More About SENDAC & Our Team …

Find out what SENDAC is and learn a little bit about our wonderful Parent Carer Forum Commitee Members!




SEND alliance Cumbria (SENDAC) is the official Parent Carer forum for parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs and disabilities in the beautiful county of Cumbria. Our role is to reach out to families and listen to your concerns and opinions about all SEND services in Cumbria, from EHCP issues to diagnosis processes & concerns about therapy! Armed with this Parent Carer feedback, SENDAC attend meetings & events with the Local Authority, NHS professionals, as well as other professional SEND bodies. SENDAC are an equal statutory partner and therefore, this allows us to voice your opinion to the people who can make a difference!

Then together we can shape and improve SEND services across Cumbria, with your opinions behind every decision throughout the process, also known as co-production. SENDAC are the parent voice of Cumbria, we make sure your voice is at the heart of every decision.

We have spent the last year working hard to establish relationships with our statutory partners and other SEND professionals. Working In coproduction with these professionals has enabled parent carers to have a voice that is so desperately required for the SEND services in Cumbria. We are currently working on area’s such as EHCP’s, sensory processing, the autism diagnosis pathway, the autism in schools project and so much more.

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Meet Our wonderful Team! 

All of our forum Committee members are parent Carers and SENDAC is something that is exceptionally close to our hearts. We all have the same passion to improve the lives for SEND children and their families and ensure they get heard.


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Georgina Grant

SENDAC Chair & Coordinator | Carlisle

Age: 25 | Children: One little boy, Age 4 | Employment: SENDAC coordinator | Hobbies: EHCP & SEND law, Studying, interior design and house renovations


A little bit about me– I have ADHD & dyslexia and I have a little boy called Archie, who is autistic, globally delayed, hyperlexic and has SPD, I am both employed and volunteer for SENDAC


Why did you join SENDAC? There is significant room for improvement in Cumbria regarding SEND and the support our children have. I am passionate about helping children with additional needs, as well as, their families. Parents are experts in the SEND world, they don’t just deserve to have a voice, it is essential that they have that voice.  Being able to stand for parent’s and Children with SEND and being the platform that enables them to get their voice, opinions and thoughts to those who can actually make a change in these areas is invigorating and an honour. Parents and young people’s voices matter, we need the correct people to hear them.



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Karen Barnes

SENDAC Secretary| Workington

Children: Two teenage daughters| Hobbies: I enjoy watching football and reading and I’m passionate about Italian food.

A little bit about me: My name is Karen Barnes and I currently carry out the role of Secretary for SENDAC.  I live in Allerdale and I have two Teenage Girls who are on the Autistic Spectrum. My eldest had a significant period out of education due to mental health issues but is now settled in a specialist placement.


Why did you join SENDAC?  I joined SENDAC to try to use my experience to benefit other families.




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Jenna Hanson

SENDAC Parent Rep | Carlisle

Age: 34 | Children: 2, son 12yrs, daughter, 5yrs | Employment: Project manager on the railway| Hobbies: II love to spend time with family & friends. I also love reading & have set myself a challenge to read 52 books this year!

A little bit about me– I am a parent to 2 children, one of whom received an autism diagnosis last year. In between playing referee to the kids, I work full time as a project manager. I am passionate about improving the information and services available to young people with autism and mental health struggles having experienced the frustrations first hand.


Why did you join SENDAC? As a family we are at the beginning of our journey with professional services and we have been completely exhausted trying to find out what’s available, what’s applicable and who can help. When the opportunity came up to volunteer with SENDAC I knew I needed to do it straight away. The platform not only allows me to provide a parents voice to the various partners, it also provides me with invaluable information to help my son.



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Sabrina Smith

SENDAC Parent Rep | Carlisle

Age: 33| Children: 2 children, Ava & Oliver, one primary age, one secondary age | Employment:  Higher level Teaching assistant | Hobbies: paddle boarding, hiking/running, calligraphy

A little bit about me: I’m currently acting chair of SENDAC, our aim is to help families and children’s voices be heard throughout services. I also work in a local school as a higher level teaching assistant, where I work closely with young people with SEND. I have two children, one with additional needs.


Why did you join SENDAC?  My passion is to improve outcomes for these young people, and I believe that having family Voices at the centre of conversations and decision making, through SENDAC, will help to make this possible.




Jilly Russell

SENDAC Parent Rep | Carlisle

Age: 33 | Children: 2 girls, 10 and 7. Husband age 39 ¾ (also like a child!) | Employment: Just finished university and trying to decide on my next steps! | Hobbies: Eating, laughing, generally acting like a big kid, travelling

Why did you join SENDAC?

I originally joined last year when it was forming and was co-chair for most of 2021 but had to take a step back due to my university work. I joined because I felt lonely, frustrated, and let down.

I want to make sure that all the children and young people in Cumbria with SEND have the support that they need and are entitled to, and I want families to know what they are entitled to. This has led me to the IPSEA law courses which I am currently studying from home.



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SENDAC Leaflet





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SENDAC c/o Cumbria Family Support The Office, Mardale Road Penrith Cumbria CA11 9EH

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