Listening to parents: New parent representative on Enquire’s Advisory Group

Families attend school event

Enquire is very pleased to welcome Wendy Clark as the parent representative on our Advisory Group. As the group provides direction and support to help us deliver our service, it’s hugely important we have a strong parent voice. Wendy brings with her a wealth of knowledge of parents’ experiences. Below Wendy shares her own parenting journey and why she was keen to get involved in the group:

“I’m a parent to a teenage daughter (who attends University) and nine-year-old son. My son has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and attends a Learning and Communication Resource.

Following my son’s diagnosis of Autism in 2013, I enrolled in a Parenting Matters Course, which was being run by Parent Network Scotland. It was their first course aimed specifically at parents of children with additional support needs. This course and the parents that were involved changed my views of not only parenting skills but of the much wider additional support for learning issues that exist on a national scale. Following on from the initial 8-week course we continued to be involved with Parent Network Scotland and recently myself and a few other parents recently graduated from the Endorsed Award as Parenting Matters Facilitators.

After the group became extremely pro-active, dedicating a lot of time and effort to additional support causes, we decided to name ourselves WAMIOS (which stands for Walk A Mile in Our Shoes).

Since then we have been joined in many ventures, providing advocacy support to parents and also creating our own community support groups in Glasgow, Gourock and East Dunbartonshire. We continue to run a bi-monthly community support group in the Glasgow North/West area and hope to expand on this. It’s a huge life-line for a lot of our parents who appreciate the mutual support and connection the group offers. Our group really feels that we have had a positive impact on families’ wellbeing and are always encouraging more parents to come along on ‘the’ journey. We were delighted our work was recently recognized when we gained the Glasgow North/West Community Champions Award.

I’ve also recently completed the 8-month Partners in Policymaking Course, which is run by In Control Scotland supported by the Scottish Government. This course has provided me with an incredible insight into policymaking and has absolutely altered my understanding of additional support issues and in turn (inevitably!) my life, my family life, and my community input.

So, from the beginnings of the Parent Network Group back in 2013, I (and the other WAMIOS group members) literally have not stopped. I’m so driven by raising awareness and changing policy and attitudes towards additional support for learning needs and how best we can support progress.

Having a child with ASN and being part of community groups, I’m hugely positive that we can keep moving forward and continue to make a huge impact on inclusion, equality and fairness. I try to attend as many events that go on in and around Scotland that could be of relevance to any of our other parents of children with ASN particularly Children in Scotland events

I was delighted to be asked to be part of Enquire Advisory Group. Being involved will allow me to have input into a national service and offer both my own perspective and the perspective of the other parent our community groups support to help Enquire meet the needs of families across Scotland. “

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