My first proper introduction to the ISG was at the 2007 conference in Bloomsbury, London. My wife, Sue, said that her friend Maggie Aldwin was looking for volunteers to help over that weekend. It was to be a special weekend as the ISG was celebrating its 10th anniversary, so of course I said yes.

I had no idea what to expect, so I was absolutely blown away by the whole thing. It was a truly wonderful experience. There was a rolling collage of photos running all day with members and their families having great fun spotting themselves. There were medical professionals giving lectures, conducting one-to-one consultations and hosting focus groups and of course all our young members having a wonderful time with a visit to the science museum and other activities based in the conference centre.

By the end of two days we were exhausted but totally elated and inspired. We went back to our normal daily lives, as one does, and didn’t think too much more about the ISG until 2009 when Maggie asked if we’d go up to Birmingham to help out at the 2009 conference at Aston. Again we had a wonderful time and shortly afterwards, Sue agreed to become a trustee and take on the role of Secretary.

Since then, I’ve become steadily more involved and having attended many of the trustee meetings over the last year, I joined the board as a trustee at the incorporation that was announced and voted in at the 2011 conference.