We were delighted to support Learning Disability England’s (LDE) annual conference: The Challenge of Change: different days, different ways, last week. The event was attended by over 260 people, including self – advocates, family carers, care providers, housing associations and commissioners.
The theme of the conference was change, with LDE and the exhibitors showcasing great ideas, the latest thinking and celebrating the innovation within the sector. Sessions included:
- Home ownership for people with learning disabilities
- Save our Self-Advocacy
- Collaborative commissioning
- Supporting employment
- Doing things differently
We were pleased to have both Natalie MacPherson, Development Director at MacIntyre and Donald, a Support Officer from our Central Office in Milton Keynes, speak as part of a session on ‘Creating Communities’.
Donald’s inspirational story had a big impact on the audience. In a blog about the event, Linnet Macintyre, author of View from the Hill who blogs passionately about making London a better place for her daughter who was born with a rare genetic condition CDKL5, wrote:
“Donald took to the floor shortly after lunch. He described himself as a man with learning difficulties and then taught us a lesson. He found himself some years ago with no friends and eaten up with loneliness. He turned things around with support at work where they might just put an arm around him and tell him it will be ok on a bad day. He has also found his tribe at his beloved MK Dons, it is not just the football he loves but the people around him. Unexpectedly, at the old folks home he found a new passion. He was persuaded to join in a pamper session and loved the experience so much he now wants to train as a nail technician. He flashes his shiny black nails. What a man. I can’t help feeling that not only has Donald’s life improved but so has the lives of all the people that know him.”
We are extremely proud of Donald for being such an inspirational speaker.
Thank you to LDE for letting us be part of the conference. We’re looking forward to next year already!
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