Partners in Policymaking: Spring 2018 Update

October 21, 2018

Catch up on the latest Partners in Policymaking courses and news…

All Together Better, Portsmouth
As part of the Transforming Care agenda, In Control have been supported by NHSE and the IPC programme to start an ‘All Together Better’ course in Portsmouth, led by Lynne Elwell and Julie Stansfield.

The course sessions deliver both inspiration and information to participants, giving people cutting-edge information and confidence in the belief that people and their families have always been the true experts on what they need and want in order to have a positive, fulfilling and successful life.

Initial feedback includes:

  • “Thankyou. I have much more confidence in issues my child is facing.”
  • “I’m so positive and will go to the next meeting with solutions.”
  • “My mind is swirling, so much useful and helpful info, delivered in such a friendly and safe way.”


Rights of Passage, Hartlepool
Lynne Elwell shares about her work with young people in Hartlepool:

‘I have been working with families and the local authority in Hartlepool for about ten years now, running family leadership courses. I love working in Hartlepool for a number of reasons, the main one being that it’s always time well spent because the local authority there believe that investing in the families, particularly during these times of tight budgets, is money well spent. Disabled people and their families are there for the long haul. It’s important to train paid staff, but they often move jobs or away from the area. So training disabled people and their families means that there is a pool of well-informed people who can work in partnership with the people who support them.

Over the past 3 years we have been running a course called ‘Rights of Passage’. This is aimed at young people aged from 14 to 25 years who have learning difficulties, some of whom are ‘looked after children’. The course takes place over a week. I travel on Sunday to work Monday to Friday with the young people and some of the people who support them.

On Monday morning I usually find a room full of reluctant teenagers, but by Wednesday they transform into a group of passionate young people who do a mock radio interviews, draw posters about themselves, and start thinking and sharing about what is important to them and what they want to do in the future. On Friday we invite a panel of people from Social Services, Education, and the local council. The young people prepare presentations which they share with growing confidence. It’s wonderful to be part of. We share a Bill of Rights, and the young people go on to act as consultants, helping others to have a better experience if they need to ‘go into care’ or want to attend college, or get a job. It’s wonderful to be part of this ‘journey’ alongside young people who, in their words, ‘are the future’. Nothing about us without us.’


All Together Better, London
All Together Better is a citizen leadership course it was offered to residents in the London Boroughs started in March 2017, we held six sessions of two days a month and the course finished in September 2017, The course was free to participants and was funded by In Control, Certitude, The Avenues and NHSE Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) Transforming Care.

All Together Better is one of the courses based on Partners in Policymaking which has been running across the UK since 1996.

There were 21 participants from across the London Boroughs who made up an enthusiastic and passionate group, they worked really well together and London Partners have since formed a network across London teaming up with partners graduates from past courses and the wider national network of over 2.500 people

We were delighted to have the opportunity to hold a follow up day on the 23rd January 2018 at the Lumen Centre London, for the London partners to ‘regroup’. The purpose of the day was to hear from the graduates about what has been happening since the course finished.

The group has met once and intend to meet regularly, inviting speakers at each meeting on issues that are relevant to the group.

Each of the London partners both from this course and previous ones shared examples of what they had been up to since the course.

Examples included:

  • Several of the partner’s graduates have attended conferences and other events to speak publicly of the value of citizens leadership courses.
  • One graduate has been invited to Switzerland to speak about disability equality.
  • A couple of disputes which had been successfully resolved.
  • One graduate has been working with faith leaders using the strategies learned on the course.
  • The course has helped a self-advocate to get a job coach in order to help her get the job she wants
  • Their daughter is doing well at university
  • Their daughter recently had an interview for a job in Germany
  • One of the graduate is involved in D-CATCH project (access to childcare)
  • One of the graduates is now a lead trainer for Early Support
  • One is now a trainer for the ‘Expert Programme;
  • A couple of the graduates whose children were in hospital had found the support from the rest of the group invaluable
  • The graduates said the course had made a big difference when advocating for their children.
  • One of the graduates now works with the Children with Disabilities Team for a London Borough as an information and development officer and has written publications including 5 Resource Guides for parents and professionals. She also has run a charity for 9 years supporting preschool for SEND children raising over £200k for non-additional equip. She is on the mums advisory panel for GD: UK (part of Jeans for Genes) and has written many articles for a Turkish/English community newspaper about disability related issues called Seen but not Heard. She helped set up her local parent forum. She met the Mayor and talked about accessibility on transport and has supported families to contest decisions to exclude their children from school. She has made many friends and contacts within government; always making sure that issues that matter to our network are at the forefront of their considerations.
  • The all of the graduates said the course had made a big difference when advocating for their children

Lynne will be reducing her hours from April 2018, she has mentored many people for many years and so has raised a range people who will be supporting her to keep on building the Partners Network in the future. If you are interested in Partners in Policymaking courses please contact or telephone 01564 82 1650