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Scottish Branch @BPSScot

BPS Hub event reports

BPS Aberdeen Hub event report Introduction The purpose of BPS Hub events in Scotland is to bring together psychologists from different areas of psychology in order for them to meet and network. 2015 Aberdeen HUB event was built on the success of the previous year's hub. Feedback from that event was analysed and suggestions about venues/topics/improvements for future events were considered. This year the event was held on 5 November from 7pm at the Station hotel in Aberdeen. The venue is located in the city centre and is easily accessible by car/bus/train. There were a few congestion issues in the city that caused a delay to the beginning of the event. That said, the waiting time was productively used for initial networking. The speaker, Mark Lough, made a presentation on 'Relational approaches to organisational and therapeutic work: opportunities, perspectives and challenges'. The event was followed by a Q&A session and more networking. Feedback was collected from the participants and analysed suggesting that the event was successful and was well received by psychologists working within different areas of psychology. Many participants requested to conduct another hub event in spring 2016. The Aberdeen HUB a) planning A successful HUB event was conducted in November 2014. This year, the organisers, Nargiz Morrison and Karen Barbour, had several meetings, discussions and, and after some research, approached different psychologists from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee area to invite as speakers. Mark Lough (a psychotherapist with extensive experience) accepted the invitation. After a couple of initial meetings with Mark, the topic of the talk was established. A flier was developed and formally approved by BPS Leicester as compliant with BPS procedures. The event was advertised through BPS website, by emails sent to all BPS Scotland members and BPS Aberdeen Hub Facebook page. BPS members from all over Scotland were invited. About 20 people registered their place online using a Questback link to BPS Leicester; this was required in order to comply with the data protection rules governing personal e-mail information. On the evening 15 attended with lower attendance being attributed to the fact that it was a Bonfire night. In addition, some roads in Aberdeen were heavily congested due to road works. Unfortunately, delays had resulted in a few participants deciding to return home rather than being late. b) The event Station hotel is conveniently located in Aberdeen city centre with easy access by car, rail and bus. There is a nearby carpark which was very convenient for participants. The organisers made sure the room was well equipped for the meeting. Hot and cold refreshments as well as homebakes were offered. Due to unforeseen circumstances (traffic related issues), the event started slightly later. However, the time was used by attendees to meet each other and to network. There was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which was much appreciated by all. Nara Morrison opened the evening by talking about how the event was organised, and what to expect during the evening. Then the attendees introduced themselves to each other. After that Nara introduced Mark Lough who made a presentation on 'Relational approaches to organisational and therapeutic work: opportunities, perspectives and challenges'. Mark Lough is a clinical psychotherapist. He also runs a business that works with companies who aim to improve through organisational development, leadership development etc. Mark talked about his journey into the psychology world. He continued by discussing the importance of relational approaches. By involving attendees in discussion, asking questions, giving tasks, Mark made sure everyone participated, sharing ideas and personal experiences. This discussion led to exploring opportunities and perspectives of a relational approach. The talk was followed by a Questions and Answers session which showed a great level of engagement from attendees. The event was due to finish at 9pm but did not finish until about 10pm. c) Feedback: When is the next one? The psychologists attending the event represented many different backgrounds including occupational, health, clinical, counselling, and various academic disciplines. Additionally, there were a number of psychology undergraduate students. All attendees were asked to fill in standardised feedback forms. The feedback form asked to evaluated the venue, the speaker, the topic, the best part of the event, as well as share their ideas about future events, and how these could improve on the current hub event. At the end, the form asked for any additional comments. The completed forms were collected and analysed. In assessing the feedback, it was impressive to learn that attendees were unanimous in their positive appraisal of the event. The venue received praise for the size of the room, proximity to a parking facility and being central; only one attendee suggested using a venue at a University. The topic was also highly rated with comments like ‘excellent food for thought’ and ‘interesting and thought provoking’. The speaker Mark Lough was rated as excellent and knowledgeable. Attendees specially enjoyed the fact that his talk was interactive and appreciated the Q&A session. When asked to highlight the best part of the event, things like networking opportunity and learning something new were among most common. Other things included meeting other BPS members, new people, collaborative discussing of the topic, variety of participants’ backgrounds, location. Talking about improvements to the event, the biggest comment was not to have the future events coinciding with big events (the hub meeting was held on Bonfire Night – something organisers did not take into consideration). Participants also commented that they wished there were some practical tips as well as longer Q&A session during the meeting. Other improvement ideas were to conduct more conversational café style events and to allow more time for networking. Some comments included remarks like ‘cannot think of any improvements’. Ideas for the topic of future events were suggested and included addiction, wellbeing of older people, positive psychology, and development of practical/research skills as well as forensic psychology. It was encouraging to read comments saying how well the event was organised and how well it went. In addition to the filled feedback forms, the organisers also received verbal feedback in conversations before attendees left the meeting room. Most people repeated positive feedback and a few asked when the next event will be held. One of the most positive outcomes of the event was that one participant offered to be a speaker for one of the future Hub events. d) Conclusion Interest in the Hub event in Aberdeen was high. It showed the need for psychologists practicing in different areas of psychology to come together, to meet and to discuss different topics that are of interest. Networking was one of the major aims of the Hub meeting. All participants appreciated the opportunity and expressed their wish to participate in more events. One participant came forward as a volunteer speaker in the next event. The event also allowed the younger generation of psychologists to meet with experienced ones, network, exchange ideas and experiences. This was another important outcome of the meeting. In conclusion, the event received very positive feedback and future events are being planned. Some valuable lessons were learned and will be considered in the future. The organisers will continue to improve hub events providing more psychologists with the opprotunity to meet and network. Nargiz Morrison, Aberdeen Hub local coordinator December, 2015