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Steering Group

The role of the Steering Group is to help shape the direction of the forum. The group meets once a month to review the work plan and set future objectives. Group members also act as representatives attending meetings and events.

Claire Richmond – Co-Chair

I am a professional musician from Manchester and I’ve lived in the Whitton and Twickenham area for the last 14 years. I have two children with additional needs, one with an EHCP and attending an SRP (that’s a specialist unit attached to a mainstream school) and one supported in mainstream without a plan.

We’ve been fortunate as a family to receive great support from some dedicated, compassionate professionals. I became involved with the PCF because I wanted to ensure that every family supporting a child or young person with SEND can access the services that they need, when they need them and that parents and service providers can work together to achieve the very best outcomes for all of our children.

Dave Leeman – Co-Chair

I am a Public Health Registrar specialising in health protection and communicable disease control with a particular interest in vulnerable populations. Throughout my career I have developed a keen passion for reducing health inequalities and supporting vulnerable groups.

I have 2 children, 1 with additional needs supported by an EHCP in a mainstream school.

Minta Townshend

My son Macsen is the reason I got involved with the parent carer forum. He is autistic and has severe learning difficulties. He also has the most gorgeous dimples and a silly, loving nature! He started at Strathmore School in September 2019. I grew up in Twickenham, went to school in Richmond and now live in Hampton Hill. In a former life I worked in production on movies like Gladiator and Casino Royale, ran events for fashion companies and charities, and even did a brief stint in the Creative Lab at Google London. Now I lead a much more peaceful existence spending time with close family and friends, as well as with the network of SEND parents I’ve met locally. I’m very proud to be a part of Richmond PCF with my wonderful fellow steering group members.

I am dog crazy, love foreign languages, have a weakness for chocolate and enjoy travelling in the UK, especially to Cornwall where I have lots of family.

Aaron Guiver

I am the father of unruly boys, including two with additional needs and disabilities.

I am a Development Manager at Skylarks a local charity in Richmond. I have worked within the charity sector for the past eight years including at other Richmond upon Thames organisations such as Richmond Borough Mind and Richmond Carers Centre.

Louise Edwards

I have lived in Twickenham for nearly 20 years and I am mum to 4 children, one with additional needs supported by an EHCP in a mainstream school.

I worked for 12 years in the oil industry and since taking a career break I have been a governor at my children’s primary school and more recently I have become involved in the Richmond PCF.

My youngest child has had significant health problems requiring dialysis at home for over a year before a kidney transplant 6 years ago. For many years we were surviving as a family, we have received some wonderful support, but only more recently have I discovered how many more organisations exist to support families. Navigating the system can feel like a maze – I would like to help families know what help there is and how to access it.

Kevin & Alison Sears

We are NAS Richmond’s Branch Chair and co-Chair and we have a son who is autistic and also has a moderate learning disability. Before becoming full time carers to their son, Alison used to be a veterinary nurse and then a lunchtime supervisor at a local school, while Kevin used to process data for an oil exploration company. We also represent the interests of people with additional needs on a number of local council groups, including the Health and Social Care Co-Production Group, working with other carers, professionals, plus people who receive support from Health and Social Services. We have been actively involved in representing the interests of parents of children and young people with additional needs since 2012.

Farmeen Kapadia

My role is to provide communication, finance and administrative support to the Richmond Parent Carer Forum.

I am passionate about helping Parents and Carers have a voice that is heard and supported; and help support the Parent Carer Forum to influence the planning and decision making around services which are being delivered to our children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities within the Richmond Borough.

My background is in Project Management, with a long career within the NHS. I am delighted to join the Richmond Parent Carer Family and make a difference to the lives of families in Richmond and look forward to helping grow the Parent Carer Forum.

I am a mum to three gorgeous children who keep me very busy.

Outside of work, I love travelling, dining out and spending time with my friends and family.