Charity fighting for SEN children appealing for urgent funds

Patricia Brickley (right) co-chair of Norfolk SEN Network pictured with development workers from the charity.

Patricia Brickley (right) co-chair of Norfolk SEN Network pictured with development workers from the charity. - Credit: Norfolk SEN Network

A charity which fights for the rights of children with special educational needs is facing future financial struggles after demand soared in lockdown.

Pat Brickley, joint chair of the Norfolk SEN Network, said the organisation was financially stable at the moment because of grants over the past year and a £9,000 donation from Norwich City of Ale in 2019.

But the co-chair, from Eastern Crescent in Thorpe St Andrew, who set up the network in 1987, added the charity which offers advocacy and tribunal support for families, could struggle by the end of this year if it did not attract funding.

She said: "We expected everything to be quiet when things went into lockdown but we have been overrun for requests of support. We have been busy. The majority of the requests were for places in special schools and each tribunal takes five months.

"Information isn't given to parents to start the process. They have to find out things for themselves."

The Norfolk SEN Network is one of 125 charities in Norfolk, Waveney and parts of Suffolk which could have a share of £20,000 from this paper's Cash For Charities campaign.

A Cash For Charities coupon which are available until July 3.

A Cash For Charities coupon which are available in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and their sister weekly titles until July 3. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Readers can collect coupons for the groups up until July 3, which are in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and sister weekly titles.

The coupons have to be collated by individual charities and the £20,000 will be shared between organisations depending on how many are collected for each cause.

Most Read

Mrs Brickley said any money raised through Cash For Charities would pay for a gazebo to be used to promote the organisation at community events from this September.

Its previous tent was damaged in high winds at the end of last year.

The co-chair, who has three daughters, added: "We need to raise around £50,000 for next year. If we were not here there would be more children struggling in mainstream education."

She was inspired to start the charity after her eldest daughter, now aged 43, was diagnosed with global development delay aged four while the family lived in Trowse.

Mrs Brickley started the group a few years after she struggled for support.

Cash for Charities logo written in orange and green with a white background

Collect Cash For Charities tokens in our participating newspapers so your favourite good cause can win a share of £20,000. - Credit: Archant

She added the Cash For Charities project was brilliant.

For more information email

Which charities have signed up?

1st Attleborough (St Mary's) Scout Group

1st Bungay (School) Sea Scout Group

1st Caister Scout Group

1st Hoveton & Wroxham Scout Group

1st Mattishall Scout Group

1st Snettisham Scout Group

1st Southwold and Reydon Scout Group

1st Wymondham Scout Group

2nd Wells Brownies

469 Lowestoft Air Cadets

Age UK Norfolk

All Saints' Church, Threxton

Allsorts support services CIC, Lowestoft

Asperger East Anglia

Astro Brain Tumour Fund, Hunstanton

Aylsham Older People's Association

Bact Community Transport. Bungay

Beccles Men's Shed

Beccles Lido Limited

Big C

Caister Youth and Community Centre, Caister-on-Sea

Cancer Community Chest, Norwich

Carers Matter Norfolk, Young Carers & Families

Caring Friends for Cancer Mid Norfolk

Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

City WI Norwich

Company of Four, Norwich

Dereham Cancer Care

Dereham Men's Shed

Dereham Theatre Company

Ditchingham Men's Shed

DPA Performing Arts Academy, Gorleston

East Anglian Air Ambulance

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

East of England Apples & Orchards Project, Fakenham

Edith Cavell Day Centre, Swardeston

FEED Waveney Community, Lowestoft

First Dereham Scout Group

First Focus, Fakenham

Fresh Start Future Enterprises Ltd, Norwich

Friend in Deed, Cawston

Friends of Clinks Care Farm, Toft Monks

Get Me Out The Four Walls, Norwich

Great Ryburgh Playing Field

Great Yarmouth Gateway Club

Guide Dogs For The Blind - King's Lynn branch

Hanworth with Gunton Memorial Hall

Harleston and District Young Farmers

Headway Norfolk and Waveney

Hear for Norfolk (Norfolk Deaf Association)

Hepworth Recreation Ground, near Diss

Hethersett Jubilee Youth Club

Home-Start Suffolk

Home-Start Norfolk

How Hill Trust

Ingham Village Hall

Keeping Abreast, Norwich

Little Snoring Playgroup

Louise Hamilton Trust, Potter Heigham

Lowestoft Museum

MenTalkHealth, Thorpe St Andrew

Motor Neurone Disease Association - Kings Lynn group

N&N Hospitals Charity

Nansa (Norfolk and Norwich SEND Association)

Narborough and Narford Community Centre

Nelson's Journey

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS)

Norfolk Citizens Advice

Norfolk Community Law Service

Norfolk Family Carers

Norfolk Federation of WIs

Norfolk SEN Network

Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association

North Lynn Methodist Church

North Walsham Play

North Wootton Village Hall

Norwich & District Diabetes Youth Group

Norwich Foodbank

Norwich Marchesi Rotary Benevolent Account

Norwich Samaritans

Oak Grove Community Church, Norwich

Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre

Pakefield Singers

People For Animals Care Trust, Woodrising

People's Foundation of South Norfolk and Broadland

Priscilla Bacon Hospice

River Waveney Trust, Harleston

Rotary Club of Bungay

Rotary Club of Downham Market Trust Fund

RSPCA East Norfolk

Runhall Recreation Ground

Rural Coffee Caravan, Harleston

SENsational Families, Lyng

Silver Road Community Centre, Norwich

Sing Your Heart Out, Norfolk

Southwold Sailors Reading Room

Sprowston Parochial Church Council

St Martins, Norwich

St Mary's Church, Tittleshall

St. John Ambulance

Still Good Food, Bury St Edmunds

Star Throwers CIO, Wymondham

Sue Lambert Trust, Norwich

Surlingham Church & Poor Charity

Swainsthorpe Community Charity Trust

Swan Youth Project, Downham Market

The 389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition Hethel

The BUILD Charity, Norwich

The Charing Cross Centre, Norwich

The Clare School, Norwich

The Friends of Kelling Hospital

The Hamlet Charity, Norwich

The Museum of the Broads, Stalham

The Pastures

Thetford & District Dementia Support Group

Third Thorpe Rainbows, Thorpe St Andrew

Three Rivers Talking Newspaper, Bungay

Waveney Enterprises Craft Workshop, Beccles

West Norwich Lions

Whitwell Hall Country Centre Ltd

William Cowper Preschool Nursery, Dereham

Wymondham and Attleborough Talking Newspaper

Wymondham Dementia Support Group

YMCA Norfolk