Whoa! Before any of you think…well, whatever you’re thinking…the Royal Mile I’m talking about is the one that goes from Edinburgh Castle down to the Scottish Parliament.
I’m looking for people to walk with me and others to talk and share their stories.
I’m also looking for artistic and none artistic types to come up with ideas for a walk a mile logo – don’t worry if your artistic talents are on a par with mine, we can use professional graphic designery types to tidy your work up.
I’m also looking for volunteers to help grease the wheels to help it all run smoothly.
I’m working with the fabulous folk at See Me Scotland to develop the whole walk a mile gig.
This will start with folk walking that Royal Mile in September this year.
And you’re all invited. Yes, you…even you…everyone.
Ok, I’ve got a terrible confession to make. I know I’m in safe company here *looks fertively left and right – checks under the bed* so I’ll tell you…
The Royal Mile…well…isn’t… No, no, it’s not that – I’ve got no idea if it’s Royal or not…
The shock-horror news is that it isn’t a mile.
Apparently it’s a mere 0.89 miles. But I know that information’s safe with you…
It’s just that ‘Walk 0.89 miles in my shoes’ felt significantly less catchy.
The aim is to get people to undertake this ramble with someone from another walk of life – we’re particularly interested in pairing up a vast array of healthcare/ social care professionals with the equally broad group of folk with lived experiences who may or may not have used services.
My main reason for starting here is that, over my years of pillocking about in the world of social media, I’ve noticed that there are many divisions.
People seem to operate in silos. You have your professional silos – your nursing silos – social work – doctor – psychiatrist – professionals allied to medicine silos:
And then you have your punter silos – your service users – your people with lived experience silos – your *insert any mental health malady you can think of* silos…
In my experience there’s not a huge amount of cross pollination between these groups.
My feeling is that where there is a lack of social experience – virtual or otherwise – there is scope for the insidious tendrils of ignorance, prejudice and stigma to encroach…yes, on and from both sides.
Our brains are fabulous. Where we lack knowledge/ perceptual information they perform a pretty groovy trick called ‘completion’.
For example, if we are briefly shown a familiar shape – but with part of it removed – we will perceive a complete shape – our brains fill it in.
Pretty funky, eh?
We do the same with all our experiences of the world – which serves us pretty well.
However, at times, and with very little evidence, our wonderful minds will come with a pile of old ballcocks.
Ballcocks that we’ll reinforce with any ‘evidence’ we find about the place, including the interweb.
Walking a mile – sharing stories and experiences – will provide a starting point for change.
For those of you who’ve been following this merry ramble, you’ll know that I’ve met all kinds of folk from all kinds of places, all of whom have one thing in common.
The vast majority of people are fabulous.
Which, obviously means, you’re fabulous.
We’re – See Me are funding this and more – setting up a website where people can share their experiences of this walk and hopefully others – anonymously or otherwise.
Folk can do this with photos, blogs, photos, stories, poems, podcasts, songs, videos…anything that can be digitised and launched up into the walkamile ether.
My hope too is to enable folk to walk virtually too. If folk are housebound they can link up with others using Skype or any other black magic wizardry the interweb has to offer.
I’ll be following this up with a definite date soon – but it’ll in early September…
If you want to be involved in any way shape or form, and/ or if you have any ideas about all this, you can contact me in a variety of ways
I’m the only Chris McCullough Young in the world – so that’s easy – alternatively you can contact me via the walk a mile group here
Or via Twitter here
I’ll give you the name/ address of the website as soon as that emerges.
I’ve got to say I’m rather excited about all this.
Walk a mile