The Ataxia UK Annual Conference is our biggest event of the year

Over 200 delegates from across the UK come together to hear the latest updates about ataxia research and care; meet with neurologists and specialist professionals; discuss the condition in workshops, talks and seminars; access information, support and advice; socialise with friends, and enjoy a dinner and a dance!

bookings for 2019's conference will open on this page on 20 June 2019

Annual Conference 2019: Making Connections

Our Annual Conference runs from 11.30am, Friday 4 October through to Saturday evening. This year's highlights include:

  • 'All About Ataxia' seminar for the newly diagnosed (Friday)
  • Independent living with Advance Housing & Support’s friends and family shared ownership scheme
  • Heidi Urwin, Research Manager at Coeliac UK, talks about managing gluten ataxia
  • Prof Paola Giunti, leading neurologist at the London Ataxia Specialist Centre talks about the imminent FA nicotinamide trial
  • A stand-alone 16-30’s conference discussing intimacy and relationships
  • A series of talks from our Friends who have ataxia on 'making connections': reducing isolation and loneliness
  • A chaperoned trip out for children
  • Massage therapy sessions throughout the day
  • Breakouts on specialist topics, including physiotherapy, yoga and mental health services available for people with rare genetic conditions
  • Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Steve Hewlett joins us for dinner entertainment on Saturday evening

Ticket prices

Ticket type Early Bird (til 16/09) Regular rates (after 16/09)
All About Ataxia (Friday 4 October) 25 28
Friday Night Buffet 16 19
Under 12's Friday Night Buffet Free Free
Day Delegate with ataxia (Saturday 5 October) 36 40
Day Delegate without ataxia (Saturday 5 October) 39 43
Under 12's Children's Trip (Saturday 5 October) Free Free
Saturday Night Dinner and Entertainment 35 39
Under 12's Saturday Dinner and Entertainment 16 19


Each year, help with the cost of the conference is available for people who have ataxia and receive benefits. Up to 50% of the cost of travel, accommodation and delegate registration fees (including for a carer if one is required) can be paid against receipts. There are only a limited number of bursaries which are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

We can only award one bursary per person, per calendar year.

Please fill out the form below to apply for a bursary, or call the office to request a paper form be sent to you (020 7582 1444).

Apply for a bursary here

Accommodation and adapted rooms

We hold our conferences in hotels that have as many adapted rooms as possible. This limits where we can hold our conferences across the country, as so few hotels have enough accommodation for people with adaptive needs. These adapted rooms are therefore limited, and we offer them on a first come first serve basis.

Delegates wanting overnight non-adapted accommodation must call the hotel on 01279 661 012 and quote ‘Ataxia UK’ for a discount before 16 September. Prices include breakfast and VAT.

There are a limited number of adapted rooms; please do not contact the hotel, but book them by emailing Mike Garrett from 20 June: [email protected].

Accommodation costs

Room type Cost
Single Occupancy £81
Double occupancy £91
Family rooms £130
Overnight parking free


Bookings open for the Annual Conference in the summer, and as well as attending talks and events, delegates can choose between afternoon workshops, enjoy a massage and let their hair down with 200 friends from across the UK.

If you sign up to become a Friend of Ataxia UK, you'll be told first when bookings open, and secure early-bird tickets to reduce your cost. Sign up to the charity today to stay in touch about the conference, and much more!

The Annual Conference 2018

The entire staff of the Sheffield Specialist Ataxia Centre were in attendance last year, along with James Moore, actor from Emmerdale with ataxic cerebral palsy; the CEO from the NeuroMuscular Centre; after-dinner entertainment from our very own Jim Bull, and breakouts on physiotherapy, fatigue and benefits.

We celebrated some awardees who have made an enormous difference to ataxia awareness, fundraising and research over the past year, and enjoyed workshops for physiotherapy, fatigue management advice, ataxia awareness and welfare support.

Please click here to download the Annual Conference agenda for 2018 in PDF format.

Annual Conference 2018 Slides

Welcome to the Conference! Explore the themes of 2018's conference: 'Forward with Hope'

Sue Millman, CEO of Ataxia UK - Forward with Hope Updates on future projections for the charity, and our Strategic Plan for 2017-2020

William Littleboy, Friend of Ataxia UK - It Works for Me Hear from William Littleboy about how he's coped with his late-onset diagnosis of ataxia, and how its affected his career.

The Neuromuscular Centre An introduction to a unique centre for neuromusclar conditions, one of its kind in the UK

Richard Brown, Trustee of Ataxia UK - It Works for Me Richard Brown discusses being a parent with ataxia, and the decisions he's made throughout his life

Ataxia Fractures Lives Exploring the successes of raising awareness over the past two years, and what we hope to achieve moving forward

Research Updates for Friedreich's Ataxia Hearing from our Research department about clinical trials and the latest research progress for FA

Research Updates for Cerebellar Ataxia Hearing from our Research department about clinical trials and the latest research progress for CA

Meet the Ataxia Ambassadors! This year we trialled our Ambassadors Project with four individuals, who told delegates all about their experiences at Naidex in April 2018. We also celebrate those who are already ambassadors for the charity, and look forward to 2019's launch of the Ambassadors Project

Branches and Support Groups Award Celebrating the wonderful work of this year's winners of the Branches and Support Groups award: the South West Branch!

James Moore, Emmerdale Actor - It Works for Me Paul Coia interviews James about succeeding in acting regardless of having ataxic cerebral palsy

Would I Lie to You? Fundraiser Ataxia UK Conference Co-ordinator Mike Garrett and Community Fundraiser Rebecca Holt join forces for our fun fundraiser, Would I Lie To You?

Cup and Shield Awards Cheer for our awardees: someone with ataxia who's made the biggest impact this year to the charity's goals, and someone without ataxia who's made the biggest impact for the charity's goals

Dr Harriet Bonney, Chairman of Ataxia UK - Review of the Day A roundup of the day with our chairman, Dr Harriet Bonney and Paul Coia

16-30's Chill Out

The 16-30's Chill Out ran throughout the morning and early afternoon on Saturday, offering a blend of talks, advice-in-practice workshops and opportunities to socialise and ‘Chill Out!’ We heard from James Moore of Emmerdale; Alison Halls about the Mark Dower Trust,  and Malena Hallahan, a specialist in therapy and counselling for people with genetic disorders. 

Please click here to download the 16-30's Chill Out agenda for 2018 in PDF format.

Booking for this event is now closed. Thank you for your interest, and we hope to see you at next year's event. 

We also run events throughout the year on a regional basis; get in touch with us at [email protected] to enquire about any events happening near you.