Hi everyone, it’s Steve here. Sorry its been so long since I have written a blog but I have been really busy as usual.

Last July was a big month for me and also a very scary one. Why, you may ask. Well as most people know many years ago I tried to take my own life on the Tyne Bridge and have had a fear of heights ever since. I heard on the grapevine that North Tyneside Launchpad were looking for someone to do a bungee jump to raise a few pounds for charity. Yes, you guessed it, I was asked and said “yes” as I usually do and then wondered to myself ‘why did I say yes?’. Well, to cut a long story short I overcame my fears and did the bungee jump and raised over £300 for charity. It doesn’t end there though, this coming Summer I am hoping to jump out of a plane to raise a few more pounds and before you ask I think I may even use a parachute.

I am so glad to be back doing what I like best and that is working with the students again, doing presentations to potential Students and also being a part of the interview process which I really enjoy doing year in and year out. I have also been involved in simulation sessions with the Masters Students and the feedback is that these sessions are essential to prepare Students for going out into the big wide world. I am also privileged to still be the Chair of the Service User and Carer Committee and we have lots of exciting stuff coming up so watch this space. NESWA is also holding a Conference on the 29th of March which I am looking forward to as I have been asked to chair the day. Exciting stuff. Yu can find out more about the conference and register for a place here: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/news-events/events/2019/03/neswa-experts-by-experience-conference-2019/

Things are going from strength to strength with my Daughter who is absolutely fantastic and I am so, so proud to have such a wonderful Daughter and beautiful Grandson and also not forgetting my Daughter’s amazing Partner.

One last thing, being at Northumbria Uni and working on the Social Work Programme I have been asked to do some work with Nursing Students which I am looking forward to.

Recently I did a 40 min interview with Alfie and Anna on Radio Newcastle’s Breakfast Show, I will let people know when this is to be aired and after the interview Radio 5 Live contacted me to do an interview about what it is like to be reunited with a family member after 20 years to which I said yes. It was played at 5.30 on a Friday afternoon and I have to say I enjoyed the experience ( a recording of the interview can be found on The Social Work Whisperer Website).

That’s all for now folks and I promise to do a blog on a regular basis from now on, also if you see me on campus feel free to stop and have a chat if you have time.

Many thanks Steve O`Driscoll.