mind charity peerfest superheroics talk

“PeerFest is our annual event celebrating the importance, power, and diversity of community-led groups who come together for peer support. It’s a welcoming, inclusive, and inspirational event bringing people together to network, share knowledge and best practice through workshops, creative activities, and The Marsh Awards. We are so proud to have worked with Liv and everyone who took part in PeerFest – thank you to all of those who joined us on stage, in workshops and in the main hall. See you next year!”– Georgia Mehmet-Wright, Mind Charity Communities Lead

During Speech

(Me during the speech)

Recently I did the impossible, well, in my eyes, anyway. Public speaking is one of my biggest fears, so I never thought I’d be doing it, or that my first official appearance would be on Mind’s platform at the PeerFest annual event at London’s Conway Hall Main Stage. “But you’ve performed in various places before, so what’s the problem?” was some people’s response when I’d tell them I was nervous, comparing this speech with the gigs I’d done with my band in the past. Well, firstly there was a set list, and secondly I had my bandmates onstage with me. I always knew they had my back and gave me confidence. This time I was going to be on my own with no outside help or musical instruments to fill in the silence, only me and my story, visible and audible to everyone.


(Me before the speech having my mic adjusted)

I kept battling with fear until the moment I stepped on the podium. The worries that kept me up at night leading to PeerFest were: What if I have a panic attack? What if I trip, sneeze, cough or hiccup? And the list went on, me imagining all the ways it could go wrong. Even on my way to the venue I was feeling nauseous and panicky, and was this (imagine my thumb and index finger almost touching) close to cancelling it, wondering what to tell the organisers whilst trying not to vomit in the cab.

After Speech

(Me after the speech)

Spoiler alert: my fear lost this particular battle, and I didn’t make a fool of myself. Warmly welcomed by everyone at the event, I felt honoured to be a part of this increasingly expanding peer support movement which is proving a vital branch within mental healthcare. This experience did make me wonder though, how many great opportunities do we lose in life because of fear?


Before I share the result of the speech with you, I’d like to first thank:

a) Mind for giving me the platform,

b) Conway Hall for giving me the stage,

c) and everyone who was there for making this a day I’ll remember with a happy grin on my face :)

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(I didn’t think I’d need my own stall, so didn’t request one, and had to improvise)

Watch the video below: