This week, we received an email saying that MPCF has been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the 2022 Be Proud Awards‘ “Community Response to COVID19 – Working Effectively Together” category.

“Your group received a nomination for the 2022 Be Proud Awards and I am pleased to inform you that the judging panel in the category for Community Response to COVID19 – Working Effectively Together shortlisted your nomination as one of three finalists.”

The Be Proud Awards is described as “the city’s celebration of the extraordinary volunteers and unsung local champions who make a real difference in our communities and help to make Manchester great. … The first Be Proud event since the pandemic will give us all a wonderful chance to celebrate those who have continued to achieve great things against the odds in recent times, as well as those who have adapted, often creatively, to meet the changing needs of our communities and those who responded with the sort of new and innovative ideas Manchester is famous for.”

The ethos of these awards resonates with us as, while the forum doesn’t do things for the sake of recognition, we are indeed incredibly proud of this nomination and humbled that someone took the time to nominate us.

The “Community Response to COVID19” award is described as in recognition of “those that have stepped up to make a difference to their communities in the most difficult and unprecedented of circumstances.” The MPCF team has indeed been working extra hard during the pandemic, not only to continue the co-production work that we do, but also to try and alleviate the additional difficulties and pressures that COVID has placed on families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) in Manchester.

The Be Proud category that we got nominated for – “Working Effectively Together” – recognises initiatives that demonstrate how working collaboratively has resulted in practical help and support for communities. This again is in line with our own ethos of partnership working, togetherness and co-production, which define our existence as a Parent Carer Forum. We thus want to share this nomination with: our local partners who have continued co-producing services with the forum behind the scenes throughout the pandemic; the SEND organisations, parent support groups, grant funding bodies, and individuals that have supported us to be able to run projects and activities in face of these difficult times; and, finally, the parents and carers who have spared time to share their views & feedback with the forum and have given effort to attend consultations and co-production meetings, even at a time when time and energy are at a premium.

Yes, we are proud to have been nominated for this award. Most of all, we are proud to be working with you.