In Control Workshop

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The Frank Sorrell Centre

Prince Albert Road



United Kingdom

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In control are a national charity working for an inclusive society where everyone has the support they need to live a good life and make a valued contribution.

In control are hosting a series of free workshops in Portsmouth. These workshops will help parents, children and young people to understand their rights and how to make change happen locally. Most sessions include guest speakers who can talk about their own personal experiences either as a person with life experience of living with a disability or as a parent carer.

All sessions will run at the Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert road, Southsea, PO4 9HR. Sessions will run from 9:30 am for refreshments with a prompt 10 am start until 3:30 pm.

It is recommended that you attend all workshops but we do understand that it might not always be possible. Do select the date required when booking:

Friday 9th March

How to get a job, live independently and be in control using your skills.


Alicia Wood

Alicia is Head of Public Affairs for Dimensions, a national not for profit org that supports people with learning disabilities. Alicia is a co-founder and elected to the Representative of Learning Disability England, and a Fellow of the RSA & Centre for Welfare Reform & sits on the boards of Lets for Life & Books Beyond Words.

Alicia has worked for more than 20 years with people with mental ill health and learning disabilities who have labels of ‘challenging behaviour’. Through this work, it became apparent that peoples ‘problems’ were less about them and more about the systems and structures around them that do not recognise people as individuals- this ignited a passion for enabling people to get ordinary lives through person centred approaches to housing and support and a shift away from ' one size' service orientated responses to housing and support.

Alicia has worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors and has led strategies to create more housing for people with learning disabilities and managed a pilot project to test home ownership options and natural supports for people with learning disabilities. More recently, Alicia led on the national housing delivery plan for people with learning disabilities, working with the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. She has also led national development programmes for In Control, Paradigm and the NDTi working on housing, community development and personalisation. Alicia has written many publications including Life Begins at Home, Reach Standards in Supported Living, Reach Out- personalising community and day services, Gadgets, Gizmos & Gaining Independence - the use of Assistive Technology by People with a Learning Disability and Choice Based Lettings and People with a Learning Disability.

Specialties: Housing and People with Learning Disabilities, Supported Living, Personalisation, Community Development, Service Change.

Joanne Morgan – Gig Buddies

“My name is Jo Morgan, I have lived and worked in Portsmouth and surrounding areas for the last 18 years predominantly in Finance and most recently for the last 9 years as a fully qualified Chartered Management Accountant in the manufacturing sector where I was responsible for all aspects of Financial Management including supervision of a team of 6 with Finance and HR/Payroll duties. My background in Finance has given me strong organisational skills and the ability to work logically and methodically and to tight deadlines. I am also a parent volunteer with Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association as Events Team Leader looking after a group of 5 parent volunteers and between us we manage the social events calendar.

I am a wife and mother to two small children aged 10 months and 2.5 years. My eldest child has Down Syndrome. My role at Gig Buddies is perfectly suited to enable me to bring together my skills in management and events planning with my role as a parent to a child with Special Educational Needs and my aspirations for her to have as many opportunities in adulthood as we all have.”

Saturday 10th March

Ways of planning for the future, real life stories of how being in control has supported people.


Andy Walker:

At the age of 28, Andy was an active, fun loving, jack the lad character. He was ambitious, successful and having travelled extensively around the world, he felt like he had the rest of it at his feet.

Sitting on a rock looking out onto the shore of a beach in Goa, India, it seemed life couldn’t get any better. Hours later, having hit a rock whilst swimming into an otherwise empty sea, he was lying face down in the water, paralysed from the neck down, water suffocating into his lungs, his life and consciousness slowly and helplessly draining away.

Now, 12 years on, whilst still paralysed from the neck down, his life is far from over. He leads a life full of adrenalin filled activities including sailing, mountain climbing, skiing, charity runs, Running an international motivational speaking business and briefly played the part of Steve Kelly in Emmerdale.

His message is one of positivity, humour and determination

Lisa Watchorn:

I am passionate about the right of individuals to control and define their own support and to live as independent a life as possible within the community where they live. I was a volunteer on the National Autistic Society Advocacy for Education Helpline for over a decade, specialising in Tribunal Support, and was the parent / carer contributor to the Department for Health’s ‘Better Services for People with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder’. I helped local people with a learning disability to set up a self-advocacy group and I have been Vice Chair of a local self-advocacy group for parents and carers. I was involved in the development of the Autism Bill, now the Autism Act 2009 and the ‘LBBill’, which became the ‘No Voice Unheard No Choice Ignored’ Consultation Paper. I am a Partners in PolicyMaking graduate and completed the first Paradigm / In Control ‘Brokers for Change’ programme, providing training for those committed to brokering self-directed support. I am currently in my final year of a degree in Education, Social Inclusion and Special Needs, and I am an active member of In Control’s Community of Change.

I have experienced the opportunities and challenges of the education and social care sectors as the parent of two sons with labels of autism / ADHD/ Tourettes Syndrome / behaviours that challenge others; both of whom had a Statement of Special Educational Needs, now converted to Education, Health and Care Plans. Both my sons have experienced multiple placement breakdowns over the years and have moved through mainstream schools, alternative provisions, independent mainstream schools and specialist, out of authority residential provisions. I am currently very focused on creating opportunities for children, young people and their families to self-direct their educational experiences through transition into adulthood through Personal Budgets and Individual Service Funds.

I have worked in the social care sector for many years and have wide-ranging experience as an Assistant Director leading on transformation, modernisation and commissioning projects for a local authority, Executive Director of Operations for Real Life Options and Regional Director for Dimensions, both cutting-edge, not for profit provider organisations supporting individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities and those who experience autism to live the lives they want in their own homes in the community they come from by self-directing their support and moving person-centred thinking and practice forward.

Friday 23rd March

The benefits of person centred planning, how to make it work for you and your family.


Kath Bromfield:

"I am a mother to four children and am a very proud Mancunian. My background is in education, but as a parent/carer I felt unsure of the way forward until I went on a parent leadership course with Partners in Policy making. This really challenged my thinking and I then became Chair of Rochdale Parent Carers’ Voice. I am passionate about the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life, and an active trainer as well as expert by experience and person centred planner. I have delivered training to forums nationally and work closely with my own regions NWTDT/Pathways to ensure inclusion happens in all areas of our society, particularly for those in or at risk of hospital settings."

Will Case:

William as been an Independent Disability Consultant / Self-Advocate for 8 years. He first became a Disability Consultant after undertaking a national leadership course in disability equality and social justice, called Partners in Policy Making. William has gone on to work alongside some of the key organisations in the disability field such asIn Control Partnerships, MENCAP, The Council For Disabled Children as a CDC young ambassador and Alliance For Inclusive Education as viper researcher. He also contributed towards some of the UK government national policies on disability issues, such as the Family and Children's Act of 2014 and the Every Disabled Child Matters review into the Personal Independence Payments for young people. William now consults with many charities, organisations and local government bodies around the country.
In 2011 William was one of 100 people in the UK to receive a fellowship grant from
the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. William was actually the first person with cerebral palsy to receive a fellowship grant in the UK. His research looked into Best Practice of Disability in the USA, where he spoke to both people who run the services and the recipients. William also met some of the Self Advocacy groups who aim to ensure that the self advocacy movement is still active in the USA.
William is a progressive thinker and proactive in enacting social equality and justice. He has a deep commitment to inclusion rising from his own life experience.

Saturday 24th March

How to be part of society and your local community.


Joe Whittaker

Joe Whittaker has been actively promoting Inclusive Education across all sectors of education since he himself was expelled from school in the 1960’s.

It is his strongly held view that individuals do not have learning difficulties/disabilities but Schools Colleges and Universities do! We need to put our energies into working to overcome difficulties within our systems, by making them fully inclusive and fully accessible.

Joe retired from 35 years as a teacher with 25 years in Teacher Education encouraging teachers to start by welcoming their students into the learning process.

Joe is now Chairperson of The Alliance for Inclusive Education, campaigning for an end to segregated education. He has travelled widely and connected with people in many countries who express and experience the negative consequences from segregated and deficit approaches to learning.

Currently Joe is working with a group of very assertive individuals, who call themselves Quiet Riot, they do not use speech to communicate, but have a great deal to communicate about the world can be improved..

Friday 20th April

Focusing on raising local issues to senior managers. A chance to talk to local people who help decide what services exist in Portsmouth.

Saturday 21st April

Managing change and making things happen locally. How you can make a difference.

This training is FREE and is open to parent carers, children and young people and professionals working in the field of special needs and disabilities.

Lunch and refreshments are provided but do let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

The venue is fully accessible. You are welcome to park in the car park on the day.

For more information, please contact 07712 439 159 or email:

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The Frank Sorrell Centre

Prince Albert Road



United Kingdom

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