🌟 Let’s ... 🌟#StopNcelebrate!

South Warks leading the way... 🎉

Sarah Noble, Head of Midwifery, introduced the workshop and what we were hoping to achieve. A fantastic mix of people in the room. Everyone working together for positive change, particularly around continuity of carer and safe and personalised care.

Charlene Cole, an award-winning student midwife, told everyone about #MatExp and how it links with the Whose Shoes workshops.

Charlene was one of the very first people to tweet for our @matexpbazaar: A Twitter account curated by movers and shakers in maternity. A new person every week.

Charlene is a great #MatExp leader and came into her own as ‘the mum’ in our coproduction in Manchester!

We crowdsourced ‘#MatExp the Musical’ on the main stage of NHS Expo, 2017.

As you do.

It was brilliant to hear Charlene telling her colleagues about the session, firing lots of new people to join the #MatExp social movement! You can join too! 🌟

We showed the ‘In their shoes’ film that we made as part of the original #MatExp project. It helps people feel what is like to walk in other people’s shoes – it has been shown at events all over the world.

I said my bit. “THE Whose Shoes ...” 😂

And we were off! Using the Whose Shoes board game to spark conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing maternity services. And, most importantly, what we can each do about it

I love the way people dive in and have passionate discussions!

Continuity Connie! 👍🏼

There were some great discussions about more imaginative antenatal education and continuity, including using community facilities and hubs. This is one of the key challenges of “Better Births”.

A local councillor chipped in with some really practical community-based ideas. And joined Twitter. Well done Kate!

And the post-its were coming think and fast! 👀

As always, Carrie Lewis took it all in her stride, ably assisted by Jenny Prescot theming the post-it notes.

Everyone was working so hard. We’ve learnt not to take an actual break: people are reluctant to stop as it breaks the conversation. Just grab a coffee and a cake when you are ready!

The #MatExp #bakeoff is an important part of Whose Shoes events. Thanks in particular to Diane Menage for rising to the challenge! Delicious!

I arrived just in time for the lemon drizzle cake. Lemons are FUNdamental to #MatExp #WhoseShoes events 😉

Don’t forget the Dads! This comes up at every workshop. And dads are indeed often forgotten…

I had said at the beginning that only the babies were ‘allowed’ to fall asleep! 👀

🐝 Carrie was working so hard! 🐝 We managed to get her to stop and talk through all the key themes. This is an important part of the process: people get an overview of what has been discussed in the whole room and this can help shape their pledges.

Whose Shoes is an energiser. It taps into people’s passions and helps them feel that they too can make a difference. This is the most important part of the workshop. The pledges. And then turning them into real action!

I had chatted to Sarah quite a lot about what was happening elsewhere. Some of the fantastic actions that had come directly from the pledges and now written up as case studies. I was thrilled that she picked out the ‘graffiti board’, a lovely idea from a midwife at our very first #MatExp workshop at Kingston Hospital, as an example to inspire her team.

There are so many lemon lightbulb ideas now. Practical, simple ideas that people can implement to help them with their ‘Better Births’programme, regardless of whether or not they have a Whose Shoes workshop. Flo and I spoke about this at our Picker (maternity survey results) workshops in London and Leeds. You can view our slides here.

There is no pressure to write a pledge. We are not interested in counting pledges. We are interested in the actions that comes from these. But it seemed everyone had an idea! 💥💜

And soon they were writing furiously!

And inevitably some people were keen to share their pledges. 🔥 And to ignite the whole room! 🔥

I was delighted to award one of the much coveted #MatExp #flashthesah sashes to Jenny who had worked so hard to prepare the event, had joined Twitter and was now live tweeting the whole event! #JFDI in action! 💥

Jenny was taking photos of key messages from the event – and tweeting them!

After the event, Carrie captured the immediate tweets in a Twitter moment

It is always lovely to see smiles and new friendships and collaborations forming. Nicola told me about her @upsofdowns21 work. And I was delighted to link her on Twitter to my #CovMindTheGap friends.

People always ask me if a workshop has gone well. I think it is fair to say that we always have a good event, but the proof of the pudding (or indeed investment in #MatExp #bakeoff cake!) Is how much the energy continues and turns into real action after the event. Inevitably some actions take a lot of time and determination. Sometimes extraordinary things happen almost instantly. This happened at Warwick. Two specific examples…

Lin @linWard made a fantastic pledge to stop and celebrate as new mothers came into the postnatal ward.

Perhaps this was inspired by the ‘In their Shoes’ film which we showed at the beginning of the workshop?

Lin implemented her pledge the very next day. She tweeted about how immediately, mums and babies were enjoying this human joy and connection. I introduced a new hashtag: StopNCelebrate... And it went ‘a bit viral’ 👀

And by the next day, #StopNCelebrate was not only being talked about but actually being implemented and making a difference in Melbourne Australia! 💜 👀 💥

The ripples were spreading and sparking conversations and sharing of good practice closer to home too ... A good tip from Lewisham and Greenwich...

The second extraordinary immediate outcome from our workshop concerned our new #MatExp #WhoseShoes #MindNBody project which was launched in London on the very same day. I would have been there but we had to divide and conquer, as we so often do!

I was thrilled to meet Leanne and Kirstie and sign them up to the #MatExp community. What a story this is and will need to be told separately, Tackling stigma and making a difference in perinatal mental health.

So, yes, it was a good workshop! Lots of lemon lightbulbs - and the discovery of wonderful new people!

I seem to create a bit of disruption wherever I go. But hopefully it is good disruption ... 🍋🍋🍋


matexp.org.uk @WhoseShoes