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THE NORTH WEST’S BEST READ PAPER! p6

WIN A TRIP TO PARIS ooh, la, la . . . TWO nights for TWO people

EIGHT PRIZES TO BE WON p27 FEBRUARY-MARCH, 2013

INSIDE

SIR BERT ATTACKS NEW ‘EASIER TO GET’ BENEFITS PLAN FOR MILITARY

NO ROOM AT THE INN

p2

p15

JOY’S AMERICAN DREAM

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE VEHICLES

p16-17

TOP HONOUR FOR PAM

3,000-mile road trip in a 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout

opening doors . . . broadening minds

p12

TAKE ME HOME!

When you’ve finished reading this paper please pass it on to a friend or neighbour


All Together NOW!

2

What’s inside NEWS

p2-5

BANK WORKERS CHARITY

p6

THE FAMILY PAGE

p8

THE MORGAN FOUNDATION

p9

GETTING ON

p10

UNITED UTILITIES

p11

INDEPENDENT LIVING

p12

MERSEYTRAVEL

p14

MOTORZONE

p15-17

SOUNDING OFF: Bert Massie

p18

SKILLZONE

p19-21

HEALTHZONE

p22-23

THEATRE GUIDE

p24-25

HOLIDAYS & HOROSCOPES

p26

GARDENING

p27

PUZZLEZONE

p28-29

CONTACT BOARD

p30

SPORTZONE

p31-32

n All Together NOW! is a registered charity set up to provide a tip top news service for anyone whose life is affected by disability, longterm health condtions or age. n The charity relies entirely on support from its sponsors, advertisers and from general subscriptions and grants. n You can contact us on

0151 230 0307 Who to contact Editor: Tom Dowling email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk

Advertising/sponsorship

NEWS

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Fun camps build confident kids HUNDREDS of children with mobility issues are set for a lesson in life and an awesome adventure – all rolled into one. The Whizz-Kidz organisation will use a £348k Lottery grant to run life skills camps around the country with Big Brother-style diary rooms and inspiration from Paralympic athletes. Over the next three years over 200 young wheelchair users will

have the opportunity to take part in sport, team challenges, cooking and other activities on the way to becoming more independent. Mark Lovell, from Whizz-Kidz, said: “The young people we work with us tell us they often miss out on age-appropriate provision which could build their skills, grow their confidence and give them a taste of independence. “Whizz-Kidz closes this gap by delivering tailored training, but

also crucially supporting young disabled people to gain real life experience by directing their own care – often for the first time – and by building friendships.” Young people will take part in three-day residential breaks away from parents and carers which help bolster their self-esteem while encouraging them to do more for themselves once they return to normal life. n Whizz-Kidz tel, 020 7233 6600.

No room at the inn

Our editor’s paid-for disabled room is re-sold hours before he arrives

ALL Together NOW! editor Tom Dowling was turned away in his wheelchair from a hotel in the early hours of a cold winter’s night after being told the adapted room he booked and paid for a month earlier had been resold. Tom, 59, had been attending a national disability sports event at Lancashire County Cricket Club. He and his wife, Lynne, had booked a night at the nearby Salford Travelodge to avoid the risks of driving his adapted car home in wintry conditions. But their well-laid plans soon turned into a nightmare. Arriving at the hotel just after midnight they found the gates to the car park were locked. Luckily, Lynne was able to dash across the road in freezing, driving rain and get a key from reception. Then they were told that their room had been given to another

guest who had turned up at the hotel while the couple were at the awards event. Staff then tried to wake the guests in the disabled room, hoping they would be able to persuade them to move into the only remaining standard room. When that failed, Tom was offered the standard room. But when he opened the door to check that he could get his wheelchair into the room, he was confronted by a young woman who had just showered and was drying her hair.

“I don’t know who screamed loudest,” said Tom, who was then told by staff that there had been another mix-up with the bookings and that there were no more rooms available. “They did offer to ring around other hotels to see if any had a disabled room, but that could have taken until dawn and Lynne was drenched to the skin, freezing cold and very upset,” added Tom, who then decided to risk the drive home. But there was another slap in the face to come - Tom was told he would have to pay a £7 parking fee to get his car out of the car park. Travelodge have since made a full apology for the “substandard service” which they say was caused due to a communication breakdown. They have made a full refund, reimbursed expenses, and provided a £100 accommodation voucher.

Chris Groves email: sales@alltogethernow.org.uk IT Support: Ken Almond Website: Pharos Design

NEXT EDITION: Tuesday 8 April, 2013 All Together NOW! is published by All Together Now! Ltd, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP Registered Charity No.1106387

Arts grants up for grabs – NOW! ARE you trying to forge a career in the arts but worried about money? Are you disabled? Or have mental health problems? If the answer is yes to more than one of those questions, then a new £120,000 fund could help you realise your dream. Applications for grants of between approximately £800 and £8,000 are being urgently sought from disabled people or those with mental health issues, working or studying in the arts who need financial support NOW!. The scheme is open to people interested in a wide range of visual and performing arts – from painting, sculpture and graphic art to film, drama, music and

dance. The Visual and Performing Arts Fund, which will hand out £120,000 over the next five years, is being provided by the Rehab Group, a leading international not-for-profit body whose aim is a world where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential. Applicants must be 17 or over and must send a document (no more than two A4 pages) outlining the project and a full CV, either electronically to artsfund@rehab.ie or by letter to Visual and Performing Arts Fund, Rehab Group, Roslyn Park, Sandymount, Dublin 4. The closing date is Thursday, February 28. Full terms and conditions: www.rehabie

One in 5 people’s lives are limited ALMOST one in every five people in the North West say their day-today lives are limited by a long-term health problem or disability. And 710,000 people provide unpaid care for someone with an illness or disability. The findings are contained in the 2011 Census which gives insights into characteristics of the North West’s 7.1 million population. Religion: In 2011, 67% of residents in this region were Christian. Outside London, the local authority with the largest proportion of Muslims was in the North West: Blackburn with Darwen at 27% (40,000 people). Ethnicity: The North West had 90% of its population stating their ethnicity as ‘White’. The region also has the second highest proportion of Chinese after London, although the number is relatively small (1%, 48,000).

Highest Manchester is ranked seventh highest of all local authorities in England and Wales for residents declaring themselves as ‘Chinese’ (3%). Pendle is ranked third highest of local authorities in England and Wales of people declaring themselves as ‘Pakistani’ (17%). Blackburn with Darwen is ranked sixth (12%). Oldham is ranked third highest of all local authorities of people declaring themselves ‘Bangladeshi’ (7%). Country of birth: In 2011 there were 577,000 foreign-born residents in the North West. Manchester had the highest proportion of foreign-born usual residents, with 25%.

NOW! READERS DO NOT SEE ANY OTHER NEWSPAPER HALF OF All Together NOW! All Together — The Murray Consultancy

TAKE ME HOME!


www.alltogethernow.org.uk NEWS

Do YOU want to be a radio star? THE UK’s first truly inclusive radio station is on the lookout for budding presenters. The new station broadcasts from Salford Quays, in Greater Manchester, with a round-the-clock line-up including music, DJs, presenters, live performances and guests. At the core of LDOK.net is a team of people drawn from the learning disabled community working in tandem with other presenters and contributors. Terry Snowden, head of the Manchesterbased Heroes Project, who launched LDOK.net, said: “We are aiming to present inclusive radio that is attractive to all listeners while being uniquely personal, representative and supportive of the learning disabled community and its members.” LDOK Radio is keen to take on bright new voices to the table and want to hear from anybody - anywhere especially those already making regular podcasts or who are involved in radio at local levels. Interested? email LDOK@live.co.uk or call 0161 872 8787. www.LDOK.net

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

TUNED IN: Some of the presenters and background team at the new radio station, LDOK.net

New year hope

I

T’S OFFICIAL . . . All Together NOW! is one of the best small social enterprises in the North West.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

The info-packed charity paper - the only one of its kind in the UK - has been shortlisted in the inaugural Excellence In Social Enterprise Awards that attracted entries from across Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, and Manchester. Last year the paper picked up four accolades — North West Magazine of the Year, runner-up in the Morgan Foundation’s Entrepreneur Awards for Making the Best Social Contribution, commended in the Niche Newspaper section of the national Newspaper Awards, and a finalist in the UK Public Sector Communication Awards. This is all good news and is a real tribute to the magnificent support we get from our key partners - The Bank Workers Charity, Liverpool Community Health Trust, Liverpool Community College, Mersey travel, The Morgan Foundation, Park Group, and United Utilities. Without their tremendous backing, this paper would not be around. Thanks!

HERE’S SOME MORE GOOD NEWS . . .

‘ ‘ All Together NOW! is making a hugely important social contribution to people affected by health issues and deserves to be supported. At Park we are committed to supporting our community and this free charity newspaper is helping so many people across the region. There is nothing else like it in the country and we know how valuable it is for many of our custo mers. We are proud to be associated with the paper.” Chris Houghton, chief executive officer at Park Group plc

Best limb forward for Hadrian’s Wall ORGANISERS of a trek along one of Britain’s most famous landmarks are taking no chances with the weather. Tents specially designed to withstand the rigours of the Australian Outback – so perfectly suited to whatever the English spring can throw at them! – are being provided for participants walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall. The 84-mile hike, following the old Roman frontier between England and Scotland, is organised by LimbPower, which aims to help physically disabled people by aiding rehabilitation and improving their quality of life through sports and arts. The walk begins at Bowness-onSolway on May 3 and finishes six days later at Wallsend,. Interested in taking part? Contact Mark@limbpower.com or Kiera Roche, tel 07502276858

Business boost!

- Tom Dowling, editor

We are very impressed with how All Together NOW! is getting our health messages to people across the region. The paper is having a tremendously positive impact on people’s wellbeing, especially those affected by disability and age, and we are delighted to continue our partnership.” James Brown, Head of Communications Liverpool Community Health

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PEOPLE wanting to set up their own businesses are being given a helping hand (see SKILLZONE, p19). Enterprising Merseyside want to hear from more people on Merseyside who have great ideas for starting their own business, but don’t know what to do next. Thanks to their support, thousands of people have already started successful businesses. Mike Bold is one of them. Two years ago, Mike, a chartered surveyor, had to deal with ill-health and redundancy. But, within a year, he was running his own business. “When you’re unemployed you think you’re on your own,” said Mike. “You’re not! I was allocated a mentor whose enthusiasm and support was a massive boost after what I’d been through.” Tel, 0845 340 9980

D-Day at Cumbria CUMBRIA’S Disability Information Day takes place at the Rheged Centre in Penrith on Friday 8 March. The event is being staged by Learning to Change CUMBRIA Parent/Carers Forum. Contact Kerryanne Hunter, tel 01931 716071. email: kerryanne.l2c.cumbria@gmail.com


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All Together NOW!

NEWS

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

MPs hear blind people’s fears Money a daily worry for one in three Brits MONEY worries are the biggest cause of concern for British consumers, with 16.8 million feeling stressed out by their finances every day, according to research from MoneySupermarket. The UK’s number one comparison website revealed a third of UK adults feel stressed on a daily basis as a result of their financial situation. Meanwhile, health caused the most concern for 14% of those polled, and 13% were most stressed out by their jobs. Kevin Mountford, of MoneySupermarket, said: “As was the case last year, anxiety about money is the top cause of stress for many adults. “Unfortunately, I think we can expect this yearto be just as tough as changes to benefits, taxation and further austerity measures take their toll. “Understanding and controlling your household budgeting better and avoid unnecessary overspending can help alleviate some of the anxiety, even if times remain tough.”

Why I love this paper All Together NOW! is a really good read. The paper tackles disability issues in a positive, newsy and most of all, humane fashion. I really like the content – it documents so many positive stories and highlights so many positive people who have overcome difficulties and disabilities to add to the rich tapestry of human variety. It is a very cheerful upbeat publication, even when tackling emotive and often sad issues — Gerard (email)

My sin, by UKIP man A FORMER UKIP candidate who called on the NHS to look at compulsory abortion of foetuses with Down’s syndrome or spina bifida has told campaigners he wants to do penance “for my sin”. Geoffrey Clark lost to the Tories in a Kent council election and was suspended by his party after publishing the controversial views on his website. Now he has apologised in writing to Shine, the charity that supports people with spina bifida. Mr Clark adds: “In provoking thought - not a bad thing - I provoked hatred, a bad thing. I apologise to you and everyone. No offence was ever intended.” In his call for a national debate, Mr Clark had also suggested the NHS consider “legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80”. In response, Shine chief executive Jackie Bland said: “We suggest you resolve to learn more about people with spina bifida, find out what you can do to stop the on-going discrimination that they still have to face.”

BLIND people have been expressing their fears over changes to welfare payments that could cost them more than £1,000 per year. Twenty thousand partially-sighted, currently on the lower rate care component on DLA, will not qualify for the standard daily living rate under PIP – the new Personal Independence Payment. Siobhan Meade, who is registered blind, told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health: “Because I don’t have any sight I need to buy several different appliances to keep my kitchen safe and hygienic. “My talking scales cost about £50, my talking jug another £40, and the talking thermometer to check my meat is cooked properly is another £40-50.

“I then need a cleaner every two weeks to make sure my bathroom and kitchen is kept clean and hygienic which costs £22. Because I’m trying to find full time employment I do a lot of volunteering work and have to pay for taxis to unfamiliar places as I don’t qualify for Access to Work. “This can amount to £70 each week. I’ve also got a GPS device to find unfamiliar places and this costs £500 and needs updating and repairing regularly.” Lord Low of Dalston, chair of the Royal National Institute for Blind people, said: “There is a real risk that partially sighted people who currently get the lower rate of DLA will miss out on PIP altogether despite the very real costs they face in daily living.”

Benefit walk test gets even tougher

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AMPAIGNERS have accused the Government of burying a last-minute welfare change that will see thousands more people lose out.

And protest group WeareSparticus is calling on PM David Cameron to “go back to the drawing board” on proposals to replace disability living allowance (DLA). The unexpected changes, slipped out in Parliament just before Christmas, mean the criteria for the enhanced mobility rate of the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), has tightened. And that means people will now have to show they are unable to walk further than 20 metres, instead of the previous 50 metres. Jane Young, who co-authored the report for the WeareSpartacus campaign group, said: “This not only condemns thousands more disabled people to the worry of losing out under the new benefit and the isolation this will bring. It also highlights the lie that the Government’s reforms are targeted to support those in need. “Government protestations about consultation are a nonsense if it takes no notice of what disabled people and their organisations say. “Of the 173 consultation responses from organisations on the new PIP, only one suggested the qualifying distance for those who have the most difficulty getting around should be changed. “And why has there been no parliamentary debate on such a significant policy change? Is it because government has already decided that this is about saving money rather than meeting need?” The group is also calling for the

JOY for Jan at the Palace with dad Ron and, inset, John

Jan makes dad proud IT’S was an especially proud day for Jan Lockyer when she was presented with her MBE at Buckingham Palace. Watching her receive her medal were husband, John, long-time work pal, Ruth – and her father, Ron Martin, who has just celebrated his 92nd birhday. “I was so happy that dad could be with me,” said Jan, who for 30 years was a senior occupational therapist at Liverpool’s Disabled Living Centre, helping thousands of people affected by disability and ill-health. “It was touch and go as he had been poorly in hospital for three Government to incorporate people’s ability to undertake tasks ‘reliably’ into the regulations for PIP, which will ensure both assessments and

weeks just before but managed to escape in time! “He thoroughly enjoyed himself and has been telling everyone he meets about what a wonderful time it was. “They got front row seats as well. It couldn’t have been better. Princess Anne did the investiture, which was lovely as she is the patron of the College of Occupational Therapists. She was very well briefed and knew all about the work of DLCs and spent a good five minutes talking to each recipient.” Jan’s work was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

£80m boost for Sixties’ Thalidomide survivors THALIDOMIDE survivors have welcomed a 10year, £80 million Government grant that will help them as they grow older. The grant brings peace of mind to England’s 325 surviving “thalidomiders”, who have impairments caused by the drug being taken by their mothers during pregnancy between 1958 and 1961. It will pay for support such as personal assistants, adaptations to homes and vehicles, and wheelchairs, and will be administered by the Thalidomide Trust, which manages the compensation paid by the firm that marketed thalidomide in the UK. EDRIC, a Europe-wide group set up by thalidomide survivors – which runs the DysNet online community on dealing with limb loss and deficiency – welcomed the announcement. Geoff Adams-Spink, EDRIC’s chair, said: “It’s a sad fact that many affected have not lived to see this day but those who have are in our sixth decade and are facing increasing costs to help us stay as healthy and independent as possible.” He added: “The effects of thalidomide aren’t just what you can see such as shortened arms or legs, but there is also often damage to internal organs, vision and hearing.”

Worldwide connections A NEW website aims to connect thousands of families across the globe who are affected by congenital limb differences (Dysmelia). The site was launched by a group of people living with the disabling affects of the Thalidomide drug. n www.dysnet.org

appeal hearings consistently take account of factors such as pain, fatigue, and other symptoms generated by undertaking tasks.

340,000 people – two-thirds of All Together NOW! readers – DO NOT read any other disability or health publication — The Murray Consultancy

TAKE ME HOME!


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

NEWS

All Together NOW!

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Deaf prisoners denied support New Manchester cab

PROFOUNDLY deaf prisoners are missing out onservices that could help their rehabilitation because the Prison Service cannot provide for their needs, a study has found. Some deaf prisoners interviewed as part of the research claimed to have had trouble accessing employment, education courses and behaviour classes in prison because of issues relating to their disability. Others said they were concerned about their safety in the event of a fire because they would be unable to hear an alarm and would be unsure of what to do. The report, Not hearing us: An exploration of the experience of deaf prisoners in English and Welsh prisons, calls for more sharing of good practice – such as at Shrewsbury prison, where staff and prisoners were taught sign language. Frances Crook, chief executive at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This research should spark a reconsideration of the services provided to the deaf inside penal institutions. It is unacceptable that organs of the state and commercial prisons fail to comply with equalities legislation.” It is estimated that about 400 prisoners have some form of hearing 1 PREP74C13-ATN-262x165-Jan_Layout impairment.

New tram passes the test

ALL ABOARD: The disability design group at the Droylsden tram stop

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DISABILITY group that helped design Manchester’s Metrolink system has given a big thumbs up to the new 3.9 mile extension to Droylsden town centre. Members of Transport for Greater Manchester’s Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG) rode a test tram along the line to inspect new stops 24/01/2013 10:56 1 and see how well Page they meet

the needs of disabled people. Andy Walker, the new chair of the DDRG, said: “It was great to get out on the tram to Droylsden and see some of the accessibility improvements the group has been involved in. “I worked as a construction manager so I’ve enjoyed looking at the new stops from a technical point of view as well as from a wheelchair user’s perspective. Metrolink is a very

accessible system and I think the group gave some really positive feedback. “I was impressed with the stop at the Etihad Stadium. I’m a season ticket holder and I’m looking forward to getting the tram all the way from Oldham!” The new Metrolink line calls at New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden.

MANCHESTER is set to have a new style of black cab after Manchester City Council approved an application to licence an E7 taxi. The Peugeot-based E7 is already approved by 97% of towns and cities across the UK, where it has become the most popular model of taxi. The E7 also has special features for wheelchair users including a pull-out, under-floor ramp; more turning space turning; and secure and safer positioning. Other features are a high-visibility edging and a seat that slides forward, to help partially-sighted people; a swivel-seat for ambulant people with mobility impairment; and an induction loop for deaf people. Manchester cab owner Paul McCormick, who applied to license the city’s first E7, said: “I’m certain the E7 will prove as big a success in Manchester as it has everywhere else in the country.”

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WIN A PARIS BREAK! All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

PRIZE & T&Cs: n Two return Eurostar Standard Premier tickets to Paris, travelling from London St Pancras n Two return train tickets from Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Preston or Crewe to London Euston n Two nights bed and breakfast for two at a 3 star centrally located hotel with wheelchair access n Prize is as offered and there is no cash alternative n Travel is subject to availability and excludes public bank holidays and Valentine’s Day n Prize is valid for one year from date of issue

Get an Eiffel of this!

Return train tickets and two nights’ stay for two people

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ARIS always has something new to offer visitors especially in the spring!

We’ve teamed up with Eurostar to offer you the chance to win TWO Standard Premier return tickets to the French capital – with two nights’ bed and breakfast in a centrally located hotel that has wheelchair access. Travelling by Eurostar and Virgin Trains from the North West, you’ll reach Paris in just over five hours. In the quiet, spacious surroundings of your Eurostar Standard Premier carriage you’ll find the freedom to read, think or simply unwind. Pick a

complimentary magazine from the rack and relax whilst a light meal and drinks are served to your seat. Once you arrive in Paris you will find that your Eurostar ticket will offer you much more than travel, with Eurostar Plus giving you discounts on museums and galleries: www.eurostarplus.co.uk To enter our competition answer this question: How long does the rail journey take from the North West to Paris? You can enter by completing the entry form in our Reader Survey below – or by sending your answer on

a postcard to: Eurostar Competition, All Together NOW! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP. You can also enter online at: www.alltogethernow.org.uk Please state where you picked up your copy of All Together NOW! Closing date, Friday 29 March. Eurostar offers return fares from over 300 stations in the UK, including Liverpool, Manchester and Crewe as well as reduced fares for wheelchair users. For bookings visit eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186.

Can YOU help our charity to get funding?

1. Without All Together NOW! do you think there is enough readily accessible information around to help people affected by disability? Yes No 2. Do you read any other disability/health publications? Yes No

Learning opportunities Yes

CAN YOU help us demonstrate to potential funders how valuable the All Together NOW! charity paper is to you and the community? Completing this simple survey and returning it to us as soon as possible will be of immense help to the charity. Many thanks – Tom Dowling, editor

No

Acquire new aids/equipment/services Yes No Booking a holiday Yes

No

Leisure/sporting activities Yes

No

NAME

Joining a group

No

ADDRESS

12. If ATN is not already available at your local supermarket, would you like it to be? Yes No

3. If yes, what is the main one?

4. Do you keep ATN for reference? Yes No 5. Have you responded to any of the advertisements/articles in ATN? No Yes 6. ATN helps me to understand the issues disabled people have to face. Agree Disagree 7. ATN breaks down barriers between disabled and non-disabled people? Agree Disagree 8. ATN helps to reduce isolation among disabled people, caers and older readers? Agree Disagree 9. ATN gives me specific information to help me with my life (or the person I care for) that I cannot get elsewhere Agree Disagree 10. ATN gives me (or the person I care for) information about the following

Tel No:

email: PARIS COMPETITION: How long does the rail journey take from the North West to Paris?

Please return this page to: All Together NOW! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP topics that I would otherwise be unaware of: Disability rights and welfare benefits. Agree Disagree

New aids/equipment and care servicee. Agree Disagree Accessible holidays Agree

Disagree

Events that might benefit my health and wellbeing Agree Disagree

Leisure/recreational activities Agree Disagree

Motorisng issues Agree

Sporting opportunities Agree Disagree

Health matters Agree

Disagree

Disagree

11. Has ATN helped you (or someone you care for) to get actively involved with:

Yes

12. Do you regularly use the Internet? No Yes 13. Do you regularly visit www.alltogethernow.org.uk Yes

No

14. What other main disability website do you visit?

PERSONAL DETAILS Do you have a disability? Yes No Are you are a carer? Yes

No

Are you a health worker? Yes

No

None of these


HELP for when times get tough . . .

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

W

E ALL need some support when times get tough – and there’s nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help. That’s what we at the Bank Workers Charity are here for. If you work or have worked for a

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

bank in the UK we help by providing information, advice, expert support services and in some cases, financial assistance. We offer this support through a helpline, specialist support from our partnerships and our new website.

How we are helping people like Mary

M OUR NEW website offers our clients even more support, including a huge range of information, advice and downloadable guides. So, whether you need help to get to grips with a disability, or are struggling with caring responsibilities, or have money worries, our website and, of course, our expert client advisors can help. We listen with care and in total confidence and quickly help you to find practical solutions to the problems you are facing. Visit us at www.bwcharity.org.uk

ARY is 65, retired and lives on her own. She has a fractured leg, depression and a number of concerns over money and coping with her disability. We put her in touch with one of our partners Leonard Cheshire Disability to get some support. An LCD Client Support Adviser initially worked with Mary to review her budgets, income and outgoings. She has since organised her bills to avoid any large expenses and is claiming Pension Credit. Following a letter from LCD to her GP Mary is now receiving physiotherapy and counselling, both through her GP referral.

LCD also provided information about local support groups so Mary can get more advice on her disabilities. The Bank Workers Charity also funded dog walking costs while Mary regained her mobility. A Social Services assessment also identified the need for a hand rail in her home, which has now been fitted. Mary said: “The help of LCD has given me the strength and ability to carry on with my life with confidence and optimism.”

Together with our partners we can give the best kind of support WE WORK in partnership with some of the UK’s leading charities so that we can give you the best support we can. Our partners include the National Autistic Society, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Arthritis Care and Turn2us. We are now piloting a family support service with a major British bank so we

have also partnered with Refuge, Relate, StepChange Debt Charity, Working Families and Kidscape. This support will help bank employees tackle problems not just at work but with home-life issues such as relationships, work-life balance, caring issues, disabilities, domestic violence, debt and

children’s bullying. All our partners are leading charities in the UK and experts in their fields. They provide information, advice and guidance in a number of ways. You can find out more about their services on our website.

visit www.bwcharity.org.uk or call our FREE helpline: 0800 0234 834

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FAMILIES

All Together NOW!

8 TAKE ME HOME!

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

ADOPTION: big changes on the way

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LANS to overhaul adoption and help find homes for 4,000 children currently on a national register have been unveiled by the Government. Potential adopters will be given a “more active role” in selecting a child and granted the same maternity and paternity paid leave arrangements as biological mothers and fathers. Officials are considering allowing approved candidates access to the register of those waiting to be adopted to help them choose potentially suitable children. Those interested in adopting will be

Internet guide to keeping kids safe A NEW guide lets children with learning disabilities and autism enjoy all the benefits of the internet – and none of the risks. The guide – for parents – suggests ways to help their children get the most from the web at home and in the community. It has been produced by charities Cerebra, Mencap and Ambitious about Autism. Tracy Elliot, from national research charity Cerebra, said: “There are real benefits to young people with learning disabilities and autism using the internet, but also potential dangers. “We wanted to support parents in making informed choices about internet use and enable them to help their child get the most out of it.” Elizabeth Archer, from Mencap, and author of the guide, said: “We so often hear about young people with a learning disability having negative experiences online, but the internet can actually provide great opportunities. “The problem is that many parents don’t know where to start when it comes to protecting their child online and this is where we hope our guide will help.” n The guide can be downloaded at www.cerebra.org.uk Cerebra Helpline: 0800 328 1159.

given a bigger say in choosing a child, and additional support will be given to successful adoptive parents. Prime Minister David Cameron said he hoped the changes would create a “swifter, more effective and robust” system. David Holmes, chief executive of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, welcomed the announcement. “Now, more than ever, we need more people to consider if adoption could be right for them – we must find families for the thousands of children who are waiting whilst ensuring that

adoption support is available to meet the needs of all,” he said. Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said: “We know that children do well in an adoptive family and I hope this comprehensive package of support will lead to more and more people having the confidence to come forward and provide a chance for these children to thrive and reach their potential. “This support will also provide more help to those who are already adopting children who have been in care. “I urge everyoneto think seriously

about opening up their home to a child awaiting adoption.” Former Barnardo’s chief Martin Narey, now the Government’s adoption adviser, said new evidence from the US - and more recently the UK - suggested giving adopters the initiative improved matches. He said: “Of course, that does not mean adopters can simply choose their child, they still need professional advice on such a vital decision. But it is clear there is a chemistry between adopters and children which can provide a foundation for a very successful adoption.”

Smiles better! The play centre that’s perfect for families

Playtime for EVERYONE! J

ANET Spiers reckons she’s got one of the best jobs in the world – watching disabled children AND disabled adults play!

And what’s more they can play with their pals, brothers and sisters, mums and dads, aunts and uncles, and nans and granddads – and all in a safe place! Janet is project officer at the Play and Sensory Centre, at Woolston, Warrington. “We only opened last summer and the feedback we are getting is just brilliant,” she says. “Families come and play together –

and even hire the centre for parties. “It’s a great place for children of all abilities. We’ve realised, too, that disabled adults can also benefit from the fully accessible facilities we have here. “Adults who have had strokes and others with brain injuries are visiting and benefiting from the facilities.”

Well situated Situated close to the M6 also makes travelling easier for families living across the North West. “Because of our great facilities people are prepared to make the drive to come and play,” adds Janet.

The centre, run by Warrington council, is currently open Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Saturdays. “We would like to be open seven days a week,” says Janet, “but it’s all down to funding – and as everyone in the world knows that’s not easy to find.” Membership is free to anyone with additional needs. Typical prices per 90minute session (which must be booked in advance): £4.50, £10 for a family of three.

n The centre is situated in Hall Road, Woolston, near Warrington. Tel, 01925 817347

Kids’ speakeasy! CHRISTMAS may now be a distant memory for most of us but more than 400 disabled children and their families are already looking forward to this year’s party! Huyton Suite. It was arranged by the SPEAK family support group that gives help and advice to families with disabled children. Parent Michelle Scales said: “We really look forward to this party. “Sometimes it’s difficult to find places to go with our children and SPEAK really understands this. It’s been so nice seeing the children all together having a good time’ Contact Michelle on 07772 739625

450,000 people are reading this page – 0151 230 0307

Parents set to suffer a drop in income A CHARITY warns that some families with disabled children will be £29 per week worse under the Government’s new rules for Universal Credit. Contact a Family’s chief executive, Srabani Sen, said: “We are severely disappointed the Government has failed to address a fundamental flaw with Universal Credit. “Although the Government continues to say there will be no cash losers under Universal Credit, in reality many families unable to work due to their caring responsibilities, will see their benefits eroded over time, with a potential cut of £1,500 a year.

At risk Families with two disabled children could lose twice as much as this. “It is clear that those families whose caring responsibilities prevent them from working are most at risk of being worse off.” Contact a Family is also deeply concerned that while Universal Credit may be good news for some working parents with a disabled child others are at risk of losing out – particularly working parents in rented accommodation with high childcare costs. n In the UK there are 770,000 disabled children under 16 – that’s one child in 20. Helpline: 0808 808 3555 n www.cafamily.org.uk

TAKE ME HOME!


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

How we can help . . .

H

ERE at the Morgan Foundation we want to help organisations who share our philosophy – Making a Difference. Over the past decade we have helped hundreds of organisations across the region, committing over £10 million. This year we will be giving away a whopping £1.5 MILLION to good causes. Created in 2001 by businessman Steve Morgan

OBE, founder and chairman of Redrow plc, chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, the Morgan Foundation supports charities across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire. Our aim is to provide funding for small to medium sized organisations who are addressing specific needs in these regions. We are particularly keen to

support those who have already begun to make an impact, but need a helping hand to expand their work and increase their effectiveness. We focus our help mainly on those who work directly with children and families but we recognise that many wider issues may also affect their welfare, so we are interested in any project which contributes to the quality of life in our region.

Does your group need a helping helping hand? hand?

What we fund

GRANTS may be considered for a range of purposes and could include: Single awards for capital projects. Start-up and/or ongoing running costs for specific projects. Multi-year revenue grants for core funding. The type, size and time period of the award is decided on the basis of the perceived ‘difference’ that our support will make to the organisation, to the project,and to the targeted beneficiaries. It is important that you tell us in your application the full extent of the funding you really need to achieve your aims and objectives, in order for us to assess how best we can contribute.

How to apply FIRST, please ensure that you are eligible under our policy: Check that your organisation or project is based within our geographic area (see map, above) Also please check that your organisation/project is not listed in our exclusions. We ask all potential applicants to call us first for an informal chat. This helps us to ascertain whether or not your project is likely to be successful with a funding bid and will save you both time and effort.

Our Wolves’ link

WOLVES Community Trust is the official charity of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. Via Wolves Aid, which is supported by The Morgan Foundation, it helps community groups in the Wolverhampton area. Wolves Aid has the same remit as The Morgan Foundation and,

GREAT COMPANY: Guests at The Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards were wowed by the actors of The Company of Friends, a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties. Through performance and related activities, the company challenges the way people with learning disabilities are commonly perceived. The Morgan Foundation has provided a three-year grant to help the company’s rent and running costs.

according to the Football League Trust, is the biggest club charity of its type in football. Organisations within Wolverhampton wanting to find out more about Wolves Aid should contact Laura Saunders on 01902 828366. n www.wolves-aid.co.uk

Meet at the Brink Application procedure ONCE you have called us we will send you details of the information we will need in order to proceed with an application. We will require a background to the organsiation, its aims and regular activities, the number of paid staff and voilunteers, latest audited accounts, and details of the project for which you are seeking funding. All applications will be acknowledged and we will contact you for any further information we require.

All charities and projects will be visited before a grant is approved.

What we don’t fund (exclusions) IN LINE with our funding policy and to ensure the most efficient use of resources, we do not fund the following areas of work: Animal Welfare; Arts/Heritage; Conservation/Environment; Expeditions and Overseas Travel; General Fundraising Appeals; Individual and Sports Sponsorship; Large National Charities; Mainstream Education; Promotion of Specific Religions

THE Brink is one of many social enterprises and charities that are supported by The Morgan Foundation. Set up in Liverpool to help people with drink problems, The Brink has taken alcohol out of the mix to provide a truly welcoming city centre venue where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can dine, socialise and relax. So call in and see their award-winning team in action. n The Brink, Parr Street, Liverpool tel 0151 703 0582. www.thebrinkliverpool.com

www.morganfoundation.co.uk Tel. 01829 782800

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GETTING ON . . .

10

All Together NOW!

WISE WINNIE . . . helps to solve some of the problems faced by older people

Q

SADLY I lost my husband when I was 72 and found the years afterwards very lonely. Then I met a lovely man who was in the same boat as myself and we had much in common such as a love of gardening and an interest in wildlife. Our relationship deepened but we have not moved in together or made any commitments as we both appreciate our own space. The problem is that his two daughters seem very suspicious of me and they are doing all they can to split us up. I’m told they are approaching my friends and trying to find out details of my background, presumably in the hope that there is something they can pass on to their dad that will turn him off me. At first I made every effort to be friendly with them but they coldshouldered me. What should my attitude be now?

A

LET’S consider first of all that your suspicions might be quite ill-founded. It’s natural that your friend’s daughters will be curious about the new woman in his life but they do seem to be carrying out their investigations rather clumsily. They may have concerns about the possibility of his being hurt if you choose to back out, or if they lost their mother comparatively recently they themselves may still be hurting. No doubt you are thinking they are jealous and that green-eyed monster may well be part of the problem. Your friend needs to leave his daughters in no doubt as to his love for them which may mean him being a little more demonstrative than his nature usually permits. If these daughters are really trying to split you up then they may see you as a gold-digger, with an eye on their rightful inheritance. Their mother no doubt played a part in creating that inheritance. Somehow you have to get it across to them that you both value your independence, and this applies financially. If they see you habitually “going Dutch” when you go out together it might dispel their unease. So would a frank family chat with Dad about his will . . .

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Life is fragile, handle with care . . .

New flat-rate pension ‘will improve the safety net’ THE NEW flat-rate State Pension of £144a-week would be equivalent to a private pension pot of up to £130,000 at retirement, says the UK’s biggest insurer. Detailed plans for the overhaul of the State Pension system have been outlined in a White Paper, with the new payment equivalent to an income of £7,488-a-year in today’s money, expected to take effect from April 2017. Figures produced by the Pru show a 65year-old today would need a £130,000 fund to generate the same £144 a week assuming they secured the highest possible single life annuity without a guarantee.

The £144-a-week, which will replace all existing payments, will increase in line with inflation between now and April 2017, but will only be available to new pensioners, with existing pensioners and those who qualify before then continuing to be paid under the existing system. Existing pensioners will still need to rely on the £107.45-a-week State Pension which can be topped up to £142.70 with pension credit and the State Second Pension. Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “The flat-rate State Pension reform will be the biggest overhaul of the system for decades and is a very valuable step forward.

“Private pension savers need funds of up to £130,000 to match the flat-rate State Pension but they now know that any savings will benefit them and will not affect benefits. “The new system improves the safety net for pensioners in the UK but should only ever be regarded as part of an overall retirement plan and the real income shock for many will come when the gap between their current earnings and the State Pension becomes apparent.” The planned legislation also includes increasing the State Pension age to 66 for men and women by 2020 and raising it to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Never too old to ‘Net’ love!

I

F YOU fancy looking for a little romance online but don’t know where to start, why not enlist the help of your children?

A new concept in online dating could provide the key to older people finding someone special. With the myLovelyParent dating website, adult children encourage their single parents online to meet new people. The inspiration for the site came when founder Matt Connolly’s mum – a single woman in her 60s – suggested he helped to find her “knight in shining armour”. Matt said: “myLovelyParent is a site where adult children can encourage their parents online whether for companionship or to meet someone new. It’s a unique website that is incredibly safe and easy to use.” The barriers and stigmas

Romance on the web for seniors

associated with online dating are changing. For people under 35, online dating is now the second most common way of starting a relationship . And for people over 55, it’s rapidly moving the same way - with this age group now the fastest growing among those using the web to find love. Matt added: “People want their parents to be happy and, if possible, to have someone special to share that happiness.” “When you’re younger you’re changing jobs, moving house and meeting new people. When you’re older, especially when retired, friendship groups are often already

established and meeting other single people can be difficult.” While developing the site, Matt received hundreds of messages of support from people around the world. One read: “Your idea is groundbreaking. I have been trying to help my mom with online dating for years but my efforts are so far futile”. Another said: “I’ve been trying to find someone for my mother-in-law forever!” Explaining how the site works, Matt said: “Adult Children are asked to write a little about their parent. An email is then sent to the mum or dad inviting them to the site. “Meanwhile, the child can view potential matches and recommend them to their parent. The parent will see these when they join the site.” n www.myLovelyParent.com

SENIOR MOMENTS . . . with FRANK HARRIS

MONEY MATTERS with GORDON VINER IF YOU shop at Sainsbury’s, it’s well worth you having one of their Cash Back Cards. This is a great card with several excellent features: n 5% cash back on Sainsbury’s shopping for the first three months, up to a maximum of £50 per month. n £5 cash back each month when you spend at least £250 per month on Sainsbury’s shopping, and at least £250 elsewhere. n 0% interest on all purchases for the first 6 months. (T&C apply) n 0% balance transfers for 15 months, however 3% fee applies. To keep your promotional rate you must pay at least the minimum payment by the due date and stay within your credit limit. If you don’t pay your balance or part there of according to the statement you may get charged 17.9% AER interest, so it is best to pay promptly what is required. Full details at www. sainsburysbank.co.uk

Pension shock LESS than half of couples in the UK make joint retirement arrangements to ensure that, when they die, their partners continue to receive income. A study of 2,002 couples over the age of 40 reveals that one in four couples have never discussed what will happen to their pensions if one partner dies before the other.


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

11

Help is at hand to pay your water bill Don’t suffer in silence - that’s the message from United Utilities to customers who may be struggling to pay their water bill. “If you’re going through a tough financial patch and finding it hard to make your payments, please get in touch with us on 0845 746 2034. We’re easy to talk to and we have a range of support schemes depending on your financial situation,â€? says income manager Iain Pilling. For customers in severe financial difficulties, United Utilities offers a scheme whereby it will support customers to help pay off their debt if they commit to regular payments. Says Iain: “Our Arrears Allowance scheme is for customers who are really struggling to pay off their debt. For the first six months we will match payments pound for pound. Then, for payments made after the first six months, we will match every ÂŁ1 paid with a ÂŁ2 allowance, helping to clear the debt much more quickly.â€? To discuss our Arrears Allowance further, please call us on 0845 746 2034.

For customers in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance or Pension Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions manages a scheme to help customers who have arrears on their water bill to pay direct from their benefits. “The issue for many customers in financial difficulty is budgeting to pay off their arrears, and the Water Direct scheme ensures this is included in the regular payment.� If you wish to discuss Water Direct, please contact us on 0845 746 2034. Financial support is also available to those customers who have a water meter installed but face particular hardship because they use a lot of water for essential purposes. “Our WaterSure scheme helps customers who receive certain benefits and need to use a lot of water because they have a large

Need a little ExtraCare? for customers with extra g hand n i p l ne e A helping hand fo A he r cu s

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A helping hand for ex tra cu A helping hand for cu ne sto s ed to me with s r sw m ext i th e ra ex rs t n ers wit h

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family or specific medical condition,â€? said Iain. “Customers who are accepted onto our WaterSure scheme have their water charges capped in line with the average household bill amount, giving the customer peace of mind that they won’t have to pay more than this amount each year.â€? For a WaterSure application pack, telephone our automated leaflet request line on 0845 303 7711 or visit our website: unitedutilities.com/watersure. United Utilities can also set up a flexible Direct Debit arrangement so that customers can pay their bills quarterly, monthly or even weekly. “Direct Debit can help our customers to budget their repayments and you also get a ÂŁ5 reduction on your annual water bill so it is really worth considering,â€? said Iain. Switching to Direct Debit is easy – phone us on 0845 746 2222 and we’ll do the rest.

We offer a range of free services to help customers who: qBSF PMEFS qIBWF B EJTBCJMJUZ qIBWF B TFSJPVT JMMOFTT qIBWF TJHIU IFBSJOH PS MFBSOJOH EJGÄ DVMUJFT Our services include: qQFSTPOBM OPUJÄ DBUJPO PG XBUFS TIVUPGGT qMBSHF QSJOU #SBJMMF BOE UBMLJOH CJMMT

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We also offer a free password scheme for all our customers.

To find out more call 0845 746 1100. If you have hearing or speech difficulties and use a textphone, please dial 18001 followed by the number you require. 01/13/SD/5538


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Thousands face losing freedom

All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

INDEPENDENT LIVING

Problem solved – in a flash FLASHING doorbells and vibrating alarm clocks are extremely useful devices for people with hearing difficulties. These and hundreds of other helpful items are available in a new catalogue from the charity Action on Hearing Loss. The new Solutions catalogue contains 132 pages packed with lifechanging products and great ideas for people of any age. There are amplified phones, gadgets for hearing the TV clearly (without disturbing others!), devices to relieve the effects of tinnitus, conversation amplifiers and many more products designed to make life easier, safer and more enjoyable. Mark Catling, from Action on Hearing Loss, said: “We’re the only national charity offering a full range of products for people with a hearing loss. We provide impartial advice and our surveys show that 98% of people who try our products find them a great help.” n Customer line: 01733 361199. Textphone: 01733 238020 www.actiononhearingl oss.org.uk/shop

T

HE Government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund – which helps more than 19,000 disabled people with the highest needs to live independently – has been blasted by campaigners.

From April 2015 the funding will transfer to local authorities and other bodies. National charity Disability Rights UK believes the decision risks disabled people’s independence and opportunity to live with families, friends and in communities. And they fear it could see a return to obligatory residential care home placements. Liz Sayce, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We have a real crisis in care with local authorities restricting access to support for many disabled people. “We are extremely concerned that the Government is now adding to the enormous pressure on local authorities, disabled people and carers without taking steps to resolve the funding crisis.” The charity says the Government must clarify that a sustainable, sufficient funding system is in place for disabled people currently supported by the ILF as well as other disabled people with high support needs. Ms Sayce added: “As the plans stand, we fear councils will continue to deny disabled people, older people and carers support as well as increase charges for essential services which will drive people deeper into poverty. “We also fear this is a retrograde step, watering down rights to independent living and ability to live in disabled people’s own homes.”

DESERVED RECOGNITION: Pam receiving her award from the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Steve Wright

Life President honour for Pam PAM THOMPSON was appointed Honorary Life President of Warrington Disability Partnership in a ceremony at Warrington Town Hall. Pam received the title for her devotion and unstinting loyalty to her family and husband, Dave Thompson, who set up WDP after being paralysed in an American football game 23 years ago.

It is with Pam’s continued support that provided the means for Dave to continue his working life and chairmanship of WDP. Pam is also an integral part of the charity’s fundraising team and works on a voluntary basis at the Centre for Independent Living at Beaufort Street. Colleague Rachel Hanlon said: “Pam is an inspiration to us all.”

Mobility & Independent Living Service High Quality Mobility Products at Affordable Prices

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450,000 PEOPLE ARE READING TAKE ME HOME! THIS PAGE — call us 0151 230 0307

Registered Company Ltd No: 4726639 Registered Charity No: 1113597

01925 240064 & 0151 709 0121 www.disabilitytradingcompany.co.uk www.disabilitypartnership.org.uk

Services available in Warrington at the Centre for Independent Living, Warrington Market, Golden Square & Shopmobility and new service available from the Liverpool Disabled Living Centre from 2nd April.

A NEW one stop shop for all disability-related matters has opened in Lancaster. Set up by the Lancashire charity One Voice, with support from TGA mobility scooter specialist Cumbria Mobility, the new Independent Me Living Centre is managed by disabled people and carers with four parttime members and 20 volunteers. The centre was opened by Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, and was attended by Councillor Robert Redfern, the deputy mayor of Lancaster, board members of One Voice and over 100 local residents and healthcare professionals.

Helping older people stay put PEOPLE in specially adapted homes avoid stays in expensive residential care homes, a new report says. And regular visits from support workers slow the deterioration of a person’s health and reduces the need for costly medical intervention. Providing an Alternative Pathway, released this week by the National Housing Federation, takes an in-depth look at how people’s lives have changed when housing associations and their support workers are involved in aftercare decisions with councils and local hospitals. Integrating housing with health and social care can not only improve the lives of vulnerable and older people – but also save thousands of pounds in health and care costs, the report says. National Housing Federation Head of Communities Kevin Williamson said: “It can bring independence to those with physical disabilities, dignity to older people and provide a safe and secure environment for people with mental health illnesses.”

Guidance The Federation now want the Government to set out clear proposals on the funding of social care reform, and to include explicit guidance on integrating housing and healthcare in the draft Care and Support Bill. Mr Williamson added: “For housing associations to develop the right type of homes for older and vulnerable people, they also need places where they can build. The Department of Health can help by encouraging the NHS to consider specialised housing when distributing their surplus land.”


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

13

Life-savers on the front line

Food glorious food EVERYONE A WINNER: Meet the volnteers who are helping to spread some very important health messages

O

VER the past few months, staff from across our Trust have been generously donating tonnes of non-perishable food items to foodbank collection points that are now located around a number of our staff buildings across Merseyside.

The UK’s leading foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust, recently reported an astonishing 100% rise in the number of people needing to access support from foodbanks nationally, and foodbanks here in Merseyside tell us that they are struggling to meet demand. Bernie Cuthel, chief executive of LCH, said: “Everyday people in the communities where we live and work experience food poverty because of problems such as sudden redundancy, high or unexpected bills, and delays in benefits payment. “Many of our staff work in frontline community healthcare roles and regularly see families who are affected by these

LCH has just launched our brand new and interactive patient website. The new site will help you find the right service for you with three simple clicks. You will also be able to watch videos about our services, ask questions, get involved in discussions via forums, leave feedback, and rate the health service you have used. Through the site, your GP can also find referral information for all our services, and you can browse service leaflets to help make the right choice for your care. There is also an exclusive Members Area where you can sign up for free as a member of the Trust to have your say in the future of community health services, vote for, or become, a Membership Governor, and benefit from a range of discounts available to NHS staff.

issues, so as a Trust we decided that we wanted to do more to help families that are struggling this winter, and the response back from our staff has been incredible.” More than 30 large boxes of food have already been donated by staff to local foodbanks since the appeal launched. Paul Edwards, manager of Central Liverpool Foodbank, said; “We really want to say a massive thanks to all of the staff at Liverpool Community Health for their incredible generosity in donating all this food

To find out more, visit . . .

to us this winter. We simply can’t thank them enough!” A number of Trust staff members have also volunteered to go and lend a helping hand at their local foodbank distribution centres. The Trust was first introduced to the foodbank by Luciana Berger, MP for Wavertree. She said: “I’m delighted that the LCH appeal has been so successful and I want to add my thanks to all the staff that made a donation. “Having visited foodbanks in Liverpool and across the county I know that contributions like this make such a difference to people’s lives. “Everyone involved should be very proud of what they’ve achieved in such a short space of time.” There are now almost 300 foodbanks now operating throughout the UK, each run entirely by local community groups and volunteers.

www.trusselltrust.org

OUR Healthy Communities Collaborative hosted an evening celebration to thank its team of community volunteers for the important contribution that they have made to improving people’s health over the last year. The Healthy Communities Collaborative is an award-winning health initiative that is working with residents across Liverpool to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung, breast and bowel cancer. The initiative, which has been hugely effective in increasing early detection, trains volunteers and encourages them to spread cancer awareness messages, using highly targeted, word-of-mouth campaigns. During the evening, three exceptional volunteers also received volunteering awards from LCH in recognition of their work.

Award winners Tinuola Odukogbe, from Kensington, was named the Trust’s ‘Most Engaging Volunteer 2012’. Lyn Nevin, from Wirral, was named ‘Biggest Achiever 2012’, and Areej Shams Khan, from Wavertree, was also presented with a ‘Special Award 2012’ for going “above and beyond” in her work for the cancer initiative. Tina Davies-Taylor, senior project manager for Healthy Communities Collaborative, said: “Here in Merseyside, our lung cancer mortality rates are amongst the highest in Europe. Our rates for bowel and breast cancer are still very high too. But the good news is that the situation is really improving. “Having community volunteers and health professionals working so closely together has been key to our success in reducing cancer and keeping communities healthy.”

www.liverpoolcommunityhealth.nhs.uk


All Together NOW!

14

MERSEYTRAVEL

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Bus routes are altered as transport forums give power to the people

Mencap delight at cash boost

Getting your way A

NTI-SOCIAL behaviour and burying the dead were two of the problems tackled at meetings between Merseytravel and their passengers.

Merseytravel’s latest round of Customer Forums gave public transport users from across the county the opportunity to air their views.

Councillors and representatives from Merseytravel, Merseyside Police, British Transport Police

and transport operators including Arriva, Stagecoach, Northern Rail and Merseyrail attended the events in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. ‘Travel Surgeries’ at each venue offered one-to-one advice and information and there was lively debate about how to address antisocial behavior. Since re-launching the forums last summer, Merseytravel has been able to act on a number of requests, including the

introduction of an hourly service – put on by Huyton Transport – calling at Springwood Crematorium and implementing revised bus timetables to better serve the communities that use them. Also as a result of feedback from the forums, Avon buses have made improvements to two of their services: The 83 bus, which runs between Birkenhead and West Kirby, has been re-routed to operate along Borough Road and

Prenton Road West and a revised timetable for the 183 and 184 services between the City Centre and Penny Lane has been developed in consultation with users. The next batch of Customer Forums will be held in mid-April and are open to all. A full schedule will be posted on the Merseytravel website www.merseytravel.gov.uk, tel. 0151 330 1200, email forums@merseytravel.gov.uk

We care about the accessibility of our buildings, vehicles and information. All of our staff are trained to be courteous and considerate, particularly when our customers have special requirements.

Merseytravel is making sure that Public Transport on Merseyside is easy for everyone to use

Whether it be automatic door openers in our head office, availability of textphones for main points of contact, or producing timetables in large print, we want to make public transport easier for everyone to use. Among our services and facilities are: U Àii Vœ˜ViÃȜ˜>ÀÞ ÌÀ>Ûi vœÀ œÛiÀ {n]äää «iœ«iÊ with disabilities U œ`iÀ˜] œÜ‡yœœÀ] >VViÃÈLi LÕÃià ܅ˆV… >ÀiÊ developed in partnership with our local authorities and bus companies U ˜vœÀ“>̈œ˜ ˆ˜ > Û>ÀˆiÌÞ œv vœÀ“>Ìà ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜} ̅iÊ iÀÃiÞÌÀ>Ûi VViÃà Ո`i q Vœ˜Ì>ˆ˜ˆ˜} >VViÃÃÊ ÊÊÊ`iÌ>ˆÃÊvœÀÊ>ÊLÕÃÊ>˜`ÊÀ>ˆÊÃÌ>̈œ˜Ãʜ˜ÊiÀÃiÞÈ`i Textphone users can dial 18001 then 0871 200 22 33 for a text relay assisted call

0871 200 22 33 Calls costs 10p per minute from land lines, mobiles may vary

A NEW project paid for by Merseytravel aims to turn people with learning difficulties into confident travellers. Mencap Liverpool is a standalone local charity dedicated to helping families and individuals with a learning disability to overcome the many barriers they face in having a life most people take for granted.

Although affiliated with the national charity Mencap (the Royal Mencap Society), Mencap Liverpool is a separate charity run by local people and all the money raised is used to benefit people with a learning disability living in Merseyside. Cash from Merseytravel will be used for a transport project, helping members become familiar with using public transport and overcoming any barriers that they have previously encountered. The charity’s chief executive, Sarah Jones, said: “We are absolutely delighted we have been chosen as Merseytravel’s corporate charity of the year for 2013.

Safe travel “The project Merseytravel will support couldn’t be more appropriate as it will promote safe and accessible transport for people with learning disabilities.” Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, added: “Merseytravel’s Community Investment Policy sets out our commitment to charitable activities by supporting the community in ways that extend above our core duties, with time, skills, money and expertise and our staff always enthusiastically get involved. “Our Community Partnership team work extensively in the community, promoting access to public transport and making it easier for people with learning disabilities to travel independently, so working with Mencap Liverpool is a perfect fit.”


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

15

America here I come

E

VEN for a woman of Joy Rainey’s expertise and experience, her next big motoring challenge is – if she’ll forgive the expression – a tall order.

REVVING UP: Joy Rainey aboard her 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout that she hopes will get her across America

Joy, a racing driver of restricted growth, is well prepared for a near-3,000-mile drive across America in a 109-year-old car after a successful motor sport career during which she has collected scores of titles and broken several records. That’s not forgetting taking part in the London to Sydney Marathon, in 2004, and the 5,000-mile Carrera Sudamericana two years later. But her USA adventure, starting from the Pacific coast on April 14, and taking in 6,000-foot high mountains and blisteringly hot deserts along the way, will

by GERRY CORNER

have to be done without her long-time partner and co-driver Trevor Hulks. The 60-year-old from Wickhamford, in Worcestershire, was first invited to take on the epic coast-to-coast journey a few months after Trevor’s death in 2010. But, she says, “in my heart then, I did not think that I could take on such a challenging trip without my soul mate”. However, Trevor had prepared the 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout for the 2,826-mile test of skill and endurance and Joy has now decided to go ahead in his honour and attempt to raise £20,000 for Cancer Research. Continued Page 17


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February/March 2013

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“After considerable soulsearching and encouragement from old and new friends, I have decided that this challenge feels like unfinished business”, she said By way of a short – 60 miles, to be precise – warm-up, she recently took part in her umpteenth London-Brighton veteran car run along with Formula One legend Stirling Moss and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Being both small of stature and a woman might have been enough to put most people off getting involved in the maledominated world of motor sport. Not Joy, indeed she left every man trailing when she lifted the title of Castrol Midland Hillclimb Classic Car Champion. Joy said: “I have never had any negative comments, to my face, regarding my stature and no-one has ever tried to dissuade me from competing. “I have not thought as myself as being different in the world

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of motor-sport. I always feel that we are all controlling a mechanical object and whether you are female or male, short or tall, is of no significance. One’s success is not related to physical characteristics but – perhaps – talent. “My father was a very famous racing driver, also short stature, and I was brought up in that environment, so it wasn’t an alien world when I first started competing at 16 with a GoKart. I won that race which was quite exciting.” Of the epic drive from from Oceanside, California, to Daytona Beach, Florida, Joy said: “I think this one might be the most challenging. The car is 109 years old, and although it has been professionally prepared by Trevor for this trip, it’s still an old car. And yes I’m nervous but I want to be successful.” n You can follow Joy’s progress online at: joy-across-america.com

Ellena W

HEN Ellena Gilrane having muscular d going to stop her g the big wide world. But it was when she got a b that parents Jill and Peter Gi Lancashire, hit problems with Jill explains: “Ellena relies o for getting out and about. We hoist in our boot so we could wheelchair but she recently g couldn’t fit in the boot.” “I shopped around to see w vehicles were available but m were too narrow for Ellena’s Then I came across the Peug has the option of a wider ram This new model, the Horizo

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ernow.org.uk

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February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

Motability keeps its distance . . . CAR CRISIS

a’s life in the fast lane NEW HORIZONS: Ellena and mum Jill and their new Peugeot Horizon

e reached 18, dystrophy was not getting out into

big wide wheelchair ilrane, from h their standard car. on her wheelchair e used to have a d transport her got a new chair that

what wheelchair many of the ramps new wheelchair. geot Horizon, which mp.” on SE, comes with a

wealth of features including a wider, lightweight wheelchair ramp designed for those who have a larger wheelchair or scooter. Add to this a lowered floor and full wheelchair restraint system and it’s easy to see that Horizon SE has been built with the wheelchair passenger in mind. The car also comes with a choice of manual or automatic. “We booked a home demonstration so we could try it out for ourselves and make sure it was right for us. Our mobility consultant, Peter, brought the car to our home and talked us through it. “We tested the ramp and then took it out for a spin. It was ideal for Ellena’s new wheelchair.” Jill added: “Having an access ramp’s great. Ellena can stay in her wheelchair so it makes travelling more comfortable and enjoyable for

her. It’s also better for Peter and I as we no longer need to lift her in and out of the car. “As well as studying child care at Blackburn College, Ellena loves shopping, going to the cinema and Zumba classes with her grandma – she has a busy life! The best thing about having a car with wheelchair access is how easily and quickly we can pick Ellena up and drop her off.” Jill adds: “The service we received from Allied Mobility was great. All the staff were very helpful. When our car was delivered the driver made sure we were happy and took the time to show us the vehicle again. It was fantastic service all round.” n Allied Helpline: 0800 916 3018, email info@alliedmobility.com www.alliedmobility.com

THE charity that helps disabled people get on the road has refused to enter the row over cuts to Disability Living Allowance. Motability chief DeclanO’Mahony insisted he was not in a position to “wave a wand” over Government changes to DLA. Government figures suggest that more than 400,000 fewer disabled people will be eligible for a Motability vehicle in 2018 as a result of the reforms, which will see DLA replaced with the new personal independence payment (PIP). Mr O’Mahony, director of Motability, said he knew that some of his more than 600,000 customers would lose their cars over the next five years but would not attempt to soften the Government’s position. He said Motability was “not a lobbying organisation” and therefore was not trying to persuade the Coalition that its customers needed their vehicles. “We are not responsible for

by JOHN PRING

the Government’s choices about policy. We are not in a position to wave a wand for any customer who loses their eligibility,” he said. “All we can do is manage that impact with that customer as best we can and we are working on a package of transitional measures for such customers.” Only those who receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP will be eligible to stay on the Motability scheme. Reassessment of existing working-age DLA claimants will begin this October, although those with a lifetime DLA award will now not be reassessed until at least October 2015. Motability has previously suggested – during a workshop at a Disability Rights UK conference last November – that up to 100,000 of its customers could lose their eligibility for the scheme in the three years to 2016.

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OPINION

All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

More generous benefits for the military are totally wrong

SOUNDING OFF!

with Sir BERT MASSIE

It shouldn’t matter how people become disabled

T

HE MODERN welfare state is broadly based on the principles of the Beveridge Report published in

1942.

Beveridge took the same view as the Victorians who thought that people had a duty to help themselves. The social security system based on his report was to be paid for by national insurance contributions. Benefits were mostly intended for those who had made contributions. The social security system made only the most basic provision for those disabled from childhood or whose disability could not be attributed to military or industrial service. Then, as now, most disabled people were twice as likely as non-disabled people to be at the low end of the income scale. Following successful campaigns by disability organisations new social security benefits were later introduced that were not dependent on national insurance contributions. These included what is now known as Disability Living Allowance, Severe Disability Income and Attendance Allowance.

‘Strivers’ and ‘scroungers’ There was wide acceptance that these benefits were justified and they have improved the lives of millions of disabled people. But for any social security system to survive and work effectively it must have the support of the people who are paying for it. To make cuts in support to disabled people acceptable there has been a growing campaign in Parliament and the press to divide people between the strivers who work for their living and scroungers who lie in bed. “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark

Motability scheme and would fail to qualify hours of the early morning, who looks up under the new regime. at the closed blinds of their next door It is therefore proposed to introduce a new neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?” allowance that would favour people disabled – to quote the Chancellor. while in the armed forces. The eligibility This is no less than an attempt to build up criteria will be much more generous than that hostility against disabled people and those for PIP and the Prime Minister has unable to work. No attempt is made to announced that former military personnel will differentiate between those who choose not not be required to be reassessed as others to work and those unable to work for reasons will be. of health or disability. The Government will justify this by arguing it The unemployment rate amongst the is supporting the military covenant. But it also general population is 7.8%. raises a number of issues: Is an injury 71.2% were in work in November 2012 experienced by a member of the armed compared to 48.9% of disabled people of forces more worthy than the same injury working age. Only 33% of disabled people experience by a fire fighter or police officer in work full time. the line of duty? There are many reasons for this, such as Are any of these people more worthy of the degree of people’s impairment, the lack of support than the civilian who has the same enforcement of equality laws and the failure injury playing sport or a person who is born of the Government to support disabled with the same level of impairment? people. Is it wise to base policy not on the extent of This year DLA will be abolished and a new a person’s impairment and need but on the allowance, the Personal Independence reasons why the impairment exists? Payment, (PIP), introduced to cut costs by 20%, regardless of need. To gain public support for such cuts press stories have appeared suggesting that people claiming DLA are driving around in Mercedes Disability and poverty have long been bed and BMWs supplied through the Motability companions. Although it is unlikely to be the charity while their neighbours could not afford intention of the currently government to retain such cars. it, this will be the effect of current policies. The two most widely used cars on the Already we have the deserving and Motability scheme are the Ford Focus and undeserving poor implanted into the public Vauxhall Astra – but that spoils the story. mind but even disabled people are to be However, the Government has a problem. If divided into the deserving and undeserving. the reductions are too Draconian the There will be reduced support for the former electorate responds, so their concerns need and even less for the latter. to be addressed. One way to do this is to The lesson for those who are not yet create a more generous scheme for those disabled but will become so, is choose judged to be disabled and carefully how you acquire your deserving. disability because future support will Many people injured in TAKE ME HOME! depend on the moral value that is the armed forces use the placed upon it.

450,000 readers . . .

‘Deserving’ and ‘undeserving’

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DISAPPOINTED: David Weir

T

HE publication of the New Years honours list brought its usual disputes but with an added twist. Wheelchair racer David Weir was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and expressed disappointed not to have been knighted. Was he right to suggest the honours system was unfair to disabled athletes? The Olympians were awarded 38 honours and the Paralympians 28, more than a quarter fewer despite winning almost twice as many medals. Five people received the highest honours of Dame of the British Empire (DBE) or Knight Bachelor. The Paracycling gold medallist Sharon Storey was appointed as a DBE. Storey has won 11 gold medals, which equals that of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who was appointed a DBE in 2005. How does that compare with non-disabled athletes? Four men received a knighthood for their role in the Olympics including two for their coaching services. Ben Ainslie was knighted for services to rowing and Bradley Wiggins for services to cycling. Both have won four gold medals. Weir was the only disabled athlete to be appointed a CBE. His record is 6 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 Bronze. The others appointed CBE were Katherine Grainger, 1 gold; Jessica Ennis, 1 gold: Mo Farah, 2 gold; and Victoria Pendleton, 2 gold. Missing from this Honours List was Lee Pearson, the disabled equestrian who won a gold, silver and bronze medals. He said he was disappointed not to have been knighted. He was appointed a CBE in 2009 and has now won 10 gold medals. On the evidence it seems that Weir and Pearson are right and wrong. Compared to non-disabled Olympians, disabled Olympians need to earn more gold medals to gain the same awards in the Birthday and New Year Honours Lists. But compared to the standards required from disabled athletes, Weir has to win another five gold’s to gain a knighthood, and Pearson just one. It seems all medals are not equal.

So were these honours fair . . ?

. . . .and GROWING FAST


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February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

New start-up boost

EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . . EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . .

B

UDDING entrepreneurs who have a disability are getting extra help to get started.

New money from the Government’s Access to Work programme will help to pay for specialised equipment, support workers and travel costs. The measure aims to further boost the number of disabled people who are self-employed, which is half a million people or 15% of disabled people in work. Esther McVey, Minister for Disabled People, said: “If 2013 is the year aspiring disabled people

want to set up a business - then Access to Work can help. “We’ve opened up our flagship programme so that disabled people have the same choice to start up their own business as everyone else - in every sector, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between. “Through this scheme I am determined to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs.” The scheme will aid disabled people who are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance, which provides expert coaching and financial support for jobseekers

who have a business idea. Last year Access to Work helped over 30,000 disabled people keep or get jobs, with around 4,500 working in small businesses. Research also shows that around half (45%) of Access to Work customers would be out of work if they did not receive support through the scheme. To be eligible for the programme you must: n Have a disability or health condition that stops you from being able to do parts of your job;

Bold by name, bold by nature Enterprising Merseyside: Helping people into business

R

EMEMBER when Stuart Pearce smashed THAT penalty into the net against Spain at Euro ‘96 and laid to rest the ghost of his crucial miss against Germany at Italia ‘90? Remember the outpouring of emotion and the jubilation that followed? “That’s how I felt when I became my own boss!” chuckles Mike Bold (pictured right), an experienced chartered surveyor who overcame the double blow of ill-health and redundancy in 2011 to launch his own business just one year later. Forty-something Mike had never been unemployed, but found himself on Disability Living Allowance after undergoing daunting spinal surgery and losing his job. “Redundancy was a

Mike’s in control!

massive shock,” admits Mike, “a real confidence blow. Now I’m in control of my own destiny – and it feels great.” Mike simply wasn’t ready for the scrapheap. But while he had a wealth of experience in his chosen profession, Mike knew that if he was to start his own business he would need support. And that’s where Enterprising Merseyside came in. A visit to his local Chamber of Commerce opened up a whole new world of EU-funded advice and support Mike never

knew existed. “When you’re unemployed, you think you’re on your own” says Mike. “You’re not! I was amazed at what was on offer. “I was allocated a mentor whose enthusiasm and support was a massive boost after what I’d been through.” Next Mike attended a sixpart business start-up course at St Helens Chamber, which covered essentials such as tax and national insurance. Landgate Property Consultants was born. But that wasn’t the end of his relationship with Enterprising Merseyside. “They helped develop my ideas and get me started,” says Mike, “and I have the comfort of knowing that I can turn to them for help and advice whenever I need it.” Mike’s got a lot to offer. So have you...

n Have work-related costs because of the disability or health condition; Be 16 or over and in a paid job, or unemployed and about to start a job, or unemployed and about to start a Jobcentre Plus Work Trial, or self-employed. Types of support that can be provided under the programme include special aids and equipment, support workers, travel to work, travel in work, communicator support at interview. n Full details at www.gov.uk

Inclusion fears for Academies THE GOVERNMENT’s Academy School programme is undermining good inclusive education practice for disabled pupils, says a national campaigning network. The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFE) says the Academies Commission’s report, Unleashing Greatness, Getting the Best from an Academised System highlights the growing evidence that mainstream academies are not using their resources to build and develop inclusive education practice but instead are excluding and segregating pupils into alternative provision. n www.allfie.org.uk

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All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . .RIGHTS . . . EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . .

The fun route to learning TAKE ME HOME!

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HALF of all people learn best through hearing or movement – not by reading and writing. And yet that half of the population is often ignored by a “one size fits all” approach to education. So when a theatre director, a banker and a teacher – who love learning but hate sitting still – got together to think about a new kind of resource for schools, now>press>play was born. now>press>play, described as an educational silent disco, involves children putting on wireless headphones and being plunged into the world of their topic – whether maths, history, science or English. They become a character and play out a story that fuses narrative, sound and music and brings the curriculum to life. Remi Atoyebi, head teacher of an inner city primary school, said: “I was astounded by the quality and depth of the children’s engagement.

“Especially given the high proportion of children with English as an additional language in the school, you could see how everything came to life for them, and it really came through in their classwork as well.” Alice Lacey, co-founder of now>press>play, said: “We need to make our education system meet the needs of children, not the other way round. “Children learn best when they can relate to their topic emotionally and socially, as part of the real world.” Mattie, a year 6 pupil who took part in now>press>play’s World War II experience, said: “Everything was so real, it felt like I was really there. It was like I was actually a child in the Blitz.” When surveyed, 84.3% of teachers said that now>press>play “very much improved their classes’ understanding of their topic”. n www.now>press>play.co.uk

Lorraine calls it a day after 14 years at the helm

Signing off!

T MID CHESHIRE IS A FULLY INCLUSIVE COLLEGE

Don’t miss out Come along to our Advice and Guidance Evenings Thursdays December February 14 & or 28,January March 14 Thursdays 6th 10th or 24th 7.00 – 8.00pm at Hartford Campus, Northwich

HE FOUNDER and chief executive of North Westbased disability rights organisation Breakthrough UK is stepping down after 14 years.

Lorraine Gradwell, who set up the charity in 1998 with Manchester City Council, will continue campaigning for disabled people’s rights in a nonexecutive role. Breakthrough UK has enabled more than 6,000 disabled people to find fulltime employment, work experience or training opportunities. It has 40 staff – 70% of whom are disabled – based in offices in Manchester and Liverpool. Lorraine said: “It has been an absolute privilege to guide Breakthrough UK and work with such talented colleagues over the past 14 years.

“Breakthrough UK has been classed as ‘ground-breaking’ following numerous evaluations and that’s something I’m immensely proud of. “I might be retiring from my role as chief executive - but I have every intention of continuing to campaign for disabled people’s rights in the future both in the North West and nationally.” In her role as chief executive, Lorraine has also acted as an advisor on disability policy to local, regional and national Government. She has worked extensively on two Ministerial Advisory Committees – the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) Disability Employment Advisory Committee and the Department for Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Small Business Council.

We need MORE job help MORE support should be provided for disabled workers, says the author of a new Government report. Liz Sayce, head of Disability Rights UK, welcomed an extension of the Access to Work scheme to include some disabled entrepreneurs. But she called on the Government to make AtW available for every type of work experience, traineeship, internship and business set-up. Disability minister Esther McVey admitted last October that spending on AtW had plummeted from £107 million in 2010-2011 to just £93 million in 201112, while the number of disabled people claiming funding had fallen from 37,000 in 2009-10 to just over 30,000 in 2011-12. The following month, a series of measures were announced – including allowing disabled people on NEA to claim AtW support – to strengthen and improve the scheme.

Risk Some of the measures were recommended by Ms Sayce in her 2011 report for the Government on employment support programmes. “It is vital that Access to Work should be available for all the major routes into employment including setting up your own business, work experience, traineeships and internships,” she said. “Otherwise disabled people who need simple things like an interpreter or support worker will have no chance of equality in getting into employment.” She said this risk was particularly acute for young disabled people, who risk becoming a new generation lost to employment - being twice as likely as young nondisabled people to be not in education, employment or training.

Tell 450,000 readers about your college


February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

. . . EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS

CBE for College Principal MID Cheshire College principal John Reilly was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honour List for services to further education. Mr Reilly, who will be retiring at the end of the year, said: “I must say, this award came as a complete surprise. I have really enjoyed my 10 years as Principal of Mid Cheshire College. “The staff have worked tremendously hard to transform this college into one of the very best. Although these awards go to the person in charge of the organisation, everyone at the college can feel that their achievement in creating a truly outstanding

HONOUR: John Reilly college has been recognised.” The college has gone from strength to strength since Mr Reilly took on the role in 2002. In 2008 Mid Cheshire College was judged to be “outstanding” by Ofsted,

achieving a clean slate of Grade 1s. A year later, the Hartford and Winsford-based institution was awarded Beacon College status, the highest accolade in the further education sector. George Studd, chair of the Governors at Mid Cheshire College, said: “The transformation and development of the college over the past 10 years under the leadership of John Reilly has been quite remarkable. This award could not be more deserved.” Mr Reilly is now looking forward to attending a special investiture, during the summer, at Buckingham Palace where he will be awarded his medal.

Making that big step so much easier

A

UNIQUE scheme to help people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome into work has been backed by Disability Minister Esther McVey. The minister heard details of the scheme when she visited the Wirral Autistic Society, which received a £265,000 grant from the Big Lottery to fund the Step into Work programme. Ms McVey, MP for Wirral West, said: “There is no doubt that people with autism and Asperger’s can find the world of work a considerable challenge but with the right help and support they can enjoy success. “I am most impressed by the way the Step into Work programme is helping to bridge the gap into employment and look

Autism scheme success forward to hearing more success stories as the programme rolls forward.” The scheme involves training, advice and support for both those seeking work and employers themselves. So far 17 people have successfully completed 12week work placement programmes and more are in the pipeline. Programme manager Beverley Breen said: “One of their biggest barriers to employment is difficulty understanding the social aspects of work which

means people have difficulty relating to supervisors or other workers, difficulties understanding instructions, tone of voice and facial expressions or asking too many questions. “However, with the right support people with autism and Asperger’s can contribute effectively to the workplace.” Only 15% of people with Asperger’s are in full-time paid employment and the vast majority of employers have little or no understanding of the problems they face.

n Anyone interested in joining the free programme should contact Beverley Breen on 07755 7859000 or 0151 643 5551.

. . . call 0151 230 0307

TAKE ME HOME!

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All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

Male problems missed

S

PACE is important to all of us, not least if you are feeling irritable or unwell; and it’s certainly true of people who are in mental distress.

For all of us the space we are in and the space that surrounds us has a strong relationship to the way we feel and the way we react and behave as a result. Our physical environment – the way it smells looks, feels, and sounds – can make us feel comfortable, anxious, safe or threatened and a million things inbetween. There is plenty of hugely interesting research around this, but we know for ourselves and our own daily experiences this is the case. All our senses are affected in relation to our environment, our sense of wellbeing included. So it’s probably an understatement to say I was really pleased that 2013 has got off to a flying start with confirmation from the Department of Health and Treasury that our Trust can go ahead with its development of the old Walton Hospital site in North Liverpool. We can now start work on building a new light and airy mental health facility with beds in a space that has been developed with service users and carers working closely with staff on designs to encompass space that contributes to recovery. Every patient will have their own bedroom and en suite, access to activity

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

SIGNS of depression are less likely to be picked up in men than in women, new research shows.

Beatrice Fraenkel chair, Mersey Care NHS rooms and communal areas, as well as safe, open space, provided by inner courtyard gardens facing the ward areas. It combines high quality, modern therapeutic mental health environments for local people in the communities where they are needed. I WOULD like to thank every one of those 1,643 people who attended our recent public consultation meetings and events to hear about our future plans and give their views on our application to become a new Foundation Trust. In total we had 1,324 responses to the public consultation. Thanks to you all we are on track to submit our application in April 2013 and we hope to be authorised by the end of December 2013.

A fascinating UK study involved more than 1,200 people being asked to spot symptoms of depression in fictional male and female characters. The results showed that being able to correctly diagnose the illness depended on the gender of both the sufferer and the person trying to identify it.

Scepticism Both male and female respondents were more likely to indicate that a male was not suffering from a mental health disorder compared to a female. And women were more likely than men to indicate that the male character suffered from

a mental health disorder, the study showed. Not only that but attitudes toward those with depression were associated with respondents’ attitudes toward seeking psychological help, psychiatric scepticism, and anti-scientific attitudes. Dr Viren Swami, at the University of Westminster, said: “The results of this research are significant for initiatives aimed at enhancing mental health literacy, which should consider the impact of gender stereotypes and attitudes towards helpseeking behaviors. “I am confident that this study will open up new possibilities to look into the issues of depression and mental health disorders and stir attention towards these sensitive subjects.”

Hope for T

HOUSANDS of people who die as a result of diabetic wounds could be saved thanks to a new invention by Oxford boffins. The 3D imaging camera could revolutionise the treatment of wounds, or ulcers, which are caused by diabetes and frequently result in the loss of a limb. At present, only half of people undergoing such amputations survive for more than two years. The new camera, invented by Professor Ron Daniel and Dr James Paterson, from Oxford University, uses four high-powered flashes to take crucial measurements with far more speed, consistency and accuracy than is currently possible in hospitals, say the makers. Antiquated methods used in

New 3D camera is flash of genius hospitals to assess wounds have included tracing paper and a pencil, or just the naked eye. Dr Paterson said: “One of the risks of inaccurate measurement and treatment of diabetic wounds is amputation, with 50% of people who have a major amputation dying within two years. “Through the use of the Eykona system, many of

these amputations could be avoided through more precise, efficient and effective care resulting from accurate 3D measurement.” The 3D imaging camera could potentially also bring huge savings in healthcare. The total cost of diabetic ulceration and amputation in the UK amounts to between £640m and £660m every year. Dr Paterson added: “By replacing archaic, basic and expensive processes, Eykona is not just saving time and money, but lives. It means more measurements can be taken, in less time, by any number of health care professionals.” The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine is already using the device to help treat the wounds of soldiers in Afghanistan.

Telephone therapy is here PEOPLE with mental health problems can now get therapy without even leaving home. Talking therapy over the phone has been shown to be just as helpful as a face-toface session. Out of 39,000 patients taking part in a new study, talking to a therapist on the phone proved every bit as helpful for all but the most severely ill. The alternative treatment is a good solution for people who may have trouble making a traditional appointment due to such things as work commitments, transport problems or physical disability, thus making mental health services more accessible to those who need them.

Therapy by phone also saves the NHS money, with the cost per session working out more than a third cheaper, according to the research at the University of Cambridge. On the back of the study results, NHS Midlands & East has instigated a regional training programme to standardise service delivery and ensure therapists are competent at phone contact. Professor Peter Jones, from the University of Cambridge, said: “Providing therapy over the phone will not only help individuals gain muchneeded access to mental health treatment, it will provide a more cost effective way of providing these services at a time when everyone is concerned about cutting costs.”

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February/March 2013

All Together NOW!

Heart beat star!

MATTERS OF THE HEART: Professor John Greenman

TINY bits of a human heart can now continue to beat outside the body, bringing hopes of better treatment. A team of English researchers have successfully developed a system that allows heart tissue removed from patients to function as though it was still in the human body. The breakthrough means both healthy and diseased heart tissue can be examined in life-like conditions, and heart attacks can be simulated in ways that have not been possible. The system could become an important research tool for scientists – helping them understand more about the processes involved in heart disease and to develop new treatments. A University of Hull research team, led by Professor John Greenman, carried out the research thanks to a grant of £199,728 from Heart Research UK. Barbara Harpham, of Heart Research UK said: “The work the Hull team have been doing is not only exciting, but could ultimately make heart surgery even safer.”

thousands F

IFTY thousand people suffering with fractures that won’t heal could be set to benefit from a unique bone healing device.

The machine – which has won crucial support from the health watchdog NICE – could avoid thousands of patients in the UK resorting to complex surgery to fix the bone using a metal plate. This can involve taking bone from their pelvis to be grafted into the fracture site, and leave them unable to work and often relying on friends and family to get about. The EXOGEN Ultrasound Bone Healing System – which uses a unique ultrasound signal to stimulate broken bones to heal naturally – has been shown to have the same success rate as surgery and could save the NHS millions of pounds. But its use in the NHS has been inconsistent, with some doctors having to persuade hospital managers to fund it.

Pain free However, the new NICE guidance found that the surgery it replaces costs nearly £1,200 more. Patients using EXOGEN place an ultrasound probe on the skin for 20 minutes a day and the treatment, done at home, is entirely pain free with no known side effects. For use by patients with plaster casts, a hole is left in the cast over the fracture. Some people live with a fracture for several years waiting for healing to occur, blighting their lives and requiring them to make regular visits to fracture clinics. NICE looked at 17 separate clinical studies involving over 1,700 patients and concluded that the clinical

Plan to reduce toll of arthritis FOUR out of every five people with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from at least one other disease, an alarming report reveals.

MILES OF SMILES: Tracy with Robert and friends

Thanks for my babies TRACY Cirin was pregnant with twins when she got the devastating news that she had an eye tumour two years ago. Despite the need for treatment, Tracy was desperate not to put her babies at risk by having them induced before the end of the full term. She was able to do just that thanks to the care provided by a world-renowned eye cancer centre based on Merseyside. Under the supervision of the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Tracy was able to give birth to twin girls Sophie and Chloe after completing a normal pregnancy, and then began treatment for her eye tumour.

Tracy was keen to show her gratitude and signed up for a half marathon in 2011 to raise funds for the Eye Tumour Research Fund, a charity set up by the Liverpool centre. Unfortunately she was forced to pull out and instead husband Robert and a family friend stepped up to the challenge. But this year, after making a full recovery, Tracy, accompanied by Robert and two friends, took part in the Cardiff Half-Marathon and, together with the proceeds of the 2011 race, raised £5,500 for the Research Fund. Tracy said: “Robert and I are extremely grateful for all their work and we have two lovely girls to thank them for.”

are read by 450,000 readers . . .

New research among the 690,000 people in the UK with RA shows they are twice as likely to have cardiovascular or lung disease, three times as likely to have anaemia, and at greater risk of conditions such as heart failure, strokes, depression, diseases of the eye, and some types of cancer. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society – which carried out the research – has launched a 10-point plan to tackle the problem and improve the health of RA patients. Just providing patients with the facts could bring major benefits to their health, says Ailsa Bosworth, the Society’s chief executive. “Patients have the ability to manage the risk factors more proactively but if they do not know about cardiovascular and osteoporotic risks, they are far less likely to address factors such as smoking, weight and diet which are firmly within their control,” she said.

23

MEDICAL NOTES Joint surgery is hip among the younger HIP and knee surgery is becoming less of a last resort and more a lifestyle choice, says a new report by healthcare experts GBI Research. While conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis are becoming more common as people live longer, advances in technology are encouraging younger people with joint problems to undergo treatment sooner rather than later. Surgeons are rapidly adopting innovative and minimally invasive reconstruction procedures, making outcomes more reliable. New implant materials can resist wear and tear, with the prospect of long-term use for the individual – up to 25 years compared to a conventional device’s lifespan of 15 years.

Boys could benefit BOYS with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have been given new hope after a team of scientists won a grant worth nearly £4.5m from the EU. The grant will fund an exciting new drug trial led by Prof Francesco Muntoni of the Institute of Child Health, which is based at London’s famous Great Ormond Street Hospital. The trial is expected to start in 2014 and will involve 12 patients – four from the UK. Its aim is to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the drug Eteplisen at different dose levels.

Why I love this paper THIS is the first time I have read All Together NOW! and I will always get it from now on because it’s such a positive and informative read for anyone, young or old. My husband has just got out of hospital after five months. It made him very low. But reading this paper made him feel better and more positive and not so alone. Thank you. I picked up my copy at Tesco in Gorton, Manchester. Mrs Andrea Price, Thornley Lane South, Reddish, Stockport.

Boom in transplants BABY boomers in the US are fuelling a big demand for liver transplants. The increased demand is coming from people born between 1941 and 1965 – the so-called baby boomer generation - who had hepatitis C and have gone on to develop liver cancer, says a new report. More than one per cent of all Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C and recent figures showed that 75% of adults with the condition were baby boomers. Cases of cirrhosis in patients with hepatitis C are expected to nearly double TAKE ME HOME! from 472,000 to 879,000 by 2030.

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February/March 2013

Feb 9-23: Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Manchester Opera House. Feel-good international hit. AUDIO DESCRIBED FEB 20, SIGNED FEB 14. Feb 11-16: The Rocky Horror Show. Liverpool Empire. Classic musical from Richard O’Brien. Feb 11-23: Hairspray. Salford Lowry. The West End’s favourite musical comedy. Feb 12-16: Calendar Girls. Runcorn Brindley. One of the nation’s best-loved shows Feb 14-Mar 9: Rape of the Fair Country. Theatr Clwyd. Compelling drama. Feb 15: Richard Digance. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Two hours of original material. Feb 15-16: Dancing With the Orange Dog. Salford Lowry. Thoughtprovoking drama. Feb 15-Mar 9: If You Won’t Let us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep. Liverpool Royal Court. Passionate new play from Anders Lustgarten. Feb 15-Mar 9: The Misanthrope. Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Retelling of Moliere’s classic comedy. AUDIO DESCRIBED FEB 28, CAPTIONED MAR 9. Feb 16: Midge Ure. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Solo show from the music industry mainstay. Feb 17: Why the Lion Danced. Salford Lowry. Celebrate Chinese New Year. Feb 17: The Elephant Bridesmaid. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Feb 18: The Chuckle Brothers. The Brindley, Runcorn. New show from the kids’ comedy duo. Feb 18-23: The Mousetrap. Stoke Regent Theatre. Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. Feb 20: The Dubliners. Rhyl Pavilion. Legendary Irish folk act. Feb 20-Mar 9: Phantom of the Opera. Liverpool Empire. One of the world’s best-loved musicals. Feb 21-Mar 16: Tull. Bolton Octagon. Remarkable true tale of World War One hero Walter Tull. Feb 22: Joe Brown in Concert. Southport Floral Hall. Ttimeless classics. Feb 22-Mar 23: A Time to Reap. Liverpool Royal Court. Polish play from playwright Anna Wakulik. Feb 23: Soldiers’ Wives. The Brindley, Runcorn. Powerful drama. Feb 25-Mar 1: Whole. Bolton Octagon. Three teenagers tell the story of their friend, Holly. Feb 26: Yamato Drummers. Manchester Opera House. Taiko drumming at its finest. Feb 26: Madam Butterfly. Rhyl Pavilion. Puccini’s opera. Feb 27: Movies and Musicals. The Brindley, Runcorn. All your favourite songs from the movies and from musicals. Feb 27-Mar 2: Aladdin. Salford Lowry. Show from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Feb 28: The Resonance of Seclusion.

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BOX OFFICE NUMBERS BLACKPOOL Grand Theatre: 01253 290190. BOLTON Octagon: 01204 520661. LIVERPOOL Empire: 08444 999 999. Everyman & Playhouse: 0151 709 4776. Royal Court: 0870 787 1866. LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru: 01492 872000. MOLD: Theatr Clwyd: 0845 3303565.

MANCHESTER Library Theatre: The Lowry: 0843 208 6000. Opera House: 0870 401 9000. Palace Theatre: 0870 401 3000. NEW BRIGHTON Floral Pavillion: 0151 666 0000. PORT SUNLIGHT: Gladstone Theatre: 0151 643 8757. PRESTON: Charter Theatre: 0845 344 2012. RHYL: Pavilion Theatre: 01745 330 000.

RUNCORN The Brindley: 0151 907 8360. SALE: Waterside Arts Centre: 0161 912 5616. STOKE: Regent Theatre: 0844 871 7627. SOUTHPORT: Floral Hall: 0844 847 2380. ST HELENS: Theatre Royal: 01744 756000. Citadel: 01744 735436. WOLVERHAMPTON Grand Theatre: 01902 429212.

Go on . . . make a night of it

Salford Lowry. The true story of Joash Woodrow. Feb 28: Russell Kane. The Brindley, Runcorn. Stand-up comedy. Feb 28-Mar 2: Blues Brothers Approved. Stoke Regent Theatre. Feb 28-Apr 6: Educting Rita. Theatr Clwyd. From Willy Russell. Mar 1: The Drifters. The Brindley, Runcorn. The musical legends. Mar 1: Rabbitskin. Salford Lowry. Thoughtful tale from Dom Grace. Mar 1-2: Pam Ann: Around the World. Manchester Opera House. Glamorous, hilarious and outrageous. Mar 2: The Illegal Eagles. The Brindley, Runcorn.. Leading Eagles tribute band. Mar 4-9: The 39 Steps Tour. Manchester Opera House. Joyous version of the Alfred Hitchcock classic. Mar 5-6: Moscow State Circus. Stoke Regent Theatre. Traditional Russian circus. Mar 6-9: Miss Saigon. The Brindley, Runcorn. Specially adapted version of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Mar 7: Yamato Drummers. Stoke

Regent Theatre. Master Japanese drummers. Mar 7: Duke Special. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Irish ainger-songwriter. Mar 8: Tosca. Stoke Regent Theatre. Puccini’s opera. Mar 8-9: The Crucible. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Classic Arthur Miller play. Mar 9: Carmen. Stoke Regent Theatre. Bizet’s opera. Mar 10: The Hairy Bokers: Larger than Live. Manchester Opera House. Mar 12: Inspector Norse. The Brindley, Runcorn. Swedish whodunnit. Mar 12: Psychic Sally on the Road. Liverpool Empire. An evening of mediumship with TV psychic Sally Morgan. Mar 12-13: Phoenix Dance Theatre: Particle Velocity. Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. New dance show. Mar 12-30: Dirty Dancing. Stoke Regent Theatre. Live version of the hit film. Mar 13-Mar 16: Otello. Salford Lowry. Verdi’s operatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s play.

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Books DOWN AT THE HOP : Frogtastic club nights attract thousands of people with learning disabilities

Amazing surival tale

Let’s all do the hop... FROGTASTIC! - the multiaward winning club night for people (over 18) with learning disabilities and their friends has been happening in Manchester since 2006. Attracting thousands of clubbers from across the North West and beyond,

Mar 14: The New 4 Poofs and a Piano. The Brindley, Runcorn. Mar 15: Ugly Duckling. Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Perfect introduction to the magic of live ballet. Mar 15: One Night of Elvis. Manchester Opera House. Top Elvis impersonator Lee Memphis King. Mar 15: Vive le Celtic Cabaret. Salford Lowry. St Patrick’s Day spectacular. Mar 16: Take Phat. The Brindley, Runcorn. Tribute act. Mar 16-17: Sparks. Salford Lowry. Shocking drama. Mar 17: The Fureys and Davey Arthur. Manchester Opera House. Irish folk band. Mar 17: Cannon, Campbell, Watchorn & O’Connor. Salford Lowry. Formerly The Dubliners. Mar 17: Just Dance. Liverpool Empire. Fantastic dance showcase. Mar 19: Richard Alston Dance Company. Salford Lowry.

Frogtastic events are staged in tightly controlled environments that are safe and secure, with the additional comfort of a strict admissions policy. The next Frogtastic Manchester Club Night takes place on Wednesday 6 March at The Frog and

Mar 19: Chinese State Circus. Liverpool Empire. Classic Chinese circus. Mar 19-23: New Jersey Nights. Manchester Opera House. Musical journey celebrating Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Mar 19-23: Phillip Pullman’s “I was a Rat”. Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Glorious and gripping story. Mar 20: Magic of the Musicals. The Brindley, Runcorn. Charity event featuring music from Britain’s best-loved musicals. Mar 20: Sad Café. Salford Lowry. Mar 20: Othello. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Classic Shakespeare play. Mar 21: Beyond Dreams of Aberystwyth. Salford Lowry. Powerful storytelling. Mar 21-23: The Blues Brothers...Approved. Liverpool Empire. Blues Brothers tribute act.

Bucket, Oldam Street, Manchester. Places can be reserved from The Heroes Project on 0161 872 8787. Other dates for 2013: Wed 24 April; Wed 5 June; Wed 24 July; Wed 11 September; Wed 23 October; Wed 4 December. n www.heroesproject.org.uk

Mar 22: The Hollies. Salford Lowry. Mar 23: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog. Salford Lowry. A company of Viking storytellers recreate the world of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. Mar 24: Mother Africa. Liverpool Empire. African circus show. Mar 24: Singalonga Grease. Salford Lowry. Mar 25-30: Derren Brown. Liverpool Empire. Mar 25-30: The Mousetrap. Llandudno Venue Cymru. Mar 26-30: The Ladykillers. Salford Lowry. Classic black comedy. Mar 30: All Star Superslam Wrestling. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Exciting family wrestling event. Until Apr 20: Lion King. Manchester Palace Theatre. Classic Disney musical on stage.

readers – Call us NOW! . . .

Giants: the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz, by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev, with a foreword by Warwick Davis, Robson Press, £16.99. PERHAPS the most astonishing aspect of this moving and inspirational story of survival is that it is so little known. The tale of seven dwarf siblings who become famous entertainers starts like a fairy tale before descending into modern history’s darkest moment. At a time when the phrase “survival of the fittest” was paramount, the Ovitz family, seven of whose 10 members were dwarfs, less than three feet tall, defied the fate of so many Holocaust victims. The irony was, doubly doomed for being Jewish and disabled, it was their dwarfism that saved their lives. Respected writers and journalists Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev tell the story of this beloved and successful family of singers and actors, the Lilliput Troupe. Their dazzling Vaudeville act,

the only all-dwarf show at the time, made them celebrities in central Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Descending from the cattle train into the death camp of Auschwitz, the Ovitz family was separated from other Jewish victims on the orders of one Dr Joseph Mengele. Obsessed with eugenics, Mengele experimented on the family, aiming to discover the biological and pathological causes of the birth of dwarfs. Like a single-minded scientist, he guarded his human lab rats. When the Russian army liberated Auschwitz, every member of the family – the youngest a baby boy of 18 months, the oldest a 58-year-old woman - was still living. Theirs was the only family to enter the death camp and live to tell the tale. The family eventually restructured their lives and became successful performers again, but the indelible mark of their experiences was carried with them until the end.

Cruel condition is beatable Help – My Daughter Has Scoliosis, published by Hilary Lowne in conjunction with Writersworld, from most good bookshops and online retailers, £9.99 TWO years ago Anna Lowne, 14, was unexpectedly diagnosed with scoliosis (side-to-side curvature of the spine). With her family reeling in shock and BLIND-SIDED: Hilary and Anna Lowne unable to find any personal accounts of what to expect, they recovery. There really wasn’t much out faced the condition with little there, leaving us in the dark. information. “Anna found that as her spinal Following a successful recovery and curvature progressed, the rib hump she return to normal life, Anna’s mother, had developed on her back became Hilary, was determined to better bigger and the pain in her back became prepare other families to tackle the worse.” condition head-on. Following the insertion of two rods and Scoliosis affects around three percent fifteen pins to straighten her spine, her of all babies. With the first symptoms life has returned to normal and she is developing during adolescence, the now pursuing an acting diploma and condition often strikes at a time when following her dream to become an children are at their most active. actress. “Anna’s diagnosis blind-sided us out of “This is exactly why I wrote the book the blue,” says speech therapist Hilary. to give parents hope that, while the “Aside from getting medical information, diagnosis and recovery is heartwe frantically tried to seek out the breaking at times, scoliosis is a personal stories of other families who modern-day were affected by the condition. I wanted medical condition to find out what could happen to my that can be fought, TAKE ME HOME! daughter in terms of tests, possible beaten and laid to surgical intervention, and the process of rest for good.”

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Berlin is the best BERLIN has been judged Europe’s most accessible city. The German capital was proclaimed the winner of the European Access City Award for “exemplary initiatives to improve accessibility in the urban environment”. Nantes (France) and Stockholm (Sweden) were the other two finalists chosen from 99 cities taking part Europe-wide. There were also special mentions for four cities: n Pamplona (Spain) for its buildings and public spaces. n Gdynia (Poland) for its efforts with transport and other infrastructure. n Bilbao (Spain) for information and communication, including new technology. n Tallaght (Ireland) for public facilities and services.

February/March 2013

It’s ‘no-go’ Britain . . .

A

LMOST nine out of 10 people think the UK travel industry is still not providing enough information about disabled access and facilities.

Research also revealed that 87% of respondents had been prevented from travelling because of their disability. A further 77% consider disabled access to be ‘very important’ when planning where to go on holiday. London was identified as the part of the UK with the best disabled access and facilities but despite improvements made in the run up to the Paralympics, the Underground was singled out for criticism.

The UK’s airports and train stations also fared badly in the survey with respondents claiming more needed to be done to make them accessible for all. However, there was some encouraging news as over 92% of those questioned thought that disabled access had improved overall in the past ten years – 28% thought that access was “significantly better”. Lorraine Farnon, managing director of Adapted Vehicle Hire, the UK’s largest supplier of rental vehicles for disabled drivers, said: “The results of our survey clearly demonstrate that despite gradual progress, more needs to be done to make the travel industry more accessible for disabled people.” Carrie-Ann Lightley, information

officer at the charity Tourism For All UK, said: “We have been campaigning for the past 30 years to improve the range of travel options and facilities for disabled people. We support the Government’s aim of making UK tourism the most accessible in Europe. “Access to some rural and historic sites will always present more of a challenge for disabled visitors, but places like airports have scope for significant improvement to better meet the needs of disabled travellers.” Several venues were praised for their ease of access and suitability for disabled visitors including National Trust properties and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

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IRTON HOUSE FARM

Holiday Breaks in the Lakes near Keswick Self catering apartments for 2-6 people. Specially designed with the wheelchair in mind. No steps. Beautiful views in a superb location. Friendly owners in residence. Open all year.

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RUSSELL GRANT looks at what the stars have in store for you ARIES March 21st - April 20th Criticising a colleague in early February will win you a bitter enemy. Love is in the air and you are in for a super Valentine’s Day. Someone new could also be entering your life, but resist the urge to share the news with your best friend. Your ideas gain traction in the days over the first few days of March and a difficult project comes is about to come to a conclusion. Improving your day-to-day environment around the middle of the month will make you far more productive.

TAURUS April 21st - May 21st Romantic misunderstandings abound in early February so don’t hesitate to turn to sympathetic friends for advice. Wait until after Valentine’s Day before thinking seriously about any long distance trips. Dream big, express your artistic side, and be sure to attend any parties that come your way. The Full Moon on March 8th marks an exciting turning point in a romance, but remember to do something special for yourself, too.

GEMINI May 22nd - June 21st You’ll have to choose between family and work during early February and don’t let finance get in the way with romance on Valentine’s Day. A rise, promotion, or high profile job can be yours very soon. March’s Full Moon on the 8th is ideal for concluding a deal. Remember to always trust your instincts with regard to a sexual relationship.

You’ll make friends with an impressive intellectual but don’t let a manipulative person influence your decisions.

CANCER June 22nd - July 23rd

few days of March, but beware of an unreliable lover.

CAPRICORN December 22nd - January 20th

LIBRA September 24th - October 23rd

You need to change your lifestyle in order to save money, but don’t be too harsh with a sensitive relative during the middle of the month. You’ll win plenty of new admirers for a creative project in the closing days of February. The opening days of March are favoured for negotiating a property deal or signing a lease. A romantic relationship heats up, and be prepared to stand up to an overbearing relative.

Avoid controversial subjects like religion and politics. An older relative has good advice regarding a relationship in the days surrounding Valentine’s, and a power struggle may break out between you and a lover or business partner during the middle of the month. March opens with a fantastic career opportunity, and a cherished dream will be granted to you by the middle of the month. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

February finds you trying to find common ground with an unco-operative colleague, and a friendship is also set to become strained. An overbearing relative will try to take advantage of your generosity in midFebruary. Watch out, too, for a bully who saps your energy in the early days of March. Someone will confess a crush on you in mid-March, much to your delight. The final days of the month force you to deal with an unpleasant domestic situation.

LEO July 24th - August 23rd

SCORPIO October 24th - November 22nd

The first two weeks of February warn against buying luxuries you can’t afford. The 13th is the best day of the entire year for signing a contract or forming a serious partnership. Get treatment for a nagging health problem by the middle of the month. A secret admirer will confess their devotion in the days surrounding the 19th. March’s Full Moon on the 8th yields a big surprise, and there’s some exciting news coming your way.

Your head and heart are working in perfect harmony on the 13th - the perfect time for making a dramatic lifestyle change. An admirer gives you a gift that speaks to your heart on Valentine’s Day, and the New Moon on the 21st is perfect for starting something new. March is a great time for improving your diet and exercise routine. Someone in authority can make your dreams come true.

VIRGO August 24th - September 23rd

Home life provides a welcome haven from career pressures. Open your heart to a lover on Valentine’s Day - you won’t be disappointed. It’s an ideal time to let your creativity soar, and the New Moon on the 21st is perfect for taking a chance. Don’t let a friend’s negative experiences prevent you from pursuing your romance in March. There’s more money coming to your pocket.

An unexpected inheritance, refund, or dividend could put a big smile on your face, and there’s more good news on the way when an admirer confesses their crush on Valentine’s Day. The New Moon on the 21st launches a creative partnership. Confide your deepest feelings to a friend in the first

SAGITTARIUS November 23rd - December 21st

AQUARIUS January 21st - February 19th Don’t let your inner critic prevent you from taking a creative risk during the middle of the month. The New Moon on the 21st is perfect for finding a fresh source of income. Stick up for the underdog as February turns to March when there’s suddenly more time for domestic pleasures. The New Moon on the 22nd prompts you to get a refreshing change of scenery. Don’t fall prey to your worst fears as March turns to April.

PISCES February 20th - March 20th Your powers of persuasion will be irresistible on Valentine’s Day. Make your needs known on this magical day and don’t try to impress a friend with an expensive purchase. March is god for developing a new idea - you’ll be very satisfied with the results. Take the initiative with a lover in the middle of the month. Defend your beliefs to a pushy friend as March turns to April.

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February/March 2013

WIN! WIN! WIN! We’ve EIGHT very healthy prizes to be won GARDENERS who enter their vegetables in shows aim to grow shapely specimens usually larger than average. That has given rise to a myth – that exhibition vegetables lack flavour when compared with smaller crops – which is totally false. To prove it we are offering £144worth of top-quality showbench varieties from specialist vegetable seed firm D.T. Brown of Chorley, Lancs, to be won in this competition. Whether our prizewinners become champion growers

CHECKLIST

DELICIOUS: Beetroot Red Ace, cauliflower Sapporo and runner bean Benchmaster

depends on the care they take but we can guarantee they will discover the top tastes available. We have EIGHT prize collections – each worth more than £18 – comprising seeds of the following eight vegetables, many of them F1 hybrids, which are specially bred for consistent quality: n Beetroot Red Ace F1 hybrid, sweet, tender and stands without turning woody; n Carrot Sweet Candle F1, smoothskinned and crisp; n Cauliflower Sapporo F1, producing large, pure white heads in summer and autumn,

depending on sowing time; n Marrow Table Dainty, a lovely medium-sized marrow, proving the point that show veg do not need to be huge; n Parsnip Panorama F1, a longrooted variety with strong canker resistance; n Pea Flavora, dwarf plants (60cm/2ft tall) with giant pods each containing up to 12 succulent peas each; n Runner Bean Benchmaster, heavy-cropping and tasty with pods up to 40cm/16in long; n Tomato Cedrico F1, a special favourite of exhibitors, and

producing uniformly juicy fruits. To enter, answer this question: How many peas can be produced in a pod of Flavora peas? Send your entry with your name and address on a postcard or sealed envelope, stating where you picked up your copy of All Together NOW!, to D.T. Brown Competition, The Editor, All Together NOW!, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP, to arrive by Friday, March 31. You can also enter online at www.alltogethernow.org.uk n Check out D.T. Brown’s full range at www.dtbrownseeds.so.uk

WINTER COLOUR: Earlyflowering heathers

Blooming heather LEFT: Making a heather garden; Surridge places rocks at an angle

W

E’VE all admired wild heathers flowering in late summer. Those shrubby evergreens cling to impoverished heathland soil yet bloom through hilltop gales, salty coastal storms and even the occasional drought.

Try growing them in a garden and you are likely to be disappointed because they demand acidic soil, which few gardens contain, and will sulk and often die without it. Plant winter-flowering heathers instead. They are much more accommodating and will generally grow well in ordinary garden soil. They are also appreciated more at this chilly time of year. Most are varieties of Erica car nea and there are plenty to choose from. The flowers are bell-shaped, prolific and longlasting in shades of white, pink, red or mauve. The evergreen foliage varies from dark blue-green to lime green and bronze to red, making winter heather a plant for all seasons. It lives for many years, too. The best varieties include the vigorous and free-

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flowering Springwood series with rich green foliage. Springwood White is trouble-free and can be so vigorous that it is best grown singly while other varieties look more effective planted in twos and threes. Springwood Pink has a trailing habit and blooms that turn darker with age. Queen Mary (red) and Winter Beauty (deep pink) are other reliable kinds. As well as the flowers, the foliage contrasts are wonderful. Westwood Yellow has very light leaves and pale pink flowers while Anne Sparkes produces dark golden foliage with bright bronze tips in spring and rosy-pink flowers turning pale purple. Foxhollow has delightful red-bronze foliage in winter with pink blooms and Vivelli has bronze leaves and pink flowers which turn magenta.

An ideal heather for the back of the border is a hybrid, Erica x darleyensis Kramer’s Red, which grows taller and wider than the others, has dark green foliage and produces red-purple flowers as early as December. These ericas will grow in neutral soil or even one containing some lime but good drainage is essential. They like a sunny position or very light shade. Too much shade will delay flowering and reduce the number of blooms. Water, feed and weed the plants regularly when they are young – they’ll soon spread so their foliage overlaps and weeds are smothered out. Winter heathers are easy to maintain – just trim them lightly with garden shears once flowering has finished and apply a general fertiliser, ideally in liquid form so it can be readily absorbed. Heathers look finest among rocks. When putting these in place, don’t spread them about but try to emulate genuine outcrops, following a roughly natural line, tilting the rocks backwards and burying at least one-third of each piece in the soil. Plant each heather in a position where it can spread over the rockwork.

FLOWERS: For an early display of summer flowers, sow antirrhinums, lobelias, pansies and English and French marigolds under glass with heat or on a windowsill in a cool room in March. Most need 16C-21C (60F-70F) to germinate, then the seedlings can be grown at 10C (50F). SHRUBS AND TREES: Prune clematis, apart from evergreen kinds. Those that bloom in spring can be lightly trimmed for tidiness and to remove dead wood. LAWNS: In a mild spell, start tackling deep-rooted lawn weeds like dandelion, dock and buttercup with a long knife. PONDS: If your pond freezes over, carbon dioxide can build up in the water and harm fish and wildlife. Ideally, install an electric floating pond heater. Alternatively, float a large ball on the water to impede icing-over. If the entire surface becomes frozen, melt a hole with the base of a saucepan of hot water. Don’t crack the ice the shock waves are distressing to fish. VEGETABLES: When the soil is reasonably dry, plant shallot bulbs firmly in wellraked soil with just the tips of the shoots showing. Sow broad beans and early peas such as Kelvedon Wonder and Cavalier. FRUIT: Feed bushes and canes with a general fertiliser. Sprinkle it widely around the plants on a mild day, hoe it lightly into the soil and spread a mulch of wellrotted manure or garden compost on top. HERBS: Sow chives and tarragon under glass, and tender herbs like basil and coriander with heat in a greenhouse, a conservatory or on a bright windowsill. GLASS: Reduce the risk of plants rotting by opening greenhouses and cold frames on sunny days but close them by mid-afternoon. HOUSEPLANTS: Stop feeding plants, which have flowered in winter but continue to feed those due to flower in spring. When cyclamen flowers fade, remove them by grasping the stem firmly and pulling it sharply away from the base.

Disabled and need advice on gardening? Contact national charity THRIVE. Tel. 0118 988 5688. www.thrive.org.uk or www.carryongardening.org.uk

TAKE ME HOME!


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STARSPOT CROSSWORD Can you find the celebrity name hidden in this Starspot Crossword? Complete the crossword in the normal way then make a note of the letters contained in all the squares which are marked with shaded stars. These letters will make an anagram of the name you are looking for. 1

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Thin biscuit (5) Addition to a will (7) Large ape (7) Recipient of money (5) Crazy (slang) (5) Become excited (7) Beer (3) Be promoted (4,2) Rescuing (6) Take a seat (3) Besmirch (7) Be dormant or inactive (5) Stormed (5) Skilled craftsman (7) Anguish (7) Push gently (5)

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The Accumulator Quiz Each question has four possible answers and is worth from one to 15 points. Circle your chosen answers and keep a record of your points total. Maximum total points 120.

QUESTION 2 – for 2 points: A drink mixing cider and lager is called what? A Rat bite B Snakebite C Flea-bite D Dog bite

QUESTION 5 – for 5 points: Which was the first British football team to win the European Cup? A Liverpool B Celtic C Manchester United D Chelsea QUESTION 6 – for 6 points: Which actress starred opposite Richard Gere in the film Pretty Woman? A Julia Roberts B Cher C Emma Thompson D Sally Field

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QUESTION 7 – for 7 points: Which golfer to date has the greatest number of wins in the four major championships? A Tiger Woods B Walter Hagen C Jack Nicklaus D Ben Hogan

QUESTION 13 – for 13 points: How many of Henry VIII’s children succeeded to the throne? A One B Two C Three D Four

QUESTION 8 – for 8 points: What kind of bird is the Liver Bird featured on the coat of arms of Liverpool? A Cormorant B Puffin C Razor-bill D Chough

QUESTION 14 – for 14 points: From which natural source is the pigment sepia obtained? A Cuttlefish ink B Mushroom spores C Walnut tree sap D Coal tar

QUESTION 9 – for 9 points: Which US state was named after the wife of King Charles I? A Maryland B Virginia C Louisiana D Carolina

QUESTION 15 – for 15 points: A tower above a castle gate or drawbridge is called what? A Bailey B Barbican C Barbastelle D Bastion

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QUESTION 12 – for 12 points: What is the county town of Derbyshire? A Buxton B Chesterfield C Matlock D Derby

Actress June Whitfield. See Question 10

THERE is just one simple rule in Sudoku. Each row and each column must contain the numbers 1 to 9, and so must each 3 x 3 box. This is a logic puzzle, and you should not have to guess.

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QUESTION 11 – for 11 points: The devastating Boxing Day tsunami was in which year? A 2004 B 2005 C 2006 D 2007

QUESTION 3 – for 3 points: In which field was Anna Pavlova famous? A Ballet B Gymnastics C Cookery D Classical piano

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QUESTION 10 – for 10 points: Which of these long-running domestic sitcoms starred June Whitfield and Terry Scott as a married couple? A Beggar My Neighbour B Never The Twain C Bless This House D Happy Ever After

QUESTION 1 – for 1 point: Who was the first Norman king of England? A Edward B William C Norman D Alfred

QUESTION 4 – for 4 points: Where are the Falkland Islands situated? A Pacific Ocean B Southern Ocean C Arctic Ocean D South Atlantic Ocean

Truck (5) Foremost (5) Revive (5) Place of worship (6) Storehouse (5) South American rodent (5) Belgian city (5) Up to (5) Theme (5) Bird’s home (4) Mean dwelling (5) Meaning (5) Church recess (4) Undamaged (6) Explode (5) Wrath (5) Small anchor (5) Industrial action (3-2) Lessened (5) Coppers (5)

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

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SAY THAT AGAIN . . .

In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away — shing xiong

What seems like the right thing to do could also be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life — Unknown

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the most of everything that comes their way — Unknown

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile — Unknown


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ EACH number in our Cross Code grid represents a different letter of the alphabet. You have three letters in the control grid to start you off. Enter them in the appropriate squares in the main grid, then use your knowledge of words to work out which letters should go in the missing squares. As you get the letters, fill in other squares with the same number in the main grid and control grid. Check off the alphabetical list of letters as you identify them.

1. Insects 233 284 146 763 816 848 614 569 196 761 466 359 193 384 513 441 562 878 125 832 531 262 576 224 163 676 123 3 4. Alcoholic drinks 242 672 463 176 781 759 183 766 884 194 243 371 786 172 462 122 582 367 123 371 738 861 224 539 171 521 689 6

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PATHWORDS

SPOT CHECK

Starting from the central shaded letter, move one letter at a time (up, down, right or left, but not diagonally) to find the surnames of 19 Oscar winners.

Can you place the six dominoes (right) into the grid below in such a way that the number of spots in all four rows across and all four rows down totals 14?

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6. Books of the bible 772 567 152 636 828 712 667 173 835 284 396 387 147 242 414 747 132 643 516 288 158 531 265 677 426 834 371 562

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Telephone dialling pads combine several letters on one key. Here we have encoded several sets of words or items by using numbers rather than letters. Then we have divided them into groups of three characters and run all the names one after another to make your task a little more difficult. Can you crack the codes?

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All Together NOW!

WORD WIZARD

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In which year did all three of these significant historical events take place?

2) A booth for selling foodstuffs at a North African market;

1. Harold Macmillan becomes prime minister following the resignation of Sir Anthony Eden. 2. The first UK hydrogen bomb is successfully tested. 3. The highly contagious disease myxomatosis decimates the UK rabbit population.

Add the given letter to the first word to make a new word. Clue: Convert a fierce woman into a cavalryman.

3) A narrow fissure formed by an earth tremor.

WAS IT? a) 1957; b) 1959; c) 1961; d) 1963; e) 1965.

______ +O=____O__

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ALL THE ANSWERS Pathwords: Kingsley; Foster; Sarandon; Binoche; Tandy; Hopkins; Douglas; Hunter; Fonda; MacLaine; Hanks; Lange; Thompson; Irons; Hoffman; Newman; Streep; Keaton; Pacino.

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ADVERTISE HERE 0151 230 0307

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Accumulator Quiz 1 – B; 2 – B; 3 – A; 4 – D; 5 – B; 6 – A; 7 – C; 8 – A; 9 – A; 10 – D; 11 – A; 12 – C; 13 – C; 14 – A; 15 – B. Starspot Crossword Across – 1 Wafer; 4 Codicil; 8 Gorilla; 9 Payee; 10 Nutty; 13 Enthuse; 17 Ale; 18 Step up; 19 Saving; 20 Sit; 22 Blacken; 25 Sleep; 28 Raged; 29 Artisan; 30 Torment; 31 Nudge. Down – 1 Wagon; 2 First; 3 Rally; 4 Chapel; 5 Depot; 6 Coypu; 7 Liège; 11 Until; 12 Topic; 14 Nest; 15 Hovel; 16 Sense; 17 Apse; 21 Intact; 22 Burst; 23 Anger; 24 Kedge; 25 Sit-in; 26 Eased; 27 Pence. Star Name: CAROL SMILLIE

Word Wizard No 1 is correct. Amadou is a substance made from fungi. Dialling Codes 1. bedbug; hornet; mosquito; glowworm; dragonfly; weevil; earwig; locust; bluebottle; cockroach; mealworm; bee. 2. aromatherapy; meditation; acupuncture; reflexology; yoga; massage; hydrotherapy; chiropractic; kinesiology. 3. triangle; clarinet; French horn; double bass; piccolo; bassoon; flute; violin; harp; cello; timpani; trombone. 4. champagne; port; whisky; vermouth; wine; cider; rum; schnapps; Calvados; beer;

amaretto; Bailey’s; vodka; ouzo. 5. Boomtown Rats; Arctic Monkeys; Dire Straits; Rolling Stones; Deep Purple; Led Zeppelin; Oasis; Fleetwood Mac. 6. Psalms; Lamentations; Amos; Revelation; Exodus; Isaiah; Genesis; Daniel; Matthew; Luke; Colossians; Judges; Job. Spot Check A = 5; B = 3; C = 1; D = 6; E = 2; F = 4. Missing Link galley; awe; music; black; off; nail. Actor: Gambon. Make a Date The year was 1957. Transformer Dragon + O = Dragoon.

REACH 450,000 READERS . . .

TAKE ME HOME!


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All Together NOW!

SHOPMOBILIT

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

New project is just WICKED!

n ALTRINCHAM. Tel 0161 929 1714 n ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE. Tel 0161 339 9500 n BARROW. Tel 01229 434039 n BIRKENHEAD. Tel 0151 647 6162 n BLACKBURN AND DARWEN. Tel 01254 690566 or 07757 502217 n BLACKPOOL. Tel 01253 349 427 n BOLTON. Tel 01204 392946 n BURY. Tel 0161 764 9966 n CARLISLE. Tel 01228 625950 n CHESTER. Tel 01244 312626 n CHORLEY. Tel 01257 260 888 n COLWYN BAY. Tel 01492 533822 n CREWE. Tel 01270 580 031 n ELLESMERE PORT. Tel 0151 355 1420 n KENDAL. Tel 01539 740 933 n LEIGH, Wigan. Tel 01942 777 985 n LIVERPOOL. Tel 0151 707 0877 n MANCHESTER Trafford Centre. Tel 0161 747 2684 n MANCHESTER Arndale Centre. Tel 0161 839 4060 n NELSON. Tel 01282 692 502 n NORTHWICH, Vale Royal Tel 01606 288820 n OSWESTRY. Tel 01691 656882 n PENRITH. Tel 01768 895 438 n PRESTON. Tel 01772 204 667 n RHYL. Tel 01745 350665 n ROCHDALE. Tel 01706 865 986 n RUNCORN, Halton Lea Tel 01928 716971 n SHREWSBURY. Tel 01743 236900 SKELMERSDALE. Tel 01695 550066 n SOUTHPORT. Tel 0151 288 6885 n ST HELENS. Tel 01744 613 388 n STOCKPORT. Tel 0161 666 1100 n WARRINGTON. Tel 01925 240064 n WARRINGTON. Birchwood Tel 01925 822 411 n WIGAN. Tel 01942 776 070 n WINSFORD. Tel 01606 557550 n WREXHAM. Tel 01978 312390 MIDLANDS n BIRMINGHAM. Snow Hill Railway Station. Tel 0121 236 8980. Level 2, Centre Car Park, Bullring. Tel 0121 616 2942 n STAFFORD. Tel 01785 619456 n STOKE ON TRENT. Tel 01782 233333 n SUTTON COLDFIELD. Tel 0121 355 1112 n TAMWORTH. Tel, 01827 709392 n WALSALL. Tel 01922 650781 n WEST BROMWICH: Sandwell. Tel 0121 553 1943 n WOLVERHAMPTON. Tel 01902 556021

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EOPLE with learning difficulties are to be given their rightful place in history for the first time. A charity is creating the first community history archive to tell the stories of people whose voices are rarely heard. The two-year project – paid for with over £94,000 of Lottery money – will culminate in an exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool and a tour. CELEBRATION TIME for the performers at Wicked Fish Wicked Fish, a Liverpool theatre company for people with learning difficulties, will work with local and regional partners to create People WINNERS of our super Christmas gardening competition Like Us, a unique collection of were: first-hand experiences told by the SHERYL Whitehouse, Nixon Drive, Winsford, Cheshire. participants themselves. She writes: "I picked up my copy of All Together NOW! in The project aims to break down Asda and would just like to say that this is a wonderful some of the social and cultural newspaper and much needed by all disabled people." barriers facing people with learning difficulties and gain the respect of Mr J J Winstanley, Woodend Avenue, Crosby, Merseyside: the wider community. "AS A patient at Clatterbridge Hospital I picked up The team will comprise 13 All Together NOW! and WOW! What a fantastic paper. It's members of Wicked Fish and bursting with information for everyone, packed with Moving on with Life and Learning stories, and crammed with up-to-date data on all sorts. (MOWLL), a charity working with Well done! " people with learning disabilities, Both receive a very useful raised bed system and brain injuries and mental health pop-up netting cage, courtesy of GardenSkill conditions.

TWO very lucky gardeners . . .

HELP AT THE END OF A PHONE n ANGLESEY:

TARAN Tel 01407 721933 n BLACKPOOL Disability Information and Support. Tel 01253 472 202. Textphone 01253 476 450 n CHESHIRE CIL Tel 01606 782760 n CHESTER Dial House Tel 01244 345655 n DENBIGHSHIRE Tel 01745 354445 n ELLESMERE PORT DICE Tel 0151 355 1420 n HALTON Disability Service Tel 01928 717222 n KNOWSLEY DISABILITY CONCERN. 0151 480 4090 n LANCASTER DISC Tel 01524 34411 n LIVERPOOL Association of Disabled People. Tel 0151 263 8366. Text 0151 260 4076 n MERSEYSIDE Coalition of Inclusive Living. Tel 0151 260 4001 n NEUROSUPPORT Centre Tel 0151 298 2999 n MANCHESTER (GTR) Coalition of Disabled People Tel 0161-273 5154 n MOLD Flintshire Disability Tel 01352 755546 n NELSON: Pendle Pakistan Welfare Association. Tel 01282 603 616 n PRESTON DISC: Tel 01772 558 863. Textphone 01772 204 787 n RHYL Tel 01745 350665 n STOCKPORT: Disability Stockport. 0161 480 7248

n WARRINGTON

Disability Partnership. 01925 240064 n WIRRAL WIRED Tel 0151 670 1500 n WEST LANCS HELPLINE Freefone 0800 220676 n ST HELENS DASH Tel 01744 453053 n WREXHAM Tel 01978 262955 MIDLANDS BIRMINGHAM Disability Resource Centre Tel 0121 789 7365 Disabled People’s Network Solihull Tel 0121 788 1544 STOKE: Disability Solutions Tel 01782 683800 WOLVERHAMPTON Elder and Disabled Group Tel 01902 448552 ORGANISATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND n ACCRINGTON Tel 01254 233332 n BARROW Tel 01229 820698 n BIRMINGHAM Action for Blind Tel 0121 665 4200 n BLACKBURN Tel 0125 554143 n BLACKPOOL: N-Vision Tel 01253 362696 n BURY Tel 0161 763 7014 n BURNLEY Tel 01282 438507 n CARLISLE: Action for Blind People Tel 01228 595121 CHESHIRE & N WALES: Vision Support. Tel 01244 381515 n CUMBRIA (West) Tel 01946 592474 n CUMBRIA (Sth Lakeland)

Tel 01539 726613 DOGS Tel 0118 983 5555 n HENSHAW’S 0161 872 1234 Tel 0151 227 1226 n LIVERPOOL: Bradbury Fields.Tel 0151 221 0888: Action for Bind Tel 0151 298 3222 n MANCHESTER: Action for Blind Tel 0161 787 9252 n PRESTON: Action for Blind People Tel 01772 320550 n OLDHAM Tel 0161 682 8019 n ROSSENDALE Tel 01706 873256 n SIGHTLINE (North West) Tel 0800 587 2252 n WIGAN Tel 01942 242891 n WIRRAL Tel 0151 652 8877 n GUIDE

ORGANISATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF n BIRMINGHAM Institute for Deaf Tel 0121 246 6101 n CHESHIRE Deaf Society Tel 01606 47831 n CUMBRIA Deaf Society Tel 01228 606434 n LANCASHIRE (EAST) Deaf Society Tel 01282 839180 n MANCHESTER Deaf Centre Tel 0161 273 3415 n MERSEYSIDE Society for Deaf Tel 0151 228 0888 n ST HELENS: Deafness Resource Centre Tel 01744 23887 n WOLVERHAMPTON Centre for Deaf Tel 01902 420904 n N WALES Deaf Association, Tel 01492 542235

CARERS’ CENTRES

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n ACCRINGTON Tel 01254 387 444 n BLACKBURN with DARWEN Tel 01254 688 www.bwdcarers.org n BLACKPOOL Blackpool Borough Council, Tel 01253 477 716 n CUMBRIA Carlisle. Tel 01228 542 156 Penrith. Tel 01768 890 280 Barrow-in-Furness. Tel 01229 822 822 Kendal. Tel 01539 732 927 Whitehaven, Tel 01946 592 223 n CHESHIRE Helpline: 0800 085 0307 n KNOWSLEY Tel 0151 549 1412 n LANCASTER Tel 01524 66475 n LIVERPOOL Tel 0151 705 2307 n MANCHESTER Tel 0161 835 2995 n MORECAMBE Tel 01524 833456 n PRESTON Tel 01772 200173 n RUNCORN Tel 01928 580182 n WIDNES Tel 0151 257 9673 n SALFORD Tel 0161 833 0217 n SEFTON Tel 0151 288 6060 n ST HELENS Tel 01744 675 615 n STOCKPORT Tel 0161 456 2808 n WARRINGTON Tel 01925 644 212 n WEST LANCS Tel 01695 711243 n WIGAN & LEIGH Tel 01942 683711 MIDLANDS n BIRMINGHAM Tel 0121 675 8000 n SOLIHULL Tel 0121 788 1143 n WALSALL Tel 01922 610 810 NORTH WALES n ANGLESEY Tel 01248 722828 n BANGOR Tel 01248 370 797 n CONWY Tel 01492 533714 n DENBIGHSHIRE: NEWCIS, Tel: 0845 603 3187 n DOLGELLAU Tel 01341 421167 n FLINTSHIRE: NEWCIS, Tel: 01352 751436 n WREXHAM: NEWCIS, Tel: 01978 310414.

Email your news to us at news@allltogethernow.org .uk


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

February/March 2013

Never let anybody tell you that you won’t ever be able to do something!

All Together NOW!

31

TRIBUTE: Alan Martin – The Scouse Mouse

The track,field and film stars

AN inspirational online film – Stronger Together – shows how the lives of 75 people with Muscular Dystrophy were changed as a result of the Paralympics. The muscle wasting disease affects over 70,000 people in the UK and varies in complexity with no known cure. Michael McGrath, who co-founded The Muscle Help Foundation which helps young people with MD to achieve their dreams, said: “The video highlights what a

— Alan Martin

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LAN Martin had a truly amazing life, motivating, educating and inspiring all those he knew and worked with. The inclusive dance worker and human rights activist was adamant that having Cerebral Palsy was the very least interesting thing about him! If writing this himself, he would not even bother to include the fact. Alan was born in Liverpool and one of his ambitions was to have a communication aid with a “Scouse” voice. Liverpool Football Club was like a religion to him, or so he said. He loved everything about Liverpool, and although living on the Wirral, dearly wished to move back there. His ashes are to be scattered on the Mersey.

Life without speech Seeing the person first before their disability was at the heart of all Alan did and he did a LOT. Aged 31, Alan was given his first electronic speech aid by local dear friends. This totally transformed his life. In the 18 years since then he dedicated all his work to raising awareness of the life-changing effect of having a voice for all those people without natural speech. He had a wide range of interests, including fishing, rock music, gardening, wild life conservation, motor cycles, CB radio, cats (big cats and small cats!) and electronic music writing. Creative dance was his real passion which eventually led to Alan setting up his own business as a creative, contemporary dance practitioner and disability issues trainer. He was very proud of earning his living from this and worked with hundreds of organisations across the country. Soon after becoming self-employed Alan accepted a part in the BBC comedy drama, I’m With Stupid. Other actors in this series were Mark Benton, Ruth Jones, Steve Edge, Cherylee Houston, Kevin Davies, Paul Henshall and Laurence Clarke. Alan was not a great fan of some disability organisations as he felt that they promoted

segregation rather than the full inclusion in which he believed. He was Chairman of West Kirby PHAB Club for many years and actively encouraged non-disabled members to join. Renowned photographer Andy Taylor Smith heard about Alan and resolved to make a film about part of his life story. The resulting short film, This Chair is not Me, won numerous prestigious awards across the world for the film maker and a fulllength film was to be made. Fiercely independent, Alan had many great ambitions, some of which, sadly, he was not to realise. As well as buying a home in Liverpool, he intended to set up his own fully accessible dance studio where his teaching inclusive dance could blossom. He was determined to influence Government policy towards disabled people, especially those without speech. (Alan was a regular visitor to the House of Commons and No. 10!) One ambition that may still come to fruition is the writing of Alan’s life story. He had made a start, but was so busy with his work commitments that he was not able to devote time to completing this work. Friends are committed to following through this wish and will write his biography. It is to be sold in support of the causes Alan held dear.

Helping others Recently he had been involved in several research projects in the area of artificial voice, and in improving access to communication equipment. He became coleader of the Cheshire and Merseyside Branch of “1Voice-Communicating Together”, an organisation that supports families with a child who uses a communication aid. He was also to have had a part in an “Artificial Voice Opera” linked to his work with the CreST network, based at York University. Many, many tributes to Alan have poured in since his death. Let’s all remember him as the funny, generous, energetic person that he was. Keep on dancing, Alan! n Alan Martin died at home, on December 16, 2012, aged 49.

INSPIRATIONAL: Dad Paul, Joseph, centre, and Jessica Franks who appear in the film fantastic 10 days we had at the Paralympic Games, how lives have been changed, and how people can get involved to support our work”. The film can be viewed

on the charity’s YouTube Channel at http://youtu.be/NrQPXtAjG b4. n The Muscle Help Foundation: 01763 274658 www.musclehelp.com

Just the job at the gym!

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OBLESS disabled people are being given the opportunity to train as fitness instructors – and use their newly-acquired skills to involve other disabled people in sport.

The InstructAbility programme is being paid for with an £850,000 grant from Sport England’s Places People Play Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund that is bringing the inspiration and magic of the London Games into communities all over the country. The cash will allow the project to be rolled out across the North West, the Midlands, South East and parts of London. The project has been created by Aspire, the spinal injury charity, and YMCAfit, the leading fitness industry training provider. Aspire chief executive Brian Carlin said it

would “secure long-term lasting change by creating a national workforce that will, in turn inspire others”. Mr Carlin added: “InstructAbility is a brilliant programme that provides new education and employment opportunities for disabled people as well as promoting the idea that working in the fitness industry can be for everyone.” The award-winning project has already been delivered in a few areas of London with 37 disabled people qualifying as instructors. One in four of the graduates completing the programme gained jobs as a direct result with private and public organisations such as Virgin Active, Fitness First, YMCA, GLL and Fusion.

n Aspire, Tel: 020 8954 5759 www.aspire.org.uk

Dame Sarah’s leading the way All Together NOW! congratulates the region’s Paralympic athletes who have been named in the New Year’s Honours list. Four-time cycling gold medallist at London 2012 Sarah Storey was made a Dame of the British Empire. Manchester-born Storey has a total of 22 Paralympic medals (11 gold, eight silver and three bronze) from six Paralympic Games. She received an OBE following Beijing 2008. MBEs were given to: Danielle Brown – archer (Shropshire); Michael Bushell – wheelchair athlete (Shropshire); Neil Fachie – cyclist (Greater Manchester); Heather Frederiksen – swimmer (Cheshire); Craig MacLean – cycling pilot (Cheshire). n SARAH, husband Barney, and Craig MacLean were also granted The Freedom of the Borough by Cheshire East Council. They are among seven Paralympian and Olympians who are also having streets named in their honour – Paralympian sailor Niki Birrell, Victoria Pendleton, Ben Ainslie, and Beth Tweedle.

To be a Dame is beyond anything I could have imagined — SARAH STOREY


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All Together NOW!

February/March 2013

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Get set for the Activators LIVERPOOL has been awarded more than £300,000 by Sport England to encourage disabled adults to get sporty through its new Activate Me project. Figures show that less than 22% of people – around 3,200 – living in Liverpool with a limiting disability are involved in physical activity once a week. Plans include setting up a group of ‘Activators’ who will give one-on-one support to disabled people who are interested in accessing sport, building their confidence, and helping them become as sporty as possible. And, to make sure the new initiative is as accessible as possible, each session will cost just £1. Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool city council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “We can now create a legacy of lifelong sport for disabled people.” The project will initially offer opportunities to people with one of three disabilities — moderate learning disability; visual impairment; hearing impairment.

MONEY! MONEY! A MULTI-MILLION pound programme to get more disabled people all over the UK taking up sport has been announced by Sport England.

A total of 44 projects will benefit from £10.2 million of National Lottery funding from its Inclusive Sport fund. And another £2m is being given by Sport England to the English Federation of Disabled Sport to support its efforts. Welcoming the news, Britain’s greatest Paralympian, Baroness Tanni GreyThompson said: “This funding will go a long way to helping those inspired by the outstanding performances of our Paralympians this summer to get out and

£12 million to get more disabled people into sport

try sport for themselves. “It’s fantastic to see such a wide range of organisations benefiting — all of them focused on helping more disabled people to discover how much sport has to offer.” The new funding aims to tackle claims that just one in six disabled adults play sport regularly, compared to one in three non-disabled adults. Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport

England, said: “We have one simple aim with this investment: to make sport a viable choice for disabled people, young or not, talented or not. “We had so many high quality proposals we were able to increase the lottery funding available from £8 million to over £10 million.” The Wheelchair Football Association (£352,381) is among the projects being supported. The Down’s Syndrome Association has also been awarded £290,145 to develop its DS Active programme, which gives children and young adults with Down’s syndrome the chance to get involved in sports, especially football.

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DISABILITY Minister Esther McVey was treated to a demo of Powerchair Football – and then found herself taking part! The Wirral West MP joined the players from the North West Powerchair Football League in Bolton. She said: “I was really impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of all the players and their families and I really enjoyed getting to grips with the sport.” n Wheelchair Football Association: sam.bull@thewfa.org.uk Tel, 07885 408 440 www.thewfa.org.uk

New chairs for region’s tennis centres TENNIS centres at Liverpool, Manchester and Telford now have specially designed wheelchairs for players wanting to try their hand at the sport. The centres are among 13 UK venues benefiting from a donation of 60 wheelchairs from The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust and The Tennis Foundation. Wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world. Gilly English, executive director of the Trust, said: “We know there are more than 20,000 people with a disability playing tennis at least once a week around the UK. “There is a huge opportunity to increase this figure and we hope that specialist equipment provided for free as part of this national initiative will encourage more people to try wheelchair tennis.” Geoff Newton, executive director of The Tennis Foundation, added: “We are committed to making tennis an inclusive sport for everyone to enjoy and these tennis chairs will enable people to give wheelchair tennis a go and have some fun on their local courts.”

. . . www.alltogethernow.org.uk


All Together NOW! Feb-Mar 2013