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Steve Walker22 Nov 2022 - 22:00
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New Committee role will focus on players with special educational needs, learning disabilities and autism

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Panthers’ first dedicated INCLUSION & DIVERSITY ADVISER – Gemma Cooper.

Gemma will work with our coaches, players and parents to ensure that all Panthers players are given the best possible support while at the club - with a particular focus on those with special educational needs, learning disabilities, autism and ADHD.

Not only is Gemma a Panthers Mum – she has three sons playing for the club and a daughter who has coached the Pink Panthers – she also has more than 20 years of personal and professional experience in this area. She currently works for West Sussex Autism and Social Commitment team (ASCT) and before that she has worked supporting adults and children with learning disabilities and mental health problems in the community, residential settings, in schools and early years settings. Within her own family, Gemma has members with Autism, social communication and sensory differences.

Using this wealth of experience, Gemma will be on hand to provide advice and support to any coaches or parents that would like to discuss these issues and to ensure that we can support all players to get the most enjoyment out of their training and playing experience.

Gemma has served on the Panthers Committee for the last two years as one of our two Club Welfare Officers. As she steps into her new role we’ll be announcing her replacement on the Welfare Team very soon. Margaret Emney continues in her role as our other Club Welfare Officer and, as previously, can be contacted for any welfare or safeguarding issues.

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