On October 8th we had a smasher of a day at the Ataxia UK Annual Conference’s Chill Out for 16-30(ish)’s. For some it was a room of familiar faces; for others, it was a brave venture in meeting a new crowd; by the end of the afternoon, not only were people happily chatting but we’d also learned a new artistic skill or two!

Our guest speaker was Tanya Raabe-Webber, a disability artist based in the Midlands who’s exhibiting her portrait collection Stories Untold in the National Portrait Gallery later this year. Tanya introduced the group to her theories of creativity and disability, including her professional history as a protest artist for better disability rights. With her guidance, the group got stuck into some of their own portraiture work, and produced a wonderful gallery of one another’s faces!

After lunch, we kept it chill with a few group activities with lovely Cheryl Ridge, our guest group co-ordinator. What made the day the most successful however was that by 4pm, people were getting on with getting to know one another. As they say in the hokey cokey, that’s what it’s all about.

Thanks to everyone who came, and especially for your very important feedback on what you want from us. The 16-30’s group aims to bring young people together from all over the UK, and meet others who understand what ataxia is. It was great to see that being a success.

Hope to see you next year guys!

Ataxia UK Team