The free conference aimed at disabled young people and their families that took place on 11 June 2011 at Nash College in Bromley has proved a great success.

Over 80 people attended, including young disabled people with complex needs and their families and carers. They  were able to obtain key information and support on issues such as accessing higher education, employment and housing and how to manage their own care and development through Personal Budgets and support planning.

The conference, Getting a Life that Matters, was organised by disability charities Livability and Bromley Mencap.

The programme included speakers with in depth and personal experience of disability issues and informative and interactive workshops throughout the day.

The new Mayor of Bromley, Councillor David McBride, officially opened the event and was followed by keynote speaker Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers and herself a parent carer.

Visitors were able to access information from a variety of key organizations working with disabled people all under one roof.  Stalls included

  • Livability
  • Bromley Mencap
  • Nash College
  • Bromley Parent Voice
  • Music Therapy
  • Tree Jumpers
  • Sussex Health Care
  • MCCH
  • Tuck by Truck
  • Dorin Court Residential Home
  • Avenues
  • Burgess Autistic Trust
  • Advocacy for All
  • Disport Academy
  • Apasenth Centre
  • Magpie Dance.

The conference was also a social event and visitors enjoyed a hearty meal and for some a stay at the on site ‘’chill out’’ zone.

Eddie Lynch, Chief Executive of Bromley Mencap, said: “The success of this event shows how vital it is for families to have access to information and networks as young disabled people move from children to adult services. The speakers were truly inspiring and families were able to hear real life experiences first hand and learnt how to overcome barriers to get the right support in place to achieve independent living.”

Donna Burgan, Nash College’s Transition Project Worker said ’’We are delighted that the event was so well attended. The feedback we got from visitors was that it provided a wide variety of crucial advice and information on how to make a successful transition to adulthood as a young disabled person.’’