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My Story: Sherie Paris

“Busy is good.  It keeps me sane and it just feels really positive to use my time and energy to help other families.”  

 

                       

Sherie Paris, from Doddington near March in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire, is one seriously busy lady.

Mum to two teenage boys, one of whom is non-verbal, with severe autism and sensory processing disorder, she also works part-time with adults with learning disabilities, and yet still finds time to take an active role with parent support group Welcome 2 Our World, and volunteer with us at Pinpoint.

She is a huge believer in empowering parents – and was one of our parent participation award-winners at our conference in January 2016.

Sherie represents parents on the Continence Action Group and Partners in Commissioning Group, has attended our Volunteer Induction Training and co-hosted a well-being group with us in Wisbech. She also sits on the Preparation for Adulthood Steering Group, a governance team helping Cambridgeshire County Council get its preparing for adulthood work right for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Her involvement with Pinpoint started about eight years ago, when she attended one of our first ever network meetings, about young carers, at Wisbech. She has supported us ever since, helping to fly the parent carer flag across Fenland.

“Pinpoint offers parents the opportunity to have a say and drive the changes needed to improve services and support.  It’s about creating change for the parents coming behind us.  Hopefully they won’t have to fight for things as much as we have.”  

Sherie, a former sales manager, moved from London to Cambridgeshire,in 2005.  Her son lost his speech at 18 months and was diagnosed at two.  She committed to Son-Rise – a full-time intensive interaction programme run from home – and managed to keep it going after the move, finding local volunteers to run the play sessions with her. Her son had a special school placement by the time he was three.

“We’ve all struggled. Remember when our children were diagnosed and we didn’t know what to do or where to start?  We all still have moments when we need someone to hold our hand. Bringing up a child with additional needs or disability puts a huge strain on the family, so there are a lot of single parents out there who need extra support.

“By volunteering, you’re giving that helping hand to other families who are going through the mill, just like we did. We’ve learned a lot and can pass on our experiences or knowledge of the SEND system to other parents who are new to it. 

“For me, it’s just a really positive way to use my time and energy.”

 

Find out more about volunteering with Pinpoint.