Hello everyone! My name is Sarah, I'm from down south originally but I've moved around more times than I care to remember. For the past few years I've lived in sunny Liverpool with my husband. I got involved with #careexpconf through Twitter, having met Ian and other supporters via the platform. The Care Experienced Conference is hugely important to me as an example of community-led empowerment and collaboration for social change. As someone working in services, I'm fed up of events where the communities being talked about are excluded from the conversation or invited in a tokenistic fashion. The care experienced community has a voice and can speak for itself!
The majority of people who have brought #careexpconf to fruition are care experienced and it's been my absolute pleasure to join them. As a group of volunteers we've had no government funding and in the beginning we had very little clue, but we've been powered along by enthusiasm, hope, the generosity of others - and biscuits!
I'm a clinical psychologist working in children's social care. Alongside offering consultation, training and therapy for trauma, a big but unofficial part of my job is advocacy and challenging the system of care - in part because my role is a privileged one and I see it as my ethical and moral duty to speak up and help marginalised voices be heard. I probably don't always succeed in the way I'd like, but I'll be damned if I ever stop trying!
My role in #careexpconf has been to think about and develop the pastoral aspects of the conference alongside team members Antony, Jamie and Jackie. Our priority is to make the conference experience as safe and comfortable as possible for all attendees. We recognise coming together and opening up conversations about the care experience can prompt a mix of feelings. This is inevitable and part of the reality that we wish to capture and convey to the wider world, but we hope to be alongside attendees and help make it manageable, and ultimately worthwhile, in a range of ways. Thanks to those members of the community who have shared their thoughts and ideas about this.
For those of you who will be visiting the city for the first time, Liverpool has a lot to offer, it is a safe and friendly place and I hope you enjoy your time here. I'm really excited about this event and I can't wait to welcome you in April.
Please get in touch if you have any concerns about attending the conference: