The Steering Group

The Steering Group is made up of volunteers who are all parent carers of children or young people with special needs or disabilities. We volunteer our time to support and connect other families locally as we know from experience that life can sometimes be challenging. We’ve all experienced support from the Forum ourselves in the past and know the positive effect connecting with others can have.

Vicky Leech
Steering Group Member Chair
Hi, my name is Vicky Leech and I am the chair of HPCF.

I joined the forum in 2017, after my child had gone to university. I felt that the years of going through the SEND journey with my son had given me all this knowledge that I wanted to share with other families in the hope that I could help them navigate this new and sometimes terrifying journey.

I want to help families feel less isolated, help them to have a voice, and most of all explain to them that they matter, they are carers and that their children or young person is so much more than their disability. I have a child who I was told would never go to mainstream High School and would never get a qualification yet that child left school with 14 GSES and went on to get a dual First-Class degree with Honours and is now studying their masters. So the sky is the limit for our amazing, unique and maybe a little bit different children and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

My passion is mainstream (SEN support) and helping put families in touch with each other. We believe in the power of uniting families… as we say “Our power is your voice”. I sit on many meetings within Education, Social Care and Health and help ensure your voices contribute to shaping the way forward and make our families the heart of new strategies - this is co-production.

So please join us and let us have the privilege of meeting you and showing you a whole new world that is less lonely. Discover support from those who understand the impact of having a child with Special needs and or a disability including gifted and talented and health needs as well. I promise at our coffee morning there is lots of laughter, tea and coffee and nice biscuits.

We Look forward to meeting you all.
Anita Reed
Steering Group Member
I’m a working mum of primary school age twin boys with additional needs. One of my sons is diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety and is in mainstream school. His brother has a rare chromosome disorder and complex health needs and attends a specialist setting - Woodlands School, so I have a good understanding of some of the challenges that children with SEND, and their families, are facing.

I work for a local strategic design agency and have enjoyed bringing my strategic planning and design skills to the Forum as well as sharing my experiences as a parent carer to help shape local services. It’s also been rewarding to meet other families, to pass on my knowledge to them and feel part of a supportive community.
Carol Smith
Steering Group Member Co-Chair
I am a parent and work as a carer. My son presently attends college and has a diagnosis of autism, ADHD as well as a moderate learning disability. I was one of the original founders of the forum when it was known as Harrow parents of disabled children (HP4DC). This was formed in 2008 under the Aiming high programme. I have a wealth of experience working in health and social care including working within the NHS and a voluntary organisation that supports children, young people and families with physical and learning disabilities.

Being part of the forum is immensely rewarding as I want to help and support families. As well as empowering them to make a difference to their lives through encouraging them to be actively involved in shaping services to suit their needs.
Pat
Steering Group Member Treasurer
I am a parent and work as a carer. My son presently attends college and has a diagnosis of autism, ADHD as well as a moderate learning disability. I was one of the original founders of the forum when it was known as Harrow parents of disabled children (HP4DC). This was formed in 2008 under the Aiming high programme. I have a wealth of experience working in health and social care including working within the NHS and a voluntary organisation that supports children, young people and families with physical and learning disabilities. Being part of the forum is immensely rewarding as I want to help and support families. As well as empowering them to make a difference to their lives through encouraging them to be actively involved in shaping services to suit their needs.
Caroline
Forum Member and Administrator
I’m Caroline. I am the Harrow Parent Carer Forum Administrator. I joined the team in September 2022. I am a single parent to a 6 year old with Autism. My son also has sensory issues, dyspraxia, language delay and an auditory processing disorder. I bring a wealth of work experience and a varied skill set to my role. I previously worked in Investment banking, event management and ran my own business. I have a BA (Hons) in Business Administration.

I love my role with the forum. Making a difference with parent carers and their families is my passion. I wholeheartedly stand for ‘Our strength is our shared experience” I feel like I’ve found my “tribe”. Together we are a powerful force.
Vicky Leech
Steering Group Member Chair
Anita Reed
Steering Group Member
Carol Smith
Steering Group Member Co-Chair
Pat
Steering Group Member Treasurer
Caroline
Forum Member and Administrator