🍋 A #MatExp pick n' mix 🍋

Lots of people say they enjoy the #MatExp Steller stories. The last couple of weeks have been mega and there is simply not enough time to write a Steller story about each event, particularly as I am looking after my lovely Mum aka @Gills_Mum who sadly is very ill. I find writing Steller stories therapeutic. You can compose something over a period of time as a draft, adding to it when you get a few minutes. So here is an eclectic mix of some fab #MatExp events over the last two or three weeks...

This was the front cover of the 'Steller story I nearly wrote' about #pmhconf17, the wonderful conference in Wembley created by @RajaGangopadhy3.

Raja is passionate about perinatal mental health and had put together a programme packed with excellent speakers and a huge amount of learning, particularly from women with lived experience,

I was very honoured when Raja invited me to say a few words about #MatExp and to present the awards for the best presentations!

It was lovely to see Emma again. Her drawings always bring a special extra dimension!

And then we had a whole series of Whose Shoes workshops in different parts of the country...

Ann Remmers is passionate about improving maternity experience - just like Raja. I' ve loved working with her to run a series of #MatExp Whose Shoes workshops right across the south-west of England.

The event in Swindon was packed!

'Proud to be part of #MatExp' - who wants a sticker!

We had all tried rocking this little boy to sleep - but he was having way too much fun! 😀

Always lovely to see lots of babies at #MatExp #WhoseShoes events – and so many willing baby minders!

Sandy Richards and her team had done a fantastic amount of preparation, It was the first time we had ever had flowers on the tables!

And the careful preparation paid off! Anna and I just hoped that they could cope with all the feedback. Is this a record number of post-its?

And still more post-its were coming ! 👀

Already, this is one of the iconic, much-tweeted images that Anna Geyer, our talented graphic facilitator, is so renowned for. It links directly with the national 'Better Births' agenda.

Anna has created a wonderful story in Adobe Spark about the Swindon workshop - you can view it here

Attendees made pledges focused around things that really matter to women and families.

Two more long-planned workshops were coming up at Warrington and at Chelsea and Westminster hospital. I was delighted to be able to make it to the Warrington workshop. It was a really lively session – I wrote a Steller story about it here.

And each workshop brings deep reflection about what people can do to make a difference.

It was amazing to see Rachel and her colleagues jumping into action to put Skin to Skin posters up in the operating theatres at Warrington! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

It was a great day - and so much potential! Thanks a bunch, Warrington! 💜

A very encouraging message from Warrington CEO Mel Pickup, on her way to a national maternity transformation event!

Meanwhile, Leigh highlighted an important anniversary – wow, a year since our first 'Nobody's Patient' workshop at Kingston Hospital.

And now the crowdsourced 'Nobody's Patient' resources have been sent to all the hospitals who have embraced #MatExp #WhoseShoes.

I was really thrilled when both Flo and Sheena went to speak at the 'normality' event in the south-west. Wonderful to see passionate people in the #MatExp network coming together, particularly a brilliant obstetrician and a brilliant midwife giving their perspectives on such an important topic.

And I made an important prediction 😉

Dear Tony Kelly #MatExp gang ready and waiting! 👍🏼

Next stop: Chelsea and Westminster . They had also done very careful preparation – deciding to focus their Whose Shoes sesh on postnatal care.

#FabObs Flo @FWmaternitykhft took the helm at Chelsea and Westminster, supporting her obstetrician colleague Sunita Sharma.

I was very sorry indeed to miss the lovely live music to welcome people!

I was busy looking after Mum, better known as @Gills_Mum. Here she is in happier times enjoying the wonderful string quartet we hired for her 95th birthday party. 💜

Like Warrington and all the events in the South West, the Chelsea and Westminster workshop was vibrant and action-focused.

Whose Shoes enables people to discuss the topics that are important to them.

It is always lovely to see the Mums and babies...

... and of course the Dads! 💜

Chelsea and Westminster were also competing for the highest number of post-its competition!

Flo has written her own Steller story about the workshop at Chelsea and Westminster hospital.

Then we had 3 workshops in Dorset: Dorchester, Poole and Bournemouth.

I was particularly sorry to miss the last of our series of five Whose Shoes workshops in the South West - they have been running since April - Taunton, Bristol, Gloucester, Swindon - and now finally (at least for now 😉) in Truro.

I sent them a little #MatExp #WhoseShoes energiser – Truro: the final frontier. For space geeks, it is a horrible mishmash of Star Wars and Star Trek – get over it! 😂 I can only include 15 seconds in a Steller story but you can see the whole film here: https://youtu.be/TMSUGozeAPU

And they sent me a little video back – they were all waving, but I couldn't hear the sound!! 😰 😂

And now: 1) We are main stage st NHS Expo! 2) I have run out of space 3) Find out more @WhoseShoes! 😘 nutshellcomms.co.uk matexp.org.uk