The event featured rounds of short talks on past, current and future research and a specially created video documenting the history and aims of CASCADE. Which included members of our Public Involvement Board and Parents Group speaking about their impact.

Dawn Boden from Health Care Research Wales, Wendy Larner the Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University, Tom Hall Head of the School of Social Sciences, Chris Taylor director of SBARC|SPARK, Sally Holland founder of CASCADE and Donald Forrester Director of CASCADE all gave uplifting talks on the role of CASCADE. A common theme across all the talks was the role that lived experience has had in informing and directing the research at CASCADE.

“…the most important observation about CASCADE, of course, is that deep commitment to involving young people, involving parents with lived experience of services in the running of the centre. And again, just so lovely to hear from some of those parents as part of the video, helping to set priorities for the research, ensuring that the centre stays true to its core values of collaborative research, co-producing.”

Wendy Larner VC Cardiff University, at the CASCADE 10 Year celebrations
Julie Morgan MS speaking to members of our group

The tone had already been set in our ten-year Podcast series. With an episode focusing on one of our Parents Group reminiscing with Professor Sally Holland about how they started working together ten years ago.

“Things have come a long way since the start of CASCADE, a whole amazing 10 years! At the Involvement board I came up with the idea of a podcast and then had the pleasure of being interviewed by the amazing Sally Holland. It’s been a wonderful journey.”

An Involvement Board and Parents Group member

The first project to be discussed in the research talks at the 10-year event was Dr Louise Roberts research project on “Supporting Parents in and Leaving Care: #MessagestoCorporateParents and their Parents Charter”. Dr Louise Roberts and one of our parents presented. They focused on the findings and how public involvement with Voices from Care Cymru highlighted the issue, informed the research and spearheaded the drive for greater impact.

It was a star performance and set the tone for the rest of our involvement group members, who moved between one-to-one conversations in their side room (well stocked with crisps and chocolate!), listening to all the other talks and following up with questions for the researchers and academics in the breaks.

10 years is quite an achievement and none of it would have happened without lived experience involvement. We hope this work continues to grow and further influence positive change in society.

Thank you to all of those who have been a part of the journey, and those that work with us currently.