We are so proud and delighted to celebrate 30 years of SNAP Cymru. Taking forward the inclusion agenda for children and young people and trailblazing a partnership approach to problem solving in education.
In 1986 the charities Scope and Mencap won a grant to set up an independent Parent Partnership service in South Wales. This was in response to these organisations being swamped with calls from families desperate for support to navigate the maze of assessment and provision for additional needs. In a few years the charity, then known as the Special Needs Advisory Project (SNAP) was truly independent and managed by Trustees in its own right.
As SNAP Cymru grew and spread throughout Wales we took on many more areas of work as needs were identified, including: Disagreement Resolution; Children’s Advocacy; Discrimination, and Appeals. Throughout all of this, accredited training, and quality management was put in place to support our staff, volunteers and others to improve the service offered at every level.
‘The BEST for Special Education’ – Welsh Office Green Paper
‘SNAP is unique to Wales and operates a parent support service in most parts of the country… Its work means that many disputes have been resolved without the need for an appeal (to SEN Tribunal)‘ The ‘BEST for Special Education’
Welsh Office Green Paper 1997
The Audit Commission Report identified the value and benefits to Parents from SNAP Cymru’s Parent Partnership Service support The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act of 2001 made PPS a statutory requirement of Local Authority funded activity and 20 local authorities in Wales commissioned the SNAP Cymru service.
Over the last 30 years were proud to have supported 70,000 families and helped to resolve 150,000 issues. 30 years on and families tell us they need this breadth of service more than ever. This is evidenced by the huge number of families accessing our services. Whether its parents grappling with the intricacies of requesting an assessment or a child wanting support from an advocate because of bullying, our staff and volunteers take up the issues and try to resolve them with all parties involved.
As the inclusion agenda drives forward , much has changed for the better – there are still mountains to climb. But as we look back, we can all be proud of what SNAP Cymru has achieved with parents and partners. Our vision remains clear and we continue to champion change to improve policy, practice and provision for children, young people and their families.
“Parents have a unique knowledge and understanding of their child’s needs and as such play a crucial role in any decision making process. However we must remember that parents need to be fully informed so they can make constructive decisions, which have been based on all the evidence available. I continue to be impressed with the role SNAP Cymru plays in supporting parents throughout this often anxious time.” Jane Davidson, Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills 2000-2007
We are now present on some high streets recycling clothing and interesting items through our boutique style charity shops. Here we are gaining local volunteers and welcoming local communities in to experience the warmth of the SNAP Cymru family and find out more about how we might help them and how they might help others.
“SNAP Cymru offers an invaluable service to families in helping them to secure the education and support that their children need and are entitled to. They are an effective and powerful force in lobbying to improve the lives of their thousands of clients. If they did not exist then somebody would have to invent them. Peter Black AM
SNAP Cymru would like to thank our families and young people, our volunteers, our staff our funders and all the professionals who make us welcome in their services. There is a new and exciting time coming to meet the additional needs of children and young people. We will bring 30 years of experience and dedication to this new era and look forward to seeing you all at our next landmark celebration.