Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Get your diaries out!
I just wanted to touch base with you all, as it's been a little while, and to share a couple of bits of news and an invitation.
We passed 300 supporters (yay!) and are now 56% funded. Things have slowed a bit lately, partly because it's been summer and partly because I'm writing the damn book, plus working and singlemothering and it is a lot, so I don't have much time to be in people's faces. The hustling element of all this doesn't come terribly naturally to me! Fortunately the writing bit does, and the book itself is coming along. Currently it's an odd mix of vivid, immediate, confessional memoir stuff and more reflective, universal stuff that comes as much out of the work I do now as out of what happened then. It's a book that's forever shifting and changing shape and all I can do, really, is go with that and see what where we end up. Problems and tensions arise and resolve. It's a funny process. Unbound have read my extract now and thankfully they liked it. We had a chat this week about how might give the funding a nudge and ideally attract some bulk orders or higher tier pledges. I've got a few ideas to follow up, but it's worth reminding you all that I'm available for podcasts, etc and if you can help me to tap into larger networks, please do! I'm so glad you're here. It's like having an invisible cheering crowd for whenever I'm anxious or discouraged. How people write books without that, I can't imagine.
The other bit of news is about the maternal mental health peer support quality assurance principles I've been working on with Mind, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, and the McPin Foundation. Last year we held consultation events, focus groups, and interviews to ask anyone with relevant experience what good peer support for mums should look like. Some of you were there, in fact. The principles have been developed and tested, and are almost ready to launch! I'm very excited, and I'm now leading the team 'disseminating' - which means making sure that all the wonderful knowledge which people so generously and so enthuasiastically shared gets out to where it will be useful. The principles will be launched at Peerfest, Mind's annual celebration of peer support, in Birmingham on 3rd December. Would you like to come? We'll be doing a presentation and holding a workshop with some activities and discussion so that we can all get stuck in. I would so love it if you could be there so I can thank you in person. Entry is free and you can sign up here. If you can't get to Birmingham but still want to use the principles, never fear: they'll be online and we'll also be bringing them to other events and workshops during 2020.
I feel very lucky that I get to write about all this, and do the more hands-on, practical stuff as well. The two compete for my time but they also enhance one another. Thank you, again, for your faith in me. Don't be a stranger.