LEAP NEWS - LEAP Parent Champions go to Blackpool

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LEAP Parent Champions attended ‘A Better Start: Focus on Communities’ conference hosted by A Better Start Blackpool and also attended by the other A Better Start programmes from Nottingham, Southend and Bradford on Wednesday 1 March to Thursday 2 March.

Swinda Mark, Andrea Joseph and Sylvia Hylton were the LEAP Parent Champion representatives along with LEAP staff and Steve Griffin and Sue Pettigrew representing the Stockwell Partnership. Over the course of the two day conference they had the opportunity to listen to talks from community engagement experts, visit A Better Start Blackpool community engagement programmes and talk to the other A Better Start teams about how they use co-production and community engagement in their areas, as well as talking about the work LEAP are doing in Lambeth.

Among the guest speakers were Dr Paul Ramchandani from Imperial College London, Dr Crispin Day, from King’s College London, Helen Martin from the University of Glasgow and a special recorded talk from former advisor to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Dr Jean Lombardi. There was also a “Stormz” session from Alexandre Eisenchteter who got people thinking about what community engagement and co-production was and how it can be used effectively. On the second day the fresh early-March Blackpool air was braved as the A Better Start Blackpool team gave tours around their children centre programmes, community gardening initiative and fitness workshops.

LEAP director, Laura McFarlane said: “It was a fantastic few days looking at co-production and community engagement. Community is the very core of LEAP and we want to make sure we have the best methods in place to guarantee that our Lambeth ward residents have the power and opportunities to decide what is right for them.”