Reflecting on 2010 – as always, it’s all about people

How has 2010 been for you? An exciting year with new challenges and opportunities? A year to remember or one to forget?  For many years I have reflected at the end of the year on highs and lows, and as always this year has brought plenty of each. However, I will remember 2010 as the year I met SO many great people and the power of social media to maintain and build relationships.

As I shared in my last blog, it is two years since I “jumped ship” from the security (or so it seemed at the time!) of my job in local government. It has been a huge learning curve, starting up my own business and producing physical products (increasingly rare in the “knowledge economy”).

I find life very interesting. I am invited to demonstrate my Whose Shoes? board game at conferences and events around the country, often running workshops. Each one is different (which is brilliant) but the bit I really love is meeting other people who are equally passionate about personalisation in health and social care. I see how the commitment and drive of sometimes just a few people is able to enthuse and motivate many more.

And then there is the technology side. Until recently I didn’t even have a mobile phone or it was always off – kept selfishly for my own “emergencies”. Now I am the proud owner of a Blueberry (no product placement here!) and have special Apps to tweet and blog. A year ago I didn’t know these existed – my kids are in shock.

So what have the “people” highlights been? – always difficult to select a few so huge apologies to others I would like to mention but I have selected some examples of different types of “connections” that give a taste of this year’s social media journey….

Barbara Dalby and Sharon Terry – a complete act of faith by all of us. Passionate about personalisation, we had not even physically met until the first night of the “Thinking outside the box” conference in Gateshead – the next day we were pitching to the “Dragons” and then the 250-strong audience to win funding to do a Whose Shoes? project to empower service users and carers (see earlier blog). Hugely rewarding on both sides.

Philippa Codd – Philippa was already an enthusiastic and imaginative Whose Shoes? customer. We ran a Whose Shoes? workshop together at the Commissioning & Contracting conference in Derbyshire. New in 2010 is the “Personalisation Group to revolutionise social care” which we co-manage on LinkedIn. Philippa chose the name for the group – she doesn’t do anything by halves – love it!

Shirley Ayres – passionate about connecting people and ideas – generous with her help in getting people “up and running” with social media – she certainly helped me. Shirley gave me a featured Guest blog on her website to showcase my response to the new Vision for Adult Social Care. This was before I started blogging myself. – ages ago, it seems (but in fact mid-November!) We had a long phone call and shared many ideas – I love it when an “e-person” becomes a real person!

Pete Woodbridge from Coventry University produced my Whose Shoes? DVD (video brings things alive!) – incredibly creative and unassuming. Others, I haven’t yet met but feel that I know through their social media presence… for example, Gary Grainger already a Whose Shoes? customer but now also as a “cup cake with a moustache” who contributes really perceptive thoughts on our LinkedIn group and has another life as a blues musician – (I love it when people are “human” – it’s not ALL about work… – go ENGLAND #Ashes!);  Louise Kidney (@LoulouK) breaking new ground and involving the community so effectively in Blackburn with Darwen. Disappointed Louise was not able to come to the Local by Social event in Coventry – hoping our paths cross in 2011.

 I have learned about @ and #hastags and RTS and DMs on Twitter (sounds geeky but dead easy!) Still loads to learn but I am also joining a “blog once a week” postaweek2011 challenge so onwards and upwards. Please encourage me with comments and likes, by subscribing and letting me know anything you’d like me to talk about!

Wishing everyone a happy, peaceful New Year where we use all means possible to work together to enable every one of us to have real choice and control and a chance to fulfil our potential.


About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
This entry was posted in Blogs, health, Learning and development, personalisation, social care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reflecting on 2010 – as always, it’s all about people

  1. Loulouk says:

    You are an inspiration. Seriously. I had no idea of the story behind ‘you’. I am honoured to be mentioned. Thank you.


  2. Philippa Codd says:

    I absolutely love working with you and hope 2011 is a successful year for both of us. Bring it on!!!


  3. I too am homoured to be mentioned – yes, I still have my ‘tache (A mustache is for life, not just for Movember! – Cupcakes, however, barely stay alive long enough to have a photograph taken) and as well as being a performing blues musician I produce and host a weekly blues show every Sunday 6-8pm on community radio station BishopFM 105.9 and online at
    My blog:
    carries all of the playlists from previous weeks as well as links to stream or d’load the shows – amongst other drivel about coffee, guitars, mustaches and psychedelic socks
    (take a look, you’ll see!)
    If you’re a fan of the blues, check it out. If you aren’t a fan of the blues – hey, that’s your choice!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s