Every year there are four free exhibitions held in the UK called Kidz up North, Kidz in the Middle, Kidz South and Kidz Scotland.

There are many exhibitors at the events who offer advice on funding, equipment, communication, mobility and many other things. There are often seminars you can attend too, which offer advice on different subjects (although some seminars are on a first come, first served basis).

It is a good chance to go and have a look at what is available out there that may help you and your child and it is all under one roof.

Here are a few tips for you, especially if you have never attended an event like this before.

1.    Prepare to be overwhelmed

The first time I attended, I did not know what to expect. I don’t think that anything could have prepared me for what it was like. I still get overwhelmed now.

There are so many exhibitors with different equipment, charities with advice for getting funding etc. You do not realise what is out there that may help you until you see it these events. There was equipment out there that I never knew existed.

2. Do your homework

No-one likes doing homework, but in this case it is worth it. I downloaded the list of exhibitors and the ones I had never heard of I ‘googled’ to see what services they were offering. That way if I felt it would be beneficial to us, I sought them out at the event. If I didn’t feel it was something that would be of use to us, we could just carry on.

3. If you can, leave your child at home.

Unless, you are specifically taking your child to the event to try out some equipment you know will be there like an Upsee or a GoTo seat for example (Firefly have been at all the Kidz events this year), I would recommend getting someone to look after your child for you.

Although, the event is fully accessible it does get very busy and can be difficult to get round. The first year we attended, we took Oscar and it was a bit of a nightmare. I think Oscar was a bit overwhelmed by all the people as well.

4. Take a very strong bag 

The exhibitors all have brochures, leaflets and sometimes there are freebies to be had. Take a very strong bag to carry all the information that you will receive. Sometimes it is better to take the information home and read it at your leisure.

I hope that you have found this list useful and that if you are attending an event you manage to find what it is you are looking for that will be helpful for you and your child. 

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