National conference – College of Occupational Therapists


June saw the 40th national conference of the College of Occupational Therapists, and it was their biggest ever!  Not just one conference but two! The special interest group of Trauma and Orthopaedics ran their conference alongside the national event, making it even more cost efficient.

Over 1500 delegates attended, many  students this year took advantage of the anniversary price of just £40, swelling numbers, and gaining much for their future networking and knowledge base evidence gathering skills.

Two of our first year Medway students attended, and have said they thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend conference attendance as a way of increasing their confidence as a future professional.

Abimbola Taiwo 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student describes her experience;

COT studentphoto
Comfort Olaoye and Abimbola Taiwo at Conference

“The 40th annual College of Occupational Therapy conference was an amazing experience for me, I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I was excited and anxious at the same time. To be in a place with almost 1500 other Occupational Therapists is an experience I would not be forgetting in a hurry.The atmosphere was live, there was a mix of students and practitioners. Meeting people whose work I have read was a great experience, the discussion and debates have challenged me to go ‘beyond the ordinary and become extraordinary’. I intend to make this an annual occurrence as I feel the more I go the better off I will become.”

Comfort Olaoye -2nd Year Occupation Therapy Student, reports back on the conference;

“Attending the COT conference was an amazing and exciting experience. From the moment you walk in the door and get handed your name badge & big green goodie bag, you instantly feel a part of this awe-inspiring community that is much bigger than you. From the poster’s and presentations about latest research, to attending the Elizabeth Casson memorial lecture, to hearing service-user’s testimonies, I was constantly learning something new as I made my way around the conference centre. The exhibition was brilliant it provided great networking opportunities to speak to other students as well as clinicians at the various stands. One key thing attending this conference has taught me is that; if you are lucky enough to do what you love, be diligent in pursuing excellence. Excellence was something I saw portrayed in every aspect of the conference. I suggest you make it a point to attend next year. I’ll sure be there.”


Gemma Wells
Gemma Wells

Gemma Wells (Sessional lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and PhD Student) presented her current PhD research project; “The use of photo- elicitation to explore engagement in activities within their context”


COT Karina
Karina Dancza




Karina Dancza (Professional Advisor -Children & Young People College of Occupational Therapists & recent Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University) presented her Phd research project on “The development of a theory informed workbook as an addition for supporting occupational therapy students on role emerging placements”.



COT sarah
Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey (Senior Lecturer) also presented her work with Care Homes. Her project was entitled;

 “Can staff education reduce the occupational deprivation of people with dementia? A case analysis” 


COT rupert
Rupert Kerrell




Supporting members of the Neurological special interest group, involved our Programme Director Rupert Kerrell!

By the end of the conference everyone was on a high, fully motivated by key note speakers and a full range of professional development opportunities with the very firm reconfirmed belief that Occupation really does make the difference to people’s lives successfully!

You may not have been able to go….but maybe you can still get involved by watching the video clips on the website.

Enjoy, it’s a great profession and I can highly recommend it.



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