More than 170 people aged between 15 and 80 attended a ground-breaking care experience conference in Liverpool. The event, the first ever involving people who grew up in care of all ages in the UK, was held at Liverpool Hope University on Friday (April 26). Conference chairperson Lisa Cherry, who has worked in education and social care for over 30 years, said delegates “just wanted to be heard”. “It was a pleasure to be part of this conference,” she said. “As someone who grew up in care myself, I wholeheartedly agree with the messages coming out of the conference. “We just want to be heard and to improve things so that in future children in care feel loved and valued and achieve all the great things we know they can do. Just to live their lives to the full. “It’s not too much to ask.” Ian Dickson the driving force behind the conference said work is now underway to produce a report on its findings. “Now we need to capture the huge wealth of ideas expressed at the conference and use them to bring about change,” he said. “We will be producing a report soon – but as importantly we will be having further conversations with people in positions of power and influence. Watch this space.” One of the organisers Jamie Crabb, who also grew up in care and is a successful psychotherapist with his own business, said: “The feedback was so positive. People came from all over the UK and as far away as Australia who had not met each other before. “There was a great atmosphere of shared experience. It was heart-warming to see the care and support that people gave to each other during the day, which really contributed to what they took away from the experience.” Funded by charities and crowdfunding donations, the event was organised by care experienced people themselves. Such was the support from the care experienced community, children in care even sent in their pocket money to help it to happen. (For more details contact Greg O'Keeffe: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0151 291-3387) About Liverpool Hope University With a history extending 175 years, Liverpool Hope has a rich heritage that pre-dates many ‘red brick’ universities, but remains focused on the future. The University has two main campuses- Hope Park, Childwall, and the Creative Campus in Liverpool city centre. Both have seen major investment, so traditional architecture now sits beside contemporary buildings and facilities. • The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 places Liverpool Hope as one of the UK’s top 50 universities and 1st in the North West for student experience. • The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 survey places Liverpool Hope 2nd in the UK and 1st in England for graduate employment, with 98.1 per cent of graduates in employment or further education six months after graduating. • In the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), Liverpool Hope received Gold rating and is the only one of the three universities in Liverpool to get Gold rating. One in five Higher Education providers across the UK has achieved the Gold standard.