Annual Conference 2014
BBS delegates descended into London for our annual conference at the Park Inn Hotel, Heathrow on weekend of 22nd August.
The venue was ideally located at the airport and near to transport links and we thought was a pretty good choice. It all kicked off in the usual relaxed and friendly way on Friday evening. Guests were welcomed by Chairman Elaine Healey and CEO Patricia Osborne.
Our speaker at the family evening buffet dinner on Friday evening was Professor Nick Bishop and after an interesting talk Professor Bishop stayed to chat with guests into the night. We then ran our usual pub quiz and had time for some socialising.
On Saturday the conference was formally opened by The Worshipful, the Mayor of Hillingdon. We had an impressive list of speakers throughout the weekend from NHS hospitals across the country, covering topics on adults/pain management, hearing, and general updates on OI treatments and therapies. Sadly our mental health speaker Dr Twynholm was unable to attend but thankfully Dr Nick Shaw kindly stepped forward to fill the slot with a really interesting talk about the service in Birmingham and all the achievements they have made. He managed to fit this in along with his contribution to our Cool Bones for 11-15 year olds.
Cool Bones included an ice breaker session from Chris Clark and Emilie Hupin to get the kids warmed up, followed by inspirational presentations from the Cool Bones mentors Penny Clapcott, Jhon Bateman, Marc Lambert-Clarke and Monique Jarrett. Paul Noble MBE spoke about his experiences as a Paralympic swimmer and brought along his medals for all of the children to see. The afternoon session was a chance for the children to create an educational film for their age group to be shown to schoolchildren across the UK and ROI in order to raise awareness of OI.
Business section of the charity meeting went smoothly with our AGM held on Saturday. A full business report to members was given. Some questions raised and resolutions proposed and passed. Trustee Andy Mills was unanimously re-elected and newly co-opted Trustee Mirrick Koh – a lawyer with Linklaters Law Firm, was also successfully elected to the board.
The BBS Kids Talent Show was once more hosted beautifully by Kerry Ingram who later sang to our audience at the gala dinner. We had bonus songs performed by the Anighoro family. The glittering awards ceremony was another tear-jerker for most of us, with cheers of applause and emotion at the outstanding work and achievements of our candidates who were winners on the night.
On Sunday, we trialed a new style Questions and Answer session with delegates submitting questions prior to the event. Before introducing the panel the BBS introduced some special guests who had joined the conference weekend from a group of different organisations to help the BBS launch their exploration into building bridges to better bones with our hopes to develop a Rare Bone Network.
BBS chairman and staff invited Dagmar Meking from Care4Berittle Bones, Taco from OIFE, Oliver Gardiner from XLH network with apologies from HPP and Fibrous Dysplasia.
The expert panel on Sunday included Prof Faisal Ahmed and Dr DeVile – BBS thought we would trial this format for general questions as the medics are moving away from offering the 1:1 sessions. Throughout the weekend we hosted a Therapy Stand which saw us utilise the expertise of OT, Chris Clark, and Physiotherapist, Emilie Hupin. Sports also featured over the weekend and on Sunday saw the return of the popular Darren Rees to offer samples of fun sports for our members to try out. Office Coordinator, Coreen Kelday, hosted a volunteer support workshop with the area coordinators Helen Lehane, Vincent Hunter and Kathryn Watkins
Saturday’s table top raffle event saw us bring in a whopping £549.11 and we want to use that funding to send a delegate to a European event if we can. We will report which event and whom we are sending and we shall ask the BBS member to compile a report for us.
We do hope everybody got home safely – the hotel staff took good care of delegates all weekend and we feel sure the London Conference was a big success.
If you attended Conference 2014 and would like to give us your feedback on the event please download the feedback form here. Your feedback is important to us and helps us to shape future events.
We promise to let you know soon where and when for 2015.