Events

Line-up revealed for mental health arts festival

Mental health festival

The full line-up for the All in the Mind Festival 2019 has been officially revealed. More than 30 exciting theatre, dance, visual art and musical acts from around the UK will descend on Basingstoke for one day only, to shine a light on mental health. 

Three stages will cover Eastrop Parkon Saturday 14 September - the Dance Space, the Spoken Word & Music Stage, and the Theatre Tent. Other acts and activities will also take place around the park. 

Adults with learning disabilities to compete at Bradford dragon boat festival

HFT team at Bradford dragon boat festival

A team of adults with learning disabilities and their support workers are taking to the water this month for Bradford’s annual dragon boat festival. 

The Aim Higher group, supported by national learning disability charity Hft, is one of the first mixed ability teams to participate in the Multi Charity Championship on 23 June, which forms part of Bradford’s annual three-day dragon boat festival.

The 20-strong team is made up of seven people supported by the charity and 13 members of staff. Together they hope to raise funds for new musical equipment for one of Hft’s day opportunities centres, The Learning Zone.

Inter Spinal Unit Games attracts 136 participants

Table tennis player at Inter Spinal Unit Games

32nd Inter Spinal Unit Games attracts 136 newly paralysed sports participants from across the country in April 2019

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, recently welcomed 136 newly paralysed men and women representing 15 spinal injury units from across the United Kingdom and Ireland to the 32nd Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium from 9-11 April 2019.

Naidex 45: Celebrating the Independent Living & Healthcare World

Warwick Davis at Naidex 45

For its 45th anniversary, Naidex brought together an unbelievable line-up of speakers, exhibitors, visitors and world-exclusive solutions, forming THE ultimate hub of innovation for the independent living & healthcare sectors.

Just before 10am on the 26th March, a massive crowd was waiting in front of the entrance of Halls 6 and 7 at Birmingham’s NEC. Those waiting were there for something special, something they had waited all year to see. And as the doors opened, a feeling of exhilaration resounded amongst the crowd: Naidex had just opened its doors for the 45th year.

Wings For Life World Run Returns For 2019 For A Sixth Year

Wings For Life World Run - group of runners

The Wings for Life World Run is returning in 2019 for its sixth year. Registration is open, so competitors can join in and become one of hundreds of thousands of people bringing the world together to run for those who can’t.

The UK will once again host an App Run, and this year, Chiswick Park will be the venue for the run with a 3K closed road circuit. In the virtual run, participants will still have all the fun of running alongside others in the world, but the Catcher Car will be virtual. 100% of the fees and donations go to important spinal cord research, raising money for the Wings for Life Foundation to make spinal cord injuries curable.

Tour dates for Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon which The DH Ensemble will perform

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon brings a diverse cast of Deaf and hearing actors, The DH Ensemble, to the stage to follow the story of Mathilda, a little grey sheep whose mind is always full of questions. Join her on a journey of self-discovery as she learns the joys of self-expression and see how, with a little imagination and a big open mind, anything is possible! The DH Ensemble have made Mathilda’sworld fully welcoming and accessible to D/deaf and hearing children and their families through the use of spoken English, British Sign Language, creative captions and animation.

Autism’s Got Talent and Autism with Attitude to perform at the Apple flagship store in Covent Garden

Autism with Attitude dance group - Autism's Got Talent

Autism’s Got Talent and Autism with Attitude to perform at the Apple flagship store in Covent Garden during World Autism Awareness Week 1-7 April 2019

On Friday 5th April 2019 at 5:30pm, Apple’s flagship store in Covent Garden, London, will be abuzz with energy when Autism with Attitude (AWA) – the groundbreaking street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge – showcase their moves as part of World Autism Awareness Week, 1-7 April. The dance troupe – whose tenacity and talent has inspired millions – will be joined by performers from Autism’s Got Talent, the show created by Anna Kennedy OBE, Autism Ambassador for Options Autism, to raise public awareness of the condition and give adults and children with autism the chance to shine.

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

UK Tour: February – May 2019

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon brings a diverse cast of Deaf and hearing actors to the stage to follow the story of Mathilda, a little grey sheep whose mind is always full of questions. Join her on a journey of self-discovery as she learns the joys of self-expression and see how, with a little imagination and a big open mind, anything is possible! The DH Ensemble have made Mathilda’s world fully welcoming and accessible to D/deaf and hearing children and their families through the use of spoken English, British Sign Language, creative captions and animation.

Disabled Access Day Event Inspires New Riders at Happy Hooves Equestrian Centre

Disabled Access Day Event Inspires New Riders at Happy Hooves Equestrian Centre

Heavy rain failed to dampen the spirit of visitors to a special event held to mark Disabled Access Day, at Happy Hooves Riding Centre in Penrith, Cumbria.

As an Accessibility Mark accredited centre, the event was an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of horse riding for people with physical and learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems.

Disabled Access Day is all about creating new opportunities for disabled people to try something new and highlight the fantastic facilities that already exist, as well as the welcoming environment that venues offer.

Deaf, disabled & neurodiverse young people take over Tate Modern

Deaf, disabled & neurodiverse young people take over Tate Modern

From samba workshops and political demonstrations to Bauhaus ballet - 25 special schools from across London to host unique festival at Tate Modern.

The 'I Am At Tate Exchange Festival' will form part of the 2019 Tate Exchange programme.

From 26-30 March, 200 deaf, disabled and neurodiverse pupils from 25 special schools from across London will join together to take over the 5th floor of the Blavatnik Building in Tate Modern to host a festival which showcases and celebrates their creativity.

Autism Expo in London opens its doors to inspire and inform families and professionals

Man looking at heart shaped clock at Autism Expo

Families, carers, friends and educators of children and adults affected by autism are warmly invited to join Dr Anna Kennedy OBE and a host of experts at the AKO Autism Expo at Brunel University in West London on Saturday 23rd March 2019. Organised by Anna Kennedy Online, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of autism, the event aims to give like-minded people the chance to share stories, talk to professionals in specialist clinics and to find out more about autism and its related conditions. Options Autism, part of Outcomes First Group, which runs a national network of award-winning Department for Education registered special schools and therapeutic care homes, is proud to be a joint sponsor of the event.

Naidex announces speaker line-up for March event

Naidex announces speaker line-up for March event

The organisers of disability innovation show Naidex have released their impressive speaker line- up, featuring some of the most influential people in independent living.

Taking place on March 26-27, the free-to- attend event at the NEC Birmingham will see the following people speaking:

• Warwick Davies, who has a string of acting credits to his name including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Willow and many more. The Tenable quiz show host supports many charities too, including Little People UK which he co-founded with wife, Samantha. Their work supports individuals with dwarfism and their families.

Dorset Workshop Scoops First Prize For Its Smashing Pumpkins

Winners with their pumpkins

A Sixpenny Handley training workshop for people with learning disabilities has won first place in a competition for its smashing pumpkins. 

OWL Town Farm Workshop scooped the prize in an annual gardening competition organised by national care provider, the Regard Group who run the service in Dorset. 

Earlier this year Regard’s 168 services across the UK were provided with a packet of pumpkin seeds by the care provider, along with useful tips on how to grow the best crop.  

“We can never resist a challenge,” said Helen Ritson, service manager of OWL Town Farm Workshop, “And set out to grow a crop that would be better than the rest.