Students set to support virtual Physiotherapy UK

Each year, a team of CSP student members attend Physiotherapy UK as volunteers to support delegates and speakers. With 2020's conference moving from Birmingham to a virtual venue, student volunteers have never been more important to the UK's biggest physiotherapy conference.

Physiotherapy UK will be taking place in a virtual world on 13-14 November. Using avatar-based interaction, vPUK (as it is now known) aims to replicate the Birmingham-based conference. This includes a team of virtual volunteers controlled by CSP student members from across the UK. 

During October, a team of over 70 student members created their avatars and received volunteer training within the vPUK app. They are now ready and waiting for mid-November to assist delegates with technical issues, support speakers in sessions and record presentations for later viewing.

Though the volunteer tasks have changed, many features of the face-to-face conference have been retained, with auditoriums to watch presenters, areas to sit and talk, and an exhibition hall to explore and browse posters. Though, there are a few features that not even Birmingham could offer. As volunteer Thomas previewed online, vPUK has a beach!

In exchange for helping out for half a day, all student volunteers will receive access to the rest of the conference as a well-deserved thank you. They will then face the task of choosing what sessions to attend from the extensive two-day programme. With over 300 presenters, this is no easy feat. (For tips, check out the article from Frontline on 'Learning from your conference experience'.)
Sharing her hopes for the conference, Caitlin, a final year BSc student at Robert Gordon University, said:

I'm excited to see how this year's conference is being ran and how it's been adapted due to current restrictions. The conference is such a valuable opportunity to network. To listen to and meet so many inspirational physiotherapists and clinicians gets me so excited about the profession I'm studying to be a part of.

She later Tweeted:
SRG Event Officers Leesha and Rebecca at the CSP Students stand

Like previous years, student members will also be attending as delegates to harness those networking opportunities, broaden horizons and build CPD portfolios . If you would like to attend, book soon (for just £49) to avoid disappointment.

Visit the CSP Students stand 

If you are attending vPUK, drop by the exhibition hall to visit the CSP students stand. Here the Student Reference Group (SRG) will be available to share and collate ideas on how to make the most of studying physiotherapy in a socially-distanced world. The top tips will then be shared on Twitter and Instagram.
What is more, the SRG will be interviewing other delegates and speakers from within the virtual world and posting the videos on social media. So if you cannot make it in avatar-form this year, keep an eye on @thecspstudents and #Physio20 over the two days to get involved.

Thank you to James Hallam, this year's sponsors of the student stand and student poster awards.


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