About 70 delegates from across Turning Point Scotland’s services in the Glasgow area turned out for the latest TPS Connects conference at the Scottish Youth Theatre. In recent years the  olunteers have organised summer open days at the Kinning Park Complex, near Head Office. However, this year the group decided to organise something a bit more formal and host a conference.

The day went well and featured a range of sessions and speakers from across the different elements of TPS Connects and Turning Point Scotland, hosted by Operations Manager Patrick McKay.
Tracy Polson described how she came to be involved with TPS Connects and the impact it has made on her life. Then Craig Mackenzie showed off the new Sport Connects video. Bobby Thomson spoke about how he has progressed to Peer Support Practitioner at Glasgow Housing First and the role TPS Connects has played along the way, before they all took questions from the audience.

Dr Juliet Wakefield, a social psychologist with Nottingham Trent University, highlighted the importance of being part of a group. She has spent a lot of time researching groups and how they impact on people’s lives. She believes being part of one has many benefits for people’s health and wellbeing. There were a range of relaxing and fun workshops featuring arts and crafts, yoga,
drumming and photography. And a few scenes were acted out from the Haw Hen play, about a hen night at the time of the Scottish Referendum, produced by In Cahoots in partnership with Turning Point Scotland.

Turning Point Scotland Chief Executive Neil Richardson addressed the audience and gave his thoughts about the work of TPS Connects. The event drew to a close with a demonstration of a What’s Up session, the peer-led mutual support group that gives people the chance to share their thoughts and feelings, led by Phil Foley. Aileen Reid, Inclusion & Access Coordinator, said: “The people who have benefited from being part of TPS Connects were keen to ensure that others have the opportunity to get the same benefits as they have. We decided that having a conference would give people that opportunity.

“The whole event was good but the highlight for me was the What’s Up? demonstration. It was a real show of how much people trust and support one another; it was actually quite emotional to watch. TPS Connects will always be developing – the volunteers have got loads of ideas for new activities, but we need some new members in the Glasgow area, so hopefully over the coming months we’ll see more people coming along.”