A review of Member's Day 2017
Digital team's blog
A drizzly Saturday in November may not have seemed the most promising start to Members’ Day this year, however the rain didn’t dampen the resolve of our members, with over 200 turning out to enjoy the event - over twice as many as attended last year!
Professor Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research at King’s College, London, was our keynote speaker. He spoke on 'New developments in the understanding and treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis', and then took questions from the audience.
As is now traditional, we celebrated our members, groups and services by announcing the winners of our Pringle awards.
Paul Marsh was celebrated as Member of the Year in recognition of his work organising the successful bike ride fundraising event ‘Cloisters to Oysters’ in the summer. Rethink South West Kent Voluntary Support Group were celebrated for their consistent support to carers and people with mental illness for over 40 years. The award was received by the group coordinators Carole and Tony Wright. The Service of the Year Award was given to The Mead, a six bed care home in Wiltshire. They were nominated by a service user who highlighted the dedicated staff who support people through their recoveries.
Our Bill Pringle Award for Art was won by Natasha Ives for her painting ‘Native Man’. She created her painting during a period of illness when she says she ‘found solace turning to her easel and painting as flamboyantly as possible to escape from the condition that gripped her’.
The winner of our Bill Pringle award for poetry was Georgina Wakefield for her poem ‘Hope’ about the rollercoaster of emotions she’s experienced caring for her son who has schizophrenia. Visit our Pringles pages for images of the winners and to read Georgina’s poem.
We were fortunate to again be joined by Harrow group, More Than Just a Choir, who gave a rousing rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Alleluia, before the announcement of the year’s Janey Antoniou award winner. This year it was won by Matthew Axbey who is celebrated for his work developing mental health support for students in Kent. Visit our Janey Antoniou award pages for further details and to read Matthew’s blog.
Our Annual General Meeting was in the middle of the day, then at lunch members had the opportunity to visit the Marketplace stands, which showcased the varied work we do across the organisation. Teams such as Fundraising, Campaigns, and Advice and Information, to name just a few of them there, shared involvement opportunities such as how to organise your own fundraising event, how to become a campaigner or become an expert reviewer of our fact sheets.
In the afternoon members had the opportunity to attend two out of four workshops offered. This allowed members to shape their afternoon according to their interests, so those who wanted to learn more about a research project linking psychosis and an auto-immune disorder through a blood test, led by Professor Peter Jones from University of Cambridge in the main hall could, whilst though who wanted a quieter session were able to attend the= Calmer You workshop led by Chloe Brotheridge, a hypnotherapist. There were also workshops on the latest advice and information on universal credit and a session for carers by the Rethink Trust Corporation ‘Planning for the Future’.
The day ended on a high with a final song from More Than Just a Choir, and comments from members include:
“Really well organised and there was a really positive, friendly atmosphere!”
“It was great to share a day with people who have experiences in common”.
“Workshops were informative and well presented by people who are very committed to their work”
“A very inspiring day!”
"Professor Robin Murray and Professor Peter Jones were both excellent!"