The TPA Annual Conference (25 October 2013) was a great success with around 120 TPA members attending.
This year we held the conference in the Lunar Suite at the Novotel on Broad Street in Birmingham and evaluations say this was a good venue especially as it is very near to New Street railway station.
On arrival members were able to chat to one another and also to buy raffle tickets before our founder, Sheila Turner, opened the meeting and gave an update on TPA activities.
TPA founder Sheila Turner
Speakers included our own TPA Medical Advisors including the late and sadly missed Dr Gordon Skinner who gave a talk called ‘Nice work for everyone but the patient’ , which had lots of useful information and as we had come to expect from him, lots of laughter, especially by his friendly teasing of Dr Peatfield! He left us with a very fond memory of him and his famous sense of humour.
The late Dr Gordon Skinner
Another TPA Medical Advisor is Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield who also shared great information with us about the different causes of hypothyroid symptoms and why treatment with levothyroxine-only often doesnt work.
Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield
We were fortunate to have Rufus Greenbaum (long standing member of TPA) as a speaker this year. Many of you will have come across Rufus and his website www.rufusgreenbaum.com which has an interesting forum and great information about Vitamin D. Rufus is an engineer rather than a doctor but has been advocating using Vitamin D to help and cure many diseases including cancer and in particular mentioned that any condition which is cyclical may involve low levels of this vitamin – its the one known as the sunshine vitamin as we can get it from the sun – but in many parts of the world including parts of the UK we dont get enough from sunshine and may need to take supplements. Rufus is a very youthful looking chap of 71 and is a great advertisement for his suggestions!
Kathy Donovan from The Linden Institute http://www.charles-linden.com/stress/ gave an interesting talk about their work and help with anxiety, which can be related to having any long term condition with all the stresses on relationships, employment, finances etc that can go along with ill health such as thyroid conditions.
Freedom From Anxiety – Kathy Donovan
A tradition has emerged over the years of the conferences – that of the TPA Grand Raffle! Many fantastic prizes were donated and winners choose their own prize from among the great ones on offer, which this year included hand-made quilts, a B and B stay in Bridlington, two 25 vouchers for Nutri products, an original oil painting by Sheila Turner, books written by the late Dr Gordon Skinner, Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield and Paul Robinson as well as a silver bracelet and a lovely assortment of toiletries, bottles and vouchers. The raffle is growing and had to be rushed this year so if you have suggestions for how we can improve how we run this do let us know.
Just some of the many Raffle Prizes
The members had a surprise for Sheila, when Lilian, who is a long standing TPA moderator and working party member stood up to say a few words of thanks to the moderators and trustees and a thank you for Howard, Sheila’s husband, for all the support he gives to Sheila. Lilian then presented a card to Sheila signed by the delegates to thank her for all her hard work for TPA, needless to say Sheila was overwhelmed.
Photo below of Sheila with card and for once was stuck for something to say!
Lilian also thanked Kathleen Parrish for kindly making the thank you card.
We had a very successful Q and A session where members are able to ask questions of the medical advisors and speakers. Questions ranged from one about atrial fibrillation to another about taking vitamin K! As always this was a very popular session and sparked much interesting debate.
Lunch was a buffet and overall pretty good although some comments on the evaluations have suggested that less bread would be better.
What are your thoughts on whether we should provide sandwiches at these events? Other foods included chips, chicken legs, salads and cream cakes
We were pleased to have a separate table for the many members who requested a gluten free meal or other special request. One member hadn’t requested a vegan meal thinking this couldn’t be catered for but in fact the gluten free buffet was served without sauces and with plain salads and jackets with their toppings served separately which meant that most food intolerances or diets could be catered for – which is a very pleasant change for some of us who regularly avoid the buffets at such events!
Kathleen Parrish also created a DVD of the conference and you can see this and listen to it here:
This was Kathleens first valiant effort and she did very well. It was a very lengthy conference and everything couldnt be included here, so some parts of the speeches and some answers to the questions asked are missing but are available if you click on the links above. I am sure you will enjoy seeing lots of our members and the speakers. Thank you and well done to our member Kathleen, who does so much for TPA.
The next TPA Conference will take place at The Crown Hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and details will be announced nearer the time.