Student Conference Success

Student Conference Success

On Friday 17th December 2010 the Student Occupational Therapy Society (SOTS) ended the semester in style by hosting a conference focused on ‘Transforming Occupational Therapy for a Greener Future.’ The event was attended by occupational therapy students and professionals from across the region and represented the successful culmination of many months of planning and hard work. Various members of the SOTS volunteered their time to ensure that all aspects of the event ran smoothly. This included hosting workshops; making gifts for speakers; preparing delegate packs; organising catering for the day; approaching companies for sponsorship; stewarding and running stalls at the marketplace.

The day included inspirational speeches from two keynote speakers, a range of practical and discussion based workshops and a bustling marketplace with representatives from businesses linked to occupational therapy. Feedback from those who attended was very positive, indicating that the conference was both informative and motivating. Delegates specified that they found it interesting and useful to learn about innovative occupational therapy practice in the region. A popular workshop presentation focusing on the transition from student to practitioner was also praised by attendees as being ‘worthwhile,’ ‘relevant’ and ‘reassuring’.

The conference provided a valuable learning opportunity and a unique addition to CVs for all volunteers involved with organising and executing the event. Skills learned and contacts gained by volunteers are likely to prove very useful in enhancing future employment opportunities. The SOTS are keen to continue their involvement with similar projects in the future.

Carrie Bulmer

Treasurer, University of Cumbria Student Occupational Therapy Society

Photos (attached). Permission was obtained from all conference attendants to take their photos throughout the day. Delegates were informed that these photos may be used in printed or online publications.

Picture1 caption: Carla Bharathi, an MSc student, tries out a bicycle adapted for people with physical disabilities (provided by Watchtree Wheelers)

Picture2 caption: Jenny Heath, newly qualified occupational therapist (far right) leads a workshop about the transition from student to practitioner.

Picture3 caption: Conference attendees proudly show off their bears made in the ‘Memory Bears’ workshop.




 At the start of the year the RAG society changed its name to RAGfun, and with this change the years fundraising events began. Our first two events saw us raising a fantastic £260 for Children in Need through a Wednesday night carnival themed social. This included many games, face painting, fancy dress and an auction of promise. We also raised money through a cake sale around Lancaster Campus.

Over November or ‘Movember’ men around the country embarked upon the moustache-growing month. The Try-It society and members of Lancaster Rovers Football Club chose this month to raise money for the Prostate Cancer. They planned an open-mic night and quiz to raise money for this cause. Robbie George from the Try-It society commented “We planned an open-mic night for the 28th which unfortunately wasn’t that well attended but still raised some valuable cash. A few guys got up, performing solo and duets and Steve French, for the Student Data Unit, even read some well received moustache poetry. We followed the open mic with a quiz, the picture round of course being dominated by famous moustached gents. On the Wednesday following this a number of us, including girls, went out to celebrate the end of the month! We dressed up as Keith Lemon, Freddy Mercury and the 118 118 crew, took a bucket with us and collected some funds. In total for the month we raised £237.”

With December came the cold which brought us to our final events of 2010. The Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation raises money for sick children in hospices and hospitals around the UK and their event was the Great British Tea Party. We held two tea parties, one in Lancaster on the 7th which saw Emma and I freezing outside the gateway and one in Carlisle on 13th where Kati and I set up shop inside the gateway building, as well as walking around campus. For these tea parties we provided tea, coffee and wide selection of delicious cakes for a donation and raised an excellent £160. A huge thanks to Fiona Robson for baking and donating delicious cakes!

I would like to thank all those that were involved with these events; either helping out, organising them or just attending and donating money to these good causes. I am looking forward to the next year and the events that will be taking place.

Rachel Garlick

RAGfun Student Leader