The Participation Annual Report has been approved by senior management, and its introduction should start with a public thank you to all the Participation Leads and colleagues that have contributed to its success. Participation is everyone’s business and, thankfully, the Isle of Wight has not been caught short of willing workers, whether it be sharing examples of participation, booking families on to have your say week, or supporting a come dine with me session, we would not be able to achieve what we have without you all.
Nationally, the Island is held in very high regard for its participation offer. Other Local Authorities regularly make contact to find out what we do, how we do it and what good practice they can aim to replicate in their own authority. Coram Voice have continued its close relationship with the Island and this year we achieved a 72% response rate for their ‘Bright Spots’ survey – the best response rate in the country!
Whilst the small issue of a global pandemic did manage to postpone some of our larger events in 2020, young people were supported to continue to get involved and one of the unexpected positives was the inclusion of our young people that live on the mainland, in meetings and interviews. This would not have happened as easily prior to lockdown and the migration to online ways of working.
Lastly, thank you again to all the workers within children’s services, for your efforts to ensure that the voice of children and young people is actively listened to. It is something we do well and should be proud of.