Who We Are

Manchester Parent Carer Forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with Manchester Local Authorities, Education Settings, Health Providers and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families in Manchester.

We have a steering group of parent and carer volunteers who lead this work and listen to the views of other parents and carers in the local area to make sure they know what is important to them.

MORE ABOUT MPCF

The Steering Group

EASTER BUNNYSeasonal Forum Mascot
I am Manchester Parent Carer Forum’s Easter Bunny. Look for me throughout the MPCF website for a chance to win some prizes! 🙂
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AMRICK AINLEYAdministrator | Parent Carer Representative | Volunteer
I am mum to my toddler son and my older daughter who has autism and related learning difficulties. My daughter was initially “diagnosed” with autism at 22 months of age, and the full diagnosis came when she was three. She has communication difficulties, but has become more verbal over time – giving us a greater insight into her world, and the world of other children with communication difficulties.
I have experienced many aspects of the “spectrum” and understand the endless obstacles and difficulties parents face on a daily, and nightly basis (!) caring for a child with additional needs.

I have joined MPCF to try and ensure that both the children and parents in the world of parent-caring get the advice and support (from education, health and care to mental health support) that they need. Understanding the daily struggles parent-carers are faced with, I am personally working towards facilitating a system where disabled children and parents no longer need to “fight” at every turn for what is necessary; to hopefully give families more opportunities to enjoy their parent-caring role.

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TAHEERA ASHRAFParent Carer Representative | Volunteer
Hi, I am a mum to three lovely girls. My youngest daughter has special needs. I have lived in Manchester all my life and have been a part of the Manchester forum for a couple of years. I am also a Parent Champion. I really want to help parents and carers, giving them support and also helping them to find the right information.
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SAM BARNWELLSteering Committee Member | Volunteer
Sam is a loving parent to a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). As a member of MPCF’s committee, she attends our team monthly meetings and helps make decisions about the running of the forum. As a volunteer, she occasionally helps out at forum events.
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DIARIETOU COULIBALYParent Carer Representative | Volunteer
Hello, my name is Jaryah. I’m a mother of three and my oldest child, Mohammed, is diagnosed with autism. I am a member of the parents’ group at The Grange school.
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PAULA HIGGINSONSteering Committee Member | Volunteer
Paula is a loving parent to a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). As a member of MPCF’s committee, she attends our team monthly meetings and helps make decisions about the running of the forum. As a volunteer, she occasionally helps out at forum events.
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KAREN KIRBYParent Carer Representative | Volunteer
Hi I’m Karen – I am a member of the Manchester Parent Carer Forum and mother to a son age 22 years with Asperger’s, and a daughter age 20 with Type 1 Diabetes.

I am also a part time dental nurse. I love going to Wales, where we have a caravan in Snowdonia, and I enjoy walking with my family and our doggy Elvis.
I love helping other parents and carers, and especially helping them navigate through the world of SEND – giving feed back to the local authority about what parents and carers are struggling with, and what is and isn’t working for them and their child. I believe our role in Co-Production is essential to try and improve services for others.

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JORDAN NAVARROChair | IT Support | Parent Carer Representative | Volunteer
I’m a proud dad to a lively young boy with ASD. Being a Filipino living in Manchester, I try to embody the bayanihan spirit and give back to this lovely city by helping out wherever possible, particularly within the SEND community. Aside from volunteering in MPCF, I also chair school charity Buddies of The Birches (BOBS), participate in Manchester’s Local Offer Parent Champions programme, and help out in Lifted Carer’s Centre as IT specialist and administrator.
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CLAIRE RILEYSteering Committee Member | Volunteer
Claire is a loving parent to a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). As a member of MPCF’s committee, she attends our team monthly meetings and helps make decisions about the running of the forum. As a volunteer, she occasionally helps out at forum events.
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GURMEET SINGHParent Carer Representative | Volunteer
I am a mother to 3 children, two of which have autism & severe learning difficulties. I have been a part of the new forum for a year and a half. I am a Manchester Local Offer Parent Champion as well.

Being a sole carer I appreciate the struggles that we face to get the best for our children and believe by parents/ carers uniting we become a stronger force.

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CATH STONEParent Carer Representative | Volunteer
My name is Cath Stone and I am the devoted mother of a young adult with the rare genetic disorder, Costello syndrome.

I have been a member of the forum a year and a half and have been involved in supporting people with disabilities for over 20 years. I am passionate about parents having the same voice as care workers and helping people with special needs to achieve the best they can.

I co-chair the local offer review board as well as sit on the transition board.

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COLETTE VANDERPOOLSteering Committee Member | Volunteer
Colette is a loving parent to a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). As a member of MPCF’s committee, she attends our team monthly meetings and helps make decisions about the running of the forum. As a volunteer, she occasionally helps out at forum events.
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Who can join Manchester Parent Carer Forum?

Parents or carers of a child/young person aged 0-25 with any type of additional need or disability and live in Manchester are welcome to join.

Joining our forum does not mean you have to commit lots of time. You can join and receive information, and then decide if you want to get more involved at your own pace.

The forum represents the views of parents in the local area but does not advocate for individual families.

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