Occupational Therapy alumni catch up after 30 years

29 September 2016


In 1986 several Occupational Therapy careers were launched from Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy, 6 years before the school amalgamated with Oxford Brookes University.

This September, 30 years on, 28 of the original group gathered again in Headington for a reunion. The school building is no longer, and Dorset House student accommodation is on the original site. Thanks to the Oxford Brookes Alumni team we were able to meet in Headington Hill Hall, which had been the home of Robert Maxwell during our training.

Although many had not met in the intervening years the room was soon alive with reminiscence and catching up and it soon felt like the old Student Common Room again. Comparisons were made between our student accommodation, shared bedrooms and queuing for the pay phone with those our adult children enjoy today ‘he even has a dishwasher!’. Although we haven’t forgotten that many of us benefitted from grant assisted education, despite not realising the luxury it was at the time.

All of us still use our Occupational therapy skills in some shape or form. Twenty-four of us still work in Occupational Therapy or related professions, so as well as catching up on our personal lives, the reunion was a great opportunity for sharing ideas. “I knew I would gain something new from today” responded one, as a successful longitudinal outcome measure was described. Others shared the excitement of new projects and research involvement “I really hope our team will be chosen for the pilot site now.”

The connections made on Facebook while preparing for the event mean that those of our group who now live abroad are in touch again with a wider network of colleagues and friends. We had travelled from as far as Cornwall, Doncaster and the Isle of Man to meet up. Not only did we enjoy the company and good food but despite the rain a very cheerful student ambassador led a guided tour of the new buildings. All the staff were generous and helpful in ensuring our reunion was a success. So a very big thank you to the Alumni Team for supporting this event. Maybe we will reunite in another 10 years!

Sarah Mattock '86