Update from Edinburgh

As mentioned in a previous post, I was invited to speak at the Moira Anderson Foundation ‘Not On Our Watch’ Conference. This took place in Edinburgh last week and I feel so chufffed to have been there, not only to talk, but also to listen to whole range of inspirational speakers including Dr Matthew McVarish (the guy who walked 10,000 miles around Europe to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and challenge governments to do something about the statute of limitations), and also Mike Stevenson, who is doing all he can to raise awareness of what people, including children, can achieve rather than setting limits on what’s possible.

MAF-Conference-Edinburgh-013

My talk was entitled ‘Helping Young People Feel Safe & Heard’ and started off the afternoon session. I had 40 minutes to share so much ‘stuff’ and feel pleased that I got most of it in bearing in mind the expression ‘less is more’ is one I find particularly difficult to grasp. It felt great to hear people laughing and then go quiet as contrasting images were shared reinforcing the PB idea that serious work can be done while having fun.

Once again RockStarDinosaursPiratePrincess‘ script comparing ‘Sex & a Cup of Tea’ alongside Blue Seat Studios animation left people realising how simple it really can be to understand what consent does and doesn’t mean. I accompanied this with our family mantra of “You don’t squirt without asking” to illustrate how younger children can be encouraged to think about the person on the receiving end of their idea of ‘fun’ (in this particular case relating to an incident involving a ‘super-soaker’ water-pistol 🙂 ) remembering “Is my fun, fun for everyone?”.

So thank you so much Sandra Brown OBE for inviting me to ‘risk on purpose’ and share a key element of the Protective Behaviours process, namely the Language of Safety, with 300 people who I would have probably never got to meet another way. And thank you too to an audience who were prepared to join with me to sing and sign the following:

We all have the right to feel safe all the time.
Kind* hands are good for us all.
We can talk with someone about anything,
Even if it feels awful or small! quotation_marks_close

*Now realise we could replace the word ‘kind’ with ‘safe’ and this would fit perfectly with the Moira Anderson Foundation Protective Behaviours ‘Safe Hands‘ Project

Sandra Brown OBE, Mike Stevenson and me at the MAF 'Not On Our Watch' 2015 conference, Edinburgh

Sandra Brown OBE, Mike Stevenson and me at the MAF ‘Not On Our Watch’ 2015 conference, Edinburgh

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