Monday, 6 October 2008

The first service user conference in Scotland

I recently spent nine days in Scotland on holiday. After three lovely days on the beautiful island of Skye, we went to Saltcoats to visit Annemarie Ward, who has been working closely with Wired In. It was only the second time that I have met Annemarie in person, but I felt I had known her for ages. 

Annemarie had recently spoken on recovery at the first service user conference in Scotland. Amazingly, around 700 people attended, the majority being service users. What a fantastic response to the efforts of the organisers.

Annemarie was very excited by the reaction of the audience to her talk, which I use her words to describe, ‘Well, I can tell you I was totally overwhelmed by the positive response I had from the floor during the presentation. Folks were whooping and hollering, clapping and stomping, in a really scary exciting way. After my “speech” and during the workshops later in the day, I was again really shocked by the amount of people who wanted to support me.’

I also spoke to Neil McKeganey who said he was taken aback by the nature of the positive response to Annemarie. He thought that she is a natural leader.

It’s really great to hear this, because Annemarie is helping Wired In push the recovery agenda in Scotland – she is our Scottish leader. I was really impressed the first time I met Annemarie whilst we were both visiting the LEAP project in Edinburgh. She was an absolute natural with the clients, who quite obviously took to her in a very positive fashion. She is also knowledgeable and intelligent.

We consider ourselves very lucky to have Annemarie working with us. Whilst we were out for dinner, we took the opportunity to do some plotting for pushing the recovery agenda. I was also pleased that Annemarie and my partner Linda (who is Australian) got on so well, although the latter did initially struggle with Annemarie’s accent!

I was also very touched by a special gift that Annemarie gave me – a memento signifying the 11th year of her recovery (she is now 12 years in recovery). Symbolically, it was one of the nicest presents I have ever received.   

If you want to help push the recovery agenda north of the border, then let us know - tim1leg@yahoo.com or david@wiredin.org.uk.

2 comments:

Prawney said...

Wonderful to read 1st service user conference in Scotland. Annemarie! I loved reading the response you recieved from the folks up your way! Now from down this end, that is leadership, i have never experienced a response like that this way, more of the opposite in frustration. Well done! Don't give up and wonderful David is there visa versa with wired in, So you behave "A natural leader" is a true assett and gift, don't do what William Wallace di in the 13th centuary! we the country as a whole need more and more people like you, and not cut up and sent to the four corners of our country.

tim1leg said...

Thanks Prawney,

The timing is right here in Scotland, there is a real desperate appetite for change, i think thats why I got the response I did and dont worry i AM MADE OF REALLY tough meat, theY wont be able to cut me up, shut me up, F#ck me up, or even Suck me up, Im too long playing this game and as williams uncle tells him, "I know you can fight. But it's our wits that make us men.

If they come for me, again as mel says " We all end up dead, it's just a question of how and why "

Remember It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom.
Thanks Prawney again for your support. My new Chant....

"unite the field" "unite the field"