On Sunday 4 September 2016, I went to help at the Victim Support stand at the Parallel London event in the Olympic Park. Parallel London is the first fully inclusive, accessible push/run for everyone, disabled or non-disabled. This event was part of the UK’s build-up of festivities to the Rio Paralympic Games 2016. People ran, walked, wheeled, pushed or were pushed to the finish line and could take part in a range of challenges, including 100m, a Super Sensory 1k, 5k or 10k. There were a lot of charities at the family festival, there to support their participants and raise awareness of their causes. You & Co’s stand received a lot of positive interest from a wide range of people, from young children to older members of the community – all interested in the work You & Co is doing to support children and young people. Our stall was laden with resources for people to look through, as well as tools and resources used by You & Co’s youth workers.

It was great to talk to people about what resources they were interested in and how they could use them in their own work.

The festival was fun and inclusive, covering everything from technology to an active lifestyle, culture and the community. There were lots of different things to do, try and see, including creative, active and inclusive performances and workshops.

There was also a treasure hunt, organised by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, where participants had to find toy rats with the names of Paralympic sports attached to them, write down the first letter of each sport and make a word out of the letters to win a toy rat of their own. It was so much fun and showed that having a disability isn’t restrictive; the options are limitless.

Amy Chan, National Youth Forum volunteer with You & Co