Reflection: Feeding the Soul, Conference and VOX AGM. 11th September, 2017

Heidi Reflection

Ailene, Matt and I volunteered to attend the VOX Feeding the Soul conference in Glasgow.

An estimated 70 people gathered at 200 St Vincent Street Glasgow for this event. Unfortunately, due to train times, we missed the introduction but arrived in time to listen to Stephen Wiseman, from Scottish Waterways Trust in Inverness, give an inspirational talk on building mental health through nature connection.

There were talks on Homeopathy, music in hospitals and counselling, with a live musical performance to show the beneficial effects of music to lift the soul. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about the holistic approach to mental health, but accessibility to all seemed to be a big issue. There was talk that the main game changes weren’t there. This was noted in our after lunch group discussion and action will be taken next year to involve MPs, Doctors etc.

Overall the conference was a success for VOX, but it needs to be more far-reaching if there is going to be change. When you’re up against the huge pharmaceutical corporations keeping the general public in the belief that drugs are the only answer, whoever wants to make a difference is going to have a very loud voice. As usual, funding is always an issue, even funding can have its own limitations as you have to fulfil the criteria of the funding body, this can limit what you actually want to achieve.

Ailene, Matt and I got along very well, the day flowed with ease. The Wellbeing Hub was mentioned quite a few times in a very good light. The discussion around the table was there is a need for more peer lead groups across Scotland.


On Monday morning at 8:55 am the three of us, Lindsay, Matt and myself boarded the train to Glasgow via Perth, the journey was interesting, seeing the countryside and the rain, we arrived in Glasgow about 10:45 am and made our way to 200 St, Vincent Street in Glasgow.

We arrived at Vox on the second floor, found places to sit, and listened to the various speakers who gave various presentations – Stephen Wiseman, Scottish Waterways Trust spoke about mental health through a nature connection, of walks in woodlands, and along the Caledonia Canal; then Dr Jacqueline Mardon for the NHS Centre for Integrative Care discussed Homeopathy to connect and balance our lives.  Charlie Gorman gave a live performance at 12:30, he explained that he supports Music in Hospitals, why it is good to take, along with lots more interesting things.

Lunch was held at 1 pm and we have Chinese finger food which was delicious, after lunch, a lady called Susan a member of Hagg, spoke about the human element of sport, Qigong, Arts and crafts, Susan also explained that complementary therapies have not to be given in hospitals anymore.   We then saw a “virtual reality” show of what some of us though was “real” on how to involve celebrities in helping fund the project you wish to have. Florence Burke CEO of Music in hospitals,  this activity happens in the Royal Cornhill, Gartnavel General, the Royal Edinburgh Children’s hospital. Florence also stated that Concerts are good for all.

We then had group discussions at the tables we sat at about “What’s needed to feed the soul” with Gordon MacInnes.   everyone had their opinions on Homeopathy, which was very interesting, as an alternative medicine, Qigong is another alternative option.

It was a shame as we had to leave after this discussion, as we had to catch our train home.  I had a lovely time with Matt and Lindsay, and we all would have liked to stay longer.  We all got home safe and sound, so it was an eventful day for all of us.


On 11th September 2017, three of us, went to Glasgow to attend Voices of Experience tenth annual general meeting. This is the first time for Moray Champions attending, although VOX became a company limited by guarantee with charitable status on the 25th of June 2010. This year’s topic ‘feeding the soul’ looked at what

This year’s topic ‘feeding the soul’ looked at what keeps good people isn’t just about diagnosis and treatment. It was highlighted that there are other factors that matter in supporting wellness. This can be found through music, friendship, the outdoors, alternative and complimentary therapies, spirituality and many other ways.

In the morning session, a lady talked about her 17 years’ experience of bipolar and found it was much better through the practice of Qi Gong, Reiki, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology. She promoted that naturally is simple. Florence Burke, CEO of Music in Hospital Scotland started from Jan 1948 present where there is great love there

Florence Burke, CEO of Music in Hospital Scotland, started in Jan 1948, presented about “where there is great love there are is always a miracle”.

At the event, there was a live performance from Charlie Gorman welcomed by all attendee. Giving a great sense of connection and community.

At the conference, I also met my old friend John Moody WRAP facilitator and new friend Frank Fallan MBE.


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