Voices of 100 Voices
Friday 10 October 2014
This year’s 100 Voices conference, held in London at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, 6 September, was the biggest and best yet. It managed to hear and capture the voices of over 200 people with learning disabilities and autism and their support staff.
Here are just a few quotes from some of the people who attended.
“100 Voices works because we have to make sure disabled people are able to have a voice and be heard, the same as any average person. I was very interested to see how the day panned out.” Chris Schuhmacher, Weston-super-Mare
“I took a poster of my greatest achievement and another one which listed all the things I like to do each week. There were nice people on my table. Harriet was the table host and she helped me to think about what my perfect week would be like. It is not always easy for me to cope with lots of people and different routines but I loved the 100 voices conference. I had a great time.” David, Stroud
“I want to come back next year. It was a great day and I really enjoyed it. The work we did was interesting and I gave my thoughts. I feel more confident too now that I've been to London without my parents.” Ian, Bristol
“I enjoyed having the chance to be interviewed about my life; I thought this was really good. The whole day went well and I met a few new people.” Phil, Dursley
“It was a great experience and I really enjoyed the venue, meeting up with people I know and meeting many new people Brandon Trust support. It was a really valuable day with lots of great work happening. I enjoyed seeing the graphics wall come to life. It was good that everyone was able to contribute.” Lauren, Cornwall
“At the conference I talked about things I am proud of, my perfect week and things Brandon Trust should keep doing, stop doing and start doing. We also made a newspaper page for the future. It was a great day where I could help shape the future of my support, be listened to and have an opinion.” Gary, Gloucestershire
“I thought it was very positive. I like the way Lucy went through the years and had the right music. I enjoyed having the chance to talk on the film. The work that we did in our group was good; I loved doing the newspaper front cover. I really like the way they did it all – where will we be going next year?” Anna, Gloucestershire
“It’s important to look towards the future whilst remembering what's been achieved in the past, but what stuck in my mind was the tribute to Samantha Scott, a friend who sadly died recently. Samantha helped shape this year’s 100 Voices.” Joe, London
“I went to London for the 100 Voices conference. I spoke about my experiences and my achievements.” Dean, Portishead
We invited numerous external guests to attend. Billy Richardson, who works for Skills for People, Newcastle upon Tyne, travelled the furthest to be with us.
Billy said: “I am a Health Quality Checker and an ‘expert by experience' for the Care Quality Commission. I check how well local services support people with learning disabilities. We work to make sure disabled people can be in control of their own lives, strong, confident and included in the communities of their choice. It was a brilliant event. There were lots of activities that helped us to say what we thought. Everyone was very friendly. As a visitor I was treated very well and they even thanked me for coming all that way.’
The Care Quality Commission Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, was among those who came and whilst she described it as a “highlight of the week” in her blog www.cqc.org.uk/content/holiday-over, she also quite rightly stated: “reports and listening to feedback are all well and good, but won't make a difference if they are not turned into action.”