‘The best laid plans of mice and men’ they say. Or at least quote in these situations. The ACEs event was ready to go. We had the speakers lined up, set up to move the conversation forward from raising awareness. The plan for the event was for attendees to evaluate where we were, and what needed to happen next.
Everyone knows what happened next. The new virus that had been in the background on the news for weeks suddenly came out from over there and into focus. The lockdown became more and more likely. As we understood more about the risks of getting lots of people in a room together, the only sensible choice was to cancel.
As our recent (and continuing) series of learning log blogposts hopefully shows, the work of sharing learning and good practice doesn’t stop. We’re also conscious that this crisis will eventually end. We’ll emerge into a new world, a world yet to settle into a new normal or snap back into the old.
Good ideas are still good ideas, and we’ll be allowed to meet face to face again someday. With that in mind we recorded Deborah Job from Conwy Family Centres giving the presentation she was due to give at our event in Llanrwst. Conwy Family Centres were given permission to use their funding flexibly to provide services across the county instead of specific postcodes. Here is a link to the video
Taking inspiration from the already successful Family Centre in Llanrwst that had been running for several years, the decision was made to adapt the model and provide services in the same vein across the county. Conwy Family Centres provide a service focused on engaging and empowering families by building relationships and support networks.
Conwy Family Centres also focus on the difference that they’re making to the families they support, enabling them to help themselves. They’re also conscious of the social context in which they operate, working to connect families and support workers discreetly in close-knit communities.
The key indicator of success for Conwy Family Centres is the content of the family stories they collect periodically as part of their performance measurement. These stories are a potent reminder of the effect the Family Centres has had, and combined with social return on investment show a beneficial effect on the public purse that comes from effective early intervention.
This video was recorded early in the crisis, so reflects the initial reactions and solutions. We hope to arrange a follow up interview, to see how a predominantly group and face-to-face organisation has adapted to working remotely from each other and the families they support.