We were so thrilled to be invited to join Reach, the charity for children with a upper limb difference, at their 40th Birthday Family Weekend. The main event was on Saturday which consisted of all the children going into all sorts of clubs and activities including football, dancing, magic and crafts.


We were part of the exhibition with various other amputee/prosthetic organisations such as Opcare, unLimbited and many others including The OHMI Trust (https://www.ohmi.org.uk) which makes adapted instruments to ensure everyone can play an instrument no matter what challenges they face.


The conference began with various talks one in particular from the fantastic Matthew Philips who is an awesome Para Climber check out his website here: www.matthewphilips.com


We also heard from Professor Diana Harcourt who gave an excellent presentation on Appearance Research and useful tools to help a child overcome visible physical differences.


For children aged 9 years and above there is a game called The Appearance Game which looks fantastic can be found at www.appearancegame.com


For children aged between 12 and 17 there’s a fantastic online programme available at www.ypfaceit.co.uk there is also a great podcast called Appearance Matters https://www1.uwe.ac.uk/hls/research/appearanceresearch/resources/podcast.aspx


A massive highlight for us was Alex Brooker’s speech which was absolutely outstanding it had us laughing and in tears. One particular highlight was seeing his audition video for channel 4:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5GyF7oIRUq0

We were very lucky to be able to meet Alex after the speech who took great time with many people. I told him all about the amazing Steel Bones families and asked him to record a message for everyone here’s what he had to say: https://youtu.be/qkxXtU9acu4


We were then treated to a delicious lunch and an afternoon networking with amazing families and professionals working with the amputee community.


Everyone returned to their rooms at 5pm to prepare for the evenings glamorous dinner event. The children were all taken to Childcare who had various rooms set up of amazing crafts, movies, disco, Lego, games consoles HEAVEN  for them. So all the adults were able to enjoy some fun table games and a delicious dinner.


During the dinner some very special awards were given out to celebrate the 40th Birthday and we felt very privileged to celebrate with these amazing people. I was very fortunate to sit next to Chrissy Peppar, some of the Reach team and another Reach family.  We had a great time together and I learnt masses about Reach. It was such a great joy to see Harry, Chrissy’s son who live near My home be awarded the Sue Stokes Award for his incredible courage and commitment to fundraising for Reach, he is a phenomenal young man !! Here’s a short video of him receiving his award: https://youtu.be/8PMqf0d4QvA


The evening ended with all the children performing their dance to THIS IS ME. As you can imagine the whole room was very emotional and so incredibly proud of what the children had achieved. Here’s a video of their dance: https://youtu.be/icMSKAOTm0E