Thursday, September 25, 2014

An exciting event

On Saturday I headed into London for the Alzheimer's Research UK Supporters' Day, a long-awaited event gathering together people from across the UK. I was really excited as I would be meeting up with fellow Champions and many other people who I've read about but never met.

There are usually lots of photos aren't there, but this time I did something silly and forgot my camera; or rather I thought (remember I said "thought" for later!) and my phone is so old it doesn't have that facility. So I have been reliant upon photos from others.

Stupid Susie!

The event was held at the Wellcome Collection which is a good 30 minute walk from the railway station and so I didn't have time to dawdle and take photos anyway.

As I walked into the reception area I met up with 2 fellow Champions, Dione and Fred, who I haven't seen for a while so there was plenty of catching up to do over coffee and biscuits. Viv and I bumped into oneanother on our way back from the toilet and she did a quick selfie of us:

The venue has a fabulous theatre with a stage and excellent acoustics and was the perfect place for the event. There were over 100 supporters there including Champions Chris and his wife and Sarah who I sat next to and Vicki and Pat who I caught up with later in the day -Vicki and I caused a blockage in the toilets by starting to chat in there and plotting/exchanging notes whilst people tried to squeeze past to use the facilities (sorry about that!).

It was an interesting programme of events, introduced by Tim (excellent work btw Tim!) and there were breaks for Q&A sessions along the way. The yellow dot on my name tag signifies the group I was in when we split up to exchange ideas for fund-raising which is always a useful session. I was impressed by how we all have our own unique ways of getting our message across.

Here we have, from left to right, Ian Wilson (Director of Fund-raising), Hilary Evans (Director of External Affairs) and Dr Eric Karran (Director of Research). They each set out their vision for the future and I was really excited to hear them speak.

The ARUK team had been very busy to ensure that everything went smoothly and it certainly did. There were lots of familiar faces but also plenty of new people to meet and chat with (here they are interspersed with a few Champions).

There was a surprise speaker at the end of the day, Russell Grant, seen here with Vicki and Pat - I'd left by then as I had a long journey home. Russell's nanny Alice suffered from Alzheimer's and he wrote passionately about it here. It's wonderful that he took the time to pop along to the event.

Remember I said I'd forgotten my camera? Well there I was, happily knitting pocket linings, on the train   home when the phone rang and in rummaging for it within my bag I felt a lump in the outside compartment. Can you guess what it was? Yes, it was the camera. I'd put it an the outer zip-up bit of the handbag for ease of access. I use that bag so infrequently that I obviously didn't check it very well did I!!!!

At least I was able to take a photo of my knitting on the train!
I really enjoyed my journey home as several people chatted to me about my knitting. A young couple sat at the same table as me and they were interested in what I was doing (pocket linings for Mikes cardigan) and we had a long chat about how knitting has become fashionable again. I realised that I had been knitting for about 52 years, oh my goodness! 

When they got off at their stop a man took their seat and he expressed an interest in learning to knit so I gave him the details of a knit and natter group I know of near where he lives. It would be a good one for him to join as they have several male knitters already and he wouldn't feel awkward with a room full of just women.

Finally, a young girl sitting on the opposite side of the train came over and asked to see what I was doing so I showed her some basics and let her have a go at casting on and knitting a few rows. It's always nice to encourage people to just have a go as I think that starting anything new can sometimes feel intimidating and having someone to guide you along is always nice. It certainly helped the train journey go quickly.

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