Join us on 1 and 2 July in the East Midlands Airport Radisson Blu Hotel for a break-away weekend hosted by The Mark Dower Trust and Ataxia UK.

Tickets are on sale now, and you can purchase them here


The Itinerary

The weekend will begin midday Saturday 1 July with a lunch buffet and a welcome from Alison Halls, founder of The Mark Dower Trust, and Sue Millman, CEO of Ataxia UK.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning will be host to a range of events for the 16-30’s group, including:

  • A Q&A with James Downie: 42, husband, father and career man who has FA. No question is off-limits! Questions will be gathered anonymously before the event – keep your eyes peeled on the website for updates
  • The launch of an incredible film and poster design competition fully funded by Ataxia UK. Two runner ups will receive a prize each, whilst the winner will liaise with a world-class marketing and advertising agency.

A separate selection of events for parents will be hosted by Sue Millman.

Saturday evening will also give everyone the chance to catch up and socialise over dinner. Following the morning activities, Sunday will round off the weekend with a light lunch before delegates depart.



There are 50 tickets available for group members, parents and carers which will be on sale from 20 March on the 16-30’s website.


There will be a limited number of travel bursaries made available to assist people attending the event. We cannot promise that everyone who applies will be successful. More information about how to apply will be available from 20 March.

Mark Dower

Mark Dower sitting in the gardenMark Dower was a man who lived as independently as he could whilst having Friedreich’s ataxia. In his memory, sister Alison Halls has created the Mark Dower Trust, which gives grants to support young adults with ataxia who’re aiming to increase their independence (e.g. studying at university). You can hear more about the Trust at the weekend from Alison herself, and visit the Mark Dower Trust website.

The deadline for this year’s Mark Dower Trust grant application will be after this event, on 31st July. Please visit the Ataxia UK page about the grant to find out more.