Today will be the first parent coffee morning at school of the new academic year. I am hoping that it will be a morning to see old friends, but also hopefully some new faces will join us, some parents perhaps who’s children have just joined the school or some who’s situation has changed and now they find themselves free on a Friday. I am delighted that some of the core attendees have told me how much they have missed it over the summer, as we last met on the last day of term in July which seems forever ago. It is an opportunity for us to gather together and to let off steam and to share tales of the summer holidays, amongst an audience who understands the stresses of that long summer break with a child with special needs.
The cakes is a treat and is a talking point, but it is not really what it is all about : it is more about sharing and supporting. listening and talking and just being there for each other. The parent coffee morning will hopefully be a legacy that I will leave behind when Joshua leaves school next year and I have been talking about succession planning for a while now, as I really want it to continue once we are no longer around. So far there have not been any baking volunteers, but as I say, it is not really about the cake and biscuits, it simply needs the will to continue to meet and some nudging of school. I plan to visit sometimes in the future, to catch up with friends and see how everyone is doing, but it cannot be my party any longer. But we still have until July – another ten coffee mornings – to hand over the baton to somebody else, who may do things differently to the way I have done and perhaps it is ready for a shake up, to attract more parents.
There is another coffee morning in 2 weeks time, but this is a whole school event and not our usual parent one. It is tied in with the Macmillan fund raising national coffee morning and the whole school will get involved, with classes baking and donations will be sought. Other parents from other special schools within our Trust will be invited too, so that will be a much more significant affair. Again that is not my party and although I plan to donate a cake and will send Joshua to school with some cash to donate, I will be away for a long weekend for my birthday. Baking makes people smile and happy, and this well promoted national fund raiser is for a great cause too, so everybody wins if it brings people together too.
Right must dash, I have some cheese straws to make!