Registered Charity No. 1166585
Special United
"A voice for families of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities"  


Special United

Special United event for Reading young people aged 11 - 25 years with additional needs and their siblings.

This was a great opportunity for young people to have their say on what leisure and sports activities they want to see in Reading. Dan Rook from Reading Football Community Trust and Luke Lloyd from Reading Play and Leisure were there to hear young people’s views.

Download the flyer of the event: pdf

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Special United event at Fernando’s on Thursday 30th November

Who attended:
Samia Sharif, Youth Coordinator, Reading Families Forum
Ramona Bridgman, Chairperson, Reading Families Forum
Dan Cook, Commissioning Officer, Access to Resources Team, Directorate of Children, Education & Early Help Services
Gill Seagrove, SEND Information, Officer, Family Information/Local Offer – DISC
We even had a visit from Symon Cooke, Head teacher and Kelly Kboahene, Outreach Support Worker, both from The Avenue Special Needs Academy who dropped in to show their support, thank you to them!
And, of course, most importantly, the VIPs - 14 young people.

Thank you so much for bringing your young people along to the Special United Youth Forum. It was great to see everyone new and old. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. The event went very well, we were fully booked and the young people were engaged and participated in the discussion. They also seemed to enjoy the venue and their meal! Thank you to Fernando’s? for looking after us, fab tasty food and great service, 20 recommendations and 5 stars from Special United!

All the young people received a £10 Amazon voucher for their participation, I hope they enjoy treating themselves with it!

Dan told us about short breaks currently available to young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and asked the group which they enjoy and which are not working for them. He also gathered ideas for what activities they would like to have available to them. We are an adventurous bunch, we had ideas like horse riding, dancing, bowling and seaside trips! Dan stressed that he is keen to have the young people's feedback and ideas as there is a lot of emphasis on the 'The Voice of the Child' and to provide the services that are wanted by and work for the youngsters. If the young people have any more ideas and feedback on the topic of short breaks which they didn’t get a chance to say or thought of since, please let me know and I will pass them onto to Dan Cook from Reading Borough Council.

The youth group wanted to have Special United sweatshirts with the logo they designed on them. We have produced some sweatshirts, which are charcoal grey in colour, have the SU logo printed on them and available in sizes S/M/L. They cost £12.50 each, please contact me if you would like to purchase one.

If young people or parents/carers have feedback for the youth forum or the event please let me know. It’s really important to me that we constantly improve the forum for our young people. It’s their group and we want them to make it what they want, so that it is accessible, useful and enjoyable for them. So please, let me know your thoughts on how it was, what improvements we could possibly make. We'd also welcome any ideas on future topics of discussion which are of interest/importance to young people. Thank you and I hope to see you all again soon
Samia Sharif, Youth Coordinator, Reading Families Forum.

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FOOD,      FUN,      VOUCHERS,      IDEAS      GALORE!!!

The Youth Forum is open to young people between 11 and 25, with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), living in the Reading Borough area AND their siblings.

To read Newsletter - Download Pdf


The Reading Families’ Forum held their first youth forum event at Sprinkles in Reading. We had a fun evening with gorgeous deserts and a talk on Reading’s Local Offer.

One lucky young person won a Sprinkles voucher for coming up with the group’s name Special United. Well done to her – we had some fabulous suggestions from the young people but this was the one that got the most votes. The young people will be having a competition next time to design

a logo. We will also be coming up with designs for Special United T shirts. Expect lots of colour!

There was lots of discussion about the kind of activities that young people wanted to be available to them, what else they would like on the Local Offer and other topics to discuss in future meetings.

The young people all earned a £10 Amazon voucher for their feedback on Reading’s Local Offer.

At our next session, we will invite the Independent Advice and Support Service for Special Educational Needs. If you or your child is aged 14 – 25 and have additional needs or a brother/sister with additional needs, then look out for details of our next event.

Feedback from young people:

“Wouldn’t change anything”,

“Best thing I’ve ever done!

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