It looms very large and dominates your life – and you can’t really imagine it coming and going like any other day.
And then suddenly you are on the other side of it and it all seems a little bit surreal…
Thursday 2 May 2013 marked the first birthday of ‘Making It Real’, and the launch of three new tools. For me, the main event was the launch of the electronic facilitation tool that I have been working on for so long: Whose Shoes?® – Making It Real, in an innovative collaboration with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP).
I have previously guest blogged for TLAP about how this partnership first came about and last week, I told the story of how this has taken shape over the last year. Please indulge me as I now tell you about the ‘big day’ itself 🙂
As I travelled down on the train, Twitter was buzzing with the #makingitreal hashtag in the way that only Twitter can; anticipation builds for the amazing networking that lies ahead. I was delighted to get into a spontaneous ‘Twitter storm’ with the inspirational Larry Gardiner as we each made our way to the event.
Larry ‘gets’ Whose Shoes?…
And so it went on… bank staff, care assistants, nurses, care home providers, commissioners, NHS managers, Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authority staff, the housing department, elected members, the Department of Health… all the different voices of Whose Shoes!
Larry and I are looking forward to working closely together as we co-present events, including residential experiences for people living with dementia and carers; also students from across the country at an event organised by the College of Medicine. I can see us spending long hours plotting and planning how to use Whose Shoes? further to spread the ethos of co-production and ‘Making It Real’!
As I continued my journey, the omens were good.
I like a few good omens … I didn’t study Classics for nothing.
The sun was shining.
A string of live tweets sprang up from a Whose Shoes? event in Scotland!
Meanwhile, greetings were flooding in – particularly from fab supporters who were unable to be there on the day. I sat for a while chilling out in the sunshine as my phone pinged with goodwill messages and phone calls:
— Shirley Ayres (@shirleyayres) May 2, 2013
I felt drained already by the time I reached the venue in London…
You are probably exhausted reading about it…
I think I had better hold the best bit back for the next blog…
(to be continued…)