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About Us

Parentsactive and its membership have grown over the years and we have conducted numerous events and workshops relevant to disabled children and their families.

Parentsactive has been further strengthened by the grant from from the Department of Education. We are in the 10th Phase of the grant and spend the money on Events, Conferences, Training and supporting families of disabled children

Parentsactive is led by the parentsactive lead who is supported by a steering committee of volunteer parents. The steering committee meets once every 6 weeks and help plan activities and put strategies in place.

Please do join our steering committee; we always welcome new members on board.

Do meet our officers and the committee…

The Officers...

Nandini Ganesh —  I am the coordinator for Parentsactive.  As part of my role I am in constant touch with parents through emails, newsletters, events and the quarterly newsletter. All the planning and coordination is done on a consultative basis and I am supported by my steering committee that contributes and supports the work that I do. As part of my work I also liaise with other relevant organisation and parent groups.

The Steering group...

Chair - Mary Melsom

Vice Chair - Hayley Wedgbury

Committee Members- Ageno Ochola, Rim Zahmoul, Marie Canning, Jasmine Rubens, Gina Gerrard, Sarah Markson, Gabriella Zahzouh, Alison Franklin and Martin Schouten

 Mary Melsom — I am the mother of three children. Tom, the oldest, is 16 and has autism. He also suffered from leukaemia from the age of 3 to 7 and is now fine. I started attending parentsactive coffee mornings about two years ago and have found have them a great source emotional and practical of support. It is a huge to comfort meet other parents with similar experiences. I am currently the Chair of the steering group

Jasmine RubensI have been a committee member for four years now and in that time a lot of positive things have occurred. The Parentsactive Conferences, coffee mornings and SEN days are raising awareness of disabled children’s issues within the borough. I feel that our voices are finally being heard within the Local authority and that we are now been viewed more as partners. However, we need to keep the impetus going and attract more hands-on participation from our members to keep these issues to the fore..

Marie CanningHi, I have two children thirteen year old daughter and a nine year old son. My son has autism.  I've been attending Parentsactive coffee mornings for more than four years. I've enjoyed meeting other parents who have the same or similar issues as me.

I attend regularly as it can be very informative and helpful when we have the guest speakers and a great opportunity to get and give advice to other parents. When my son was just diagnosed I did not know where to go. Another parent introduced me to Parentsactive and since attending has helped me through some difficult times.

I have been a steering committee member for five years and joined because I want to help to make a change where we can. Being on the committee has empowered me with much more knowledge around disability and special needs

Hayley WedgburyParentsactive and its members have been a huge support and inspiration to me, and my 7 year old daughter Mia, who has cerebral palsy. I have been inspired by my experiences as a committee member and feel empowered and able to support others. I am proud to support them as they continue their work in supporting families of children with disabilities and offer myself for re election. I am also campaigning for inclusive facilities in parks for all disabled children and call on all parents to support this cause.

Ageno Ochola — I joined Parentsactive Committee because I believe as a parent with a special needs child that our joint collaboration is more effective in channelling issues that affect us.  I was particularly touched at my initial contact with Parentsactive, when a staff member wrote to the Social Services on my behalf to help me with respite issues that as a single parent of a severely autistic boy, I was in desperate need of. Immediately, I felt that my personal needs were further validated by having Parentsactive also voicing my problems. I now feel less alone in facing some challenges of raising a disabled child; I have a wider family in Parentsactive. As a committee member, I am interested in helping to keep issues/concerns of parents like myself in the limelight in our local and wider community for people with special needs.  It is imperative to have a platform like Parentsactive where as individuals  our personal  needs can be officially communicated, and  as a united group we should continuously keep on highlighting  that "the personal is indeed the political" to local authorities and related official bodies. 

Martin Schouten - Our family of four moved into the borough in early February coming from Kensington & Chelsea.  Our 11 year old son attends a school for vision and hearing impaired children in Wandsworth where I am also a parent governor. Parentsactive have been a great help in getting his existing support package transferred to LBHF. As committee member I would like to share my experiences and help other families getting the support they need.

Gabriella Zahzouh- My name is Gabriella Zahzouh. I am the mother of Larbi who is 19 years old and autistic. I currently work for myself as a ustainability, environment and risk consultant, which now leaves me with a little bit more time to support initiatives that are close to my heart, like becoming a committee member for Parentsactive. As I have been working full-time until last year, I have been an infrequent member over the years, but have accessed and really valued & appreciated in the past information and support from the group.  I like the thought of being able to make a positive difference to my son's life and the lives of other disabled people within Hammersmith and Fulham and I look forward to contributing with my skills and experiences

Sarah Markson-I am the Mother of 2 teenagers.  My eldest Jack has a rare genetic disorder, Kabuki syndrome.   From 2004 till 2008 I was a member of the fundraising and educational committees for The Hope Charity which supported Jack in an unique and successful educational programme that originated from Israel.  Jack, now 18yrs is at residential college and this means I am able to join Parentsactive and help the local special needs community in any way I can.





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