I was invited, along with Partners in Policymaking graduates, to
attend a reception at the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2017.
The room was full of invited ministers and members of the Scottish
parliament, and the event was sponsored by Fulton MacGregor
I began the presentation with a brief history of how Partners in
Policymaking came about, how it has developed over 21 years and
Scotland's part in this. I was followed by Jaynie Mitchell, the
Scottish coordinator, and then we heard from four graduates who
shared very powerful stories of how their lives, and their
children's lives, have changed following Partners.
Fulton MacGregor spoke again at the end of the presentation,
saying how he hadn't intended to say anything more, but was so
moved by what he'd heard that he felt compelled to respond. He told
us that he used to be a social worker and hearing from the
graduates made him feel that at times he had been part of the
problem, not the solution. He vowed to champion Partners and would
try to get continued funding.
The next day, Nicola Sturgeon got in touch with Jaynie and said
that the feedback was so wonderful that she wanted to find out
Update on current Partners in Policymaking courses
The current courses, taking place in Newcastle and London, are
going well, with two very different groups of people.
So far, the participants have heard about the history and
perception of disabled people, along with the history of the
parents movement, helping us to understand why things are the way
they are. Again it struck me how we still hear the same
conversations over and over, not changing much over many years.
We had a new presenter, Andy Walker, who was brilliant and
really inspired both groups, helping them to realise the importance
of planning ahead. Julia Erskine and I gave an overview of
person-centred planning and support plans, and we did some live
planning using PATH and solution circles.
One of the difficulties in London was fitting
everything in the programme into such short days (10am-3:30pm),
leaving many with questions. It would be great if we could get
funding to run a person-centred workshop with those
participants in London who wish to learn more.