Amy Rowland’s Kidz to Adultz Up North Experience
Disabled Living run the Kidz Exhibitions nationwide. Being fairly new to the Disabled Living family myself I was extremely excited to attend the first of the expansion and introduction of services, equipment and support to young adults up to the age of 25. The Kidz to Adultz Up North exhibition was hosted in Manchester. I had heard about all the fun and games and couldn’t wait to find out what all the fuss was about!
Wednesday 18th November marked the beginning of the Kidz to Adultz Up North set up day, 140 companies flocked to EventCity in Manchester throughout the day with truck loads of equipment and supplies. The day was filled with chattering and bustling through the exhibition space, people setting equipment up and getting excited for the following day.
Thursday 19th November has been a date marked in my diary since I began working at Disabled Living in September. I was thrilled to walk through the doors at EventCity, after making some of the final arrangements I took a walk around the hall. The businesses were eagerly waiting for the public to arrive. Excitement and anticipation filled the air.
9:30am hit and the doors flew open to the public. That was it months of preparation and anticipation had lead up to this moment.
Looking around the entrance hall when people began to flow in, you could see the excitement between all of the Disabled Living volunteers and staff. Children and parents were eager to explore the hall and professionals were keen and ready to learn.
Walking around the exhibition when the event was in full swing, it was great to see how interested people were in the companies and how many people were smiling whilst trying new brand new pieces of equipment.
What surprised me most was the range of different companies attending the event, from lawyers to funding experts to the best wheelchair companies in the UK.
There were countless times I saw parents and carers smiling filled with joy when they would see their child trying out a new chair or toy that they really enjoyed. The three seminar rooms were bustling all day, the seminars ranged from ‘Ask Jules going to University’ which provided insight into the transition to and from university life to a helpful manual handling seminar. I spent a few hours on the Redbank House and Disabled Living stand and it was great to hear how useful and successful everyone was finding the event.
At 4:30pm the event drew to a close and the last of the bustling crowds left the building. Looking around the exhibition there were lots of happy faces and the sounds of a successful day.
It was clear to me at this point all of the hard work and preparation that goes into this event, alongside this the appreciation from the public and professionals which make it all worthwhile. I have taken away the knowledge that charities such as Disabled Living offer a vast amount of support for people of all ages and those pursuing better lives and increased independence. It was heart-warming to see the amount of smiles and positive feedback. This highlights how important it is that companies continue to support and get involved.