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Parent's participation: Jenny Buchan

Jenny is a parent carer of her son Max who has downs syndrome.  She has been involved with Centre 404 for over 11 years. Jenny is a parent representative in the Islington Children with Disabilities Strategy Board and also coordinates the Carer Views project with the help of Centre 404.

Jenny’s involvement is an excellent example of parent participation and coproduction.

As an example of Jenny's participation, she helped Islington council identify and commission ‘Short Break’ services for children with SEND. Jenny made suggestions and recommendations as well as took part in the interviews with service providers so as to decide on the best respite provision. The council made it easy for me to participate, paying travel expenses and childcare so I could attend the interviews. At the end I was given a gift voucher as a thank you for my time”.

Islington Parent Forum at Centre 404 helped Jenny to engage in Islington Disability Services, meet commissioners and stake holders, whilst giving her the confidence and strength to participate in the shaping of Islington Disability Services. Jenny is now a valuable asset for the Local Authority as an ‘Expert by Experience’. “I liked being involved in this process because it gave me the opportunity to input into shaping the short breaks service which my son still accesses”.

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