On 13 June, 140 people from across the country came together at the House of Commons to celebrate 30 years of the A-T Society. The reception, kindly hosted by Bim Afolami MP, brought together people from every stage of the Society’s development, from founder members to a baby with A-T born this year.
Particularly striking was the fact that people came from every area of the Society’s work. Families, friends and supporters, staff and volunteers, doctors, therapists and researchers, representatives of trusts, companies and fellow charities, MPs and a minister – all brought together by their support for the A-T Society.
Those attending were moved by the honest and passionate speeches given by two parents, Joe Powell and Adelle Rouse. Both gave personal perspectives on the challenges faced by families living with A-T but also underlined the hugely positive impact that the right support from the A-T Society can make.
William our chief executive said thank you for the many, many people who in myriad different ways have helped the Society over the last thirty years. He urged the politicians present to stop talking and start acting to address the many issues facing young people with physical disabilities and their families. He also set out the Society’s priorities for the next few years, which include a major investment in research and more work to support adults with A-T and invited everyone in the room to work together to help make sure the Society wouldn’t need to be around in thirty years’ time.
It would be nice to report that the sun was glittering on the Thames – but it wasn’t. However the remarkable group of supporters and collaborators gathered together to mark this special anniversary gave every reason to suppose that the Society’s future will be bright.