One of the last evening meals together

Peer Leadership Academy – Days 5 and 6 (and some other thoughts)

My cohort spent the last 2 days of the Peer Leadership Academy together on the 19th and 20th July.   I was feeling quite nervous because I was presenting my personal story and having been pretty busy, only got it finished the morning of the same day.

Luckily for me, with all the presenting I had done in previous careers, once I was up the front I dropped into it quite naturally. It was still nerve-wracking as a number of the audience were people I hadn’t met before. I’ve always found a smaller group harder than a larger one, as you can see all the individual faces and it feels more personal. Despite rushing a bit towards the end I managed to fit everything in, and overall was pleased with the feedback that I got; fair comments all round.

I don’t really want to write too much about the Academy beyond what I have spoken about so far. One of the lessons that I have learned this year is that things happen for a reason, and it’s really best to roll with them rather than try and analyse too much. I have come so far in the last six months and still have a little way to go.

We found out yesterday that we have to move house; stressful, upsetting and an added difficulty with my studies and health. It was really hard to deal with at first. Just like being in hospital though, there was a good side (we have negated an extremely large cost and rid ourselves of some baggage from the past) but the downside is that we have to sell our house and move and we don’t really want to.

This is the house my son had grown up in, His measurements are on the wall with his drawings next to them. Some things we can take with us, the memories, each other and our love, but you always leave something behind. Reflecting, I think that maybe in the same way that I am finally getting better, perhaps the move into a new house not associated with sickness and distress and all the conflict that came with it, is a positive step forwards again. God knows, Mark and I have come through some shit in the last 5 years and have somehow stayed together.

When we moved to this house it wasn’t through choice, but we made the best of a bad situation. The alternative was bankruptcy.  We have made it our home since then and I will be sad to go, but now is the right time to let go, say goodbye and see where else we end up. From the Peer Academy, from our current house in Derby, and from sickness towards wellness.

For anyone thinking of applying for the next Academy I would say that it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done since making a baby. I have met some amazing individuals, from the participants, as well as the organisers from Peoplehub, the fabulous Jo, Rita and Steph. You have to be open, aware and welcome challenges. I can’t tell you what you might get our personally, but if it’s as much as me it will be a great deal.

The end of an experience and the beginning of a journey.



One thought on “Peer Leadership Academy – Days 5 and 6 (and some other thoughts)

  1. Hi Jen,
    Thanks so much for these posts. I had the link to the next intake of Peer Leadership Academy sent to me on Twitter yesterday and I’m currently trying to decide whether to apply or not, so reading such an in-depth description of your experience was really useful! Thanks again, I’m glad I found your blog. 🙂

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