A Decade of Sound is Shared
On 14th January 2020, our team and many of the board of trustees took to the stage, in the heart of the Engine Hall at the People’s History Museum, to share 10 years worth of learning to the invited audience at our 10th Anniversary Symposium.
From the outset we wanted to make sure that it was our staff, ambassadors and those that have used our services that were the speakers as collectively, its that group of people that have the knowledge.
The day began with our Chair, Prof. Craig Harris saying a few words and introducing a video from the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Baroness Bev Hughes, who welcomed everyone to the event and thanked Survivors Manchester for all we do.
The audience of invited guests who filled the room were made up of key stakeholders, staff, board members, ambassadors, partners and co-producers, commissioners, funders and importantly, male survivors.
Starting off with our Operations Director, Chris, giving the audience an insight into the structure of the charity and the services it delivers; we then moved into talking about Trauma Informed services, which was spoken about by Billie and Simon who are two of our Trauma Informed Therapy Team. Duncan, our Founder and CEO, then spoke about the journey over the past 10 years then welcomed another for our Therapy Team, Carl, to talk about Quality Assurance and Trustee, Christos, to talk about investing in people. Following this, we invited two individuals that had used our services and talked about the impact on this on their professional lives with both working within organisations now delivering services to male survivors.
After a wonderful lunch one of our Ambassadors, Charly Lester, invited her fellow Ambassador Steve Walters, Expert Advisory Panel member Callum Hancock and Actor/Writer Alex Gwyther to the stage where a fantastic and inspiring discussion was had on male survivors in the spotlight.
Duncan then joined another of our therapy team, Allison, and Gayna from our ISVA team to talk about our history and current services in the prison estate.
Jeff, our Group and Community Development Worker then joined Duncan to talk about moving forward as an organisation; and finally another of our therapists – Richard and Operations Director – Chris, summarised what we’ve shared and opened our doors to join forces.
The whole day was incredible and we’ve had some amazing feedback from those that attended.
But when talking to the staff team about the event, Jeff gave us some words for reflection:
“Was really nervous about getting up and speaking but I offered to do this to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was up till 1am the previous day trying to work out what things would be powerful and meaningful to say. Some of this I did not say but it was a learning experience. I also did not drink any coffee that morning and had a few picture of me son to help ground me. Something I will continue to do at each presentation/public speaking in the future (good self care). It was also nice to talk with everyone at the event and a thumbs up from Callum as I think he could see how nervous I was, was really nice. From a kid who was sent out of English class on many occasions for refusing to read out aloud because of fear and not wanting to be heard.The teacher never asked why I didn’t want to read out. I just got sent out for not doing as I was told. To standing in front of professionals work colleagues and friends is one of the most powerful things I have done. I then followed this yesterday by talking about my life story with a group at the Wythenshawe lifestyle centre. I have never felt so powerful or happy. It’s a strange feeling, one that I am not used to, but I’am going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. I hope this lasts a long time.”
We want to continue this conversation and share all our knowledge because if we do, then the only possible outcome is that male survivors win!
Thank you Greater Manchester and beyond for an incredible decade of support!