All Wales People First Adfest 2023

On June 19th and 20th Ffion, Christy, Gethin, Sam, Sophie, Natalie and Claire attended the All Wales People First Adfest 2023 (titled ‘Our Right to Human Rights’) in Cardiff. We travelled to Cardiff on Monday morning and had a little catch up with everyone before the conference started. Chair Tracy Austin and Vice-Chair Samantha Hall opened the conference, followed by Joe Powell, Chief Executive of All Wales People First, with housekeeping.

The first speaker was Sanchita Hosai, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Human Rights, who spoke about the Human Rights Act and the easy-read version they have produced of this document. Next was the ‘Rights Round Robin’, as part of which Ffion and Lisa from Innovate Trust asked attendees about what rights they think people with learning disabilities should have when it comes to relationships. Some of the answers they received included: having the right to live together, go on holidays together, get married, have same-sex relationships, to be single, and to have a child and receive the right support to look after and keep the child.

After lunch we had a drum session with David Powell from UpBeat Music and Arts to wake us up after our food. We played instruments and made up some tunes, which was really fun! Ffion and Lisa then did workshops on relationship rights, what the barriers to relationships are, and how you can overcome them. As part of the workshop, the group took part in a ‘Who Wants to Be a Relationship Millionaire’ quiz. Other workshops that were conducted included ‘Right to Assembly’, ‘Right to Fair Treatment’ and ‘Mindfulness’. We then reported the results of the workshops to everyone, and the people attending Ffion and Lisa’s workshops gave excellent feedback.

After the first day’s activities, the evening meal was followed by the Mirror awards, awarded to recognise achievements over the past year. Well done to everyone who won an award. After the awards we had a chance to have some photos taken in the photo booth, following which some members chose to go the Moonclub with Gig Buddies, and other members went to Mary’s nightclub, with the evening ending in chippy lane (of course).

The second day began with the opening of the exhibition stalls from organisations including Gig Buddies, Learning Disability Wales, BILD, Welsh Ambulance Service, Conwy Connect, Drive, Mirus Wales, and TRAC. The organisations were also available to discuss their activities in the speaker’s tent. This Adfest was amazing and all our members really enjoyed it. We can’t wait for the next one!