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Parents’ Coffee Morning – Transition from Chailey Heritage Foundation

27 June 2022

Parents’ Coffee Mornings, focusing on topics such as transition, are becoming a regular ‘date in the diary’ for many parents of children and young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation.

Over twenty people attended our event on Thursday 23rd June event via Teams. We were joined by Maria Sherwood and Emma Simmonds from Treloar’s College in Hampshire, who talked about their amazing specialist education provision which currently meets the needs and interests of around ninety young people with complex disabilities.

The advice for parents is to start looking at transition early – in Year 9 is perfect! – and do as much research into potential post-19 placements as possible; whether these are residential, day services or specialist colleges. The process from initial application to offer of a place for Treloar’s College, for example, can take around eighteen months, according to Maria and Emma, so it is worth keeping this in mind.

Also joining us were Alan Davies and Leigh O’Donoghue from a registered charity, the Parchment Trust in Hastings, who run a fantastic service for young people with disabilities. They work closely with the different professionals involved in the young person’s care and provide a range of activities and visits designed specifically for the individual. There is no upper age limit at the Parchment Trust.

The Coffee Morning was attended by some of the Chailey Heritage Foundation Governors, and it was useful for them to hear first-hand about the struggles faced by parents in the transition years – and beyond. All kinds of topics emerged in the discussion that followed the presentations, including the challenge of applying for Continuing Health Care funding and/or appealing the decision after the assessment. If you have any suggestions or ideas for content of future Coffee Mornings, please do let us know! We aim to put as much information ‘out there’ as possible, and provide lots of opportunities for parents to hear from other parents who are facing similar challenges.

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