BBS Conference & AGM 2015

Over the weekend of 11-13th September the Brittle Bone Society held their annual meeting for 140 members from across the UK at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Manchester.

This year the BBS invited for the first time, key supporters to join their Gala Awards Dinner and were thrilled when Mr Blair Thomson representing The Northwood Charitable Trust and Mrs Baljinder Boparan (with colleagues Garth Aston and Lesley Williams) of the Boparan Trust agreed to attend and present some awards.

The full programme involved leading NHS healthcare speakers specialising in metabolic bone health involving orthopedics, genetics, research, psychology and current treatments. For the first time the Charity arranged to have the talks live streamed. By live steaming the talks on Friday and Saturday the BBS were able ensure those who were unable to attend this year’s conference in person were still able to benefit from the guest speakers and receive the latest updates and developments in OI treatment. Over the course of the weekend an addition 100 people watched the talks online – almost doubling the number of members benefiting from this year’s roster of speakers.

You can watch the talks from this year’s conference via our YouTube Channel.

098.JPGOur first talk of the weekend was held jointly by Professor Nick Bishop and Rebecca Skarberg. Mrs Skarberg is the Norwegian OIFE representative and gave a fascinating insight into the similarities and differences between OI treatment in Norway and the UK.

The BBS were joined by the Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr Paul Murphy OBE where he formally opened the 2015 conference and spoke passionately about the need for communities and organisations like the BBS to come together in order to make their voices heard; so they might instigate positive change for those they represent.

Cool Bones kids were entertained by Spy Games – during the workshop the kids got to spend the afternoon decoding_MG_8762.JPG messages and cracking safes. The proceedings were all kept very cloak and dagger and on a need to know basis, but we are assured everyone involved had a great time!   

Business section of the charity meeting went smoothly with our AGM held on Saturday. A full business report to members was given. Some questions raised and resolutions proposed and passed. This year saw trustees Jackie Boyd, Sam Renke and Simon Mckeown step down from the board and the BBS would like to extend our thanks for their years of service. Chairman Elaine Healey was also re-elected and will continue to steer our charity for another three years. John Phillips has moved from the role of Secretary to Vice-chair, with his previous position being filled by Mirrick Koh. The Trustee Board also welcomes two new members – Professor Nick Bishop and Professor Faisal Ahmed.  

Each year the charity hosts a sparkling awards ceremony for members celebrating achievements. This year’s winner of the BBS Awareness Raising Award went to young Cameron Allen aged 13 from Appin, Argyll and Bute for capturing interest across media, in radio, television, newspapers and in schools and for a fundraising an amazing total of £9,986 to date. 

_MG_8930.JPGMr Thomson made the presentation to Cameron and with his strong association to DC Thomson, staff added a bonus prize of a fantastic Dennis the Menace which had been donated by the group.

CEO Patricia Osborne said to gain the support and backing of The Northwood Charitable Trust who offers invaluable support for countless charities is amazing. They have been supporting our Charity for 19 years and we don’t take that for granted. Their interest in our work is vital and to send a Trustee to our event made us feel very special. 

Blair Thomson said: “It was a great pleasure to join the Brittle Bone Society Conference, the team and those attending the conference at the Gala Dinner certainly proved to be a success, giving a fascinating insight into the work of the BBS”.

The ceremony also involved VIP guest Mrs Baljinder Boparan of the Boparan Trust who helped with presentations to all children who took part in the Kids Talent Show where each child was presented with a star medal. Although the Boparan Trust are a relatively new funders of the Brittle Bone Society, they have already been very generous in funding vital equipment for our under 18 members and will continue to fund more in the future. Our thanks for hosting the awards presentation goes to former trustee Mark Ross.

If you attended Conference 2015 and haven’t already filled out our feedback form – please do.  Your feedback is important to us and helps us to shape future events. You can find the form here. When completed please return to bbs@brittlebone.org