We recently held our first conference since 2019 to celebrate individuals, teams and YOU. Over the past three years our teams have consistently shown professionalism, dedication and comradery. Even during lockdown, they put the people they work with first while maintaining the highest level of practices. With that in mind the theme of the three individual days was ‘Celebrating You’.
The Celebrating You Conference 2022 saw teams from Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight meet up to discuss a range of issues. And in many cases, meet face-to-face for the first time. We’ve had many new colleagues join us over the last few years, and with COVID it’s been impossible for everyone to meet face-to-face. This was one reason we were so excited to attend. Almost 500 people attended over the three days, which is a record for us.
Each day started with music from our in-house band, led by Paul and accompanied by Lewis from My Learning Cloud and Karen; her first stage performance. This set the celebration tone for the day, with refreshments and pastries leading to the opening presentation from Group Chief Executive Nicki Youern. Nicki looked back at the evolution of the Charity and offered some interesting anecdotes about how the name ‘YOU’ was chosen. Nicki shared fun stories that even included meeting King Charles III, though he was Prince at the time!
Group Director of Finance Paul Taylor-Toms (recovered from his earlier musical performance) took the stage to give a light hearted and fun financial overview of the Charity. It managed to include that his musician’s name is Lucas Green and that he has songs available on Spotify (among other platforms, of course).
Leading us into lunch was a session titled ‘Celebrating You’. Presented by Group Director of People, Culture and Organisations Development Jane Cracknell and Directors Tonia Redvers and Alison Cordwell. They showcased quotes from over 60 managers celebrating the work of their teams and how they have gone above and beyond over the trying times of COVID. Some were so heartfelt that the presenters had tears in their eyes, and all YOU staff cheered and clapped the amazing work of each other. Lunch offered time and space for people to mingle, chat and catch up, with some not seeing each other since our last conference in 2019.
Managers Quote Gallery
I’d like to thank our team for resilience, loyalty and flexibility.
They have supported each other and our young people with amazing tenacity.
We feel proud and lucky to work with all of you.
I would like to say a big thank you to the Darlington Road Team for their support.
The staff have remained resilient throughout and long may this continue.
I can always depend on my team to do a good job and go that extra mile for the clients.
They are always there for each other and myself to offer their help, advice or just a cup of tea.
I would like to celebrate the Children and Young People team, and our Behaviour Change workers, in Somerset for all the fantastic work that they do in supporting our children, young people and people causing harm.
The work isn’t easy, the days can be long but ask our residents and they’ll all say “this is the greatest team on earth, they make our lives special everyday”.
I want to give a big thank you to all our Managers and to those of who are new to the Trust.
Thank you for taking the challenges in your stride, having patience with our process and procedures.
We are enormously proud of the finance team and would like to give praise for the way in which they have approached recent challenges whilst keeping a professional and cheerful attitude.
I want to take this opportunity to say how proud I am to be a part of the Portsmouth Supported Living Team and thank each of the team for the support and care they have provided ensuring that the people we support have access to staff who they know and trust.
As the new manager coming into an established team you all made me feel very welcome… from day 1.
The interactions I see day to day with the service users shows that they appreciate everything that you do for them.
I would like to say a big thank you to our brilliant Paragon team who have all contributed to the development & success of the new service. We appreciate the valuable contributions of every member of the team. The teams’ unity and support for each other is shown every day. Your hard work and dedication over the past year have helped us ensure the achievements of all aspects of the service.
I would like to thank the whole team for their dedication and support through the challenging times we all went through.
The team here are always motivated, cohesive and person centred.
They Ensure that the clients needs are always put first and are innovative in their approaches.
I am so proud of us all and especially for us receiving the Freedom of the City from Portsmouth City Council.
You are all a GREAT team and it is amazing to see how we are all supportive of each other in work and personal matters.
It’s been a busy year for PARAGON Dorset, the busiest on record. We’ve seen lots of change in the team, including welcoming seven new staff members! I see how much the support we provide means to our clients as the feedback we receive includes phrases like ‘I wouldn’t be here without your support’ and ‘You helped me find me again’.
I appreciate all of my staff. They have worked well as a team and have supported myself and the Senior support worker to run the enablement service to a high standard.
It is with great pride that I honour every member of the team.
We have made a difference and we have taken care of each other in the process. Respect to all of you.
Over the past two years the staff team at White Wings and New Lane has been fantastic.
Their dedication to the job ensuring that all our clients have been kept safe and well has been inspirational.
I am so grateful to have such an amazing, resilient team.
They are energised, reliable, motivated and it’s my absolute privilege to manage them.
I would like to celebrate the sterling work, and level of dedication shown by the PARAGON Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS) team over the past 12months.
The team within SIDAS, are to be celebrated for the constant level of professionalism they have shown.
I would like to thank and celebrate all of my team efforts and their strength and flexibility in the Farnborough area during the last 12 months and way before this time.
I have only been in the role for a short time but already I am seeing how hard the whole team work to provide the best support for our people.
I just want to thank them all for the support they have given to each other and to me, I am very grateful for everything they do.
Your care, commitment and continuity remains steadfast.
As a team you are the guides of enablement, life savers and change makers.
I would like to celebrate all the hard work in developing the service, improving engagement with the residents, developing positive relationship with each and being an easy team to manage.
We have formed and built a strong team who are passionate, dedicated, professional and enthusiastic.
Sharing our ideas, knowledge and experience has built a fab set of resources and assessment tools that I am really proud of.
The enthusiasm with which the team handles the daily challenges is truly exceptional as well as the professionalism and the endless hours that you have spent improving the service.
I would like to celebrate the way my Outreach team have dealt with the TUPE process.
They have met all the team and organisational objectives and are making the most of digital tools and ways of working.
In the short time the admin team have been with us they have worked together, supported each other and demonstrated the YOU values.
The managers for Supported Living Eastleigh and New Forest have been an asset, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.
The team have been incredibly supportive of the changes that have been made. They have worked tirelessly through some hard times, such as being really short staffed, COVID and the transition of a new provider.
My Learning Cloud
I would personally like to thank our team at My Learning Cloud for all of their hard work and dedication in making the organisation what it is today.
My team have adjusted to the changes since joining the YOU trust and have made the transfer smooth for the people they support.
Partners for Wellbeing
There have been lots of changes over the last couple of years but the team have adapted to the needs of the service.
New staff joining has been fantastic, so lovely to see so much positiveness within the team. Exciting times ahead!
I would like to thank you all for welcoming me. I have enjoyed getting to know all of you.
The services are amazing, and it clearly shows your dedication in working in a personal centred way.
The Somerset team have worked really hard over the past 12 months with lots of changes to the service. There isn’t one member of staff who isn’t a team player.
The new teams that have joined us have been amazing, they’ve adapted to change, embraced new cultures and shown great values
Managers have shown great support to their teams as we grow and develop
The team here are always motivated, cohesive and person centred.
They Ensure that the client’s needs are always put first and are innovative in their approaches.
I would like to say a huge thank you to our amazing governance and administration team, our managers, supervisors, co-ordinators and seniors.
You have all been stunning, especially over the past couple of years, supporting all YOU teams during COVID, and bringing everyone back to face-to-face work.
I would like to say a big thank you to the Portsmouth Floating Team, the team have gone above and beyond supporting clients throughout COVID, keeping the clients safe and organising safe activities in the evenings.
I would like to recognise the whole team for being so committed to the people they support and their staff teams.
The biggest thank you is for ensuring the people we support have had consistency with the friendly faces of the staff teams they enjoy.
People & Learning
My team have achieved so much in the last 12-24 months. To say I’m a very proud manager is a massive understatement as my team have worked diligently and solidly, going over and above to fulfil what was needed.
I would like to thank every single member of the YOU Counselling team for being so resilient, hard working, adaptable and flexible.
Thank you for all you hard work and dedication, not only from me and the YOU trust but also the people we support and their families.
This team have so much care within them towards the service users & go out of their way to support the needs of each individual, I would like to say thank you for giving me a chance & welcoming me into your team.
Partners for Wellbeing
Your team spirit is unwavering, you support each other when the chips are down and celebrate in each others successes, most of all you make a real difference to the lives of the people you work with.
Thank you for your passion, determination and commitment to all of our clients. You have made a massive difference to each and every one of them.
I would just like to say how brilliant all my staff team have been with all going the extra mile when needed. A big thanks for the 17 years as your manager and all the help and support from you.
The team worked very hard to set up a large number of new sites earlier in the year. I would also like to thank MLC for this as many of their staff members volunteered to be an extra pair of hands.
I can really commend the staff team who have adjusted well with the transition into the YOU Trust.
They have continued to deliver good quality support to the service users and provided consistency and familiarity.
I would like to give huge thanks to all the staff who work across both my services, those that TUPE’d, the staff that moved from other areas, and the regular agency staff we use.
It has been an exceptionally busy 12 months for the domestic abuse service in Somerset, with unprecedented levels of referrals and each and everyone of the IDVAS has been superb.
The staff have supported our guys amazingly through TUPE transfer, ensuring continuity and person-centred support.
I feel so lucky to be working alongside such fantastic team managers who really do put the people they support at the heart of everything they do
I have recently started my role as senior DVA and feel like the team have welcomed me and supported me.
The team have come together to give our clients the best service and be there for each other.
As a charity that works across a wide geographical location, most of us connect virtually. This works wonders and has become part of the norm since lockdown, helping us stay in touch. But nothing can replace the connections that are made in person. Ideas flow quicker, inspiration is easier, and more is sensed and understood.
The focus of the afternoon session was the individual and the different hats we wear at work and at home. Jane shared how we often have a personal and professional identity. A study found that the further apart these are the more it can impact on our mental wellbeing. Her session focused on our 2021 Equality and Diversity Survey. Jane shared startling, interesting and amazing facts and figures, including that 68% of people working for YOU had lived experience.
Round table session
After Jane’s presentation, everyone joined in with round table workshops where people discussed related questions that will be used to inform our Equality and Diversity Action Plan.
- How can we utilise our lived experience better in the work we do?
- What else can we do together to promote inclusion at work?
- How can we ensure together that everyone can bring their authentic self to work?
- How can we promote/showcase our inclusion and diversity to the outside world?
Responses from each table were then collated by the Governance and Administration Team. What they show is the simplicity of how we can be our authentic self and promote inclusion. With ideas such as:
- being open minded
- praising victories
- taking time to talk and learn about each other and advocacy being repeated across all questions.
Events like this help us to bond, as teams and as an organisation. They remind us that we all matter, we are important and we should all be celebrated.
Thank you to everyone who came and to the organisers for arranging such a memorable conference. A special thank you to the staff at the Concord Hotel for catering to our every need. See you next time!