Testimonial – From Elizabeth Johnson – Head Teacher – Dryden School.

Voiceworks and Paul has great links with Dryden School and sets up meaningful and valuable experiences in the world of work where students are supported to see what sorts of things happen and how it feels to be in a real workplace. We invariably get really positive feedback from the pupils and it helps to introduce them in a very supported way to what having a job means and can help them in finding direction and honing work skills in preparation for the future. Paul is always genuinely interested in the students and goes the extra mile to ensure all their experiences are positive. One of our students who had a placement in Your Store said ‘It was good. I liked it. It helped me to see how to sort newspapers.’

Testimonial – Family Liaison Officer – Cedars Academy.

It has been a great benefit having Karen attend our year 9 reviews. Her knowledge of available services and her ability to signpost and support parents has been a great help, allaying some of their apprehensions about the future for their children.

Testimonial – Parent.

Myself and my husband Paul are so grateful for the smooth transition from Children’s to Adults Services. The support the team has given to Billy and the whole family throughout the assessment process has made it a smooth transition. Working closely with the whole family and linking in with CYPS to gain a clear and precise picture of Billy’s support needs. Supporting Billy to be able to access support through inspired support and sign posting the family to Gateshead Carers and the Autism Hub. The support the team have given to us as a family has been really appreciated by us all. Forever Grateful Georgina

Testimonial – Gateshead Autism Hub.

Karen and Paul have frequently attended our drop-in sessions to display and share information and to make themselves available to answer visitors’ questions. This has continued right up to our temporary closure in March 2020 and will resume when we reopen. The Autism Hub’s main group of visitors is parents of autistic children, but these children grow and their families need to know how to support them as they move towards adulthood. The Autism Hub’s partnership with the Transitions service has been a valuable asset to the families of older children and teens in raising their awareness of available options to consider, and how they might access them. Karen and Paul are a regular and valuable presence at our drop-in sessions, taking turns each month to share their vast knowledge and experience of relevant services to those of our visitors who are looking into next steps for their older children. Paul has also attended one of our support group meetings, where he talked to families about various aspects of the Transition Team’s services, such as social care, assessments, work experience, universal services, EHCPs etc. The team have also made their contact details available to our families so that they can get in touch directly between sessions, if needed. Our two teams maintain regular contact between Autism Hub drop-in sessions (and especially in the past year during the Covid pandemic), to share information and resources relevant to both teams. Ours is a valuable partnership which clearly benefits the client groups of both services.

Testimonial – Head Teacher – Dryden School.

Karen has attended our Transition Review meetings at Dryden for a number of years and I find her presence and advice of great benefit to the parents of pupils at Dryden School. The transition to adulthood can be a very worrying time for parents and Karen introduces the team and her role within it and what happens around social care provision at an early stage for families so some of their anxiety can be relieved and they can be informed about what is available for their child as they prepare for adulthood. She can also usefully signpost towards resources and groups available in the community and even help raise aspirations for our young people and families, for example in informing them about possible independent living accommodation options in the future. I think her presence at reviews is very important and is a good example of what best practice at reviews should look like with a multi-disciplinary approach.

Testimonial – Tutor – Cedars Academy Sixth Form.

Karen has been working alongside me for the last two years, attending Y12 EHCP reviews. Throughout this time, I have found her knowledge, help and support invaluable. I know from feedback from parents that Young People have gone on to access support directly from the advice given. Karen’s knowledge and approach reassures parents and makes them feel more confident about what, for our Young People, is a big step into becoming an adult.