As may have been gathered from the gap in the blog, I have left the Progressio ICS Empower programme early. I wanted to wait until I had my debrief in London before I updated as I did not think it would be fair for me to talk about the negatives before I had the chance to sit down with Progressio and discuss my concerns. I have not mentioned many of the issues that played a part in my decision to return early in the blog as I didn’t want to detract from the bigger picture. At the end of the day the ICS programme has the potential to be great providing some fundamental changes are made.
One of my main areas of concern was communication, or rather the lack of. After meeting with the Progressio staff today I am confident that this will improve in time for the next programme in October. In particular the communication between Progressio and the partner organisations who arrange the placements needs to be clearer and I have been assured that this will be improved greatly.
I do not want to focus on the negatives when Progressio are committed to making the necessary changes so for now I will keep schtum. What I will say though is that I am glad that I came back early as I do not believe that any changes would have been made had I stayed. I am not one for walking away but I had done all that I could in Peru to no avail and I was put in a position where the only action I could take was to return home and ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. The rest is up to Progressio, the ICS programme, the partner organisations, and the next group of ICS members and there is a chance that I will be among them. I have been asked if I would like to return if changes are made and if I do decide to go back I will probably be doing another blog. It’s the thing I have missed the most since returning!
It is unlikely that there will be any further developments related to this ICS experience so this will be my final post relating to it. Thank you for reading and thank you to the really special people who brought some great times to an otherwise disastrous experience. These special people were brilliant in organising a surprise cake on my final night with them in Peru, as well as making a card out of the cake box. God bless you all and stay strong for the remainder of the placements. You are all fabulous in your own ways and I look forward to seeing you again when you get back to the UK.