We are really proud of our members and will jump at every chance to shout about them and their achievements! This is a dedicated place to showcase members and to shine the spotlight on their projects.
This time we're looking at POINT.
How it works
POINT is a local charity which supports children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities and their families within the Oldham borough. POINT support Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum and operates statutory and non-statutory services/activities which includes information and advice from SEN law trained officers, workshops, training, SEN specific counselling for the whole family, accessible activities, SEN informal groups and peer to peer network support.
All of our services are free and can be accessed through self-referral by parents/carers and young people. POINT holds firmly the belief that families should have one port of call to access information and advice and not have to repeat their story before they get the support they need.
What has been achieved?
In a snapshot:
- 1800+ members
- Social media engagement exceeding 3800 per week
- Registered charity
- Commissioned service provider
- Local, regional and national engagement
- 10 local employed staff and over 20 volunteer supporters
POINT sources funding throughout the year to support the Parent Carer Forum’s ability to arrange activities for Oldham families. Social isolation has a major impact on our families which can result in experiencing ill mental health such as anxiety, depression or a breakdown. Many of our families say they feel most isolated during school holidays and some of this is a result of the discrimination or stigma they experience. The Forum’s aim is to organise activities for the whole family (including siblings) in a peer network environment and with the support of POINT staff/volunteers. We have seen some incredibly successful activities taking place over the last few years, which has enabled hundreds of families to enjoy some quality family time without the worry of expense or logistical problems, whilst being part of a supportive and non-judgemental network.
POINT have been instrumental in working with all partners across Oldham to introduce the following values, with endorsement by all the strategic partners:
- Parental and Young Person’s Engagement Values
- Oldham’s Co-production Values
In 2017 POINT was recognised as a strength in the SEND Area Inspection report and since then has worked even more closely with all partners to strengthen co-production in Oldham and ensure that the voices of parents/carers and children/young people are heard, listened to and acted upon. Some of this work has seen parents/carers sitting across all of the strategic workstreams/ management groups in Oldham representing those voices and ensuring true partnership in implementing the SEND improvement plan.
In co-production with the Local Authority, Health and other partners, POINT has organised SEND specific weekend events bringing together statutory and non-statutory services in one venue, to ensure that families in Oldham can access specific information, advice and support relevant to their child/young person’s need.
Currently we are looking at funding opportunities for local SEND specific services that are not available either through statutory services or are universal services which struggle to cater for children and young people with additional needs. Our mission is an inclusive society without compromise.