Meet The Team

St Helens Parent Carer Forum

Listen 4 Change is managed by a Steering Group of volunteer parent carers. Some Steering Group members also act as Parent Representatives on a number of workstreams across education, health and social care, working with local service providers to ensure parent carer voices are heard and listened to.

Leslee Basaga

I’ve been a member of Listen 4 Change since 2012 when I first started attending the regular forum meetings in order to learn more about what services were available locally to best support my oldest child who has complex SEN and health conditions. Since then I have volunteered as a Parent Representative on various working and development groups. I became a member of the Listen 4 Change Steering Group in 2021 which gave me an insight into the strategic decisions behind the support on offer in St Helens for children and young people with SEND and their families.

Debbie Goldthorpe

I have been involved with Listen4Change for quite a while. My daughter Ella was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. I started going to a few groups, coffee mornings and courses. I met other parents there who totally understood the difficulties that having a child with SEND can bring. Things I learned at these groups were a god send and I found out lots of Information that I would never have known. This included going to Listen4Change forums and coffee Events. It was fabulous to be able to vent and get things off my chest, people living the same experience as myself. I decided to join Listen4Change as I am passionate about parent's voices being heard to help services understand how things are for parents and children with SEND.

Natalie Skillicorn

A little about me. I’m Natalie and I’m mum to Louie (13), Archie (8) and Hattie (5). Archie is diagnosed ASD, ADHD and EDS. Our journey began when Archie was accepted onto the Neurodevelopmental Pathway in Dec 21. With this, I was sent information about ADDvanced Solutions and began attending their weekly support groups and still attend to date. At the group, they told me about signing up to the carers centre, who then asked if I wished for my details to be passed over to L4C and I’ve never looked back since. I began attending the coffee mornings and my involvement with the forum has grown over the years. The support I’ve received from the team, especially from Sara has been invaluable for myself and my family and my hope is to use all the support, knowledge I’ve received, as well as all I’ve gained from my personal journey to help and support out parent carers and their families to ensure they have all the support and knowledge they need to navigate the SEND system.

Elaine O'Brien

Hi, I am Elaine, I am married to Andrew and have two autistic children with sensory needs. I also work part time too. I joined listen 4 change parent carer forum to attend a training event, it was lovely meeting so many other parents who understood. The key message from this event was don’t change things by ‘fighting’ the systems, change things by working with services to help them understand our children’s needs and experiences. It was here that I saw the amazing value of the forum. I wanted to be part of that, so I volunteered to become a parent representative. I have now moved on to being a steering group member, joining the amazing group of parents that are dedicated to listening to parents from across St Helens, feeding back to services the experiences parents have, to help change things for the better. I continue to meet parents on the many events that happen within the borough and am always humbled by hearing their stories whether positive or negative.

Klara Lee

Hi, I’m Klara I’m married and have 2 daughters 1 who is 20 and at university York And a 13 yr old who has complex needs and was out of education for 15min the until recently when she started a specialist school. I’m a Governor of Send in at my local primary school which I’ve been doing for 11 years. I’ve been part of L4C for quite a number of years and have been part of many workstreams, attended forums and coffee mornings. I volunteer for L4C to hopefully help our children/young people and their families get the best services and outcomes possible. We need to be the voice of our young people and stand up for their rights and feel that being part of L4C helps us to give parent/carers a well needed voice.

Jan Leybourne

Hi. I'm Jan Leybourne. I've been part of Listen 4 Change from the very beginning; over 15 years of working with all stakeholders to help parent carers of children and young people with SEND get the help and guidance and ensuring services in our borough provide what is needed. I have been a parent governor in a mainstream primary school and a governor in Lansbury Bridge and Mill Green school, sitting on the Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Panel for several years. I am passionate about every child/young person having a right to a good education that meets their needs.

Ruth Card

I am a parent of two adults and I am a co-opted member of Listen4Change. My daughter is 26, lives at home and is happily established in a range of social care provision. Her support needs thoughout her childhood have given me a variety of experiences in health, education and social care. I have had a number of voluntary roles. I have been a member of Listen 4 Change since it formed and I was the first North West representative in the National Network of Parent Carer Forums in 2010. I was voluntary parent representative for Contact a Family (now Contact) in St Helens for many years until the North West office closed and have been a volunteer parent befriender in Wigan. I am particularly interested in communication, health and Learning disability and co- ordination of support. I am passionate about the importance of Parent Carer Involvement and that their participation has to be meaningful and sustainable in order that Children and young people’s services of the future are transformed.

Nicola Hughes

I’m Nicola, I have an amazing 7 year old son who is autistic with sensory processing difficulties, learning difficulties and developmental delay. I also have a wonderful 5 year old daughter. Over the years I have attended many L4C events as well as accessing other community groups. I have found other parent carers as the most valuable resource for not only information but support, strength and friendship. As a steering group member I am looking forward to working on different projects, championing the views of parent carers and ensuring the best outcome for our children.

Kate Crompton

I’m Kate and I have acted as a Parent Ambassador for a number of groups and projects for several years but am new to Listen4Change as a Steering Group member. My son James was diagnosed with autism and severe learning disabilities when he was 2 and then with ADHD when he was 6. My daughter Milly has mild physical disabilities since birth and mental health challenges since she was 12. For me, it has been so important to be involved in this work to ensure parent, child and family experiences of the services are voiced, heard and understood.

Emma Roberts

I am married to Mark and we have lived in St Helens for the last 15 years. I work part time as a teacher and I have three children, Sophie, Olivia and James. Sophie has NF1, CVI, Hyperinsulinaemia and is Autistic. Olivia is under investigation for ASD, ADHD and Tourette's. I have a brother with Down Syndrome so have grown up working and playing alongside children with a variety of disabilities. I still don’t think it quite prepared me for being a parent of a child with additional needs. It can be very stressful and exhausting but also very rewarding. Now that I work part time, I have more time to help out and have recently become involved in the Listen 4 Change and Steering Group. I very much look forward to meeting and being able to support you at our upcoming events.

Ish Malpus

My family and I have lived in St Helens for the last 10 years. I have two boys aged 16 and 14. My eldest son was diagnosed age 6 with ADHD and age 12 with ASD. Over the years I have accessed a number of local community groups. I have been a member of L4C since 2014 and have had the opportunity to attend many events and training. I now work full time for a national health and social care body which holds local services to account and I also help run a support group for parents and carers of children and young people with ADHD. I am passionate about ensuring the experiences of children and their families are heard and understood by services to ensure every child’s needs are met.

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