Together We Can Make a Difference

PODS Charity (Parents Opening Doors)

PODS is a grassroots parent carer peer led charity with staff and volunteers who have ‘real life’ experience to support families who have a child with a disability or additional need (aged 0 – 25 years).
PODS was set up in 2008 as part of the aiming high for disabled children strategy from central government, we are now a completely independent organisation having been supported by Parent Partnership in our fledgling years.

Our charity provides vital support to families with children/young people who have an additional need or disability. We do this in a variety of ways, through our forum and parent voice, befriending scheme, family groups and support sessions, children’s clubs and sessions, inclusive events and activities, key worker support, sleep support sessions, sign posting and weekly information ebulletins, coffee mornings with schools, workshops, and a training offer to other organisations around disability awareness and inclusion.

Parent/carer participation is at the heart of the charity via means of our steering group, annual surveys, workshops, and social media, to mention a few, this enables parent/carers to feed into us as a charity to ensure we are meeting their needs and requirements. Secondly it allows them to highlight problems frequently experienced by families accessing statutory services, this knowledge is vital for professionals in assisting them to improve how services are delivered, so they better meet families’ needs.
The steering group is made up of a diverse range of volunteer parent representatives (Reps) from a variety of backgrounds, covering knowledge and experience on a wide range of additional needs and disabilities. The Reps all have lived experience and undergo an inhouse specialised training program to develop their confidence and ability to both share experiences and challenge services in a professional and appropriate manner during strategic meetings.
Alongside this we host a befriending scheme, providing 1-1 peer-led support, this is particularly important to families who have a newly diagnosed child and/or in times of crisis and transition. The service is delivered by trained volunteers, who have both the empathy, lived experience and knowledge to support the family as a whole.
Supporting, uniting, and complementing the areas above are our inclusive events and activities, such as family support groups, activity sessions for the children, Lego Therapy, coding club, PFA (Preparing For Adulthood) Navigator and Perinatal & Infant Disability support worker.


PODS has a specific set of aims, that are designed to improve the health and wellbeing of those within the community it supports, as well as bringing about positive change and acceptance for future generations.