Children's commissioner 'inspired' after visit to Blackpool to see work done to give youngsters the best start

The new Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza said she was inspired by her visit to Blackpool.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:30 pm

The woman whose job it is to stand up for children's rights and services nationally visited key community sites such as Palatine Library, Revoe Park and @TheGrange and looked at the investment Blackpool Better Start has made into local libraries and parks and open spaces.

She got to see the work being done to boost children's early prospects in some of the most deprived areas of the UK. There was also a roundtable discussion on the trauma informed approaches that are being implemented across the town.

She said: “I was delighted and inspired by my visit to Blackpool.

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Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel De Souza visits Palatine Library and Revoe Park on a tour of Blackpool.  Pictured L-R are Sir Peter Wanless CEO of NSPCC, Clare Law director of Centre for Early Child Development, Katie Fisher children's commissioner officer, Dame Rachel De Souza and Hannah Connell from NSPCC.
Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel De Souza visits Palatine Library and Revoe Park on a tour of Blackpool. Pictured L-R are Sir Peter Wanless CEO of NSPCC, Clare Law director of Centre for Early Child Development, Katie Fisher children's commissioner officer, Dame Rachel De Souza and Hannah Connell from NSPCC.

"I’ve been so grateful to the half a million children who responded to our Big Ask survey giving us such insight into their hopes for the future but there’s only one thing better and that’s getting out and meeting those children face to face and the adults who work with them.

“What impressed me was the innovative partnerships I saw delivering for babies and children and the willingness to explore new ways of doing things. Looking to the future we need to reform and invigorate children’s social care, and what I saw in Blackpool could form part of the way to do that.

"Actually seeing for myself, and above all meeting and talking with children about their day to day experiences is exactly what this role is about. It’s why I am so grateful to the half a million children who responded to our “Big Ask” survey in recent weeks and why I’m also really grateful to all those who’ve made this visit to Blackpool possible.”

Clare Law, director of the Blackpool Centre for Early Child Development said: “This visit provided a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate Blackpool Better Start’s innovation and vision by introducing the Children’s Commissioner to the families and staff involved in the initiative.

Dame Rachel De Souza with Jamie Herczeg, 2.

"We hope that by sharing our insight and learning, the vital work we are doing in the town will help shape early years policy nationally.”

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Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel De Souza visits Palatine Library
Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel De Souza visits Palatine Library