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Posted by on in SEN - Personal Experience

Earlier this month I spoke to Richard Ingram, a young man with autism who owns his own successful dog treat business. Richard is a great example of a young person with a disability who has overcome adversity to get into work. Thank you to Richard for speaking to us.

To find out more about Richard's business, Charlie's Tasty Treats, go to:


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Whizz Kids, a charity for children and young people who use wheelchairs, are doing a survey around transport. If you are a wheelchair user then please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

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IOY August 2015 The August issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:


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Did you know, if you the parent or carer of a disabled child there may be a grant you can apply for to help with mobility aids, short breaks, and housing etc. There is a designated website that gives helpful tips and has lots of useful information about grants and how to access and apply for them. Find out more by visiting their website Disability Grants

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Last year Dynamite conducted a survey of 143 young people in Portsmouth to find out what they thought of services in Portsmouth for young people with disabilities (including special educational needs). The results are in and they give some really useful information about what it is like being a young person with a disability in Portsmouth.
First of all we wanted to find out how much young people knew about the new SEND reforms which the government brought in last year. We asked whether young people knew about the changes for young people with disabilities. A third of young people did.

graph 1

The changes for young people with disabilities are set out in the Children and Families Act, you can find out some more information about these changes here:

One of the changes for young people with disabilities is the introduction of the new Education, Health and Care Plans, we asked young people if they had heard about these plans. Quite a lot of young people had heard of them but more than half hadn’t.

graph 2

You can find out more about Education Health and Care Plans on the local offer website:

The Local Offer is the list of all of the special educational needs services available in Portsmouth. These services are available to everyone even if they don’t have an Education, Health and Care Plan. The Portsmouth Local Offer website can be found at

graph 3

We then tried to find out what information was available out there for young people. The most significant thing which we found here was that generally it was very difficult to find information about employment whatever age young people were with less than 50% of young people saying that they were able to find out information about the choices, support and help available to them. We also found that how much young people felt they were able to access this information didn’t change that significantly as between different age groups.

graph 4

We then asked which of these areas were important to young people. This was where we saw a change between different age groups. As young people got older Education became less important to them but independence and leisure became more important. This has lead us to have some further conversations with young people about what independence means to them (See my previous blog )

graph 5

Finally we asked young people how they preferred to find out about the choices and options available to them and overwhelmingly young people told us that the way in which they would like to find out information by talking to someone in person. Websites and Videos of young people were also popular.

graph 6

The results of this survey will be very useful to me in shaping the Young Persons Information, Advice and Support Service and should be useful to all services for young disabled people.

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July 2015 Impacting on You Page 01The July issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:


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The charity KIDS are doing a survey to find out what young people know about personal budgets and short breaks and what their opinions are on these. If you're aged between 16 and 25 with special educational needs then please click the link below to have your voice heard.



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independence treeWhen looking at the responses to the Dynamite 'Big Bang Surveys' which went out earlier this year one topic which young people were interested in was independence. This month we have been visiting young people to talk more about independence. We asked young people to write down their ideas about what independence meant to them on paper leaves.

Some young people talked broadly about what independence meant…

Being on your own
Real life
Freedom of Speech
Get away from my sister
Doing things without my mum
Being able to do what everyone else does and beyond!

One thing which kept coming up was independence to be able to cook and make food for yourself.

Cooking x 5
Cooking (making your own lunch)
Cooking at home
Making my own meals
Food choices

Shopping was also a common theme.

Shopping x8
Managing your money

But probably the thing young people wanted to talk about most was travel and transport

School Transport (bus)
Steam Trains
Bus pass
Going home on my own
Getting around on your own
Walking to the bus stop on your own to get on the school bus
Crossing the road
Arranging your own transport
Using the train/public transport
Going out on your own

There were also some ideas about the kind of places young people like to travel to independently.

Going to Southsea
Going into town
Going to the cinema
Being able to visit Europe
Going to my nans
Being near to my church
Catch the bus to college
Seeing My Friends x4
Staying out late with friends
Going into school on my own
Meeting new people
Being able to go anywhere I want
Visiting family
Being able to wander at college

Some young people talked about living on their own.

Supported Living
Living on your own
Living on your own
Sleeping in on Mondays
Knowing there is someone to come home to

Some young people also talked about the responsibilities that come with independence.

Dishwashing and ironing
Can be lonely
Having your own responsibilities

We talked a bit about where young people go to find out how to be more independent.

Getting advice from older mates
Getting advice from older brother
Going to my family for advice

A couple of young people mentioned independence to pursue interests.

Using a computer
Working on my film making

The subject of jobs also came up as a way to be more independent.

Do your own job
Having a job
Looking for a job

Knowing what is important to young people makes any service for young people better, thank you to all of the young people who spoke to us, it will help me here at Young People’s IASS to know what kind of information we need to be able to provide. If you would like to be more involved with Dynamite then email to get put on our mailing list or come along to our pizza evening on the 16th of July 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert Road, Southsea.

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May 2015 Impacting on You Page 01The May issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:


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April 2015 Impacting on You Page 01The April issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:


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