ON Thursday November 17 charity, Disabled Living, hosted their event ‘Kidz to Adultz North’ at EventCity in Trafford Park.
‘Kidz to Adultz North’ is one of the largest free UK events for disabled children and adults up to 25-years-old, as well as their families, carers and professionals who support them, to gain a network of advice and information as well as trial new technologies to improve their lives.
Debra Evans, The Chief Executive of the Disabled Living charity, told us that the event offers people: “The opportunity to see a wide range of equipment that they wouldn’t normally be able to see and to look at organisations and charitable bodies that may be able to fund that equipment for them.
There’s a wide range of organisations that provide services, whether that’s leisure services or legal services and the parents, families, the professionals and the carers can all come along free.
“The carers and most importantly the health and social care professionals then will disseminate the information to an awful lot of families so when they go out and see 10-50 families, they will then pass on the information about the kids events to them.
Sometimes the parents [or the children] can’t come along but we have the information on our website about the companies that were there so people can still access this information.”
Companies from all over England were at the exhibition offering advice on mobility vehicle services, wheelchair basketball, colleges and academies.
Charities were also offering many things including therapy, workshops, employment opportunities, adventure weekend breaks and outdoor activity holidays for disabled children where they can try out abseiling, archery and catering.
There were activities for children such as sensory play, trampolining and interactive toys for children to play with.
They could also try out a whole range of the latest technology such as wheelchairs, massage therapy systems, bathroom equipment, standing aids, lifts, interactive learning devices, beds and portable children’s bathrooms all aimed to help improve children of all ages life style.
The charity started in 1897 but the kids exhibitions were established in 2001.
Mrs Evans added: “When we first did the event at the Reebok arena up in Bolton it was very well attended, but we found that people were coming from all over the country because there was nothing at all like this where people could try equipment side by side.
The event grew so much and expanded and people were saying “Could you bring this event to where we live” so in 2007 we established the ‘Kidz’ South brand and then 2009 ‘Kidz in the Middle’ which is in Coventry, in 2014 ‘Kidz’ in Scotland and then this year ‘Kidz to Adultz North.’”
Throughout the day several seminars were held giving advice on a wide range of topics like the transition into adulthood, the working life as a young person, reducing stress when flying by plane, experiences of siblings of disabled children, supporting sleep and budgeting.
Also at the event were organisations that provide support to families such as law firms offering welfare benefits and educational health advice, family funding services and funding schemes.
As well as a charity called ‘Contact a Family’ who provide a help line and a support network for families with disabled children aged 0-25, including a programme with special focus on siblings of those living with a long term illness.