September 18, 2012

guest post from Charlotte on UK conference for parents and carers

A charming guest post by Charlotte on the UK conference for parents and carers:


Keep Calm and Carry on Conferencing

So the first F.E.A.S.T. UK conference, being held in conjunction with Professor Janet Treasure, Gill Todd and the Maudsley Carers, is beginning to become a slightly scary reality.  I have to admit to sometimes hovering the mouse over the “Cancel this conference” button but have resisted the temptation so far......

We have a programme (still in draft) which says I am allowed to bebossy for precisely 5 minutes each morning.

What is different about this conference as compared to your standard ICED or somesuch?

For a start, it is a very relaxed conference.  We are not aiming for slickness and clever slides. (If I know Janet, she will arrive with the notes for her speech to be included in the Welcome Pack that morning.  They will appear to have been photocopied either a) whilst the photocopier was breathing its last or b) whilst the printer ink was running out.)

Everyone is lending a hand at organising from Batty doing the rooms, Fiona doing everything else, Dr Z keeping an eye on the finances (well she would, if I would just get round to sending her the bank statements), D trailing round the countryside armed with posters, all the tweeting and sharing and poster printing and P walking into her ed unit scattering posters like confetti.....
Sue is turning up with goody bags, C and K are doing the name badges (because they both do that calligraphy thingy), Helen is threatening to bring the Welsh, the Scots are invading and the wonderful Miranda Bunting is doing the whole “twit” thing – anything AED can do, we can do!

We are not top heavy on people wanting to expound their new theories or raise money for their research.   I doubt there will be very much controversial or confrontational. Instead, we are hoping to offer a safe and warm welcome to clinicians, parents and carers to share our experiences and offer hope and help where it is needed.  I want to work out new ways that we can all work together to get better treatment for people with eating disorders and better support for their carers.

This time, I am going to resist the temptation to drink more than one bottle of wine with Fiona the night before and I certainly shan’t be dancing on any tables.......

(To register, please follow this link)

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