Relationships are the key to driving real change It has never been clearer to us than in 2020 that relationships are the beating heart of our work. We know that we can only get to know children really well if we listen and build a deep and positive relationship with them and their families. According to our latest research, 92% of WLZ young people feel that they can ask their Link Worker for support. This is a clear indication of the level of trust between our Link Workers and the children they work with. We have also learnt that we can only take a really individual approach to specialist support – finding each and every child we work with the right support in the right way – if we have a broad and deep network of relationships with local organisations. “We have always recognised the value that our partnership with West London Zone brings, but during the pandemic, that value has become even more transparent: the deep relationship and trust that Link Workers have with their pupils, parents and schools, as well as the practical and logistical wrap-around support on offer to provide things like technology, have been crucial in enabling us to continue supporting pupils throughout this pandemic.”Head of Programmes at Team Up When lockdown struck in March, it was these deep relationships that enabled us to pivot and immediately facilitate the emergency support families needed through the collective power of our network. Over summer, schools trusted our Link Workers to help prepare anxious families for the return to school, understanding that our relationships with those families meant we were best placed to do that.And this last term, those relationships have enabled us to be embedded every day in schools, working to support children in a very challenging environment.This year we have learnt that we must continue to put the children we support at the centre of all our work. It is the relationships we build with and around the children that are the key to understanding them, and getting them what they need to get on track to thrive in adulthood. Louisa Mitchell, CEO Sign up to our newsletter here to receive an insight from a different West London Zone member of staff every month.