Case Study

Young Person’s Conference 2019

People First (Scotland) is a Disabled Persons User Led Organisation and registered Scottish Charity - working for the human rights of people with a Learning Disability or Intellectual Impairment.  Set up in 1989 (on the back of a disability conference held in Pollock Halls), People First (Scotland) continues to campaign to ensure that members of the organisation are supported to seek the same human rights as anyone else, the chance to choose where and with whom they live, freedom from discrimination and fair access to the justice system.  Their board of directors is made up solely of people with learning disabilities.

On the 5 September 2019 People First (Scotland) held a two-day conference for young people with a learning disability or intellectual impairment from across Scotland.  The Young Person’s Conference, comprised of three different workshops which focused on relationships, decision making and employment.  There were 43 young disabled people in attendance with the team of People First workers on hand as well as a number of other supporters.

The event took place at Edinburgh First’s John McIntyre Conference Centre (JMCC) located on our Pollock Halls estate.  The majority of the event took place in the Pentland Suite, the largest conference space in the building, which can host up to 300 people.  With plenty of extra, accessible space for break out sessions, the John McIntyre Conference Centre was an ideal choice for the Young Person’s Conference.

On the first evening the conference delegates were served dinner at the JMCC.  It was requested that the menu should be quite traditional due to certain dietary requirements within the group.  Edinburgh First was more than happy to comply with this request and changed the regular menu to suit the needs of the delegates. The menu comprised of cream of leek and potato soup, roast chicken with mashed potatoes (or macaroni cheese) and vanilla panna cotta followed by tea, coffee and shortbread.

Since the Young Person’s Conference was a two-day event, People First (Scotland) required accommodation for their delegates.  Edinburgh First was able to accommodate all delegates at Chancellor’s Court (used during term-time as student accommodation).  Chancellor’s Court, an accessible building, is also part of the Pollock Halls estate which meant that delegates did not have far to go between the conference and their accommodation. It was also important that delegates were placed in rooms next to those supporting them - getting the accommodation right for these delegates was crucial in order for them to feel comfortable and safe during the conference. Evacuation plans, signage and other aspects were discussed at length in advance of the event.

People First (Scotland) was impressed by the service they received from Edinburgh First in aiding them to host such a successful event.  There were a number of reasons for this:

  • Large accessible spaces for their delegates over the two-day event
  • Flexible catering options, incorporating all dietary requirements
  • A named contact at Edinburgh First who had a full picture of the requirements
  • Plenty of accessible accommodation close to the event venue. The fact that supporters  could stay next to delegates was essential

People First (Scotland) commented on how ‘helpful [the Edinburgh First team] were throughout the whole process’ and thanked them for their ‘flexibility, willingness and patience with their processes and arrangements.’

Edinburgh First was able to provide People First (Scotland) with event and accommodation solutions that are value for money and that put the welfare, safety and security of their delegates first, in line with People First (Scotland)’s values.  If you are planning on organising an event in Edinburgh, Edinburgh First may be the perfect solution for you.  To find out more about what Edinburgh First has to offer just click here or call 0131 651 2189.