Thank you to everyone who supported the Conference Access Fund

matthew-clark-conference

We have been telling you about the Conference Access Fund and how it has helped members to attend. Before we got to Brighton, Matthew Clark told us his experiences in a post titled ‘Young, disabled and believed in‘. By happy coincidence, I was delighted to be able to call him to speak in the debate on ‘Mending the Safety Net’ (the Social Security policy paper) which I happened to be chairing, and he was an impressive first time speaker. You can watch the debate and his contribution here, starting at about 1:05. Matthew speaks at 1:44.

Another of the members to benefit from the Access Fund has sent in this review:

I would like to thank the members who have supported the conference access fund. Their kindness has enabled members like myself to attend the conference by helping with extra costs for attending the conference. For me it has allowed me to pay for a support worker to assist me with travel to and from the conference, participate in the fringe events, volunteer on the ‘Your Liberal Britain’ stand and witness the debates in the conference centre.  There were so many things to do at conference, it was hard to choose which events to take part in.  The interview between comedian Matt Forde and Tim Farron was really funny. I recommend people watch Matt Forde’s new television show, this too is very funny.   The guardian Q & A with Nick Clegg was also candid with elements of humour. Did you know he has a book out?????

I met lots of lovely people from other constituencies, witnessed (if the newspapers are to believed) dance moves at the Lib Dem disco that would make a horror movie proud, joined a very good quiz team and won and whilst working on the Your Liberal Britain stand got my photograph taken with Tim Farron and Norman Lamb which was a nice surprise. I look forward to helping out with Your Liberal Britain in the future.

It was good to see the ‘Mending the Safety Net’ policy document being discussed at conference. As a result of the previous conference in York, I contributed in the consultation. When I have some spare time I will also write a review of the Fringe events I attended and answer the questions on the sex worker consultation. At conference I also got asked by one of my quiz team members if I was going to run as a councillor.  At this stage I’m not sure if this would be an ideal role for me as I prefer to do things behind the scenes. However I will investigate what is involved at the next conference and give it some deliberation.

I would encourage anyone with a disability to make use of the conference access fund if required to attend conference because they will enjoy the variety of things to do and build their confidence.

I also would like members to continue to support the conference access fund financially and one day hopefully hold a ball to raise funds for the conference access fund, as it will give disabled members, members with children and members on a low income a chance to experience life at conference.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and to the recipients who have given feedback to the Conference Office.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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One Comment

  • Mary, thanks for posting this.
    I clicked the “don’t receive paper but pay the cost of the paperwork into the access fund” option when registering; this made it easy to contribute and didn’t break the bank. I can only assume lots of others did the same.
    This is a genuinely good thing that FCC has set up and you should all be v proud.

    (and I’m sorry for making you have to tell me to draw my remarks to a close in that debate – I’d timed the speech at 2.28 but people kept applauding and making me pause 🙁 )

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