Stronger Together Conference
On Tuesday 6th June 2023 the University of Liverpool hosted Stronger Together an event dedicated to care experienced researchers and artistic expression.
Saira-Jayne as one of the team of directors at Your Life Your Story supported with the design, development and delivery of the event which was a co-production brought together by PhD researchers at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, practitioners from the field of children’s social care, and Your Life Your Story.
Unleashing the power of relationships and untold stories is at the heart of Your Life Your Story (YLYS) - using the Arts as a communicative tool, the organisation brings together care-experienced adults and caregivers to explore the shared journey of care, to express difficult emotions, document experience, expose injustices, overcome obstacles, celebrate diversity, and stimulate innovation. But, for innovation to be effective, impactful, and ethical, we need research. Scientific research is the most reliable and accurate means we have of expanding knowledge and improving services for future generations. And so, in acknowledgement of their mutual societal value, this event brough together the worlds of science, the arts and, lived experience, to innovate and, promote independent, impactful research. Our ability to improve children’s social care services for future generations is stronger when we are united. We are stronger together.
This lively, interactive and engaging event included a keynote presentation from Saira-Jayne which was inspired by her own lived experience, and explored how creativity can be used as a tool for connectivity & relationship building, the power of creativity in healing from trauma & adversity, and how we can all use creativity and artistic expression as a resource to support physical and emotional development & self care.
Guests were then taken on a journey through their own creative expression with visual arts workshops led by Saira-Jayne, and a ready supply of all things sticky, sparkly and colourful.
In celebration of the communicative power of creativity & the arts, a range of Saira-Jayne artworks were exhibited, alongside a whole host of incredible submissions from the wider care experienced community.
The event was supported by guests from across the UK, including individuals with lived experience of the care system, Managing Directors of Social Services, representatives from Local Authorities, researchers, professionals, charity organisations and care & support providers working within the field. All coming together with a shared motivation to #BeTheDifference for those that follow & future generations of care experienced people.