Who we are
All of our parent carer representatives and trustees have children or young people with a disability or SEN. They have the same concerns as you, ranging from the first time you heard about your child’s disability to education, short break respite services, etc.
I have been the chair of Reading Families’ Forum since July 2013.
I have lived in Reading for over 30 years and have two children with SEND.
I am passionate about families helping to shape the services we receive for our children/young people and for our young people to have a say too.
We are keen to hear from all Reading families with children with special educational needs and disabilities. Your experiences of services and ideas for future developments are so important for us to help ensure services meet the needs of Reading families.
I have a daughter with HSP, which is a genetic disorder causing progressive muscle problems. I have plenty of experience of navigating life with a wheelchair user and battling with the NHS, local authority and many organisations to improve care and services for my daughter and all disabled children.
I care deeply about giving disabled children the best services available and ensuring they have all the opportunities that other children enjoy.
As a member of the parent steering group and a trustee of Reading Families’ Forum, I have worked with the council on the transition from Statements of Special Educational Need to Education, Health and Care Plans, and on improvements to the Short Breaks Service for disabled children.
Sergio De Gregorio
I'm delighted to be a member and serve as a Trustee on the Reading Families’ Forum. A Reading resident for over 15 years, My diverse personal and professional experiences have enriched my understanding of varied community and families needs. As a dedicated father to a wonderfully unique son, I understand the complexities families face, especially those with special circumstances. In my role as a Member and Trustee, I aim to positively impact Reading families.
Since my grandson’s difficult entry into this world 15 years ago I have been involved in supporting him and my daughter. This has included legal battles, in addition to day to day care, but this has brought us closer as a family.
Before retirement I was also employed by RBC as an Early Years Advisory Teacher and Area Senco and have supported many families in the early stages of their child’s first entry into the world of education and care. I have also worked on the committee of a local play scheme for children with special needs.
I have two children who have special needs and I have to go through very difficult process to get support for them .
I am also working as an early years practitioner. In my role I work with special needs children and their parents, I do my best to support them and help them to understand the process for getting help for their children.
I am an Undergraduate Psychology student who is passionate about the care and treatment of young people with SEND. I have various people in my life who have SEN: such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. I also struggled with getting through education without a helping hand, so I am enthusiastic to make a difference within Reading Families’ Forum; and would like to bring my knowledge of Psychology to further this.
I live in Reading with my husband and three sons. My eldest son has Down's Syndrome.
I have worked with the forum on the SEND reforms and how they impact on my son and other children across the Borough.
I joined the Reading Families Forum to be involved in shaping future services and aligning them to our children's needs.
I joined Reading Families' Forum in July 2013 as Parent Participation Co-ordinator.
The main part of my role is to organise events, bringing parent carers together to help the Forum's aim in having a stronger voice. So look out for coffee mornings or seminars in the future, where you can meet others in a similar situation as yourself.
I have two sons - one is on the autistic spectrum. I believe it is essential to build on the services that are available now to help families that have additional needs like ourselves.
1946 - 2023
Alison was one of the founding members of Reading Families' Forum joining in 2009. She was a committed member of the steering group, and then a Trustee, for 14 years.
“She was a great support to the forum and a brilliant advocate for families. She will be greatly missed.” Ruth Pearce former Chair
“Alison was an amazing person who gave so much to others. Alison will be missed by us all. Our condolences to friends and family.” Maryam Makki, Reading SEND Local Offer Manager
“Alison was a wonderful person to work with. She chaired the IASS Management Group for many years and supported us so well. A person of immense intelligence and integrity who gave so much time to others. We will all miss her.” Lesley Chamberlain IAAS Manager.
“She was a real force for parent carers and will be sorely missed by us all." Deb Hunter, Principal Educational Psychologist.
“Alison was a brilliant mentor to me when I became Chair- wise, kind and endlessly patient. She was a good friend and will be greatly missed.” Ramona, Chair.