ICE Conference – an experience not to forget

This year's Inclusive Community Experience Conference has been an incredible - bringing together more than 280 people all dedicated to, and focused on sharing their experiences, working on solutions for building communities and achieving better outcomes and creating a sense of belonging for everyone.

Held on 26th to 28th January, the conference not only facilitated much discussion, but seems to have been a breath of 'energy' - reigniting passion about building more inclusive and engaged communities where everyone can belong.

This passion didn't just last across the weekend either - following a campaign to engage on social media using the hashtag #iceicebaby, the conference galvanised the wider personalisation community and created a healthy discussion and exchange of ideas.

A quick glance over the comments posted on either Twitter or Facebook shows just how much of an impact ICE had - it seems everyone felt very inspired by the event and the ground swell of conversation through social media certainly shows that it was not only an education experience but a very enjoyable one as well.

Caroline Tomlinson from My Life, the organisation behind ICE, commented on the success of this year: 'Ice the Inclusive Community Experience is an amazing experience that grows every year not just in size but with the differences it makes to people. Of course we have over 280 people attending, over 50 workshops, two 'Come Dine with Me' experiences and top quality entertainment by the community. It is really hard to put into words what happens but simply its a whole group of people supporting each other, people seeing the skills, gifts and qualities in others and really feeling like they belong. What most people say is 'I now get it", 'I can feel what inclusion means' and 'How on earth do you explain this to other people.'

'For too long we have perhaps been focusing on training people on the theory and not the real practice of what good support looks like and what community means. At ICE we have created a three-day experience bringing people together to share their skills, gifts and talents, the outcome is people joined in for the first time in their life, people had conversations with people that has creating long lasting friendships and for the first time we saw people smile and having a great time. It's a privilege to be part of such an extraordinary experience or challenge is to make what happens at ICE a real community experience across the country.'

In Control was pleased to have been able to support some delegates to attend by sponsoring a number of places. From the comments we have had back, it shows that the benefits gained haven't just stopped at the close of the event and will be something to continue enhancing and contributing to the work being undertaken to make our communities more inclusive for all.

To read a round up of the discussion around this year's ICE Conference, visit our Storify page.

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Last Updated : 10 February 2014. Page Author: marijke.hirst.