This weekend the Association held its first regional Spring Conferences for 2010 and I was lucky enough to attend Saturday’s conference in Newport. I really enjoy spring conferences – it’s great to be able to talk face to face with people affected by MND and the Association’s fantastic volunteers. Quite a few Association Visitors visited our research stand to chat about topics including the rare, inherited form of MND and the appearance of ‘clusters’, where it seems as if several people in a small area have the disease (you can read more about this on the ‘Why me?’ page of our website). I hope they went away feeling that I’d armed them with some new and useful information!
The conference was also a good opportunity to hear about the successes and plans of other teams. The talk from Steve Bell, our director of regional care for the north, provoked some good questions about the Association’s plans for improving services for people with MND. Later in the day during the session led by our Policy and Strategy Unit, everybody got stuck in and practised putting canvassing MPs on the spot about the National Strategy for MND – parliamentary candidates beware! You can read more about the call for a National Strategy and sign our petition at www.mnd2010.org .
Throughout the day the room buzzed with lively chatter during breaks as people shared their experiences and made new contacts – exactly what these conferences are all about!
There are three spring conferences left this year in Harrogate, Blackpool and Cheshunt – all of which will be held in May. If you’re interested in attending, or want to find out more about what they are all about then please visit our spring conferences section of our website.