrees . . . it also turns out I love them more than anything!

I've been part of RPCV since 2014 and enjoy helping form good relationships between parents and the local authority and being part of the important process of trying to get this right for our kids. I also enjoy the mutual support from other parent carers and, of course, the opportunity to share worries, woes, highs and lows!

Lou Burton

Steering group member

I am mum to five children , my 4th child has special educational needs and behavioural , emotional and social difficulties.

I have been a member of RPCV for a while now attending the steering group meetings has given me a break and a chance to chat to other parents with SEN children. The Voice has shown me which way to go when I've need help with my son. Being on the steering group has given me confidence to help other parents and carers and I sat on the panel who recruited the principle social worker for disabled children at Rutland County Council.

Sue Mullinger

Steering group member

Hi,  I'm Sue, married to Neil. I am a full time mum and carer.  I work in the voluntary sector as a Sunflowers volunteer which is a mother/carer group for under-fives, where there is a child with SEN at any age. I am also a registered Foster Carer.

We have four children, two of which are at different ends on the autistic spectrum, one non-verbal, epileptic, anxious 20 year son, and another aged 11.  We have two daughters a 22 year old and also a six year old.

I have been involved with special needs for over 20 years and have served on the parents forum for a while. I am passionate and determined that our SEN children reach their maximum potential.

Karen Mackness

Steering group member

Hi I’m Karen, married to Dean and we are very blessed to have two boys that are growing up far too fast! I have worked in the childcare sector ever since leaving school and currently work full time as a teaching assistant at the village school my boys go too! I am very lucky that as part of my role I have been trusted to help all the children at the school but in particular those with additional needs as the schools SEND teaching assistant. I am consistently developing my own practices further through training and meeting others that can assist me with this! 

My youngest son who is amazing, a complete superhero, is in mainstream school but has additional needs and we feel very happy that he is currently being very well supported within his school and his EHCP plan, and most importantly is enjoying life! 

David Chesman

Steering group member

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