Features

Go Green With Envy: The UK’s First Electric Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle From Brotherwood

In 1985 Brotherwood Automobility revolutionized transport for disabled people across the UK, by re-engineering Nissan Prairie to carry a wheelchair seated passenger, whilst blending seamlessly with the other cars on the road - unlike the ‘Pope-mobile’ style conversions prevalent at the time. In turn Brotherwood pioneered a new method of wheelchair accessible vehicle manufacture which has often since been imitated, but never bettered. 30 years later the Dorset-based company has set yet another first for wheelchair passenger transport, teaming with Nissan again with the launch of the Brotherwood Envy: The UK’s first Fully Electric Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, based on the Nissan eNV-200 Combi. The Brotherwood Envy marks yet another milestone for the pioneering company which was also the first to create a wheelchair passenger ‘up-front’ Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), and also the first to achieve Low Volume Type Approval for a wheelchair car conversion. The...

New Care Act signals major changes to social care

Major changes to the care system in England come into force today on 1 April 2015. In what is regarded as the biggest shake-up in social care for 60 years, the Care Act 2014 includes rights for those receiving care, and those who provide care and support. The reforms mark a major milestone in care services for those with long term health conditions, and elderly people who need help with basic tasks such as preparing meals and to get washed and dressed. For the first time carers have the same right to an assessment and to receive support as those they care for - and local councils must enable people to access independent financial advice. It means those who need to pay for residential care will be able to apply for a loan from their local council, which is then paid back from their estate after death. Also for the first time, there will be a system by which people may appeal against council decisions on eligibility and funding for care and support. The new legislati...

You’ve got to hand it to Glasgow! Glasgow City of Science smashes Guinness hand hygiene world record

Glasgow City of Science, with a helping hand from its partners and schoolchildren from across the city, is a world record breaker! The organisation has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous hand hygiene lesson at multiple venues. 3,089 children from 36 Glasgow primary schools were successful in the record attempt, smashing the existing one held by the Health Protection Agency in England of 2,147 children from 21 schools from across the UK. In March last year, Glasgow City of Science coordinated the attempt which saw thousands of primary schoolchildren take part in a simultaneous lesson at Glasgow Science Centre or via a live link up from their schools. Led by 160 student nurses from Glasgow Caledonian University, the 40-minute lesson showed pupils that good hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of illnesses. Pupils were introduced to the science of common microbes using versions knitted and donated by members of the public from all a...

Debbie’s Challenge Is One in a Million

A dementia support worker with Bield has kept the memory of her beloved sister and father very much alive as she continues to speed towards her £1 million fundraising target. Debbie Dean, who works for Bield’s flexi-care service in Glasgow, set herself the challenge of raising £1 million for various UK cancer charities after tragically losing her sister, Roseann, and her father, Billy Young to the illness. Since embarking on her mission, Debbie has already raised an impressive £7,000 which she plans donate to Breast Cancer Care. Inspired by her sister’s own charitable nature, Debbie has raised the sum through various fundraising activities such as The Great Scottish Run, a gruelling 380km cycle through the famous Yosemite National Park in California and a ‘Zumbathon’ which raised a whopping £3,850. With a dinner dance already planned for November, Debbie hopes that this and other fundraising events will help her to sail past the £10,000 mark by the time 2016 appr...

EXCITEMENT AT LAUNCH OF NEW SCOTTISH EXHIBITION PROMOTING INDEPENDENT LIVING

Independent Living Scotland, 7-8 October 2015, SECC, Glasgow Scottish exhibition organiser, QD Events, are delighted to announce the launch of a new event with the twofold aim of offering advice, support and information for individuals living with disability or a long-term condition, and providing learning, product knowledge and networking opportunities for healthcare professionals in Scotland. Independent Living Scotland, which will take place in Hall 3 of Glasgow's SECC on the 7th and 8th October, will bring together people with disabilities, their families and carers along with healthcare professionals to test and compare the latest products on the market, network, gain advice on what is new and identify which product is best suited for each individual need. Fran McIntyre, MD of QD Events said: "With nearly 1 million people in Scotland living with disability or illness, there is a real need for a Scottish show. As an experienced events organiser based in Scotland, our aim...

Obstetric Negligence

Obstetric Negligence can be present before, during and after birth and causes  a wide variety of physical and mental medical conditions and problems. Conditions like Gestational Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy, Erbs Palsy, Facial Palsy, Congenital Hip Dysplasia and Placental Abruption can all stem from medical staff being negligent during your time with them. Obstetric negligence can be caused by a number of mistreatments. It can be through a poorly managed labour by a midwife, incorrect diagnosis and treatment of high risk patients, incorrect pain relief, perineal tears or episiotomy problems, delayed delivery due to administrative problems and the misunderstanding of scans. The majority of obstetric negligence occurs before and during birth however, as these are the highest risk times, but there are issues of post-natal negligence where the care of the new-born child is sub-standard and physical or mental damage can also be caused at this time. Legally, What Is Obstetric Negligence?...

Woman with learning disability calls for UK businesses to employ more disabled people

Today, Ciara Lawrence who has a learning disability and is a campaigns assistant at Mencap, delivered a presentation at the government’s Learning Disability Confident Event in the Houses of Parliament. As part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Confident campaign, the event brought together employers, government officials and people with a learning disability to show employers that offering employment to people with a learning disability is both straightforward and beneficial to their organisations. It is estimated that 80% of people with a learning disability can work, but only 6% percent of people with a learning disability have a job. People with a learning disability have the lowest employment rate amongst disabled people as a whole. In his opening speech, Special Educational Needs Tsar,Lee Scott MP, said: “If employers are not seriously considering people with learning disabilities for jobs, then they are not always recruiting the best people. The...

Eye-Controlled Wheelchair Wins Top Design Award

A wheelchair controlled by the user’s eye movement has scooped the top prize at a Dragons Den style design competition. Leading housing and care provider, Blackwood, recently held its Student Design Competition which discovers, and champions, new and innovative ideas that aim to improve standards of living for those with physical or mental disabilities. Designs from across the globe were presented in person and over the internet to a panel of judges, with Kirubin Pillay taking home the coveted top prize. The Oxford University Biomedical Engineering student will now receive invaluable backing from Blackwood and its’ partners in a bid to make his creative design into a working reality that could offer a life changing transport facility for many people with severe physical disabilities. The remarkable design is based on a typical electric wheelchair. An electric module has been added to the frame which communicates with the current wheelchair electronics and this, in turn, i...

Lead care inspector speaks at event for families of people with learning disabilities

Andrea Sutcliffe, the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), will be the keynote speaker at an inaugural learning disability conference hosted by CMG. The event on Saturday 14th March which runs from 10.30am to 4pm at the Imber Sports Club in East Molesey, will provide advice and support aimed at helping relatives and friends of people living with learning disabilities. It will give people the chance to come together to discuss developments in the care sector, listen to talks from key people, and share experiences with other families who are in similar situations. The Family Conference will begin with talks from Andrea Sutcliffe who will speak about how care services are inspected, and Vivien Cooper, the founder of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF). Vivien has a son with severe learning disabilities and set up the CBF in 1997 to provide support to other people in similar situations. In the afternoon, people will be able to attend wo...

Inspirational campaigners take to the floor in The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief

BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing is throwing open the doors of its ballroom to the Great British public for the first time in ‘The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief.’ The four-part series, which begins on Wednesday 25 February at 9pm on BBC One, follows six lucky “inspirational but everyday heroes and heroines” who were chosen from thousands of nominations to take part in their very own Strictly experience. They include autism campaigner Anna Kennedy OBE from Middlesex, who set up the largest school for autism in the UK after her own autistic sons were turned away from mainstream education. Each of the lucky six has been picked for their tireless and selfless work which has helped change so many lives for the better. Over the next few weeks, they will become completely immersed in all things Strictly. The six contestants are: * Philip Barnett from Cornwall, who founded a children’s theatre charity in 1994 and has since raised over £2 million and staged o...

Introducing RaceRunner

RaceRunner is a new sport in England being piloted by Cerebral Palsy (CP) Sport. It is for children, young people and adults who cannot functionally run and rely on sports aids for mobility and balance. RaceRunner is a three wheeled frame where the athlete is supported by a saddle and body plate. The athlete propels against the frame using their feet, and steers using the mobility within their hands and/or arms. People with physical disabilities in other countries already participate in Race Runner – including Scotland. RaceRunner was invented in Denmark in the 1980s, the sport received international recognition in the mid 1990’s. RaceRunner is known to have amazing benefits for the athlete: • Freedom of movement and independence that athletes may not have experienced before • A rehabilitation/physiotherapy aid – including walking gait • A training aid for other physical activities, improving the cardio vascular system and muscle strengthening   ...

Bruce and Ben Fogle go walkies for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Father and son duo Bruce and Ben Fogle are encouraging the public to join the first ever Great British Dog Walk in aid of national charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Bruce Fogle MBE co-founded Hearing Dogs for Deaf People over 30 years ago, with the aim to train dogs to assist severely and profoundly deaf people. There are now over 10 million people in the UK with hearing loss, and that number is continuing to rise. TV presenter and writer Ben Fogle, is a celebrity ambassador for the charity. Both Ben and Bruce Fogle recently visited National Trust’s Osterley Park in West London with their own dogs, Storm, a 4 month old black Labrador, Bean a 7 year old Golden Retriever, and Plum an 8 month old Golden Retriever to launch the Great British Dog Walk. The duo also met some of the Charity’s hearing dogs - Bruce, Nia and Tuesday. The dogs gave a demonstration to show the amazing work they do to help deaf people. Ben Fogle said:   “I am delighted to be launching the ...

Milton Keynes man to run London Marathon and raise funds for disabled people

A 52 year-old man from Milton Keynes is taking part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, representing the national employment, learning and skills charity, Shaw Trust. Inspired by his partner, Fiona Murphy – who suffers from Myalgic Encephalopathy and Spinal Stenosis – Adrian Kimpton will be lacing up his running shoes to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their relationship. He will be raising funds to support children with cancer and disabled people across the country. Adrian met Fiona last year when she lived in Dorset and worked as an administrator for Abilities – a not-for-profit training provider that helps to support Shaw Trust’s disabled and unemployed clients. Adrian, who works as a Railway Engineer in Milton Keynes, learnt all about Shaw Trust through Fiona. Despite having to travel long distances, Adrian and Fiona grew ever closer, with Adrian supporting Fiona to manage her health conditions. Fiona successfully applied for an Employment Advisor posit...

Evenbreak Partners with Saros to promote Disabled Research Participants

More disabled people’s views need to be heard! Evenbreak, the UK’s leading specialist job board for disabled people, announce a partnership with leading market research company Saros to encourage more disabled people to get involved in market research projects. Saros believe that everybody’s views matter, but all too often, products and services are designed and released to market without considering the needs of users who might have a whole different set of issues to face. By working with  Evenbreak – the specialist not-for-profit organisation working to help disabled people find work in the UK - Saros will tap into a pool of talented and creative people they might not reach by traditional means. As well as recruiting projects where the viewpoint of disabled people is specifically required, Saros want to see more people with disabilities taking part in all of their events. “If we recruit a focus group of 10 people, then statistically there should be at leas...

Credo Care

There are many reasons people want to become Foster Parents. It may be as simple as loving children and wanting to make a difference to the lives of others – and by doing so, transforming their own. It is not uncommon for people to want to extend their family or provide a brother or sister for an only child. It could also be that you have personal experience of being fostered or growing up with fostered children, and now the time has come in your life for you to create a new caring and loving environment for others. Some people seek home-based employment and are delighted to discover that fostering can prove to be a very real alternative to the rat race. Although the additional income from fostering should not be seen as your principal motivation, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that fostering can sometimes replace income from previous employment. Now in their 14th year, Credo Care is the UK's first foster agency specialising in the care of children with disabili...

The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust

The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust, or Hannahs as we are known, has been supporting children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities for more than 230 years. Hannahs was founded in 1767 through the generous £10,000 legacy of Dame Hannah Rogers – the wife of a Plymouth MP who had a passion for working with children. Although our proud history has always been varied, the aim is simple:  to help enrich, empower and advocate the lives of children and adults with a range of disabilities. Hannahs at Ivybridge in Devon is home to our school, respite centre, community hub, children's home and Hannahwood - an innovative project for older students.   Our holistic approach offers professional support from our therapists, educationalists, expert medical staff and a care team in a lovely atmosphere. Hannahs as Seale-Hayne is set within 90 acres of Devon countryside supporting around 800 adults with disabilities and their families through employment, training and experiences...

THE MOBILITY ROADSHOW LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

Organisers of The Mobility Roadshow, Mobility Choice, are delighted to announce the launch of a new website for the 2015 event (25-27 June, Donington Park, Derby). The Mobility Roadshow is the UK’s premier consumer-focused event, showcasing products and services to help maintain independence for people with disabilities and older people. For 2015 The Mobility Roadshow returns to one of its most popular venues, so test-driving of wheelchair accessible and other adapted vehicles will take place around the historic Donington motorsport circuit. This unique experience is unmatched at any other independent living event, and full details are available on the new Mobility Roadshow website. The website has been redesigned so information is more easily accessible, whether viewing on a PC, tablet or smartphone.  The home page includes a large “image carousel” that will be regularly updated with the latest show features, competitions and offers. This will also incorporate a new promoti...

Boulting give Steve Prescott Foundation charity boost

Boulting Group raised over £6,000 for the St Helens-based Steve Prescott Foundation in 2014. The Steve Prescott Foundation was chosen through an annual employee suggestion scheme and companywide poll to select a new charity each year and over the past 12 months employees have successfully worked together to organise fundraising activities. Boulting Group agreed to match up to £2,500 of donations, so following this year's contributions and efforts, with a sum of £3,551 raised, the donation reached an impressive grand total of £6,051. The money was raised through events such as cake sales, dress down days, employee tuck shops, second hand book shops, quiz nights and staff partaking in local sporting events. Steve Prescott, who sadly died in 2013, was a professional rugby league player for St Helens, Hull, Wakefield, Ireland and a GB Lions Tourist, and set up the Steve Prescott Foundation following diagnosis of Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a rare form of cancer in the previous year. T...

MPs back move in favour of three-person babies

In a crucial vote on the issue of three-person babies  - MPs have approved the human fertilisation regulations by 382 votes to 128. It followed a debate in the House of Commons on whether to allow the development of IVF to progress to include the creation of babies using the DNA from two women and one man. The new IVF techniques developed in Newcastle could help to prevent women affected by mitochondrial disease passing the condition on to their future children. One in 200 babies in the UK is born with faulty mitochondrial DNA and one in 6,500 goes on to develop conditions that lead to serious disability and death. The voted was announced to cheers from the public gallery and it means the UK could become the first country to legalise three-person babies. MPs had a free vote because it is an issue of conscience rather than party politics. Prof Doug Turnbull, the director of the Wellcome Trust centre for mitochondrial research where the technique was pioneered, urged ...

TACKLE CHILD OBESITY WITH PLANTS, SAYS THE VEGAN SOCIETY

Healthy weight as a vegan is not exclusive to adults. Plant-based diets can help children too, says The Vegan Society. The experts at the BDA - the Association of UK Dietitians - agree that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living throughout childhood, from weaning to teenage years. This is timely advice since it was confirmed that teen obesity rates in the UK are still rising(1). Jasmijn de Boo, The Vegan Society CEO, said: "A well-planned vegan diet is an excellent start to life for children. What better way to tackle the obesity crisis in the UK than by setting healthy eating habits for our children at an early age? With the planet our children will inherit in peril due to the greenhouse gas emissions from farming animals, plant-based diets for children are more crucial than ever. " Vegans on average have a healthier weight than health-minded meat-eaters. According to two large studies in the UK and US(2), vegan obesity rates are under 2% compared to over 5% in health...

One thousand kids raising £10,000 for Calvert Trust Exmoor

A thousand children aged five to 13 will be tackling tunnels, mud, net scrambles, straw pyramids and more mud, and raising £10,000 for Calvert Trust Exmoor at the same time. Yeo Valley has teamed up with Rock Solid Race to create Yeo Valley Rock Stars; a kid’s obstacle race running alongside the Rock Solid Race at Escot Park Exeter, on 21 March 2015. Yeo Valley has a long standing relationship with Calvert Trust Exmoor having supported them in various ways since 2005. Rob Lott, head of communications for Calvert Trust Exmoor said: “We were delighted when Yeo Valley approached us to ask if we would like to be part of Yeo Valley Rock Stars. It’s a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, get very muddy, and help people with disabilities to access our services at the same time.” The Yeo Valley Rock Stars race runs over a carefully constructed mini obstacle course of about 1km in length, with obstacles like entanglement, net scrambles, tunnels, straw pyramids and, of cours...

Paralympian becomes first Ambassador for Heart of England Mencap

ANNA Turney was one of the UK’s brightest snowboarding hopes when an accident in competition left her paralysed. In 2006, at the age of 26, Anna was competing in Japan when she shattered her spine during a fall. He sporting career - as she knew it - was over. But Anna refused to give up. Incredibly just four years later she was back competing on the snow as a mono-skier, finishing in sixth place at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. Anna’s remarkable story of strength is now to be used by Heart of England Mencap to inspire others in the face of adversity, with Anna being appointed the charity’s first Ambassador. As well as training and competing as a Paralympian, Anna also works as a motivational speaker and as a youth mentor for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. She encourages others to adopt the kind of incredible positivity that she did just weeks after an injury which left her facing a new future in a wheelchair. Anna, from Warwick, spent five weeks in hospital in ...

Better Access Now! Revitalise calls public venues to action on Disabled Access Day.

The UK’s public venues need to work harder on accessibility or risk losing out, finds disability charity’s studies. As the UK’s disabled people are encouraged to visit public venues during Disabled Access Day (17 Jan), national disability charity Revitalise’s own research has revealed that many are still falling short when it comes to full accessibility.  Two separate studies by Revitalise have highlighted the scale of the problem. The charity’s study of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions found that nearly two thirds of venues (64%) were not 100% accessible for wheelchair users, while a survey of disabled shoppers revealed that 8 out of 10 disabled people and carers (84%) had experienced problems with the accessibility of major high street stores. Revitalise is a charity providing respite holiday breaks for disabled people and carers at three UK centres, with accessible excursions to regional visitor attractions as an integral part of the charity’s pr...

Jim’s traumatic accident changed his life forever, but a microprocessor controlled leg has put his active lifestyle back on track.

Glaswegian Jim Bruce enjoys the usual everyday activities that most people do, like going to the gym, doing the gardening and supporting his local football team Glasgow Rangers. Except the difference is, he does it all with a prosthetic leg.   In 1995 Jim had a freak trauma accident that would change his life forever. Whilst working with heavy machinery his leg was severely injured by a fork lift causing extensive damage to his knee and shin.   Jim explained, “I went straight into intensive care following my accident; I couldn’t feel a thing. I think I was in shock and passed out shortly after being admitted. When I woke up I knew something was seriously wrong. Doctors kept injecting my leg but I still couldn’t feel anything and I could see the physical severity of my injury.”   After a week of doctors trying their hardest to save his leg, they had no option but to amputate above the knee. Although his foot was absolutely fine, the damage to the leg and knee was so ext...

Looking for a Day Centre or Outreach Service?

Come along to our Open Day at Redwood House on Wednesday 14th January 2015 from 10am - 3pm. (A finger buffet and drinks will be provided). We are pleased to announce our latest Day Centre / Outreach Services for people with learning disabilities and/or physical disabilities. The Day Centre is available to people living in a residential setting or who are living at home seeking a private outreach service. Redwood House is a spacious country house set in attractive grounds near Horsham in West Sussex and we provide support staff plus all the latest technologies, including leisure, sports and educational facilities. www.sussexhealthcare.co.uk For further information or to arrange a visit, please contact Yamil Juri, Day Centre Co-ordinator on 01403 790948 Email: redwoodhouse@sussexhealthcare.co.uk Redwood House, Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 3PW T 01403 791725  

Recruitment Open Day at Sussex Health Care

29th January 2015 from 10am – 6pm We are very pleased to announce the opening of our next individual bungalows on our Rapkyns site. These will offer a range of different services for young adults with Profound Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) and specialist care for adults with Autism, Acquired Brain Injury and Neurological conditions. We are looking for caring and enthusiastic staff to join our ever expanding team. Carers, Nurses, Kitchen staff, Activities staff, Domestic staff and Management opportunities available. This isn’t just a job, its a job worth doing Applicants must bring their CV and be eligible to work in the UK. We look forward to seeing you on the Recruitment Open Day at: Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, RH12 3PQ If you are unable to attend the Open Day, please apply via our website: www.sussexhealthcare.co.uk  No experience necessary (this applies to Carers, Domestic staff and Kitchen staff). We provide: ● Fantastic training ...

Consort - Low Surface Temperature Heaters

Consort manufacture a variety of Low Surface Temperature heaters which provide a high level of safety and controllability. Our stylish heaters are designed to minimise the risk of burn injuries as they have a maximum surface temperature of 43oC, complying with Department of Health Guidelines. Our optional top of the range wireless controlled products are very easy to install and operate, offering efficient control of one or more heaters, six temperature settings a day, seven days a week, and major energy savings through the reduction of energy consumption as the temperature reaches its set target. The extensive range includes towel rails, panel and fan heaters, well suited for both commercial and domestic use. We also offer a free advisory service to help you prepare your heating scheme. For our latest catalogue or further details, please visit our website www.consortepl.com, email enquiries@consortepl.com or contact us on 01646 692172.  

Kidz in the Middle

Kidz in the Middle Thursday, 19th March 2015 Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, CV6 6GE 9.30am – 4.30pm Free Entry - Free Parking - Fully Accessible! Information on: funding, seating, beds, mobility, accessible vehicles, bathing, education, transition, communication, sensory, sport, leisure and much more! Come and join us at this free exhibition for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, their parents, carers and the professionals who support them! With more than 120 exhibitors, Kidz in the Middle is a one stop shop offering the most up to date advice and information on equipment, products and services and much more. The advice and information you gather at the events can really help improve independence and quality of life. Funding Point In view of the current economic climate the Kidz Team have introduced a Funding Point to all the Kidz events.  Here you can access information on alternative funding streams for equipment and much m...

EAST SUSSEX COMMUNITY AND MAYOR RAISE £21,000 TO GIVE LEISHA WITH CEREBRAL PALSY STATE-OF-THE-ART ETAC STANDING POWERED WHEELCHAIR

Leisha Lamberth, 13 from Telscombe near Brighton, has received a life-changing Etac E890 electric wheelchair thanks to the fundraising efforts of Telscombe Mayor and Councillor Wayne Botting and the local community. Etac UK is a leading assistive technology specialist that provides adult and paediatric Balder and E800-series electric wheelchairs to individuals who live with significantly reduced mobility. Its E890 wheelchair is a cutting-edge, ergonomic design built in Norway and through its world-leading powered functionality, gives users the ability to achieve a variety of movements including a standing position. Mayor Botting began a fundraising campaign called ‘Stand up for Leisha’ in July this year with a view to raising funds to purchase a specialist Etac powerchair. An E890 wheelchair would give Leisha greater independence at school and home whilst ensuring maximum comfort and confidence when engaging with friends and peers. Leisha’s Cerebral Palsy ...

‘No One Alone’ festive campaign to support blind veterans

Ex-military army veteran, Robert Richards, 78, and his wife Muriel, 74, from Wrexham, North Wales, will be spending their Christmas at Blind Veterans UK’s life-changing centre in Llandudno this year. The military sight loss charity believes that no one who has served our country, should battle blindness alone and offers free, lifelong services and support to help veterans discover a life after sight loss. It is currently reaching out to more veterans like Robert and his family, as part of its ‘No One Alone’ campaign. Blind Veterans UK estimates that there are 68,000 plus blind veterans who are eligible for the charity’s services but are not currently aware of this. Robert Richards, spent 22 years in the army where he travelled from Germany, to Sherjah and Hong Kong. He is now registered blind after developing age related macular degeneration, quite suddenly, later on in his life. He has been supported by Blind Veterans UK for more than seven years. Robert Rich...

HEARoes cuddle hearing dog puppies for Christmas

Military forces, celebrities and sports teams across the UK have been taking time out of their busy schedules to cuddle adorable puppies in support of national charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.   The Royal Marines, Thames Valley Police, the Royal Air Force, Harlequins F.C and celebrity MBE John Barrowman have all had a visit from the Charity’s four-legged friends, to encourage the public to sponsor a cute puppy this Christmas. 1 in 6 people in the UK suffer from hearing loss, and sponsoring a puppy as a gift for a loved one will raise vital funds to train more clever pups to help deaf people. Celebrity ambassador MBE John Barrowman says, “Anyone can sponsor a hearing dog puppy as a gift for a loved one and the best part of this Christmas present is that not only will you receive photos and updates from your puppy, but you will also be changing the life of a deaf person.” Hearing dogs are trained to alert deaf people to important sounds such as the doorbell, alar...

Pioneering electrical stimulator helps young stroke victim recover from paralysed foot and ankle

Northampton father regains social life and active lifestyle after becoming one of the first to be fitted with Ottobock’s multi-channel Functional Electrical Stimulation system   Justin Ashton, a 39 year old father of two from Kettering, has regained his mobility following a stroke after being one of the first in the UK to be fitted with a new and advanced Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) system that helps correct his gait by lifting his foot and supporting his knee movement. Developed by mobility experts Ottobock, the MyGait system uses functional electrical stimulation to revive a patient’s nervous system and lift the foot at just the right time in the walking cycle. Following the fitting, Justin has been able to take part in everyday activities again, including watching his son play football, going on days out and is leading a more sociable and active life.   Justin suffered a stroke whilst working as an electrician. He was driving to work when suddenly his driving ...

“SonoSite helps clinicians make the grade”

Delegates attending the Derby Ultrasound in Critical Care (DUCC) training courses are gaining valuable hands-on experience using SonoSite’s point-of-care ultrasound systems, as Course Director Craig Morris explained: “I began using echocardiography about 10 years ago. The FATE (Focus Assessed Transthoracic Echocardiography) Protocol had just been published, and the whole notion that non-cardiologists could deliver point-of-care ultrasound was really exciting. Ultrasound is a mainstream technology now – I use SonoSite’s X-Porte™ and Edge® systems in my daily practice at the Royal Derby Hospital – and, with the introduction of accredited courses, training has become more formalised.”   “DUCC is an independent organisation offering courses in echocardiography and lung ultrasound, approved by the FICE (Focused Intensive Care Echo) group of the Intensive Care Society. SonoSite provides point-of-care ultrasound systems for these courses – usually X-­Porte or Edge inst...

INCLUSIVE LEARNING DISABILITY CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST LONDON

Yesterday, leading figures from the learning disability sector spoke at a major inclusive conference at the University of West London (UWL) titled Together We Stand.   Hosted by the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare, part of UWL, the event aimed to harness industry knowledge and map out a pathway for future developments in the field.  The day was chaired by Ann Chivers, Chief Executive, British Institute of Learning Disabilities and John Keaveney and Anne Corrigan from Certitude.    Stephen Taylor, a Principal Adviser on the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme gave a key note speech about the developments in hospital care for those with learning disabilities. This comes in the wake of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal which was investigated by the BBC’s Panorama. He said: “We now need to develop care services for the individual, rather than employing a 'one size fits all’ approach”.   Further discussion on promoting safety for people with le...

Double success for Daniel with College and Council awards

A YOUNG Buxton & Leek College student has been named Disabled Sportsperson of the Year by High Peak Borough Council. And 22-year-old Daniel Gregory, from Buxton, has been put forward for the county finals of the Community Sports Network competition being held in Derby in November. A keen footballer, Daniel has problems with his speech and is studying on the Learning for Living and Work programme at the College’s Buxton Campus. Daniel was presented with his High Peak Borough Council awards by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Lynn Stone and Council Sports Development Officer Mark Rushworth at the Buxton Sportability Club at Fairfield Youth and Community Centre. Daniel has been a member of the Buxton Sportability Club since its inception in 2012 and, over the last twelve months, he has represented the club playing in the Derbyshire Inclusive Football League every month from January to May. He also played in the Stockport icount Football League as well as representing Buxton Sportabil...

Rugby Star Mat Gilbert unveiled as an Ambassador for UK hearing loss charity at BT Tower climb challenge

Today Worcester Warriors Rugby Star Mat Gilbert, the UK’s only professional deaf sportsman, was unveiled as an Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, to support the charity while fundraisers bolted up the iconic BT Tower to raise vital funds for crucial projects that help transform the lives of the 10 million people with hearing loss in the UK.   Following a man of the match try scoring debut for Worcester Warriors last Saturday, Mat greeted hundreds of energetic fundraisers who had the unique chance to scale the exhilarating heights of the 842-step communication tower and enjoy the scintillating views of the capital’s skyline.   Mat said: ‘I’m ecstatic to be unveiled as an Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss and I can’t wait to help the charity with its ground breaking projects. It’s been brilliant to see hundreds of enthusiastic people challenge themselves by climbing up the BT Tower today.   ‘I was born with bilateral sensorineural hearing lo...

FeNO breath test could lead to fewer asthma deaths and huge cost savings for the NHS

A 10-SECOND breath test could help reduce deaths from asthma as well as saving the NHS millions of pounds, according to new research by leading clinicians. The test, which measures airways inflammation in asthma patients, has recently been recommended for NHS use, but whether sufferers are offered it is still down to individual GPs. Now, new research has been released showing a win-win situation for clinicians and patients. Not only does the test, which looks at fractional exhaled nitric oxide, or FeNO levels, which are higher in many people with asthma than those without, have the potential to cut the number of deaths from asthma attacks, it could also lead to huge savings for the NHS. A study by leading clinicians in the US, published in a specialist medical journal, followed patients aged from seven to 60 as their doctors decided on the best medication for their condition. It found that without carrying out a FeNO test, clinicians weren’t able to correctly assess how ...

Government is urged to act as charity finds disabled people are being ‘left out in the cold’ in Britain

 A poll has found 75 per cent of people in Britain say their houses do not have a ‘disabled-friendly’ front door    House of Lords to debate Bill that would make it harder for councils to insist that new homes are accessible    Leonard Cheshire Disability is campaigning for ‘disabled-friendly’ housing and is urging the Government to act A leading UK charity says disabled people are being ‘left out in the cold’ because they can’t get in through the front door of most UK homes. A survey by Leonard Cheshire Disability has found that three quarters of the people in Great Britain say their houses do not have an accessible front door (ie. a door which has a ramp, or step-free access). By region, London leads the way with 64 per cent, in contrast, the East Midlands is bottom of the list with 81 per cent of people reporting they have inaccessible front doors. The finding comes at the same time as the Government prepares to make it harder for local aut...

Think WARMTH to save lives this winter

Older people, their families, friends and neighbours need to think WARMTH this winter to save lives, leading home care provider Bluebird Care has urged.   As the weather starts to get colder, Bluebird Care is sending out the strong message that cold weather can kill – and is urging people around the country to prepare for the winter with some simple steps to stay warm and safe.   Last winter was one of the coldest on record with 31,000 additional deaths where two thirds (25,600) were accounted for by over-75s, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.  In March this year, one of the coldest in fifty years, 1,582 people died each day because of extreme weather.   A full regional breakdown of winter deaths by local authority area is attached.   The threat of another severe winter has lead Bluebird Care to issue a reminder for people to prepare for the cold weather.  Bluebird Care is urging the public to think WARMTH this winter.   W   Wrap Up ind...

25th Bupa Great South Run Weekend, Portsmouth

Some 25,000 runners are expected to take part in the Portsmouth Bupa Great South Run on Sunday, 26th October. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the 10 mile fast and flat course starts and finishes on the seafront at Southsea taking in the city’s iconic sites along the way. There will also be Mini and Junior running events on Saturday, 25th October for younger entrants. The Great South Run route goes past the Royal Marines Museum and through Old Portsmouth with views of the 170m high Spinnaker Tower before entering the Historic Dockyard, home to some of the world’s most famous ships including HMS Victory and HMS Warrior as well as the Mary Rose Museum. The event has grown into a great weekend of running in the popular seaside location with the more recent additions of the Bupa Junior and Mini Great South Runs, and a 5K route. Live music along the route from ‘bands on the run’ keep runners motivated every step of the way. Attracting a plethora of athletes, celebr...

A WHEEL-Y BIG DEAL FOR TRACEY

Care provider Regard has helped transform the life of a Cardiff woman with cerebral palsy by supporting her to get a new mobility scooter.   Tracey Silver who lives at a supported living service in Mackintosh Place in Cathays, Cardiff can now use public transport and is confident enough to make journeys on her own.   Her old scooter was bulky, heavy to use and unreliable and the 44-year-old had to rely on taxis to help her get about.   Says Tracey: “I was always terrified of it breaking down and I was losing confidence going out by myself which was a real shame.”   Mackintosh’s in-house team, in conjunction with Regard’s benefits manager Julia Watts, supported Tracey to use part of her Disability Living Allowance to lease a brand-new Motability scooter.   Adds Tracey: “It’s brilliant. I can now go out and not worry about my scooter packing up on me and being left stranded. The scheme means I get an emergency number to ring and help will be on its way.   ...

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in jail

Judge Thokozile Masipa has sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in jail for killing Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year. In a detailed sentencing statement Judge Masipa told the court, in Pretoria, that at the time the deceased met her death she was “young, vivacious and full of life," described in evidence as a “promising young women who cared deeply for family.” She said: “Hopefully the sentence the court shall provide, will give some sort of closure, so they can move on with their lives.” She said it would be wrong if the court gave any impression that there is one law for the poor and vulnerable, and another for the rich and famous. Covering the points of evidence during the trial she said she had a feeling of unease, that at times there had been an "over emphasis" placed on the accused vulnerability. She said thanks to his mother he (Oscar) “rarely saw himself as disabled" and in sport he "excelled,” “even going on to compete again...

The Grass is Always Greener in Greenock

Tenants at a Bield sheltered housing development in Greenock are set to see that the grass is always greener with the launch of a new garden. The large landscaping project began a year ago when the ‘perimeter block flats’ around Carwood Court were demolished as they had become unpopular and difficult to let. As well as providing an opportunity to redevelop the garden, the demolition work has allowed the Carwood Street site, which previously had been obscured by the high buildings, to be bathed in natural sunlight. In addition, a new fence has been put up around the perimeter of the garden to isolate the area from neighbouring properties and reduce external noise and disruption to tenants. The garden was officially launched at an Open Day at the development and was attended by staff, tenants, families and tenants from nearby developments. Everyone enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of cake whilst admiring the new garden. Margaret Lacey, Scheme Manager at the development said: ...

Launch of the first Disability Power List

First there was the Paralympics 2012 which mesmerized over a billion TV viewers. Then came the Invictus Games, Prince Harry’s successful international multi-sports event to celebrate the agility and sporting prowess of wounded and disabled servicemen and women. Now Powerful Media, in partnership with Shaw Trust, are proud to announce the launch of Power 100: The most influential people in Britain with a disability or impairment.The list is the first of its kind to be published in Britain. Listing 100 of the most powerful, influential and inspiring disabled people in Britain it is, perhaps, no surprise that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, 72, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 22, tops the list. More surprisingly another Stephen - Stephen Fry - comes in at number five. The popular 57-year-old actor, comedian, writer, presenter and activist, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has publicly depicted his plight in the Emmy Award winning TV documentary Steph...

Sharing Joy

There were beaming faces and belly laughs galore across Sanctuary Care’s homes when residents enjoyed interactive performances steeped in nostalgia. During October residents at 12 of the organisation’s homes in Worcestershire, Weston-super-Mare, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Telford enjoyed ‘Sharing Joy’ - a specially commissioned performance by Vamos Theatre packed with charming and humorous scenes from the 1940s and 1950s. Sharing Joy delves into the lives of courting couples, wartime nurses and even a singing dog called Elvis – with every scene featuring music from yesteryear, beautiful costumes, hand crafted masks and colourful props. At Hastings Residential Care Home in Malvern, manager Sue Milward said: “There was so much belly laughing it was just heart-warming to see so many engaged and glowing faces in the audience. This was the best performance we have ever had here – it was wonderful to sit back and watch the smiles and the laughter.” Resident Hi...

Links between mental health and sport explored to mark World Mental Health Day 

Labour MP Andy Burnham and comedian, broadcaster and writer Jake Mills were among a host of speakers at yesterday’s Understanding and Promoting Mental Health: The Role of Sport and Physical Activity conference at Edge Hill University. The conference was being hosted by the University alongside Everton in the Community and Mersey Care NHS Trust to mark World Mental Health day which takes place today, Friday 10 October. The conference promoted an understanding of mental health and wellbeing in local communities. It also described how community sport and physical activity, delivered as part of broader health programmes, can contribute to the management and promotion of mental health. The implications of publically disclosed cases of mental illness amongst elite athletes and other high profile figures will also be explored. The conference was the latest event in a ground-breaking collaboration between Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community, which seeks to benefit t...

Sign up now for Junior Sports Camp

LimbPower are supporting WheelPower for a Junior Sports Camp on Saturday 8 November, at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Keen to reach out to as many ambulant disabled children and young people as possible, organisers hope to make the event another great success. Junior Sport Camps provide an opportunity to experience coaching in a wide variety of sports – in a safe, friendly and completely inclusive environment. From wheelchair basketball to sitting volleyball, the camps for anyone aged 11-18 with physical impairments such as spinal cord injury, amputation, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Anyone interested to know more should contact Stewart Jeeves e-mail stewart.jeeves@wheelpower.org.uk or telephone 01296 395995.  

Rugby great Gareth Thomas puts his weight behind Anti-Bullying Week

Gareth Thomas, the 100-times capped former Wales skipper, has announced his support for this year's Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, which takes place on 17-21 November. Gareth, who leads the Balls to Bullying campaign which launched earlier this year, visits schools all over the country to work with pupils on building resilience and boosting self-confidence. Gareth has recently spoken of how his own schools days were blighted by bullying: I was picked on by my rugby teammates. When we went swimming, they would smack me with their wet towels. I got spat on, too. It was degrading, but I didn't want to tell anyone because these were my rugby mates and I wanted to be in the team. I'm not sure why it happened, I wasn't small or weak. I think it was because I didn't stand up for myself. It started with a little thing - I was probably singled out because my rugby boots weren't the best - and then it built. Going to school eventually became a nightmare. http:/...

KITCHEN OPERATORS URGED TO TAKE EXTRA CARE FOLLOWING GUARDIAN HYGIENE INQUIRY

A spokesperson for a leading food service manufacturer has urged kitchen operators nationwide to take extra care when handling and cooking poultry-based dishes following the Guardian’s recent claim that strict hygiene standards at chicken factories are often disregarded. After an investigation by the Guardian uncovered a catalogue of alleged hygiene failings in the poultry industry and prompted a Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigation, Stuart Flint, Regional Training and Demonstration Manager at Electrolux Professional has advised operators to maintain a vigilant approach to food safety. Flint commented: “The health risks associated with poorly handled poultry have been known for some time, but the latest findings emphasise just how prevalent the issue is. The fact that two thirds of fresh retail chicken are contaminated with the bacterium campylobacter highlights the need for operators to do all they can to keep hygiene at the top of their agenda and minimise the risk of ...

Care needs to be seen as a career

CARE needs to be seen as a career – that was the call from the CEO of a Stratford-based charity which supports those with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, was speaking after the charity’s annual staff awards, held at Stratford School. Categories at the awards included Carer of the Year, Team of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Going the Extra Mile. Volunteers were also recognised and thanked, as were those receiving both 10 and 20 year Service Awards. Speaking afterwards, Helena called for care to be seen as a career, citing Operations Manager Hayley Hemmings as an example. Hayley started as a support worker, being promoted to team leader, manager, then registered manager and then registered care home manager. The next step up saw Hayley appointed Operations Manager for Heart of England Mencap - a position in which she is responsible for managing the operations of a charity with...

Dementia Crisis Support Wins Award

An award for an outstanding innovation in healthcare – Dementia Crisis Support In The Community - has been presented to a team of NHS staff at a prestigious event organised by Health Enterprise East, a leading NHS Innovation Hub. Winners of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network Award for Long Term Conditions Management were Dr Afifa Qazi and her team from North East London NHS Foundation Trust. Dementia Crisis Support In The Community aims to reduce inappropriate hospital admissions for people with dementia, enabling them to live in their own home for as long as possible with help and support. The team receives referrals from healthcare professionals in a crisis situation and provides a front-door service at A&E to avoid admissions to the acute hospital. The model has been shown to reduce hospital admissions and deliver cost-savings, freeing up resources and moving care out of hospital into the community. Winners were presented with a specially engraved glass troph...

Mental health staff go 5000 miles to Tanzania

In November CNWL will celebrate five years of successful partnership working with Mirembe, Tanzania’s national psychiatric hospital, by holding a Summit in Dodoma, the legislative capital, to review the progress of the Link and plan the next five years of activity. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and suffers from major health challenges and a critical shortage of mental health professionals. Shona French, CNWL Tanzania Link Project Manager, said: “This summit is about celebrating what we have achieved so far and bringing key partners together to jointly agree the next steps. “Currently many people in Tanzania face stigmatisation and discrimination increasing their risk of poverty. Mental health attracts relatively little attention nationally, with the majority of people not receiving the care they need - There are only 17 psychiatrists to serve its population of 44 million and the majority of staff at Mirembe have not had any continued professional devel...

Harrow MP backs gardening service supporting disabled people into work

Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, attended an awards ceremony hosted by Shaw Trust at the charity’s horticultural social enterprise project in Clamp Hill, Stanmore. During the visit, Mr Blackman presented the project’s service users with certificates recognising their achievements and the progress they have made to gain key skills for the job market. 40 year-old Lee Emery from Willesden was one of the clients recognised by the MP. Lee is an ex-offender who endured long periods of homelessness and struggled with addiction. Lee was referred to Shaw Trust to overcome the barriers he faced to gain new skills and find work. The Trust recognised Lee’s potential as a gardener and enrolled him on a horticultural training course. Having successfully completed his training, Lee was presented with a City and Guilds certificate during the awards ceremony. Mr Blackman used the visit to witness first-hand the work of staff at the horticultural project that support service users to gain new...

Help My Mobility Team doing ToughMudder for Independent Age

The Help My Mobility team has signed up to do “ToughMudder”, a 12 mile assault course including obstacles such as the “Sewage Outlet”, “Electric Eel” and “Mud Mile”. You can see all obstacles here - https://toughmudder.co.uk/obstacles   They are running the course in aid of Independent Age, a charity dedicated to helping the elderly.    To make a donation click here - https://www.justgiving.com/HelpMyMobility

Telecare provider raises awareness of support with over 65s bucket list

Telecare provider Centra Pulse has released new research among over-65s to raise awareness of telecare technology for older people. It found that far from growing old by the fireplace, the average over-65 wants to travel the world, write a best selling novel and live to 100 before they die. But 40% still fear losing their independence as the age. Travelling the world, learning to fly and taking part in a skydiver or parachute featured as some of 40 most popular things older people said they wanted to do before they die. The results of the YouGov poll have been used to create an ultimate over-65s  bucket list. But despite the impressive list of ambitions, 40 per cent of those surveyed said they still worried about life becoming more difficult as they grow older. Centra Pulse is calling for better awareness of telecare technology which can support people to stay living independently. Wendy Darling, Managing Director at Centra Pulse, said: “We have released this research to p...

Life after meningitis and septicaemia

A unique and fun learning day for those people living with amputations is being held in Bristol on 31 October by international charity Meningitis Research Foundation following the success of a similar event for children last year. Pushing the Boundaries will take place at Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground’s Bristol Pavilion on Friday 31 October. It is an opportunity for children and adult amputees and their families to come together, have fun, share experiences and get support and advice from experts. Access Sport’s Ignite programme will provide sporting activities all day for the children. Parents and adult survivors will hear inspirational stories from Paralympian athletes and presentations from an expert panel about a range of topics, from the management of scarring to effects on bone growth and tooth damage. An interactive session from charity Changing Faces will teach new skills to help increase the confidence of parents of children living with a different appearanc...

Invictus Games closes on a highly successful note

Sunday marked the final day of the UK’s first Invictus Games with final medals decided in the sitting volleyball, powerlifting and swimming. The Paralympics-style sporting event was followed a sell-out closing concert, at the South lawn of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Perhaps not quite attracting mass media coverage in the national press over its four days, the event has never-the-less been seen as a major success. The closing concert alone attracted a crowd of 26,000. With a special headlining performance by Foo Fighters, it also featured Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding, Ryan Adams, James Blunt, Diversity and Military Wives Choirs – among others. In a statement conveyed by Prince Harry at the closing ceremony, the Queen said she had been “deeply moved” by the members of the Armed Forces who had overcome “great adversity” to take part. It has involved more than 400 competitors – both serving military personnel and veterans – across nine disciplines. Teams ha...

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. Judge Thokozile Masipa said the state had failed to prove he intended to kill Ms Steenkamp – but the athlete acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door in the “belief that there was an intruder” in his home. She said the athlete acted too hastily and used excessive force when he shot into toilet cubicle. The South African Paralympian was also found guilty on a charge of negligently handling a firearm that went off in a restaurant. Pistorius, 27, could receive up to 15 years in jail, although legal experts believe seven to 10 years is more likely when sentence is passed on a future date. Yesterday Judge Thokozile Masipa told North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria: “The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder.” She said the...

Meet Reg & Val – experience a typical ‘day in the life’ of somebody caring for a loved one with dementia

In the lead up to National Dementia Carers Day (14 September 2014) follow 12 hours in the life of fictional couple Reg & Val, to find out what it’s like to care at home for a person living with dementia. In England alone, it is estimated that there are over half a million people caring for a loved one with dementia.  National Dementia Carers Day (NDCD) has been created by leading dementia organisations (Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society & SweetTree Home Care Services) to recognise, share and celebrate the amazing job carried out by these informal carers everywhere, every day. From 8am on Monday 1st September - until NDCD itself on Sunday 14th – our fictional couple Reg & Val will be taking to Twitter to share the ups and downs of daily life with dementia.  A different activity will take place at a different hour across each day, from eating breakfast and attending the GP to a shopping trip and a home visit from an Admiral Nurse.  Reg & Val’s story aims to...

Brunel professor makes list of most influential disabled people in the UK

Brunel’s Peter Beresford OBE has been named in a list of the top 10 most influential disabled people in academia. Prof Beresford, professor of social policy and director of the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University London and chair of the national user-led Shaping Our Lives network, came third in a list compiled by the Disability News Service. Only theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking and senior lecturer at Norwich Medical School Dr Tom Shakespeare were considered to have more impact on our lives today, by a panel of disabled people in the research community. “I’m delighted that disabled people are being recognised for the influence they have in such varied roles throughout the UK,” Prof Beresford said. “As an out mental health service user I understand many of the challenges facing disabled people and, through my research, I hope I am able to play my part in bringing about change.” Prof Beresford has led research at Brunel into under...

Cardiff gets £15k to create a new clinical measure for nystagmus

A Cardiff University research team has been awarded 15K to develop a test to accurately measure the impact of the eye condition nystagmus.  The award is being made by the Nystagmus Network and is the first in a new annual scheme from the charity. The Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN) at Cardiff University has recently published evidence that visual acuity is an inappropriate measure of visual function in nystagmus.  The test, designed by Dr Matt Dunn and the director of RUN Professor Jonathan T. Erichsen, will allow for ‘time to see’ and the null zone to be taken into consideration when assessing the effects of nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). Dr Dunn said: “Recent work from our lab suggests that visual acuity may not be a relevant measure when assessing changes in visual performance in people with nystagmus. We are therefore very grateful to Nystagmus Network for providing this funding which will enable us to investigate the nature of visual 'timing' in infantile nysta...

Tickets on sale for the first Invictus Games 2014  

The countdown is on for the inaugural Invictus Games, in the Olympic Park, in London from 10-14 September 2014. A new international sporting event for wounded service personnel – the Invictus Games 2014 presented by Jaguar Land Rover – will use the power of sport to help wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women through their rehabilitation and recovery. More than 400 wounded serving and former military competitors from 14 nations will take part, with teams coming from the armed forces of nations that have served alongside each other. Many of the competitors will have had a long journey after being seriously injured. The Games is supported by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. It will involve Archery, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Powerlifting, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Swimming & Sitting Volleyball. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host events in the London...

Deafblind artists exhibiting at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter

An exhibition showcasing the talent and creativity of deafblind Exeter based artists opens at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, from 7-21 August. Five artists who are supported by deafblind charity Sense, were chosen to exhibit at the Local Art Show, by the readers of Exeter’s Express & Echo newspaper. The Echo organises the annual art competition together with the Ramm to offer local art groups and societies the chance to show their work where internationally renowned art is on display. Sense works to provide opportunities for deafblind people to enjoy and take part in the arts, heritage and culture. The five artists each work in various artforms and combine traditional methods and new mediums to develop their work. Nic Vogelpoel, the head of arts and wellbeing at Sense, said: “We are delighted that the artists we support through our programme have been selected for the Local Art Show. “Accessing arts and cultural experiences can be a real challenge for man...

Fleet of disabled-access Wheelyboats takes to the River Thames 

The Wheelyboat Trust has marked its 30th anniversary of helping more disabled people to enjoy water-based activities all over the UK, for sport, wildlife watching, recreation or rehabilitation purposes. More than 150 guests attended a special reception at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. The occasion also marked the launch of the Coulam Wheelyboat V20 – a new model and the most versatile developed to date. It is the 160th Wheelyboat to be launched by the Trust. Based at Bisham Abbey Sailing & Navigation School, it will be the first Wheelyboat to operate anywhere on the River Thames, as part of the Boatability project in collaboration with the Rivertime Boat Trust. The project aims to increase disabled people’s active participation in watersports. The Wheelyboat Trust is a national charity that provides they specially designed Wheelyboats. They are simple to board via their roll-on, roll-off bow ramps and their level deck provides access to every corner of ...

Autobalance bicycle to make cycling more accessible

Although various surveys have suggested that many parents feel today’s roads in general are too dangerous for cycling – for youngsters under supervision and on safe cycle routes it seems cycling has never been more popular. There’s no better demonstations of this than the huge wave of enthusiasm when the Tour de France returned to the UK this summer for the fourth time in its history. The start in Yorkshire has been hailed as the “grandest” opening to the race in its history, according to the race’s director who said five million may have watched the spectacle. Now sports organisations  are keen to get more people on their bikes – and British-designed Jyrobike’s unique balance technology could help many disabled people learn to ride a bicycle or rediscover their love of cycling. An upgrade for the world’s first and only auto balance bicycle is designed to make it even more stable. The inclusive design of the Jyrobike means just that – it has been des...

Mental Health and Me – Writing Competition challenge

A writing competition has been launched today to challenge the stigma around mental health issues, and promote social inclusion. Open to anyone who has been affected by mental distress, or knows someone close who has, or if it is a health area in which you have a particularly interest – this is your chance to share your experiences and put your thoughts into words. Liverpool’s Mental Health Consortium, in partnership with Writing on the Wall, is running the competition under the theme of ‘Mental Health and Me’ to mark World Mental Health Day on Friday, 10 October 2014. The competition closes on 1 September and the winner will be announced at a special event on World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2014, at Liverpool Central Library, The Atrium. The piece must be original but it can be a poem, a short story, a diary piece or a blog post, a letter, a piece of journalism or even a tweet! The competition will be judged in six different categories by a talented pane...

Specialist spinal injury website for carers and service users

A specialist, spinal injury, live-in care agency has launched a new website to cover a choice of care options and provide helpful information to make life a little bit easier. Origin’s new on-line resource for specialist spinal injury live-in care offers easy access to information from care career opportunities to support services. Peter Henry, the managing director at Origin said: “Our website is a vital tool in making and maintaining contact with clients, PAs and the many health service professionals and spinal injury care specialists with whom we work. “Easy access, on-line forms, copies of leaflets, newsletters and invaluable ‘tips and tricks’ provided by people sharing their own experiences and practical solutions to uniquely SCI problems, make the new website a valuable resource, for all.” The website is now live at www.origincare.com      

Alzheimer’s Show, Manchester – discussing the right care and support

The Alzheimer’s Show, Manchester takes place this week, at EventCity, next to The Trafford Shopping Centre, from 4-5 July. Held in association with the Alzheimer’s Society, the event is a dedicated conference and exhibition for families and professionals caring for a person with dementia. It aims to offer visitors direct access to the best information, products and services as well as practical help and solutions. The range dementia, and care exhibitors, includes care at home, care homes, living aids, funding, legal advice, respite care, complementary therapies, training, telecare, assistive technology, charity, research, education and finance. Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, Hazel Blears, whose mum has dementia, will deliver the keynote speech on Friday 4 July and take part in the Question Time panel session at lunchtime. The Alzheimer’s Show Manchester is for carers, relatives, care professionals and those living with dementia. The aim is to provide a posit...

TGA Competition - Competition Now Closed

Maximise manoeuvrability, minimise strain… with the UK-leading TGA Wheelchair Powerpack Solo The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack is first choice for carers, friends or relatives looking for the easiest and most reliable powered solution, to help push a manual wheelchair. It will help push almost all types of wheelchair and eliminates the difficulties posed for carers when negotiating slopes, ramps or uneven surfaces. Its powered assistance reduces the potential for carer muscle or back strain when pushing a manual, attendant controlled wheelchair and greatly improves the outdoor experience for disabled occupants. It has a lightweight yet robust design, ergonomic controls and compatibility with specialist tilt-in-space wheelchairs. This single wheel Solo version is one of the highly reliable Powerpack models from TGA that have delivered trustworthy mobility assistance for 29 years.   The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack Solo provides: unhindered walking for the carer a...

Specialist team supporting Savile abuse victims

Victim Support has been closely involved in the NHS investigation into the abuse of patients at hospitals where Jimmy Savile visited regularly over many years. The investigation has looked into Savile’s activities at Broadmoor and Stoke Mandeville as well as related reports highlighting other offences committed in hospitals across the country. Victim Support says hundreds of ‘hidden victims’ across the UK may also need to seek support now more is known about the full extent of the abuse, including other victims as well as their family, friends, carers and hospital staff who did not realise what was going on. The charity’s specialist team trained in helping people who have been sexually abused aided Savile’s victims as they gave critical evidence to the official inquiry. It has now been supporting some victims for more than a year. Lesley McLean, Victim Support’s manager for West Yorkshire, said: “Savile preyed on vulnerable people for 50 years. The parents o...

Deafblind Awareness Week - family share their story

Five-year-old, Grace Shipton, has severe sight loss and is profoundly deaf. Grace also has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user. This Deafblind Awareness Week, from 23-29 June, her father Edd Shipton wants to raise awareness of the challenges that deafblind children and their families often face and what they can achieve with the right support. Edd Shipton said: “Grace was born prematurely with severe short-sightedness. At eight weeks old she’d already had heart surgery and part of her intestine removed. Soon after that we were told that she may have contracted meningitis when she was very little and lost her hearing as a result. On several occasions we didn’t think our little girl was going to make it.” Her second birthday was spent in hospital having cochlear implants put in and shortly after that she could hear speech and environmental sounds. “We told her she got her ears for her birthday,” her dad said. But despite the implants there still were many more...

Latest research set to benefit half of CF patients

Advancements in cystic fibrosis, CF, medical research have been welcomed by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The results of a trial show a new treatment, using a combination of the drugs Ivacaftor and Lumacaftor, could benefit up to half of all people living with cystic fibrosis (CF). Until now, Ivacaftor, known as Kalydeco, hailed the ‘miracle drug’ has only been able to transform the lives of five per cent people with the genetic condition. The results of a phase III trial for people with cystic fibrosis aged 12 and over with two copies of the F508del mutation, released by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, demonstrate a combination of the drugs could address the underlying cause of the disease and increase lung capacity. Janet Allen, the director of care and research for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust the results are “promising” and open up “a new front in the fight against cystic fibrosis.” She said: “This new combination therapy looks set to be an important additional optio...

Deafblind Awareness Week celebrates dual-trained dogs

Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are celebrating 10 years of working together, Deafblind Awareness Week from 23-29 June. The successful partnership has led to 25 dogs trained to help people with combined sight and hearing loss. Lee Stanway from Guide Dogs said: “Guide Dogs is world famous for helping people with sight loss, but some of our clients also have additional needs which presents an even greater challenge for someone wishing to get out and about on their own terms. “By working with our colleagues at Hearing Dogs over the last ten years, we have been able to reach more people not just with sight loss but other sensory impairments and give the freedom, confidence and independence they deserve.” Angie Platten, Head of Partnership Services from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People said: “Hearing dogs are trained to respond to important sounds and danger signals, and help to alleviate the isolation and loneliness that deafness so often brings. “We work t...

Students launch ‘A Right not a Fight’ education campaign

The association of specialist colleges is behind a campaign for students with a learning difficulty, or disability, to have the same choices in Further Education that most young people take for granted On 17 June, natspec students launched ‘A Right not a Fight’ in London. Over 80 students and parents from 12 national specialist colleges – National Star, RNC, Derwen, Nash, Foxes, QAC, Mount, Young Epilepsy, Fortune, Treloar’s NCW and Oakwood – assembled at the Houses of Parliament, with banners and wearing ‘A Right not a Fight’ t-shirts. They gave out leaflets to passers-by and talked to MPs and peers who came to listen to their stories. Rhys George, a student from Oakwood Court College, Devon, said: “Going to Oakwood College has allowed me to live life to the extreme and actually make something of my life.” A further 30 students from five colleges: Bridge College, Communication College Doncaster, Langdon College, Portland College and Seashell College, g...

Greater action to tackle dementia – Global Dementia Legacy Event

At the first legacy event of the G8 Dementia Summit – as health leaders gather in London to discuss investment in dementia – Alzheimer’s Research UK has pledged £100 million for dementia research, and launched a new five year campaign. The 'Defeat Dementia' campaign includes the launch of a UK Stem Cell Research Centre. The £2 million research centre to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s and screen potential new treatments is a joint project between researchers at the Gurdon Institute, at the University of Cambridge, and University College London. Speaking today at the follow up event to December’s G8, the prime minister David Cameron is urging greater action to tackle dementia. The event, at The Guildhall in the City of London, is the first of four legacy events where experts will meet to discuss the way ahead for research. The UK government invested £52 million in research into dementia in 2012/13. It has pledged to increase this to £66 million by ...

Laurence sets sail with waterproof bionic leg

Eighteen-year-old amputee, Laurence Greenough has set sail again thanks to one of the world’s most advanced waterproof bionic legs. Laurence, from Plymouth, was 10 when he lost his leg in a sailing accident. He is one of the first UK non-military recipients to be fitted with the world’s most advanced bionic leg from Ottobock. This week he took to the water for the first time on his new leg. The Genium X3, is the only completely waterproof microprocessor prosthetic knee. It has a Bluetooth remote control to switch between sailing, walking, jogging and cycling modes. Following his accident he carried on with his sailing dream using crutches as there were no suitable waterproof prosthesis on the market. He was honoured with the Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year award in 2007, following in the footsteps of past winners including Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie OBE and world class yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur. As time went on, Laurence stopped sailing as the...

Roxburghe to host new disabled golf Ryder Cup 

Disabled golfers from across the UK are getting ready to tee-off in a brand new Ryder Cup event to compete for the ‘GB Phoenix Cup’ at The Roxburghe Golf Resort & Hotel. The newly formed British Inclusive Golf charity, is bringing players from across England and Wales to compete against ten of the best golfers from the Scottish Disability Golf Partnership. It all takes place next week and the prestigious golf course in the Scottish Borders will host the match play team events including foursomes and fourball competitions. Kevin Booth, the chair of British Inclusive Golf, BIG, said: “ This is a great opportunity to promote pan-disability golf across the whole country and I am so excited about having this chance to head up, what looks to be a very strong group of disabled golfers. “We have representatives from all disabled groups on our squad, with guys and girls having varying sensory, intellectual and physical disabilities, coming together to enjoy what I am su...

MP hears about student’s fears over plans to cut DSA

Disabled student Ruairi Hipkin has voiced concerns on behalf of other under-graduates about government proposals to cut Disabled Students’ Allowances, DSAs, from September 2015. Ruairi said: “I have always been very grateful for the support and equipment I have received from my Disabled Students’ Allowances. “My concern is that by reducing DSA it denies future generations of disabled students the ability to pursue a degree that they might very well have a potential to achieve. “University students are expected to support themselves. However, disabled students have the added difficulty of having to work out what else they may need to ensure their disability does not adversely impact their studies.” Harwich and North Essex MP, Bernard Jenkin, took up an invitation from the University of Essex to hear first-hand about students’ fears. About 300 students at the university currently receive the DSA to pay items including specialist software and computing equipm...

More than 700,000 caught in benefits backlog

Hundreds of thousands of people are caught up in a benefits backlog, according to the government. The minister for disabled people, Mike Penning told a committee of MPs the number involved waiting for employment and support allowance (ESA) assessments is more than 700,000 people. Mike Penning was responding to a question by Labour MP Katy Clark, who queried why the majority of those who had applied for the personal independence payment (PIP) had yet to receive a decision. On hearing the figure Leonard Cheshire Disability has called on the government to take immediate action. Jane Harris, the campaigns director at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “News of the huge scale of the benefits backlog released by the government today should be a wake-up call for everyone who cares about disabled people. “These delays mean hundreds of thousands of disabled people are being left without money to live on and they and their families are being put through months of worry and dis...

Former brain injury sports stars raise over £10,500

Two sports stars who suffered traumatic brain injuries have raised funds for Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, in Bristol – the facility that helped rehabilitate them. In testing weather, former professional rugby player, Lee Audis, and gold European event rider medalist, Polly Williamson, completed this year’s ‘Bath Half’ marathon. They were joined by five of the therapists who treated them. It was a huge achievement – Lee finished the race in 4 hours 14 minutes and Polly in 3 hours and 54 minutes. Their joint effort has raised more than £10,500.  This together with cash donated from other sources means the centre can buy a LiteGait electric standing/walking hoist and treadmill that simultaneously controls weight bearing, posture and balance. It will allow Frenchay’s therapy team to get patient’s standing and walking at an earlier point in their rehabilitation. Alison Woods the centre manager at Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, sa...

Accessible beach hut opens in Dorset

Families in Dorset with children who have additional needs, or a disability, can enjoy an accessible beach hut. With ramps and decking for wheelchair access, a disabled changing bed and wide double doors, the hut has been funded with the help of Dorset County Council and Lloyds Community Funding. The beach hut was made by Dorset-based Plankbridge Hutmakers. It has been placed next to the old pier on Weymouth beach, in Dorset, and is available to members of the Dorset Parent Carer Council, a group funded by the department of education. Members can pre-book the hut through the Dorset Parent Carer Council at a cost of £7 per day. Lesley Mellor of the Dorset Parent Carer Council, said: “Not only is the hut fit-for-purpose, it looks beautiful and is a wonderful space for our members to use when visiting Weymouth beach.” Picture: Jak Bennett    

‘Two ticks positive about disability’ symbol – an ‘empty shell’

Thousands of businesses awarded the government’s ‘two ticks’ positive about disability symbol have been found to be “no better than companies who have not achieved it.” The symbol is awarded by the department for work and pensions’ Jobcentre Plus to help job applicants clearly identify firms committed to helping disabled workers. But research led by Kim Hoque, of Warwick Business School and Nick Bacon, of Cass Business School, found that just 15 per cent of organisations awarded the two ticks adhered to all five of its commitments. Professor Kim Hoque said: “We found there was no difference in the support and commitment to disabled workers between companies who had the two ticks symbol and those who did not have it. “It suggests that the symbol may often comprise little more than an ‘empty shell’, where employers display the two ticks for impression management purposes rather than because of a genuine concern for disability issues.” Professor Hoque...

Carers’ Week reminder to make fire safety a priority

During Carers’ Week, from 9-15 June, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, is reminding carers help is available to keep them, and the people they care for, safe from fire. A recent survey showed that more than half of the few people who had tested their smoke alarm for someone else had done so for an older family member. Keith Brooks, the head of prevention and protection for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “There is lots of help available for carers to make sure that they and their loved ones are protected – be it simple safety advice over the phone or on our website, to a free Home Safety Assessment. “The simplest thing any carer can do to prevent fire in their home is to make a few easy additions to their normal routine. “Testing your loved one’s smoke alarm weekly and planning an escape route could help give them the vital extra seconds they need to get out in a fire. Simple steps such as closing doors at night and avoiding overloaded plug sockets will h...

Groups supporting disabled families respond to Queen's Speech

There’s been a mixed reaction to today’s Queen’s Speech from charities and groups that support disabled people and carers. The UK charity providing support to families with disabled children whatever their condition, or disability, said the measures in the Childcare Payments Bill “don’t go far enough.” Amanda Batten the chief executive at Contact a Family, said: “We welcome the announcement of a bill to deliver tax-free childcare for working families in the Queen’s speech today. However, although the Childcare Payments Bill will include measures that recognise families with disabled children, it does not go far enough to ensure the same access to good quality, accessible and affordable childcare that other families have. “Research shows that families with disabled children pay more for childcare and many struggle to find providers with the specialist skills to look after their child. “Contact a Family would like to see more done to recognise the unique c...

Top chef's D-Day dessert call to end loneliness

Great British Menu chef, Aktar Islam, is calling on the people around the country to spend time with their elderly neighbours by cooking up a treat to share on Friday 6 June – the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. Chef at the award winning Lasan restaurant in Birmingham, Aktar Islam, impressed the judges on BBC 2’s Great British Menu with a war-time inspired pudding complete with edible Churchill cigar. He is now urging everyone to offer a slice of friendship and make a ‘Dessert for D-Day’ or donate to Age UK. Loneliness has been highlighted as a major issue that affects many elderly people across the UK. Aktar Islam said: “Sharing food is a fantastic way to open doors, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Battenburg, Bakewell or a Blancmange – by knocking on your neighbour’s door and sharing your Desserts for D-Day on Friday 6 June and throughout the weekend that follows you could be bringing a little comfort into someone’s life.” Laurie Boult, he...

Macclesfield first hospital in UK to gain autism accessibility award

Macclesfield District General Hospital has taken a lead and become the first hospital in the UK to earn an Autism Access Award. The best practice charter mark, given by the National Autistic Society, NAS, recognises East Cheshire NHS Trust’s extensive efforts to make the hospital more accessible for patients. Autism impacts how a person communicates with others and relates to the world around them. As a result, under normal circumstances a visit to the unfamiliar environment of a hospital can be an incredibly challenging and distressing experience for someone with the condition. To make Macclesfield Hospital more accessible, the trust has created an autism-friendly ‘quiet route’ into the hospital. It gives full access to the building but offers fewer distractions and people along the way. The trust also developed a new ‘autism link practitioner’ role – a named contact whose job it is to support autistic patients ahead of treatment in the hospital. Autism a...

Dementia groups invited to share new £900,000 fund

Projects and organisations that help people living with dementia are invited to apply for a share of a new £900,00 fund. The new fund has been launched to help people living with dementia in the North East and Cumbria to continue to live in and play an active part in their community. The Northern Rock Foundation has joined forces with Comic Relief and Ballinger Charitable Trust to create the North East and Cumbria Dementia Fund. The North East and Cumbria Dementia Fund is looking to help groups to develop new ways of supporting people with dementia and their carers. It hopes to identify models of best practice that could be adopted in other areas. The North East and Cumbria Dementia Fund is particularly keen to hear from projects that give people with dementia a voice, or which offer new ways of enabling them to continue to live rich and fulfilling lives in the community. Programme manager Louise Telford from Northern Rock Foundation said: “We want to support proje...

Call for fundraisers to support Florida holiday programme for families

A survey by Caudwell Children has revealed many disabled children are not getting the opportunity to enjoy holidays abroad. The study found parents are wary about making travel arrangements to go on long haul trips without adequate levels of medical support and practical assistance. The findings revealed 52% of respondents, said that even if they could afford an overseas holiday, they would not be prepared to travel unless they were assisted. Although the department for education contract the Short Breaks Network charity, to support breaks for disabled children across England, there is no such partnership to increase the quality and availability of holidays abroad. Caudwell Children’s Destination Dreams holiday programme, to Florida, is the perfect solution for families with disabled children, or youngsters with life limiting conditions. The fully supported holiday is designed to give participating families complete ‘peace of mind’. Thanks to a 24 hour, on call, me...

Dementia Awareness Week

Dementia care specialists Care Shop have produced a useful infographic to help people spot the signs and symptoms of dementia, as more than half of sufferers never actually receive a diagnosis. Without this official assessment, people living with the disease are denied access to a wide range of support, information and potential treatment options to improve their quality of life. This is becoming increasingly important as one in three people over 65 will die with the incurable disease and the total number of sufferers is set to increase to an estimated 1 million by 2021. The leading support and research charity for dementia, the Alzheimer's Society, want diagnosis rates to improve and have this week launched Dementia Awareness Week 2014. The charity are holding a number of awareness and fundraising events between the 19th and 24th of May to urge more people to talk about the condition and seek help if they are worried about an elderly family member or friend. Becoming ...

Disabled student on a mission to highlight travel highs and lows

A disabled student at Plymouth University is to explore the experiences of travellers – both good and bad – to build a detailed picture of how tourists with disabilities are treated at home and abroad. David Fraser hopes to use his findings to influence providers and policy makers, making them aware of examples of good practice and where he believes improvements are needed. David, who lives in Newquay, was left with brain damage and mobility problems following a serious childhood accident more than 30 years ago. He said: “Anyone who travels has perceptions of the risks to their safety, but this is exacerbated for disabled tourists who can feel more vulnerable. “Disabled tourists can face barriers of a physical or social nature, for example, areas that are inaccessible to those who have mobility or visual impairments, or a lack of awareness and understanding of disabilities. “Many attractions and venues – and public transport providers – have taken positive ...

Inspirational guests take centre stage at 40th anniversary of Naidex

Britain’s Got Talent semi finalists, Strictly Wheels got Naidex National off to a lively start – at the NEC, Birmingham from 29 April to 1 May – with a ballroom dancing set. The UK’s largest disability, homecare and rehabilitation event for those working in healthcare and for people seeking the latest assisted living devices offered a packed programme, with celebrity appearances, seminars, networking and product launches. The exhibition and conference attracted more than 300 exhibitors and presented the biggest speaker programme in the show’s 40-year history. Event direct, Matthew Tingey, said: “I was incredibly moved to see the thousands of people flocking to Naidex National. “Forty years since the show launched, the drive to enable people to help themselves and the huge range of products on show from our exhibitors was stronger than ever.” Strictly Wheels were followed at the opening ceremony by TV presenter, Alex Brooker, who delivered a hilarious and ...

Telehealth pilot project had benefits for patients and GPs

A telehealth project – the first of its kind in Warwickshire in an extra care scheme – has been evaluated by residents and GPs and enabling residents to self-monitor their health can has a positive effect on their sense of wellbeing. The pilot project at Briar Croft, Orbit Heart of England’s first mixed tenure independent living with care scheme, in Stratford-upon-Avon, allowed vital health checks – such as blood pressure, weight, ECG readings – to be carried out on site and sent electronically to GPs without the need for patients to make an appointment or visit a clinic. Telehealth relies on people being taught to do the tests themselves using a small unit and the measurements are automatically sent to a monitoring centre via a telephone line. If the data moves beyond individually set parameters for each patient, the local GP practice is alerted and appropriate action taken. Resident Philip Withers enjoyed being part of the project. He said: “The daily teleheal...

Care provider celebrates best practice Dementia Initiative Award

A Lancashire care company has won an award for its commitment to improving the lives of people affected by dementia. The Dementia Initiative Award was presented to Jimmy Anyon, of SureCare in Preston by TV presenter Esther Rantzen. Organised by the Lancashire Workforce Development Partnership and funded by Lancashire County Council, the aim of the awards was to see new and innovative approaches to working with dementia. Esther Rantzen said: “It is very important to celebrate best practice because this way you get the best staff attracted to this crucial work. There is no question it is going to make a difference.” Jimmy Anyon the training and development manager with SureCare Preston and South Ribble, which provides domiciliary care to local people said: “We are working with an increasing number of people affected by dementia and it is right that the condition is receiving a lot of profile nationally and regionally. “SureCare was delighted to take part in this ye...

Motability’s 5-a-side Football Charity Challenge returns to Derby

National disability charity Motability is inviting teams to take part in its annual 5-a-side Football Charity Challenge. Teams of eight will have the chance to win a number of prizes and play at least one match with an ex-professional player. The event, on Saturday 7 June 2014, at the Powerleague Soccerdome, Pride Park, in Derby, will raise funds to support disabled people with their mobility. Each year Motability fundraises for customers who need a charitable grant, like Motability customer Joan, who lives near Derby. Joan has arthritis in her spine and knees and uses a powered wheelchair as she cannot walk long distances. She received help towards paying for a powered wheelchair hoist to be fitted, which allows her to easily and safely load her powered wheelchair in and out of the car. Joan said: “The wheelchair hoist is so easy to use, all it takes is a push of a button to get my wheelchair in and out of the car. I’m so grateful for the grant I received from Motabili...

Creative writing course for people with long term health conditions

A new creative writing course aimed at medical professionals, and people with long-term health conditions, has been launched by Birmingham City University. ‘Writing for Health’, an online, distance-learning creative writing course taken over six to eight months, allows both healthcare workers and patients to develop their own writing skills whilst exploring its potential for health and wellbeing. “For a long time I’ve been interested in how the arts and writing can be used to process, reflect upon and creatively engage with personal events,” says course tutor Jackie Gay, who hopes to enter the Paralympics in 2016. “I have a very clear personal experience of this. My writing career only came into focus following the loss of my leg in a car accident, however, many people instinctively turn to the arts, writing, poetry and literature when they are dealing with their own emotional and physical challenges, or those of people close to them.” A published author of tw...

Volunteers reach new heights for Headway

Daredevil staff from complex care provider, The Complete Group, have raised nearly £1,000 with a tandem parachute jump, to support a national charity that works to improve life after brain injury. Rota manager, Sarah Mullinder, and IT assistant Sam Price, took part in a 10,000ft skydive for the brain injury association Headway, www.headway.org.uk. The skydive is one of the latest initiatives from Complete’s in-house fundraising group. Sarah and Sam travelled to Tilstock Airfield, near Whitchurch, in Shropshire, on 21 April to prepare for and make their skydives with specialists Skydive Tilstock. For Sam, it was a day of firsts, since as well as it being his first parachute jump, it was actually his first ever time in a plane. Sam said: “I had to get over that anxiety first before even thinking about the jump, but I have to say it was definitely the best thing I’ve ever done.” He said: “We’ve been waiting to do this jump for ages, I think it was originally pl...

Paralympic equestrian Sophie Christiansen backs new ‘Action Cerebral Palsy’ campaign

A new campaign has been launched this week to focus on getting a better deal for the 30,000 children in the UK with cerebral palsy. One of the key aims will be to call for better access to early and intensive support. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination, caused by problems in the brain and nervous system. Action Cerebral Palsy is a consortium of specialist charities working with children with cerebral palsy and their families. Triple gold Paralympic medalist, Sophie Christiansen is supporting Action Cerebral Palsy. She said: “If children with cerebral palsy are going to reach their full potential, they should all have access to the same high-quality services. It not only makes social sense, but also financial sense.” Alongside the campaign a parliamentary inquiry has been launched by Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North & Cleveleys – the only Member of Parliament with cerebral p...

Brighton charity celebrates national award for its work with families

A local charity in Brighton has received a national award, recognising the impact it has made to improve the lives of parent carers of disabled children, and youngsters with special needs. Amaze has been named as one of this year’s winners of a GSK IMPACT Award. More than 400 charities nationwide applied for the GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme and Amaze is one of only 10 winners. Caring for children with disabilities can lead to severe financial hardship and social isolation – half of families with disabled children live in, or on the margins of, poverty. Amaze works to help families to access the financial help they need. The charity runs initiatives including a helpline, assistance claiming disability benefits, resilience-building training for parent carers, a discount card scheme giving access to local leisure, sporting and cultural venues, and a Parent Carers’ Council, providing a voice to help parent carers communicate more effectively with ...

Deafblind charity needs volunteers for breaks – ‘That Make a Difference’

Could you help Sense, the national charity for deafblind people, as a volunteer to join its unique holiday programme across England and Wales, in July and August this year? The holidays give deafblind youngsters and adults the chance to get away from it all, try something new and have a lot of fun on a week-long stay. They also give a much-needed break to families who support a deafblind person. Sense has been organising holidays since 1974 and this year they’ll be celebrating their 40th birthday. Accommodation includes outdoor activity centres to cottages, farms and barns to villas and even barges. Activities can include kayaking, horse riding, camping or making sandcastles on the beach, whilst making a big difference to the lives of deafblind people and their families. The charity is looking particularly for male volunteers, people with experience of caring for others – this could be their own children or a relative or in a paid capacity, or people with sign lan...

New hoists boost for Hannahs at Seale-Hayne

A donation by the Co-op will be used towards a mobile hoist for families staying in the new respite and short breaks accommodation at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne. The Co-op has donated £1,847 through its Membership Community Fund. Andrew North, the regional secretary for the Co-operative Bank, said: “The fantastic new respite and short breaks accommodation at Seale-Hayne is going to make a huge difference to a lot of families with a disabled family member and the mobile hoist is clearly vital to their stay there.” Hannahs at Seale-Hayne, between Newton Abbot and Ashburton, offers a range of music and arts, as well as outdoor activities. Hannahs fundraising manager Emily Severn, said: “We are delighted with the addition to our new fully accessible accommodation. We know that all families will be able to benefit from the accommodation which reflects Hannahs’ ethos of true integration.” One of the UK’s oldest charities, Hannahs is dedicated to empowering children, y...

Videos to make life easier for new wheelchair users

The Wheelchair Service at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds has compiled five easy-to-watch new video clips to give wheelchairs users useful information and practical tips. The clips have been produced to support more traditional leaflets, and concentrate on sharing important information in an easier and more understandable style, particularly for new users and those who help them. The clips show the wheelchair user and helper actively clearly demonstrating each of the key points about potentially tricky techniques. These include how to transfer the wheelchair to a vehicle and how to navigate kerbs. Samantha Sterling the Wheelchair Services Manager at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Getting started with a wheelchair can sometimes be daunting as there is so much to take in. Despite our best efforts, hospital leaflets imparting detailed information can be rather boring to read and instructions are sometimes hard to understand. “We decided it would be far more u...

Great South West Walks 2014 to benefit Children’s Hospice South West

The South West Coast Path Association has forged two new partnerships for their 2014 fundraising event, the Great South West Walks. The Great South West Walks 2014, from 20- 28 September, hopes to see 1,500 people taking part in 100 guided sponsored walks to raise funds for the improvement of the South West Coast Path. The charity has welcomed Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) to partner in the event. CHSW offers care and support to children who are living with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, through their three hospices across the South West offering, respite, emergency, palliative and end of life care to life-limited children and their families. The charity relies on voluntary contributions to support their hospices - Little Bridge House in Devon, Charlton Farm in Somerset and Little Harbour in Cornwall. Walkers taking part in The Great South West Walks 2014 will see their sponsorship benefitting both charities, with half going to Children’s Hospic...

Elderly care needs poised to ‘outstrip’ army of voluntary carers

The number of older people in England needing care will “outstrip” the number of family members able to provide it by 2017 – that’s according to the think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research. The IPPR report published today it estimates that by 2030 there will be more than two million people aged 65 and over with no child living nearby to give care if needed. Responding to the report Janet Morrision, the chief executive of Independent Age, said: “This report confirms the huge concern felt by many about who will look after them when they are older. “We are already in crisis in terms of caring for older people. 800,000 older people don’t get the care they need from either the State or their families. With growing life expectancy this problem will only get worse unless action is taken now. “There is a severe funding squeeze on local authorities. More money is needed in the care system, however, money should also be used more effectively through the u...

Skills forum to debate social care workforce changes in Wales

A leader in skills education, City & Guilds, is bringing together educators, employers and industry leaders to debate the changes to the way the social care and childcare workforce is trained and structured in Wales. The inaugural City & Guilds Social Care and Childcare Forum for Wales will take place on 8 May, at Thistle Parc Hotel in Cardiff. City & Guilds UK managing director, Kirstie Donnelly, will be chairing the event that includes keynote speakers from the Welsh Government and the Care Council for Wales as well as the FE sector, private training providers, employers and specialist consultants. According to the latest Welsh Government figures, social services and social care is delivered in Wales by a little under 70,000 people, making it one of the largest workforces in the country. Suzi Gray, health and social care and children portfolio advisor at City & Guilds said: “The Forum has been created to provide the industry with a timely update on the p...

Many top tourism venues need to up their game to welcome disabled visitors

Many of the UK’s top tourist attractions are “falling short” in access and facilities for disabled people, according to a new league table in a report by disability charity Vitalise. Those found to be most welcoming for disabled visitors include the National Railway Museum in Durham, which came out on top. In second and third place were the Imperial War Museum in Manchester and the World Museum, Liverpool. However, more than half the venues reviewed do not have full wheelchair access, while almost half have fewer than two disabled toilets per 100 visitors, found the study. The survey rated 85 of the top 100 attractions for wheelchair access, numbers of disabled toilets and disabled parking spaces, and disability and carer concessions. Vitalise provides holiday-style respite breaks with care for people with disabilities and their carers, and accessible excursions to local tourist attractions are arranged during the respite break. The report found 4 out of 10 disable...

Scope urges the government to 'fully protect PIP payments'

A new report by Scope has raised the issue that disabled people face greater costs for everyday items. ‘Priced out: ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020’ reveals that everyday living costs for disabled people are on average £550 per month more – with one in ten paying over £1,000 extra per month. As a result, many disabled people are on average £108,000 worse off when it comes to pensions and savings, and twice as likely to have unsecured debt. As the Disability Living Allowance, DLA, is replaced by the Personal Independence Payment, PIP, Scope is calling on the government to protect the value of PIP by removing it from the overall cap on benefits and triple-locking it, just like pensions for older people. The charity highlights that for disabled people and their families extra costs are incurred in lots of ways. Even basic items like cutlery or clothing can be more expensive. While extra washing or heating requirements, and buying essential mobili...

New Roald Dahl specialist children’s neuromuscular nurse

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity is to fund its first children’s specialist neuromuscular nurse at at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. It will be the third Roald Dahl specialist children’s nurse post based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, funded by the charity, and the first to support youngsters like Alexis, who is five years old and has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The new nurse specialist post will help to improve the lives of children and young people with neuromuscular conditions in the East of England. The full-time post has been created and funded for its first two years by the charity. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has in turn committed to fund the role for a further three years. Alexis’ parents were delighted to hear that a paediatric neuromuscular nurse will soon be in post. Alexis and his parents and two youngster sisters live in Southwold on the east coast of England. He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrop...

'Shine a Light' award winners raise communication awareness

This year’s winners of the 2013/2014 Shine a Light Awards, include Shane Dangar who despite his own communication difficulties works as a volunteer at youth services, housing associations, job centres and other groups. Shane Dangar, 20, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD received the Communication Champion Award for his work helping people to understand what it is like to struggle to communicate. Now in their third year the national awards recognise individuals, teams, and community campaigns, that support children and young people’s communication, particularly for those with SLCN. The winners were announced by Pearson Assessment in partnership with The Communication Trust. The awards were presented at Pearson’s headquarters in London at an event hosted by broadcaster and health campaigner, Anne Diamond. The Life & Deaf Association and Artburst were the joint recipients of the SLCN Innovation Award for their creative and engaging work engaging children and ...

WIN a Stairlift – stay in the home you love

Churchill’s Homecare, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of stairlifts, has teamed up with D&SC magazine, to offer a fantastic prize of a fully fitted stairlift in the winner’s home – up to the value of £3,000. Everyone wants to stay in the home they love – but that can become difficult to achieve through the passage of time. For anyone, or their loved one who finds the stairs are becoming an ever increasing struggle, and the only way to climb them is with the help of someone else, Churchill’s Homecare has the solution with a bespoke stairlift, which will ensure they can continue to stay surrounded by everything that is familiar. The company makes stairlifts for all stair types, using the best British quality products. But that’s not all, Churchill’s Homecare is the only UK stairlift company that guarantees to buy back all its stairlifts. All of them come with a touchclean antibacterial surface that is free of charge, again another unique feature of the ...

‘What to do about mum and dad’ – a taboo subject for many families

National care provider, CareUK has carried out a poll to find out more about people’s attitudes towards the care of elderly parents. More than half had never discussed this issue as a family and 32 per cent said they would refuse to let their parents move in with them. While 28 per cent of those polled would have their ageing parents come to live with them if they needed full-time care. Two thirds of adults worry about the future care of their parents, yet most do not share their concerns as a family while even less have made any plans. The in-depth study involved more than 2,000 people with parents aged over 60. Of those who said they wouldn’t want their ageing parents to move in, half said their home wasn’t big enough and four in ten said they wouldn’t be able to cope. Jeni Rushton, care manager at Care UK, said: “We understand that the future care of a parent is an emotional topic and can be a difficult subject for many families to approach with their lov...

Cost of shedding Remploy factories may be less than forecast

A report by the National Audit Office has found the cost incurred during the disposal of the Remploy factories, could turn out to be to be less than expected. The report, which was published today by the spending watchdog, says in some cases Remploy was restricted by previous contractual arrangements, and it could have improved communication and support for bidders. However, overall, the chance of selling more than a minority of the factories was always small. The NAO said the department for work & pensions and Remploy had to “balance the need to protect public money and employees’ jobs.” Remploy is a non-departmental public body of the DWP. In 2011-12, Remploy Enterprise Businesses employed 2,150 disabled people in 54 factories. During that year, the 12 businesses made an operating loss of £49 million although supported by £53 million in government subsidies. The move to shut the factories followed an independent review in June 2011. It concluded the fact...

New accessible multi-user pathway for Dalby Forest

A new accessible trail in Dalby Forest, on the North Yorkshire Moors, will open this month. The Forestry Commission and the Cyclists’ Touring Club will open the Ellerburn Trail – a multi-user pathway for disabled cyclists, walkers, and wheelchair users – on Sunday April 13. The Forestry Commission has worked with a number of partner organisations, including Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), the Federation for Disability Sport and a range of local community groups to develop the trail. The new route has been created with a contribution of £74,950 from Natural England’s Paths for Communities Fund and £25,000 from Yorventure (through funds generated by Yorwaste Ltd) and £25,000 from the Forestry Commission. It will offer opportunities for organisations such as Ryedale Special Families, an independent charity who offer support for children and young adults with disabilities and their families.  

'NHS is facing its biggest challenge' – Simon Stevens

The NHS is gearing up to face its biggest challenge in its 66-year history, according to its new boss. In a speech in Newcastle today, on his first day as NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, is expected to praise the NHS and urge the 1.3 million staff in the health service to come together to take on board major changes to improve the quality of care patients receive. Simon Stevens will say the longstanding problems and new pressures facing the NHS are not going to disappear overnight. In his first public statement he will highlight improved care for elderly people and better joint working between the health and social care services as well as harnessing advances in medicine, as among his priorities. Picture: NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens

Report suggests £10 month membership fee to tackle NHS cash crisis

Leaving the national insurance contributions alone, a former government minister for health reform says introducing a new £10 per month NHS membership fee, is one way to help the health service in times of austerity. The idea is among a list of radical measures suggested in a comprehensive report published by the independent think tank, Reform. ‘Solving the NHS care and cash crisis,’ by Lord Warner the minister for health reform in Tony Blair’s government and Jack O’Sullivan the head of a social policy consultancy, says “patient contributions are needed for the NHS to survive the next five years of austerity.” The report suggests a new partnership between the state and the citizen with higher “sin” taxes on alcohol, tobacco and sugary foods, and means-testing of NHS “Continuing Care” – plus a £10 per month NHS membership charge. The report says proposals to tackle the “care crisis” require the NHS to turn into a “National Health and Care Servic...

Online guide to help disabled people to find accessible venues

A new website that allows disabled people and their friends and families to generate reviews of accessible venues – and rate them depending on their first hand experiences – has gone live this week. EuansGuide.com has been created Euan MacDonald, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2003. He had found it difficult to identify venues with suitable access, often having to rely upon trial and error. As a result, he began to keep a diary listing accessible venues and soon after launched the website to share his findings with others. The website covers family attractions, cinemas, sports grounds, accommodation, and everyday places such as the post office and local services. There are more than 500 venues listed already. Euan has developed the resource with disabled people in mind. It aims to be easy and quick to post a review. It’s written for and by people with accessibility issues who want to make getting around the UK easier for those with disabilitie...

PC who Tasered a blind man is ordered to apologise in person

A police officer who Tasered a blind man, after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword, has been told to apologise in person. The instruction follows a Lancashire Police gross incompetency hearing into the incident, which occured in Chorley, in October 2012. Sixty-three-year-old Colin Farmer was walking to a pub to meet friends when he was spotted by PC Stuart Wright, who was responding to reports that a man with a samurai sword had been seen in the area. Mr Farmer who is registered blind was felled by the stun gun and according to the IPCC report, he was also handcuffed while on the ground. Before another police officer arrived on the scene and told PC Wright he had got the wrong man. The Independent Police Complaints Commission, IPCC, said Mr Farmer has been through “a terrifying ordeal”. A report from the police watchdog found PC Wright has failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain if Mr Farmer was carrying a sword before he discharged the Taser. ...

Motability fundraising walk along the Wirral raises £4,000

More than 40 people who joined a sponsored walk have helped to raise £4,000 for national disability charity Motability. On 1 March 2014 the Walkability fundraisers followed a 12-mile Wirral coastal path, passing Wallasey Beach, Leasowe Lighthouse and Meols Promenade. Those taking part included colleagues from business law firm DWF, UK insurer RSA and vehicle convertor specialist Lewis Reed Group. Sarah Mir the senior solicitor at DWF and 15 colleagues were among the walkers. Sarah Mir said: “We all enjoyed Walkability and the route offered fantastic views along the Wirral coastline.” Dave Young, Partner of DWF, said: “It’s great to know that our fundraising for Motability will help provide a lifeline to disabled people in the UK.” Aine Canavan, the corporate accounts executive at Motability, said: “Following the success of Walkability last year we were delighted to return to the Wirral this year. “Those taking part raised even more this year so we wo...

DSA stresses the importance of annual Health Checks

The Down’s syndrome association has produced an easy read health book to urge adults with Down’s syndrome to make sure they take up their annual health check. To improve healthcare for people with learning disabilities Annual Health Checks were introduced in 2008. However, in a survey of members of the Down’s syndrome association found that uptake of annual health checks is “patchy” with some members not even aware of the checks. The association used Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week, from 17 – 23 March to campaign to improve health care for adults with Down’s syndrome. Adults with learning disabilities have poorer health than the general population and are less likely to visit their GP for routine screening. Though they are predisposed to some medical conditions, including cardiac diseases, thyroid disorders, hearing impairments, visual problems, coeliac disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The survey found 15% had never had an annual health check. It was ...

'Bus Days' scheme in London to help disabled passengers

A new travel mentoring service aims to help disabled Londoners experience the London bus network first hand. The “Bus Days’ scheme was launched in Croydon, earlier this week, It gives disabled Londoners the opportunity to travel on a London bus in “a safe and controlled environment.” Travel mentors show passengers how to use all the information at a bus stop including the routes, the bus numbers and local maps. Wheelchair users are guided through using the ramp to get on the bus and their safety while travelling. And passengers are shown how to board the bus and stay safe on the move. The latest project in Croydon is one of nine similar initiatives already in place across the capital. It is part of a programme by TfL to make the transport network accessible to everyone. The scheme is a joint venture between Transport for London (TfL), the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Team, bus operator Arriva, Croydon Care Solutions and Croydon Council. Police ...

MPs urged to vote against welfare spending cap to protect disabled children

Contact a Family is calling for a higher increase in the carer’s allowance earnings limit – so carers do not suffer further financial hardship and emotional strain. The charity that supports families with disabled children has sounded a note of caution following the news in yesterday’s Budget that the carer’s allowance will be increased to £102 per week. The chief executive of Contact a Family, Paul Soames, said: “ A parent who works 16 hours on the national minimum wage may find they are earning too much to get carer’s allowance once the national minimum wages increases from October. “As a result some parents will face a choice of either losing carer’s allowance or cutting their hours and losing working tax credit.” The charity has also warned that the welfare spending cap will place increased pressure on families who have already been hit by a range of benefit cuts since 2010. Paul Soames said this is another “blow for hardworking families of disab...

Children and Families Act – reforming services for vulnerable children

Campaign groups have welcomed the landmark move granting Royal Assent to the much debated Children and Families Act – following two years of consultation, debate and pilot projects. The legislation, which will take effect from September 2014, gives greater protection to vulnerable children. It  signals a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities. The Act also brings vital changes to the adoption system which are designed to make the process by which children who need loving homes are placed, much swifter. The Council for Disabled Children – CDC – has played a key role in the consultation. Christine Lenehan, the chief executive of CDC said it marks an important step to getting better outcomes for disabled children and young people and with special educational needs. The main changes include: * Giving parents and young people control over the decisions about the support they are given. * The introduction of Education, Healt...

National charity and CBeebies call for nominees for deaf awards

Nominations have opened in the annual awards that recognise inspiring individuals helping to break down communication barriers. The 2014 Signature Annual Awards – now in their sixth year – help to riase deaf blind awareness. Hosted by charity and  awarding body in deaf communication qualifications, Signature, the awards recognise individuals, community groups and organisations from across the UK and Ireland that make positive steps to create a society in which deaf and deafblind people have full access. Categories include Teacher of the Year, Learner of the Year, Community Spirit, Organisational Achievement, Young Learner of the Year, Centre of the Year, Communication Professional of the Year and the Joseph Maitland Robinson Award for Outstanding Contribution. A regional search has been launched for the Teacher of the Year and Learner of the Year , with regional winners from both categories then being shortlisted for the national awards. Signature chief executive Ji...

NICE warning to ignore hoax cancer e-mail

An alert has been issued about spam e-mails, “likely to cause distress” and giving bogus cancer test results. The messages appear to be sent by NICE – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The e-mail has been sent out to a number of addresses informing recipients about a cancer diagnosis. NICE is advising people who have received the messages - the subject line of which is important blood analysis result - to delete it without opening it and not to click on any links. NICE said it is currently investigating the origins of the message. Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive: “This email is likely to cause distress to recipients since it advises that ‘test results’ indicate they may have cancer. “This malicious e-mail is not from NICE and we are currently investigating its origin. We take this matter very seriously and have reported it to the police.” ICE is making updates on its website www.nice.org.uk and also via Twitter: @NIC...

Lord's report finds Mental Capacity Act is being used to ‘oppress’ rather than ‘protect’ vulnerable adults

A report by the House of Lords Committee, set up to scrutinise how the Mental Capacity Act is working in practice, has highlighted key failings. It reveals thousands of vulnerable adults are being kept virtual prisoners in care homes through a misuse of mental health laws brought in to protect them. In particular the committee chairman, Lord Hardie, said: “We were very concerned by what we heard about the safeguards.” The intention of the “safeguards” is to provide legal protection for people who are being deprived of their liberty for their own safety. For example, someone with dementia may be prevented from leaving a care home alone because they are at risk of getting lost. In fact Lord Hardie, said: “The evidence suggests that tens of thousands of people are being deprived of their liberty without the protection of the law, and without the protection that Parliament intended. “Worse still, in some cases the safeguards are being wilfully used to oppress ...

Motability 2014 ‘One Big Day’ free family events across the UK

This year’s rolling programme of Motability roadshows across the UK includes six ‘One Big Day’ events – starting with the largest show of the year – ‘The Big Event’ at EventCity, Manchester. Visitors to ‘The Big Event’ at EventCity in Manchester on 16-17 May 2014, will be able to view Motability’s largest vehicle display including more than 100 cars from nearly 30 manufacturers. There will also be over 40 models of scooters and a wide range of car adaptations and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles on show. As well as four regional ‘One Big Day’ events in Kent, Exeter, Derby and Yorkshire throughout the summer, Motability has also added its first ever event in Northern Ireland. ‘The Big Event in Belfast’ takes place on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May. Hosted by Motability, the car scheme for disabled people, the family days offer disabled motorists the chance to find out more about the range of cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs available to leas...

£120,000 boost for new SoundSpace centre to triple help for deaf people

An independent charity supporting deaf people and their families, to ensure they make the best use of hearing technology, has received a funding boost to triple the number of families it helps. The Ear Foundation has received a grant of £120,000 towards the cost of building a new facility from the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire LEP – D2N2 – Local Enterprise partnership. D2N2’s Unlocking Investment for Growth programme, is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund. The expansion will double the professional training offered and enable up to 3,500 people to be helped through the Ear Foundation’s family programme, education programme, clinical services and research programme. Based in Lenton, Nottingham, 1,000 families and 3,500 delegates a year currently go through its doors. The new SoundSpace development will provide a purpose-built, modern facility that meets the needs of all users under one roof. A further £140,000 is still re...

Age UK warns ‘catastrophic’ spending squeeze is leaving elderly people without care

Serious cuts to social care services means many vulnerable people are not getting the support they need, according to Age UK. The charity warned today the situation is “catastrophic” as many councils across the UK have cut their social care budgets in response to cuts from the government. Age UK says at least 300,000 fewer people aged 65 and over get support today than in 2005. Vulnerable people struggling to maintain their independence are not getting the basic care and support to carry out day-to-day tasks such as help to get up, have a wash and prepare basic meals. The news follows a review by Age UK which estimates that 800,000 older people who need care and support are going without help. The report points out that “As council funding has come under increasing pressure, they have raised eligibility thresholds.” It says as a result, many people in need of care now face a “postcode lottery.” The charity is calling on the government to invest in socia...

Study raises hope for amputees who suffer phantom limb pain

People who lose an arm or a leg often experience phantom sensations, as if the missing limb were still there, and phantom limb pain can be a serious chronic and deteriorating condition. Seventy per cent of amputees experience this type of pain. The exact cause of phantom limb pain and other phantom sensations is not known. Now a researcher at a university in Sweden has developed a new method of treatment for phantom limb pain. It is based on a unique combination of several technologies and has been initially tested on a patient who has suffered from severe phantom limb pain for 48 years. In many cases of phantom limb pain nothing helps. This was the case for the patient that researcher Max Ortiz Catalan, a PhD student at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, selected for a case study of the new treatment method. The patient lost his arm 48 years ago, and had since that time suffered from phantom pain varying from moderate to unbearable...

Bridging the digital divide to support people with long term health conditions

As more health information is made accessible online, and ‘health literacy’ is linked to improved outcomes for patients, NHS England says it is vital patients who have never used the internet are not excluded. A key topic at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014 explored the challenges for healthcare in making increased use of digital channels to engage with patients. Around 11 million people in England lack basic digital skills, with around 7 million having never used the internet. Attendees at the NHS Expo heard that those most often not online include elderly people and those with long term health conditions. The panel session titled ‘Is digital healthcare increasing or decreasing equality?’ brought together leading experts to discuss “how we can turn things on their heads and deliver digital accessibility for all.” Bob Gann, NHS England’s Programme Director for widening digital participation, spoke passionately about the mandate for NHS England and i...

‘Book on Prescription’ to support people with mental health problems

Local libraries in Lancashire are working with GPs, and health and social care professionals in a new way to help people with mental health problems. The ‘Books on Prescription scheme involves doctors or other health professionals prescribing patients with mild to moderate mental health problems books to read. Patients, parents or carers are then able to take the ‘prescription’ slip to their local library, along with their library card, to take out the book. The project was launched at Rochdale Central Library on 24 February. The titles ‘prescribed’ are mostly self-help books to give advice, information and tasks that aim to make people feel better. There are books to help with conditions such as challenging behaviour, bereavement, anxiety, anger management, low confidence, stress, bullying and family problems among others, and all been reviewed and recommended by health professionals. If a book is not available it can be reserved free-of-charge. At the l...

World Dementia Envoy appointed in new drive to speed dementia diagnosis and research

Alzheimer’s Research UK has welcomed the announcement of a new World Dementia Envoy to help speed up research into dementia. Dr Dennis Gillings has been appointed by the prime minister, David Cameron, following December’s G8 dementia summit, at which G8 countries committed to an aim to find a cure or disease modifying treatment for the condition by 2025. Today it was also announced the health secretary Jeremy Hunt that more than 190,000 high street staff will be trained to spot the signs of dementia. Jeremy Hunt said the new package of care would make the UK a world leader in fighting the illness. Staff at Marks & Spencer, Argos, Homebase, Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Pharmacy will become “dementia friends” to provide better support for shoppers with dementia and NHS England is to invest £90m in an effort to improve early diagnosis. The investment will target those regions where  it can take up to 25 weeks to carry out a diagnosis. World Dementia Envoy, Dr Gil...

One day left to enter to win a 4 night holiday to Homeleigh Country Cottages!!

Win a 4 night holiday for two to Homeleigh Country Cottages! Homeleigh Country Cottages is a self catering accessible holiday accommodation situated in the peaceful Pembrokeshire countryside. Simply answer the questions in the image below and send them via post, email or facebook. You can find us on Facebook here.  

Austim-friendly performance of the Lion King at London's Lyceum Theatre

An autism-friendly performance of the award-winning Disney musical, The Lion King, is to be staged on Sunday 4 May, in London’s West End. The Lion King is in its 15th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre. A first autism-friendly performance was given in April last year. Working with The National Autistic Society, and following a successful programme at The Lion King in New York, The Walt Disney Company adapted the performance to make it more suitable to those affected by autism. As a ‘spectrum’ condition autism affects each person in a different way, but people with autism tend to experience common social difficulties. Sudden changes in routine or environment can be stressful. Sensory issues can be problematic, for example a person may dislike bright lights, or may have very sensitive hearing and find noise, distracting or even painful. It means a visit to a musical on the scale of The Lion King, could be overwhelming. The dedicated autism-friendly performance w...

Vitalise Alzheimer’s Weeks 2014 – respite breaks for those affected by dementia

In response to demand for respite breaks and an increasing number of people living with dementia, national disability charity Vitalise has released its Alzheimer’s Breaks Brochure 2014. The ground breaking Alzheimer’s Weeks offer a supportive environment for those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia – to enable families to temporarily relinquish their roles as carer and cared for and rediscover a loving connection. Alzheimer’s Weeks will take place at each of the charity’s three UK centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport on 22 March and 20 September 2014 and 10 January 2015. The accessible centres have 24-hour nursing care on-call, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment. Vitalise has found that people report the therapeutic effect of the breaks endures far longer than the duration of the weeks themselves and helps restore dementia carers’ ability to “carry on coping.” Chris Simmonds the chief...

‘Family care networks’ could be the hub of health services in the future

The King’s Fund is championing ‘family care networks’ led by GPs as the way forward to deliver more health services closer to people’s homes. A report by the independent charity working to improve health care in England puts the case for GP surgeries to provide a wider range of services for patients outside hospitals. The NHS needs to change the way services are provided with a greater range of services delivered in the community to meet the needs of an ageing population and the increasing numbers of people living with multiple long-term conditions. The King’s Fund report argues that most GP practices are too small to do this on their own and need to work together in federations or networks to achieve the necessary scale. The report includes case studies from four localities where practices are working in this way. The family care networks could work with community nurses, health visitors, pharmacists and social workers to deliver all but the most specialised a...

Mencap’s Lorainne Bellamy tells MPs adult social care 'makes a real difference'

Mencap spokeswoman, Lorainne Bellamy, is urging the government to listen to the voices of people with a disability – to make sure they don’t lose out on the vital support they need to live independent lives. Lorainne Bellamy, 56, who works for Mencap and has a learning disability, told a joint meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on health, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on learning disability, how she struggled to live independently before she was able to get valuable social care at home. The APPG meeting looked at the future of social care and discussed the Care Bill. Research by Mencap and leading disability charities shows that over 100,000 disabled people will not have access to care and support for basic needs, under the government’s proposed changes to eligibility criteria in the Care Bill. Lorainne Bellamy said: “I have been living on my own now for six years and I used to not get any support at home, I struggled a lot. “Mencap helped me ...

Figures reveal 37% of benefit claims for PIP are successful

The first official figures for people claiming the new Personal Independence Payment – show 37 per cent of claims have been successful. For those with terminal illnesses more over 99 per cent of all claims have been approved. The department for work and pensions has received around 30,000 claims per month on average for the new benefit. Ministers say the PIP benefit, which includes a face-to-face assessment and regular reviews – something missing from the old system of Disability Living Allowance – will lead to “more accurate awards.” The minister for disabled people, Mike Penning, said: “Disability Living Allowance is an outdated benefit introduced over 20 years ago. It was very much a product of its time, with the majority of claimants getting indefinite awards without systematic checks to see if their situations have changed – whether improved or deteriorated. “Personal Independence Payment has been designed to better reflect today’s understanding of...

LimbPower announce advanced training course to help amputees

To help amputees increase their confidence, and improve strength and stability in the early stages, LimbPower is launching a new training course. The current services teach amputees how to walk using their artificial limb – with training on basic techniques, but there is much more that could be done to aid amputees in the early stages of rehabilitation which would have a huge impact on their quality of life. Kiera Roche, an amputee and the founder of LimbPower said: “Back in 2006 I attended a running clinic where I was taught the basic techniques of running, but what really opened my eyes were the day-to-day benefits of the stability exercises and leg strengthening exercises I was taught to improve my gait and balance. “We have used these techniques within our own successful ‘Learn to Run’ clinics since then, but the Advanced Rehab Clinics will allow us to reach those new amputees who are yet to even consider sport as something for them and help them to get the most ...

Aspire welfare benefits advice service can make a difference

In response to the major changes to the benefits system the spinal injury charity, Aspire, has launched a welfare benefits advice service. Aspire caseworker, Nicola, aims to ensure that people receive the correct advice and she will also carry out ‘benefits checks’ because people may not be aware of all the benefits that are available. The service has been running for only a few weeks and Nicola has already worked on a number of difficult cases: “Things are starting to pick up, and it’s great to know that Aspire and I can make a real difference. Just last week I was able to intervene after a young man had his benefits incorrectly stopped by the DWP. “After a telephone call to the Benefits Centre, they’ve now refunded him the money he was owed and restarted his benefits. There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction that comes from hearing that he’s no longer having to worry about how to survive on the tiny amount that he had coming in when he was clearly entit...

‘Postcards From The Edges’ disabled artists meet MPs for pop-up art exhibition

MPs and disabled artists from across the country met in the House of Commons this week for a special pop-up exhibition of disability arts project, ‘Postcards From The Edges.’ The exhibition was organised to mark the passing of the crucial Care Bill through Parliament and to launch the book of the project. Shadow disability spokesperson Kate Green MP spoke at the event, along with three disabled artists. The exhibition was hosted by Dame Anne Begg MP and showcased some of the most eye-catching artwork sent to the project over the last year. Early in 2013, United Response asked disabled people “what do you want to tell the world?”, inviting responses on a blank postcard, using words or images. More than 800 people took part, sending artwork, poetry, stories, collages or powerful messages that add up to a snapshot of disability and life in the 21st century. Many postcards reflect issues which the Care Bill tackles – such as support, isolation and finances. K...

Fundraising walk for Motability returns to the Wirral in 2014

Following the success of last year, national charity Motability is organising another accessible fundraising walk on the Wirral to raise money for disabled people in the UK. Walkability will take place along the Wirral Circular Trail, in North West England on Saturday 1 March 2014. The walk will begin and end in New Brighton, covering approximately 12 miles. For those wishing to walk a shorter distance, there will be a six mile option. Participants will pass a number of sights along the coastal path including Wallasey Beach, Leasowe Lighthouse and Meols Promenade. “The 2014 route boasts many picturesque beauty spots, coastlines and varied bird and wildlife, as well as accessible paths and walkways,” said Aine Canavan, Corporate Accounts and Events Executive at Motability She added: “Last year we raised £4,000 at this event and this year we hope to raise even more, but to do this we need as many people as possible to get involved. No matter what your age or ability, i...

People are opting for live-in carers to provide continuity and peace of mind

Following an investigation by the BBC which showed that very few local authorities are paying home carers the recommended minimum wage, Heritage Independent Living has highlighted a trend for live-in carers. Nick Sullivan at Heritage Independent Living said: “With cuts to local authority budgets, fees for home care services have generally been suppressed as they look to make savings. “This has naturally led to accusations that the quality of care from council-backed providers has also reduced, as carers are confronted with high case loads. “As a result, some people are turning to the relatively unknown option of engaging their own live-in carer. “We have had many clients who have shied away from social services-funded domiciliary care, where several different (and sometimes unfamiliar) carers visit at different times of the day to fit in with their heavy work schedule and not with the needs of the client. “The main reason behind this trend is the ability to acc...

Deaf patients in hospital denied access to BSL interpreters prompt calls for more courses

Deaf patients in hospital, who have been unable to benefit from having access to an interpreter using British Sign Language, have led to calls for more education providers to offer BSL courses. It follows a report that found two out of three NHS patients who have asked for an interpreter at a hospital appointment have not received one. Signature, a national charity which campaigns to improve the standards of communication for deaf and deafblind people in the UK, is leading the calls. It comes in the wake of recent reports that a London hospital failed to provide a deaf couple with an interpreter during the birth of their son. New parents Hulusi Bati and Nadia Hassan were apparently denied access to information that a hearing patient would have received, at University College Hospital, London. Recent reports suggest there are 800 registered interpreters for 25,000 British Sign Language users in the UK. According to a 2012 report by Our Health in Your Hands; two out of ...

Care boss says ‘quality and dignity’ are under threat - squeezed by council care fees

One of the UK’s leading care bosses says the “quality of care and dignity of older people” are being squeezed because most councils are paying less than the industry recommended minimum for personal home care. Gary Farrer, the managing director of SureCare, was responding to a BBC investigation which showed that the recommended minimum was being paid in just four out of 101 cases. The UK Homecare Association, UKHCA, which represents care providers, wants its members to be paid a minimum of £15.19 an hour to cover wages, training and travel. SureCare operates 27 franchises and three branches across England with a head office in Chester. Under Farrer’s leadership, the company has deliberately diversified into other areas of care, in part because of the poor fees available for providing personal home care to local authorities. Gary Farrer said: “This investigation by the BBC confirms what providers within the sector has known for some time, namely that the contracts...

Unite uses first anniversary of Francis report to call for tougher patients’ watchdog

Healthwatch needs to be replaced with a much tougher regime, according to Unite. The union, which has 100,000 members in the health service, has branded the patients’ watchdog ‘a toothless tiger’. And using the first anniversary of the Francis report this week, into the failings and poor care which led to patient deaths at Stafford Hospital, Unite also wants to see the introduction of independent ‘patient safety officers’ and the creation of a national intelligence agency. Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The last 12 months have been a wasted opportunity by Jeremy Hunt to start a cultural renewal in the health service by upgrading the level of public scrutiny. “Healthwatch, the so-called patients’ watchdog, is a toothless tiger – we need to return to the old system similar to that of the community health councils (CHCs) which had real clout to expose alleged failings in the provision of patient care. “Hunt and his coalition colleagues have...

Inspiring 264 mile virtual-cycle to raise funds for spinal cord injury charity

A former model, who was left paralysed after a nightclub accident, is challenging herself to a virtual cycle from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, using a functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike, to raise money for spinal cord injury charities. Lolly Mack, 40, who is from Hackney, East London, started the 264-mile cycle last week using her RT300 SLSA bike, which was supplied by East Yorkshire-based mobility solutions specialist, Cyclone Technologies, shortly after her accident 10 years ago. The FES cycle stimulates the lower motor neurons and evokes patterned movement of the arms and legs, and, since using it, Lolly has regained the use of her arms and it has given her greater independence. The LA to Las Vegas cycle is the second challenge for Lolly, following a skydive last March in aid of charity, Spinal Research, for which she raised more than £3,000. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for spinal injury research, and is keen to do whatever she can to speed u...

Campaigners welcome historic government action on care appeals

Moves by the government to give people the power to challenge decisions by their local council on what care they receive, have been welcomed today by Leonard Cheshire Disability. The charity has been campaigning to give everyone who needs care a right to appeal against decisions about the care and support they receive. Today the government has proposed an amendment to the Care Bill to give powers to create a new system of appeals for social care in England. Campaigns director Jane Harris said: “Getting the right care is often a matter of life and death for millions of disabled and older people and their families.  Until now people who are denied the care they need to get dressed, washed and eat have had no right to appeal their councils’ decision. “This is only a first step, but we are looking forward to working with the department of health to create a fair and consistent system that really works for disabled people. People who disagree with council decisions on wh...

Campaign gives young people with dyspraxia the confidence to speak up for themselves

The Dyspraxia Foundation has launched an “Alert Card” to help young people with dyspraxia in difficult situations. With funding from the charitable foundation, St James’ Place, the Dyspraxia Foundation has developed the credit card-sized resource to be carried by anyone with the condition. Similar to an alert card first launched for people living with autism, these can be used to advise anyone such as police, passers-by, emergency services and shop assistants, of the possible difficulties the carrier of the card may have, as well as providing contact details in the case of an emergency. Dyspraxia, a form of developmental coordination disorder, DCD, is a common condition that causes difficulties with fine and/or gross motor coordination, in both children and adults. In addition to helping people who might find themselves in a distressing situation, the card lists essential information on how to deal with someone who has dyspraxia including explanations of possible diff...

Britmet employee reaches new heights to raise money for Cancer Research!

Alex Millar, from Britmet Tileform Ltd, along with his sister are taking the plunge and doing a skydive...all in aid of charity! Not only are the pair raising funds for Cancer Research but they're also braving the jump in memory of their late Grandad.   If you'd like to show your support then visit their Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/khara-millar and donate as little or a large as you can!   For more info about Britmet Tileform Ltd, visit their website www.britmet.co.uk While I have your reading this, please remember Britmet Tileform Ltd, are the UK largest manufacturers of Lightweight Tile Effect Roofing, supplying materials to numerous clients for new build and refurbishment projects. Offering the widest range of UK profiles Britmet, and we are proud to say we can provide ‘The Total Roof Solution’; TacTray90 Structural tray, Flat to pitch Conversion Frames, Rainwater Management and Solar PV. So you know where to come if the need ar...

Macmillan says it is wrong to write off older people with cancer

The cancer charity, Macmillan is highlighting a concern that too many older patients in the UK are being assessed for cancer treatment “on the basis of their age alone and not their overall fitness.” Macmillan Cancer Support said with the right treatment, over 65s can survive for many years after cancer – yet UK survival rates in older people are among worst in Europe. More than 130,000 people in the UK have survived for at least 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer at 65 or over, according to new research by Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). This figure shows that, with the right care and treatment, over-65s in the UK can live for many years after cancer. However, if UK survival rates in this age group were not so poor this number would be even higher. The research, which is the first of its kind, also reveals that there are more than 8,000 people alive today who have survived for at least 10 years after being diagnos...

Leading the way to increase autism support in Sheffield

A Sheffield Hallam University lecturer is helping to improve vital support services for people in the city with autism. John Kay, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, said: “Autism is a disability that can have a long-term and severe impact on an individual to be able to function in society – but it is not an acute mental health problem as long as support services are put in place.” Following a letter to local MPs, John Kay, the lead governor of the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, SHSC, helped the Trust to secure funding of £500,000. The investment from Sheffield City Council and the local Clinical Commissioning Group will allow adults in Sheffield to have access to diagnostic support for Autistic Spectrum Conditions, ASC. Previously, the ‘out-of-area’ referral policy followed by the Sheffield Primary Care Trust, meant adults could not access its Asperger’s Syndrome Service for autism alone, and would only qualify for diagnosis and support if t...

Northern Ballet dance taster session for young wheelchair users

Northern Ballet is arranging an accessible dance taster session for wheelchair users during their Open House on 15 February. It will give people with limited mobility the chance to experience their 'in motion' class which will be held weekly from September 2014. The' in motion' programme is a unique initiative for self-propelling wheelchair users and people with limited mobility aged 8-19 to access dance. The classes are designed to “build confidence and develop strength, flexibility and creative expression.” Specially trained Northern Ballet staff run the classes in a professional and supportive environment where those taking part can explore movement both in and out of a wheelchair as well as be inspired to create their own dance pieces. As part of Northern Ballet’s ongoing project to provide accessible dance training, the company has recently invested in seven specialist sport wheelchairs for use by those attending the in motion class. Northern Ballet’s Dan...

Yorkshire star of ITV’s Downton Abbey launches autism gallery

Yorkshire actress Sophie McShera, who plays assistant cook Daisy Mason in the Golden Globe winning ITV show Downton Abbey, has launched The Artspace in Thorne, South Yorkshire – home to Artistic Spectrum, a social enterprise specialising in art as therapy for people with autism. The organisation has recently been awarded a National Lottery Grant to work with Autistic People in the region. Project leader Emma Wilson said: “We are delighted that Sophie will be coming to open the Artspace. “Her involvement helps us in our efforts to shine a light on autism which according to recent figures affects up to 1 in 50 people.” Bradford-born Sophie, who has just finished filming Disney’s new movie “Cinderella”, said: “The work Emma is doing with autistic people really helps autistic people to communicate and feel part of the wider world. My cousin has autism so it is a cause very close to my heart.” The art therapy sessions allow people who have autism to have a s...

Official launch of first Aspire House in Kent

Aspire has launched a new Aspire House in Chatham, its first property in Kent, in partnership with Southern Housing Group. The charity provides temporary accessible homes for people with Spinal Cord Injury. Is can be a high boost on the road to recovery because patients with a spinal injury have often spend weeks in hospital, or a specialised spinal unit. They are usually keen continue their rehabilitation and regain their independence. Moving into an Aspire House while a permanent solution is arranged can avoid the difficulties of having to live in inappropriate housing. Eighty-nine per cent of spinal injured people find themselves living somewhere inappropriate, whether it is in a nursing home, an inaccessible property or a hotel or guest house. Aspire’s fully adapted properties with accessible kitchen units and wet room allow tenants to continue living independently in the community. Matt, the first tenant at the property in Chatham, said: “I’m really grat...

Find out how to make the most of sport and fitness opportunities with new guides

Disability sports experts at Loughborough University have launched a new series of guides with tips and practical advice to help people with a disability lead more active lifestyles. The information will also signpost those already active into competitive sport. The five ‘Fit for Life & Sport’ guides include information on physical activity, exercise and sport, nutrition, and psychology. They have been written for adults with specific disabilities: visual impairment, spinal cord impairment, amputation, cerebral palsy and les autres. Each guide has been split into two main sections; Fit for Life is for those who do very little physical activity or exercise and want to improve health and fitness, while Fit for Sport is for regular exercisers who would like to improve performance or take their training more seriously. Terri Graham, a research assistant in the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, PHC, at Loughborough University who compiled the resource, said: ...

World-record holder Tom Lackey, 93, to wing walk across the Mediterranean

Charity fundraiser Tom Lackey, aged 93, is preparing for a daring wing walk in March 2014 – from Morocco to the rock of Gibraltar in aid of Cancer Research. It will be his 31st inspirational wing walk. Tom Lackey, from Shirley, West Midlands, has raised over £1 million for several charities and currently holds nine Guinness world records relating to aerobatics. When he is not flying he remains mobile using a mobility scooter. He has a TGA ‘Superlight’ a 3-wheel scooter that can be easily dismantled for transportation in a car. It enables him to get to the shops and visit friends because his mobility is restricted due to his age and following a stroke in 2004. Tom was featured on BBC television during August 2013 when he successfully completed his most daring wing walk to date, across the Irish Sea from Castle Kennedy in Scotland to the City of Derry airport in Ireland. He flew for 81 minutes strapped to a vintage Boeing Stearman biplane and intends to complete a simi...

Rica urges mobility scooter users to have their say

There are more than 350,000 scooter users in the UK and the numbers are growing. Rica, an independent research charity is carrying out a survey on behalf of the department for transport. If you are a scooter user, Rica wants to know about your experience of buying and using a scooter. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. It can be found online at www.rica.org.uk/scootersurvey and it is available as a print questionnaire. There is a prize draw to win £50 worth of shopping vouchers. The Closing Date for all complete surveys is 28 February 2014.

Charity renews call to MPs to end 15 minute ‘flying care visits’

As the Care Bill is debated in the Commons today new research from Leonard Cheshire Disability shows growing support to end the controversial 15 minute social care visits. In a survey of members of Health and Wellbeing Boards from 40 councils 95% said 15 minutes is not enough time to help vulnerable, elderly people wash or get out of bed. Over half (58%) thought the government should set standards on flying care visits. The charity’s campaign director Jane Harris said: “Disabled people, councils and the public are all saying that government must act decisively to end 15 minute flying care visits. “The Prime Minister said this week that pensioners deserve to live with dignity. Having to choose between having a hot drink and going to the toilet is the exact opposite. This is not acceptable for a civilised society in the 21st century. “Parliament must seize the opportunity today to give every older and disabled person care visits that are long enough to live with digni...

Prosthetic ‘bebionic3’ hand 'highly commended' in awards

A groundbreaking prosthetic hand Leeds-based RSLSteeper was highly commended by in the recent British Healthcare Independent Living Design Awards. The awards, which were hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Bill Turnbull at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in South Kensington, celebrate the UK companies, products and individuals that support people to live more independently. After hearing of his company’s success in the Prosthetics Category, Paul Steeper, managing director of RSLSteeper Prosthetics Division, said: “It is always nice to receive recognition, but especially so from our peers – we’re all thrilled. As a company, we always look to improve people’s lives. We developed the bebionic3 hand not only to be the most advanced compliant hand on the market but also to be easy-to-use and accessible to as many wearers as possible. “bebionic3 is the culmination of many years of development but we won’t stand still, we are constantly looking to make improvements so that even...

Youngsters with eczema sought for silk clothing trial

Children who have eczema are being invited to take part in a new study to test the effect of wearing silk clothing. Three hundred children, aged one to 15, are needed for the clinical trial to find out whether or not specialist silk garments can help in the treatment of the skin condition, which can cause quite a lot of discomfort for some youngsters. Scientists at the University of Portsmouth want volunteers from Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight to come forward. The study is being led by the University of Nottingham and researchers are also being looking to recruit children from the Nottingham, Cambridge and London areas. Each youngster will be enrolled in the trial for eight months and they will be asked to attend their local recruiting hospital four times. Parents will be asked to complete a weekly questionnaire. The University of Portsmouth’s Professor Tara Dean, from the School of Health Sciences and Social Work, said: “Most treatments of eczema only suppress...

New advanced training course for amputees

To help amputees increase their confidence and improve strength and stability in the early stages, LimbPower, is launching a new training course. The Ambulant Disabled Sports & Arts Foundation’s Advanced Rehab Clinics aims to bridge the  gap that exists between the rehab offered by the NHS, and the ability to take part in sports, fitness and lifestyle activities. Research shows that physical activity enhances the lives of amputees, reducing the risk of knee and hip replacements and even improving life expectancy. The current service teaches amputees how to walk using their artificial limb – with training on basic techniques, but there is much more that could be done to aid amputees in the early stages of rehabilitation which would have a huge impact on their quality of life. Kiera Roche, an amputee and the founder of LimbPower said: “Back in 2006 I attended a running clinic where I was taught the basic techniques of running, but what really opened my eyes were th...

Hate Crime. Challenge it, Report it, Stop it.

Manchester's annual Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from Monday 20th January 2014 – Sunday 26th January 2014. The city will play host to a full calendar of community events celebrating diversity and raising awareness of hate crime and hate crime third party reporting centres. If you've been a victim of hate crime, or if you know someone who has,  there are lots of different ways to report it. You can call GMP on 101, call Manchester City Council on 08000 830007 or you can report it online via True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk. Hate crimes and incidents can be reported by anyone, witnesses and victims. And if you want to remain anonymous, you can. You can also report hate crime and access advice and support services at hate crime reporting centres across Manchester. To find your nearest reporting centre visit www.gmp.police.uk/hatecrime