What people say about Partners in Policymaking

This page hosts a collection of video clips of people talking about their experiences with Partners in Policymaking

Hear from Jullian Bellew

Hear from Paul Kitto

Hear from Shona Claydon

Hear from Alice Parsley

Hear from Merseyside Partners

Hear from Sonja Elliott

Hear from Polly Mears

Hear from Carol Haynes

Hear from Penny MacKay

Hear from Marianne Selby-Boothroyd

Hear from Avril Mendel

Hear from Susan Smith

A Different Way by Gill McDonald

'Today, I was reminded of the day my beautiful boy was assessed and given the first of many "labels" by a professional person, who gently broke the news that he would have to be educated differently from the majority of children because he has this label.

He was nearly 10 years old. We were told of things he would never be able to do in his adult years. Driving, having a job, passing exams, achieving awards for excellence, making friends, having relationships of a romantic nature, living without support, travelling on public transport… to name a few. We were devastated.

Then I met some trailblazing, inspirational people who showed me a different way. A way to believe my boy had the right to be included, to be valued, appreciated and loved. A way to work productively with even the most negative of professionals in the education system. To recognise my son's exceptional gifts and to nurture them.

17 years later, Paul has done all of the "nevers".

He was a fully qualified chef at 18 years old, he had won every award possible in college, and was runner up in Southport Young Ambassador of the year. He decided on a change of career in the last few years and has been doing a demanding job where he is appreciated and rewarded. He drives a new car and he is happy.

He still can't ride a bike, tie an apron behind his back, or close his eyes and stand on one leg at the same time. Who cares? He doesn't need to!

I'm not writing this to brag, I am writing this because today I heard of a professional with the same list of "nevers" that nearly broke another mother's heart. I'm saddened that this attitude still exists in places.

Our children have a right to be loved, supported, valued and celebrated.

I'm thankful that I met Lynne Elwell, Anne-Marie Whiteside, Margaret Murch, Jackie Leach, Siobhan Young and others who continue to this day to ensure that children with different abilities and gifts are included.'

Gill McDonald

My Journey So Far by William Case

Will took part in Partners in Policymaking course 'Sharing Knowledge' in 2009 and hasn't looked back since.

From feeling invisible to becoming a self-advocate working to bring about positive change in the lives of people who live with disabilities, Will shares his story in the following document.


View it by clicking the link below.

My Journey So Far by William Case


Feedback from All Together Better - Staffordshire

Here's what participants on Staffordshire's All Together Better 2 course, which ran from February to June 2015, had to say about the course...


"Thank you - to all of you for such a fantastic experience. I no longer feel alone but supported by a worldwide network. I no longer feel like I'm fighting, but keen to work in cooperation with services. Thank you for a life changing six months."


"Before attending the course I felt that my life was out of control and I had to leave my job. I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. I now have a new surge of energy and a network behind me to enable me to do things I never thought possible."


"Really enjoyed this course, think I have taken away not only new knowledge but a different attitude and fresh tools in my bag that will be in regular use. Also met some lovely people and hope to keep in touch."


"Thank you for the opportunity to become part of your network. I feel empowered and hopeful for a better future."


"This course to me could not have been any better presented than it was. To find how to resolve many of these problems is through knowing where to go for information. It seems to me they rely on individual's experiences i.e. mothers and family try to put forward their own problems hoping someone will listen. Most of their own information is sort by websites and people experiencing and sharing their own experience."


"Found the course very inspirational, should include social workers and commissioners in some part of the training. Enjoyed presenting to professionals and the respect they showed us by listening and giving positive feedback."


"Try to complete the course - it's fantastic and life changing. I didn't think I could do it because of my catering role, however I now know it has helped - THANK YOU."


"A fantastic course that is vastly different from any other course."