Exciting merger news from NSNN

March 7, 2017 12:54 pm Published by

Before Christmas I updated you on the difficult financial position we faced and the changes that you would be likely to see over the next few months.  Since then, we have been working hard to make sure we can find a way to continue to support you and other families. One of the options we have looked at is merging with another charity that offers the same kind of service to create a bigger, more sustainable organisation. I am very pleased to let you know that we have been discussing a merger with Skills for People – an organisation which many of you will know – and that subject to the appropriate checks the two organisations will join forces by June 2017.

The merger will make it easier for families to get a range of services through one point of contact.  The service will continue to offer information, advice and support, training, and help with Education Health and Care Plans, and support from other parents of disabled children through the Pass it on Parents project. Existing staff from both organisations will provide this service.

This change will mean that the support which is currently provided by Northeast Special Needs Network will be able to continue. Our hope is that it will be easier to get more funding to help families in the future.  I am delighted to also announce that we have been successful in winning a major bid to Newcastle City Council’s Newcastle Fund which will allow us to offer impartial information, advice and support to families with disabled children and young people through:

  • One to one case work for those who need it most
  • A telephone and email helpline
  • Online information for families
  • Training and other events to help families feel more confident

Both charities are chaired by very committed and knowledgeable people who will continue to be involved in the merged organisation. Here’s what they say about the merger:

Dawn Benson, Chair, Northeast Special Needs Network said: “I’m delighted that we have got to the stage in our discussions where we can share this news with families and other partners. The skills and experience of the staff within both organisations complement each other perfectly.  As a mum of a young disabled person, I know  how important it is to get the right information and support when you need it most, without the anxiety of being passed from one organisation to another. I’m convinced this is the right thing to do and that the service to families will be improved because we’re going to be doing things better together.”

Diana  Barnes OBE, Chair, Skills for People said: “I am very pleased that, subject to the appropriate checks, the merger of our two organisations will go ahead. Skills for People and Northeast Special Needs Network share the same values and vision for the future.  Our organisations provide a range of services which support local families with disabled children and young people so they can enjoy family life.  Bringing together our organisations, will make it easier to secure funding, and secure the future for these vital services at a time when many small charities are struggling to survive. Dedicated and experienced staff and board members will ensure the success of the merger. 

There are still some details to be confirmed and I will update you as soon as I can. I appreciate that you may have questions about the new organisation and so please don’t hesitate to contact me at siobhanoneil@nsnn.org.uk or call 0191 281 2485.