Update On Recent Events

Find out what's been happening at our recent events...

Community of Change Residential Event April 2017

Members of In Control's Community of Change gathered in Milton Keynes in April for the first residential event of the year. The gathering was a fantastic two days, packed with ideas and enthusiasm from speakers and participants alike. The blend of family members and professionals proved to be a perfect mix, with both groups sharing and learning together.

The event kicked off with inspirational talks from Andy Walker, sharing his plans to climb the highest mountain in Africa, and Will Case. Both were widely praised by the attending members in their unanimously positive feedback.

Andy Walker April Event

The solution circles and hot topics are becoming a regular feature of the event and give Community of Change members the opportunity to work together on finding creative solutions to difficult issues. Topics this time included: personal health budgets, how to make the most of the POET feedback we've gathered, co-production and community, good person-centred planning and culture change, working with schools, and early intervention.

The feedback from April's event was exceptionally positive, with one participant saying: 'Really great two days - really informative and helpful both as direct learning from others, but also as a space to reflect for improvement and development of my team and services users.'

Looking ahead, members suggested a number of topics to be covered at future events. Our next Community of Change residential event takes place on 17th-18th October 2017 in the north of the country, so make sure to put the date in your diary. The agenda for the event will be circulated shortly.

Thanks also to those who sponsored Andy. Sponsorship money from our Community of Change was dropped off last weekend and he wanted to say a big "Thank you!" to all who sponsored him both in cash and online.

Andy with sponsorship


East Midlands Young People Event

"Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving.

We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it.

But sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."

'I was asked to spend time with a group of young people to discuss and help them to understand the changes to special educational needs and support. On the day there were about twenty young people and six supporters. The young people's support needs varied from some of them having Autism, some of them didn't use words to speak, some had physical disabilities and some learning difficulties.

Because of the shortage of time and the fact I hadn't met any of them before, I had asked that each young person bring a prepared poster with questions about school and leisure time. The posters were fantastic; some had used photographs, some had drawn wonderful pictures. As each of them introduced themselves the posters went up on the wall, making the room colourful and friendly. The poster gallery helped everyone to relax.

I gave a brief presentation giving an overview and highlights of the SEND reforms. I also left easy-read versions for everyone. After lunch we used cards to help us see what resources we had in the room. This gave all the young people confidence and helped the supporters to see what a wide range of things the young people were interested in and able to do. I then split the group into two teams and with support they designed a 'mock' radio interview, telling us what was good about the education they had, and what worked well etc.

We ended the day by giving each person a chance to reflect on what they had heard during the day. This was recorded so that the people who had commissioned the day had something to take away.'

Lynne Elwell


West Berkshire Local Authority SENCOs: 'Looking at things from a family's perspective'

'It was pleasure to work with a fantastic group of SENCOs in West Berkshire. We spent the day putting our heads together and reminding ourselves why we are doing what we're doing and rediscovering what drives us to give the best possible to the children we support in these challenging times. It was really positive and vibrant day and I hope everyone got something out of it to take away with them.'

Nikki Dalgarno

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Last Updated : 12 May 2017. Page Author: philippa.barker.