Performance Poet Shaun Moore opened the ALLIANCE conference with this short poem
So, am doing my training too many years ago,
all the principles for practice that you need to know,
they kept stressing the importance of this phrase,
about singing the same song, being on the same page,
The pursuit of the prize, called “inter-agency collaboration”,
and here it turns out there’s this whole actual organisation,
who’re all about advocacy and representation,
a national intermediary for . . . well, national mediation,
Welcome to the ALLIANCE.
The ALLIANCE who said, “We Need To Talk”
We need to talk about integration,
and they talked, to their partners who talked,
constructive confab, two way communication.
Well, that’s the way we operate,
us health and social care practitioners,
impartial imparters, objective observers and all round active listeners.
But no matter how much learning has been shared,
how well everyone has talked the talk,
there must be action, which speaks louder than words,
there comes the time to walk the walk.
Action. Is the operative word, literally,
and thematically, the word in which today, is framed,
as we’d expect from a body who quote active words,
“Ensure, support, champion” as their stated core aims,
And what says action better than “Gaun Yersel!”
A beautifully spirited, joyous exclamation,
instinctive, passionate, and snappier
than “Self Management Fund: Strengthening integration”
A phrase not often heard, I’ll wager,
in posh hotels or at national conventions,
but powerful in its colloquial flavour,
“Go on yourself” is not an instruction.
It’s a shout of approval on a fitba’ field,
it’s happy abandon in a wild eightsome reel,
it’s a reassuring call, “you’re daein great on yer ain,
but we’re aw right behind ye, if ye need us, aw the same”,
Not an instruction, but a celebration,
from supporters and peers, an affirmation,
that carries priceless encouragement,
implies good outcomes, self fulfilment.
A phrase that captures the ethos of empowerment,
better than any jargon laden mission statement.
And with this conference, breaking with convention,
as well as being an integration of information,
we will give due, or overdue, recognition,
to the needs and value of “that generation”.
Changing that perspective too often seen before,
of that group of people, (that’s when they’re not ignored),
who can be disenfranchised, marginalised,
often ostracised, or even demonised,
All of which fits with the value base of the ALLIANCE,
inclusion and sharing is all underpinned,
the very name means a result of integration,
“ALLIANCE”, it does what it says on the tin.
And relevant in this Year Of Young People,
an age of confusion, of how to fit in,
integrating a tangle of hopes and fears,
finding a place among peers and kith and kin.
We can highlight the high value, of young people to society,
let them enhance and enrich, be assets to their community,
immaterial if that network is local or national,
as everyone in this room knows, it’s all correlational.
Mutual affinity, mutually beneficial,
at personal, local and national level.
And talking mutuality, we’ll talk mutual understanding,
mutual respect, willingness to empathise,
where an individual’s needs and abilities,
are respected and recognised,
and we find solutions and compromise
where we appreciate that the one size,
doesn’t fit all, so we personalise,
it’s person centred, it’s tailored,
it’s bespoke and individualised.
See, when a nation nurtures its young,
or any group with vulnerability,
If investment is a commitment from that agenda nationally,
and is implemented, complimented by agencies locally,
those people feel value, worth and pride, personally.
And also today we’ll be looking at the price,
how to afford to ensure basic human rights,
maybe if humans get the chance to achieve their best,
they’ll repay that investment, with interest
the dividend is paid instantly as a positive identity,
internally and in that society, with whom they feel affinity,
and when you feel inclusion,
that you’re making a contribution,
both neighbourhood and nation,
are enriched and recompensed,
this equation is no soft hearted notion,
but hard headed business sense.
So, facilitators and exhibitors,
speakers, singers and delegates,
enjoy this, the ALLIANCE conference,
agencies inter collaborate,
go forth and integrate.