My name is Valerie Reed and I am the Family Support Officer for The Phoenix Group in Hertfordshire a role funded for five years by the Big Lottery Fund.
My role is to offer support to families of children with a hearing loss - mild to profound (including glue ear), this could involve:-
- giving information and support at the time of diagnosis
- giving information and support and times of transition (e.g. starting school)
- signposting to/locating services
- or if you just need someone to talk to
Phoenix are looking to establish user-led parent groups across Hertfordshire.
These groups will give parents an opportunity to:-
- meet up to share experiences and offer/receive support
- arrange for professionals to come and talk to parents about topics of interest e.g. latest technology, changes in benefits etc.
- linking with other families whose child has the same diagnosis
- social opportunities
- providing support for siblings and extended family members
Phoenix can also offer training to those parents who wish to become more involved in their community, for example:-
- raising deaf awareness with local services/venues
- becoming a parent representative on CHSWG - Hertfordshire Children’s Hearing Services Working Group
This will give those parents who may want to raise awareness around issues that affect their child/family an opportunity to have their voices heard by those professionals who provide services in Hertfordshire. Phoenix can offer parents support and training to enable them to represent their own and other parent’s views.
Phoenix are currently identifying parents who would be interested in being part of a parents group, and we will be holding various events to attract more families to join.
Phoenix work in partnership with all relevant agencies to support children with a hearing loss and their parents/carers across Hertfordshire.