Skylakes news

13 Nov 2015

Skylakes NCAS competition winner, Cllr Andy Coles, reflects on NCAS 2015

At the National Children and Adult Services Conference 2015 we were delighted to share the achievements of our social work delivery arm, Skylakes. Along with discussing how we have helped partner organisations respond quickly to improve outcomes for adults, children and families, visitors were keen to test their own agility with our charity challenge.

Contestants were invited to drive miniature cars around a ‘director’s desk’ on a computer, eagerly trying to avoid obstacles along the way, whilst completing the track in record time. With just a keyboard’s directional arrows being used to steer their car, it certainly wasn’t as easy as it looked!

Topping the chart at the end of the three day conference was Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Andy Coles, who chose to donate the Skylakes’ £1000 prize to Community Action Peterborough (CAP).

“I was absolutely delighted to hear that I had won the donation. I had no hesitation in nominating Community Action Peterborough to receive this rather unexpected windfall.

“There are 55 different community centres within the local authority area and CAP supports a fair proportion of these, and generally those in deprived areas are not supported by parish councils and run purely by volunteers.

“So many adult and youth organisations use the community centres, from luncheon clubs and diet groups, social and leisure clubs through to faith and minority community organisations. There are specialised services using these centres too, providing access to medical services for children and adults, befriending organisations for adults in social isolation, and helping those young people who are at risk of exclusion from school. There are also a number of early help services commissioned by Children’s Services or education providers that use the buildings.”

With Children’s Services being a key priority in his new role, Cllr Andy Coles, found NCAS extremely useful. He said:

“As a new Cabinet member with 2 months in the role I was delighted to be able to go to so many useful presentations, to speak to charities and businesses who deliver so many services to the Children’s Services sector, such as Skylakes, and to meet fellow Cabinet Members from across the UK, together with Directors of Children’s Services – this was an unrivalled networking opportunity for someone, like me, new to the role.

“I found the presentations on the Prevent agenda, FGM and CSE invaluable, the Ofsted briefing very illuminating, and the input from Paul Williamson and Cllr. David Simmonds on the Syrian refugee crisis particularly helpful.”

Community Action Peterborough is an umbrella group that brings together experience and effort to support vital community associations and other community groups who look after community properties in the City of Peterborough and surrounding villages.

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