HeadStart Blackpool’s young people, young apprentices and staff members went down to London for a HeadStart learning national conference.
The Blackpool team presented in front of an audience of over 250 people, including the Duchess of Cambridge who made an unannounced appearance at the event.
The Blackpool team gave a joint presentation with HeadStart Kent on their approaches to resilience and co-production. Co-production means that they run their programmes with young people, parents and carers as well as practitioners in their area being at the head of their programmes. This is because the people involved are experts in their own field based on their experiences, the involvement of these people keeps all the work that HeadStart Blackpool does as up to date and as relevant as possible.
The young people from Blackpool are at the heart of the HeadStart programme, supporting the organisation with every aspect of work, whilst gaining invaluable skills such as: recruitment, commissioning, training, research and resilience practice. This is exemplified by the fact that the young people were given the platform to perform in front of an audience in London, including royalty in Princess Kate herself.
Kieran Peck, 14, from Blackpool said: “I have gained so much confidence from this experience, being able to do a presentation to adults showed how much our opinions matter. Princess Kate was so down to earth and I felt like she genuinely cared about us and the young people of this country.”
The HeadStart Blackpool team’s work is always supported by an executive young person’s group and employment of peer workers and a team of young apprentices. They are all the faces of the resilience revolution. An organisation for the young people, by the young people.
Pauline Wigglesworth, programme lead for HeadStart said: “What an opportunity it was for our young people, they gave up their spare time, even over the Christmas holidays, to plan, prepare and practice their presentation and I couldn’t be more proud of them. It was obvious that the Duchess of Cambridge loved hearing them speak. Blackpool young people should be really proud of the work they are doing, they are part of the world’s first whole town approach to resilience and a huge part of leading Blackpool’s resilience revolution.”