NICE celebrates its 30th anniversary this year – 30 years since the start of the process to bring Conductive Education (CE) from the Pető Institute in Hungary to the UK. At this point all the charity had was a vision; one which was created by parents of children with cerebral palsy who wanted conductive education to be available for their children within the UK.
Thirty years on NICE has undergone huge changes. After sponsoring 10 UK trained teachers in 1987 to go to Hungary and embark on a four year training course to become conductors, the charity then took 10 children and their families on a life changing journey to Hungary in 1988. Meanwhile back in Birmingham, the Birmingham Institute for Conductive Education worked with children and some adults for 7 years in Northfield. At the same time, there was an appeal to build a new institute in Birmingham to further establish CE in the UK which was launched by Diana, Princess of Wales who became the Royal Patron in 1991. This appeal was successful and in October 1995 HRH Princess Diana opened the new ‘National Institute of Conductive Education’ at its current home in Moseley, Birmingham.
From the charity’s humble beginnings of 10 families it now offers services to around 150 families per week. Over the 30 years the charity has worked with at least 3,000 families and 3 of the original families who travelled to Hungary in 1988 continue to attend weekly conductive education sessions at the charity.
Chris who has cerebral palsy, was one of these 3 children. Now 31 years old, Chris says:
“I really do not know where my life would be without conductive education. Over the past 30 years, it has benefited me a great deal physically, but for me that is only half the story. I believe most strongly that without conductive education, with its positive outlook on life that it promotes, I would not have achieved all I have or had the confidence to go and do things independently such as going to concerts and the theatre, as well as attaining two University degrees. I appreciate that on the face of it, university degrees may seem like they are completely unrelated to conductive education, but it is all about the “can do” attitude that conductive education expounds.”
To proudly mark the charity’s 30th Anniversary, the annual Red Boots Ball will celebrate this significant milestone and the fascinating history of the charity. The event is to be held at Edgbaston Stadium on Saturday 17th September 2016 and is being generously sponsored by specialist finance provider, S&U Plc.
Louise Watkins, Fundraising and Marketing Manager for NICE says: “This event aims to raise £30,000 for 30 years to go towards the on-going funding of NICE and enable the charity to reach its next milestone. Our fundraising efforts rely heavily on the generous support of local individuals and businesses and we do hope that you will be able to join us in our celebrations to take a nostalgic look back over the past 30 years and look forward to the next 30.”
To book your table or ticket and to find out about our sponsorship opportunities, a new feature to this year’s event, please contact Louise Watkins on 0121 442 5559 / firstname.lastname@example.org