We just had to highlight this as one of the parents who’s extremely dedicated to Bettws ELC was nominated for this award! Jolene not only supports families in the Bettws community, but throughout all of Newport. Below gives a little insight into the support and impact she’s giving to her community;

“I’ve been in Coproduction with ABUHB Neurodevelopment services for 2 years now. We’ve made huge progress in transforming the service, making it easier for families to navigate and more supportive pre and post diagnosis. We recently received an NHS wales Award for this.

I volunteer with Newport Mind, supporting the parents of children who can’t attend school.

I’m in another Coproduction with ABUHB mental health services for neurodivergent/learning disabilities. Through this I have a seat at the regional partnership board and attend panels that decide on 3rd sector funding.

I’m parent Governor for diversity and inclusion at Newport High School. Working with them to build stronger relationships with parents and the community. I’m also able to use my lived experience as an autistic/ADHD woman to shine a light on the difficulties ALN children may face in school. I also visit schools and speak with staff about the reality of being neurodiverse, trying to encourage the celebration of brain diversity and bust the outdated stereotypes society has.

I attend the Gwent Autism Steering group, addressing barriers autistic people face in day to day life.

I run monthly meet-ups for adults/parents who are Neurodivergent. This is in partnership with Parent Voices in Wales and Welsh Government with the aim of tackling isolation and loneliness.

I’m parent representative on the BELC, giving parents a voice and building relationships with services in the area and using every opportunity I have to make sure disabled/neurodiverse families aren’t forgotten.

I also support parents in helping them understand their neurodiverse children, identify their needs and empower them to advocate for their children in health care and education.

I set up my fb page https://www.facebook.com/JoSoHappyneurodivergent to share information and advice around all things that effect neurodivergent families.”

I honestly don’t know where Jolene finds them time – what an amazing inspiration!

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