I hope I can be forgiven for being one of those people who really never understood how government and parliament effect us and how we affect it. Day to day living and family life always seemed to get in the way to what seemed to me to be a removed organisation far far away in the Palace of Westminster. However a few events recently have really given me an insight and opened my eyes to the possibilities all due to the Parliament Outreach team starting to think about social media.
As some of you may know I and a handful of other nurses were fortunate to be invited to tweet from the health select committee earlier this year … Which I won’t go into any great detail about as you can read about it on the WeBlog or my own post Tweeting From Westminster … However suffice to say it was the start of a journey for me that has led to this road of potential and possibilities.
Following the success of tweeting from the Health Committee and some other projects the Parliament Outreach Team invited WeNurses to the first meeting of Parliament Tea Camp – #ParliTeaCamp where a group of enthusiastic communities including – Money Saving Expert Forum, Netmums, Our Diabetes, Army Rumour Service, The Environment Agency, Sustrans, Girl Guiding, Defence, and The Digital Democracy Commission came together with the Parliament outreach team to discuss and brainstorm how social media can be used to engage people with Parliament. It was a rather eclectic bunch of people all bound together by our enthusiasm for connecting in social spaces.
I have to say that at first I was quite nervous and quite intimidated (just getting through The Palace of Westminster’s security is scary enough, let alone being directed to walk past David Cameron and head for Tony Blair … My simple brain was looking around for the politicians in question when in fact the man on reception meant paintings !!! Anyway I am diversifying, there I was feeling a little in awe and the first #ParliTeaCamp seemed to fly by in an heart beat with no real time for me to reflect or think. However this week saw the second meeting of #ParliTeaCamp and I really started to see the point and the possibilities of people connecting and feeling empowered to connect with Parliament especially a community very close to my heart – the nurse community. I even felt comfortable enough to send a few tweets about our discussions.
— WeNurses (@WeNurses) May 30, 2014
My journey so far has taught me that being able to engage and discuss things with Parliament not only gives me a greater understanding but could also potentially help the nursing voice to be heard. Talking is always good but knowing that parliament are listening and wanting to engage with people…..with nurses….. is something that really does get my mind buzzing with possibilities.
#ParliTeaCamp is one small group but I am now very much in mind of what Margaret Mead once said :
So if you see me tweeting #ParliTeaCamp please tweet along and join in because I would really love you to be there with me.