Thank you Cari, Becky, Ann-Marie and Nimra for this brilliant report of Mentality’s trip to the Children’s Commissioner’s Take Over Day…
On the 19th November, Mentality attended the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day in London, which was run by the Association of Young People’s Health. It was a really important day because there were loads of big decision makers in the audience and it was a chance to really get young people’s views about GPs out there. Sophie travelled down from Cornwall with her GP Champions report – it was really good to see her again and finally finish the GP work that we have been working on on and off for the past two years.
Although it was a bit scary speaking in front of so many people, we were all really pleased with how the presentation went. Sophie and Laura talked about the GP Champions and we all spoke about our own experiences with GPs and what makes a good GP. The audience seemed really engaged and interested in what they had to say, and they didn’t even groan when we did a role-playing task(!)
Laura challenged us to split up and sit at different tables so that we could “network” with the other people and organisations at the event; it was really interesting to listen to other peoples’ views about GPs and the current system. It was also great to watch presentations by the National Children’s Bureau, School Nurses and a presentation about Coordinated Care. All the other presentations were really good and gave us loads of interesting things to discuss with the other people on our tables.
As the event began so early in the morning, we travelled down on the day before and had Pizza Express and stayed in a hotel, so we were all a little bit tired by the end. On the trip down we filmed lots of footage for some UWE film students who are making a documentary about Mentality and in the evening we recorded each other talking about our hopes and fears for the presentation the next day.
Despite our anxieties, by the end of the day we all felt like our views had been taken into account and, after a bit more filming for UWE, we went to Southbank and had some food before getting the train back to Bristol.
Although we did have the presentation, we also decided to have fun along the way – we went to see the London Eye and some other tourist attractions. There was also the train journeys there and back which are always fun – the conversations are always flowing and there are jokes and laughs along the way.
So, although the trip had a serious approach, being Mentality we made it as fun as possible. As far as the presentation goes we are all very proud of how far we have come and the presentation we gave. We were all nervous at the start and making sure we knew what to say, especially as we had no idea how it was going to turn out! Thankfully we all had a good starting point to the kind of things we were saying throughout the presentation. As the presentation came to an end everyone was very proud of themselves and the team.
All in all, it was a very successful trip and we all enjoyed ourselves.