Well I promised in my last post that I'd let you know how the talk went... It's been three weeks and I've just not managed to find the time for one reason or another. So I apologise for taking so long! Anyway I've just referred back to my notebook that I carry with me everywhere and here is what I wrote as soon as I got settled on the train:
"What a tremendous experience for me today. I have, for the first time in my life, addressed over 200 people in a public talk for the Mencap 'Top Talent' day in Birmingham. It really was a huge honour for me to be asked to talk from a Dad's perspective about life with Rosie and also a little about 'The Future's Rosie' blog. I also touched on my concerns of the negative way in which we were told the news that our baby has Down's syndrome and how steering conversations and cornering parents to terminate a pregnancy at the point of diagnosis can also have a lifelong mental effect on someone –one of torment and regret.
I was made to feel extremely welcome from the moment I arrived at the venue. Anyone who knows me well and has had to put up with me the past couple of months will know just how nervous I was about delivering this talk so a warm reception was just what I needed to calm my pre-talk nerves.
I have been truly overwhelmed by the positive messages and feedback from people in attendance and would like to thank Mencap for giving me this opportunity and helping me tackle a personal fear of mine. As I sat down afterwards I looked across the vast room then back at the stage and thought to myself, here is yet another moment in my life where I've been encouraged by Rosie to challenge myself. I would never have done this without her inspiration."
I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with so many inspirational people from Mencap including their Chief Executive Jan Tregelles who I must thank for the picture below which was pinched from her twitter feed!