Dromore support group has high hopes for new council


Dromore-based parent support group ‘Connect’ is hoping the new ‘ABC’ supercouncil will offer more opportunity for children and support for parents.

The group kicked off its fourth year, as a local resource for parents of children with additional needs, by welcoming local councillors, whom it invited to its most recent meeting, to discuss the issues facing parents.

Hailing the evening a great success, a spokesperson said: “Connect invited councillors from all the main parties and were pleased to welcome Councillors Carol Black, Hazel Gamble and Paul Rankin to their meeting.

“The Councillors who attended and contributed to the meeting were interested to learn of the concerns for parents of children with additional needs first-hand and were grateful for the opportunity to come along to meet parents.

Moving forward, Connect is eager to give something back to the Special Educational Needs Advice Centre by raising funds.

SENAC have joined the group on a number of occasions and have been instrumental in ensuring that children receive the help and support in school that they need and are entitled to.

SENAC offers independent, impartial advice and advocacy services for parents dealing with difficult issues such as the Statementing process of Special Educational Needs for starting school, or specific advice on getting appropriate services or benefits for their children, all of which can be very daunting.

Connect co-founder Judith Clarke said: “Parents often suffer from a lack of information, or face confusing jargon from statutory bodies involved in providing services for children with additional needs. This can all occur at a very emotional time for parents when they are trying to deal with a new diagnosis, or the difficult periods of starting school or changing from one school to another; SENAC can help them negotiate this.”

Connect is holding a table quiz in aid of SENAC at Boyles, Dromore at 7.30pm on Friday (November 7). Niamh Sheills,

“This will be a fun evening with lots of raffle prizes on offer,” said Connect co-founder Niamh Shiells. “We are hoping for a good turnout to support a very worthwhile organisation.”

Connect meetings offer the opportunity to hear a range of professional speakers as well as informal coffee mornings. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in Dromore Town Hall.

Please contact Judith Clarke on 07764 200870 if you wish to attend, or to find out more about the group. You can also visit CONNECT on Facebook.