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IMPOWER’s Heroes of 2023: 7 December

Sandra Ositelu

I am nominating Samantha Merry, Service Manager of the Rights and Participation Service at Leicester City Council and a qualified Youth Worker, in recognition of her outstanding work in children’s services. Sam has adeptly embedded the Lundy Model of Participation across Social Care, Education, and Early Help, forming the foundation of her team’s engagement work. Her efforts have significantly influenced leaders in addressing safeguarding issues with children and young people, encouraging them to prioritise the young person’s voice in developing safe and supportive strategies.

Sam’s work has been pivotal in amplifying children and young people’s voices in various forums, supporting them in understanding their rights, and developing self-advocacy skills. We were really excited to have her as part of this year’s Big Chat series at the National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCASC). During a fireside chat about local authorities’ co-production journeys, she spoke about the work of her and her team. She shared her consistently creative methods of engaging children and young people, notably through a podcast series about children’s experiences in care, an idea that originated organically from the children themselves. This exemplifies her organic approach to developing her work and her team’s contributions in the sector. Samantha always ensures that the voices of children and young people reach the right audience, and harbours big dreams of integrating these voices more consistently into commissioning processes. Her visionary and impactful work makes her ‘one to watch’ in the field.

Written by

Sandra Ositelu

Senior Manager, IMPOWER



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