This year’s annual Little People UK weekend took place at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel from Friday 23rd to 25th August. It was a jam-packed weekend from the moment we stepped into the hotel to when we made our exit on Sunday.
Friday evening saw the Quizingo – a mix of bingo and a quiz, followed by a delicious BBQ dinner.
Saturday is always the main day of the event and it was a full timetable of workshops, medical consultations and panels and lots of fun activities for kids of all ages. My daughter particularly enjoyed the Lego and slime-making workshops.
I particularly found the medical panel useful for asking questions for prevailing health issues I’m having at the moment. The well-being workshop in the morning, with Donna, was a lovely exercise who gave us a snapshot of the tools we can use to enable us to acknowledge our strengths in difficult situations.
The SmallTalk session with chairperson Sammy Davis – was a lesson in how organisations truly listen to their members. Providing a platform to talk about and share the issues we face as a community and how we can resolve these collectively.
There was also a self-confidence workshop with The Speakmans. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it, as all the excitement and lack of sleep caught up with me and I had to take a nap. As with last year’s convention, I seem to hit my energy brick wall around 2pm and need time to rest.
The Saturday evening at the banquet we were entertained by ventriloquist, Paul Zerdin, America’s Got Talent winner. Paul had the room crying tears of laughter with the interaction between his puppets and jokes.
A chance to be like everyone else
What I love about these weekend, among many other things, is that it’s an opportunity for the whole family to connect and make friendships. Whether you are the dwarf person yourself, on your own journey, seeking out others. To average-height family members having the chance to relax and relate about their own experiences of dwarfism in the family – whether that is a child, a sibling or spouse.
Whenever I go to a dwarfism convention, I come away feeling ‘topped up’. That I feel like I can take on the world with my particular difference. Meaning that I’ve had conversations where we just get what we’re talking about, rather half spending time explaining the context. To see my body shape reflected back at me and to listen to and relate shared experiences. There is much humour to be found too from this.
Being able to look people straight in the eye without getting a crick in my neck from looking up all the time and having to push myself forward to be heard and seen. Being in a room with phone cameras that record an event, rather than worrying you’re body is being made into the event.
Celebrating Diversity Within the Community
It’s also seeing the diverse range of families within the dwarf community. Average-height parents with a dwarf child. Dwarf parents with average-height kids or dwarf kids. Husbands and wives, where one partner has dwarfism or both do. Examples that I wish I had seen in my own childhood and teenage years which would have given me more hope and perspective of the life chances I didn’t think would be available to me.
Mostly, it’s the shared experience of living and having dwarfism. Friendships made. A space to be and enjoy ourselves. I keep saying this, but it is priceless.
I’m still buzzing from the convention. Hats off and many thanks to the committee who work so hard to make it a fab time and everyone welcome.
Thanks to everyone at LPUK for putting on such a fantastic weekend. The three of us have such a good time and everyone is incredibly welcoming. Your hard work, support and dedication to making the lives of dwarf people better is a credit to the community.