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Impacting on You Newsletter – April 2020

Click on the Easter Eggs to read the April Newsletter

Newsflash: Covid-19 Update from The Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC), following the Minister’s request, has launched two new email inboxes aimed to answer questions, collate resources and share information on Coronavirus and the impact on children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They are designed to be used by professionals, practitioners, parent carers and families of children and young people with SEND.

The new ‘CDC questions’ inbox, CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk, provides the opportunity to ask questions about how Coronavirus will impact on children and young people with SEND as well as other questions relating to the impact on families; the education, health, social care sectors; and the voluntary and community sector. We will collate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and share them with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ministers as appropriate, in order to publish an FAQs newsflash each Friday.

Since we launched the CDC Questions inbox on Monday we have received several questions and are in the process of engaging with the DfE and other sector experts to raise issues and develop responses. These will be shared in our FAQ next week along with any further questions that we receive. In the meantime please find below information from a range of sources that can support you in the meantime:

If you are a parent carer with a question about your individual circumstances you may be able to find an answer here:

 
Stay safe and well,
The CDC Team

Natalie’s Blog Part 4

Hello All,

Well the coronavirus has completely turned our worlds upside down and inside out and any future plans are now changing.

I am currently working from home, my hours are spread out throughout the day and evening so I can meet the needs of my children.

Distance learning is a whole new ball game for me and I decided to take each day as it comes. My girls are continuing college via virtual lessons which is a relief and one less worry, honestly I actually don’t think I could answer the A level biology questions right now.

I’ve been watching them as young carers and can see how important their break from their sibling was, so I have been encouraging them to take daily exercise or a walk on their own or together to give them an opportunity to breathe, refocus and talk to each other.

Teaching my son and working is an experience to say the least, I had to start by being flexible with my hours as he takes medication which means the first part of the day is a better opportunity for him to learn.

We sit next to each other so I am on hand to guide him, We have timers using Alexa so activities are no more than 15 minutes long and she tells him to stop, I give him a break and then use Alexa to remind him of next activity to reduce me seeming like I am nagging.

I have to hold conference video calls which can be interesting because our child/young person’s needs don’t stop just because we’re on a call. I found showing him a test video call helped him understand what I was doing and explained why I had to make these calls.

Don’t get me wrong, during a conference call he came in and started to talk to me about his idea for a Tik Tok video, and I have to remind him to eat and drink regularly and of course if the cat is in the same room I have children coming in for regular snuggles.

As PPV Manager we have had to make lots of changes and are now all based from our homes, but we haven’t stopped working though.

We have set up a support group which you can find via our Facebook page, please remember to answer all the questions to join the group.

PPV are in continual contact with all services and are reporting any issues our families are having, so please keep feeding back either via Social media, PPV support group page, PPV website or email.

We will share updates on services as soon as we have them, also please keep checking the Portsmouth SEND Local Offer – https://portsmouthlocaloffer.org/  or Portsmouth SENDIASS – http://www.portsmouthsendiass.info/en/Main_Page for updates, information and support

We have set up a Sharing is Caring post if you’re in need of essentials and we are currently working on the technology to run our coffee mornings and webinars online. Hopefully we will see some results of this over the Easter break.

Our Shaping Better Futures (SBFT) and ND Coproduction groups are still running, we have been supporting test runs of  conference calls ready for upcoming meetings.

PPV will Still attend meetings using video/phone conference calls across the SEND Strategy, Health, Early Years, social care and PCF cluster meetings.

The staff at PPV will try to take time off over the Easter break, however we will still monitor social media and the PPV support group and will continue to share new information so you don’t miss out.

As of the 1st April I have been in my role as Portsmouth Parent Voice manager for a year and what an incredible year it has been, so thank you to all our staff, parent reps, families and Portsmouth Disability Forum (PDF) for your ongoing support.

Stay Safe

Natalie

Important changes to the Short Breaks Prepaid Card – Extended Closing Date

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following Government advice around Coronavirus, which includes minimising social contact to help prevent the spread of the virus, Portsmouth City Council is focusing on ensuring essential services continue to run.  There will therefore be a delay in the allocation of the Short Breaks Prepaid Card and to ensure everyone has the opportunity to apply for the card at these challenging times the closing date has been extended until the 10th April.

If you have applied already, please ignore this email, if not please apply directly online by visiting the Local Offer website at: https://portsmouthlocaloffer.org/information/short-breaks-prepaid-card/.

Here you will find:

·       The application booklet with instructions on:

–       how to apply, with a link to the application form

–       who can have a card

–       closing dates for applications

–       frequently asked questions

–       how to activate your card

·       The Internet Access Booklet with details of registering on the Prepaid Card Portal which enables you to check your balance and manage payments.

·       Suggested uses for the card.

If you need any further help or assistance please email shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Open Letter to Children and Young People with SEND, Their Parents, Families and Others Who Support Them – From Vicky Ford MP

School Closure Resources

Resources to support parent carers during school closures will be put on the Local Offer website soon, but in the meantime, you may find the attached document useful, which was put together by a Principal EP in Wiltshire. Please click on the link below to view.

Looking After Yourself Wiltshire Council

PPV React to Covid-19

As from today (17th March 2020), PPV have followed the appropriate advice and made the decision to WORK FROM HOME ONLY as a response to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, and following confirmed cases within the Portsmouth area.

All events will be postponed, or cancelled, to be rearranged at a later date. Only PPV staff will be available for meetings until school closures after which we will only be available online.
PPV will be making arrangements to provide further online access and guidance to the families living in Portsmouth and will be linking with the HIVE to offer support in other ways.
PPV have set up a PPV Facebook Support Group, which you can join by clicking here: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/437023057096805/

This decision has been extremely hard to make and PPV thank you for your patience and understanding.
* For regularly updated health information and advice visit the NHS website

* If you or someone you know are self-isolating read the NHS Stay at home advice.


**PPV is not an emergency service

Impacting on You Newsletter – February 2020

Click on the Valentine’s heart to read the February Newsletter

Natalie’s Blog Part 3

Hello everyone, 

Wow,  is it really February already? It feels like we’ve just had Christmas, now we have romance in the air and Easter eggs on the shelves. 

So with everything moving at a incredible pace I decided to focus on each moment.

So since my last blog I’ve had my little boys EHCP draft signed off, we’ve changed school settings once again which has been quite a tough decision and is making me a little anxious.

We’ve definitely had way more cloudy days than over the rainbows and pot of gold days at school. The other day my little dude actually forgot he ate his breakfast because he was so busy.

However, this has helped me see he needs a little more support and I have been using my support network to help me make decisions on how to move forward.

Oh I did have a proud mummy moment this month was when my oldest daughter received her university placement at Oxford.

My little dude went to a sleep over, so here’s a shout out to my bestie for a little bit of respite, mind you I think she was exhausted after.

So now what have PPV been up too,  we have had a busy January with coproduction and attending meetings.

We held a well-being coffee morning where SENDIASS and the carers centre joined PPV and parent carers to talk about ‘us’ and the techniques we use to meet our needs.

PPV attended the Solent Therapies all day and gave a presentation to 120 professionals about coproduction and how to work with Parents and Cares to improve their services.

We’ve enrolled two new parent reps, one of whom writes a personal blog which you can find the link too in our newsletter.

We are looking forward to welcoming them to the team.

Developing the Portsmouth Travel Assistance Offer

This month we will be starting our annual review of the way in which we provide travel assistance to children and young people with SEND to enable them to get to school or college. 

This is an important area, and we know that a child’s experience of their journey to school can make a significant difference to their learning at school and overall well-being. We therefore plan to work closely with parents, children and young people, and schools in exploring what new options might be offered in certain circumstances.

In some cases travel by taxi or minibus will continue to be the only realistic option for a child to get safely to school. However, we hear from young people themselves that they would like to develop the skills and confidence to travel to school or college independently, using public transport. We also know that separate journeys have a significant environmental cost, and add to the congestion in Portsmouth. And, in some instances, parents might be able to make better use of part of the budget that is currently spent on a taxi to make their own arrangements to get their child to school.

The very best ideas are likely to come from users of the service themselves, their parents, and from others who see at close quarters how the service currently works, for example drivers and passenger assistants and staff in schools that work with the transport service. If you have thoughts about how the service could be delivered differently within the resources available please email

@ Education.EducationSharedEmail@portsmouthcc.gov.uk 

by Friday 14th February 2020.