Brilliant to have seen so many of you for the second day of the conference!
I would like to thank Rebecca and her team, in particular Kay and Laura who have worked so hard on our behalf to make this event slick and well organised – which is difficult when you have so many speakers, and workshops to run. Bettina particularly like being picked up from the airport by a taxi who was holding a sign with her name (Kay immediately stated she was disappointed as they’d spelt Bettina’s name wrong – I’d probably pronounced it wrong but hope she will forgive us both).
I’d also wish to thank East Midlands Conference Centre, each time we come it gets easier, they know us, they know the format, and they are great to work with – thank you so much for your contribution to making our event so successful.
I want to take this opportunity to say a farewell but not goodbye to Lesley, our youth participation officer who is going off to grow her own charity working with victims of Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking in Derby – we wish her all the luck In the world and she knows we are on hand to support her with that development – so closely aligned to our own work. She has done an amazing job for us on youth participation and I know we will miss her.
Thank you to my team too, they work so hard, and cover so much and I’m not always the best at recognising their dedication, so I am doing so publicly, they always go the extra mile to help, they have some great ideas and they are so busy we don’t often have time to reflect and celebrate their achievements. Well done all of you, I am sincerely grateful to each one of you. Bina will be back from maternity leave next year. On 21st of May we have Kay Wallace joining us as our new Police Lead. Many of you know Mick Hudson, who did such an good job for us. I know Kay will be equally valuable in our team, so welcome Kay.
So now its your turn!
You did an amazing job again this year on the CSE Awareness Day, the Thunder Clap reached an incredible 5.499 million people with more than 79 events happening across the UK, many are multiple events over several days and we know we weren’t aware of them all.
This is not a big successful event because its well run, the food is great or the accommodation is excellent, its great because you all invest in it, you embrace the extended family ethos we cultivate, you are enthusiastic, dedicated, passionate and committed, not just here but back in your work place. Someone once said it was her annual motivational boost, well its ours too, meeting you all in one place tells me we are doing something right.
Two delegates were overheard saying “each time I come it reminds me Im not on my own doing this work”. This group – all of you- are fantastic BUT we are all talking to the converted. You need to go back and encourage colleagues and your partners agencies to join us, to get involved with us, you need to spread the NWG word through your own networks.
Remember we are here to help if you need it, we are here to share if you have something worth sharing, we are here to help you celebrate your successes, tell us about them and we’ll share it. Keep going you are all amazing!!