Get involved and have your say
You and your young person can have a say in the support and services you need. By sharing your experiences and collaborating with us and other organisations, we can make positive changes that benefit all SEND families in the city.
What shall I tell you about?
Whatever matters to you. It might seem a small thing, but sometimes small changes can make a big difference.
It could be around:
- Difficulties you are having in the education system
- The type of leisure activities you would like to see in your local area
- Issues with public transport or access to activities
- How we can improve the Local Offer
How do I share my experience?
Tell us directly - The simplest way is to tell us: email@example.com, 0161 234 1946, or message us on Twitter - Manchester Local Offer @MCRLocalOffer. When we respond, we may ask you some questions to understand more about your experience. In some cases, and with your permission, we will pass your feedback on to a more relevant service or organisation.
Share your story with a parent’s group - In Manchester, we are fortunate to have two independent parent carer groups helping to make life better for SEND families in the city. They work in partnership with the Council and staff in health and education settings to improve services. You can contact both groups with a particular issue or concern. You are also welcome to join them to have more of a say on an on-going basis:
Manchester Parent Carer Forum (MPCF) This is the more formal group, funded through the Department of Education. It helps to shape and influence services in the city, making sure they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND and their families. Find out more on their website and become a member for free, using this online contact form or through Facebook.
The disabled children’s charity Contact has produced two short films about parent participation in forums:
Manchester Parent Champions – Contact the Parent Champions through their Facebook page to feed in your concerns and requests. If you are interested in becoming a Parent Champion, see these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Through our newsletter - We regularly share opportunities in our newsletter. These are pieces of work or surveys we are doing within the Local Offer or the Council, often in partnership with parent carer groups. We also share wider opportunities from the city, Greater Manchester and nationally. It is a chance to help shape the development of services and strategies. Find out how to sign up to the newsletter here.
How can young people have their say?
The Changemakers are a group of young people in the city aged 14-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They share their views and those of their peers and influence services for other young people, while having fun and making new friends. They are supported by Greater Manchester Youth Network in partnership with Manchester City Council. The sessions are at GMYN, Greenfish Resource Centre on Oldham Street. Travel to and from sessions can be supported in a number of ways. Contact Luke at Greater Manchester Youth Network on 07592 845246, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the next 3-5 years, Manchester will be working with UNICEF UK to ensure that the whole of Manchester puts children’s rights into practice. It's vital that children and young people with SEND up to the age of 25 have a say as part of this. Find out more in Our Child Friendly Manchester!
How do I know I have helped to make a difference?
We tell you about this in various ways, including our regular newsletter, the Manchester Local Offer webpages and through parent carer groups.
What does co-production mean?
Co-production is an essential part of Manchester Local Offer. It is not just about listening to parents and young people, it is working together to co-create and co-design what’s on offer. For example, parents and young people have played a big part in our SEND Community Offer, the free activities programme over school holidays.
In March 2018, we came together with Manchester Parent Carer Forum (MPCF), Manchester Parent Champions and many others from health, education, social care and voluntary groups to co-produce the SEND Co-production Charter. This highlights our shared values and principles and is a commitment from us all to make sure co-production underpins everything we do.
In July 2022, we produced this special edition of the newsletter for National Co-production Week. You can find out how parent carers and young people are having a say in the city.
Learn more in this article, ‘What co-production is and how to do it’.
How do I make a complaint about Manchester Local Offer?
If you are telling us about something for the first time, please give us the opportunity to put things right first. You can contact us by email at email@example.com or calling 0161 234 1946. If you decide to go ahead and make a complaint, you can find more information and an online form here.