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SCARED OF HEIGHTS . . . BUT LORD MAYOR TO ABSEIL CATHEDRAL

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£549HAMPER! WIN £549 HAMPER!

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AUGUST-SETEMBER 2017

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Heather and Colin’s Silk Road trip p2

BACK PAGE

BEELINE TO MONGOLIA opening doors . . . broadening minds . . . . . . and reaching

500,000

readers . . .

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MY VISION  FOR MANCHESTER

THE ROLE OF MY LIFE p10

YOU’VE GOTTA LAUGH  p6


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All Together NOW!

What’s inside

NEWS

August/September 2017

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

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NEWS

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MORGAN FOUNDATION

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SIR BERT MASSIE

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CAREZONE

UNITED UTILITIES

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& RESCUE SERVICE

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SERVICE

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DA VINCI MOBILITY

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MERSEYSIDE FIRE

GTR MANCHESTER  FIRE & RESCUE

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MOTORZONE

INDEPENDENT LIVING

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LEGALZONE

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CONTACT BOARD

SKILLZONE

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THEATREZONE

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HEALTH

BOOKS/HOROSCOPE GARDENING

PUZZLEZONE SPORT

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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, long-term health condtions or age. n The charity – the only one of its kind in the UK – relies entirely on support from its sponsors, advertisers, subscriptions and donations.

0151 230 0307

Editor: Tom Dowling

email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk

Legal Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropy editor: Steve McDermott

Editorial Support: Gerry Corner

Advertising/sponsorship 0151 230 0307

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

NEXT EDITION

TUESDAY  3 OCTOBER, 2017

All Together NOW! is published by All Together Now! Ltd, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP Registered Charity No.1106387 Company No. 5096931

ALINE’S BEELINE TO MONGOLIA! RALLY CALL: Heather, Colin and ‘Betty’ ready for their dream adventure

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OR YEARS, Heather and Colin Maddox yearned to take off on an adventure of a lifetime.

“We’ve always wanted to do something wild and exciting,” says Heather, who with Colin runs the Aline Mobility stores in Widnes and St Helens. “But there’s always been something to stop us.” Well, nothing’s stopping them now! The couple have just set off in their 1971 VW Baja Beetle bound for . . . Ulan Bator in Mongolia! They’d seen the Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s The Long Way Round TV films, which featured their round the world tour on motorbikes, and then the Marco Polo series, and thought ‘why not us?’ An internet search led them to the Mongol Rally – an annual 20,000-mile return adventure – and the decision was made. “We’re doing it for ourselves and for the Claire House Children’s Hospice, which we have worked with for ages,” said Heather. “We know it all might seem mad, but it’s something we really want to do, and we will be taking every care of ourselves – and ‘Betty’, our beautiful Beetle. “We asked our daughter, Emily (15), to join us but she’s preferred to stay at home with her grandparents! “Instead of Emily, we’re taking ‘Baby Betty’ – an old toddler’s buggy, which we found abandoned in a skip.

We’ve cleaned it up and are donating it to the UNICEF project while we are in Mongolia.” Heather, a former veterinary nurse, and Colin, a former lift engineer, have been together for more than 20 years after meeting as students of Rainford High School, and have a passion for classic cars and motorbikes. Heather, 40, said: “We bought Betty last year especially for the Rally, and decided not to respray her. She’s like a patchwork quilt. “We’ll share the driving to Mongolia, but I’ll be flying back. “I’ll be away for five weeks, but I’m not expecting to see Colin for another six weeks or so. “We will have no help on the way, no GPS, no backup vehicle, no breakdown cover, just us out in the big wide world – with a tent – to fend for ourselves.” Their journey takes them through France, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan before reaching Mongolia. “We chose the Claire House charity as it’s very close to our hearts. What they do to support the families of terminally ill children is unbelievable. “All donations are gratefully received, including items for raffle and tombola prizes.” n To donate go to justgiving.com/fundraising/Betty-Maddox n To follow their progress go to Facebook - Betty Maddox or visit www.theadventurists.com

HALF A MILLION READERS . . .

Parents’ fears for disabled children

PARENTS of disabled children have so little confidence in the health and social care system that they believe their child’s care needs would not be met if they could not do it themselves. Research from the Disabled Children’s Partnership says four in every five parents have issues accessing the care services they need. As a result, nearly three quarters of those surveyed have experienced some form of mental health issue as a result of the continued strain – far higher than the general population. The study has led to the Disabled Children’s Partnership launching a new campaign, The Secret Life of Us, which willl highlight the day-to-day lives of disabled children, young people and their families. With 43% of people in the UK not knowing someone with a disability, the Partnership believes that with increased awareness and public support a real difference can be made to the lives of disabled children, young people and their families. n Contact: 0808 808 3555

Arts groups share £7m

DISABILITY arts organisations are to get £7m over the next four years from Arts Council England. Attitude is Everything, which campaigns for better access to live music for disabled people, has been awarded nearly £250,000. Other disabled-led organisations to secure funding include Graeae (£564,399 per year); Shape Arts (£286,551); Deafinitely Theatre (£212,110 per year); DaDaFest (£193,052 per year); Extant (£156,000); Disability Arts in Shropshire (£120,000); and Disability Arts Online, (£100,000)


We want to do so much more . . .

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August/September 2017

All Together NOW!

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ELCOME to our new info-packed issue. It’s another 36-page cracker, bursting with news, information, and stories that you will have difficulty finding elsewhere!

My Planet Liverpool is the latest magazine to praise our work, with a three-page feature that tells the story behind your free charity paper, and highlights the potential for much greater things. As the article states, All Together NOW! already has almost half a million readers. With more funding to cover our ever-increasing running costs we could significantly increase this figure. While we grapple with this challenge, we hope you enjoy this issue! We’re back in the autumn. Tuesday October 3 to be precise. In the meantime, enjoy what’s left of the summer. Thanks for all the support – and please stay in touch! Read My Planet Liverpool at: www.myplanetliverpool.co.uk TOM DOWLING, editor

VAMPIRE STRIKES BACK!

Business boss April comes to the rescue

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OR the past few years volunteer nightriders for the Blood Bikes charity have zoomed around North West roads on their trusty ‘Vampire 7’ motorbike, helping the NHS to deliver urgent and often life-saving medical supplies. But their trusty bike has seen better days, and a replacement was urgently needed. “The charity constantly needs help,” says volunteer rider David Lythgoe, owner of Widnes-based warehouse company Lythgoe Estates. “When I contacted my friends and clients to ask if they could help by making some small donations, I wasn’t expecting such a magnificent response.”

      

SPECIAL HONOUR: Alan with his award

Thanks, Alan!

All Together NOW! fan Alan Rimmer has received a top honour from the High Sherriff of Merseyside for his “great and valuable service to the community.” “I couldn’t believe it,” said Alan. “I try my best to help people, but I never expected to receive an honour for it. I’m so proud, and thankful to the staff at The Brain Charity and Aintree hospitals.” Alan, who has epilepsy, started his voluntary work in 2003 at Aintree hospital, and went on to help distribute 4,000 copies of All Together NOW! to wards and waiting rooms. For the past 10 years he has also been a key player at the Brain Charity and the Walton Centre. “I started volunteering as a way to of getting out of the house, to meet people and make new friends,” said Alan. “Now it’s a way of life – and I love every minute of it. It’s just great being able to help people.”

£30K up for grabs

As soon as April Davies, managing director at Higgi Ltd received David’s letter, she put up the cash to fund the new £18K Yamaha FJR bike, now known as Vampire 8! April said: “Once we fully understood the story behind the charity, and how

Council Approved Contractor & Suppliers Covering The Northwest       

lives are being saved by the bikes it was a privilege to be able to fund a new Vampire 8 for the charity. “It brought a smile to all our faces when David pulled up in front of our office!” n Blood Bikes, tel 0843 2891 999

Free Home Demonstrations

SALES, REPAIR & SERVICING OF ALL MOBILITY & DISABILITY PRODUCTS

DISABLED entrepreneurs who have been in business for up to seven years – and have a strong online presence – are being urged to apply for a top UK award, worth £30,000 and mentoring from easyJet founder, Sir Stelios. There are also £10,000 prizes for the four finalists in the 11th annual Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs. Closing date, Friday October 6. n Enter online at www.facebook.com/steliosfoundation or www.leonardcheshire.org/stelios Tel, 07740 515 957.

Call Us On:

01744 602602 Also At:

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All Together NOW!

Top health centre for Manchester

TRANSFORMING health services for ethnic minority people with severe mental illness is the aim of a new centre of excellence in Manchester. The national Synergi Collaborative Centre has been set up in response to the severe inequalities experienced by ethinic minority people with serious mental health conditions. The University of Manchester – along with Queen Mary University of London and Words of Colour Productions – have been commissioned to establish the independent centre, funded with a £1,245,000 award from the Lankelly Chase Foundation, which aims to help those who are socially disadvantaged.

App a cab!

WHEELCHAIR users who have a smartphone can now book an Uber accessible private hire taxi in Liverpool. Vehicles are equipped with a rear-entry ramp and restraints, enabling a wheelchair user and one passenger to use the vehicle. uberACCESS is also available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Wolverhampton and Newcastle. Wheelchair users booking a car with Uber can get up to £15 off their first trip by entering the promotional code ‘ACCESSUK’ into the app.

New tinnitus group

A NEW group to support people with tinnitus has been set up in Warrington. Clare Kewney, business development director at UK Hearing Care, who are hosting the group’s meetings, said: “We want to support anyone who lives with tinnitus.” n Contact Clare Kewney or Sarah Bernstein on 0808 301 7517

Veterans’ website

A WEBSITE is providing ex-Armed Forces personnel with a wealth of advice and support. Councillor Ian Francis, Armed Forces Champion for Liverpool, said: “The website contains lots of information about the services that the council, its partners and other organisations can provide and is part of a package of support we are offering across the city.” n www.serviceleaversliverpool.co.uk

NEWS

August/September 2017

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Join a unique band Colouful CALLING all musicians aged over 16 with a disability – it’s time to start blowing your own trumpets and put yourself in with a chance of becoming a founder member of a new national big band. The Douglas Bader Foundation, which promotes independence for disabled people, want to set up Britain’s first ever disabled big band. Bader’s Big Band will perform live at air shows,

festivals and private events – and will record an EP in a London recording studio. The Foundation want to hear from vocalists, drummers, bassists, pianists saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists – but all disabled musicians will be considered. Deadline for applications is September 1. n Contact Paul on 0208 748 8884

PLEASE, JUST TALK TO US Bader’s Big Band

NeedsYou!

The Douglas Bader Foundation is looking for musicians with a disability aged 16+ to join Bader’s Big Band. A core line up of vocalists, drums, bass, piano, saxophones, trumpets, trombones – but all instruments considered. 35 years of inspiration The band will perform together at airshows, festivals and other events. Email paul@douglasbaderfoundation.com or call 020 8748 8884 for more information

SMILE GRANTS

BADER GRANTS

douglasbaderfoundation.com

or email paul@douglasbaderfoundation

Loneliness a real issue for disabled people . . .

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AMPAIGNERS are calling for a major awarenessraising effort after one in four people admitted they avoid talking to disabled people. The damaging attitudes that still exist towards disabled people are highlighted in research by deafblind charity Sense. Only half of those responding to the study – conducted as part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness – believed they had much in common with disabled people. “Fear of causing offence” (30%), “feeling uncomfortable” (20%) or “not knowing what to talk about” (17%) were the most common reasons for avoiding conversation. Young adults, under 24, were revealed to be twice as likely to have avoided talking to disabled people, adding to the increased risk of social isolation for their disabled peers. Young adults were also found to be the least likely to meet disabled people, with a quarter of those surveyed unable to recall the last

GROUNDED: access problems for wheelchair users

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

n Tackling social attitudes. Voluntary sector organisations and the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) should deliver public awareness campaigns to promote increased understanding and acceptance of disabled people. n Professional training – professionals should be aware of the risk and impact of loneliness, and provide specific support to help disabled people develop and maintain social networks n Improving access to services. n Good quality social care. Investment in intervention services. n Accessible transport; Financial support; Access to work. www.sense.org.uk/loneliness

time they encountered someone with a disability Sense Deputy CEO, Richard Kramer said: “Loneliness is disproportionally high amongst disabled people, many of whom say they feel lonely every day. “Out-dated attitudes towards disability are still preventing people from striking up

conversations and finding the shared interests that are often the key to friendship. “Better understanding of disability and a shift in societal awareness are a key step in allowing disabled people to play a full part in society with the same opportunities to make connections as everybody else.”

HALF A MILLION READERS . . .

days on the way

THERE’S good news on the way for people who are colour blind . . .

A new system has been launched that enables ‘Pay TV’ operators to better meet the needs of people who are colour blind. Spectral Edge’s Ultra HD version of its Eyeteq technology transforms colours on TV screens, tablets or smartphones to enable those with colour vision deficiency (CVD) to see what they otherwise cannot – without affecting images for those without CVD. The system was launched at the M-Enabling Summit in Washington DC. n www.spectraledge.co.uk

It’s tough going . . .

POOR access around Manchester city centre has been exposed by a new online documentary. The video follows a wheelchair user around the city for a day and highlights poor road maintenance, badly designed dropped curbs and lampposts wrongly positioned in the middle of public footpaths. The film was commissioned by serious injury solicitors’ firm Potter Rees Dolan. Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence solicitor, said: “Manchester is a modern, vibrant city but we are excluding a large percentage of people with physical disabilities. “This is perhaps due to lack of understanding or assuming that the size of Manchester’s disabled community is negligible, which is not the case.” www.youtube.com/watch ?v=TdenelWSPw0


WIN A £549 HAMPER!

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

ENTRY FORM

THE first entry drawn out of the hat on Friday, November 10 will win the hamper. You can also send your answer on the back of a postcard to: n Park Hamper Competition,

All Together NOW! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP

n You can also enter online www.alltogethernow.org.uk

NAME

ADDRESS

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POSTCODE

TEL NO:

HRISTMAS might seem a long way off – but a bit of early planning can make a big difference.

if you win our super prize draw. It’s the SEVENTH successive year that Park has donated their monster hamper, which contains a huge range of Christmas food and drink to keep even the biggest family fed over the festive period. Park CEO Chris Houghton said: “Our previous competitions in All Together NOW have all been extremely popular. We are confident that this one will attract even more interest.” n You can enter using the form on this page, or by visiting our website at: www.alltogethernow.org.uk n For more information about budgeting for Christmas, go to: www.getpark.co.uk/atn

For 50 years Birkenhead-based Park Christmas Savings have been helping people to do just that! Their high street vouchers and Christmas savings schemes have been real winners for hundreds of thousands of people all over the country. Park have teamed up again with All Together NOW! to make this Christmas very special for one lucky reader. This is your chance to win Park’s top-of-the-range Empire hamper, worth £549 – and it will be all yours

MOBILE NO: EMAIL:

By entering you agree with Park’s terms and conditions – please see below.

Park Group would like to send you marketing material Yes please

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Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries... Spend in stores throughout the UK

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Third parties would like to send you marketing material

A gift for any occasion 20,000

At least one telephone number is required

FREE

Greetings Card with every order

 The Love2shop Gift Voucher  Free greetings card  Free delivery available

Top brands at www.highstreetvouchers.com

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Park Group would like to send you marketing material by email Yes please

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Park would like to send you marketing material by SMS

RULES: By entering the competition you confirm that you understand and agree that the information you provide will be held on a Park Group database and that it will be shared by all companies within the Park Group A full list of those companies is available by writing to the Data Controller, Park Group Plc, Valley Road, Birkenhead, CH41 7ED. Park Group plc shall be the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 The information you provide will be used by Park Group and any necessary third parties to provide you with the goods and services you request. Companies within the Park Group may wish to contact you for customer care purposes or to keep you informed about the latest offers, promotions, prize draws, and competitions, using post, telephone, e-mail, SMS and any other appropriate means, including new technology. If you wish to be contacted via email or SMS, please provide us with your e-mail address and/or your mobile telephone number as appropriate. If you do not wish to be contacted by any member of the Park Group for marketing purposes, please indicate this on your entry. n The winning entry must agree to having a photograph taken for promotional purposes.

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All Together NOW!

‘Building sites should carry health warning’

IT’S time that noisy building sites and road works came with warning signs to protect the hearing of passers-by as well as those working on site. That’s the opinion of a UK hearing aid specialist who says many sites operate with noises well over what is considered safe for people’s long-term hearing. According to Jonathan Ratcliffe, at Yorkshire-based Audiologist.co.uk, it’s good that site workers are issued with ear defenders, but the public, going about their business nearby, go unprotected. “The average site with a pneumatic drill or heavy machinery can be far louder than acceptable limits,” says Mr Ratcliffe. “And often people can be walking mere feet away without any protection.” The major problem is that a building site jack hammer or road worker’s pneumatic drill can be as loud as 90dB (decibels), where experts agree that exposure to noises above 85dB can be damaging. “This actually means it’s around one-and-a-half times as loud.” Mr Ratcliffe suggests mandatory warning signs be put up highlighting areas where pedestrains could be exposed to potentially dangerous sound levels. “And on top of that, there should be suggested diversion routes to help people find their way past,” he says.

Life’s tough but you’ve gotta laugh! NEWS

August/September 2017

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

MONEY MATTERS: MOTOR INSURANCE

COMEDIAN Gary Skyner reflects on his life as a thalidomide child in his new autobiography.

AS ONE of the earliest thalidomide children born in the UK, Gary’s life was destined to be challenging.

Born in 1959 with severe disabilities after his mother was prescribed the thalidomide drug to combat morning sickness, he had to deal with his parents’ marital breakdown and a difficult relationship with his father – all caused, in Gary’s eyes, by the strains of raising a disabled child. In addition to his troubles at home, Gary’s tears turned to anger as he became aware of the Government’s reluctance to make provision for thalidomide victims, leading him to become active in campaigns in order to shame them into proper negotiation. Expected not to live, let alone to achieve much, Gary is living proof that there is nothing you cannot achieve if you believe you can. “Despite being told to expect a poor quality of life, I defied all the odds,” says Gary, whose autobiography explores how he turned his life around. Gary’s book also tells how his dreams came crashing down on him as he realised his physical limitations would prevent him pursuing a career in football, and

more particularly playing for his beloved Liverpool FC. Working first as a telephone operator, Gary later became a welder, a housing officer and then a trained paralegal. Despite a life full of challenges, there have been happy moments, including having two daughters and his comic and motivational speaking career. For Gary, there has never been a dull moment. “Life should be spiced with jokes and laughter,” he says with a broad smile.

n You Can’t, You Won’t: A Life of Unarmed Combat, by Gary Skyner and Carol Fenlon, Troubador, £8.99

THE sun shone and the crowds again flocked to the 26th annual – info-packed – Disability Awareness Day at Warrington’s Walton Hall Gardens. Next year’s event takes place on Sunday July 15. n Contact Warington Disability Partnership, tel 01925 240064 www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk

HALF A MILLION READERS

I RECENTLY received my car insurance renewal documents. This showed an increase from last year’s premium of £330 to £430 (£8 of this was due to an increase in the IPT). Insurers now show last year’s premium on the renewal notice, but it may not be what you paid, but rather the initial ask, e.g. the £430 above. After a few moans, they reduced it to £400. The excess remained at £350. I wondered whether the increase was due to the fact I was now 76 or that my wife (named driver) was now 71. They declined to comment on that. So, I tried a few online companies. All quoted £400 upwards. All quotes I got showed £350 excess. I then had to adjust for NCD protection, courtesy car, free legals, and roadside assistance, to get a direct comparison. Just to check further I phoned some companies that don’t feature on most comparison websites. All quoted much higher. It all shows that you have to do yor homework. So, when your renewal comes through remember the insurance company relies on what they call “Policy Inertia” – that is you not being bothered about getting another quote. Please do. And always talk to your own insurance company – they do not want to lose you as a customer.


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

Making a difference A

AWARDS of £1,117,598 were granted at our latest trustee meeting!

Welcome on board to: Rainbow House; Genie in the Gutter CIC; Ainsdale Community Care; PLS Food Foundation; Home-Start Central and West Cheshire; Tomorrow’s Women Wirral. Welcome back to: Passion for Learning CIC; The Rotunda; Steps to Freedom; Daffodils; Home-Start Southport & Formby; Norris Green Youth Club; Clare Mount Sports College. Over 20 major grants so far committed this financial year, plus six Smiley Buses and Vans.

T the Steve Morgan Foundation we want to help organisations who share our philosophy . . .

Making a Difference!

ON YOUR BIKES! Created in 2001 by businessman Steve Morgan CBE – founder and chairman of Redrow plc, and chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies – the Steve 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 our region. 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.

Thousands to benefit from three new centres

Tel 01925 234213

MERSEYSIDE LIVERPOOL: Wavertree Park and Croxteth Park SEFTON: Litherland Sports Centre BIRKENHEAD: Birkenhead Park St HELENS: Victoria Park KNOWSLEY: Halewood Environment Centre WIDNES: Victoria Park Athletics Track

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YCLING’S good for ALL of us. It’s a great way to get active, have fun, and meet and make new friends.

And with all the new adapted cycles and easy access, off road trails that are springing up, it’s no wonder that more and more disabled people and their families and friends are getting together for regular bike rides. That’s why The Steve Morgan Foundation is delighted to support a hugely exciting cycling programme that will, over the next three years, see THREE new special centres being opened in our region. Thousands of people affected by disability will have the chance of a bike ride with their families and friends at the new venues, run by Wheels for All. The first centre is being opened within the next month at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay. Next year, another new centre will open in Prestatyn, followed by a third in Deeside. Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of The Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “We want to make a difference to

PEDAL AWAY and help raise funds to buy new specialised cycles for Wheels for All centres. Cyclists of all abilities are wanted for Knowsley’s ‘Pedal Away’ day on September 10. Two routes – 10-mile family ride, or the 40-mile challenge. Enter (£10 per adult) online at www.cycling,org.uk

people’s lives and cycling can do exactly that. It brings so many people together to have fun, make friends, and get healthier in the process. “Wheels for All are doing great work and we are delighted to support this new project, which will bring lots of benefits to lots of people.” Ian Tierney, director of Cycling Projects, the charity that runs the Wheels for All programme, said: “This is a fantastic boost and will benefit thousands of people.”

Ian has spent virtually all his life surrounded by bikes. While at school he helped at his Uncle Norman’s shop – Tierney Cycles – in Aigburth Vale, Liverpool. After university, Ian got a job at The Hub, the revolutionary Liverpool cycle centre, and in 2002 he joined the Cycling Projects charity as

www.stevemorganfoundation.co.uk Tel 01829 782808

GTR MANCHESTER BURY: Clarence Park BOLTON: Bolton Arena and Leverhulme Park OLDHAM: Alexandra Park ROCHDALE: Bowlee Sports Centre, Middleton WYTHENSHAWE: Wythenshawe Athletics Track WARRINGTON: Victoria Park Athletics Track WIGAN: Robin Park Arena and Leigh Sports Village

development officer. “There was a serious lack of provision for people with disabilities,” he says. Now there are more than 50 Wheels for All centres across the UK, with about 20 in the North West. “There’s nothing better than cycling,” says Ian. “Some people might need an extra wheel or two, but between us we always come up with a solution to get people active.”

Steve Morgan Foundation

LANCASHIRE HYNDBURN: Wilsons Playing Fields, Clayton Le Moors. LYTHAM: Lytham Sports Club ORMSKIRK: Sporting Edge Complex CHESHIRE CHESTER: Chester Greenway NORTHWICH: Marbury Country Park

@stevemorganfdn

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All Together NOW!

Pensioners cashing in on their homes

RETIRED homeowners in the North West shared more than £38.8 million through equity release scheme in the first three months of this year, according to new figures by Key Retirement. The company’s Equity Release Market Monitor found that retired homeowners cashed in around £56,220 each, tax-free, on average – with sales of equity release plans up by 33% over the same period of 2016. The study, which also analysed the reasons for releasing equity across the whole of the UK, found the main motivation was to fund home and garden improvements with 62% using some or all of the cash for revamping their property. n 32% used some or all of the money for holidays; 30% used some or all of the money to clear debts (including credit cards and loans); and a further 22% repaid an outstanding mortgage. n Families were also big beneficiaries with over one in five (22%) retired homeowners using money to help out relatives, including providing deposits to help with a property purchase.

Limbcare’s key tole

LIMBCARE, the charity that supports amputees across the UK, is celebrating its seventh anniversary. Ray Edwards, the charity’s founder, said: “We have achieved a huge amount, but there is still so much more to do. “Diabetes and meningitis are leading to growing numbers of people in the UK being affected by limb loss and this trend is set to continue.” Limbcare provides support with everything from personal issues to how to access benefits, and gives emotional support to those going through this life-changing experience. n Tel, 0800 052 1174

August/September 2017

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Cack-handedness at the Equality Commission THE Equality and Human Rights Commission has once again got itself into a pickle over its role to serve disabled people. A new Disability Commissioner, Lord Shrinkwin, was appointed but before he attended his first Board meeting the chairman, David Isaacs, informed him that he would not be the Disability Commissioner but a general commissioner and not be expected to chair the Disability Committee. Kevin Shrinkwin is disabled and I served with him in the late 1990s when we were members of the National Disability Council.

I expect Isaac’s thought Shrinkwin would quietly accept the decision, which he claimed was taken by the Board. If so, it is remarkable he did not choose to consult the disabled person just appointed to the Board. The dispute was reported in the Sunday Times and Shinkwin referred to it in the House of Lords when he responded to the Queen’s Speech. It is remarkable that the Equality Commission could handle this in such a cack-handed way. But it illustrates once again that despite employing some excellent disabled staff the Commission still does not understand that disabled people

SIR BERT MASSIE

SOUNDING OFF

want to be involved in decisions that affect us. As the old war cry had it, nothing about us without us. Perhaps it is time to accept that in its ten year life the Equality Commission has never really understood disability issues and has been a poor champion of the rights of disabled people. Is it time for the Commission to be released from responsibility of serving disabled people and for such duties to be transferred to a new commission on which the majority of the Board are themselves disabled?

Pavements for people, not cars

AS a wheelchair user I never cease to be surprised at the number of occasions when I have to go on to the road in dangerous situations because a thoughtless motorist has parked half of their car on the pavement. The difficulties are not just faced by people with wheels. Blind people expect pavements to be clear of cars and street furniture. A number of blind people have walked into cars and injured themselves. Police have plenty to do without chasing foolish motorists who park on pavements, but it would be good to see some fixed penalty notices being handed out to those who are stealing our pavements.

Can the PM deliver for disabled people?

I

T IS unusual for a disability issue to have a major effect on a Prime Minister’s popularity.

Yet the PM’s pre-election proposal to use people’s homes to cover the cost of social care both at home and institutions seemed to be one straw too many for the camel. Care for people with cancer will continue to be free but those with dementia would be expected to pay. It is no wonder it was quickly christened the Dementia Tax and roundly condemned. It appears the proposal has now been dropped. However, the issue of funding social care for disabled people has not gone away and the Prime Minister is now seeking agreement with other political parties on the way forward. There seems to be no political support for the most obvious solution, which is for all social care to be funded from taxation and free of charge at the point of delivery. Naturally, the funds to do this must come from somewhere but I can see no reason

why it should not come from a general taxation. This is how the National Health Service is funded. We all pay our taxes and in return receive a number of services from the Government, including the NHS. The problem is that the Government has an ideological commitment to not increasing taxes and few people willingly volunteer to pay more income tax although they still want the services taxes would fund. They might be more willing to do so if the Government guaranteed the money raised would be spent on social care. I suspect the Government would rather move to a United States style insurance scheme whereby people would be required to take out insurance for their social care later in life. The problem is that the ultimate expenditure is not known and insurance premiums would therefore be high. One report recommended that no person, regardless of their wealth, should be expected to pay more than £70,000 over a lifetime towards social care. Had the

Government followed this policy insurance companies would have been more interested. Under David Cameron’s government the ability of local authorities to invest in social care was hacked away. Benefits that gave disabled people financial security were cut and in some cases abolished. The Independent Living Fund that enabled disabled people to have high-level personal care in their homes was simply abolished as being unsustainable. The challenge for Theresa May is to persuade disabled people that she does believe in a fair Britain and that she will seek to undo the damage inflicted on disabled people since 2010. She could make a start by getting out of Downing Street and meeting disabled people who seem to know a great deal more about how social care works than does her current advisers.

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All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

I want to raise lots of money for my charities – and raise the profile of the excellent work they do . . .

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy

MISSION ONE: Abseil Liverpool Cathedral

‘I’ll go to any heights for my charities’

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IVERPOOL’S Lord Mayor is scared stiff of heights. But he’s prepared to abseil one of the most iconic buildings in the UK.

“I’m already scared to bits,” said the Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy. “Just thinking about the abseil makes my spine tingle. I’m really not one for heights, but when I was appointed Lord Mayor of Liverpool I pledged to do whatever it takes to raise significant amounts of money for the four charities that I am supporting this year. “Yes, I’m going to be white as a ghost and trembling all over, but I will happily put my life and limbs into the experts’ hands, who will, hopefully, guide me down safely.” The Lord Mayor’s big date is Saturday August 12, a week after the first lot of thrill seekers will have experienced the 150-foot drop down the Cathedral’s vast west gates.

IF YOUR organisation can help raise money for The Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal please contact Liverpool Town Hall on 0151 233 4651 or email town.hall@liverpool.gov.uk

THE Lord Mayor’s four supported charities are:

All Together NOW! The only FREE charity newsaper of its kind in the UK.

The Owen McVeigh Foundation, which supports children, and their families, who are affected by cancer.

The ADHD Foundation, which was created by the council and became a charity 10 years ago.

The Choir With No Name, which runs choirs for people who have experienced homelessness.

THE Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal committee is planning a year of fundraising events. Apart from the abseil at Liverpool Cathedral, other events include a sponsored walk, supper clubs, pub quiz, family fun day, Christmas carol concert, gala concert at St George’s Hall, and the annual Lord Mayor’s Ball. Watch this space for more events . . .

YOU CAN donate to the Lord Mayor’s Charity by texting LMAY17 £1, LMAY17 £5 or LMAY17 £10 depending on the amount you want to give.

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Inquiry focuses on care homes

CARE homes are being investigated to see if they are breaking the law. Large upfront fees, fees charged after death, a lack of information about prices on care home websites, and contracts allowing care homes to ask residents to leave at short notice are among concerns that will be looked at. The Competition and Markets Authority says it also has concerns over people struggling to make decisions about care, and complaints that procedures are not functioning well. Investigations will focus on whether consumer law is being broken. The need for care home services is expected to increase substantially, with the number of people aged 85 and over projected to more than double by mid-2039. The level of care people require is also expected to increase as, having spent longer in their homes, they will be more frail when they move to a care home. Andrea Coscelli, CMA acting chief executive, said: “Demand for care home places is expected to surge over the next two decades. To make sure the additional capacity this requires is available, it needs to be built in good time. “At present, short-term funding pressures and uncertainty mean that the sector is not attracting investment. We will be finding ways to deal with these.” The size of the UK care home market is estimated at £15.9 billion, and there are currently more than 430,000 elderly people in care or nursing homes across the UK

August/September 2017

TVClaire: The role of my life

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C

LAIRE KING is best known for her starring roles as Kim Tate in Emmerdale, governor Karen Betts in Bad Girls, and Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street. But away from the screen she has also played an important role, caring for her elderly parents. Here, Claire talks about her 20 years spent supporting her mother and father and offers some tips that could help make carers lives a little bit easier . . .

What’s your personal experience of being a carer? Twenty years ago my father was diagnosed with MS and my mother with rheumatoid arthritis and I started caring for them running errands, going shopping, cooking and sorting out finances. These days my father is bedridden and needs 24/7 professional care, so my brother and I tend to help out more with the financial side, whether it be helping with the bills or just looking at ways to help him save money. What is the hardest part of being a carer? The long hours, because it’s not a 9-5 job. My father, for example, needs turning over in the middle of the night, and that sort of task means disrupted sleep for the carer. It’s also hard juggling all the finances that go with it, and trying to save money in as many ways as possible. What with expenditure on cars,

SENIOR MOMENTS

wheelchairs, hoists, larger energy bills, the extra costs of caring can be enormous. I know from experience that taking on a caring role certainly increases worry about bills, particularly heating. This worry can be compounded if you are on a prepay meter, as many carers are. Not only do you have the additional worry of running out of credit and the electricity suddenly going off, but you may also have to leave the person you’re caring for alone while you go to the shops to top up. However, there are some things that can make life a bit easier, such as smart meters, which are a particular blessing for those who prepay for their gas and electricity and who might be managing a tight budget. Is caring a rewarding role? It is rewarding to see those people who you love dearly having a quality of life that they wouldn’t

. . . with FRANK HARRIS

necessarily have if you weren’t there. What are your tips for carers? There are a lot of useful new innovations that weren’t available when I started caring for my parents. A smart meter would definitely have helped – I have one now and it’s great. You can get one from your energy supplier for free and they have lots of extra benefits, particularly for carers who are prepay customers, or who care for people on prepay meters. For example, with a smart meter it’s easy to top up your credit via an app, online, or on the phone, meaning that you can top up quickly and easily for yourself, or top up for the people you care for, without having to go out to the shops. You can also see exactly how much credit you have left on a handheld screen, making it easier to keep track of what you are spending, very useful if you’re managing a tight budget. Other things I find hugely helpful are accessibility apps – accessibility is a particular problem for wheelchair users like my father, but apps such as It’s Accessible list places that are accessible to people with mobility issues. These would have been particularly useful to me when caring for my father – my parents like to go to the horse racing and out for lunch occasionally, so we used to have to find numbers and ring around to ask about suitable access. Now it’s all at your fingertips. The huge amount of online money advice services available these days, such as energy advice websites and budgeting apps and blogs, would have been a huge help to me in terms of money management and taking advantage of the discounts that are available.

HALF A MILLION READERS – AND GROWING – 0151 230 0307


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August/September 2017

Make savings on your water and energy bills Using water wisely is great for the environment, but did you know you can also make a saving on your bills even if you don’t have a water meter? That’s because a lot of water used in

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11

Need a little extra support? :HFDQDOOEHQHLJWIURPDELWRI extra support at some stage in our lives. This could be due to age, ill health, disability, mental KHDOWKSUREOHPVLJQDQFLDO worries or language barriers.

the home is heated – such as washing machines, baths, showers and dishwashers. So reducing the amount of hot water wasted will help you make a saving on your energy bills too. We have lots of water saving advice on our website and you can also order some freebies to help you save around £40 a year on your energy bills. Visit unitedutilities.com/ watertight for details.

Pay less for your water Last year, more than 30,000 people switched to a water meter and made a saving on their water bills – why don’t you? The great news is WKDWZHLJWZDWHUPHWHUVIUHHRIFKDUJHDQGLI\RXLJQG\RXà UHQRWPDNLQJDVDYLQJ you have up to two years to switch back. So if your home has more bedrooms than SHRSOHLWàVGHLJQLWHO\ZRUWKFRQVLGHULQJDV\RXàUHOLNHO\WRUHGXFH\RXUELOO 7RLJQGRXWPRUHDQGDSSO\RQOLQHYLVLWunitedutilities.com/meters or call us on 0345 072 6065 and we’ll let you know how much you could save.

Struggling with your payments? If you’re having trouble paying your bill, please don’t ignore the problem - give us a call on 0800 072 6765 so we can help. We won’t judge and we won’t preach. Instead, you’ll receive a friendly ear from the team who are specially trained to handle sensitive issues and are dedicated to getting you back on track with our range of support schemes.

Priority Services is free and could help you or your family EHQHLJWIURPDGGLWLRQDOVXSSRUW from us so we can respond quickly to your particular needs. Services include: • Notice of interruptions to your water supply • Alternative water supplies if \RXUZDWHULVOLNHO\WREHRÇ„IRU more than 12 hours • Support for dialysis patients • Protection from bogus callers with a password protection scheme • Braille, large print and ‘talking’ bills To register for Priority Services, please visit unitedutilities. com/priorityservices or call us on 0345 072 6093. 07/17/SD/7554


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August/September 2017

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Will you be

Safe4Summer? HAVE fun and stay safe this summer is the message from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service as the sun comes out to play. Water safety is hot on the agenda over the coming months and we are asking the public to swot up their knowledge so they can keep themselves safe around Greater Manchester’s waterways. Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, H[SODLQHG³2XU¿UH¿JKWHUVFDQXQIRUWXQDWHO\ ¿QGWKHPVHOYHVDWWHQGLQJHPHUJHQFLHVZKHUH people have found themselves in trouble in open water and need rescuing.

“ Waterways are often colder than

or a current can be much stronger than even a FRQÂżGHQWVZLPPHUFDQEDWWOH “This is why we are urging parents to educate their children about the dangers of water, encourage people to enjoy the water at locations where there is a lifeguard and most importantly, tell people to dial 999 immediately if they see someone in trouble in the water.â€? )LUHÂżJKWHUVDQGFRPPXQLW\VDIHW\H[SHUWVDUH teaching young people about water safety when they visit schools and also when children visit the Service’s new Training and Safety Centre in Bury. But we would like you to help us spread this message as well.

people realise, sending the body LQWRVKRFNDQGPDNLQJLWGLÀFXOWIRU Our tips for staying safe around the water: • Use the local swimming pool to cool off – people to swim to safety

“

12

“They may have jumped in to cool off in the sunshine or been playing on riverbanks with friends before things turned dangerous – and by this time, it can be too late. “Greater Manchester’s waterways are often colder than people realise, sending the body LQWRVKRFNDQGPDNLQJLWGLIÂżFXOWIRUSHRSOH to then swim to safety. There are often unseen hazards that lie beneath the surface

lifeguards will help keep you safe, and the water is cleaner and warmer • Value\RXUVDIHW\¿UVW¹MXPSLQJLQRSHQZDWHU to rescue pets or belongings can be highly dangerous. Dogs are much better at dealing with cold water and rescuing themselves than we are. • Be careful when walking, running or cycling close to open water – almost half of the people who drown in the UK never intend to enter the water

• Know what to do in an emergency – if you come across someone in trouble in the water GLDODQGDVNIRUWKH¿UHDQGUHVFXHVHUYLFH Explain your location clearly and describe any landmarks. If you can safely reach out to the person using a branch of clothing, or throw WKHPVRPHWKLQJWKDWZLOOÀRDWWKHQGRVREXW never lean over the water or enter it yourself. • Never mix alcohol and swimming – people take more risks after drinking alcohol and their swimming capability will be reduced

7KH¿UHVHUYLFHKDVRQFHDJDLQ teamed up with partners and communities to take part in the Safe 4 Summer campaign where the public can learn all there is to know about staying safe at www.safe4summer.com /RJRQIRUDFWLYLWLHVDQGWR¿QG things to do in your area – and children (5 to 16-year-olds) can enter a competition to win an iPad Air2.

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August/September 2017

Keeping everyone SAFE ‘n’ HEALTHY! M

ERSEYSIDE Fire & Rescue Service and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have won a prestigious health award for their pioneering new scheme focusing on bowel cancer screening.

home safety engagement work. “The feedback from staff shows the benefits of face-toface communication.” Julie Kelly, head of Public Health NHS England North, Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “Regular bowel cancer The two services’ Safe and Well screening has been shown to visits scooped a Healthcare reduce the risk of dying from Transformation Award in the bowel cancer by 16%. category of Improving Cancer “This initiative is an Outcomes, alongside their excellent example of local partners Public Health England, MFRS Station Manager Phil Byrne, Susan Spence, Healthcare organisations working NHS England (Cheshire and professional Facilitator (Cancer Research UK), Cllr Bob Rudd together for the benefit of the Merseyside) and Cancer Chair of the CF Authority, and CFRS Watch Manager Ant Fletcher populations we serve.” Research UK. Experts from Cancer As a result, Safe and Well visits carried For a number of years, firefighters from Research UK were responsible for giving out by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service the two services have regularly visited the fire service staff their training on the generate around 120 referrals for bowel homes of vulnerable people over 65 to give screening scheme. cancer screening each month. advice on fire safety. Anna Murray, Primary Care Engagement Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service But, since February this year, both Facilitator at Cancer Research, said: carried out 15,935 Safe and Well visits services have partnered with the NHS to “Although bowel cancer screening has from February to June this year that provide some health advice and try to been a National Screening Programme resulted in 1,098 bowel cancer referrals. reduce the number of emergency visits to since 2006, the percentage of people who Phil Byrne, Station Manager at hospital. take part remains low compared to breast Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: Crews and specially trained fire and cervical screening. “Fire and rescue services have a unique advocates provide tips on how to avoid a “It has been a pleasure to work with ability to access homes of vulnerable trip or fall in the home, who to contact if Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and people and we are pleased to be including people want to stop smoking or drinking, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.” such a worthwhile project as part of our and advise on bowel cancer screening.

Working together can really work wonders . . . 8dciVXijh/

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MERSEYSIDE Fire & Rescue Service has been working with partners to tackle deliberate fire setting and serious and organised crime in south Liverpool. The fifth Partnership Day of Action saw fire crews, police, and representatives from housing associations all working together to offer help and advice to residents in the Riverside ward. Fire crews conducted 43 Home Fire Safety Checks with Business Fire Safety Advisors offering advice to small businesses.

MFRS had support from Liverpool City Council City Watch Team with their CCTV mobile unit, Liverpool City Council Street Scene Team, Healthy Homes Team, and Public Protection Unit consisting of an Alcohol Tobacco Unit Officer, a Premise Licensing Officer and two Environmental Enforcement Officers. Liverpool Housing Trust, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Plus Dane Housing all worked together with us on the day – great to see so many partners working effectively together.

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Hot stuff, John!

13

Chef John Birchall cooks for firefighters

BLUE Watch in Huyton Fire Station had some extra help in the kitchen from a member of Merseyside Fire & Rescue’s Prince’s Trust Team 39. After firefighters heard that John Birchall, 24, was an aspiring chef, they decided to give him a chance to cook them a meal – a chicken curry. John has been an enthusiastic member since starting with The Prince’s Trust Team 39 Huyton back in January. He soon demonstrated his culinary skills on a residential trip. John has volunteered in a café where he learnt lots of food hygiene and cooking skills and has been accepted onto a college course studying cookery. Blue Watch were particularly pleased with his curry with clean plates all round being all the evidence anyone needed of John’s flair in the kitchen.


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All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

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Easy way to fill up

FILLING up with fuel is now a lot easier for disabled drivers with a smartphone. A new app lets drivers contact Shell’s UK service stations to arrange for help when they arrive on the forecourt. The fuelService app has been developed by IT specialist Niall El-Asaad. “Disabled drivers have always struggled to get their cars refuelled,” said Neil, from Wigan, who was paralysed in a cycling accident. “In the past the options were to use an infrared transmitter, but few service stations supported it, and at those that did, it hardly ever worked.” “The other option is to beep your horn, flash your lights and wave your Blue Badge about – which is potentially embarrassing and offers no guarantees.” Michael Hominick of Shell said: “We are very pleased to accept fuelService, and working hard to make it available to as many customers as possible.” n www.fuelservice.org

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August/September 2017

We’re here to HELP!

L

OSING your mobility – whether it’s through a serious accident, or just a frustrating part of life – can be hard to come to terms with.

But there ARE plenty of ways to make life easier for you – or for someone you care for. The team at DaVinci Mobility have all the skills and expertise to come up with the right solution. Whether it’s a walking aid, a wheelchair, a powered scooter or a handcycle, DaVinci Mobility can help. And if you need your car adapting with hand controls, or something that can help you to get in and out of a vehicle, then they can do that, too. “Our simple aim is to help people retain or regain their independence,” says wheelchair user and engineer Vin Ross, who set up the

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Tel 0151 548 1999

15

. . . getting – and keeping – you mobile . . .

DaVinci team have all the answers

company in 2001. “We have a great team who have the knowledge and personal experience to offer people plenty of options and help them make the right choice.” Half of the DaVinci staff have a disability, which has proved to be a big plus over the years. Vin adds: “When people suddenly have

HELPING HANDS: Vin Ross, seated, and Steve Curran

mobility issues, half the problem is finding someone who properly understands their difficulties – and who can come up with answers. “If we haven’t got the product, or if it’s not commercially available, then we will always try and make something ourselves. “That’s how we have built our reputation, ands it’s something we are very proud of.”

Among their innovative creations is the hugely popular Trail Rider – a clip on wheel that converts a manual wheelchair into a powered trike. DaVinci Mobility co-director Steve Curran says: “They are brilliant and helping lots of people get to places that previously were out of reach.” But it’s not all about hi-tech solutions. “We can provide simple solutions to make life so much easier for everyone with a walking problem – whatever their age and whatever their situation,” says Steve.


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All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

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The big switch on . . .

Easy money

A NEW look debit card – and a talking card reader – to help older and disabled customers have been launched by Barclays. The bank has enhanced their high-visibility debit cards, which already feature brightly coloured designs and tactile notch for easy orientation. Now the three-digit security number on the reverse of the card has been made bigger after customers told Barclays they were struggling to see it. The card reader now comes with bigger buttons. With over five million people experiencing some form of sight loss or dexterity issues, the developments are intended to help customers access services more easily and further protect them from fraud.

ELECTRIC bikes are making life so much fun – and so much easier for EVERYONE! Here in the North West, DaVinci Wheelchairs in Gillmoss, Liverpool, and Cyclone Mobility in Widnes, are continuing to come up with innovative ways of helping disabled people be more active and independent. Things are improving down south, too . . . star attractions in the 54-mile London to Brighton bike ride were 14-

year-old Flynn Elinor, his mum, Teresa – and their Boxer Breeze tandem wheelchair. “It was a fantastic day,” said Teresa. “Flynn was screaming with excitement when we were going downhill.” The Boxer Breeze “wheelchair tandem” features the Shimano Steps mid-drive electric motor and fully automatic gears, which shifts into the lowest gear when you come to a stop. n Boxer Bikes: Tel. 07917 698 438.

Product reviews

AN online “product review” website for disabled customers is being set up,with help from a £150,000 grant. The Rate It! service will be provided by The Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA), the charity that gives information on a wide range of mobility products, and develops consumer research for older and disabled people. The grant is part of a Big Lottery £5 million research programme into independent living for disabled people. The new service, expected to be up and running next year, will be led by disabled people including Laura Horton, from Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living, Denise Stephens, from Enabled by Design, and Nikki Stopford, from Which?. n RICA: Tel. 020 7427 2460. n www.rica.org.uk

Pods for blind travellers

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OU may have seen – or even used – one of these futuristic vehicles at Heathrow Airport.

Now these driverless ‘cars’ are being developed to make travel easier for blind people. The Pods, which are designed to help plug the gap for short low-speed journeys, are described by the Insight Project team as a “last mile” transport solution, ideally suited to moving people and luggage between local railway stations, hospitals and car parks.

Thousands of people – including the Beacon Centre for the Blind – got a glimpse of the vehicles during a five-day exhibition in Birmingham. Sophisticated 3D-imaging systems and sensors enable the Pods to navigate through pedestrian areas while ensuring the safety of passengers, pedestrians, road users and other vehicles. Unlike the Heathrow Ultra Pods, currently in use at Heathrow Airport, the Insight Pods will not need to run on guides or tracks. Blind people will also be able to use a smartphone app that lets them “hail” a

Pod – and be informed of their exact locations. Dr Umar Daraz, director for the Institute of Sustainable Futures at Birmingham City University, said: “It was great that we were able to give blind and visually impaired groups the chance to give their feedback on the Pods, which will be key to fine tuning them and making sure they meet the needs of users who may have difficulty travelling independently in busy city environments.” n www.insight-cav.com


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E B THE

August/September 2017

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. . . T LES

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YOUR SUMME All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

www.alltogeth

NO GOING BACK: Julie Hill getting a helping hand on the new high ropes at The Calvert Trust in the Lake District

Irton House Farm

HAPPY HO LID AWARD 2 AY 012!

A warm welcome is waiting for you at our superbly scenic, fully accessible self catering cottages in the Lake District.

Feeling brave?

LOTS of adventurers across the North West have spent many exhilarating days at the Lake District’s fantastic disability outdoor centre at The Calvert Trust. For more than 40 years, the Trust have created tailor-made courses to enable disabled people to sample the great outdoors – from sailing on Lake Bassenthwaite to horse riding, abseiling, and orienteering the fells. Now there’s something even more exciting on offer – the UK’s first ever high ropes course for wheelchair users! The sloping woods behind the centre lets wheelchair users access the course, before using the horizontal ropes and obstacles which take them to a maximum height of 10 meters. Using a series of trees as the main supports, the 100 meters course stretches across eight platforms, with seven separate challenges. To celebrate the opening, a group from the spinal injuries charity BackUp were given a sneak preview. Julie Hill, group leader at BackUp, said: “This is just fantastic. It’s something we wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else in the country. “As a specialist centre, The Calvert Trust was already a great destination for us, but this is really the icing on the cake.” n The Calvert Trust, tel 017687 72255 or email: enquiries@lakedistrict.calvert-trust.org.uk

Wheels o

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HEELCHAIR users are now taking boat rides on Derbyshire’s beautiful Ladybower Reservoir, thanks to a new Wheelyboat.

Andy Beadsley, director of The Wheelyboat Trust, said: “Our aim is to have as many Wheelyboats acros the UK as possible and allow everyone to take part in water-based activities no matter their age, disabled or not.” Wheelchair users board the Coulam 16 Wheelyboat

They’re breakin

GERMANY is continuing to make travel easier – and fun – for disabled tourists. Bavaria is the latest region to announce its new facilities and services on the government’s tourism website, which include accessible royal castles, romantic towns and national parks. There are also details of four new specialist tou

ADVERTISE WITH US AND WE’LL GET YOUR MESSAGE www.irtonhousefarm.com 017687 76380


ER HOT SPOTS

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on the water . . .

t

ss n r

t

via a ramp from bank or pontoon on to a hydraulic platform that lowers to deck level. Removable handrails around the platform help keep anglers secure and simplify the boarding and disembarking procedure. Gillian Scotford, co-founder of Accessible Derbyshire, said: “We are just approaching the end of our two-year challenge to make the Peak District National Park the most accessible national park in the UK. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the great

outdoors and one of the first things we dreamed about was to buy a Wheelyboat for Ladybower as it is such a beautiful place. “To achieve this dream is absolutely fantastic and we are so excited.” Gillian and friend Jane Carver set up Accessible Derbyshire three years ago. Between them they have six children, three with severe disabilities. n Tel. 01433 659712, or 07876 216199. n The Wheelyboat Trust: Tel. 01798 342222.

ng down the barriers in Germany

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operators, plus specialist supplier Mobility Equipment Hire, which operates in cities including Berlin and Munich. For the bold traveller looking for something a little bit different, accessible mudflat hiking, ice skating and Draisine trolley rides (buggies that you can “cycle” along railroad tracks) are just

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August/September 2017

some of the activities newly added to the German National Tourist Office’s “Feeling Fearless” page. This also features blind cycling, white water rafting, and skiing. You can also delve deep into a coal mine or feel on top of the world in Frankfurt’s “Main Tower”. n www.germany.travel/BarrierFree

Hop off to Edinburgh

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OP on, hop off . . . or wheel on, wheel off! . . .Edinburgh Bus Tours are getting plenty of praise for investing in a new fleet of 30 fully accessible buses. The buses are the first in the UK to have TWO wheelchair spaces – with display screens showing live footage from the top deck! Class two mobility scooters can also go on board, and there are subtitled commentaries on display for passengers with hearing issues. Guide dogs are also made very welcome! Paul Ralph, director of access and inclusion at Euan’s Guide, said: “Having travelled on many buses over the years it is great to see tour buses that have finally got it right for the wheelchair using tourist. “I was surprised and pleased to see two wheelchair spaces with plenty of room to manoeuvre. “A brilliant idea to have a video screen in front of each wheelchair space where you can get a view of what’s in front of the bus. It makes the commentary so much more meaningful as you share what others can see. “The ‘icing on the cake’ are the fabulous glass panels running up the side of the stairs to the upper deck.” The new buses are in operation on the Edinburgh Tour, Majestic Tour and City Sightseeing routes. n Edinburgh Bus Tours, tel 0131 220 0770 n www.Edinburghtour.com

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SHOPMOBILITY

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 CARLISLE. Tel 01228 631564 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 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

August/September 2017

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Our buddleja winners

CONGRATULATIONS to the ten lucky winners of our recent garden competition. All winners receive a fantastic three-in-one flowering buddleja shrub from Thompson & Morgan. Their new Buzz 3-in-I combines three plants in one container with different coloured and fragrant spikes – indigo, ivory and candy pink. Mr L Massie, Recreation Drive, Billinge, Wigan (“All Together NOW! is a superb read. I picked up my copy at Asda St Helens”) S Davies, Montrose Road, Clubmoor, Liverpool Joyce Evans, Parklands, Rainford, St Helens

(St Helens walk-in centre) Mrs Sarah Jones, Cobham Avenue, Orrell Park, Liverpool (“I am a subscriber of All Together NOW! so I don’t miss it.” Andrzej Soroka, Drake Rd, Neston (Ellesmere Port’s library) Mrs J Capper, Biddulph Road, Chell Green, Stoke on Trent (Wyevale Garden Centre, Bridgemere) Mrs Joan Ogden, Gillow Road, Kirkham (Dobbie Garden Centre, Preston) Mrs Susan Cannon, The Copse, Liverpool (Sainsbury’s Woolton) Mrs Lorraine McGlashon, Alton Close, Hightown

(Tesco Formby) Mrs J Woodburn, Gloucester Road, Akrington, Middleton, Manchester (Asda Harburhey)

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 331853 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 THE BRAIN CHARITY 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

MIDLANDS n BIRMINGHAM Disability Resource Centre Tel 0121 789 7365 n Disabled People’s Network Solihull Tel 0121 788 1544 n STOKE: Disability Solutions Tel 01782 683800 n 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 n GUIDE DOGS Tel 0118 983 5555

n HENSHAW’S 0161 872 234 Tel 0151 708 7055 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

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 Genie Networks. Tel 0161 941 4549. Text 18001 0161 941 4549 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

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 nCUMBRIA 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 nLIVERPOOL 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 442 0442 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 nDOLGELLAU Tel 01341 421167 n FLINTSHIRE: NEWCIS, Tel: 01352 751436 n WREXHAM CARERS SERVICE Tel: 0800 276 1070


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August/September 2017

We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received since teaming up with this fantastic charity newspaper – John Howell, director at Harvey Howell

MP misses debates because he has nowhere to sit THE House of Commons should be much more accessible, according to a disabled MP who has faced major barriers since being elected. Jared O’Mara, who has cerebral palsy, has had to rely on support from other Sheffield MPs to secure some of the adjustments he needs to do his job. But he is still having to miss some debates because he cannot stand for longer than five or 10 minutes and there have been no seats free. He said: “The thing is with the Commons chamber, it is 650 MPs but there’s not 650 seats. There’s not enough seats for everybody. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.”

Ombudsman failed woman

A COURT delivered a devastating judgment against the Local Government Ombudsman after it discriminated against a disabled woman by failing to provide the reasonable adjustments she needed to make a complaint. The ombudsman has been ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Jeanine Blamires, following breaches of both the Equality Act and the Data Protection Act. County court district judge Joanna Geddes even awarded aggravated damages against the ombudsman over the breach of the Equality Act, because she said it had defended the case in a way that “added to the injury, frustration and distress” felt by Blamires, which had “exacerbated” the symptoms of her long-term health conditions. She also awarded aggravated damages for the Data Protection Act breach, because of the ombudsman’s “continued denial” that it had broken the law. Mrs Blamires has severe ME, dystonia, chronic pain and dyslexia. The case relates to her attempt in March 2012 to help her daughter lodge a complaint through the ombudsman against North Yorkshire County Council over a housing issue. She then complained herself about the council five months later. Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said in a statement: “We didn’t get things right for Mrs Blamires. We will use this as an opportunity to look at what else we can do to be flexible and find more creative ways of helping people access our service.”

He is full of praise for the speaker, John Bercow, who has given him permission to wear a tee shirt, and no tie, because he cannot do up buttons. That decision came as the speaker made a separate decision to allow all male MPs to remove their ties in the Commons chamber, a ruling which led transport minister John Hayes to warn that he would refuse to take interventions when speaking from any male MPs who were not wearing ties. A spokesman for Hayes said that this warning did not apply to O’Mara. Labour’s whips have allocated O’Mara an office in the House of Commons, when most new MPs are given space in nearby Portcullis House.

This is because if he was in Portcullis House he would not be able to reach the Commons division lobbies within the necessary eight minutes when a vote is called. But because the front door requires the use of two hands to unlock it, he is having to use the back door to enter his new office, at least until the Commons authorities change the lock to one that is more accessible. A House of Commons spokesman said: “The House of Commons aims to provide a positive, inclusive working environment. “We are committed to this target and have implemented a number of initiatives to ensure we are compliant with the terms of the (Equality) Act.”

63,000 lose Motablity support

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VER half the people who previously qualified for a Motability vehicle have lost their entitlemennt after Government welfare changes.

Of the 254,000 people who received the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance, only about 126,000 secured the same level of support when reassessed for personal independence payment. Department for Work and Pensions figures show about 65,000 had their entitlement cut to the standard PIP mobility rate – and about 63,000 lost their entitlement to mobility support altogether – in a 12-month period. Only those entitled to the enhanced rate of the PIP mobility component are entitled to join, or to continue to be a member of, the Motability scheme. The figures were obtained by the national disabled people’s organisation Disability Rights UK, following a freedom of information request. Although they were first published by DWP last December as part of a wider release of statistics, this appears to be the first time that they have been highlighted publicly. DR UK pointed out that those who saw their mobility support fall from the higher to the standard rate after reassessment have lost £36 a week, while those who lost all mobility support have lost £58 per week. DR UK said the “removal of Motability cars from

‘Losing cars leave many housebound’

disabled people who rely on them has devastated their independence, in many cases removed their ability to work and meant they are effectively housebound”. Two months ago, figures highlighted by the disability charity Muscular Dystrophy UK showed that about 900 customers were having to return their Motability vehicles every week as a result of the PIP assessment process. Ken Butler, DR UK’s welfare rights adviser, said: “The recent rule change that allows people to keep their Motability car whilst they appeal a PIP decision will help, but on its own is simply not the answer. “The rule that confines higher mobility awards only to those who can walk up to 20 metres must be scrapped. “It makes no sense and was only ever a costcutting measure. “Instead, those awards must again include those disabled people who can only walk up to 50 metres, who are likely to have the same extra costs. “DR UK has lobbied for this since before PIP was introduced in 2013. It is a universal call made by all other disabled people’s organisations and disability charities. “Otherwise we will see many thousands of disabled people forced to stay at home with no prospect of employment or contributing to their community.”

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BRIEFINGS:

‘Offensive’ equality body sparks row

A DISABLED peer who thought he had been appointed as the next disability commissioner – only to be told the post had been abolished – has been left “astounded and offended” at his treatment by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. A stand-off has now developed between Lord [Kevin] Shinkwin and the commission’s chair, David Isaac, with the Conservative peer insisting that the post of disability commissioner must be re-established. Lord Shinkwin applied for the post late last year and was appointed by the government in April. But just 36 hours before he was due to attend his first EHRC board meeting, he was told by Isaac that he had been appointed only as a commissioner, and would not be leading on disability equality issues. Mr Isaac told him the role of disability commissioner had been made “redundant”. An EHRC spokesman said the commission had LORD SHINKWIN decided that Lord Shinkwin did not yet have the specific skills and experience required for the disability commissioner role Lord Shinkwin said: “I think it’s absurd. “I have more experience than any of the panel who interviewed me on the challenges of living with a disability. I am astounded by that rationale. I am astounded and offended.” SOUNDING OFF: Sir Bert Massie Page 8

Election fund plea

THE two newest disabled MPs in the House of Commons have backed a call for the Government to reopen a fund helping politicians meet disability-related costs during election campaigns. Labour MPs Marsha de Cordova and Jared O’Mara have both sponsored an early day motion which demands the reopening of the Access to Elected Office Fund. Another disabled MP, the Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd, who was reelected after losing his seat in 2015, has also signed the motion, which was drawn up by the Green party co-leader and MP Caroline Lucas. The fund, which provided grants of up to £40,000 for disability-related costs for disabled people standing for the UK parliament and in other English elections, has been closed since the 2015 general election.

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August/September 2017

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NEWS UPDATE

TUC is blasted over access problems

DISABLED union members have criticised their own national federation, the TUC, for its reluctance to improve access at its HQ. It follows years of complaints from delegates at the annual Disabled Workers’ Conference. A motion calling on the TUC to make major improvements to the accessibility of Congress House in central London was passed unanimously at the conference. Disabled delegates said they also wanted their conference to be moved to a more accessible venue while improvements at Congress House were carried out. They pointed to problems including a cramped and inaccessible lift, poor signage, no facilities for assistance dogs, and a lack of access information. They also said that the ramp used by wheelchair-users to access the hall where the conference took place was dangerously steep. Mik Scarlet, from the NUJ journalists’ union, told delegates how he had fallen between an accessible toilet and the wall after the “cheap” seat broke while he was transferring across to it from his wheelchair.

by JOHN PRING

He said: “We can’t make businesses and employers get it right if we can’t get it right ourselves.” The complaints by the disabled workers’ committee appear to have forced the TUC to take some action to address their concerns. A TUC spokesman said their audit had produced 29 recommendations for improvements. Of those, six have been completed, 16 were “in progress”, including changes to lighting, toilets – where there will be a “complete refit” in the next few months – and induction loops. But three recommendations cannot be carried out, partly because of the building’s listed status, including tactile step warnings at the bottom of the steps at the front of the building (also affected by its location in a council controlled area) and converting the lift to one that is larger and more accessible. Another three – around the positioning of signage – are also not possible . The TUC spokeman added: “Congress House is Grade II listed and the listing rules out many of the options we have looked at, such as widening the lifts.”

NHS Trusts sign up to help the veterans VETERANS and reservists of the Armed Services have been assured of support when it comes to employment at Liverpool NHS Trusts. Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Liverpool Clinical Laboratories all

signed the Armed Forces Covenant in a move towards becoming a military friendly employer. Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Signing the AFC further demonstrates our commitment and support from UK

employers to defence personnel and their families.” Steve Warburton, chief executive of Aintree University Hospital, added: “Signing the covenant builds on all of the support Aintree has already given to patients who are veterans, and our staff who volunteer as reservists.”

REVVING UP BUSINESS: Barbara Swords, co-founder of motorcycle sales and repair business Wheeliez

Life in the fast lane

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OBODY would have blamed Barbara Swords and her partner Dave Spavins if they slowed down after both being medically retired.

Instead, their lives moved into top gear as they opened their own motorcycle store and repair business in the North West. Barbara has had hip replacements while Dave has chronic pain and a damaged right leg. Nevertheless, the couple have just taken on an apprentice and are now looking for bigger premises. Barbara said: “Dave and I are both disabled. I was a nursing assistant for 22 years and Dave was an electrical engineer, but we were both medically retired. “We aren’t the type of people that can sit around and do nothing, and Dave has always been passionate about bikes and repairing them, so we decided to start a business. “This way, we can sit when we need to and

Business is booming down at Barbara and Dave’s bike store

stand when we need to, so it suits us completely.” The couple were referred to St Helens Chamber of Commerce’s Business Start Up service, which provides support and guidance to entrepreneurs taking their first steps in creating a business under the Enterprise Hub programme. Stella Libertini, a Business Start Up adviser from the Chamber, helped the pair make the transition from receiving benefits to working for themselves. Barbara said: “Stella was very helpful. We needed some support to start a business –

we couldn’t just stop our benefits – and she put us on the right path.” “Our Wheeliez motorcycle store and repair business, fills a gap in the motorcycle market. “There wasn’t a lot out there for the youngsters in the 125cc market to have repairs done and get a good service. They tend to be sold the bikes and get sent on their merry way so, with our own children in mind, we decided to open Wheeliez. “We don’t just sell the bikes, we give good customer service and people know they can trust us if there are any issues.” Tracy Mawson, St Helens Chamber deputy chief executive, said: “Barbara and David have done exceptionally well to build a successful company, while managing their health issues.” Wheeliez is based on Sefton Business Park, in Aintree, Liverpool n Wheeliez: tel 0151 525 9191 n Enterprise Hub, tel 0151-706 8111

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All Together NOW!

NEWS UPDATE

Films shine a light on issues at work

PLEDGE: Metro Mayor Burnham Left: Kate Green MP and Tim Cooper

Only the best for Manchester . . .

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HE Mayor of Greater Manchester wants to make the city a beacon of inclusion and diversity for the whole country.

Andy Burnham said: “I want Greater Manchester to become a beacon of inclusion and diversity for the whole country. We have a real opportunity to collapse the silos within public services. “We want to build support around the whole person and provide services for individuals to remove the many barriers keeping people with a learning disability out of the work place, one barrier at a time. “I am confident that organisations like United Response can help Greater Manchester make meaningful change to society starting from the bottom up, not the top down.” The Mayor was attending an event organised by United Response that highlighted the employment potential of 65,000 people with learning disabilities living in the area. Many adults with learning disabilities want a job, yet less than 6% are in paid work.

Mayor: City will be beacon of equality

In Greater Manchester, employment rates for adults with learning disabilities vary considerably across the ten GM authorities, with far more securing paid work in some areas than others. The event was held in Trafford, one of the authorities which has had the greatest success in helping adults with learning disabilities to find paid work and where United Response’s Greater Manchester Supported Employment Service has been operating for the last 14 years. Kate Green MP said:“There is so much to do to give employers the confidence to understand the benefits of employing someone with a learning disability and to share information about the support available.” Tim Cooper, CEO of United Response, said: “We need to be ambitious for people with a

learning disability by starting with a presumption of their employability and then actively advertising the success of specialist supported employment services. “This event has brought together the decision-makers from across Greater Manchester to address what practical actions will finally start to close the employment gap.” Two short films were shown, telling the stories of Stacey Lawley and Peter Morris Hind, who were both successful in finding paid work with the support of United Response. Peter, an apprentice software engineer/ developer for the BBC, said: “People often aren’t aware of certain conditions beyond stereotypes.” James Scales, head of education at the national think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, said: “The low employment rate of disabled people is one of the most striking injustices of our generation. “Our report provides ways of meeting all these challenges, and more, offering a clear blueprint for a more inclusive, productive and robust labour force.”

YOUNG movie makers are paving the way for the next generation of disabled talent in the world of work. Student and graduate directors and producers took part in a film festival that allowed prospective employers to see what they want and expect from the workplace. The challenge was to create a movie in 72 hours for the Business Disabiltiy Forum’s Technology Taskforce Film Festival and share their take on living and working with disabilities. The best films, which wove together themes of disability, business and technology, won a slot at the festival and prizes donated by the forum’s partner organisations. First was Big Day produced by William Horsefield and Samuel Ash at the University of Wolverhampton, which examines how assistive technology could help someone move into work. Runner-up was Why I Make My Life So Hard by Oliver Lam-Watson at Kingston University, London, which came from a question the filmmaker asked himself. Third prize went to The Wheelchair Man by Trine Hagan, Gavin Roberts and Joey Thompson at the University of Creative Arts, an uplifting story of how student Joey adjusted to life at university with an acquired disability. Lucy Ruck, Technology Taskforce Manager at Business Disability Forum, said: “We wanted to showcase the next generation of talent and hear what they had to say on the subject of disability as they prepare to move into the world of work.

n The winning videos are on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/EFDV ideos/videos

WINNERS: William Horsefield (centre) and Samuel Ash (right) with Anna Purchas (KPMG)

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MEDICAL OPINION:

Bowel cancer cost cut fears

A REPORT in the Guardian suggests that NHS cost cutting measures being considered in the Cheshire area include a potential reduction of 25% in the number of endoscopies. It is not clear what criteria might be used to achieve this reduction; endoscopy is used to diagnose a wide range of conditions. However, it is a vital tool in the early detection of bowel cancer and we at the Beating Bowel Cancer charity have consistently raised concerns that capacity is already limited: the prospect of further constraints on endoscopy as it pertains to the diagnosis of bowel cancer and associated pre-cancerous conditions is therefore alarming. While campaigning for the bowel cancer screening age to be reduced from 60 to 50 to bring it into line with Scotland, Beating Bowel Cancer has nevertheless welcomed the introduction of the NHS bowel scope screening test, which is in process of being rolled out to everyone in England aged 55. Any reversal in this initiative, or reduction in endoscopy capacity for the detection of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions, would be at odds with NHS England’s Cancer Strategy, which includes earlier diagnosis as one of six key measures aimed at saving 30,000 lives a year by 2020. Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer and the second biggest killer, claiming a life every 30 minutes. If diagnosed at an early stage 97% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated but this drops to just 7% if diagnosed at a late stage. Early stage cases are far more likely to be diagnosed through screening than via the GP or A & E. Early detection not only saves lives – it saves money too, with the cost of treating a patient diagnosed at early stage roughly a quarter of that associated with a late stage diagnosis. Judith Brodie, Interim Chief Executive, Beating Bowel Cancer

ANYONE experiencing one or more of these symptoms for three weeks or more should see their GP: n Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your poo. n A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going more ofter or looser stools. n Abdominal pain? especially if severe n A lump in your tummy n Unexplained weight loss or tiredness Beating Bowel Cancer’s Specialist Nurse Advisory call back service: Tel. 020 8973 0011 or email: nurse@beatingbowelcancer.org

August/September 2017

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You’d be a nit not to be knitting

KNITTING is good for you and can save money for the NHS – what’s not to like!

So say the Charities Advisory Trust, whose Knit for Peace project has just published its report The Health Benefits of Knitting. Backed by a survey of over 1,000 knitters, the charity says benefits of knitting include: n Lowering blood pressure n Creating a sense of well being n Countering depression n Slowing the onset of dementia Knitting can also be continued into extreme old age, despite deafness, loss of sight or reduced mobility. Dame Hilary Blume, founder of the Charities Advisory Trust, said: “The main barrier to continue

knitting is what to do with the output – a keen knitter can produce 15 baby hats in an afternoon! “Knit for Peace provides an outlet for 20,000 knitters in the UK, distributing donated knitting – blankets, clothes, twiddlemuffs – to those in need such as refugees from Syria and Iraq, street children in India, homeless projects and hospitals in the UK – in fact to over 300 organisations. “Our report shows for the over-60s, knitting makes them feel more resilient, better able to cope. “Knitting for others makes them feel part of the community, still of use and less socially isolated. This means fewer visits to the doctor!” n Contact: Tel. 0207 794 9835 / 0207 431 1412

So are YOU addicted to painkillers?

ADDICTION to prescribed pain relief is a serious and growing problem. Some say it’s a public health disaster. JAMES ELANDER, head of psychological research at Derby University, discusses new research into painkiller addiction and how to spot the warning signs.

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ANY people take painkillers to help them live with pain, with some becoming addicted to pain medication.

This is a difficult problem which makes their pain even harder to control. Other people are so afraid of addiction they don’t take painkillers and suffer unnecessarily. It is hard to get the balance right between the benefits of painkillers and the risk of addiction, so a quick way to tell if you are at risk could help people manage their pain better, as well as help the health professionals who work with them. Along with a team at the University of Derby, I have carried out new research into painkiller addiction. Our study identified two key questions people can ask themselves to find out whether they are at risk of addiction to painkillers. This can help people to know if they are really at risk, or whether they are worrying unnecessarily about addiction. Those questions are: *Would you be unwilling to reduce your pain medication? *Do you feel you depend on your pain medication?” If your answer to both those questions is “yes, definitely”, you can take steps to reduce your risk of addiction. On the other hand, if it is “definitely not”,

then perhaps you are more concerned than you need to be. We questioned 683 people with different types of pain – the most common being headaches, back pain, joint pain, muscle pain and period pain. Painkillers most commonly used were strong opiates such as morphine, fentanyl, and tramadol; weaker opiates such as dihydrocodeine and codeine-based compounds such as co-codamol; and nonopiates, mainly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, diclofenac, and ibuprofen. In the study, we produced a questionnaire to measure people’s concerns about painkillers, and their answers to those two key questions were the best predictors of how addicted or psychologically dependent they were on painkillers. The findings build on previous University of Derby research which showed there was more than one way to become dependent. So people who answer “yes” to the two questions identified in the most recent study might then want to consider how the way they use painkillers may be developing into an addiction: n Am I using strong painkillers more often than I used to? n Am I using painkillers a bit like I used to use drugs or alcohol? n Am I getting more sensitive to pain, or having more trouble living with it, than I used to? Anyone worried about how they use painkillers should talk to their doctor, or pharmacist, or even a friend or family member about how their relationship with painkillers may be changing. The website of Kathryn Kemp, author of Painkiller Addict, may also be helpful. n www.painkiller-addict.com

Help for dementia patients under 65

MORE than 40,000 people under the age of 65 are living with dementia in the UK.

But they are losing out on the help they need as dementia services are mostly aimed at the over65s. Now, improving the support given to people diagnosed with the condition at an early age is the focus of a project being funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. A team at the University of Bradford will collect examples of positive support given to younger dementia patients then spread the word across the UK. The team plan to gather examples of good practice, where under-65s with dementia were given positive support that met their and their family’s needs and helped them live better with the condition. The form the condition takes in younger people is more varied. Because memory loss – most commonly associated with dementia – is not always the first symptom of the disease in young people, it often goes unrecognised, resulting in delayed diagnosis.

Differences

People with young onset dementia are also at a different stage of their lives than those over 65. They may have dependent children or parents, be at a key stage of their careers, or have extensive financial commitments, all of which impacts on the kind of help they need. They are also likely to be more physically active and have different interests than over-65s at whom current dementia services are mainly targeted. Professor Jan Oyebode, from the University of Bradford’s School of Dementia Studies, said: “What we want to find out is what works well, and what people with dementia and their families value and appreciate, so we can enable that kind of support to be offered more widely.”

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August/September 2017

Why are we so afraid of the waiting room?

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LMOST a quarter of us fear the doctor’s waiting room, new research has found.

A survey of 2,000 British adults has also revealed that: n One in three adults confessed to a fear of the dentist chair, while one in five of those surveyed admitted that visiting the opticians made them nervous. n Four out of five of those who admit to these fears hesitate to seek medical advice from doctors, dentists, and opticians regularly as a result. n A fear of the unknown or finding a previously unknown health problem (69%)

SYMBOL OF HOPE: Margie rings the Linda McCartney centre bell to celebrate her 200th treatment

was the number one reason for these kinds of fears. n A phobia of medical equipment, such as needles, the dentist’s drill and eye examination equipment, was the source of worry for 52%. n A bad experience during childhood (45%) was the third most popular reason for disliking the doctors, while a more recent bad experience was the source of anxiety for more than a fifth (22%). n Having a potentially painful experience during an appointment was a worry for one in six (14%). Ed Fletcher, CEO of Southport-based

Fletchers Solicitors, who commissioned the report, Waiting Room Woes, said: “It is important that everyone is at ease when they have a medical problem or question so that they speak to a medical professional when they need to. “Putting off appointments is something many are guilty of but this can be dangerous.” Three out of four of those who feared a medical waiting room said their fear began during childhood and continued in adulthood. Those aged 55-64 were most likely to have a fear of the waiting room, followed by those aged 65 plus.

Best sound ever! A

BELL ringing throughout the Linda McCartney Centre celebrates the completion of a person’s cancer treatment.

Margie Shields believed she would never have the chance to hear that sound. So when Margie, 67, rang the bell – prized as a symbol of hope – to celebrate her 200th treatment for bone cancer, it was also to remind others that “it’s still possible to make the most of your life”. The Linda McCartney Centre combines a state of the art breast assessment unit, a purpose built chemotherapy unit, an outpatient unit and a research and development department to oversee over 500 different forms of research within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Mother-of-one Margie said: “I’ve heard the bell being rung, but never thought I would get to ring it myself because my treatment is never going to finish.” Margie, from Huyton, Merseysdie, was

Ringing marks 15 great years

first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Following a successful double mastectomy, Margie received further devastating news when she was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer. A keen fundraiser for R Charity’s £10million appeal for the new Royal Hospital, Margie remembers suspecting something wasn’t right with her breast in 2002, but admits the second diagnosis came out of nowhere. “In 2005 my daughter pointed out a lump on my chest. I immediately contacted the Linda McCartney Centre again. “After a bone scan, my worst fears were confirmed when I was told I had bone cancer. I was devastated.

“I always try to not think too far into the future; I want to live my life now. “The only time I have thought that far ahead is when I told myself that I wanted to be around to see my daughter growing up. She gave me the strength to fight the cancer.” Margie is under the care of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust at a specialist outreach clinic at The Linda McCartney Centre. The service is provided by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre as part of the partnership approach to treating patients with anti-cancer drugs closer to home. Margie continued: “Nowadays, people think bone cancer is the end but I am proof that with the right treatment you can live for a long time and can make the most of your life. “Thanks to the Royal and Clatterbridge, I have had 15 great years and I hope to have 15 more.”

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‘Whatever your age milk’s good for you’

MILK is good for you – whatever stage of life you are at. That’s the message from leading nutritionists who believe the white stuff has been wrongly demonised in recent years. “Milk and dairy foods are often targeted in public health campaigns to tackle obesity, but the latest research challenges this,” Dr Julien Louis, of Liverpool John Moores University, told a gathering of nutritionists in Liverpool. Despite its saturated fat content, milk and dairy foods have shown no significant association with the risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes and some studies have even shown protective effects, said Dr Louis. Indeed, milk and dairy products may actually help to break the obesity cycle, he said. “The calcium and protein in dairy may help in making us feel full and delay our desire to eat, and the calcium may also reduce the amount of fat that is absorbed in the gut.” Dr Anne Mullen, director of nutrition at The Dairy Council, added: “Milk and dairy matters at all stages of life and can help in addressing a number of public health concerns. Whether it’s the heart, type 2 diabetes, obesity or ageing healthily that is of concern, dairy can play an important role in your lifelong health.”

You’re not alone

IT’S a problem more than half of women in the North West experience yet is very rarely talked about. For many, it means they are unwilling to take part in day-to-day activities like sport, exercising and socialising with friends. Despite being so common, light bladder weakness is still regarded as a taboo subject. And in a recent poll, 68% of women regarded the experience as “embarrassing”. Almost a fifth of North West women avoid visiting their GP to discuss bladder weakness worries, 47% wouldn’t confide in their partner and 39% can’t bring themselves to discuss the subject with family and friends, says research by Swedish company TENA. Almost half said the condition has affected their self-confidence. “Many women don’t realise just how common light bladder weakness is, which can prevent them opening up about their worries,” said Rachael Sumner from TENA. Women identified greater exposure in the media and more discussion from health professionals as the best ways of reducing the stigma.

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August/September 2017

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Open your heart – and help save lives

MEDICAL NOTES Make water your favourite tipple By Dr Sally Norton

NHS weight loss consultant surgeon

DITCH the sugary drinks and the speciality coffees laden with calories, sugar and fat. Water is best. Not only a great thirst quencher it’s also a great pick-me-up and is one of the best health and beauty products around. Here are five reasons to drink more water: Boost your brain power 85% of our brain is water – so being dehydrated literally shrinks our brains! Even 2% is enough to reduce your attention, concentration, coordination and memory skills – not forgetting those dehydration headaches. Perk yourself up In a food and mood survey of 200 women, backed by mental health charity MIND, 80% reported that drinking more water helped them mentally and emotionally. Not surprising, when you consider how much dehydration stresses the brain. What’s more, 2% dehydration can also affect physical performance – making water a good all round pick-me-up. Save on calories Studies suggest women who drink more water are likely to weigh less. This makes sense given that simply swapping sugary drinks for water (yippee, calorie free!) could save you more than 200 calories per day. And with some specialist coffees containing a whopping 500 calories, drinking water instead could save another quarter of your recommended daily calorie intake. Eat less Hunger and thirst are easily confused – another reason why drinking more water can help with weight loss. What’s more, studies show that filling up with water before or with meals can reduce the amount of calories consumed. Look more youthful One third of our skin is made up of water. So one of the best beauty aids around is staying hydrated. It keeps your skin cells plump and looking brighter, and can help banish blemishes and improve skin tone and clarity. Water is also a good deal cheaper than all those expensive antiageing creams many of us slap on every day. A sensible guide is to make water your main drink of choice and to drink little and often. If your pee is a pale straw colour – as opposed to dark or clear – you know that you’re getting it right!

Winning team put Tony’s life back on track

“ETERNALLY GRATEFUL: Now Tony is advising others to look after their heart health

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ON-DRINKING, non-smoking Tony McDonough had looked after his health and wellbeing from an early age.

So when the ex-journalist turned public relations consultant developed tight chest pains after a trip to Paris, he put it down to overdoing the sightseeing. The discomfort persisted and eventually Tony, 47, was referred to a cardiac specialist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Tests revealed a genetic condition which would require a triple heart bypass. Tony, a former regional business journalist, said: “When I was told I needed a triple heart bypass I began to realise my own mortality, it suddenly become very real that this was serious. “The life-saving operation was carried out by cardiac consultant Mark Pullan, one of the leading surgeons in the country, and my operation went fantastically well. “He specialises in ‘off pump surgery’ which means that the operation was carried out while my heart was still beating, minimising blood loss and leading to quicker recovery. As part of his recovery, Tony was advised to

The perfect tonic . . .

attend a six-week cardiac rehabilitation sessions at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. “During each session you are carefully monitored and afterwards patients are invited to chat to a different expert such as a dietician or pharmacist, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions about your condition, and I found this invaluable. “My message to people would be to look after your health always. I didn’t have a choice as my condition was down to genetics, however looking after your heart is so important, and my operation has given me a second chance something I am eternally grateful for,” added Tony.” Cardiac rehabilitation is available to anyone who has had a heart attack, a coronary angioplasty, and heart surgery. Some people who have angina or heart failure and those who have had an ICD implanted may also be considered for the progrtamme. To find our more you can contact the team on 0151 706 2278 at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital or 0151 600 1922 for the team at Broadgreen Hospital.

PEOPLE are being urged to take part in the world’s largest heart health initiative by contributing their heart rhythm data using a new free Heart for Heart iPhone App. “In the same way, you donate your money for a good cause, we are asking you to donate 90 seconds of your heart rhythm data to help advance research,” said Yosef Safi Harb, founder of Happitech, a smartphone app that measures vital heart signs, fitness, health checks and heart rhythm disorders. “The data will be used to better differentiate between Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and a regular heartbeat rhythm. This will speed up the development and accuracy of the technology and create insights into new health correlations.” AF is a prevalent cause of stroke in the world, leading to annual totals of 750,000 hospitalisations and 130,000 deaths, with those numbers rising for the past two decades.

DO YOU know about the importance of your pulse and how to check for an irregular heart rhythm? If your pulse is too slow (less than 60 beats per minute), or too fast (over 100 beats per minute), or jumping around, with an irregular rhythm you should either make an appointment to see your GP or mention it when you next see him/her, whichever is soonest. A simple manual pulse rhythm check should be provided to everyone who sees their GP for an NHS Health Check, and this should be provided prior to a blood pressure measurement being undertaken. n Heart for Heart App is free to download from the Apple Appstore www.Appstore.com/ HeartforHeart www.heartrateapp.com -

HALF A MILLION people


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August/September 2017

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FRUITY!

STRAWBERRIES and Brussels sprouts have been crowned the North West’s favourite fruit and veg. Bananas came a close second to the berries in a new survey to help promote Diabetes UK’s Food you Love Campaign. Apples, pineapples and melons came next in the poll of top fruit. But only 1% of people voted for pomegranates, peaches and grapefruit. Meanwhile, mushrooms and sweetcorn scored well in the veg vote. But poor old kale – actually a superfood – did not attract a single vote. Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, said: “Eating fruit and veg is a great way of getting vital vitamins and fibre. “They are a much healthier snack option than reaching for crisps, cereal bars or even smoothies. “Plus they are also low in calories and super filling.”

MEDICAL NOTES

Too embarrassing to talk about . . .

Concerns over diabetes drugs

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BERRY NICE: Strawberries topped a poll of the region’s favourite fruit and veg

RUGS given to older people with Type 2 diabetes could do them far more harm than good, say experts.

The treatments, used to control insulin and blood sugar levels, can even put patients lives at risk, a study found. A team led by GP Clare Hambling discovered that potential overtreatment with sulfonylurea and insulin therapies was “common” in people aged 70 or over. Dr Hambling said: “Sulfonylureas are a group of medications commonly used to help people control their Type 2 diabetes as they help the pancreas produce more insulin and keep blood sugar levels low. “However, these treatments have also been linked to a condition called hypoglycemia, which occurs when blood sugar levels drop dangerously low. “As people get older the complications of hypoglycemia can be severe, with the risk of injury and poor health outcomes rising significantly. “Despite this, evidence suggests many older people with diabetes and other serious health conditions are being over-

Older people’s treatment may need a rethink

treated on therapies associated with low blood sugar, which could have serious implications for their health.” The findings come as an NHS Digital report recently showed 52 million diabetes prescriptions were issued last year, an 81% increase over the past decade. Type 2 diabetes – strongly linked to lifestyle – has spiralled out of control as the obesity epidemic grips the nation, with older people especially vulnerable. A team from the Leicester Diabetes Centre, based at the University of Leicester and led by Norfolk GP Dr Hambling, were able to identify older people with Type 2 diabetes who were being prescribed sulfonylurea or insulin therapies using a pioneering software tool.

are reading these pages

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, from the University of Leicester, said: “We know from ambulance call-out data that older people are particularly vulnerable to severe hypoglycaemia and they sometimes suffer harm as a consequence, such as fractures, head injuries or cardiac events. “We are uncertain as to the benefits older people gain from intensive blood glucose management, as well as being concerned that too intensive treatment may inadvertently increase mortality.” Dr Hambling added: “We believe rolling out nationally the process we used to find older people who are being overtreated, we can adapt their medication which could help alleviate hypoglycaemia and associated complications, which will improve people’s health.” As a result of the team’s findings, healthcare professionals in the East Midlands have been provided with guidelines to help manage older people with diabetes.

n The findings of the audit have been prestigious Diabetic Medicine journal.

tel 0151 230 0307

PILES, worms, diarrhoea and thrush top the list of potentially lifethreatening symptoms that are being left UNTREATED by people too embarrassed to seek help. A survey of 2,000 UK adults, from Pharmacy Outlet, found that: n 21.35 million Brits who have suffered from constipation or diarrhoea have refused to see a medical professional (pharmacist, GP or doctor) about it. n 63% of adults said they have experienced these ailments, with 66% of those leaving them untreated. n 29% (14.89 million people) said they have suffered from piles; however, almost half (46%) of sufferers never got the condition seen to. n Over 3.14 million adults have had worms but did not seek any medical advice for the problem. The percentage of sufferers who left it unseen rises from the nationwide average of 51% up to 63% among those aged 18-34. n Incontinence – a problem for 20% – was left untreated by 54% (5.54 million), despite the fact it can be an indicator of serious mental or physical health problems. n Warts and verrucae (42%), irritable bowel syndrome (41%), thrush (32%) and cystitis (31%) complete the list of ailments that people have failed to address. Embarrassment and ignorance regarding the severity of the condition were common reasons for people not getting illnesses treated. Hitesh Dodhia, at Pharmacy Outlet, said: “Whether it’s a pharmacist, GP or doctor, people should not suffer in silence because of embarrassment or fear about a certain condition. “It is vital that anyone who experiences any regular or persistent medical problem seeks the help of a trained professional,” added Hitash.

Brain equals brawn THE better our brains perform in later life, the stronger our bodies will be, suggests a new study. That’s the conclusion of researchers who extensively compared upper and lower body muscle strength with cognitive function. However, handgrip strength was not associated with brain power. More than 1,400 people with an average age of 66 took part in the study, carried out by Finland’s Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine. n The report was published in European Geriatric Medicine.

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Until Aug 27: Walk Like a Man. The Grand, Blackpool. Go back in time on a musical journey through the incredible career of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Aug 1-5: Dreamcoats and Petticoats. Liverpool Empire. Tenth anniversary of the 60s musical featuring music fro Roy Orbision, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury and many more! Aug 2-3: The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Delightful family show. Aug 3-5: Derren Brown: Underground. The Lowry, Salford. Aug 3: Joe McElderry – Saturday Night At The Movies Live! Floral Hall, Southport. Aug 4-5: Casanova. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Northern Ballet’s seductive new performance. Aug 4-5: The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. Family fun. Aug 5: Barry Steel & Friends: The Roy Orbison Story. Floral Hall, Southport. Aug 5-6: Ball of Fire. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. The story of football legend Alan Ball. Aug 6: The Magic of Motown. The Grand, Blackpool. Aug 7-19: Funny Girl – The Musical. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice and Darius Campbell as Nick Arnstein. Aug 8-12: Footloose – The Musical. Charter Theatre, Preston. Aug 9-12: Half A Sixpence. Rhyl Pavilion. Aug 11-12: Pink Floyd’s The Wall – Live. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Tribute show. Aug 12: Sir Ken Dodd’s Happiness Show. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Aug 14-19: Grease – The Musical. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Aug 15-16: The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Charter Theatre, Preston. Family show. Aug 16: The Grumbleweeds Laughter Show. Rhyl Pavilion. Aug 16: Joe McElderry: The Gloria Tour. Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. Aug 17: Rock ‘n’ Roll Paradise. Rhyl Pavilion. Aug 17-19: The Railway Children. Octagon, Bolton. Aug 18: One Night of Elvis. Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. Lee Memphis King in the spotlight. Aug 18: Dick and Dom Live. Charter Theatre, Preston. Family fun. Aug 18: From The Jam. Guild Hall, Preston. Original members Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings. Aug 18: Joe Longthorne in Concert. Rhyl Pavilion. Aug 18-19: Fame – The Musical. Liverpool Empire. Uplifting show from Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre following the lives of students at New York’s high school for

August/September 2017

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BOX OFFICE CONTACTS BLACKPOOL Grand Theatre: 01253 290190 BOLTON Octagon: 01204 520661 LIVERPOOL Empire: 08444 999 999 Everyman & Playhouse: 0151 709 4776 Royal Court: 0870 787 1866 Unity 0151 709 4988 LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru: 01492 872000 MOLD: Theatr Clwyd: 0845 3303565 MANCHESTER Opera House: 0870 401 9000 Palace: 0870 401 3000

SALFORD The Lowry: 0843 208 6000 NEW BRIGHTON Floral Pavillion: 0151 666 0000 PRESTON: Charter Theatre: 0845 344 2012 RHYL: Pavilion: 01745 330 000 RUNCORN The Brindley: 0151 907 8360 SOUTHPORT: Floral Hall: 0844 847 2380 ST HELENS: Theatre Royal: 01744 756000 STOKE: Regent Theatre: 0844 871 7627

Relax and have fun . . .

SUMMER NIGHT SPECIALS

performing arts. Aug 19: Bon Jovi Experience. Rhyl Pavilion. Tribute show. Aug 19: Dick and Dom Live! Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Family fun. Aug 22-26: Our House. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Aug 24-26: Fame – The Musical. Rhyl Pavilion. Aug 25-Sep 23: The Royal. Royal Court, Liverpool. Reporters and celebrities are waiting outside the brand new Royal Liverpool University Hospital on the day that it is set to open its doors. The wards are ready, the machines are plugged in and all of the patients have been moved across. Well, nearly all of them ... Aug 26: That’ll Be The Day. Floral Hall, Southport. Aug 29-Sep 2: The Jungle Book. The Lowry, Salford. Aug 29-Sep 9: The Addams Family. The Lowry, Salford. Aug 30: Jimmy Carr: Greatest Hits Tour. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Aug 31-Sep 2: Derren Brown:

MUMBLECRUST Theatre will be performing the first-ever relaxed performance of their magical family show, The Tale Of The Cockatrice, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Katie Underhay, co-artistic director of Somerset-based Mumblecrust, says: “Making theatre accessible for everyone is something I’m very passionate about. My brother, who is on the autistic spectrum, had to miss out on a lot growing up because there weren’t more things like this available.

Underground. The Grand, Blackpool. The master of psychological illusion. Sep 1: Let’s Hang On. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Tribute show celebrating the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Sep 1: Jane McDonald. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Sep 2: Let’s Hang On. Rhyl Pavilion. Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Sep 2: The Ultimate Eagles. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Tribute band. Sep 6-23: Rita, Sue and Bob Too. Octagon, Bolton. Best friends Rita and Sue get a lift home from married Bob after babysitting his kids. When he takes the scenic route and offers them a bit of fun, the three start a fling each of them think they control. Sep 6-16: Bring It On: The Musical. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Highoctane thrill ride in the world of competitive cheerleading. Great music, great dancing. Sep 7: Some Guys Have All The

It is important for infrastructure to be put in place so that nobody’s left out. “I love the fact that so many theatres and companies are making the world of theatre a more inclusive place and we’re so happy to be a part of that movement.” n The Tale of the Cockatrice runs from Aug 5-26 (except 14th) at 10:30am. Relaxed performance, Mon 21 August at 10:30am at Venue 13, just off the Royal Mile. (Wheelchair/level access, accessible toilets)

Luck. Charter Theatre, Preston. The Rod Stewart story. Sep 7-16: Cilla. Liverpool Empire. Wold premiere of the heart-warming musical based on the hit TV series about Liverpool sensation Cilla Black. Sep 8: The Carpenters Story. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Claire Furley’s stunning tribute to Karen Carpenter. Sep 8: The Roy Orbison Story. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Barry Steele wearing the glasses. Sep 8-30: The Band. Opera House, Manchester. New musical for anyone who grew up with a boy band and how those songs became the soundtrack to their lives.  Sep 9: Magic of Motown. Charter Theatre, Preston. Sep 9: Dancing Queen. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Actionpacked show featuring music of Abba. Sep 11-16: How The Other Half Loves. The Lowry, Salford. Sep 11-16: Dirty Dancing – The Musical. Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

Sensational music and dance, Sep 11-16: Shirley Valentine. The Grand, Blackpool. Jodie Prenger in the starring role. Sep 12-16: The Ladykillers. The Brindley, Runcorn. Dark comedy about a dear little old lady pitted against a ruthless gang of criminals with both hilarious and thrilling consequences. Sep 13-16: Return to the Forbidden Planet. Theatr Clwyd, Mold. The musical originally billed as Shakespeare’s forgotten rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece! Songs of the 50s and 60s. Sep 15: Nights on Broadway – The Bee Gees Story. Floral Hall, Southport. Sep 15: The Carpenters Story. Charter Theatre, Preston. Claire Furley in the lead role. Sep 15: Jimmy Tarbuck OBE: This Is My Life. Rhyl Pavilion. Sep 16: The Chicago Blues Brothers. Rhyl Pavilion.

HOW YOU CAN PLAY A STARRING ROLE IN THE FUTURE OF THIS


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June/July 2017

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Pure gold – and it’s Just So easy

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HESHIRE’S amazing Just So Festival has been recognised as one of the UK’s most accessible events for deaf and disabled visitors.

Attitude is Everything, the charity that promotes access within the music industry, has awarded the festival gold status in their Charter of Best Practice. This puts the festival on a par with the likes of Glastonbury and Greenbelt. Just So, which takes place during August 18-20th at Rode Hall in Cheshire is the only arts and camping festival in the UK dedicated solely to children and their

Sep 16: David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii. The Brindley, Runcorn. Sep 17: Chicago Blues Brothers. The Grand, Blackpool. Musical feast of soul and Motown. Sep 17: Nights on Broadway: The Bee Gees Story. Rhyl Pavilion. Sep 17: The Rat Pack. The Brindley, Runcorn. Wonderful memories of the classic Rat Pack - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Sep 18-23: Shirley Valentine. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Jodie Prenger in the starring role. Sep 18-20: A Murder is Announced – A Miss Marple Mystery. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Sep 18-23: Dirty Dancing. Liverpool Empire. Heart-pounding music and breathtaking dancing set in an American summer camp. This could be the time of your life … Sep 19-23: The Shakespeare Review. Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Dedicated to all things Shakespeare and lovingly taking the mickey out of it!

families with access for disabled people a top priority. Between 2014-2016, personal assistant tickets issued by the festival increased by 385%, the number of Blue Badge Spaces by 514% and the number of accessible camping bookings by 486%. For this year’s festival, organisers Wild Rumpus are unveiling two new innovations: an online audio programme and a 360-degrees virtual tour of the festival site. Now in its 8th year, the festival is an imaginative outdoor family adventure like no other in the UK. With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its

Sep 20: Viva Neil Diamond. The Brindley, Runcorn. Sep 20: Rob Brydon. Guild Hall, Preston. Sep 21: Let’s Hang On. Charter Theatre, Preston. Musical tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Sep 21: T-Rextasy. The Grand, Blackpool. Tribute show celebrating the work of Marc Bolan. Sep 21: Rob Brydon. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Sep 22: Purple Rain – A Celebration of Prince. The Grand, Blackpool. Sep 22: T-Rextasy. Floral Hall, Southport. Tribute show. Sep 22: Bowie: Starman. Rhyl Pavilion. Tribute to David Bowie. Sep 22: Jon Richardson. Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. Comedy. Sep 23: Nights on Broadway: The Bee Gees Story. Victoria Hall, Stokeon-Trent. Sep 23: The Simon and Garfunkel Story. Floral Hall, Southport. Sep 23: Letz Zep. The Brindley, Runcorn. Tribute band.

UNIQUE CHARITY NEWSPAPER

Sep 24: TitanicDance. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Irish musical sensation telling the story of the world’s most famous ship. Sep 24: Russell Watson: Serenade. Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Sep 24: Madam Buttterfly. Charter Theatre, Preston. Russian State Opera. Sep 24: The Simon and Garfunkel Story. The Grand, Blackpool. Tribute show. Sep 25-30: Flashdance – The Musical. Regent Theatre, Stoke-onTrent. Prepare to be blown away with this stunning production. Sep 25: G4 – Live In Concert. Charter Theatre, Preston. Sep 25-26: Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast. Liverpool Empire. Gregg’s first stand-up comedy show in four years. Sep 26-30: Son of a Preacher Man. Palace Theatre, Manchester. New musical featuring the work of Dusty Springfield and set in a swinging Soho joint. Sep 28-Oct14: The Tin Drum.

heart, the event enables families to step into a wonderland of world class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits. There’s also an action-packed music programme with more than 20 artists and bands on the Footlights stage with headliners The Eskies, The Carny Villains and The Baghdaddies. Also appearing are country music queen Laura Oakes; the carnivalesque Bramble Napskins; folk artist Rob Richings; children’s songwriter David Gibb; Circe’s Diner; Cut A Shine; and The Rubber Duck Orchestra! n Ticket details, tel 0844 870 0000 or 0121 472 6688.

Liverpool Everyman. New version of Günter Grass’ epic novel The Tin Drum. On Oskar’s third birthday he rails against the adult world and decides to remain a child forever. Sep 28: Black Sabbath: The End of the End. The Brindley, Runcorn. Film of the band’s final performance in Birmingham. Sep 28-Oct 28: YNWA: The Story of Liverpool Football Club. Royal Court, Liverpool. The triumphs, tragedies, heroes and legends. Sep 28-29: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Brindley, Runcorn. Sep 29: The Illegal Eagles. Floral Hall, Southport. Sep 29: The Whitney Houston Show starring Belinda Davids. Rhyl Pavilion. Sep 29: Tosca: Russian State Ballet and Opera House. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Sep 30: King of Pop – The Legend Continues. Floral Hall, Southport. Michael Jackson tribute show. Sep 30: The Definitive Elvis Experience. The Brindley, Runcorn. Tribute show.

Sep 30: The Johnny Cash Roadshow. Liverpool Empire. Clive John is the man in black. Sep 30: That’ll Be The Day. Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. Rock ‘n’ roll classic returns with a new show. Oct 1: Soul Legends. Liverpool Empire. Feel good show. Oct 1: Sir Ken Dodd’s Happiness Show. The Grand, Blackpool. Oct 1: The Carpenters Story. Palace Theatre, Manchester. Claire Furley as Karen Carpenter. Oct 2: 50 Years of The Beatles. Venue Cymru, Llandudno. RAIN - A tribute to the Fab Four. Oct 3-7: Joseph. Liverpool Empire. Joe McElderry set to astound you in his coat of many colours. Oct 3: The ELO Experience. Opera House, Manchester. Tribute band. Oct 4-7: Awful Aunties. Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.

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Books

Adventure and rebellion . . .

Broccoli and Bloody Mindedness: A Memoir by Antonia Lister-Kaye, Matador, £7.99

BORN prematurely, unwanted – and in an army barracks in 1931 – Antonia survived with a skewed neck and flailing arms. She’s lived a life bursting with adventure and rebellion, and is now hoping her story will raise a few smiles and change perceptions. “It is about my experience of living 86 years with cerebral palsy – but also the liberation that this condition has brought me,” says Antonia. “It’s a funny book with a few serious insights. My old plumber said it was a good read which made him chuckle.” After a roller-coaster childhood, and against all odds, Antonia won a place at university and found work as a teacher at a London school. After a few riotous years she unexpectedly married Hugo and emigrated, first to Nigeria, then to South Africa, where the cruelty of the government reactivated her inner rebel. She soon got herself into forbidden black locations by teaching black students, and selling coffins! Concerned, the authorities encouraged the couple to return to England. With three small children, domestic tasks were beyond her. After a physical breakdown, chronic pack pain set in. Later, Hugo left the family and chaos ensued. Teaching exhausted her, so she retrained as a psychotherapist. As a last protest she went to Westminster to campaign to legalise cannabis for medical use. She now spends time on what she now regards as her greatest achievement, that unexpected family. Antonia’s doctor recently asked her how she had survived for so long. She replied: “Broccoli and bloody-mindedness!”

Second chance On the Toss of a Coin, by Michael Wise, Amazon, £9.99

A HARROWING and moving true story about a renowned dental surgeon’s fight for life after contracting a sudden, rare and near fatal illness. Michael Wise was not expected to live, let alone recover fully, and now he frequently gives talks to medical professionals about his experiences and the needs of patients.

August/September 2017

ARIES (March21st-April20th)

their lead, you should forge your own path. A Solar Eclipse on the 21st marks a thrilling opportunity. You can reach new career heights at the start of September. The middle of the month warns against being too lax with your hard earned cash. The New Moon on the 20th will mark some upsetting changes to your social circle. A long standing friendship could fall apart at the seams. Instead of clinging to the past, keep your eyes trained on the future.

Beware of making too many demands on your best friend, romantic partner or a working colleague in the early days of August. You’ll have to revise a plans several times at the middle of the month, so don’t pour too much energy into it. The closing days of the month are ideal for signing a contract. At the beginning of September, you’ll fall under the spell of an attractive newcomer. If you want to win their heart, be sure to stand out from the crowd. Your unique sensibilities and unusual ways will make an instant impression. The New Moon on the 20th will bring your attention to a nagging ache or pain. Go for a medical consultation as soon as possible. Treating this condition in the early stages will bring about a swift recovery.

SAGITTARIUS (November23rd-December21st)

TAURUS (April21st-May21st)

You’ll feel out of your depth at the beginning of August. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. On the 7th, a Lunar Eclipse will mark the close of an important era. Flattery will get you nowhere in the middle of the month. It’s better to be honest if you don’t like a project, gift or decoration. The Solar Eclipse on the 21st will prompt you to improve your living situation. September’s Full Moon on the 6th will prompt you to attend a gathering or get together, perhaps against the wishes of your romantic partner. It’s important to maintain ties with people who have loved and supported you for years. The sooner your amour understands what an important priority this is, the better. On the 20th, the New Moon will tempt you to take a gamble. Play it safe.

GEMINI (May22nd-June21st)

Practice restraint, no matter how much you’d like to go on a spending spree. Good news will reach your ears on the 21st, thanks to an energising Solar Eclipse. You’ll be able to move forward with a project you’ve been contemplating for months. During the second half of the month, you’ll be working closely with a friend, romantic partner or business associate. You’ll get terrific feedback at the start of September. It feels wonderful to be appreciated by your friends and colleagues. Your business or romantic partner will express anxiety over your relaxed attitude. Don’t let their panic infect your calm. Your spirits will soar with the approach of November, which seems alive with possibilities.

CANCER (June22nd-July23rd)

You’ll feel torn between family and friends at the start of the month. Be sure to attend a relative’s special celebration, even if your best friend or romantic partner wants you to skip it. Don’t get drawn into a power struggle in the middle of the month. September’s Full Moon will prompt you to break out of a stifling routine and further your education. Take this opportunity to explore the potential of new ideas and technologies. Spending time with family will be rewarding at the middle of the month. Don’t be surprised if a relative gives you a generous gift. The New Moon on the 20th may bring some upsetting news. Fortunately, your best friend or romantic partner will give you lots of moral support during this trying time.

LEO (July24th-August23rd)

An oppressive work situation will cause you to think about leaving for greener pastures. Devote your attention to a demanding creative project at the middle of the month. This work could be the fresh start you feel you need. The second half of the August invites you to polish your creative talent to a diamond brilliance. Working with a seasoned expert will open your eyes to fresh possibilities. You’ll be fairly and squarely in the spotlight at the beginning of September, which is just the way you like it.

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RUSSELL GRANT CALLING . . .

You’ll feel a financial pinch in the middle of the month. This is not a good time to indulge your love of luxury. Don’t feel pressurised into putting your name to a project if it embarrasses you.

VIRGO (August24th-September23rd)

An expensive romance could come to an end in early August. The Solar Eclipse on the 21st gives you a very welcome opportunity to spend more time on solitary pursuits. Devoting your energy to artwork, animals and nature will be rewarding. You also might get deeply involved in a charitable organisation. Use your considerable communication skills to raise money for a good cause. Clashes with a conventional family member will occur at the middle of September. Instead of seeking this relative’s approval, continue obeying your instincts. You’ll never see eye to eye with those who can’t see further than the end of their noses.

LIBRA (September24th-October23rd)

Giving an unreliable relative the benefit of the doubt will be a serious mistake in early August. Put your faith elsewhere. The Solar Eclipse on the 21st marks an exciting social event that will raise your profile. Make plans to go on a glamorous trip at the end of August; you’ll find some terrific deals on plane tickets and hotel rooms. September finds you forming a powerful alliance. Your warmth and generosity will attract an exciting educational opportunity toward the middle of the month. On the 20th, the New Moon will force you to step out of the spotlight. Treat this situation as a chance to prove your ability as a team player. As the month draws to a close, you’ll be forced to deal with a loved one’s erratic behaviour.

SCORPIO (October24th-November22nd)

In the opening days of August, you’ll hear some harsh words from a jealous individual. You won’t have much respect for a so-called expert at the middle of the month. Instead of following

A Lunar Eclipse on the 7th brings an end to a social project or academic programme. You’ll have more time for everyday pleasures and pastimes. Don’t lend or borrow money toward the middle of the month, or you will do serious damage to a friendship. Raising funds for a good cause will raise yourprofile. It will also put you in contact with influential members of the community. The opening days of September could very well be highly romantic. If you’re not in love already, you soon could be. On the 20th, the New Moon will bring an unpleasant assignment. The final days of the month will make it difficult to balance your love life with your social life.

CAPRICORN (December22nd-January20th)

Dampening a relative’s enthusiasm is a mistake. The middle of the month will prompt you to return to a nostalgic destination you always loved as a child. A Solar Eclipse on the 21st will attract a big windfall. Give thanks for your good fortune by donating some time or money to a charity. Exciting family news will set off a string of celebrations in the early days of September. Petty arguments will be set aside for the sake of fun. The New Moon on the 20th could signal some legal difficulties. It may be better to ditch a dispute than pursue it in court. Disruptions at home will make it difficult to focus on professional responsibilities.

AQUARIUS January21st-February19th)

You’ll have an opportunity to turn your luck around on the 7th, thanks to a powerful Lunar Eclipse. Don’t be surprised if you’re relieved of an onerous chore or responsibility at this liberating time. A Solar Eclipse on the 21st marks a turning point in a close partnership. Make sure to attend a big party at the end of August; you’ll make some influential friends. Taking a relaxing break will be fun during the middle of September. On the 20th, the New Moon will put some strain on your finances. The end of the month will cause you to exchange angry words with someone who has deliberately given you misleading information.

PISCES (February20th-March20th)

Neither a lender nor a borrower be in the early days of August. You don’t want to ruin a friendship because of a financial argument. A Solar Eclipse on the 21st will attract an exciting offer. Take the chance to be extra helpful to a colleague in the closing days of the month. An unusual money-making opportunity will arrive in the September. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and advice. The New Moon on the 20th could mark the beginning of an uneasy alliance. You won’t be comfortable working with someone who lords their superior knowledge over you. It may be better to go your own way than try making this relationship work. A windfall will arrive as September turns to October.

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August/September 2017

All Together NOW!

PLANT OF THE SEASON: Lovely lavender

LAVENDER never goes out of fashion. The old cottage garden shrub remains a favourite with its scent, evergreen foliage, soft colours, ease of propagation and reliability in most soils. Plant a single bush for a border feature, one each side of a gate or arch as sentinels, or several to make a superb low hedge. The flowers appear from June to September, depending on variety, in spikes at the tops of erect stems held above the foliage. They are generally in shades of blue but there are also pink and white types. Bees and hoverflies love the blooms, which last for weeks. Most species of lavender originated in the western Mediterranean area but two kinds have been a favourite in Britain for so many centuries that they are sold as ‘English’ or ‘old English.’ The kind known as Old English is Lavandula spica, also sold as Lavandula angustifolia, which has pale blue or mauve flowers on a fairly large bush up to 90cm (3ft) in height and spread. Three smaller shrubs 60cm tall and

75cm across (2ft x 2ft 6in), all with richly coloured, darker flowers, are the shapely Imperial Gem, Hidcote, and very free-flowering Twickel Purple. English lavender, Lavandula x intermedia, is a cross between Lavandula spica and Lavandula latifolia. One of the most spectacular because of its “butterfly” bracts is Lavandula stoechas. It is called French lavender but in fact comes from Spain and Portugal. Most lavenders are extremely hardy as long as they are grown in well-drained soil. They can be grown in large pots but will not normally live there more than two or three years.

TOUGH ‘N’ READY . . .

Keeping a lavender bush tidy takes only five minutes a year. Prune young bushes to develop a rounded shape in early autumn and mature shrubs when they have finished flowering. Cut off the stems and seed heads and hang them to dry for pot-pourri. Then trim the bush firmly and evenly all over with a sharp pair of garden shears, cutting off the old flower stems and into the young shoots produced this year, to make a neat dome shape. Don’t cut into old wood of a well-shaped bush. Take 15cm (6in) cuttings in August from stems that have not flowered. Trim them below a leaf-joint, strip off all leaves except four to six at the top. Make a Vtrench in a semi-shaded border and insert the cuttings to two-thirds of their length. If the soil is at all heavy, fill the trench first with a gritty mixture such as cuttings compost. Make sure the compost does not dry out. They should root within a couple of months. Cuttings can also be rooted in pots or in a cold frame.

HARDY: The evergreen Clematis cirrhosa and tough daisy

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WISH I had a fiver for every time I have heard people insist: “Oh, but nothing will grow there!”

There’s always something. Where there’s a tough problem, there’s a plant to solve it. Here are ten tough types to counter some of the harshest and most challenging conditions. Suppose you want an evergreen, flowering shrub that grows quickly but not too large and withstands anything winter can throw at it. Plant the daisy bush, Brachyglottis greyi (also known as Senecio laxifolium), with grey-green leaves and clusters of yellow daisy flowers in summer. It’s perfect for protecting border from searing east winds. How about a flowering plant which will perform year after year in poor, dry, sandy ground? The answer is fleabane, properly called erigeron, of which there are many good garden hybrids producing masses of pink, mauve or purplepetalled daisies from summer into mid-autumn. Quick-growing ground cover plants are freely available but there are not so many which tolerate heavy shade. So try the green-and-silver leaved Lamium

maculatum, which is one of the fastest growing and has the advantage of prominent yellow flowers in spring although it can become untidy in autumn and winter. Periwinkles offer alternatives and one of the best is the lesser periwinkle, Vinca minor variegata, another fast grower with green-and-gold leaves all year, producing brilliant blue flowers from late winter into spring. You want ground cover for the depths of winter? Christmas box, Sarcococca humilis, has glossy evergreen leaves and spreads in all directions by means of underground stems, never growing more than 30cm (12in) tall. It will thrive anywhere, in sun or shade, as long as the soil is reasonably fertile and not bone dry. The flowers are tiny, with white petals and pink anthers, but what they lack in size, they make up

for in fragrance in the heart of winter. When the flowers fade, they are followed by glossy black berries. Many lovely flowering plants can be grown to cover walls and fences. But most are deciduous, leaving a bare fence or wall showing for many months. For evergreen climbers, plant Clematis armandii which has white, sweetly scented flowers in early to mid-spring, or, if you can provide a sheltered south-facing wall, try Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, with creamy bell-shaped flowers, flecked with russet, from late autumn through to spring. One of the honeysuckles, Lonicera japonica, is a hardy, reliable evergreen that grows rampantly after the first year or two, and thrives almost anywhere. The sweet-scented blooms put on an impressive show in June and flowers continue to appear for much of the year, even in mild winter weather. The winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, is not evergreen but is reliable, producing masses of star-shaped yellow flowers on the bare stems in winter, then a curtain of rich green leaves for much of the year.

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CHECKLIST

31

FLOWERS: Take cuttings of soft evergreen perennials such as candytuft and aubretia. Take cuttings under a leaf joint, cut off all but a few of the topmost leaves and set them in pots of gritty compost in a shady position. SHRUBS AND TREES: Dead-head roses, pruning back to an outward-facing leaf-joint. Spray with a pesticide where aphids are prevalent. Clip hedges, tapering them so that the base is wider than the top to allow light to reach the lower leaves and avoid dieback. PATIOS: Spend a few minutes every day dead-heading container flowers. Make sure the compost does not dry out and give a liquid feed regularly. LAWNS: Raise the mower blades – grass can take weeks to recover if sheared too short in hot weather. PONDS: Remove blanketweed and excess duckweed, and pull off the dying leaves of water plants. When the water level falls in dry weather, provide fish with oxygen by trickling water on to the surface, but not near water lilies that dislike disturbed water. VEGETABLES: Keep picking courgettes and beans as soon as they are big enough. The more you pick, the more the plants will produce. By midAugust, sow spring cabbages for cropping early next year. FRUIT: Apples yielding a small crop should produce more if pruned in summer. Shorten all mature side shoots – the dark, woody ones - to within three leaves of the base. This year’s shoots, lighter in colour and more supple, should be cut back to one leaf. HERBS: Take cuttings of shrubby herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme. GREENHOUSE: Water and feed tomatoes and other crops regularly. Plants in growing bags or pots may need watering twice a day. In tomatoes, splitting and blossom-end rot – where a dark, decaying patch appears on the opposite side to the stalk – are caused by irregular watering. HOUSEPLANTS: Plant hyacinth bulbs in pots to bloom indoors in winter.


All Together NOW!

32

August/September 2017

The Accumulator Quiz

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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1. Scholar (5) 4. Old writing material (7) 8. Measuring tube (7) 9. Fat and flabby (5) 10. Windscreen ----- (5) 13. White ant (7) 17. Scottish resort (3) 18. Accurate (inf.) (4-2) 19. Certainty (6) 20. Cereal grass (3) 22. Having fun (7) 25. Mixture of rain and snow (5) 28. Bear-like creature (5) 29. Clothing (7) 30. Discharge of a debt (7) 31. Pass along (5)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 11. 12. 14. 15. 16. 17. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

Tropical fruit (5) Appear suddenly (3,2) After (5) Attractive (6) Instrumentalist (5) Spokes (5) Fashion (5) Drive (5) Access (5) Formerly (4) Fresco (5) Tenth part (5) Soon (4) Dumbfounded with horror (6) Enliven (3,2) Irritate (5) Angry (5) First-rate (5) Enlist (5) Television (inf.) (5)

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 1 – for 1 point: What is a tuffet, as sat on by Little Miss Muffet? A A clump of grass B A milking stool C A log D A sack filled with straw QUESTION 2 – for 2 points: What is the capital city of Sweden? A Helsinki B Oslo C Copenhagen D Stockholm QUESTION 3 – for 3 points: What is a bistro? A A type of gravy powder B A small round casserole dish C A cafe-style restaurant D A powered bicycle QUESTION 4 – for 4 points: What were the dying words of Julius Caesar, according to Shakespeare? A A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum B You too, Brutus C I came, I saw, I conquered D Carry on Cleo QUESTION 5 – for 5 points: In which business centre was the Ricky Gervais comedy series The Office set? A Harlow B Croydon C Milton Keynes D Slough QUESTION 6 – for 6 points: What would you be eating if you were dining on rutabaga? A Vegetable curry B Bamboo shoots C Swede D Semolina

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Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais. See Question 5

QUESTION 7 – for 7 points: Who wrote the internationally-acclaimed TV series Downton Abbey? A Martin Amis B Tom Stoppard C Julian Fellowes D Frederick Forsyth QUESTION 8 – for 8 points: Which of the following is not a film made by Disney Pixar? A Finding Nemo B Toy Story C The Incredibles D Ice Age QUESTION 9 – for 9 points: What is Monday’s child supposed to be? A Fair of face B Loving and giving C Full of woe D Full of grace

QUESTION 10 – for 10 points: Which city was known as Salem in the Old Testament? A Sidon B Jerusalem C Damascus D Tyre QUESTION 11 – for 11 points: What type of animal is a capybara? A A rodent B A monkey C A parrot D A shark QUESTION 12 – for 12 points: In which London borough are Kew Gardens and Twickenham rugby football ground? A Hammersmith and Fulham B Richmond upon Thames C Merton D Kingston upon Thames QUESTION 13 – for 13 points: An American Life is the autobiography of which politician? A Ronald Reagan B Arnold Schwarzenegger C Barack Obama D George W. Bush QUESTION 14 – for 14 points: Up to what age are male and female racehorses known as colts and fillies? A Two years B Three years C Five years D Four years QUESTION 15 – for 15 points: Which of these adjectives relates to eagles? A Vulpine B Pavanine C Aquiline D Anserine

KAKURO

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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REACH 500,000 READERS

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FILL in the blank squares in the grid with numbers so that each horizontal or vertical line adds up to the total given in the box either to the left or above it. Horizontal totals are given in the top right corners of the shaded boxes; vertical totals in the bottom left corners. You can use the numbers 1 to 9, but may not use the same number more than once in any run. The number may be used again, however, in the same row or column but as part of another run.

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CROSS CODE 

All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

famous Germans

1. past and present 266 313 726 514 343 415 586 162 753 631 343 874 241 484 612 677 125 237 813 467 834 616 378 816 945 126 435 216 375 351 527 515 243 733 53

2. Christmas films 944 831 247 478 627 156 831 228 825 591 546 453 125 518 431 929 184 314 746 241 212 474 786 271 227 651 466 312 566 312 784 871 247 478 627

3. dictators 236 486 168 776 546 418 523 464 715 364 617 651 768 172 332 614 877 346 128 487 861 746 624 381 546 156 641 451 236 531 448 537 143 412 646

4. famous heroes of film 585 317 599 255 371 355 361 747 539 196 776 152 251 772 776 915 272 127 638 152 766 126 876 315 646 172 626 138 426 148 681 762 591 225 262

5. varieties of cooking oil 786 356 937 142 935 688 172 561 732 688 127 426 165 483 192 568 813 529 733 312 626 688 173 726 317 273 733 316 878 273 125 666 317 692 326

6. spaces in Greater London 426 778 323 143 284 134 672 879 124 728 717 646 177 827 317 877 355 177 827 317 424 666 317 275 125 274 261 266 666 172 754 263 681 778 273

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 17 gardening tools.

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 16?

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WORD WIZARD

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Here is an unusual word with three definitions, only one of which is correct. Can you identify the right definition?

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2) In Ireland a salt-marsh or land susceptible to flooding;

1. The new Forth railway bridge is opened by the Prince of Wales after seven years of construction.

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2. The first weekly childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comic paper, Comic Cuts, is published in London.

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3. The first ever official English County Championship cricket match begins in Bristol.

Add the given letter to the first word to make a new word. Clue: Healthy way to reverberate.

WAS IT? a) 1890; b) 1895; c) 1900; d) 1905; e) 1910.

_____ +RE=RE_____

ALL THE ANSWERS Pathwords dibber; scythe; lawn spiker; sickle; weed puller; leaf rake; trowel; hoe; tree lopper; axe; secateurs; cultivator; shovel; spade; lawn edger; fork; patio nife.

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1 4 6 11

Accumulator Quiz 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A; 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; D; 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; C; 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; B; 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; D; 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; C; 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; C; 8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; D; 9 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A; 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; B; 11 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A; 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; B; 13 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A; 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; D; 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; C. Starspot Crossword Across â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 Pupil; 4 Papyrus; 8 Pipette; 9 Podgy; 10 Wiper; 13 Termite; 17 Ayr; 18 Spot-on; 19 Surety; 20 Oat; 22 Playing; 25 Sleet; 28 Panda; 29 Apparel; 30 Payment; 31 Relay. Down â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 Papaw; 2 Pop up; 3 Later; 4 Pretty; 5 Piper; 6 Radii; 7 Style; 11 Impel; 12 Entry; 14 Erst; 15 Mural; 16 Tithe; 17 Anon; 21 Aghast; 22 Pep up; 23 Annoy; 24 Irate; 25 Super; 26 Enrol; 27 Telly. Star Name: TERRY WOGAN

Word Wizard No 2 is correct. Corcass is marshy land. Dialling Codes 1. Anne Frank; Heidi Klum; Marlene Dietrich; Hugo Boss; Albert Einstein; Mesut Ã&#x2013;zil; Angela Merkel; Karl Lagerfeld. 2. White Christmas; Love Actually; Jingle All The Way; The Grinch; A Christmas Carol; Home Alone; Arthur Christmas. 3. Benito Mussolini; Vladimir Lenin; Pol Pot; Saddam Hussein; Augusto Pinochet; Kim Jong-il; Adolf Hitler; Idi Amin. 4. Luke Skywalker; Ellen Ripley; Zorro; Jack Sparrow; Lara Croft; Jason Bourne; John Rambo; Ethan

Hunt; Rocky Balboa. 5. sunflower; hazelnut; palm; peanut; argan; olive; walnut; flaxseed; coconut; sesame; rapeseed; mustard; almond; soybean. 6. Hampstead Heath; Finsbury Circus; Soho Square; Russell Square; Richmond Park; Clapham Common; Parliament Square. Spot Check A = 4; B = 1; C = 5; D = 6; E = 2; F = 3. Missing Link man; unit; tent; tank; onion; name. Meat: mutton. Make a Date The year was 1890. Transformer Sound + RE = Resound.

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All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

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Wheels for all at Rochdale

THE benefits and fun of cycling for people with disabilities were highlighted at the ‘Ride Rochdale’ accessible cycling day. Everyone had the chance to get on a bike, with three wheelers, bikes that accommodate wheelchair users, arm powered bikes and tandems all available at the Kingsway Sports Centre. Middleton’s double Olympic gold medal-winning and World champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand called in to meet participants and tried out various bikes for herself – including a three wheeled bike. Joanna said: “I was very impressed with the variety of bikes and the number of people who came along.” “Cycling brings everybody together to share the thrill and challenges of the sport.” Graeme Hill, from Link4Life, added: “Events like this go a long way to tackling barriers to participation and changing perceptions in sport.” National charity Cycling Projects with Link4Life Rochdale Wheels for All provided a broad range of accessible bikes for the event, which was supported by Rochdale Borough Council. n Steve Morgan

Foundation – Page 7

DAN’S DELIGHT CHAMPION: Daniel Blunt, left, and Andy Johnson after their thrilling final. BELOW: 88-year-old Albert Taylor and Danny Luton, winners of the Mixed Classification Doubles

DANIEL Blunn claimed his third World Disability Billiards and Snooker title at the inaugural Welsh Open in Cwmbran. Held at Redz Snooker Club, the tournament was the first open to players from all eight disability classification groups, including those with physical, sensory and learning disabilities. The main competition reached a thrilling climax as Blunn defeated Andy Johnson 3-2 in a deciding frame. The duo, who both have cerebral palsy, came into the final as previous WDBS champions, Blunn having taken the honours in Group 3 competitions in Gloucester (2015) and Manchester this year, while Johnson claimed victory in the Group 4-5 competition in Manchester last year. The final had all the hallmarks of being a tight affair and so it proved as they needed all five frames to determine a winner. Ultimately it was Sutton Coldfield’s Blunn who prevailed, dominating the final two frames to secure a hat-trick of titles. There was a remarkable story in the Mixed Classification Doubles event as 88-year-old Albert Taylor paired with Danny Luton to claim the title. The pair defeated Group 8 duo Tony Davies and Lewis Knowles, 2-0. The highest break of the competition was 48, made by David Church on the opening day.

n The next WDBS tournament, the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship, runs from 22-24 September at the Golden Cue, Bilston.

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Tee up time for English Open

DISABLED golfers are gearing up for the second English Disability Open, which returns to The Warwickshire Golf Club in August. Being played over both the Earls and Kings courses, the championship is open to all British disabled golfers who hold a CONGU handicap with competition status. Jamie Blair, disability manager for England Golf, said: “We aim to deliver a successful and memorable tournament for all, and encourage golfers of all impairments to come together to compete using the handicap system and against the challenge of the course.” Although the English Open is not a European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) badged event, players holding an EDGA Medical Pass will be able to submit scores from this event to the EDGA Rankings. Golfers, regardless of their impairment, will play in three handicap categories over 36 holes. Category One and Two golfers will compete in stroke play events and Category Three players will play a stableford competition. Awards will be made to the winner of each handicap category. Prizes will also be awarded to the highest placed junior and female players. Conditions and entry forms can be viewed and downloaded from the England Golf website. Entries, costing £80, are being accepted on a first come, first served basis with a reserve list in operation. n The English Disability Open take place during 26-27 August. n England Golf, tel 01526 354500

All Together NOW!

August/September 2017

CHAMPIONS: Alfie Hewett, left, and Gordon Reid celebrate their Wimbledon success

SMASH HITS! B RITAIN”S top wheelchair tennis players put on a sensational show for millions at this year’s Wimbledon championships.

In front of thousands of fans and millions of TV viewers, teenager Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid followed up last year’s history-making achievement to become the first Brits to retain the men’s doubles title. Then, on the final day of play Jordanne Whiley clinched her TENTH Grand Slam title in claiming the ladies’ doubles crown, alongside Japanese partner Yui Kamiji. In a thrilling men’s contest, Hewett and Reid defeated Rio Paralympic gold medallists Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, of France, in a final set tie-break for the second successive year, completing a glorious 6-7(5) 7-5, 7-6(3) victory after two hours and 55 minutes of sporting theatre on Court No.3.

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“When the match goes like that and you win 7-6 in the third it makes it even more special,” said an emotional Hewett, who in June also became the first Brit to win the men’s singles wheelchair tennis title at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, in the ladies’ doubles final Whiley and Kamiji had come back from a set down against the Dutch pair of Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot to pull off an astonishing 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory. The win, Whiley’s 50th doubles title of her career, was the pair’s fourth Wimbledon Ladies’ Wheelchair Doubles title in a row. Whiley said: “I can’t believe it, I really didn’t expect us to get through the semi-final, because I’ve been out for quite a while this year. “To be honest I was only thinking about winning a fourth Wimbledon title. It’s only just dawned on me that I’ve won 10 Grand Slams now, so I’m really happy to make it into double figures.”

TOP THAT: Jordanne Whiley and Japanese partner Yui Kamiji with the ladies’ doubles trophy

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Rugby stars set to tackle disability

AMBASSADORS: Halani and George

SALE Sharks stars Halani Aulika and George Nott are to get more involved with the club’s disability programmes. Tonga prop Aulika will join the ‘In the Pack’ programme, which promotes rugby as a fully inclusive sport for all, as a player ambassador, while lock forward Nott has supported the Sale Sharks Community Trust’s work in disability sport for the past three years, regularly attending mixed ability rugby sessions. Both players will attend sessions in schools, community centres and rugby clubs across the North West. George said: “In the Pack is a brilliant programme, making a massive difference to the lives of people right across the North West and I’m just honoured to have the chance to get involved. “I’ve been to some of the mixed ability rugby sessions so I have seen first-hand what impact rugby can have. Both Halani and I are looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Amputee exercise

A SERIES of short exercise and fitness online videos for amputees has been made by national charity LimbPower. The videos feature a range of strength and movement exercises, designed to improve general fitness and encourage more amputees to lead active lifestyles. Kiera Roche, LimbPower CEO, said: “We recognise that taking part in sport and physical activity can be a daunting experience for many people with limb impairments. “That’s why we have produced this series of 22 short exercise videos. “We know that being active can have a positive impact on a person’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.” Exercises cover: Introduction to exercise and warm up; dynamic exercises; circuit training and stretching; strength and conditioning; agility, balance and coordination. n www.limbPower.com

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OUR FREE and favourite All Together NOW! charity newspaper is helping hundreds of thousands of people. But we could do with a bit of help, too . . . If you are taking part in a fun run – or ANY fundraiser – please consider doing it for All Together NOW! and we’ll feature your efforts. You can also help by making a charitable a donation to All Together NOW! You can either send us a cheque, text a donation on your mobile phone (DONATE ATNOW 88802), or commit to a regular monthly donation via the Charity Checkout link on our website www.alltogethernow.org.uk All Together NOW! is the only paper of its kind in the UK. Together we can secure the newspaper’s future – and make it even bigger and better for EVERYONE! Thank you TOM DOWLING, EDITOR All Together NOW! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP Registered Charity No: 1106387 n Tel 0151 230 0307 n info@alltogethernow.org.uk

August/September 2017

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A BIG thanks to our old friends at the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo for their £306 donation to the All Together NOW! charity. The journalists clubbed together to self-fund a book of their memories at the newspaper – and kindly split the leftovers between our charity and Claire House Children’s Hospice. Our sincere thanks also, to big fans of All Together NOW! – Mr and Mrs N Akram, Gordon Viner, Jan Lockyer, Mr B.C. Medway, and Mrs Hughes for their kind donations. All this wonderful support helps to pay the ever-increasing costs of producing our free newspaper, and is very much appreciated!

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All Together NOW! August-September 2017

Atn issue 75 aug sep 2017  

All Together NOW! August-September 2017

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