Most truly inspired ideas start with a coffee. Well they do in my life anyway! As myself and Jane Evans pondered what we could do together as a piece of work that really brought together our individual skills, knowledge, expertise and experience, a conference was born. The first Trauma, Resilience and Recovery Conference happened on 2nd June 2015.
Yesterday I stood before the manifestation of that cup of coffee in the Oxford Playhouse and took a long, slow deep breath, soaking up the energy, before thinking quietly to myself “wow.”
The morning had a chaotic feel to it as the press seemed to have taken an extraordinary interest in what we were doing. Positive news, childhood adversity and recovery, don’t normally sit together in a room with positive media attention but yesterday’s magic sprinkled its dust upon many.
In the first of a number of surreal moments of the day, I drove to the venue to the backdrop of parts of a pre recorded interview I had given to BBC Oxford only to later discover that the full twenty minutes of it were aired after 9am. You can listen to it here at about 2:07 minutes.
Then as I arrived at the Playhouse, BBC South Today and BBC Sunday Politics were not far behind me. We also had our own video team at the event so it felt like there were microphones and cameras everywhere! Finally! Someone is interested in the subject of children’s adversity from a standpoint of THE TIME IS NOW with a view to giving the best story rather than the worst.
I shall give you the highlights that I took away from each speaker…if you were there, please add yours in the comments below this article.
Dr Eunice Lumsden opened the day with a presentation that would have left no one in any doubt that she was was deeply passionate about her subject and had dedicated over forty years to it with decades left to give to the subject.
- Where is our outrage?
- There are no troubled families just families who have been born into challenging circumstances
- The damage that happens as a child, lasts a lifetime. We can recover. We need however, to have that honest conversation with people, particularly young people so that they can start to develop a life that allows for this rather than a lifetime of confusion.
Jane Evans came on next with her bounding passion and energy and parenting expertise, for getting the message out to as many people as can possibly be reached.
- Turning up to a family every week IS powerful. We are teaching what a relationship looks like.
- Behavioural management techniques are just dog training. How would you respond to being given a fuzzy ball if you complied?
- Respectfully working with a family. It’s an honour.
Tony Mancini brought his wisdom through a calm, clear and concise message from his work as a Psychologist, drawing from community work, work in schools and work in families.
- The idea of virtues of character taken from a schools initiative. Whose virtues? What makes ‘character’? What do we choose to look at?
- At least one trusted adult needs to hold the child in mind
- Behaviour is information
And me? I would like to leave you with this…
- Resilient children need resilient adults living in a resilient community. We ALL have a part to play in that!
- We have to transform the lives of adults if we are to transform the lives of children
- Love, compassion, empathy and connection are not ‘dirty words’ and should be brought into full use to enable us to have a proper discourse about trauma, resilience and recovery
In the group discussion during the afternoon, the words ‘collective’ and ‘movement’ came up. So that is what we shall be doing next. For the ‘how’ of it, watch this space my lovelies. And if I don’t see you before, then I’ll see you at the next conference!