You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think

I’ve been musing this weekend about our forthcoming eat-ups, most of which still have a handful of space if you’d care to join them – book here for the UK and here for Canada. I was thinking about how brave it is to agree to come along for a curry, with a bunch of complete strangers who you know nothing about. I mean obviously I think it’s a great idea, and I’m not trying to put anyone off, and I did just this back in July in Birmingham, but I at least knew Matt B would be there and I had met a number of the people attending before.

So, what of those of you who don’t know anyone. I guess this post is acknowledgement of the courage it takes and the potential anxiety you may experience in doing so. What I would like to reassure you of is that there are no gurus, experts, leaders or specialists when it comes to Social Care Curry Club. We’re all learning, together. With the exception of the nine people who met in July everyone is in the same boat, completely new to it, unsure of how the evening will go, who they’ll sit next to, what they’ll have to talk about. There won’t be any presentations, talks, show boating or showing off, well we really hope there wont be.

Each venue will have at least one volunteer host, you can meet some of them here. These lovely people have agreed to get to the restaurant on time, so no-one will be on their own. They will do their best to give everyone a warm welcome and then it’s over to the rest of us, the remaining two hundred odd people. It’s probably an obvious thing to say, but remember to look out for people, be welcoming, say hello and don’t form cliques in a corner. Of course catch up with people you’ve been long waiting to meet on twitter, or who you haven’t seen in a while, but it’s worth remembering that there is a huge range of people attending, with considerable variety of experiences and knowledge of social care, and you all have something to offer.

So if you’re still uncertain about whether to come I’d really like to encourage you to give it a go. We’re confident that there will be a warm welcome for each of you, and you don’t need to do anything but turn up, enjoy curry and speak to the person you’re sat next to. We promise we won’t put you on the spot, or ask you to answer difficult questions, or stand up and introduce yourself. If you’re particularly shy then maybe just let your host know (in advance or when you arrive – tweet/DM us if you don’t know who your host is) and they’ll find someone for you to talk to.

If this feels like overkill then you probably don’t need the advice that follows, but if it doesn’t then remember, the advice of A.A. Milne to Christopher Robin “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think“.

NPG x19574; Alan Alexander ('A.A.') Milne; Christopher Robin Milne and Pooh Bear by Howard Coster

Enjoy the curry everyone, and please do give it a go.