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Rita Dovey

Young Person and Adult Coordinator


Rita Dovey                                                                       

I was born in Essex and continue to live in West Essex with my family. I have two children who are both school-aged and require additional support, not just in education but on a daily basis.


Before becoming a parent, I went to university to study finance, and once I graduated I went into full-time employment as a senior accounts manager.

Due to the demands of family life, my illness, and the needs of my eldest daughter, I had to leave my full-time job to become a full-time parent carer.

When seeking support for my daughters it becomes apparent that support for your child is not an easy process, especially when they need additional support. I am a proactive parent and have taken any opportunity to learn how to best support my children, by attending courses and using resources that help them develop in the way that is suitable for them. On this journey, I have met some wonderful other SEND parent carers and it soon became apparent that we all are dealing with difficult situations and the lack of support and services for SEND families.

I started volunteering for the Essex Family Forum, as I felt passionate about the ethos the forum has. In February 2019 I was honoured to be asked to join the Forum team, as one of the development workers. After leaving my role with the Forum I went on to achieve a level 2 certificate in understanding children and young people’s mental health. I spent the next 18 months supporting my family due to the pandemic.

Whilst I have been in between employment I volunteered for a local food bank. Previously having worked in the voluntary sector, whose primary purpose is to create social impact and deliver better services to families, has made me passionate to continue to work in the not-for-profit sector. I also volunteered my time at my eldest’s daughter’s school and helped with coffee mornings and events held at the school.


For the last couple of years, I have working for Essex Carers Network as a coordinator to ensure the lived experiences and voices of families informs and influences the future landscape and opportunities for people with a learning disability and autism and their families in Essex.


I have attended many Pact for Autism support meetings for parent carers, along with my children accessing their fantastic activities from Wild and Wacky to exclusive swim sessions.

Charities like Pact become a lifeline for families to not feel isolated and alone. They also provide a space for parent carers to connect with other like-minded parent carers. There is no better support than peer support, it’s invaluable.

I am now excited for this fantastic opportunity to join the Pact for Autism team as a Young People and Adult Coordinator.

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