May the fourth be with you πŸ˜‰

#MatExp stormtroopers come to Bristol

I went to university in Bristol. Bristol University. I am slightly in awe of Bristol. Bristol hospitals are amazing. So it was awesome to be invited to Bristol to present a #MatExp #WhoseShoes workshop... in Bristol. And it happened to be May 4th... πŸ˜‰

@MrWhoseShoes and I met in Bristol. All those years ago. Before Twitter. Before Whose Shoes. We have come a long way together. 😜

So the night before the workshop, we had a bit of a trip down Memory Lane. And yet everything was different. I don't remember lemon skirts in those days. πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

When we plan a workshop, we have got into the habit of looking for positive omens. And I saw this! πŸ‹πŸ‹ Lemons and shoes. πŸ‘ πŸ‘  What could be better⁉️

Check out this story: one of my most popular Steller stories ever: The FUNdamentals of building a change platform. Out of lemons. #MatExp #WhoseShoes πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

We saw. boat rockers out practising. Disappearing behind trees and coming out pretty much unscathed the other side. Symbolic.

We found a quirky place to eat. Tapas. Under the stars. Highly recommended!

Sorting the signage. Formal and informal. πŸ˜‰

The event was the second in a series of 5 workshops across the South West, made possible by the intergalactic super powers of Ann Remmers and the SWSCN team. More of that anon! πŸ˜‰

We'd had a fantastic launch event in Taunton. You can read the story here. I loved seeing this picture posted on Twitter with some of the team from Musgrove Park - proud of their graphic record, by Carrie @newpossibilitie. πŸ‘πŸΌ

It was good to meet everyone Lots of people keen to be table facilitators. πŸ‘πŸ½

Soon we were underway. Sarah & Gina did a great introduction. Two excellent large hospitals in Bristol – seeking to improve further and to implement 'Better Births.'

Ann Remmers, South West Clinical Network Lead, briefly gave us the national picture and inspired everyone to build the Local Maternity System.

It was a very mixed group. Ann asked for a quick show of hands to see who was in the room. Lots of midwives, including from Gloucester and Poole, looking ahead to our future workshops, which was brilliant. Health visitors and other community workers. paediatricians, a neonatologist, a film-maker, people from Sands, Bliss, Mothers for Mothers, Blubell Care and other charities... And a fantastic number of mums and babies.

And a single obstetrician. Well done Sonia! #FabObs

But it was Kate Debley who stole the show. A real woman telling her story: what helps and what really doesn't, in terms of maternity experience. What it is like to lose much wanted babies. I really hope Kate connects with @leighakendall @thepinksnblues and our other fab mums in the #MatExp community.

My presentation included a slide about power and handing over the remote control to the woman having the baby. I didn't know Emma β€ͺ@ForMed_Films ‬ was busy drawing me! πŸ˜‚

We had made a 'Star Wars crawl' film to get a bit of energy in the room before starting the discussions. You can watch it here.

May the 4th be with you!

Soon the discussions were underway. Nine full tables. Anna, the graphic facilitator, was going to be busy!

Nat only had the opportunity to come at the last minute. She threw herself into her JFDI role of collecting Post-its!

And theming them with ease! SO helpful. We need you at all #WhoseShoes workshops, Nat! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

Great to see the key messages were being posted on Instagram too!

Soon the Post-its turned from a trickle... to a cascade ... to a torrent.

The future. Commenting online. Who needs Post-its? 😲

I don't do a lot of rules. I had suggested that only the babies should fall asleep.

Everyone else was deep in conversation and the time flew…

It was great to see our single #FabObs proving how important it is for obstetricians to be fully involved.

Even the babies were grabbing Post-its. Everyone wanted to have their say!

I love it when I see unplanned themes emerge and get the chance to connect people with movers and shakers in other hospitals – in this case Leeds who recently ran a very successful Whose Shoes workshop for young parents. Read their report here.

It was great to connect with Sue and Gina from North Bristol NHS Trust and get them tweeting a bit more!

Dawn @dawn_morrall (in green) came from Gloucester, where we are holding a workshop, 8 May. It's brilliant when people take trouble to come along to a previous workshop. It helps them get added value from their own session.

Nat was still busy. Still smiling. πŸ˜€

The healthcare professionals were really listening to the mums. And vice versa. A lot of learning was taking place. And loads of ideas generated as to how things could be improved.

Anna is cool as a cucumber. She is so good at stopping, wherever she has got to, feeding back to the room key themes from the discussions – and inspiring people to make great pledges

And people were quick to make some great pledges.

Nat won the #JFDI πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹ May the 4th special award. Who else? And lots of people won badges for making great pledges!

Twitter was working overtime. It was lovely to see the way that people were supporting each other.

Lots of wisdom indeed. Looking forward to seeing what the next steps will be in Bristol. Looking forward to reaching for the stars in Gloucester. 🌟🌟🌟 May the fourth be with you. Gill. @WhoseShoes Join #MatExp - make a difference! πŸ’œ

And the best of all is when you start to see people fulfilling their pledges. I was very moved by Maddie's courageous story about her antenatal depression, raising awareness.

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