A fast-growing support group is seeking real life stories for a fundraising book offering advice to parents with children with special needs and disabilities.

Parent engagement in Stoke (PEGIS) was started five years ago by a group of parents to get together to advise each other. The group has since expanded and meet monthly at Hazel Trees, in Fenton, where advice and support is offered to parents who also receive opportunities to speak to representatives from the NHS, Local authority and advisory groups.

PEGIS boast an active online forum with around 885 members. The forum acts as a signpost for families struggling with issues such as EHCP’s, diagnosis and those needing moral support. The group also host parent socials groups such as picnic in the parks and breakfast meet ups.

PEGIS is currently seeking to raise funds so they can provide more for both parents and children of special educational needs (SEN). Organisers of the group are looking for parents to share their stories and advice to be used as extracts in a book which will be available to access via e-books and print.

Michelle Craggs

Michelle Craggs, chair of PEGIS said: “The idea of creating a book came about eighteen months ago at a group meeting. We loved the idea of a book that can parents can read which can give them comfort but also practical advice.”

Mum of four and PEGIS user, Jacqui Dunn is fully appreciative of the advisory group. She said: “You’d be surprised how friends and family start to disappear when you have children with disabilities. The invitations start to get lost in the post. Michelle and PEGIS don’t just give advice, I could go to numerous services for that, it’s more than that. Michelle has sat with me whilst I’ve sobbed my heart out trying to find a way and just listened then stood with me whilst I gained focus for my family.”

**If you have a story you wish to tell please contact Michelle Craggs by email PEGiS.stoke@hotmail.com or by phone:07935 557380.

**Article by Melanie Osborne



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