Giving Voice

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Troublesome trains & helpful hashtags!

One week today since the RCSLT Honours and Giving Voice awards. I’d been looking forward to the day for over a month (since I received the phonecall to say I had won the Giving Voice ‘Newly Qualified Practitioner’ Award) so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about my day…
My alarm was set for 5am and I awoke with excitement (not usually being a morning person, I found it surprisingly easy to pull myself out of bed). I had my breakfast and a cup of tea before getting ready for the exciting day ahead. I’d been shopping for a new dress the weekend before so I couldn’t wait to wear it! My parents were up and about early too as my dad was my guest and my mam our taxi to the train station!
I had been following the weather and train updates on Monday and was expecting that we might be delayed a little so was glad we had booked such an early train (6.55am). Also, I had arranged to go the awards half an hour early to talk about my experiences of the campaign to be recorded for the RCSLT website.
 Sitting in the train station with our cups of tea, I noticed the display board said our train was delayed, so I was excited and pleasantly surprised when it turned up on time. In just over 3 hours’ time I would be in the capital city meeting lots of other speech and language therapists!
We got on board and found our seats, placing our bags on the shelf overhead. Settled in our seats with a half-finished cup of tea, I told my dad how excited I was for the day ahead.
That’s when things began to go wrong… an announcement came over the tannoy and said that there were delays further along the track so we had to wait until this was sorted. They couldn’t specify how long it would be so we just had to sit it out. An hour after our train was due to leave I saw Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy – winner of Celebrity Ambassador of the Year) with his mam, and two representatives from the North East Trust for Aphasia  (winners of Giving Voice Partnership award), standing on the platform (for the 7.55am train). I was pleased to see them and got off the train to tell them what the latest announcement had said, (travel on Wednesday if possible, as severe delays). They spoke to the platform guard who said they could get onto our train with their tickets so we all sat together, waiting for our journey to commence.
At 8.10am another announcement came over the tannoy and it wasn’t looking hopeful to be able to get there on time. I rang my mam to see if she could look on the internet for a flight. She rang back 5 minutes later to say that she couldn’t see online if there were seats available on the flights so we would need to go to the airport and speak to someone. The only flight times were 9.20am (which was already boarding) and 12.15pm (too late), so neither of them were particularly useful anyway.
A further announcement recommended travelling on a different day if at all possible, which led to people around us leaving. The people next to us said they would travel next week as they were going to go Christmas shopping, and we engaged in a short conversation. I told them that I couldn’t travel a different day as I was going to an awards ceremony in London at noon. They congratulated me on my award win and asked what it was for, so I took the opportunity to tell them about the Giving Voice campaign.
A final announcement told us that the service was terminating here and realising that there was no chance of getting to London on time (if at all), we departed the train and headed home with a heavy heart.
By this time my mam was at work, so my dad and I decided to get a taxi home. The taxi driver was friendly and we engaged in conversation, again taking the opportunity to talk about Giving Voice.
Once at home, we made (another!) cup of tea and I got changed out of my new dress. Once it was 12pm I began following the event on twitter from the #rcsltawards hashtag. This was bittersweet as I knew I should have been there but I still enjoyed the updates (thank you to everyone who used the hashtag on the day!)
The full list of winners can be found here  - congratulations everyone!
I was happy to hear that they were still able to show my winning video so, in effect, I was at the award ceremony after all! J It sounds like it was a fantastic event and it looks like everyone enjoyed the day J
On a more positive note, I was able to celebrate my award win with my ever supportive family on Saturday night. I look forward to the arrival of my award and am truly delighted to have my campaigning efforts recognised.
All in all it was a rather disappointing day for those of us not able to attend, however I was still able to spread the word about the campaign (perhaps more so than if I’d actually been at the event) so all was not lost!
 Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives

My supportive family

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