I am now at home after a thoroughly pleasant, and thought-provoking day, firstly meeting up with colleagues, Ian, Ricky, Andy and Francis at Norwich Railway Station at 0750 this morning, travelling to Diss Business Hub to chair a major STOMP event (STOMP stands for 'stopping over-medicating people').
There were over 70 people in the room, including my NSFT Green Light colleagues, Sue Bridges, Sue Medley and Dawn Collins, not forgetting Hayley and new Adviser, Lauren, who I, among others, congratulated for getting the new Advocacy Adviser job. Twitter is my main source of information, which is nice to keep up-to-date with.
There was an interesting and thought-provoking, poignant array of speakers at this event including Carl Shaw and David Gerrard, both of NHS England, two, very significant other speakers that were unable to be there, Hazel and Paula, the latter, who is now resident in Australia, is campaigning tirelessly for her son, Oliver McGowan, who sadly passed away at the tender age of 18, due to being over-medicated against the families advice. As well as Carl, David, Hazel & Paula, well done, fascinating, hard-hitting personal stories from Andy, Francis, Hayley and Ricky, which also had a very powerful effect on the audience. Hayley, also, is a very talented poet and having assembled, all the thoughts, feelings, ideas/suggestions and placed all these into a poem, which I was happy to support Hayley with, initially, as there was a small amount of 'stage fright' setting in. Well done and thank you to Ian for offering all Opening Doors-related support and it was good to catch up and briefly talk about things which are not relevant at this point.
After lunch, we were running 10 minutes ahead of schedule, which was quite incredible. We had more interactive sessions in the afternoon, specialist pledges and non-specialist pledges were the order of the day, where we all arranged ourselves into those two categories, sat on the relevant table where us speakers were the facilitators on each table, with all feedback/opinions etc., are gathered by Hayley who wrote it all into a poem, so well done to Hayley as well for her ongoing poetry talent. We then had some fun and were being filmed for Twitter using sign language to the words - 'stop over-medication to people with learning disabilities,' so that was an interesting, additional aspect which was formulated as part of the Keep Britain Signing initiative.
Kieron, the 'David Bailey' of NSFT came along and took some artistic photos of us speakers, including both Sue's, Ian and Dawn, where we all lined up around the bottom of this spiral staircase and smile for England! The day ended at 3.50pm, ending with remarks from the Chair i.e. me., Sue and David, and also all the attendees of this event who all congratulated me on my chairing ability as well as some questions asked about how I managed to design such a great piece of Easy Read, such as our Agenda for the day.
After such a thoroughly enjoyable, insightful and poignant day, I then headed off to meet up with friends. I am now home and having enjoyed such an enjoyable day and hope for more happy days like this still to come. Goodnight one and all, hope you enjoyed reading my blog :)
Green Light Peer Support Worker