Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lets talk Awards!

Let's start by answering a question I got asked a lot, at the Bloody Awesome Parents (BAPs) awards.......I was not up for an award! I attended the awards because I think it's an awesome idea, and I wanted to support the nominees and winners.


 There will be a lot of link dropping in this post so, if you are a parent of a child with special needs, or know one, give the highlighted links a click. By doing this you will be supporting a great cause.

These awards started as an idea talked about in a pub, isn't that where all the best ideas spring from? The conversation started with Deb, who blogs at Chaos in Kent and is part of the team behind Bringing us Together. Deb is a mum of 3 children, all with special needs.

She met with the team behind My Family Our Needs, a page full of support for families, and an idea was born.

The blogging world has many award ceremony's, but do you know what's missing? Awards for parents of children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). How is it even possible that these awesome parents are overlooked?! The nearest award you will find, is an 'inspirational' category, but most of us aren't inspirational, we are just getting through the day. The parents who, as well as living the life, write about it, don't get rewarded. Thanks to these bloggers, parents feel less alone, feel like someone understands. Yet they rarely receive a simple 'thank you'?

WHY NOT?!

These are the parents that shout about their children.
These are the parents that tell you it's not all bad, sometimes is downright funny!
The parents who lose friends, that feel more alone than you can possibly imagine.
The parents who's children stand out, not always for the right reasons.
These are the parents that share their lives with us, opening our eyes to the realities of raising our children.

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Deb opened the event with a story about her son being born with Hydrocephalus. She looked it up and found nothing but medical information, which can be hugely overwhelming. She was put in touch with an American blog, who had written about it, from her point of view. She describes this as 'being given a key. I was locked in a cage and suddenly I was released'. Just knowing that someone else out there got it, someone else was living with this, she was not alone.

This is why so many parents in the SEND world turn to blogs, and bloggers, for information. It's real life, not a medical journal.

The thing that frustrated me about the award? The lack of support. 
The whole team behind the BAPs awards have worked incredibly hard, to make this work! Yet, only 3 sponsors came forward, in support. Hats off to:

Kuradocs A support tool, for families with special needs.

Walsingham Support Who were a wealth of information.
and
Choice Support another excellent source of advice.

These three sponsors stood up, and supported these awards, going above and beyond. So many businesses out there, that were too scared to be involved, or too nervous, in the current political climate, to put their head above the precipice.

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The awards were so well put together, hosted by Sally Phillips. It was a fabulous night that I was proud to be a guest at. It's also been confirmed that there will be another, next year. I also attended the Transition event, full of wonderful information relating to my boys future.

Seriously readers, click the links, there is so much information out there, it's just finding it! Look to blogs, and the highlighted pages, the information that will genuinely help is in there. 
If nothing else, you can see that others understand.

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