Friends for life

2014 CSA Christmas DinnerAt the CSA Christmas dinner last night I had the privilege to speak with people whose lives have been transformed.  Yes, transformed is the word, and it was thanks to the 2-3 day national conferences that the Canadian Stuttering Association used to organise.

It’s quite something to speak with a group of friends who met through these conferences and became friends for life.  Sure, it takes courage - even to walk through the door for the first time - but you go to a conference you will make new friends and gain a new sense of what you can achieve.  For example, it took Mary Wood real courage to give her first presentation. “I was terrified”, she said. Since then, Mary has spoken at many conferences internationally and is now speaks every week as a church minister.

Heart and soul

I too greatly benefited from conferences - in my case - in the UK and Australia. I developed a much broader sense of what living with stuttering was all about, and seeing the changes in others lives sowed the seeds for what I am doing now through CSA.   In recent years, people from Canada have gone to the National Stuttering Association conferences in the US, for lack of anything here in Canada. These conferences are amazing, but don’t take my word for it. Experience one for yourself. Make sure you meet others from Canada, and start planning a conference here. It’s really hard to convey what it’s like to touch the heart and soul of an organisation, but talking with the people who organised our CSA national conferences, shows just how much is possible. 

Conference in Canada

So, what is possible? I’m determined to do all I can to create life-changing opportunities though a CSA conference. I know that sounds rather high minded. But the point is to aim high and plan well.

Without running through a list of names, I know there are many people willing to help with a conference and become more involved with CSA.  The intentions are there, we know it’s a good idea, and crucially, we have a growing membership who are highly skilled and motivated.

Now is the time to act - and start planning. What makes conferences work best? Plenty of time to talk and just hang out - and good food.

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