Introducing your Parent Support Worker

Hello Parents!

I’m Lisa Thomas and I have been the Parent Support Worker at Playskill since 2016. I visit all the groups and join in parent breaks from time to time to facilitate chat, answer questions, share information and most importantly to assist the flow of coffee, cake and leaflets!  

If we haven’t met yet, please say hello when we next pass. 

I’m also a parent carer. My teenage daughter has Down’s Syndrome as well as cardiac issues and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Thanks to many practitioners, both locally and in specialist centres in far off places, she is doing very well. My daughter has been in both local mainstream schools and a Herts special school, where she is now, thriving, growing up and pondering college already.  She is a keen big sister to two siblings with ambitions to marry Gaston from Beauty & the Beast (It was Donny Osmond last year so I think this is progress?!). Our children do grow up! 

15 years in, I know what it is like to do the hospitals, therapies and endless appointments. I’ve learned how to navigate SEND-World, access services, where to get help and how to juggle all this while striving for ordinary life too. I hope I can share some of my learning to help parents at Playskill.

My professional background

Along with my personal experience, I am a qualified HR & Training practitioner of 25+ years’ experience, including 11 years at Watford Mencap. I have worked in the Hertfordshire voluntary sector for the past 15 years. 

Feeling that more could be done to assist parent carers, I started to deliver Early Support and Navigation workshops for parent carers in 2013 and set up a community training project called Essential Learning & Information (now SEND Essentials Learning and Information). Through workshops and social media, I share SEND knowledge and information with parent carers across Herts including events around Education Health & Care Plans (EHCP), SEN Support for education settings and social care and Expert Health. I deliver these SEND Essentials workshops for Playskill parents too and I am also hoping to deliver new sleep and siblings events next term. Please see our termly learning programme for parents – available at parent coffee breaks for signing up. 

The Playskill Parent Support Worker Role.

I know from persona experience how vast SEND World appears to be and I am here to help with issues large and small. My main role at Playskill, over 6 hours per week term time, is to help parents find information, access services and develop confidence as carers. My role is funded by a National Lottery grant for another 3 years, and it will develop over time and as parents require. Please do let us know if you have ideas about how we can improve our support to you and your family.  

By the end of 2017 there will be new Playskill web site and resources from parent support  along with a new closed Facebook group to celebrate our children’s milestones and share information to keep up with changes in SEND World. Please join Facebook here and share something amazing about your child with our group:

I hope you will also share information with me too, especially about what’s working well or not in the local area so that I can share this with other Playskill members. If you know of any great services, please share on our Facebook group or bring in a leaflet so we can grow our collection of leaflets.

Individual appointments

I am available for appointments to assist parents personally with issues and finding specialist help. I can help with forms, letters and may be able to accompany parents to meetings with notice. 

One to one or small group appointments can be arranged between 11am and 1pm, on dates when I am at Watford or Hemel Hempstead groups. 

Please see the rota below for information about my attendances next term. To book an appointment in advance, please e-mail Tanya: [email protected]

Please also remember to bring along any letters, documents, forms or information that will help our discussion.  

Best wishes,

Lisa Thomas


Parent Support Worker  -  Work schedule for Autumn term 2017.

Tue 19 SeptemberParents’ Breakfast EHCP
Fri 22 SeptemberHemel AM & PM (Session 3)
Tue 26 SeptemberGarston AM (Session 3)
Fri 6 OctoberHemel AM & PM (Session 6)
Mon 9 OctoberWatford AM & PM (Session 4)
Tue 10 OctoberGarston AM (Session 5)
Mon 16 OctoberWatford AM & PM (Session 5)
Tue 31 OctoberGarston AM (Session 7)
Fri 10 NovemberHemel AM &PM (Session 7)
Monday 13 NovemberWatford AM&PM (Session 7)
Fri 24 NovemberHemel AM & PM (Session 9)
Mon 27 NovemberWatford AM & PM (Session 9)