Vulnerable children’s charity’s ‘urgent’ call for help to survive as demand soars

PUBLISHED: 09:40 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:40 25 September 2018

Norfolk SEN Network. Left to right, Annie Neri, Paul Coleman, Clare Chaplin, Pat Brickley (chairman) and Raffaella Ouchai.

Norfolk SEN Network. Left to right, Annie Neri, Paul Coleman, Clare Chaplin, Pat Brickley (chairman) and Raffaella Ouchai. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A Norfolk charity which fights for families of children with complex needs has said it urgently needs help to survive.

Norfolk SEN Network, which was founded in 1987, said on its social media platforms that “we urgently need your help to keep the charity alive”.

The charity represents families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and helps secure the best educational support to meet their needs.

They often guide parents through the process of applying for more support, and through tribunal hearings when an agreement can’t be reached.

On Facebook, they said: “We will have to reduce the support we can offer to children and their families due to a reduction in the fundraising and grants we have received. This is not something we had wished to do but the charities funds have got to a point where this may be the only option to maintain a presence in Norfolk.”

MORE: ‘A divorce would be easier to go through, and probably cheaper!’ - Charity’s 30 years of helping parents of children with special educational needs

The charity, which is based in Thorpe St Andrew, said this year had been their “busiest year for a long time”, with the number of tribunals lodged over the period trebling.

They said they had also helped families with transport appeals, governor complaints and exclusion issues.

“This has however put a considerable strain on our finances and we are currently struggling,” the post said.

“We receive no statutory funding and have to raise all our own funds. We are a small dedicated team who have put parents first over financial restraints.

“Can you help us by making a donation, however small, to enable us to continue to support vulnerable children?”

• If you would like to support the charity, click here or send a cheque to Norfolk SEN Network, 2a Eastern Crescent, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, NR7 0UE

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