THE EVANS COMMISSION
What is the Evans Commission?
The Evans Commission was created to give Young people and their families/carers an opportunity to participate in shaping the local authority’s Preparing for Adulthood Strategy and give feedback on how the work that the local authority are doing was impacting on young peoples lives day to day (or not).
This was done initially as a group of parents and their young people who met over several week to discuss the Preparing for Adulthood Strategy documents and establish what actions were needed to make a difference to services and opportunities available for young disabled people in Thurrock.
The SEND teams are currently working on this first action plan, and will give progress reports at each Evans Session, to ensure that the actions are undertaken, and this partnership work continues past the first year.
The Evans Commission will continue to meet regularly to ensure families and young people remain at the centre of discussions and planning around Preparing for Adulthood issues. These include; Education Training and Employment, Independent Living, Health and Wellbeing, and Community Inclusion.
Membership of the Commission is not formal, it is open to any parent/carer or young person that is able to take part. As this is strategic partnership working, there are elements of discretion and confidentially that may need to be observed. However, we are happy to support anyone with their own additional needs that may need help to take part. If you are interested in becoming part of the Evans Commission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. If you have any issues you think the Evans Commission should be bringing to the attention of the local authority, please click here to submit your views.
What are the Evans Sessions?
Each half-term we will be holding (on Microsoft Teams until we are able to hold face to face meetings again) information and training sessions for parents and carers focusing on Preparing for Adulthood. The young people themselves are welcome to attend.
Each month will focus on a particular theme e.g Education (college, apprenticeships, work experience) or Finance (direct payments, benefits etc).There will also be members of Education, Social Care and the PATT service to answer any queries or make appointments for further assistance.
At the start of each session there will be the opportunity for families and young people to hear from a Senior Officer from the local authority who will discuss the action plan and the progress that has been made as a direct result of the Evans Commission’s feedback.
Why Is it called The Evans Commission?
Ian Evans worked in Thurrock for 10 years. He ran both Thurrock Diversity Network and Thurrock Coalition. He was a passionate campaigner for the rights of Disabled People in this Borough. Ian sat on both the Preparing for Adulthood and Adult Autism Strategy Boards. He created the Plan on a Page for the PfA strategy and was totally committed to the aims of the document. Ian was diagnosed with bladder cancer at the beginning of 2020 and died on 1st June. He was 37 years old.
Ian worked for Thurrock Coalition, a User-Led organisation, and was an extremely passionate advocate for the disabled residents of Thurrock; he worked closely with many local, regional and national organisations.
He delivered training, consultations, and events to promote equality, human rights, and the Social Model of Disability – raising awareness of people's rights, responsibilities, duties, and entitlements and to remove physical, environmental, and attitudinal barriers that disable people, empowering others to have choice and control in their lives and the community.
Indeed, from leaving University Ian began his legal career at the United Nations in the Hague, followed by a period working for Refugee Migrants Justice in Bedford representing refugees with asylum applications and appeals, before joining Thurrock Coalition where he built an unrivalled reputation through hard work and diligence, and was admired and respected by many local professionals and residents alike.
Ian was loved by many and made a memorable impact on everyone he met. He was softly spoken with a dry sense of humour, but nothing was never too much trouble, he was generous with his time and would assist anyone if he possibly could.
He proudly promoted equality and independence and worked hard to ensure the local community had a voice; he was a very proud and dignified man, who hated asking for help as he valued his own independence and having control in his own life too.
Ian showed empathy and compassion to everyone. He loved his music, especially jazz music and often went to concerts and the occasional festival; his passion was to play the drums (not good when owning a VW Scirocco as it's a struggle to get a full drum kit inside) having obtained his first set as a young boy, the photo of this event was used to create our logo. He was an enthusiastic member of a local band and would look forward to their practice sessions and jamming with friends. His podcasts can still be heard on Thurrock Community Business Radio www.thurrockradio.org.uk
Although Ian is sorely missed by his family, friends, work colleagues, and many Thurrock residents, his legacy to us all will be the confidence and belief he instilled in the local community - that everyone is equal and valued and their voice should be heard and respected when shaping the Thurrock Community for the future. With these ideals in mind, we created the Evans Commission to create a platform and ensure a voice for young people and their families as they transition into adulthood with as much independence as they want, with the support that they need.