Little People UK delegates were once again in attendance at the Genetic Disorders UK Leadership Symposium, on 9th - 10th March 2018. As with previous years the event provided an opportunity for members of various charity, organisations and support groups, associated with rare genetic disorders, to meet and discuss imperative issues with their work.
On Friday night everyone participated in the banquet meal, giving attendees a real opportunity to network with others including peers, sponsors and professionals within the sector. The unique ‘charity speed dating’ took place, meaning after each course places were moved and a new person met. The after dinner speech was from Samantha Renke, made famous during the Paralympics on Channel 4 in the Maltesers advertising campaign; Samantha spoke about how her experience of being a disabled person has helped shape her life and her career, as an activist, actress and former secondary school teacher. The evening ended with the awards presentation for members within the rare genetic disorders community, awards were given to those who have worked within their organisation for over 25 years, who have shown huge dedication to supporting people with the respective rare genetic disorders. Other awards were given to the ‘Champions of Hope’ who were the representatives of new support groups, organisations and charities, to encourage them to continue with their vital work, particularly in times of struggle.
Saturday was a long, but informative day of presentations, from various representatives on a number of different topics, including; research, fundraising, technology support, social media and campaigns, pieces of information were taken from all presentations and we look forward to implementing some of this within Little People UK. The most rewarding of all the presentations were those spoken from experience, of those with rare genetic disorders, parents, support workers and those heavily invested with the work of their charity, organisation or support group; these presentation motivate everyone to work harder and to support members as much as possible, in some cases with multiple charities working together for large goal to support people with a wide number of rare genetic disorders.
Delegates from Little People UK had a brilliant time, it was great to meet others in similar situations and having had similar experiences, to talk about the work involved with running a charity, organisation or support group. The presentations were informative and help a great deal with the advancement of Little People UK, thank you to everyone involved with organising the event, we look forward to the event next year.