Partners come together to support ‘no one left behind’ mission

Published Friday 8 March 2024 at 16:16

Over 100 people from a diverse range of sectors across Blackburn with Darwen came together to commit to supporting the Council to deliver its ‘no one left behind’ mission.

The second annual Partnership Conference took place on the morning of Thursday 7 March in Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park.

Partners from various sectors in the borough – including business, health, education, employment, youth services, voluntary, faith and community organisations, and the Police – welcomed the opportunity to hear from speakers from the Council and other local organisations.  

Presentations and workshops were focused on how partners can work in collaboration to support those in the local population facing disadvantage to ensure they have the same access to opportunities as other people. The conference also provided an opportunity for networking.

Coun Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, commented:

As a Council, we are very much pro-growth – without it, our plans to grow the local economy wouldn’t be financially viable.

We’re also very aware of the strong links that exist between good quality housing and better health, culture and technology to drive innovation, and the economy and cyber.

The Partnership Conference was a fantastic opportunity to get a variety of people in the room to discuss how we can collaborate on bringing about the best outcomes to help our local communities to live a full and happy life.

Denise Park, the Council’s Chief Executive, said:

The event built on the success of our inaugural Partnership Conference which took place one year ago. We found that local partners welcome the opportunity to come together to hear from the Council and our partners on what our priorities are, and how we’re delivering them.

We cannot wholly deliver our corporate missions without engaging with local partners – we need to be aligned. This year’s conference was all about how we work together to ensure everyone in Blackburn with Darwen can make the most of the opportunities available in the borough.

I’m very grateful for those people who gave their time to attend – their input was very valuable.

One of the keynote speakers at the Partnership Conference was Martin Hodgson, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, who spoke about the Trust’s approach to health equity for local communities through place-based partnerships, as well as the employment opportunities they offer.

Martin added:

I was really pleased to be invited to both speak at the conference and be able to listen to some really thought-provoking updates from a diverse range of colleagues.

The philosophy that no one is left behind is absolutely exactly right. The Trust is both a major provider of health care and a major employer in the area and, as such, an anchor institution for Pennine Lancashire. I was able to share our innovative and progressive approach to health equity and equality generally for both patients and staff, but also my firm belief that only by working in partnership will we be able to achieve real change for local people.

I was also able to detail the great work we are undertaking with Department of Work and Pensions and the Prince’s Trust to provide employment opportunities. 

Attendees at the Partnership Conference were encouraged to give their views, suggestions and ideas on developing a set of pledges for the borough that will make a real difference to residents, businesses and the local environment. The Council plans to take all the suggestions made on the day, work with early adopters, and feedback in further partnership updates.

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