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PARC (Essex) was developed by a group of parents back in 1995 due to the lack of support and play opportunities for children with additional and special educational needs.


We have now grown to help over 470 families in the Essex area and this number continues to rise every year. We have a range of children on our books and we provide support from a very early stage, including children with speech and language difficulties, autistic spectrum, epilepsy and those with physical

and learning difficulties.


All our services are provided at a greatly subsidised rate for children, young people and their families.  


Find out how you can Get Involved with PARC here.





"PARC (Essex) gives children with disabilities the chance and opportunities other children have,

to have fun in a safe environment designed to meet their needs."


An Open Letter from our CEO with regards to the outlook of PARC


Dear parents and carers,


I am writing to you on behalf of myself and the trustees to put to rest a few matters that may have been causing some concern.


Firstly, I would like to let you know that Andrew Rutter, one of our trustees, has resigned from the Board. Andrew has served as a Trustee for more than six years, and both myself and the other Trustees would like to thank him for his hard work over this period of time. Andrew has resigned in order to spend more time with his family and whilst we are sad to see him leave, we fully understand his reasons. We wish him all the very best for the future.


The next matter relates to information that has been brought to my attention by some of the parents of our service users.


I understand that there has been some concern from parents of service users that PARC may not continue as a service for children. At recent board meetings we have discussed how we can help our service users as they move into other settings, by providing more information about the services available to them after they leave PARC.


However, we are a service for children and young people aged 0 to 25, and we have no intention of moving away from our prime objective which is to provide play and recreational facilities for children with additional needs and short break care for their families and carers.  


Another matter has also raised some concern amongst a few parents.


As a charity we must cost all of our services, so we understand how we are spending our money. On a Friday we hold a coffee morning for the parents of our service users and the costing the coffee morning showed a loss.

It is currently only used by a few parents albeit those same parents are regular attenders. It has come to my attention that these parents have become concerned that the coffee morning will close.


As you are probably aware, we are facing a challenging fundraising environment, as are all charities, due to economic uncertainty. This is impacting on private and corporate donors, and that in turn is putting more demand on the large foundations and trusts, which like all other small charities PARC relies on. 


We obviously have a duty to achieve best value from our scarce resources and whilst we know how important the coffee morning is to the parents who use it, we want to understand why it is not used by more parents. To this end we will be sending out a survey to all parents, so we can find ways of improving and growing the coffee morning. However, I can assure you, at this time, there is no intention of closing the coffee morning, and in fact, we hope it can be a support to more of our parents.


I do hope you will take the time to complete the survey (regardless of whether you are a current user or not) so that we can provide you with the support you need from our Friday coffee morning, now or in the future.


The aims of myself and the trustees is to ensure we have a financially sustainable, high quality service going forward, providing the best possible facilities we can for our current and future service users.


Should you wish to discuss any of these matters further, myself and the chair of trustees, Janet Perry, are more than happy to meet with individual parents of service users. Please do contact me if you would like to take up this offer.


Yours faithfully


Louise Thain 


Click the circles for more information on the PARC (Essex) Story

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