IOF convention and kayak paddles

Since my quick concoction of a video blog yesterday it has been a whirlwind 2 days and border line strange at 16.00 yesterday afternoon (I will explain the kayaking photo shoot later).

I just made the IOF PR briefing for 8.30am. I had foreseen my first day in self employment along the lines of wake up late and go to a coffee bar twiddling my thumbs while I carve out the future. Instead I was up early, searching for a parking space in Edgware Road and meeting the cool guys from Voice (check out stand 8 if you are at the convention tomorrow) and fellow bloggers first thing. I had a couple of meetings yesterday afternoon and this morning for SunnierDays projects, but I will start with the convention.

At the end of day 2 I have learnt from the talks, enjoyed the food and been inspired by people I have met. Firstly the talks. I attended a session on ‘thinking big’ by Giles Pegram (who has done some work with Scope recently, ran a £250m fundraising campaign for NSPCC and has a CBE), Ken Burnett (who’s book I read 3 years ago before starting my job in regular giving, and Alan Clayton (Kens consultancy partner and fundraising apprentice). I took away from this session that by big thinking big and aiming to change the world positively will result in others wanting to assist. While the necessary resources (money) will follow as required. I enjoyed Giles’ quote on Shakespeare from Henry V about leading a smaller army to battle using a strong and forthright vision of winning. This typified the necessity of thinking big and achieving greatness – seeing the outcome of success first. Ken and Alan inspired me in equal measures to Giles on how to then reach your goals to greatness. I left feeling very invigorated.

The other talk I attended was around major donor giving. The detail had less relevance to my situation but the speakers explained the research and practical implementation of this type of fundraising. Another cool session! I also took advantage of the tasty Fox’s mints, which brings me onto the food. With a selection of croissants with tea in the morning, amazing buffet of fish, lamb curry and spicy beef noodles for lunch I have been well fed and watered too. Another great tick for the IOF convention following the helpful information and inspiration in their seminars.

Finally, and I think most importantly, the people. It has been great to bump into my former Scope colleagues so soon after leaving. Furthermore I met a fellow blogger @philcampbell who is running amazing digital projects. He has decided to kindly give me a portable internet connection to attach to my wheelchair. This will turn me into a mobile internet connection J I have met a few other great individuals whom I may collaborate with or continue contact with. The IOF is truly great for meeting like minded people. Finally I saw my great friends @ajleon and @melissaleon, 2 years on from approaching them, receiving their support and finally now living my dream – it was a timely meet up today. Please see AJ’s blog post on this fated and inspired meeting

I am looking forward to AJ’s talk, further sessions and lunch tomorrow, lol.

In terms of my other stuff. I met with Hackney council to firm up details on running online seminars for their disabled service users. Exciting! I met with @maxburt today about the wheeleasy project we are collaborating on. Was great to catch up and discuss this amazing idea further.

So, the random kayaking photos – on my last day at Scope I was asked by the events team to do a favour. This involved a photo shoot for their inclusive sports challenge event – I sped around the corner after my Hackney meeting to Shoreditch. After mega hassles of finding the place I rushed in. The next thing I know I am holding a tennis racket and ball, looking proud to represent my country. The fact I can hardly hold a racket was a lesser worry for the shots. Then, in front of a white background and with all the lights, further props appear. Before I know it I in a life jacket, wearing a hard helmet and holding a kayak paddle. I was waiting to a pineapple next, or for Noel Edmonds to come and say ‘gotcha’. Lol. It was funny but apparently the shots came out ok, and will help Scope promote this important fundraising campaign. Lets call it a parting gift for them.

Catch ya tomorrow!