Jane and Jo, from our Parent Support Group team, stand against a pink wall, each with their right arm raised and hand cupped, touching each other, to make a heart shape. Lovely Jane and Jo are smiling at the camera.

About: Parent Support Group

Our free, fortnightly peer-led Parent Support Group is a safe place to meet others and talk about the issues our visually impaired children face and share solutions that others in the community have found. The group is organised by Jane Ring, Parent Support Officer at LOOK.

The LOOK Parent Support Group is a free, fortnightly, online group led by our Parent Support Officer, Jane Ring.

We meet via Zoom every other Tuesday evening, and we are planning lots of great sessions this year. Please email any topics and questions that you’d like covered to parentsupport@look-uk.org.

We would love you to join us and talk about your experiences of supporting your Visually Impaired children and helping them navigate the very visual world we live in. Share your feelings, frustrations, ideas and coping strategies. You don’t have to feel stuck or on your own, our growing community of parent carers want to listen, support, offer advice and reassurance.

Let us know what questions you may have and what topics you’d like to discuss?

Tell us what information or advice you need – we will get it for you!

Or just come and have a listen and a friendly chat with people who are in the same boat as you.

Be a part of LOOK’s supportive community.

Please email any topics and questions that you’d like covered to parentsupport@look-uk.org.

To all professionals or organisations who would like to take part in these chats and offer support to our community of parents, please contact parentsupport@look-uk.org

We hope to see you!

Parent Support Group sessions coming up

The dates for our next free, online Parent Support Group meetings are:

Tuesday June 13th: Chat Session where you can meet other parent carers of  blind and partially sighted children and get advice, share information, and tell us how things are, all within a supportive environment.

Book your place here.

Tuesday June 27th: Information Sharing Session on ‘Making the most of the holidays‘. Accessible trips, mini breaks and days out with our blind and partially sighted children. Share your ideas, places to go, and ways to ensure the whole family has the best possible experience. We will also have information to share about what is being provided over the summer holidays for our community.

Book your place here.

For more on the focus for each of these dates and booking forms, please click here.

Catch up on recent Parent Support Group sessions

Catch up: Encouraging Positive Participation in Sport (April 2023)

Catch up: Mental Health & Anxiety (May 2023)

Our fortnightly Parent Support Group alternate between chat sessions, where our parent community can share and listen, and panel sessions and workshops. The information and learning sessions are recorded and shared on You Tube / our website so you can catch up late and pass on to others.

Testimonies from the Parent Support Group

“It’s knowing how to get round the brick walls some Local Authorities build up. Together we’re finding routes to get round the barriers.”

“We are all warriors.”

“I have been so worried about my son [17 years old with sudden sight loss due to a genetic condition], but he is showing me that he is going to be fine and I am letting him go. Listening to all your stories helps me know he will be alright.”

“The support from this group has been the strength I needed to get through this last year of fighting. All your wisdom and knowledge help.”

How to join our Parent Support Group

All participants are required to register for each individual session they would like to attend. New members should choose a ‘new member’ ticket. Returning members should choose a ‘returning member’ ticket for a faster registration.

Registration for these events closes 2 hours before the start time, at 17:30 GMT on Tuesday.

This event will be recorded to comply with the LOOK safeguarding policy. This recording will not be shared without your consent.

All LOOK online events are hosted on the Zoom platform. Zoom meeting details are provided by email to those who have registered to attend. You can read our guide on using Zoom to join LOOK online events here.

Guidelines for our Parent Support Group

As we often have new parent carers to the group and want everyone to feel safe and included, our team have come up with a few guidelines to ensure the best experience possible.

1. While we understand that family life can get in the way please make sure you are with us by 8pm (we open the meeting at 7.30pm, so we have time to say hello and settle in). This ensures you get the most out of the group and that everyone has time together with as little disruption as possible.

2. We encourage a place where you can share whatever is happening, but please be mindful of the feelings of parent carers who are new to the group and just starting out on this rocky journey.

3. Each family’s experience is different and there will always be space for different perspectives and solutions.

4. Bring all your difficult feelings to the group and know you will be heard.  LOOK will also ensure that we remember the positives that our children bring as well as ways around the barriers.

5. Everyone who attends will get the chance to speak if they want to whilst being aware of the time. There will be an equitable system worked out among LOOK staff and participants.

6. Please register each time you would like to attend before 5.30pm on the day. This helps us plan the session, consider everyone’s needs and makes administration far easier for the LOOK team. We will make allowances when necessary as we do not want anyone to miss out.

Resources for our Parent Support Group

We also have a fantastic online resource which is updated regularly, featuring issues raised during our sessions, tips and advice. We are currently updating this and will be relaunching it at the end of April 2023. In the meantime, if you are looking for a specific resource, please contact Jane Ring. For early years help and advice click here.

Meet Jane, Parent Support Officer at LOOK

Image of Jane (far right) with long, thick strawberry blonde hair, and wearing a green dress with white polka dots

Meet Jane

Jane is the Parent Support Officer at LOOK. Jane’s daughter, Chloe, was born profoundly deaf and severely sight impaired. Jane says, “If I stop and remember that time I still can feel echoes of the shock and sadness. I knew I could not go back to work as my job now was to help Chloe learn everything she needed to with such limited sight and no hearing.” Jane had worked in theatre in communities, prisons, and education settings, before moving into working in disability arts development. Throughout her working life, Jane’s drive has been to give marginalised people a voice. 

Chloe is now 14 years old and is now a residential student at New College Worcester. Chloe has a Buddy Dog called Sapphire. “Chloe is a wonderful girl with a unique attitude and sense of humour that comes from how she experiences life.”  

Jane’s husband, Neil, has hearing loss and a degenerative eye condition. Jane is a determined, open, compassionate person with a strong understanding of the social model of disability. She runs the fortnightly LOOK Parent Support Group, a free online space for parents and carers of VI children and young people. 

“Our voices and those of our amazing children and young people should grow louder and make the change that is desperately needed for true inclusion in our world. If our support makes a difference then I know I have done a good job.”

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