The 2016 Our Voice Conference was well attended and judging by the laughter and smiles, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Find out what happened…
After a quick catch up over tea and coffee, Ewen welcomed guests and introduced lots of interesting contributions from Our Voice members, staff and families.
First to present was Craig and Eileen, from Dundee. They spoke about the National Involvement Network’s Charter for Involvement talking about Craig’s recent review, which he led with the assistance of graphic artist, Dawn.
After such an interesting first presentation it was hard to imagine a topic that could inspire the audience further! However, Gillian achieved this by talking about the Friendship Group and encouraging people to join. We also heard about developments to the Sense Scotland website, in particular a new section, developed after receiving service user feedback, called the Sense Scotland Community which includes Our Voice and One Giant Leap information.
Much delight came when Mairi Morrison, Head of Business Development, announced Sense Scotland’s plans to develop a TouchBase Dundee. Mairi showed images of the recently opened TouchBase Lanarkshire and told us that work has now begun to create TouchBase Ayrshire.
We then heard from the Partners in Community Project, Jacky and Tina together with Yvonne, talking about the many ways to communicate and showing how they are teaching the wider community about inclusive communication.The final morning presentation was from April and Laura of the Family Advisory Team who spoke about the Our Voice Youth Workshop they would be running the following day.
Health and wellbeing
We were glad that we had already eaten lunch before the Health and Wellbeing group (Jackie, Nicole and Maureen), told us and showed us how much sugar and fat are contained in some of our favourite foods!
The Radio Group followed on by giving a highly entertaining demonstration of their creative expertise using a combination of an audience Q&A with ‘Uncle Murray’ and a video which told a charming story called ‘Auld Reekie’. Lori was unfortunately unable to attend but her co-broadcasters, Ewen, Murray and Steph did a wonderful job of letting us know what they do in their group.
Finally, CEO Andy Kerr awarded service users with certificates for attending the Disability Hate Crime event in January and gave out new Our Voice lanyards, specifically designed for the Our Voice members in purple (the Group’s colour), and including a microphone signifier.
In the evening, there was a disco and we heard that lots of dancing and a Bollywood demo meant arrival back to the hotel was after midnight!
Regardless of the late night, there was lots of energy and enthusiasm for Day two of the conference.
Saturday was a chance for everyone to enjoy activities such as: having a ride on a motorbike (thanks to the Motorbike Society), meeting with our community police officers, taking part in workshops and spending quality time together.