Customer Conference 2017

Advance Chief Executive Julie Layton at the conference

Aimee and Gary Bourlet from Learning Disability England at the Advance Customer ConferenceCustomers and staff gathered in Coventry last week for the 2017 Customer Conference.  Over 150 people attended the day to enjoy a series of workshops, hear from Julie Layton about our future strategy and hear from Gary Bourlet from Learning Disability England who promoted customer self-advocacy.

The conference was a great opportunity for customers and staff alike from across the country to gather and engage in fun activities, meet new people, share stories and experiences and for Advance staff to share information about our services, take questions and provide guidance.

Advance customer Lisa and her support worker at the conferenceSix workshops were held throughout the day on a range of topics including health and wellbeing, keeping safe in the home and community, staying safe online, making instruments, sharing interview techniques and creative writing.

There was also a Quiet Zone and a Social Cafe to give customers opportunities to have quiet time or meet new people.

The day ended with a session led by the Drama for All group from Hackney who got everyone up on their feet – singing and dancing.

Grand finale performance at the Advance Customer Conference by Drama for AllJulie Layton said: 'It was great to have so many customers from across the country make it to the conference.  It was so inspiring to see staff and customers connecting with each other, catching up with old friends and making new ones. The music and movement session at the end of the day was a highlight – with almost everyone up on their feet singing 'Happy'. I would like to thank everyone – staff and customers – who helped to organise the day and ensure it ran smoothly, including the workshops, market stalls and making sure that all customers were supported in getting to and from the venue.'

Here's a short video of the finale: