People supported by national disability charity Walsingham Support were given advice on finding a job and how to get involved in politics during the charity’s annual Involvement Conference in October.
Around 50 people with disabilities from around the UK were supported to attend the conference, which took place from 22‐23 October 2015 at the Village Hotel in Solihull.
The Involvement Conference, now in its second year, invites people supported by the charity to contribute to different aspects of how the organisation is run and find out information about matters that are important to them.
Paul Snell, Chief Executive at Walsingham Support, said: “The first Involvement Conference in 2014 was one of the largest gatherings of people we support in our history. This year we asked people what topics they’d like discussed at the conference and employment and politics were popular choices.”
A special guest speaker at this year’s conference was Dean Atkinson from the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) and Coventry County Council, who hosted a workshop on getting a job.
Mr Atkinson said: “It was fantastic to hear about the types of jobs that people wanted to do and their hopes and aspirations for the future. Hopefully the workshop provided a starting point for some of these journeys and helped people to think about the real skills and abilities they have to offer employers.
“I was impressed by the work Walsingham Support is doing to really listen to the views of the people they support and the creative approaches they used to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to be involved.”
Commenting about the conference, Brian Jefferson, a person supported by Walsingham Support, said: “It was very good. We all got to speak, not just one person. The conference is very important to us as we can talk about the issues that matter to us.”
A raffle was held at the event, raising £195 for Epilepsy Research UK.