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Published by POINT, 2020-03-01 10:26:50

Annual Report 2015-16

Annual Report 2015-16

Trustees Annual Report
2015 / 2016

Registered Charity: 1161596


Chairs Welcome

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to welcome you to our first Annual Report 2015-2016.
It is a great honour to have been appointed as the new Chair of POINT and I am looking forward
enormously to working with trustees and our dedicated staff team in the coming years. Our mission is as
relevant today as it was when we were founded in 2010. To relieve the needs of Children and Young
People aged 0-25 with disabilities and additional needs, their families and carers, to improve life
chances, aspirations and outcomes. We will continue to work tirelessly to develop and deliver services
which empower, increase choice and meet needs; give information, support, guidance and care which
enables greater independence; consult with, and co-ordinate a voice across health, education and social
care services and enable participation in decision making and service development; and promote
inclusion and access to education, health and social care opportunities and services.

First of all, I would like to thank our previous Chair, Tracie Redshaw, for her contribution to this
organisation and to parents of children with additional needs and disabilities in Oldham. I would also like
to thank our previous Treasurer, Tracy Gallier for her contributions in the role. I would like to formally
welcome new trustees Kathryn Plant in the role of Vice Chair, Charlotte Shaw in the role of Treasurer and
Martin Robinson who is one of POINT’s fundraising champions.

The year has seen some exciting developments for POINT including being our first full year with
charitable status, achieving local, regional and national recognition for the work we do, and an incredible
expansion and development of the services we deliver.

Given this difficult financial climate, I am pleased to report that the organisation has ended the year in a
good financial position, due in no small part to the hard work of our Chief Executive, Andrew Robinson
and the wider staff team, but also to the continued generosity and support of all those who support our
fundraising activities. To maintain this position for the coming year, we will need to continue to focus
our efforts both in examining every cost item, while maintaining the levels of quality, but also in inspiring
even more people to join in to support our fundraising.

So, in this my first year as Chair, I will be working with my fellow trustees and our experienced and
committed team to develop a strategy which will sustain and grow our organisation over the coming
years. We will continue to listen to our members, the parents and carers of children with additional
needs and disabilities, and ensure that their voices are heard, so that their experiences and views
continue to influence key decisions that are made which will impact on their families lives.

I would like to thank Andrew Robinson for his strong leadership of the organisation and, of course, our
incredibly dedicated staff team for all their work to support and improve the lives of families. Finally, I
would like to thank the trustees, for giving me the opportunity to Chair this extraordinary organisation
and for their continued commitment, dedication and passion to deliver our mission.

Laura Windsor-Welsh
Chair of Trustees


Now in our 7th year, POINT Forum are Oldham’s established parent carer forum which is designed to
unify the voice of our members and represent their views on key issues that affect the lives of parents
and carers of children and young people (0-25) with additional needs and or disabilities.

During 2015/16, POINT Forum have continued to strengthen and we have extended our reach and
engagement of parents to 932 member families.

Over the past year, POINT have delivered lots of opportunities for our members to get involved, be
heard and influence change. Some of the key achievements and developments include:

Short Breaks

In 2015/16, POINT have enabled parents and carers to participate in
the co-production of a new Short Breaks offer. Working with Parents
and Carers to understand YOUR aspirations and needs, POINT were
able to ensure that your voice was heard in the re-commissioning of
services. Whilst this presented a number of challenges, not least
around a significant reduction in the available budget for Short
Breaks, POINT are delighted that Oldham Council implemented an
offer which reflected parental feedback and has led to a number of
new services being commissioned.

Further representation is planned in the coming year to ensure that
YOUR voice remains central to the further development of the offer.

SEND Reforms

POINT have continued to remain active at a strategic level across the SEND Reforms agenda in Oldham.
We have represented the views of our members across key themes including:

• EHC Plans
• Joint commissioning
• SEND Local Offer
• Early Years
• SEND Partnership Board

In addition, POINT Forum are partners in the NW SEND Regional Network, enabling your views. Wishes
and ideas to be represented at a regional level where we can make a real difference.


Parental and Young Persons Engagement Values

Working with parents, carers, young people and representatives across Health, Education and Social
Care, POINT have led on the design and implementation of Oldham first ever Parental and Young
Persons Engagement Values, which set out how parents and carers are involved as equals in all
decisions relating to their child’s, or their own, special Educational needs provision.

Signed by the Lead Council Member for Education, The Chief Executive of Oldham CCG and POINT,
these values have been shared across all Oldham stakeholders and the ethos of the values is now
starting to see these values being used to support families in Oldham.

POINT would like to thank our
POINT Champion volunteers who
give their time to arrange, co-
ordinate and deliver many of the
forum activities. Through their
work this year we have hosted
monthly drop in sessions,
attended school, community and
charitable events. They also work
tirelessly to ensure that your
voice is represented.

Parent Carer Engagement Conference

2015/16 saw our biggest event yet. Over 190 parents,
carers and practitioners attended our annual conference,

gave feedback and input into our priorities for the
coming year… listened to key presentations from our
local and national partners about Special Educational
Needs and Disabilities and celebrated our award winners

in our passion for parents’ awards

Your feedback has led to the introduction of themed monthly drop in sessions to support
your needs, providing great information, tools and early support.


POINT Forum Short Breaks Summer Sunday Family Ability Sessions
Trips
POINT Forum continue to co-deliver a Sunday
POINT Forum received a small grant fund last year Family Ability Session, at Oldham’s state of
from Oldham Council, to plan some summer school the art Youth Zone, MAHDLO.
holiday trips for children with additional needs and
disabilities (0-18) and their families, as part of Our partnership with MAHDLO is now in its
Oldham Council’s short breaks offer. 5th year and gives families the opportunity to
enjoy a range of activities at the youth zone,
3 trips were delivered to Chester Zoo, Knowsley as well as seek Support, Information and
Safari Park and Gulliver’s World. Advice as part of a family inclusive session.

The grant was used to subsidise the cost of the trips Families continue to value the sessions, as
with families paying a more affordable cost, thus they enable the whole family, irrespective of
enabling them to access an affordable activity, in individual need, to participate in the same
the company of their peers. activity together, which is something quite
unique for many of our member families. This
270 people, many of whom would be otherwise year our families have enjoyed Arts and
isolated due to their family circumstances, were Crafts, Gym, Climbing Wall, Trampoline,
able to enjoy time out together as a family, in a safe Multi-Sports, Football and much more… and
and supportive way. it is really inspiring to see how our families
and their children and young people grow,
develop and feel supported both by POINT
and each other.

A range of training, skills and general support
is also delivered to parents and carers to help
families to access support so they can help
themselves.


Our support offer for parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs and
disabilities has grown significantly since the introduction of POINT Services and our conversion from a
voluntary organisation to a registered charity. This section of our Annual Report spotlights the services,
what they do and focuses on the difference that the services have made for you.

POINT have operated Oldham Special Educational Needs and
Disability (SEND) Information, Advice Support Service (IASS)
since February 2014. It was formerly known as Parent
Partnership, changing it’s name following the introduction of
the SEND Reforms 2014.

SEND IASS is statutory service which is commissioned
by the LA and offers FREE, Impartial and Confidential
Information, Advice and Support to Parents of
children and young people with Special Educational
Needs and Disabilities, aged 0-25; and to children
and young people themselves.

SEND IASS has effective “A great service that has provided me with help
partnerships with Schools, and support needed to get the best for my
Health, Social Care and local Authority, children with in their educational settings very
enabling us to provide targeted, person friendly people who make you feel very
centred support to families, children and welcome would and have recommended this
young people and empowers them to service.” Parent
make informed choices ensuring positive
outcomes. Since the introduction of the SEND Reforms, in
addition to support around Education matters, SEND
Our advice and support is impartial and IASS now offers Information, Advice and Support
unbiased and we can support parents to relating to a child or young person’s Education,
express their views and concerns and Health and Care needs.
challenge decisions positively. We are
trained in SEND Law and are able to explain
principles of local protocols and statutory
guidance to families so they can
understand how the processes and
resources within the local authority work.

“I felt on my own didn't know what I could
do or go about things to help my daughter and
now I know I can get support so thank you so much.” Parent

POINT are delighted that because of the work of our SEND IASS team and the outcomes delivered in
Oldham, that the service we offer has now been commissioned in Bury Local Authority, giving the
opportunity for more parents to take advantage of the support on offer to families!


In 2015/16 POINT facilitated 19 “The mediator was
mediation and disagreement really helpful and
resolution meetings relating to: friendly. I got the result I wanted. I wouldn't
have known what to do if it wasn't for them.
• Decision not to make an Everything was explained properly to me so I
Education, Health and Care could understand it easily. Helped me
Needs assessment. understand the process fully, before and after.”
Parent
• School Placement named in
Section I of the Education Mediation and Disagreement
Health and Care plan. Resolution Service supports parents
to resolve disagreements about
• Joint Funding arrangements Education, Health or Care matters
between Oldham Council relating to their child or young
and Oldham CCG. person’s additional needs or
disability that they may have at a
• Decision not to issue an local level, reducing unnecessary
Education, Health and Care stress, conflict and cost.
Plan.

“I finally feel my son is going to have his support needs
recognised. I can't thank all the team from POINT enough
for giving me the confidence to continue this fight. You
provide an invaluable, professional service. Thank You” Parent

Mediation and Disagreement resolution is a FREE service. Meetings have been proven to
reduce the potential number of SEND Tribunals being sought.

You have told us how valuable the service is… and all stakeholders view the service positively
in delivery, impact and for the outcome’s it delivers.


Our Financial Statement

As a registered charity, POINT’s financial accounts are public documents and this section of our annual
report details our financial statement to the end of our financial year which ended 31st March 2016.

During 2015/16 we converted to being a charity and therefore this year, the annual report contains two
separate accounts. The first is a financial statement covering 1st April 2015 to 10th May 2015 which
reflects the period before we became a charity. The second set of accounts reflects is the accounts
statement from 11th May 2015 to 31st March 2016 which is the financial statement of the charity.

As highlighted in the Chair’s welcome, financial controls at POINT are robust to ensure that every penny
of POINT’s income is appropriately invested to deliver high quality information, advice and support to
our members through both the POINT Forum and POINT Services offer.

In order to ensure transparency in our accounting processes, POINT have secured the service of an
Independent Examiner, through Action Together, who undertakes a review of all of POINT’s accounting
activities in order to verify the accuracy of our financial management. This ensures that any potential
risks to the charity are identified so that appropriate recommendations and / or challenges can be made
to POINT where this may be necessary.

POINT are pleased to provide a copy of the financial accounts for the financial year 2015/16 on the
following pages and are delighted to report that the Independent Examiner has approved both sets of
accounts and has no cause to raise any challenges or recommendations to the accuracy of the accounts
submitted.

POINT would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners at Action Together for their support,
advice and expertise in the scrutiny of our financial matters and for their time in preparing the financial
statements.


Looking ahead to 2016/17

POINT remain focused on delivering the best possible service to all our members, using the available
resources at our disposal. 2016/17 looks set to be another busy year, and one which will see many new
developments including:

• Introduction of Web-Chat facility for SENDIAS Service users.

• Introduction of themed drop-in sessions organised by POINT Forum as requested by our
members.

• POINT will be delivering the Short Breaks Summer Trips programme again in the Summer
School holidays.

• POINT will be working hard to integrate the Bury SEND IAS Service into our organisation.

• POINT have been commissioned to deliver Oldham Ability Wheelz, an Oldham based adapted
cycling activity for families of disabled children, young people and adults. This will also see the
launch of the new POINT Activity brand.

• Development of a Fundraising Strategy that enables POINT to utilise our charity status to raise
additional funds, which will support the sustainability of our current offers and allow flexibility to
deliver a new, community outreach programme, to reach more parents, increase our
membership and strengthen the voice of parents and carers of children and young people with
additional needs and disabilities.

• POINT will be taking forward the Parental and Young Persons Engagement Values to the next
step. This will involve the creation of a Kite Mark which local partners can work towards and
then receive an ‘Engagement’ accreditation from POINT.

• Finally, POINT will continue to work hard on your behalf to represent your voice throughout the
SEND Reforms and Short Breaks agenda. This will ensure we continue to champion the rights of
families with children and young people with additional needs and disabilities; and shape our
communities to be engaging, innovative and importantly, provide the support that our children
and young people need, to reach their aspirations.

Closing Statement

2015/16 has seen significant growth at POINT and we are all immensely proud of our achievements,
which directly impact the access to appropriate information, advice and support services for families of
children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.

As a member of POINT, we are delighted to receive your ongoing support, ideas and challenges to
ensure that we represent your views, wishes and aspirations in a way that best supports your family’s
needs. We are looking forward to another busy and successful year ahead.


POINT
Italia House, Pass Street, Oldham. OL9 6HZ
Tel: 0161 667 2054
www.pointoldham.co.uk
Registered Charity No: 1161596


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