We Are one of you.Join in Get Involved
Our Committee is made up of volunteers
We are currently trying to increase the numbers of parent representatives sitting on groups so that a wide cross-section of views are heard. If you are interested in working with statutory agencies to improve services for our children and young adults, please get in touch.
Through our attendance at these and other meetings, we aim to represent your interests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch, and tell us how services are working for you and your family.
Meet Our Committee
Kay Mitchell Gough
Co – Chairman / Administrative Coordinator
I am Kay a mum to Owen our only child. A wife, daughter and a dedicated member of the North Lincs PIP Forum. I joined PIP before we became independent and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey as volunteer, admin coordinator and in recent times co chair.
Having my son Owen who is now 12 has changed my life in so may ways. Firstly because he is such a fun loving child with an infectious laugh that makes me smile everyday and no matter what life throws at him he’s always full of character – how lucky we are to have him in our lives and how sad and frustrated I get some days at life with a disabled child. Not just because of my lovely son’s needs, but for all families and children who experience any aspects of special education needs and disabilities, my journey with PIP began.
I couldn’t find all the answers to my needs in supporting Owen, myself and my extended family. Owen has learning difficulties, sensory and auditory processing, dyslexia and Autism. None of which were diagnosed in his early years or indeed still are. I found it hard as with no diagnosis I couldn’t go to groups. I didn’t know how to deal with school and sometimes with parents/children who found Owen a challenge, because he didn’t fit into their idea of a child. I gave up a successful career as a Self Employed Photographer and Business Consultant to channel my time and effort on making life for Owen as good as I could. It wasn’t easy, a never ending round of meetings, hospital visits, challenges and learning. Something you all will be familiar with.
Owen went to our local primary school which was a mixed blessing and at times a difficult experience for him and for us as parents. Unfortunately he wasn’t awarded a statement in primary which we challenged and reapplied when they converted to EHCP. He was awarded an EHCP in the last month of primary which effectively began at BIG school. Owen is now in Year 8 in mainstream and at present doing really well within his group. He’s made great progress and achievements, and has been awarded All Inclusive Sports Personality of the year.
I mentioned earlier I am a wife and daughter. My husband is a tremendous support in helping me focus on PIP and a brilliant dad. My mum, bless her, has been widowed for 12 years and has relied heavily on us as a family – she too is disabled.
I love my work with PIP. I have met lovely people, made good friends, have learnt lots about disabilities and have been able to contribute to help with using life time skills from my career and other volunteer activities like the PTFA. I have helped drive the Forum forward, sitting on strategic board meetings and getting out into the community to engage with families that need us. I believe along my journey I have made a positive difference to my own home, and hopefully along the way that of others too. It’s not always easy and life here at PIP comes with challenges, but for all the children and families in North Lincs its worth all the time and effort. We are here for you.
Best wishes to you all
I’m Zaria Raby and am Mum to four boys, my sons Lawrence and George and my husbands two sons William and Ben, and we have been together as a family for the past 18 years.
My eldest son Lawrence, who is now 24 years old, was born 15 weeks premature, and as a result he has Retinopathy of Prematurity and is registered blind, has a severe learning disability and uncontrolled epilepsy. We had early support from the Visually Impaired Service, Portage and the Child Development Center. He then went on to St Lukes and then St Hughs. At the age of 13 we felt that his complex needs were not being met within the local authority and with the help of Val from Parent Partnership (now Sendiass) we went to tribunal and won our case for Lawrence to attend a specialist RNIB school in Coventry. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do to let him move there and be such a long way from home. It was fine though and he settled really well, I visited often and he came home at holiday times and I phoned everyday. He stayed there until he was 19 years old and then it was a case of what happens next. North Lincolnshire again had nothing that could meet his complex needs and so once again he is in an out of county placement near Spalding with SENSE. His transition was not a good one and was very stressful for both Lawrence, myself and the staff at his new home. He has settled and although we still have many ups and downs with the seizures that he has I know that he is well cared for and looked after. I’m still phoning everyday!
We had just got Lawrence settled at Coventry when we had the devastating news that William, then aged 12, had a brain tumour which was removed during a 10 hour operation. He recovered extremely well but at his follow up scan we were told the news that a sliver of the tumour that they hadn’t been able to remove had grown and once again it was operated on and this time completely successfully. Thankfully we were informed that the tumour was benign but at the same time we were informed that William had Klinefelters Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder, a condition that only affects boys. As a result of this William will not be able to have children of his own, he has to have testosterone replacement therapy, his attention span is extremely short, he shows little facial expression and has communication difficulties. These are all some of the classic symptoms. He managed in mainstream with a statement but did suffer from bullying. He left school with a GCSE in English and then went on to get his Maths at John Leggott College. Things gradually went down hill whilst he was there due to lack of support and he then went to Freeman College in Sheffield. Unfortunately this didn’t work either through lack of support and he then tried supported living in a flat on his own but the support was Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, evenings and weekends were a free for all. He is an extremely vulnerable young man whom is easily led and with the support not there at crucial times and him mixing with the wrong people he was then getting into trouble with the police and in serious trouble of loosing his flat. He is now 23 years old and is currently back at home with us looking at some form of supported living again as he wants to be as independent as he can be. So watch this space.
But despite all the trials and tribulations that Lawrence and William have given us over the years, George and Ben achieved well at school and sixth from and are both now working. We are proud of how they have developed with having two siblings with such high needs.
Whilst Lawrence was at St Lukes I was asked to join the parents who started up Daisy Lincs and I was on that committee for several years. As a result of that and Lawrence going to an out of county placement I was then asked to join the North Lincs PIP forum to represent out of county and blind children. I have been on the committee ever since and as my career before having children was in banking has led me to taking on the role of treasurer when we went independent. Things have improved over the years when I think back to how they were when Lawrence was young. I hope to see things improve in North Lincolnshire even more and that’s why I am on the committee to use my experience and knowledge that I have gained over the years to hopefully share with other parent/carers and the local authority to make a difference to lives of all our young people.
Co – Chair
My name is Fiona Beard. I am mum to five children who are all so different and unique in their own individual ways. I also have four grandchildren who I adore very much.
I work part time as a Social Worker in the Fostering and Adoption Team. I have been a Social Worker for nearly 30 years now.
My three eldest children are living independently with their partners. Elliott is 22 years old and autistic. This has shown me many things I didn’t want to experience, but on the whole I have learnt so much.
My youngest son Alfie was diagnosed with down’s syndrome in pregnancy. This was a very difficult time. I quickly learnt lots about down’s syndrome. Alfie was later diagnosed with a lifelimiting heart condition and passed away before he reached his first birthday. Grief has been very difficult for all my family and I believe all our health has suffered. My family are very supportive of each other and we are very close.
I have learnt so much from all my children and have lots of experience in education, health and social care. I have accessed mental health services myself and have advocated for other individuals and families. I also have experience in welfare rights and use this to help others as I am passionate about making positive change to families with children with SEND.
I have been part of the North Lincolnshire PIP Forum for over 14 years and have been Yorkshire and Humber regional rep for 4 years. I believe in participation as it is key for all involved to get the best service, save money and help the people it is supposed to. I am always willing to learn. The children and families act has bought lots of new challenges, which has a huge impact on families and their understanding of the new laws.
I’m Julia Williams and a mum to three children. My eldest two achieved very well at school progressing to A-Levels and going on to study at University. My eldest daughter graduated in Psychology with a first class honors degree, and was particularly interested in autism, whilst my son is in his final year studying Sports and Exercise Science.
My youngest daughter is nearly 19 and in her third year at North Lindsey College, where she is enjoying a vocational course for Life and Work Skills. She has friends and is making progress which is very pleasing.
At the age of 17 and a half, she was finally diagnosed with autism after spending her early years with the diagnosis of global developmental delay. On entry to secondary school, she was diagnosed with selective mutism and social anxiety. Whilst she does now speak, her early communication was a huge vocabulary of makaton sign language.
Her mainstream schooling was supported with a statement of special education needs from her foundation year, until it converted into an Education, Health and Care Plan, or EHCP. She is now on her fourth EHC Plan.
Recently she has been assessed for a personal budget to allow her a PA to accompany her to activities and support with travel training. I have experience of several years as a SEN governor and work in a local academy as an exam invigilator. Prior to this I was a lecturer for 13 years in Further Education, always with an interest in those young people who take a little longer to learn, but get there in the end with a little more help, repetition and support.
Over the last year I’ve really enjoyed the work with the North Lincs PIP Forum attending all the coffee mornings around the region, sharing stories and supporting parents and carers. I look forward to another year of working with the steering group members and working in co production with the local authority.
Remember our coffee mornings are open to all parents and carers with a child from 0-25 with SEND (special education needs and/or disabilities), whether diagnosed or diagnosed, with or without EHCP.
Our website will help with coffee morning dates and venues and other useful information.
We hope to see you soon.
Hi, my name is Katie Wilks. I have three boys, all of which have some form of learning difficulties or difference…
My eldest son is 14 and has dyslexia. He found primary school difficult, but never used his dyslexia as an excuse. With grit and determination, he has surpassed his initial predicted grades and is looking to do better than predicted in his GCSE’s. He is a willing, active, popular participant in Scout Explorers, local gym, swimming and RAF Cadets. He also helps care for his brothers, with a little grumbling at times!
My middle son is 12. He has multiple diagnoses of dyspraxia, dyslexia and Aspergers. He is a lovely, caring young man who always thinks of others before himself, but struggles with new environmental experiences and friendships. He attends the Vale Academy with his brother, where he has met all his targets this year and has transitioned into senior school much better than I had anticipated. He has recently received an EHCP, because I as a parent, felt he needed this level of support. He is an active gymnast which helps with his dyspraxia and social interaction. He also volunteers in junior lessons of gymnastics to support instructors (proud parent moments!). He also attends scouts, swimming, local gym and enjoys short breaks.
My youngest son is 7. He was diagnosed at 18 months with autism, global developmental delay, sensory processing disorder and he is also non-verbal. He communicates by physically taking you to what he wants. He only uses one Makaton sign which is “more please!” – but what more do you need! He can recognise some spoken voice and we also use pictures or photos of reference to pre-warn him of changes. He attends St Luke’s Primary School and has an EHCP. I support him at beavers and disability swimming lessons, where he has a 1:1 instructor. He loves disability gymnastics which helps with his sensory proprioception, communication and social interactions. He also attends weekly rebound therapy to increase his strength, stamina, balance and coordination. Emotionally, it also aids confidence-building, communication and social skills.
Since joining the North Lincs PIP I have supported our co-chairs frequently at local authority strategic meetings. I regularly attend our coffee mornings around North Lincolnshire and thoroughly enjoy the interaction with parents, sharing our experiences.