Who we are
Ishbel is a single Parent Carer to her 6 year old son who was born with complex special needs. She has been his advocate since his birth, co-ordinating his health and well-being requirements with health, education and social services. Ishbel firmly believes that no-one will ever know your child as well as you do.
Ishbel would like to be able to share some of her experience and knowledge with parents who find themselves feeling daunted by what they have to deal with to ensure the best for their child. Her background is in business and during her time as a company Director, she regularly dealt with both the public and private sectors and hopes that some of this practical experience can be put to good use for the benefit of Swansea PCF and its members.
Parent to two adopted children, both with additional needs (ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, speech disorder, life-threatening allergies). Chris spent 30 years in senior management positions in the public sector. He now spends most of his time with his family, sharing the parent carer responsibilities with his wife. Chris is also a Governor at his son’s primary school. He brings great organisation skill, and experience in facilitation, relationship management, health & safety, business continuity, people management, and finance. Chris is particularly interested in Additional Learning Needs, and ensuring children with needs (whatever they may be) are supported appropriately. Chris wants to help the Swansea Parent Carer Forum have a genuine voice and to work co-productively to improve services for young people.
The holder of an MSc in Autism and Related Conditions from Swansea University, Hazel is a race representative of the ABMU Health Stakeholder Reference group. Organiser of the first Festival of Autism Swansea in 2017, she has an Asperger’s husband, Asperger’s son, a daughter with permanent hearing impairment and her youngest son is on the autism assessment pathway.
Hazel is a multilingual autism specialist and an integral part of the senior management team at Chinese In Wales Association, a charitable organisation whose ethos is to deliver services that will make a positive impact on the lives of ethnic Chinese residents in Wales.
Recently, an extremely successful project of Hazel’s has been to produce the first English and Chinese Bilingual Autism booklet in the UK. This publication has provided professionals with an introductory understanding of the many cultural barriers, in order to more effectively assist them support their clients from Chinese ethnic minority. Additionally, it is proving to have a direct positive impact on Chinese families in the UK and many other countries, enabling them to better understand autism.
She has been actively involved in many community projects with roles that have included project manager promoting wellbeing, plus organiser of cultural events. For over 15 years, Hazel has served as an interpreter in the public services, supporting and advocating for families from the Chinese ethnic minority to overcome cultural and language barriers. She is often invited to deliver public talks, and is both a passionate and engaging autism speaker.
A dedicated leader of a range of workshops including advice on education and family matters, parent training, special needs activities and open art workshops, whether in small groups, or one to one, Hazel has a diverse range of skills, abilities and personal experience which give her a profound understanding of people with autistic conditions, and she is committed to working alongside them to make a positive impact.
With 15 years of IT and service delivery experience, a return to work was indefinitely postponed as her second child’s additional needs became apparent. Discovering her autistic son had a life expectancy 15 years less than her daughter for a non life limiting condition was a galvanising moment. She now focuses her energy and experience in pursuing equity for all children with additional needs. She has been an adult advisory board member for the Children’s Commissioner for the last 3 years and previously sat on the Equality and Inclusion Advisory Group for Swansea City Football Club. She is active within the autism community and a trustee for the peer lead Swansea Autism Movement and supports the parent carer Facebook group, Joining the Dots. She firmly believes that working co-productively with service providers is the most likely way that services will better meet the needs of disabled children and their families.
Jo’s background includes hairdressing and postal work (post woman). She is a mum of three teenage children, one of whom has complex additional needs that weren’t diagnosed until he became a teenager. Both of her other children have mental health difficulties due to their brother not having the correct support.
Jo is a qualified independent advocate and regularly participates in local authority and government consultations on legislation related to social services, ALN and anything that relates to Carers. She also helps run the Facebook group Joining the Dots. Jo is very passionate about helping to shape our services; education, CAMHS, social services and health so that everyone has their needs met in a way that helps them reach their full potential.