“It’s all about fresh voices” – Think Tank project arrives in Paisley

By Ross Clark

ALLIANCE Healthcare today (Dec 7) hosted their ‘Think Tank project’ at the University of the West of Scotland’s Paisley campus.

The event aims to encourage a younger generation to voice their opinions on the future of health and social care.

Students, volunteers and some of those affected by social issues were all in attendance and expressed their views through group discussions and looked at a number of topics including their visions for the future and what needs to be in place for new health and social care policies to occur successfully.

Alliance has more than 1600 members – with most of them being voluntary – and their main role as an organisation is to ensure their voice is shaping government policy when it comes to health and social issues.

Audrey Birt, Associate Director of Alliance, spoke of the benefits of holding these events: “What we were aware of is that there were a lot of senior leaders giving their thoughts on issues surrounding social care. The voice that rarely gets heard is that of people at the start of their careers and younger people suffering from long term conditions.

“Events like these are all about hearing their ideas for the future instead of just focusing on the same initiatives. It’s all about bringing in fresh voices.”

Paralympic gold medallist, Jo Butterfield, the keynote speaker, gave an emotional talk about her journey to success in Rio.

Audrey Birt added despite the emotional aspect, there was an important message for all to take home with them.

She said: “I was wiping away tears as she was telling her inspirational story. I think it shows a real message to all of us in the field that it’s about the person and not the condition.

“There’s an important phrase which says:  ‘focus on what’s strong, not what’s wrong,’ and I think Jo just lives and breathes that.”

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