On 3rd March at the annual Information Day, Parents in Partnership Stockport (PIPS) was re-launched with a new name – Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS).

Why the new name?

Over the years, many people have confused the name and work of PIPS with other organisations and services:

  • PIP is also short for Personal Independence Payments, which some families receive for their disabled children
  • Parent Partnership was the name of the old organisation supporting families through the statementing process.  Though it’s now been replaced by the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), people kept mixing us up
  • Some people also thought PIPS was a service paid for by the local council, and worried about our independence.  They thought (wrongly) that we couldn’t help them when they were lobbying the council for better services for their children and young people
  • Others linked us with the Seashell Trust and said we were too closely associated with them to be independent

NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!

Changing to PACTS

In autumn 2019 we asked our members for ideas for a new name – something that said who we are and what we do and that was short and snappy.  We looked at all the suggestions and then asked members to choose from the best ones.  Members confirmed the change at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in December.  So we are now Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS):

  • All members are parents or carers of children and young people with SEND 
  • We are together – parent/carers make all the major decisions and we speak on behalf of parent/carers
  • We offer membership to families living or receiving services in Stockport

Is PACTS really independent?

PACTS has been and continues to be entirely parent-carer run and led.  Most of our funding comes from the Department of Education.  We do receive some funding from Stockport, but this simply pays for our representatives to travel to meetings held by the Stockport Council and Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, where we put forward parent/carers views.  The vast majority of our work is done in our homes and out in the community and in our homes, usually when everyone else is in bed!  Seashell Trust in Heald Green has loaned us a small office so we can print and store materials, but we don’t pay for this and Seashell Trust don’t require anything in return.  So we are truly independent.  The hundreds of hours that parent/carers put in voluntarily to support PACTS is the biggest thing that keeps the organisation going.  Each year, DfE check our accounts meticulously to ensure nothing is spent wrongly.

What we still do

Our vision remains this: 

The strong voice of parents and carers is at the heart of Stockport’s delivery of services for children, young people 0 – 25 years with disabilities and additional needs and their families.

 Our aims remain just as they were:

• We will be a forum for the views of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs on Stockport’s SEND service provision.

• We will ask parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs for their opinions. We will speak with a single voice for them.

• We will make parents and carers more confident as representatives, enabling them to go on to improve Stockport’s services for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs.

• We will work in partnership with Stockport Education, Health, Social Care and all other organisations in Stockport. Together we will design, develop and shape services which better meet the needs of children, young people and families.

• We will provide information to parents and carers of children and young people 0 – 25 years with disabilities and additional needs. This information will empower parent-carers and help them to make better use of Stockport’s services.

The December EGM added another aim, enabling us to support individual families better:

  • We will advocate on behalf of individual families and with officials for appropriate provision to meet their additional needs.

We are Parents and Carers Together Stockport – get in touch if you need support by emailing info@pactstockport.co.uk or call 07786 101072