Blog: Tenant Represents The Trust At Major Summit

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Blog: Tenant Represents The Trust At Major Summit

16 May 2024 | Category: Blog

We were delighted for, and proud of, one of our Tenants yesterday, as he gave a presentation at the Birmingham Autism and ADHD Summit.

Nick was invited to speak in front of an audience of esteemed guests as part of the Lived Experience section, where he told everyone about his day-to-day routines, hobbies and interests as well as showing his medal collection to the guests.

As an even bigger treat for the more than 100 people from across the West Midlands – consisting of those who work in care, the families of people with ADHD and Autism, councilors, religious leaders, and academics – the sports-mad tenant showed his replica baton from when he carried it in the run-up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Nick – who unlike many contributors appeared nerveless on the platform –  thoroughly enjoyed the experience, saying excitedly: “It was really good. It was nice to tell them about the things I do.  Everyone gave me a round of applause and I think they enjoyed seeing my medals and the baton too.”

As you might expect given the vast array of backgrounds that the participants came from, the programme was packed and varied.

As well as Nick there was an emotional speech from Haris Ghani, a Birmingham City Council employee who had lost three of his friends to suicide after being told they wouldn’t amount to anything, due to their autism diagnosis. Elsewhere, Ben, another adult with autism, spoke about his challenges of holding down a job, while there was raw testimony from parents regarding the struggles they faced.

The event started with a demonstration from a group of young people from Coventry who communicated through drama to discuss the point that the power of understanding didn’t have to come from words.

The educational theme continued a little later in the afternoon when Jon Harris, the CEO of Education Impact  – a chain of special needs schools and nurseries –  discussed doing things differently to ensure students with Autism and ADHD received the best possible classroom experience.

A day full of both positivity and stoicism in equal measure – included Lakhvir Sahota from the City Council setting out his aims for greater collaboration and cooperation amongst sectors in the days, weeks and months following the event.

The 2024 summit ended with Chris Barber, the Deputy Chairman of the Birmingham Autism and ADHD Partnership Board (BAAPB) setting out his five areas for collective improvement, but adding that the Gold Standard should be the least you should be aspiring to.

That, of course, has always been a minimum from the Trust, and we are proud not just of Nick, but all of the Residents and Tenants who we support.

The Summit will return, bigger and better next year – and it is already confirmed that the Trust will be involved –  but everyone there will take away the thought from one of the speakers who responded to a question by saying: “I wouldn’t change my autism for anything. It is what makes me, me.”

And as Nick was there to ably display, Autism and ADHD is not a barrier to achievement.#


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