On 27th March Newry LPG’s Disability Sub Committee held an event in the Mourne Country Hotel, Newry, entitled Our Journey Through Disability. This event was a co-production project between LPG members and parents of children with a disability in the locality area. The aim of the event was to provide other parents of children with a disability, the chance to learn of the services available to their families, to listen to the journeys taken by 8 families from birth to transition to adulthood, and to speak directly with service providers to identify the barriers faced and possible solutions.
Of the 159 attendees, 64 were parents and carers for children with a disability and/or additional needs. They were able to obtain information from 39 different stalls, meet other parents and service providers and make links which will benefit their families.
The videos gave a powerful reflection of the daily struggles families face alongside the resilience shown, complemented by the message that parents need to also take care of themselves. During facilitated discussions, participants had the chance to further explore the barriers and potential solutions faced by families, and were invited to identify one thing that families should expect from services.
Some feedback from the day (a final Report will be released in May):
“Great opportunities for networking and hearing what really is happening for parents
I found out about services local to me who I didn’t know about
The loneliness lifted as we were able to connect with the same issues as the parents in the films
Spoke so well, helped me and encouraged me to speak out and strengthened me to stand up for my child and me
My highlight of the day was Finding a new service for my child
My highlight of the day was Knowing that there is help out there, if only we were signposted to it”
The event included amazing and powerful videos from parents sharing their journeys which can be viewed below.