My 2021 Year in Review

With 2021 coming to an end, it’s the time of year where I think back and jot down and note highlights of my year. Every year, I tell myself I’ll make a note at the end of each month with some highlights, but as usual this never happens, so everything below is from the top of my head and isn’t a conclusive list of highlights.

Thank you all for all of your support, kindness and friendship over the last year, whether that’s professionally at work, or outside of work as friends. We all made it through another crazy year and importantly, we made it through together.

There’s no order to these highlights and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some out, so let’s crack on!

Comms & PR around Prince Charles Radio Programme

Back in July, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales presented a special programme Music & Memories with HRH The Prince of Wales produced by the Hospital Broadcasting Association. This programme was broadcast across the UK via hospital, health and wellbeing radio stations.

In the run up to this, I worked closely with the Communications Team at Clarence House to ensure our press releases aligned, quotes were received in good time and ensure timely delivery of comms around the programme to media outlets across the UK.

The programme was a huge success and press/publicity made the national news, including Sky News, The Sun, The Express and CNN to name but a few. There was also an accompanying Spotify playlist.

Working on this project was certainly a highlight for me and our collaboration of Comms & PR sources and knowledge worked well.

15 years of volunteering & broadcasting

In October, I attended a small gathering at Oxford Town Hall to meet the Lord Mayor of Oxford, where I was presented with a certificate celebrating 15 years of volunteering for Radio Cherwell, Oxford’s Hospital Radio station.

That coincided with 15 years of broadcasting on the radio, given Radio Cherwell was the first official station I’d had a programme on. Since 2006, I’ve hosted programmes on an array of radio stations, including internet, community and hospital, ranging from music programming, news programmes and children’s/entertainment programmes.

You can find out more about my broadcasting work here.

Speaking at industry events

In 2021 I was given the opportunity to speak about my role in the NHS and share my knowledge, thoughts and experiences of Remote Monitoring, including managing the daily running of a Cardiac Rhythm Management Remote Monitoring service.

It was great to share my experiences about my role and how our departments Remote Monitoring service has increased, something which I hope will continue to increase going forward into 2022 and beyond.

I joined a panel session at the Heart Rhythm Congress about Remote Monitoring, updated teams with colleagues at the Oxford Heart Rhythm Update for the Arrhythmia Alliance and was also part of the panel at The Hill’s last social mixer of 2021, focusing on the innovations in Remote Monitoring.

If you’d like me to speak at your event, or think I could help your service, drop me a line. You’ll find more information about the above events over on this page.

Becoming a Digital Ambassador

Earlier this year, I joined The Hill and became one of 20 Digital Ambassadors where we champion digital innovation and drive service transformations with the help of these digital innovations and other ideas. I lead the Remote Monitoring Specialist Interest Group with a Consultant colleague as we continue to drive the development of innovations in remote monitoring to our department, then the wider NHS Trust.

This is something I’m excited to be involved in and I can’t wait to see how far we progress in 2022 and beyond.

Winning Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday

In January, I began work as a freelance Digital & UI designer, whilst still holding down a day job. The idea being I’d get enough UI design work in to either continue to improve my skills and expand my knowledge, or get enough work to take it on full time. Needless to say, life happens and this hasn’t come to fruition, but I did have a little win whilst being freelance.

That was being selected by Theo Paphitis on Twitter as one of his six Small Business Sunday winners. You send a tweet during a specified timeframe on Sunday, Theo then retweets his 6 favourites on Monday.

Needless to say, I entered weekly and it was the 5th April 2021 when I got that magical retweet from Theo. I’m still part of the SBS Community, albeit in the background now, but one day I’ll get back to all things UI design.

Moving to new pastures

2021 was also the year me and my partner moved out of our one bed flat in the centre of Oxford to a really nice two bed house in the suburbs. Needless to say, we’ve gone from being on a side street with the hustle and bustle of a very characteristic road with students, shoppers and nightclubs, to an area where you can hear a pin drop in the dead of night, the light rumble of the railway line and the occasional aeroplane flying overhead. It’s really, really nice.

This was certainly one of my favourite highlights of the year and here’s hoping we can stay here for just as long as we had the flat, if not longer.

When we first saw the house on Zoopla, we contacted the agents, who said the house was now let. However, a week later, it was back and we jumped straight in. As soon as my partner walked in the front door, her words to the estate agent were ‘This is ours, cancel all other viewings’. We all laughed, but after the initial knockback, this was just meant to be.

And finally, I had Coronavirus.

Let’s end this post where the year started, January 2021. I caught Coronavirus and was out of action for over a week. I wrote about it afterwards in this post and touch wood, I’ve avoided having it since. People may say it’s just like having a cold, but let me tell you, it was nothing like having a cold or the flu at all.

I think it was inevitable, given I work in a hospital, my partner works in care – she also caught Coronavirus and was the first out of us to do so, those certainly one of the worst times of the year and one I don’t want to repeat.

🥳 Let’s see what 2022 brings – Happy New Year 🎉