A Day Celebrations at the National Learning Disabilities Show 2014
On Friday 16th May, over 300 people from the learning disabilities and autism sector attended the very first National Learning Disabilities Show, Valuing People Today, which took place at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. The show was the forerunner to the National Learning Disabilities Awards, hosted by British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) in association with Care Talk magazine.
Show delegates represented all areas of the sector, including inspirational people with a learning disability, charities, private care providers, residential and nursing homes and local authority adult social care departments – the one thing they all had in common; they epitomised the unsung heroes of communities. Without such people quality, person centred support for people with a learning disability would fail.
The show kicked off with an icebreaking session from drumming group Unbeatable Energy. Each delegate was given a boom whacker instrument and the room suddenly became alive with vibrant colour, energy and music.
The National Learning Disabilities Show showcased excellence and innovation in the sector through an exciting speakers’ programme and exhibition. It also provided a platform for the awards finalists to share their good news stories with delegates and disseminate examples of good practice.
Speaker sessions included; A New Era where Dr Sam Bennet, Programme Director from TLAP, spoke about taking forward personalisation in the context of the Care Bill, Perspectives from people with a learning disability, where Scott Watkin from Seeability spoke about Culture and change to promote inclusion and Jan Seamer a family co-trainer gave a moving presentation speaking for those without a voice. Other sessions included Changing Lives, Community Living, Positive Behaviour Support and a session on Relationships where BILD’s Kate Brackley gave an uplifting and inspiring presentation on entitled, Undateable? Not Me!
The afternoon session opened with a magical and moving performance from Kaleidoscope Theatre, a performance group who’s players have down syndrome. Delegates were mesmerized and as all seats were taken, took to sitting on the floor to watch this outstanding show.
Andrea Pope-Smith, Learning Disabilities Policy Lead, ADASS, said,
“The National Learning Disability Show and Awards placed learning disability issues centre stage in a very positive and proactive way. It was a great opportunity to show case excellence and celebrate success. It was a privilege to be involved!”
Ann Chivers, chief executive of BILD said,
“BILD are delighted to be hosting this very important event in partnership with Care Talk. We wanted to find a way to show case excellence in the sector and recognise and pay tribute to the many individuals and organisations whose dedication and hard work has an extraordinary impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. Their commitment helps people to live the life they choose, in their community, and ensures they are connected to their family and friends.
This extraordinary workforce is often unrecognised, but includes some of the most exceptional support workers, managers, leaders and visionaries in organisations who make a real difference every day. This event is a wonderful celebration and recognition of their outstanding work. We were overwhelmed with the number of show delegates and awards nominations. Today as truly been a day and night of celebration which will help to raise a positive profile of the learning disabilities sector.”