Celebrating 10 Years of Gaun Yersel!

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 7th June 2018

Couldn't attend our 10 Year Anniversary Reception for Gaun Yersel? Find out what happened here.

“Sometimes we need to take a pause and celebrate our success”

The sun was shining and there was an buzz of joy and excitement in the room. Monday night, following the ALLIANCE annual conference witnessed the Self Management Team sponsored by Information Law Solutions host a Drinks reception to celebrate 10 years of Gaun Yersel, the Self Management Strategy for Scotland. Can you believe it’s been ten years? I know a few of the authors don’t want to think like that but what a journey we’ve all been on to get here.

Ian Welsh, Chief Executive of the ALLIANCE opened the evening by welcoming guests from all over Scotland. Members, friends and colleagues is how I’d describe our guest list and it was great to see so many people that had supported the Self Management Team over the years all together. Ian talked about how Gaun Yersel came at a time when the healthcare system was beginning to look at building a better future and how self management is a key indicator for success.

Susan Douglas-Scott, former Chief Executive of the ALLIANCE and Kevin Geddes, former Director of Development and Improvement were joined in a dialogue led by Cath Cooney (the new Kevin). Both Susan and Kevin were instrumental in the creation and implementation of Gaun Yersel and openly talked about the bold ask they put to Scottish Government back in 2008 to let them write the strategy with it being led by real people living with long term conditions. Susan made the crowd laugh as she talked about the moment they got the go-ahead and the scary phase of what that actually meant. Writing a co-produced strategy before co-production was even a thing. I personally think that’s why the strategy is still about today, because it was what real people wanted and didn’t come from people sitting behind a desk, thinking the knew what mattered to people living with long term conditions. I’d be hard pushed to have people disagree with that I’m sure.

Up next we had two incredibly inspiring speakers from Scottish Recovery Network and their Write to Recovery Groups. Dorothea and Audrey shared some of their writing that they have produced through the groups. These groups aimed to promote recovery and provide support to people to share their stories. Both Dorothea and Audrey spoke about the up and down journey of creative writing to support their own self management.

You can read their writing by following this link (this link will take you away from our website).

Listening to the stories highlighted the importance of creativity in recovery. Write to Recovery is not a medical model; it’s about creating space and opportunities to bring people’s own experience to the forefront. I think everyone in the room could see the power of lived experience and how they have  taken on board the title of our strategy, Gaun Yersel!

Before the night broke into mingling and chatter, Cath highlighted how we are still on a journey to embedding self management across the sector. Bringing in her own learning from the days conference, Cath quoted the fantastic poet Shaun Moore. “Self Management is an affirmation and captures the ethos of empowerment rather than jargon as a mission statement.” A phrase I can stand behind.

The night was an overall success and I think with the changing landscape of health and social care; the messy and sometimes hard to navigate systems, we do need to take the time to celebrate success and people.

So here we are, in the 10th Anniversary year of a strategy still widely reference across Scotland. The Self Management Team will be continuing with activities throughout the year and we are keen for everyone to be a part of that. Self Management Week 2018 has the theme of Gaun Yersel! The week runs from the 1st – 5th October, so if you have ideas about how to get involved and help promote self management, get in touch. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the ALLIANCE and the Self Management Team in the last 10 years and long may it continue.

  • Marianne Brennan, Development Officer, Self Management Programme
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