Published on 5th November 2021

Graphic for NCLB Leadership summit 2021

A leadership summit in Cheltenham brought together expert speakers and local organisations in an effort to improve provision for children to ensure they thrive.

This week (3 November) No Child Left Behind held its second Leadership Summit where leaders from organisations across the county came together to explore and reflect on how to best ‘work hand in hand’ with families to improve children’s lives.

Cllr Flo Clucas, member for safety and communities at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The summit was really successful in giving local leaders the opportunity to engage with each other about how we work hand in hand with families and also to challenge what we think we know and to find new ways of supporting families. I was delighted to see so many at the summit and would like to thank everyone for participating.”

Keynote and internationally renowned speaker, Cormac Russell, spoke about the subject of asset based community development and said: “The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Community Agreement, is a partnership that is demonstrating the importance of organisations in Cheltenham working together towards an alternative future with all the children of the borough.

“Seeing young people, their families and communities as key assets, flips the narrative from what’s wrong to what’s strong, and ensures that people who have often wrongly been defined as the problem, secure the power to redefine the problem and the possibilities. In this way we will ensure that no child is left behind, and that every child in Cheltenham can flourish forward fairly.”

Sarah Avery, manager of Family Space and founder of #FeedCheltenham, added: “Coming together with other leaders across Cheltenham was an enormously useful opportunity and a key benefit of our partnership with the NCLB Community Agreement. We are so much stronger together than we are apart and events like the NCLB Leadership Summit give us a chance to think outside the box about how we can deliver our service in a way that reflects the needs and wants of our families. After hearing from some really inspiring speakers, the key message we will take away is to keep talking with those we seek to serve so we can help and work together to bring about lasting change where it’s needed and not where us as ‘professionals’ think we know.” 

For further information about NCLB community agreement visit


The topic of this summit was ‘Working hand-in-hand with families’ and explored how our 70 organisations can effectively engage and communicate with families, understand their needs and identify those who are struggling, and put them and their needs/wishes at the centre of our interactions (including any support or interventions).

Leaders from across every sector were invited and breakout rooms topics covered: Helping families find their motivation, How to positively engage children and young people, and empathy vs sympathy.