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
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
'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.