Gold Medal Winner Richard Whitehead MBE inspires at Conductive Education Conference

Nottingham based charity, Footprints Conductive Education Centre (formerly School for Parents), hosted a thought-provoking and motivating 13th national Conductive Education [CE] Conference at The Park Inn, Nottingham on 12 May [...]

Nottingham based charity, Footprints Conductive Education Centre (formerly School for Parents), hosted a thought-provoking and motivating 13th national Conductive Education [CE] Conference at The Park Inn, Nottingham on 12 May 2018.

The local charity is one of twenty-three centres in England and Wales transforming people’s lives through Conductive Education. They re-branded on 1 May after seventeen years as ‘School for Parents’ supporting hundreds of children with disabilities and their families.

The annual CEPEG national conference attracted Conductors, CE students, parents, academics, and health professionals in the field of supporting children and adults with conditions that affect coordination, movement and mobility – these conditions include (but are not limited to) cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Muscular Dystrophy and acquired brain injury.

Nathalie Bailey-Flitter, Footprints Manager, said –  I’m so proud of the conference that our tiny Footprints CEC team delivered. It was a lot of hard work, but look at what we achieved; the feedback could not have been better. We are truly flying the flag for Conductive Education in Nottingham.

Setting an inspirational opening tone for the event, world record holder and current Paralympic and World Champion, Richard Whitehead MBE, delivered an empowering keynote speech expressing his belief that ‘positive things happen to positive people’ and the drive to win Gold in front of 80,000 people stemmed from an early desire to achieve. The philosophy of Conductive Education is about achieving potential, and Richard epitomises these goals.  See part of his keynote presentation

With a poignant closing presentation titled ‘From here to anywhere’, Jason Beaumont provided an overview of being a child with cerebral palsy, benefiting from Conductive Education and making trips from Germany to Rutland House School for Parents here in Nottingham. Jason spoke about his long-held dreams and ambitions, a career in the MOD, gaining a pilot’s licence, and ultimately being a husband and father. His story received an overwhelmingly emotional reaction.

“I was going to write to you to say how much I enjoyed the day and what a great conference I thought it was. I came away feeling truly inspired and determined. You and your team did an absolutely great job.  Dr Anne Emerson, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham.

A packed agenda of nineteen presenters included Dr Anne Emerson, Associate Professor, the University of Nottingham (download Dr Emerson’s research report) and Dr Adam Barnard and Linda Kemp of Nottingham Trent University, coordinating a small-scale scoping study of Footprints CEC, aiming to establish an evidence base of the benefits of Conductive Education.

A high-quality conference, thank you.  Julia McDonald, chair PCA (Professional Conductors Association).

With thanks to all our speakers – Alison Brooks, Chair of Trustees for Footprints and Partner at Barratts Solicitors; Richard Whitehead MBE, Dr Melanie Brown, Paula Barnes, Jules McDonald Chair of the PCA. Caroline O’Shea, Amanda Richardson, Gabriella Papp, Sean Carroll, Kirsten Bairstow-Robb, Karen Whitehall, Jo Garwood, AnnaMaria Berger-Jones, Dr Adam Barnard and Linda Kemp. Zsuzi Olexa, Sarrah Blyth, Dr Anne Emerson, Amanda Dorter, Anna Wilkinson, Anita Keresztury (who travelled from the US), Kendal Smith, Jay Tomlinson (Barratts), and Jason Beaumont.

Delegate feedback …
  • Richard Whitehead’s presentation and Jason’s ‘From here to anywhere’ presentation were AMAZING!
  • Good mix of workshops, breaks and whole-group sessions. ‘From here to anywhere’ was inspirational.
  • Wow..what a positive atmosphere, inspirational.
  • Thank you..such inspirational speakers.
  • I liked everything about the day- speakers were informative and challenging.
  • I will be more open to new ways of working and ideas.
  • Talk about hand-task series was so inspirational, thank –you!
  • I’ve realised I need to push myself further to develop- taking one step at a time up that ladder!

Our thanks go to A&R Signs, Barratts Solicitors, Brian Wilson, Browne Jacobson, Capital One, David Brooks, Emma Zukowska, Fast Graphics, Freeths Solicitors, Jackie and Mike Clark, Julie Hardy, Kryshia Ford-Wilson, Len Simmonds, Lucie Gregory, Mark Shardlow, Midland Regional Printers, Oksana Stevenson, Ovy Design, Richard Whitehead MBE, Sally Radford, Tanya Walker, Vicki Ashman, and Weleda for their support.

For further information, please email or call 0115 9586641.

Find out more about Footprints Conductive Education Centre  

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