Debs is a mum of three teenagers – each with their own collection of SEND. Life is never dull.
The BAPS awards came about as Debs was listening to SEND parent bloggers talking about the national blogging awards, being fed up of only fitting into the “Inspirational” category. As a mum and blogger, Debs knew that being inspirational sometimes felt like an additional burden to carry. Being the cheeky Northern bird she is, and having gone through school with our MD in the 80’s with photos of mullets and Tachini tracksuit tops at her disposal, she approached us to ask if we would help her to make the BAPS Awards a reality. We were in the process of launching My Family, Our Needs so the timing was perfect and we said “Yes, yes, yes”, the BAPS Awards were born, and the rest as they say, is history!
Over the years, Debs has set up local groups, local charities, parent forums and national SEND projects. She has written blogs, and delivered training and keynote speeches to a variety of parents, practitioners and Government leaders – both in the UK and internationally.
She is also the founder and co-organiser of Kent’s annual inclusive live music festival – Festability, which she runs alongside two other SEND mums. Thousands of people attend each year.
Debs’ passion has always been about helping parents, sharing her experiences, networks, and knowledge with families. She has first hand experience and knows the positive impact offering good support can have. As such, she now also provides coaching and online training via Life As-Pland, in addition to mentoring and delivering training to providers who work with families.
Debs is also a Parent Governor and always has new ideas for projects going on in the background. Debs tries to ensure that anything she creates is something she knows parents are asking for, rather than something she thinks parents may like. As a SEND mum, she just wishes that this was more common practice.