Welcome and Introduction
The conference began with a bang, with our HeadStart Ambassadors, Kevin Pace, and Councillor Val Gibson being lead into the auditorium to the sound of Dhol Punjabi drums, played by HeadStart Ambassador, Aarun.
Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Councillor Val Gibson, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, who thanked everyone, including our partner organisations- Event-tronic, the University of Wolverhampton, Young Minds, The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and Time To Change - and other HeadStart areas - Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, and Newham - for their support in the organisation of the conference.
She also placed HeadStart firmly in the context of a city that is going places:
The conference was compèred by three of our wonderful HeadStart Ambassadors - Megan, Hannah and Cristina, who did an amazing job linking the sections of the conference. They were relaxed and engaging - no small feat when presenting to an audience of over 500 people!
The Ambassadors then introduced Fran Turner, our HeadStart Youth Engagement Assistant, and Kevin Pace, Head of Service for HeadStart Wolverhampton, who introduced delegates to HeadStart nationally, and to the model adopted by HeadStart Wolverhampton, including the critical importance of co-production to the HeadStart Wolverhampton model. See below for slides from their presentation.
The Ambassadors then returned to the stage to share Hannah's lovely poem "What HeadStart means to me", before introducing Paul McGee, aka The Sumo Guy, for the first keynote.