Meet the team

  • Sarah

    My name is Sarah Henley I am a full time Mum to Marie who is 8 years old. She was born with Downs Syndrome and a heart condition which was surgically corrected when she was 10 months old.

    I am involved with Southend Toy Library and help with monthly Coffee Mornings supporting Parents and Carers with children with extra needs. I enjoy Arts and Crafts which I am sharing with the other parents at these Coffee Mornings

  • Mike

    Mike has been involved with helping children with a disability and their families in Southend for a very long time, one of the founders of one of the original Toy Libraries. Have a severely disabled son with CP, who is the reason for involvement in this area. Currently Chairman of this very lively and active Group. We have achieved a lot as the parent’s voice in Southend and are well respected by the LA.

  • Emma

    I am a parent of a young man currently in transition into adult services but still in education.

    My son has pmld and has a rare chromosome disorder. He is non verbal and needs 24 hour personal care. Life can be challenging and family voice provides me with information and support and enables me to bring other parents concerns forward.

  • Dorcy

    I’m a mother of an adult son with Downs syndrone, besides being a fvs Sterring Group member i’mcurrently Chair of Governors at Lancaster Special School and a trustee of the Multi Academy Trust of the 4 Special Schools in Southend.

  • Sam

    I am a parent of 2 lovely boys, my youngest has Downs Syndrome and attends a special needs school. I joined family voice to help find out and understand what help is available to families in the area and help get local services to understand what families need from them. I am also a Governor of a local special school.

  • Claire

    I have two children who are now young adults. My son has autism, severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. For many years I was involved in running a local parent group and have been part of family voice since it started.

  • Karen

    I am the sole parent to two severely special needs adult sons.  I have always had to apply,  challenge and ‘fight’ for essential services they both require; twofold, for their differing needs.  It continues to be very hard work to this day to ensure that their individual needs are met (none of it is easy).  As a consequence, I have seen what impact it has had on other parents and their families and have often taken the lead, making it all of our business to speak on behalf of us.

    Both sons have personal budgets and I am happy to add that they are happy in their daily and respite placements.

  • Tracy

    I joined Family Voice right from the very beginning because I felt as a parent it was essential for me to know what challenges lay ahead in respect of benefits, transition, health care, social care and education.  I have seen the group evolve over the years and the input we parents have had on local services and lead professionals in the fields our young people need to access and I believe this has made a big difference.   We all know as parents how hard it can be to negotiate the system, how confusing  it can be and how exhausting this process can be on your own.  As a group we have seen our own young people coming through the system at all stages, and the support and advice of the group have been vital to me as a carer.

  • Judie

    I have been involved with helping children with a disability and their families in Southend for a very long time, pert of the Management Group running one of the original Toy Libraries. Have a severely disabled son with CP, who is the reason for my involvement in this area. Have been part of family voice since its early beginnings.