I have been a supporter of SNAP Cymru since 1986, and became a volunteer on the National Executive Committee in 1996. As a teacher, SNAP validated my position with parents so I encouraged every parent to contact them. In that way, the advice that I gave them was validated and gave the parents confidence in what the Local Authority was saying to them.
I’m the Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee and an active Independent Parental Supporter.
My proudest moment is when SNAP became an independent charity. Mencap & Scope originally started the charity and retained two places on the board. I was then with Scope as an education advisor and they gave me a place on the board. When SNAP became independent, Scope & Mencap relinquished their places. I resigned, but within 10 minutes was voted back on as an independent volunteer and I’ve been there ever since. I’m also proud of everyday moments, like when a parent comes up to you and says, “My child is still doing well because of SNAP Cymru.”
I’ve gained the Welsh perspective – my work as a teacher gave a county perspective, and my work with Scope was mainly in England. Improvements in many aspects of education by the Welsh Government have been very good, especially the foundation phase. Also, being able to discuss things with staff and volunteers has given me a great perspective and we all work together as a team.
I have given hundreds of hours of unpaid work and provided my extensive experience as a Special Educational Needs teacher. I have provided training and written extensively, using my communication abilities at all levels. I’m able to identify with parents as my own children have disabilities, so I can offer empathy, yet I can also empathise with teachers and the Local Authority – having that dual perspective is very helpful.
SNAP Cymru is my life.