Marion Beeforth Lecture University of Brighton 14th April 2010
Georgina's presentation, beautifully illustrated with her poetry, was deeply moving and very insightful. As a service user myself I know I sometimes underestimate the value of carers, and Georgina reminded me of their importance and of the incredible strength and love involved in caring for someone with mental health problems. I think the mental health community at large is very lucky to have people like Georgina and Paul championing our cause and campaigning on our behalf.
Helen Mental Health Service User
I really enjoyed Georgina Wakefield's presentation at the 11th Annual Mental Health Conference on 14th April 2010. Her talk was very powerful and beautifully illustrated with her emotional poems. Paul's quiet support of Georgina, and their dedication to their son was very touching. An excellent presentation!
UKPPG Conference, Hinkley Island Hotel, Leicester - 11th October 2009
The Brent Hill Memorial Lecture
It was a pleasure to meet you and your family and thank you for your wonderful presentation. I think your experiences highlights the need for more specialist mental health pharmacists in order to prevent what happened to Christian regarding his medication. The item below is an excerpt from the report I have written for my staff re the conference.
Georgina Wakefield a carer of her son Christian who has schizophrenia gave a graphic account of the problems the whole family suffers when a member is diagnosed with a mental illness. Christian was hospitalised for over five years and denied treatment with clozapine, he suffered dystonic reactions to medication and deteriorated cognitively and functionally. Georgina ’s presentation was punctuated with poems that she had written about her experiences and this proved to be a potent method of explaining the trauma her son and the family endured. Eventually Christian received Clozapine and his recovery has been quite remarkable. He now lives on his own and has a part time job. At the end of Georgina ’s presentation, Christian came in and read one of his own poems for which he received a standing ovation from the three hundred strong audience.
Elaine Weston, Chief Pharmacist, Leeds Partnership Foundation NHS Trust
I am writing to thank you for the moving and inspirational talk that you gave at the UKPPG conference this morning.It was very generous of all of you to come and share those deeply personal experiences with us, and I will never forget your story and will carry it with me always as a reminder of how psychiatry not only affect those who we care for but also the families, friends and loved ones of those individuals.
For me the opportunity to hear in depth about the journey that you have all been on, and to hear Christian speak about his experiences will change the way that I practice, and will make me actively seek out situations in which I can use my knowledge and skills to help others.
All too often as pharmacists we only see people when they are acutely unwell, and when resolving the distressing symptoms of thier illness is of prime concern and very rarely do we get the opportunity to speak to people about thier experiences once they have returned to thier lives outside of hospital, and from your talk I hope I have gained a little insight into how continuing care after discharge is an area that we as pharmacists must become more actively involved in to help people to get the best out of their medication in a way which is acceptable to them.
Glyndwr University Wales, 23rd September 2009
Georgina Wakefield’s talk as part of Glyndŵr University’s Freshers’ Week was a superb introduction for new students into the ideas and reality of service user and carer participation. Students were left with no doubt about the need to consider service user and carer experiences as central to all that they will learn in the course of their professional education. The talk was informative, honest and moving. It was also highly motivating – students responded with renewed enthusiasm for the career choices they have made.
Liz Lefroy, Service User and Carer Coordinator, Glyndŵr University
Carers Council Nottingham 20th October 2006
Just a note to thank you for your wonderful presentation at the carers council conference.
Your contribution was both thought provoking and valuable.
The feedback from delegates and the evaluation forms was very positive they felt that the way you presented was excellent.
Best wishes to you both and pass on our congratulations to Christian for his latest award.
M Harrison Carers Council Allies In Adult Mental Health
West Norfolk Mind 12th May 2005
Georgina came to speak at our recent staff training day about life as a carer.
All 36 evaluations indicated that the session was informative and interesting and even though it lasted for 2 hours many attendees thought it was the best part of the day. Not only did Georgie present lots of information about life as a carer but the presentation gave a very real insight into Schizophrenia.
I would recommend Georgina Wakefield as a guest speaker at an AGM mental health conference, or staff training day.
Her presentation is not medical/clinical but it is however “very real”. It reminds the audience to recognise the importance of human aspects/needs of the service users and carers as well as medical issues.
Mid Essex Hospital Services
Thank you very much for coming to speak to us in September.
It gave a real insight into the practical problems Christian and you have to face, and the impact that the care you receive [or don’t receive] has on your lives. It must have been tempting to just become submerged in day to day events and problems. But you have taken action on behalf of Christian and his colleagues and produced a very positive benefit for them with your hard work.
Poetry is a wonderful way of communicating events and thoughts about a serious subject like this illness. It is far more graphic and thought provoking than a report.
The film Loving Christian was good and brought home the important effects of Christians illness.
Hearing you will improve my input to families and carers in the future. Our bit is to try to make sure that each individual person with Schizophrenia receives the medication which will be best for them.
Judith Woolley on behalf of Anglia and Essex Psychiatric Pharmacy Group
Mind Conference June 2004
I am writing to thank you for your participation in our ‘Meeting The Challenge’ workshop and making the day such a great success.
Evaluation for the day was extremely favourable and your session in particular was very well received.
Specific comments from participants regarding your input include:
'Georgina’s presentation was really relaxed yet heartrending bringing tears to my eyes.'
'Georgina really made it personal and real we saw individuals not statistics.'
'The highlight of the event- Georgina Wakefield.'
'Fine life stories, poems prose all extremely moving interesting and very enjoyable.'
'Carers perspective poignant personal but inspirational and moving.'
'Georgina Wakefield- this subject was extremely emotional but very constructive in dealing with her own emotions.'
'Carers perspective emphasised the reality.'
Syrie Cox, Chief Officer
Moving Mountains NIMHE conference 27th April 2004
I just wanted to write to you to express how moving we found your talk at this carers conference.
You have given us many ideas for our carers group so thanks to you and all at NIMHE for a wonderful day.
Jacqueline Brennan, Development Manager
Rethink Conference 20th January 2003
Georgina Wakefield recently gave a talk at a conference I organised which was well received by the audience pf carers, service users, and professionals.
Georgie spoke from her experiences as the mother to a young man with schizophrenia. She told us who and what has helped them with the difficulties she has faced in trying to do the best for her son.
Georgie is now aiming to throw a spotlight on schizophrenia which is the name of the organisation she has established.
A notable part of the presentation was her performance of some of the poems from A Mothers Story which the audience felt were both powerful and moving.
I enjoyed working with Georgie on this conference I found her to be very clear in her message and conscious of how her input would complement other speakers during the day.
I can certainly recommend her for inclusion in any event at which the carers own view would be beneficial.
Jan Hutchinson, Operations Manager
Georgina has spoken at many mental health conferences nationally over the years, these are a few comments from members of the audiences.