Service user involvement is thriving.
How do you sum up an event like Be the change? With snow falling in the days leading up to the conference and all kinds of last minute hitches (as we waited to stuff the conference bags we heard they’d been delivered miles away in Dover!), our nerves were in shreds by the time we reached Birmingham. But as delegates streamed through the doors of The National Motorcycle Museum there was an overwhelming sense of optimism.
As the day progressed we realised more and more that it wasn’t just about the programme – which became far less of a formal affair, with all the interaction from delegates. There was something special in the air, something that’s come through on so many of the feedback forms – a feeling of pride and unity and a celebration of service user involvement in its many and varied forms.
This conference has become so much bigger than us and our obsessively reworked ideas for an interesting day. It has become a vibrant demonstration of networking and peer support as well as a forum for many reunions. From Alex Boyt’s inclusive opening remarks, to the joyous flash mob at lunchtime, to Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt’s brilliantly impassioned speech at the end, this was a day of magnificent participation and we thank every single one of you who came. Please leave your feedback HERE if you haven’t already!