.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, January 22, 2007

A great loss

The death of Children's Commissioner, Peter Clarke, yesterday is a great loss to his family and to Wales. He was an outstanding advocate for children and was liked and respected by all who met and worked with him. He was a persistent fighter whose campaigns on behalf of young people have helped to set the agenda in Wales for many years to come.

Above all Peter was a remarkable communicator who was able to work with people of all ages. His sensitivity, passion and charm enabled him to win the trust of both children and adults, whilst his sincerity and the clear and straightforward way he put his case recruited many allies to his cause.

As the UK’s first Children’s Commissioner he is owed a huge debt for the way that he carried out that role, for the many causes he took up and for the way that he brought to the forefront the many issues that were brought to him by young people. In particular his fight to improve Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, his campaign for a national advocacy unit and his raising the profile of child poverty and bullying in Wales are important contributions to improving the life of many young people.

Peter Clarke’s annual reports often betrayed an impatience with Government and its failure to move quickly enough to implement his many recommendations. What is apparent however is that in many cases it was he and his staff who were setting the agenda and ministers who were struggling to keep up. His death leaves a huge gap in Welsh public life and for all those who he championed. He will be sorely missed.
It is a tragic loss not only for Wales but more importantly the children of Wales. He was a pioneer and an asset that cannot be replaced. He set the standard for Ministers to follow and he did it in a forceful but workable manner.
What will Wales do without this champion of children, I do not know and I fear that Wales is a poorer place without him. It is now up the the Government to still listen to his words and not let the work that he did go by unheeded.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?