Group for parents of disabled children could disappear if new members aren’t found

A mixture of parents and professionals at One Hart One Mind One Future's conference in 2013
A mixture of parents and professionals at One Hart One Mind One Future's conference in 2013
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A GROUP that gives parents of disabled children a voice is in danger of disappearing unless new members come forward.

The parent-led One Hart, One Mind One Future has helped influence and shape local disabled services since it formed in 2009.

A mixture of parents and professionals at One Hart One Mind One Future's conference in 2013

A mixture of parents and professionals at One Hart One Mind One Future's conference in 2013

It has launched a major recruitment drive after its numbers have dwindled and an event has been organised to help drum up support.

Parent Christine Fewster, whose two children James, seven, and Harry, three, are disabled, is helping to lead the campaign for new members.

Christine said: “Recently some parents have got other commitments or their lifestyle has changed and we need to recruit more parents to keep the group running.

“At the moment there is only myself and another lady but we know there are a lot more parents out there so we are trying to get across what we do and why it’s so important.”

The group is committed to ensuring all disabled children, young people and their families in Hartlepool have equal access to a range of flexible services in order to live ordinary, happy and fulfilling lives.

One Hart, One Mind One Future was established as part of the Government’s initiative to increase access to short breaks for families with disabled children.

Tracy Liveras, short break and parent participation officer at Hartlepool Borough Council, said the forum has been instrumental in engaging parents and working with the local authority, health and other agencies to reshape and develop services.

Members have held conferences, delivered parent-led workshops and training, and helped deliver short breaks for families.

Tracy added: “Parents on the forum are there to be a voice for all families, not just their own children, therefore it is important that all parents voices are heard.

“Parents have lots of different skills, some may be front facing, others quite happy to work in the background to make sure something happens.

“The input at whatever level is crucial to ensure council, health, schools and other sectors hear directly from families what will make life better for their children if they can work in partnership.”

As part of the recruitment drive the group is inviting people to find out more by going to the Belle Vue Sports and Social Club, Kendal Road on Tuesday, November 18.

It takes place from 10am-noon when members of the group will be on hand to explain what they do.

Other organisations that work with families of disabled youngsters will also be giving out information.

For more details and to confirm attendance send a text message to 07896 054361 or email: HartMindFuture@yahoo.co.uk