All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024

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opening doors . . . broadening minds . . . Back page PLEASE HELP KEEP THIS VITAL ‘LIFELINE’ ALIVE BE A PILOT! BE A PILOT! SUMMER 2024 OWZAT FOR GRIT WHEELS FOR ALL DISH OF THE DAY p13 p14-15 p3 p8 p23 TRAILBLAZER Your chance to Your chance to

What’s inside

STEP-FREE: James Lee from Transport for London’s Independent Disability Advisory Group uses a new mini ramp at Tottenham Hale station

Ramping it up

VISITORS to London are welcoming Mayor Sadik Khna’s commitment to making half of its stations step-free.

Since he became Mayor, the number of step-free access Tube stations has increased from a quarter to a third.

Now, Transport for London has published an ambitious “Equity in Motion” plan to create a fairer, more accessible and inclusive transport network for everyone The plan commits to introducing an


innovative bridging device across the London Underground network by the summer for stations which are designated step-free from street to train but where a small gap persists between train and platform.

More than 45 mini ramps are now being introduced across the network.

Mayor Khan said: “London is for everyone and I am committed to making our transport network as fair and accessible as possible ”

Getting around on Merseyside

THE majority of Merseyrail stations are wheelchair-friendly Here’s your guide to accessible stations:


Hunts Cross; Liverpool South Parkway; Cressington (C); Aigburth (B); St Michaels; Brunswick; Liverpool Central; James Street; Lime Street; Moorfields; Sandhills; Bank Hall (C); Bootle Oriel Road; Bootle New Strand; Seaforth & Litherland; Waterloo; Blundellsands & Crosby; Hall Road (C); Hightown (B); Formby; Freshfield; Ainsdale; Hillside; Birkdale; Southport; Kirkdale; Fazakerley; Kirkby; Headbolt Lane; Orrell Park; Aintree; Old Roan; Maghull; Maghull North; Town Green; Aughton Park (C); Ormskirk;


West Kirby; Hoylake; Manor Road (B); Meols; Moreton; Leasowe; Bidston (C);

New Brighton; Wallasey Grove Road (B); Wallasey Grove Village (C); Birkenhead North; Birkenhead Park; Conway Park; Hamilton Square; Birkenhead Central; Green Lane (C); Rock Ferry (B); Bebington; Port Sunlight (C); Spital (C); Bromborough Rake; Bromborough (C); Eastham Rake (B); Hooton; Little Sutton (B); Overpool; Ellesmere Port (B); Capenhurst (B); Bache (B); Chester (C)

(B) These stations have a degree of step-free access to the platform, which may be in both directions or in one direction

(C) These stations do not have step-free access to any platform

n You can request passenger assist by calling 0800 0277 347 or 0151 555 1111 (MonFri, 7am-7pm)

Outside of these times, call 0151 702 2704

Out of order! Too many faulty lifts

RAIL bosses have been told to improve station lifts – and provide up to date information about any faults

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator ’s report found an average of more than six faults for each passenger lift over a year

And while there has been progress on real-time information on lift availability, more needs to be done

Network Rail has acknowledged the findings and said they are already taking steps to address lift performance

UK rail lagging behind Europe

WHEN it comes to rail access at train stations, the UK has a long way to go to match other European nations, a new study has found

Almost 40% of our stations are inaccessible, compared with The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden who come out best with almost all stations being barrier-free – and scoring high marks for providing guidance for blind travellers

The study, by German travel ticket agency Omio, examined factors such as wheelchairaccessible access to platforms, guidance for the visually impaired, and the availability of real-time visual information on platforms in 16 European nations

Researchers said the UK’s rail transport needs urgent attention

“Inaccessible systems hinder mobility, independence, and opportunities for employment and travel, contributing to social isolation,” the report said

“Improvements are also necessary in guidance systems for blind and visually impaired individuals at railway stations ” On a positive note, digital displays with passenger information are available at 70% of platforms, delivering real-time updates

Europe’s Most Accessible Railway Stations

(Figures relate to: Barrier-free platforms; accessibility for visually impaired; Digital information displays)

1 Netherlands 97%; 99%; 99%

2 Germany 81%; 97%; 98%

3 Sweden 99%; 90%; 90%

4 Norway 99%; 90%; 80%

5 Luxembourg 31%; 90%; 90%

6 Switzerland 49%; 75%; 75%

7 Austria 57%; 55%; 80%

8 France 33%; 90%; 70%

9 UK 61%; 60%; 70%

10 Ireland 40%; 99%; 60%

11 Belgium 24%; 75%; 75%

12 Spain 58%; 70%; 60%

13 Denmark 22%; 22%; 90%

14 Italy 15%; 60%; 70%

15 Poland 60%; 17%; 60%

16 Czech Republic 20%; 50%; 60%

www omio co uk/c/europesmost-accessible-railwaynations

NEWS p2-6 UNITED UTILITIES p7 BOWLING ‘EM OVER p8 MOTORZINE p9 HEALTHZONE p10-11 EMPLOYMENT: OPINION p12 INDEPENDENT LIVING p13 YOUR CHANCE TO BE A PILOT p14-15 CONTACT BOARD p16-17 SUMMER HOROSCOPE p18 THEATREZONE p19-22 GARDENING p23 PUZZLEZONE p24-25 DISCOVER LIVERPOOL p26 SPORT p27 Editor: Tom Dowling 0151 230 0307 email: news@alltogethernow org uk Editorial Support: Gerry Corner A d v e r t i s i n g / s p o n s o r s h i p 0 1 5 1 9 2 9 3 9 1 2 email: helen@alltogethernow org uk IT Support: Ken Almond Website: Pharos Design www alltogethernow org uk NEXT EDITION Monday September 2, 2024 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 Can YOU help? 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
The charity – the only one of its kind in the UK – relies entirely on support from its sponsors, advertisers, subscriptions and donations – s e e b a c k p a g e 2 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024
Connecting with 250,000 people . . .

Bringing you the news . . . good and bad


GREAT to be back – and great to have so many uplifting stories in this our 19th anniversary issue.

There’s the chance to be a pilot (centre pages), disabled cricketer Kearan Gibbs (p8) who’s bowling ‘em over, and a 12-year-old visually girl who’s providing audio description to theatres (p17)

There’s also the hugely exciting and life-changing development for people with type 1 diabetes (p11-12)

But, despite all our positive stories there’s no denying life is getting significantly tougher for disabled people and carers

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plans to stop personal independent benefits for people with “certain conditions”

such as ADHD and learning disabilities (p4) is especially worrying, say the charities National Autistic Society and Sense

Carers are also finding themselves under the cosh with many being forced to repay thousands of pounds of overpayments of Carers Allowance, which restricts earnings to just £151 weekly (p5).

Access to education, housing and transport are becoming more challenging – as is access to specific news and information

It seems the half a million people across Merseyside and Cheshire who are not connected to the internet are slowly being left behind

Newspapers have a vital part to play – especially a unique and FREE

publication like All Together NOW! Over the past few months we have received lots of donations from readers fearful for our future It’s a lifeline, they say.

That’s why we fight on

However, falling incomes and rising costs are really hitting us hard To get us through the year, we will now be publishing quarterly.

Thanks for all the support. I hope you enjoy this edition

Stay positive

See you again in the autumn

THE man behind the north west’s annual disability awareness day (DAD) has been made an Honoroury Freeman of Warrington

Dave Thompson – chief executive of Warrington Disability Partnership, which he also set up –was paralysed in an American football game in 1989


Survey shows support for more accessible walking and cycling routes

Get on the right path!

SPEND less on new roads and more on helping people walk, wheel, cycle or use public transport

That’s how most residents in the Liverpool City Region feel, according to a new survey

The 2023 Liverpool City Region Walking and Cycling Index is part of the largest ever survey of its kind in the UK and Ireland

Out of nearly 1,200 residents in the city region questioned, 59% supported shifting investment from road building schemes to fund walking, wheeling, cycling (active travel) and public transport, with only 13%

opposed to that idea The survey includes the views of all adult residents, not just those who walk or cycle

Mayor Steve Rotheram has pledged to deliver a 600km active travel network across all six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region – with more than £70m committed so far to developing new and upgraded walking and cycling routes

More than 40km of new walking and cycling infrastructure has been built over the past three years, including flagship routes separate from traffic on the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Runcorn and Lime Street in

Liverpool city centre Rosslyn Colderley, from charity Sustrans, which produced the index along with the city region, said: “People told us they want to see smoother, wider pavements, more pedestrian crossings and safer cycling routes separate from traffic ”

Simon O’Brien, LCR’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “We now know that most residents not only want to walk and cycle more, but also that they back our approach to building new routes, reducing car traffic and bringing down carbon emissions ”

In 2002 he received an MBE for his work, and in 2006 was commissioned a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire

Warrington Mayor Cllr Steve Wright said: “Dave’s positive influence can be seen throughout many aspects of life in Warrington and beyond ” n This year ’s DAD takes place on Sunday July 14 at Walton Hall Gardens, near Warrington

Top town award for DAD founder, Dave Roger is back

on air

WORD reaches us that former Radio

Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips will soon be back on the airwaves Roger – a big fan of All Together NOW! – is joining the team at Merseyside Dementia Friendly Radio The not-for-profit company started as an internet-based station in 2020 It is now looking forward to launching as a DAB station in May

U-turn on minister

PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak has reinstated a dedicated disabilities minister after a backlash Charities had accused the PM of downgrading the position

Mims Davies – now Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work – said: “I’m beyond delighted to be continuing in my important role ” 3 SUMMER 2024 01744 602602 Call Us On: Also At: Council Approved Contractor & Suppliers Covering The Northwest Free Home Demonstrations SALES, REPAIR & SERVICING OF ALL MOBILITY & DISABILITY PRODUCTS Widnes Mobility Supercentre (Largest in Northwest) 62 Victoria Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 7RA 0151 423 3738

New PIP plans will hit more disabled people

PLANS to stop personal independence payments (PIP) to large numbers of disabled people has outraged charities

Joey Nettleton Burrows, policy manager at the National Autistic Society, said: “We are extremely concerned about the suggestion of restricting payments for people with ‘certain conditions’ such as ADHD and learning disabilities – both of which affect a significant number of autistic people

“Stricter rules won’t help, instead they are likely to take away a key source of income for autistic people who are unable to work or face numerous barriers to finding employment –currently only three in 10 autistic people are in work.

“The Minister also outlined that for many people in receipt of PIP, talking therapies and social care should be the answer, but he fails to acknowledge that social care reform has been promised and yet this Government has consistently failed to deliver ”

Tom Marsland, policy manager at Sense, added: “For most disabled people, disability benefits aren’t covering their costs Disability benefits are a good thing They help disabled people to live full, happy lives ”

Too poor to be sick

NINE out of 10 care workers can’t afford to take time off when they are sick, say the GMB union

With only 1% of care workers receiving full company sick pay, many said not even Covid would keep them at home

That’s despite a survey revealing one in three of them had Covid in 2023, and 13% had symptoms but didn’t test

‘An insult to us all’

DISABLED people’s organisations described the Government’s evidence to a UN disability rights committee as an insult to disabled people.

The Government said it had made progress since being found guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2016.

But representatives of the DPOs said the Government avoided all of the substantive issues with which the special inquiry is concerned, and failed to answer any of the committee’s questions.

Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “We still feel their refusal to properly engage with this process is an insult to all disabled people.

“The delegation shared all the ways they believe they’ve created progress for disabled people’s rights – but they know that no progress has been made We have gone backwards ”

Blind miss out on vital benefits

AT least a quarter of people with sight loss – 83,000 – miss-out on the disability benefits they’re entitled to, a study has found

The application process, poor communication from the Department for Work and Pensions and the challenge of getting to face-to-face appointments all create barriers, say researchers

Juliet Stone, from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said: “Blind and partially sighted people face multiple barriers to applying for benefits, including a lack of support in the application process

“Tens of thousands are missing out on disability benefits to which they are entitled Improving uptake of benefits is not straightforward, but without

addressing the obstacles to claiming disability benefits, thousands will remain vulnerable to financial hardship ”

Roisin Jacklin, Policy Officer at sight loss charity RNIB, said: “We urgently need a fairer and clearer benefit system If you think you, a relative or friend with sight loss could be missing out, RNIB can support you

“Our easy-to-use calculator and factsheets can help you work out the disability benefits you’re entitled to and where to access support to claim them We’re also here to support you if your application has been refused ”

n RNIB Helpline, 0303 123 9999


LEADING charity Leonard Cheshire has blasted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for “demonising” disabled people and accusing them of being work-shy.

Announcing plans to overhaul what he calls Britain’s “sick note culture”, Mr Sunak said the country needs to be more ambitious about how to help people, particularly with mental health conditions, back into work

He said: “We should see it as a sign of progress that people can talk openly about mental health conditions in a way that only a few years ago would’ve been unthinkable, and I will never

dismiss or downplay the illnesses people have

“But just as it would be wrong to dismiss this growing trend, so it would be wrong merely to sit back and accept it because it’s too hard ”

However, his radical plans have angered charities

Amy Little, head of advocacy at Leonard Cheshire, said: “A lack of adequate mental health support, poor access to social care, and long NHS waiting lists are among the key reasons why not enough people are well enough to work “Fixing these issues and providing tailored inclusive employment support, as well as

better in-work support, needs to be the priority

“Instead, disabled people are being demonised, accused of being work-shy and threatened with withdrawal of benefits This is cynical and hugely damaging ”

Joey Nettleton Burrows, policy and public affairs manager at the National Autistic Society, said:

“These announcements are very concerning Stricter rules on benefit claimants won’t help autistic people, whose needs are already poorly understood

“The proposed changes will make an already stressful system even more inaccessible ”

l OPINION: Evenbreak, p13

GPs lose may power to issue sick note

THE Government claims the current “fit note” system allows millions of people to be written off work and into welfare without the right treatment and support.

They say the fit note process is often the first step to someone falling out of work and acts as a gateway towards some ill health and disability benefit assessments

Data recently shows almost 11 million fit notes were issued last year, with an overwhelming 94% of those signed “not fit for work”

The Prime Minister said: “We don’t just need to change the sick note, we need to change the sick note culture so the default becomes what work you can do – not what you can’t

“Building on the pilots we’ve already started,

we’re going to design a new system where people have easy and rapid access to specialised work and health support to help them back to work from the very first fit note conversation.

“We’re also going to test shifting the responsibility for assessment from GPs and giving it to specialist work and health professionals ”

Latest figures suggest there are currently 2 8 million people who are “economically inactive” due to long-term sickness, a near-record high

Of those inactive due to long-term sickness at the start of last year, 53% said they had depression, bad nerves or anxiety

Since the pandemic, spending on working age disability and ill-health benefits has increased by from £42 3bn to £69bn

DISABLED people will be the main losers when Universal Credit (UC) is fully rolled out to seven million families, according to a major think tank

A single person with a long-term disability that prevents them from working is £2,800 a year worse off when they transfer to UC, the Resolution Foundation said, adding that all single people with long-term disabilities will suffer this loss when the rollout is completed by 2030

Its report – In Credit? –gives an overview of the huge change to the benefit system championed by the former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith during the coalition government

Previous benefits, including income support, housing benefit and tax credits, were merged into a single payment

Alex Clegg, an economist at the Resolution Foundation, said UC was conceived in an era of high unemployment, and was ill equipped for a postpandemic age when many claimants were suffering from long-term illnesses and disabilities

He said: “A lot has changed since Universal Credit was first introduced back in 2013 The workingage benefit system is less generous, with entitlement down by £14 billion

“The reform was designed to meet the 2010s’ problem of high unemployment, but Britain in the 2020s faces new challenges from an older and sicker population

“Compared to the old system, Universal Credit offers greater support for renters and stronger incentives to enter work But its original design did not anticipate there being over two million claimants with poor health or disabilities

“Alongside efforts from the NHS, education, and labour market policy to address the drivers of ill-health, UC will need to change to tackle Britain’s new challenge of long-term sickness ”

with 250,000 people across the region
4 SUMMER 2024
. . .
n www rnib org uk
Older population Universal rollout ‘will make many poorer ’


THE Government is being urged to act swiftly to stop carers from being forced to repay thousands of pounds in overpayments

Carers Allowance – £81 90 weekly – is paid to people over 16 and not in full time education, who spend more than 35 hours looking after someone receiving a disability benefit

But recipients are not allowed to earn more than £151 a week If this sum is exceeded –even by £1 – all of their entitlement is lost

As of February 2023, the DWP said it was seeking to recover 145,567 overpayments That includes almost 12,000 cases concerning overpayments of between £5,001 and £20,000

Emily Holzhausen, director of policy and public affairs at national charity Carers UK, said: “Carers often say they have made the mistake unwittingly

“They don’t realise a small pay rise has taken them over the limit, a bonus at Christmas time, or they are paid irregularly and it’s hard to work out

“There’s not a moment to lose for reform Carers have been waiting far too long for this Their support for older, disabled and ill relatives and friends is worth billions every

year They need and deserve better ”

Carers UK say they have been overwhelmed by support from senior politicians from all parties, including former ministers

Emily Holzhausen continued: “This has been going on for years and not enough has been done by Government to fundamentally change situation, despite a National Audit Office report and a Select Committee Inquiry on overpayments and Carers UK raising it consistently ”

The situation was highlighted when BBC News recently revealed some carers have been told to repay thousands of pounds of benefits after accidently earning more than the limit several years ago

One carer says she will be repaying money for the next decade

The 50-year-old left her job in 2009 to care for her son, who has a genetic disorder,

autism, a learning delay, and skeletal and heart problems

She started working part-time in her family business for about two hours a day, while claiming Carer ’s Allowance

In 2019, she received a letter telling her she owed the DWP just over £14,000 – later reduced to about £12,700 – in overpayments made between May 2013 and December 2017

The DWP arranged to deduct £80 a month from her Carer ’s Allowance to cover the overpayments

The woman stopped receiving the benefit in 2022, and now pays £50 monthly from her wages

Another carer has been told she owes the Department of Works and Pensions about £7,600 to cover overpayments for periods over three-and-a-half years to February 2018

The Department of Works and Pensions has faced criticism for failing to prevent overpayments, despite having the ability to do so, and allowing some recipients to end up in legal trouble

Benefit staff get automatic alerts from HM Revenue and Customs if a Carer ’s Allowance claimant is earning too much n Carers UK Helpline, 0808 808 7777

Counting butterflies boosts wellbeing

COUNTING butterflies not only reduces anxiety – it could also help protect the planet

Research shows a reduction in anxious feelings and a boost in the mental wellbeing of people taking part in the Big Butterfly Count

Volunteers taking part in wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count in 2022 were questioned about their experiences University of Derby researchers found that briefly tuning into nature to count butterflies reduced anxiety by 9% on average, while also enhancing mental wellbeing

Dr Carly Butler, from the University of Derby and lead researcher on the study, said: “Simple, small pockets of time connecting with wildlife and nature have a profound and beneficial effect on how we feel ” n This year ’s Big Butterfly Count is from Friday, July 12 - Sunday, August 4 For advice on creating a Wild Space for butterflies ready for the Big Butterfly Count, visit www butterflyconservation org/wild-spaces SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 5
Find YOUR local Carers Centre – p17

Cuts deny children access to education

CHILDREN with vision impairment (VI) continue to be hit by education budget cuts and freezes

According to sight loss charity RNIB, more than 31,000 children need specialist support to access education

The charity’s annual Freedom of Information report shows the number is increasing year on year, forcing local authorities to stretch their budget further and further

Over the past year nearly a quarter of councils have seen their VI service budgets frozen or cut

And 57% of local authorities reported a decrease or freeze in the number of specialist VI teachers they employ Jane Sharp, senior education specialist at RNIB, said: “The research speaks for itself – urgent action needs to be taken by the Secretary of State to ensure budgets increase, and to ensure there are adequate numbers of specialist VI teachers ” n RNIB Helpline, 0303 123 9999

Thanks, Pat, for your precious gift

THE printing costs for this edition of All Together NOW! have been paid out of a generous bequest from former head teacher Miss Pat (Audrey) Lowe, She was a great fan of th paper “This free newspaper is so vital, especially to those not online,” she said “Without it there would be an enormous void I just hope it gets the support it deserves ”

Two in three bullied

NEARLY two out of three young people in their early years at secondary school with special educational needs (SEN) were bullied in the last year

A third of the 12 and 13-year-olds asked said they had experienced bullying that involved some form of violence

Youngsters who are autistic or have social, emotional or mental health difficulties, were more likely to be targeted, researchers found

The study is part of long-term work by the Government to set up a large-scale survey of children with special educational needs and disabilities


fight WILL go on

A £1 5m grant has helped secure the future of the organisation leading the fight for inclusive education in the UK

The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) received the grant, from London’s City Bridge Foundation n Tel 020 7737 6030

We know what you are thinking

IS IT possible to hide your political leanings? Not from brain scans according to political expert Professor Matt Qvortrup.

Such scans, undertaken in studies in the US, were found to be able to identify differences between liberals and conservatives, sometimes with better accuracy then surveys.

The technique is also said to be considerably more accurate than traditional lie detector polygraph tests, with more than 80% accuracy

Having originally studied neuroscience, Matt Qvortrup, earned a doctorate in political science at Oxford.

The Professor of Political Science at Coventry University’s research Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations has now returned to his first academic love and has launched his new book,

The Political Brain: The Emergence of Neuropolitics

He said: “Neuropolitics is the cutting edge of political science. We can say with 85% certainty whether you are conservative or the opposite based on brain scans, it all comes down to the parts of the brain you use

“Whether you are conservative or you are liberal, it will all show up in your brain.”

And he warns: “Neuropolitics is not just the future, it is already here and people should be interested in it because this is how political campaigns are likely to be shaped in the future

n The Political Brain: The Emergence of Neuropolitics is available from Central European University Press www ceupress com/book/political-brain

‘I weighed one pound at birth and doctors gave up on me’

Against all odds


Iwas born in Thailand 27 weeks prematurely and weighing just 1lb

All the professionals told my parents I would not survive I wasn’t put on an incubator; I wasn’t given a chance

Despite the odds, with my fighting spirit and my determination, I have proved everyone wrong by living my life to the fullest

Now aged 22, I don’t let cerebral palsy stop me from being who I am, and who I want to be

I am very adventurous and love to attend concerts and shows around the UK As a result of watching Britain’s Got Talent in 2020, I came across the Sign Along With Us Foundation

They are made up of many

IN March 2022, I launched my fully accessible hotels/ holiday accommodation petition.

talented and inspirational individuals who perform songs with sign language, which have powerful messages encouraging others to fight for inclusion, and raise funds for fully accessible and adaptive caravans

I have enjoyed almost 100 concerts and shows over the years and it doesn’t stop there I intend to continue booking trips and adventures, as much as possible

But, as a full-time wheelchair user who needs a profiling bed and a hoist for transfers, finding somewhere to stay overnight is extremely difficult

The extra price tag that’s added when someone hears the word “disability” is another issue that needs sorting

INSPIRING: Fight for inclusive accommodation earned Harin an award

Reading messages from families, who also struggle to find suitable accommodation for loved ones and miss out on enjoying holidays, has made me realise that so many things in this world are not as they should be

Throughout my journey of being an active campaigner for disability and fighting for

inclusion, I have faced negativity from people who said I would never succeed

But this has only inspired me more and more to continue the fight and be a voice for other people with complex needs

Last summer, my campaigning led me to be nominated for the Sparkle Awards, which mark the achievements of young people in Liverpool

I won the most inspiring male category after

being nominated by the Merseyside Youth Association

I hope my story encourages and inspires others to follow their dreams and not allow negative feedback to stop them from achieving their goals

Stay positive Together we will make a change! Together we will fight for inclusion! Together we will win! n www chng it/djH9RpN22z

6 SUMMER 2024
Connecting with 250,000 people across the region . . .
BRAIN SCAN: Matt Qvortrup
Holidays: Give us a break!

Help when you need it most

Since launching in 2015, more than 400,000 people across the North West have now registered for United Utilities’ Priority Services scheme.

Steph Smith from the Priority Services team said: “Our Priority Services scheme is free to all our customers who may need a bit of extra support in life. This could be due to age, ill health, disability, mental health language barriers.

“By registering for our scheme, we can make sure you receive the right support from us during those times water to repair a leak, or if we need to visit you in your own home.

“Even if you don’t need this support, we all know someone who would encourage them to get in touch to register.”

Services include:

• A dedicated team on hand to listen and help

• Braille, large print, ‘talking’ bills and text relay service

• Knock and wait service. If you tell us you have mobility needs and we have to visit your home, we will wait allowing enough time for you to answer the door

• Nominate a carer, family member or friend to check your bills and speak to us on your behalf

• Additional support if you have a medical need for water.

• Protection from bogus callers with a password protection scheme

• Notice of interruptions to your water supply

• Translation services

• Every two years we’ll check that your details are still correct

Supporting DAD!

One of the UK's biggest and best disability events is taking place in Warrington again this summer.

Disability Awareness Day takes place at Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington on Sunday 14th July with a huge tented village attracting thousands of visitors with lots of entertainment for people of all ages.

Steph Smith from the Priority Services team said:

“Disability Awareness Day is a fantastic event we’ve supported for many years. We’re proud to be one of the main sponsors again this year, and look forward to meeting lots of customers who visit our information stand.”

The event opens at 10am and entry is FREE. Visit: for further details.

Scan the QR code to visit our Priority Services webpage, where you the language used on our website. SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 7
To register for Priority Services apply online at: or call 0345 672 2888
United Utilities is calling on its customers to take advantage of FREE support with their water services.

Time to act: BSL drama course up for grabs

CALLING all would-be deaf actors Here’s your chance to take part in fully-funded acting course

But you’d better act fast! Applications for the five-day summer course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama must be made by May 13

The course, the first of its kind to be offered at Central, will provide deaf artists with bespoke, high-quality actor training led by deaf teachers, artists and practitioners in British Sign Language (BSL)

Places are free and there are a limited number of travel bursaries available for those needing additional support to get to Central’s London campus

Primarily designed for deaf actors who have some acting experience, a limited number of places on the course will also be made available to hearing actors with experience of deaf culture and BSL Level 3 or equivalent

Deafinitely Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company are helping to develop future courses

Paula Garfield, artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre, said: “We look forward to creating a talent pool of deaf and BSLusing actors who will have the opportunity to access a drama school course without barriers ”

The BSL Acting Intensive Course runs from July 15-19 n www cssd ac uk n Tel 020 7722 8183

Bowel care demand

PARLIAMENT must hold an inquiry into the dangerous state of bowel care for spinal cord injury patients, MPs have been told Politicians and NHS chiefs were among those who heard about patients in healthcare settings being left unable to go to the toilet for days or, in extreme cases, left lying in their own excrement due to a lack of dedicated, specialist care

The issue was discussed at a Parliamentary roundtable meeting, hosted by the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and attended by representatives of the NHS, MPs, government officials and the spinal cord injury sector

The SIA is calling for a Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the matter, highlighting how patients are being left humiliated and terrified when going into hospital, with the situation potentially lifethreatening

Their ‘This is #SeriousSh1t’ campaign is calling for a commitment to ensure all NHS healthcare providers have a fully implemented bowel care policy in place Campaigns manager Dharshana Sridhar said: “We need to ensure there is a consistently good level of care for these patients, a national bowel care policy and adequately trained nursing staff in all hospitals and healthcare settings ”

Cricket ace Kearan has sights on glory

Bowling ’em over!

IT WAS Shane Warne who finally convinced Kearan Gibbs that cricket was the sport for him

Kearan – who has a rare congenital anomaly that led to him being born without hands – was 11 when he met the legendary spinner at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl

The sports-mad youngster tried football, rugby and basketball at school but fell for cricket having first played with his uncle on a beach holiday

Kearan had developed a bowling action that saw him grip and release the ball from the fold of his elbow – but he was struggling with the technique and becoming disillusioned

“Shane was brilliant He convinced me to stick with it,” said Kearan, now aged 23 and a key member of Warwickshire’s cupwinning Disability Access team

“When I first started playing cricket I was trying to bowl fast but it kept slipping wide It was frustrating and I’d started to wonder if I should focus on another sport

“I had been invited down to the nets at the Ageas by Hampshire and the opportunity arose to meet Shane

He suggested concentrating on spin instead and was kind enough to spend

time giving me some advice

“I figured if I was going to take tips from anyone, take them from the greatest!

“Shane stayed in regular contact – it was cool having his number on my phone – and he was always willing to offer help if I needed it He was a great guy

“I took on board his advice Over time it worked and I’ve developed a pretty consistent action now I manage to take the odd wicket ”

Kearan is too modest – since joining the club’s Disability Access team in 2014, he’s scored 384 runs and taken 64 wickets

No barriers

And playing for a local club in his home town of Redditch, alongside able-bodied team mates, he’s taken 51 wickets in the last three seasons

Next season he’ll be part of the Warwickshire side that, for the first time, takes the step up into the national disability D40 hardball league

“I guess I’m one of the veterans of the side at 23,” joked Kearan

“That’s one of the beauties of disability cricket, there are no age barriers I was able to start playing alongside adults when I was at high school

“Cricket was the first sport that really welcomed me, that let me in “I’m looking forward to testing myself in the D40 national league It’s where the top disability players play And then maybe onto the DPL (Disability Premier League)

“I’d love to get into the England side, that’s not off the radar for me I have aspirations of playing for England and have been involved in development squads in the past ”

Kearan added: “There are probably people with disabilities who feel they can’t play cricket, that their disability excludes them But I would say come along and give it a go

“I’ve come on a lot since I joined The social side is great as well, there’s a camaraderie and we all get on well together ”

Rob Eynon, disability participation officer at Warwickshire Cricket Board, said: “Kearan helps bring on the whole squad “He’s a perfect illustration of what we’re trying to grow at Warwickshire and underlines our message that whatever the disability, cricket is here for you ”

n To find out more and get involved:

Connecting with 250,000 people across the region . . .
8 SUMMER 2024
OWZAT: Kearan is impressing with the ball and the bat Above left, the young Kearan with Shane
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Colour contrasting wheel stops in the bay to prevent vehicles from encroaching on the charge points and ensuring safe access
Colour coding of charging cables to improve visibility and reduce trip hazards
that are weight-assisted and longer to improve usability Switched on


Top tips to help you through hay fever season

IT’S hay fever season – and June and July are the worst months when grass pollen release is at its peak Airborne allergens expert MAX WISEBERG offers his advice

n Create your own hay fever first aid kit Always check with a pharmacist or GP if you are combining products, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if it is for a child However, many can be taken together My ideal combination is one (and only one) antihistamine, an allergen barrier balm, one (and only one) steroid nasal spray and one or more other natural products

n Use an allergen barrier balm Apply it around the rim of the nostrils and bones of the eyes to trap pollen before it gets in your eyes or is breathed in –less pollen, less reaction

n Try an antihistamine It can relieve most hay fever symptoms – sneezing, itchy, runny eyes, skin irritation, itchy nose and throat – but is less effective for nasal congestion The most common are acrivastine, cetirizine, chlorphenamine, desloratadine, fexofenadine and loratadine Many are available over the counter but some are prescription only.

n Use a steroid nasal spray They work by fighting inflammation and mucus production, reducing the allergic reaction of your nasal tissues to the inhaled allergen.

n Keep pollen out of your body when outdoors. Wear wraparound sunglasses to help stop pollen getting in your eyes and a hat for your hair. Apply an allergen barrier balm before leaving home.

n Keep pollen out of your home Keep doors and windows closed when possible. Remove shoes at the door to prevent pollen being brought indoors.

Vacuum and damp dust regularly –damp dusting helps stop pollen dispersing. If you have a pet, keep it well groomed and shampoo regularly.

n Eat and drink for your hay fever. Red onions, kale, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries and apples contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine. Beer, wine, spirits, dairy drinks and chocolate all contain histamine. Ginger and green tea work as natural antihistamines, while peppermint reduces congestion.

n Check the pollen count forecast. This can help you judge if your hay fever symptoms will be particularly severe on any given day.

Don’t give up on gout treatment

IF YOU thought gout was an outdated condition affecting portly, red-faced

Victorians, think again

One in 40 have this extremely painful disease, making it the UK’s most common form of inflammatory arthritis

Cases among people in their 20s and 30s have increased by a third

Experts are now calling for more to be done to prevent the condition – and to stop it from developing into cardiovascular disease

Women with gout were found to have an 88% higher relative risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women without gout

For men with gout, the risk was 49% higher compared to those without

The results suggest strategies to reduce

cardiovascular risk in people with gout should now be a priority, said the researchers from the Universities of Glasgow, Oxford and KU Leuven in Belgium

Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in blood and tissues, which forms crystals If these crystals get into a joint, they can trigger inflammation

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan, clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, says:

“Unfortunately, gout is a condition that is very much still with us, despite the fact that simple blood tests can help identify people likely to suffer a flare before it ever happens

“In some ways, there has been little advance since 2012 NHS Digital statistics

show that 234,000 people were admitted to hospital with gout in 2021-2022

“The 2023 BMC Primary Care report found cases of gout flares are more likely in people who are male, black, have a higher BMI, suffer from heart failure, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease or who take diuretics

“One of the chief problems the BMC report identified is that many patients give up their treatment, because achieving target urate levels can be challenging

“Yet simple finger-prick blood tests can quickly and accurately measure urate levels in the blood to help people meet their targets and avoid subsequent flares ”


l Go ahead from NHS

l No more injections

l No more blood tests

TWORLD FIRST: Device automatically monitors blood glucose level

ENS of thousands of children and adults with type 1 diabetes across England are to receive an “artificial pancreas” in a world-first initiative being rolled out by the NHS

The groundbreaking device continually monitors a person’s blood glucose, then automatically adjusts the amount of insulin given to them through a pump

Local NHS bodies have already started identifying eligible people who they believe could benefit from the Hybrid Closed Loop system – sometimes called an artificial pancreas

blindness, kidney disease, and amputations

The mass rollout of the device builds on a successful pilot, which saw 835 adults and children given devices to improve the management of their condition

Dr Clare Hambling, National Clinical Director for diabetes, said: “This transformative technology holds the power to redefine the lives of those with type 1 diabetes ”

Professor Partha Kar, NHS national speciality advisor for diabetes, said: “This is great news for everyone with type 1 diabetes

“This futuristic technology not only improves medical care but also enhances the quality of life for those affected” /hay-fever/

The technology will cut out the need for finger-pricking blood tests and insulin injections, and help prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar levels) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels) attacks, which can lead to seizures, coma or even death

It will also help reduce the annual £10 billion the NHS spends on treating people with diabetes for conditions such as strokes,

The National Institute of Health Care and Excellence recommends the devices should be rolled out to young people under 18, pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, and adults who have difficulty managing their condition (HbA1c of 58 mmol/mol – 7 5% or higher)

Gemma Lavery, 38, received one of the devices as part of the NHS pilot and calls the technology a “game changer”

She said: “I no longer have to worry about work related stress affecting my blood glucose levels as the closed loop helps to sort this out before it becomes a problem

“I can have a full night’s sleep without worrying about regular low glucose levels hindering my morning routine and I have found that my diabetes is more stable ”

Les Watson has been living with the condition for nearly 44 years He said: “I now spend hardly any time interacting with the system other than at mealtimes or telling it I’m heading out to exercise ”

Colette Marshall, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This really is a landmark moment and we’ll be working with the NHS and others to ensure a fair rollout that reaches people as quickly as possible ”

n There are currently 269,095 people living in England with type 1 diabetes

. . . reaching people who are digitally excluded . . .
10 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024

Squeeze box helps brain box

IF YOU sing in a choir or play an instrument, this will be music to your ears

Scientists say making music – whether it’s playing the squeeze box or take part in community singing – sharpens the brain as we grow older

And they found playing the piano was particularly associated with better brain health in the over-40s

The findings come from an online study which has been running for 10 years More than 25,000 people are involved – you can join it if you are over 40

Stuart Douglas, a 78-year-old accordion player taking part in the project, said: “As older musicians we have no doubt that

continuing with music into older age has played an important role in keeping our brains healthy ”

Scientists working on the PROTECT study say that playing a musical instrument, particularly the piano, is linked to improved memory and the ability to solve complex tasks – known as executive function

Continuing to play into later life provides even greater benefit

Singing was also linked to better brain health, although this may also be due to the social factors of being part of a group

Anne Corbett, professor of dementia research at the University of Exeter, said: “We think that being musical could be a way of harnessing the brain’s agility and

resilience, known as cognitive reserve

“Our findings indicate that promoting musical education would be a valuable part of public health initiatives to promote a protective lifestyle for brain health, as would encouraging older adults to return to music in later life

“There is considerable evidence for the benefit of music group activities for individuals with dementia, and this approach could be extended as part of a healthy ageing package for older adults ”

Stuart added: “I learnt to play the accordion as a boy We regularly play at memory cafes so have seen the effect that our music has on people with memory loss ” n


Tens of thousands to benefit from ‘next best thing to a cure’

DIABETES is something other people get . . . something you never imagine that one day could turn your own life upside down. But diabetes can strike at any time, and can lead to amputations, heart problems, strokes, and even death

Type 1 diabetes is especially worrying It’s caused when the body’s insulin-producing cells within the pancreas are mysteriously killed off by your own immune system

Children are especially vulnerable

Thirty years ago, we suddenly found out that our three-year-old son Joe had the condition

The worst thing was having to give him his injections It broke our hearts especially when my wife went into his bedroom to inject him or stick a needle into his small fingers to carry out one of the many daily blood sugar tests

Before all this happened Joe’s face always

Pancreas hope

lit up whenever she entered his room, expecting wonderful bedtime stories Now, he would cry and hide under the duvet School years were traumatic, full of hypoglycemic attacks where his blood-sugar levels drop dangerously low

So often he missed out on opportunities other kids rightly took for granted

Like his younger brothers, he loved playing football but just didn’t have the same energy levels

No energy

“I get tired too easily, Dad,” he’d tell me “I know I don’t eat enough, but I just can’t face too much food It makes me sick thinking about it ”

Luckily for us, Joe eventually adapted to his new lifestyle

“It would be fantastic if a cure came about, but if not I’ll just carry on as I am,” he said all those years ago

A cure might be still some way off But the

NHS announcement of a five-year rollout of a wearable “artificial pancreas” is surely the next best thing

The device – worn on the abdomen –continually monitors blood glucose, and then automatically adjusts the amount of insulin given to them through a pump

It isn’t for everyone just yet There are currently 269,095 people living in England with type 1 diabetes First in line are the under-18s, pregnant women, and adults who have difficulty managing their condition (HbA1c levels of 58 mmol/mol – 7 5% or higher)

Our son has coped reasonably well so far so isn’t yet on the list But, like us, he’s hoping the wait won’t be too long

“It’s early days,” he says with optimism

“It’s great knowing this device is available When the day comes, it’s going to make an enormous difference to my life ”

As it will for everyone with type 1 diabetes


Vitamin D ‘could help

TAKING vitamin D supplements could help avoid the most serious type of skin cancer

In a new study, fewer cases of melanoma occurred among regular users of vitamin D supplements than among non-users

Vitamin D plays a key role in the normal function of the human body, and it may also play a role in many diseases

The findings suggest that even occasional use of vitamin D may have a lower risk for melanoma than never taking the supplement

Professor Ilkka Harvima, at the University of Eastern Finland, said: “The question about the optimal dose of oral vitamin D in order for it to have beneficial effects remains to be answered Until we know more, national intake recommendations should be followed ”

Robots replace knees

IF YOU have had a knee replacement recently, there’s a decent chance it was carried out with the help of a robot

Despite all the scare stories about artificial intelligence, robotic assisted surgery – or RAS – seems to be proving a big positive for patients

New figures reveal RAS is currently being used in 40 6% of knee replacements across the world, with that expected to rise to 52 5% in the next five years

Meanwhile, robots are used in 30 5% of hip replacements and 24 4% of spinal fusion procedures, according to a review by clinical research firm Alira Health

Surgeons control the robot while seated at a computer Fewer complications, less blood loss and quicker recovery are among the advantages

Coeliac warning prevent melanoma

HALF a million people in the UK are unnecessarily suffering with the debilitating symptoms of coeliac disease

A simple blood test is all that stands between them and getting on the road to recovery from the serious autoimmune condition, says the Coeliac UK charity Yet only 36% of those affected are medically diagnosed If left untreated, it can cause gut damage and serious health complications The only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life

Coeliac disease is commonly known for gut-related issues, but lesser-known symptoms include extreme fatigue, persistent mouth ulcers, unexplained anaemia, neurological symptoms and unexplained subfertility (male and female) and recurrent miscarriage n Coeliac UK: Tel 0333 332 2033

How we broke the original stor y 13 years ago . . . A AN ARTIFICIALorgan, developed in the UK, could revolutionise the treatment of diabetes. Professor Joan Taylor claims her device could put an end to daily injections diabetics have to endure to regulate their glucose levels, and reduce complications like blindness and kidney failure. Glucose levels are normally controlled by the hormone insulin, released by the p
BREAKTHROUGH: Professor Joan Taylor with her new device that could revolutionise people’s lives New artificial help so many with diabetes organ could . . . reaching people who are digitally excluded . . . SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 11


unhelpful and abhorrent plans will leave disabled people destitute

The Work and Health Programme

(WHP) is to be scrapped in the autumn, personal independence payment (PIP) is being reviewed and potential cuts to benefits considered

The Government has declared disabled people will be forced back into work, regardless of medical condition, whilst taking away the only tool they provided to help them achieve that Billionaire Rishi Sunak describes this as a “moral mission” to help people into work

We describe it as an all-out attack on disabled people

Nothing sums up the Conservative Party rhetoric like the trite old saying:

“Give someone a fish and they will eat for a day Teach someone to fish and they will eat for a lifetime”

The notion that we can all better ourselves by pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps

Of course, if you follow Tory policy, a more accurate quote would be:

“Demonise disabled people Cheer as we take away the fish, snap the rod in half then throw it into the ocean ”

Could you be next? Inclusion is everyone’s business Disability can happen to any of us overnight We want to ask voters to think about this:

Are you of working age? What’s your current job? Take a minute to think about what happens if you or your loved ones have a stroke, or lose your hearing, or end up with diabetes related sight loss or have an accident

That fishing rod could very much

‘All out attack on ‘All out attack on disabled people’ disabled people’

come in handy one day Those who can and want to work face many barriers already including:

l The widespread (and erroneous) belief that disabled people are somehow lazy and work-shy, and not as “good” or “worthy” as non-disabled people – a view promoted by the Government’s “rationale” for trying to starve them into submission with no support

l Inaccessible recruitment processes that automatically put them at a disadvantage

l Employers fearing that hiring disabled people is an expensive risk –fuelled by assumptions that we’re unproductive, always off sick, and don’t want to work

Putting #TalentFirst Employers too need to stop thinking about disabled people as a burden and start to appreciate the additional extra skills they bring and put their talents first

We know that companies that are more inclusive are more profitable, better represent their customers and have better team morale

Disabled employees tend to have less time off sick

Evenbreak only employs disabled people 100% of our team are disabled Not one of our team has needed a sick note in the past 13 years

The Work and Health Programme had its flaws but it provided a service and delivered 300,000 people were helped into work and 31% are still employed after two years

The programme offers support with confidence building, CV writing, reframing disabilities and helping candidates to find employers who are somewhat more enlightened

Without this support and without changing the narrative around disability, talented disabled people will either be pushed even further into poverty and destitution, or into

completely unsuitable work that is likely to impact negatively on their disability or health condition

To signpost as many candidates as possible to the programme, Evenbreak set up the Career Hive to provide a single place where disabled candidates could find information about support available to them – and where there was no provision, we offer career coaching to candidates

This is free to candidates and delivered by qualified career coaches with lived experience of disability

We also offer resources and tools to help disabled candidates find work

Initially funded as part of the Nesta Rapid Recovery Challenge, the Career Hive is now funded from any surplus revenue from our primary function, an accessible job board run by and for disabled people and training and consultancy for organisations that want to be more inclusive

Disabled candidates are premium candidates

We refer to our candidates as premium candidates because of all the other skills they have acquired navigating a world that’s not built for them

We recently commissioned a social impact study that showed on average a candidate finding work through Evenbreak has a social impact value of over £47,000

So rather than removing a tool that (although not perfect) helped disabled people to find new or better work the onus is going to be on small organisations like Evenbreak and the hundreds of others out there who get ZERO funding from the government to help disabled people

Our employers are all looking for talented disabled candidates – but they are a handful of enlightened UK & Global organisations we’re proud to partner with Until the rest of the UK catches up and the Government stops demonising disabled people to cover up for their own catastrophic failings we will never meet our aim, which is to no longer be needed because the disability employment gap has been closed

If you are disabled and reading this, we empathise with the challenges you now face and encourage you to have your voices heard in the polling stations

If you are an employer reading this, then tap into a new talent pool of disabled people if you are the Government reading this, do better

12 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024


Cane that’s a genuine trailblazer

‘It’s a real changer ’ game

ACANE capable of guiding visually impaired walkers through the testing hiking trails of Arizona is a game-changer, says the Royal National Institute of Blind People

The All-Terrain Cane (ATC) from AwareWolf Gear is strong but lightweight It’s made from titanium alloy and provides support and stability when tackling

unfamiliar terrain and obstacles As the name implies, the cane is suitable for all walking conditions, whether crossing the Grand Canyon or walking to your local shops

It was designed by retired US firefighter and keen hiker Dave Epstein, who has retinitis pigmentosa, a condition causing progressive sight loss

MAX is eight years old and has several disabilities following a rare form of brain tumour.

He was desperate to join his brother cycling around the local bike track instead of being pushed in his buggy

When he was given a specially adapted trike and trailer by Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC) – a charity aiding young people undergoing cancer treatment and rehabilitation – life for Max was transformed

Within months he was pedalling small distances by himself Fast forward two years and Max is cycling and steering independently and a member of a cycling club

Now the work of CFC has been boosted by a £4,000 donation from the Medicash Foundation – the charitable arm of leading Liverpool-based health insurer Medicash

The donation will help more children and young people like Max battling cancer to access these vital resources

Max’s mum said: “Our family can go out together for bike rides like any other family can We will always be thankful to Cyclists Fighting Cancer ”

Sue Weir, chief executive of Medicash and Foundation Trustee, said: “Cyclists Fighting Cancer ’s incredible work aligns perfectly with our mission to promote health and wellbeing ”

n Medicash: Tel. 0151 702 0265.

n Cyclists Fighting Cancer: Tel. 0300 500 4040.

FEELING THE WAY: The ATC is fine for the Grand Canyon or the local shops

He said: “One afternoon, I was hiking with my wife and as the sun set below the mountain range, the trail became difficult to navigate

“I wasn’t willing to give up hiking and I knew I needed a mobility device that could keep me on the trails

“I visited hiking stores but there wasn’t anything for blind hikers, other than

flashlights and first aid kits I left the store with a pair of trekking poles and a bunch of ideas Shortly after, the first prototype of the ATC was created

“My mission is to get blind and partially sighted people out and on the move ”

n The ATC is £118 80 at

n RNIB Helpline: Tel 0303 123 9999

Lifehouse Liverpool, 0151 709 0121 SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 13
I CAN DO THAT: Max on his adapted trike
bike, bro!

ALL SET: A trainee pilot

READY FOR TAKE OFF: Malky Padwar prepares for her flight. She began learning t

Your chance to be a pilot – starting at TO THE AIR FRO

THE chance to learn to fly is now available to a whole new community of people who may have believed it an impossible dream

National charity Aerobility is offering the opportunity to experience the magic of flight from an armchair at home – or even from a hospital bed

The Virtual Aviation Experience is funded by the Government and available free if you have access to a computer

While recovering in hospital from major brain surgery, Malky Padwa took lessons thanks to the revolutionary programme that enables flight in an aircraft simulator remotely at the same time as being trained by an instructor

The 33-year-old has early onset generalised dystonia But despite being characterised by involuntary contraction of the muscles, tremors, and other uncontrolled movements, the condition has not stopped her desire to fly

Malky said: “A lot of attention and detail has gone into this programme, making sure everything is explained well and presented in a way that is easy to understand

“I am extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity ”

Mike Miller-Smith, head of Aerobility, said:

Live shows global audience

AEROBILITY’S Armchair Airshow is set to return – with a live audience and a new name.

Aerobility Live will bring the skills and thrills of aviation into your own home on Saturday, June 15

First launched under pandemic restrictions, the Armchair Airshow was a huge hit with aviation fans globally, who got a unique behind-the-scenes insight from their living rooms

This year ’s event will again be live-

“The Virtual Aviation Experience is the merger of flight school and simulator and delivers it to any disabled person throughout the UK through their computer

“The programme helps us support those disabled people who are unable to make it to our centres at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire and Tatenhill Airfield, Staffordshire

“It also provides a realistic introduction to piloting one of Aerobility’s aircraft, so should the bug take hold, VAE flyers will have a head start when coming to fly with us for real ”

streamed online, and there is limited ticket availability for those who want to watch in person from Blackbushe Airport

The annual Blackbushe Air Day celebrates all things aviation, featuring a static aircraft display, pleasure flights and fun for all the family.

Aerobility will host its own area – the Aerobility Live zone – for the first time n www aerobility com/aerobility-live2024

The courses are led by Aerobility pilots, volunteers and flight instructors and are free for those who get a place The courses are for adults and children aged 12 and above Applicants should be able to control a computer

Mike added: “I really encourage anyone with a disability who has dreamed of flying a plane to apply for one of the VAE places – it could change your life ” n www aerobility com/vae-application n Tel 0303 303 1230

14 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024 www.alltoget
FREEDOM: Mike Miller-Smith is cha

home or even in a hospital

o fly in hospital while recovering from surgey.


AEROBILITY was set up in 1993

with one aim: To change lives by providing anyone – with any disability – access to the magic and wonder of flight

Mike Miller-Smith, head of Aerobility, says:

“We do this because taking the controls of an aircraft drives a focus on capability and encourages our flyers to ask the question ‘If I can fly an aeroplane, what else can I do?’

“This makes everything else in life feel that little bit more achievable, whilst offering the ultimate feeling of freedom and escape from restrictions of disability ”

From humble beginnings, the charity now has a fleet of four aircraft and is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority to provide flight training for people with disabilities

“We support nearly 1,000 disabled people a year For some, just that amazing first flight is enough to change their outlook on disability forever ”

Not only are flights physically accessible they are heavily subsidised to make them financially accessible too

If you think you would be unable to get into the cockpit, think again! Special hoists are on standby to make that dream flight come true

Mike says: “We have developed aircraft adaptations, hoisting techniques and other

solutions to make sure flying is fully accessible

“Not everyone can go on to hold a licence, but everyone can fly as long as they can move something!

“The only qualification for a trial flight is that you must have an impairment, and be considered disabled as per standard government guidelines ”

YOU CAN book the following:

30 minute Experience Flight

£78 in one of Tecnam 2002 JF, Piper PA28 Warrior or G109B Able Motor Glider £99 in the iconic RF4/T67C Slingsby Firefly

30 minute Aerobatic Experience Flight, £99, also in the iconic RF4/T67C Slingsby Firefly

n Contact frontdesk@aerobility com Tel, 0303 303 1230

Aerobility flying centres

n Tatenhill Airfield, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire

n Blackbushe Airport, Camberley, Surrey

n Lydd Airport, Romney Marsh, Kent Flights will also be available Cornwall Airport Newquay, St Mawgan (Aug 16-18) across Merseyside Cheshire and people Technology isn’t for simply ever yone 500,000 Logged out! DIGITALLY EXCLUDED SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 15
nging attitudes to disability



Tel 0161 929 1714


Tel 0161 339 9500


Tel 01229 434039


Tel 0151 647 6162

n BLACKBURN AND DARWEN Tel 01254 690566 or 07757 502217

n BLACKPOOL Tel 01253 349427

n BOLTON Tel 01204 392946


Tel 01228 631564

n CHESTER Tel 01244 312626


Tel 01257 260 888

n COLWYN BAY Tel 01492 533822


Tel 01244 312626

n KENDAL Tel 01539 740 933

n LEIGH, Wigan

Tel 01942 777 985


Tel 0151 707 0877


Centre Tel 0161 747 2684


Centre Tel 0161 839 4060


Tel 01282 692 502

n NORTHWICH, Vale Royal

Tel 01244 312626


Tel 01691 656882


Tel 01768 895 438


Tel 01772 204 667

n RHYL Tel 01745 350665


Tel 01706 865 986

n RUNCORN, Halton Lea Tel 01928 710144


Tel 01743 236900


Tel 01695 550066

n STOCKPORT Tel 0161 666 1100

n WARRINGTON Tel 01925 240064

n WARRINGTON Birchwood Tel 01925 822 411 WIDNES: 0151 511 8833

n WIGAN Tel 01942 776 070

n WINSFORD Tel 01244 312626

n WREXHAM Tel 01978 312390


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


0121 355 1112

n TAMWORTH Tel, 01827 709392

n WALSALL Tel 01922 650781

Mark rethinks rail travel

NORTHERN Trains’ new disability chief is already planning to challenge his bosses

The rail company has appointed accessibility campaigner Mark Cutter, left, as the new chair of its independent user group, which focuses on empowering people to use public transport whatever their circumstances

Mark, from Lancaster, has been a member of Northern’s Accessibility User Group (NAUG) since its inception, and has advised Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Trains on accessibility


You’re notYou’re not alone alone anymore anymore

MY life changed overnight as a result of a disc compressing the nerves at the bottom of my spine.

It was 2014 and I was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome (CES)

I lost my mobility, as well as control of my bladder and bowel I lost my career, I had to move house, and the impact on my relationships was huge

After having CES for a few years I noticed there was no real understanding of how the condition impacts someone and as a result there was no support

So, in 2020, my husband and I cofounded CESCI (Cauda Equina Spinal Cord Injury), a not-for-profit support group

We reached out to see how many other

He said: “I have lived experience of physical disability, mental ill-health and neurodiversity and we will take a pandisability approach to accessibility and inclusion

“However, I believe accessible travel is about much more than disability As a critical friend, I will work collaboratively to challenge Northern, and the wider industry, to think differently about the way we travel ”

NAUG represents a wide range of disabilities on a personal basis and from the perspective of disability groups reflecting the communities served by Northern

CES people were lost out there and were blown away with how quickly the group grew

As an organisation, we think it is really important to show others that they are not alone My husband and I regularly travel to hold meet-ups for members around the UK

We also hold ladies’ and men’s online evenings – and an online wide-awake club for non-sleepers like me Being awake and in pain in the middle of the night can be incredibly lonely

One of the most challenging aspects of CES is the lack of awareness, even among medical professionals

A survey we did with law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp makes for disappointing reading,


(GTR) Coalition of Disabled People Tel 0161-273 5154

n MOLD Flintshire Disability Tel 01352 755546

n RHYL Tel 01745 350665

n STOCKPORT: Disability Stockport 0161 480 7248

n WARRINGTON Disability Partnership 01925 240064


Tel 0151 670 1500

n WEST LANCS HELPLINE Freefone 0800 220676

n ST HELENS DASH Tel 01744 453053

with 65% saying their GP does not understand and is not supportive; 60% feel they don’t have enough support to manage any CES-related bladder incontinence, and 47% don’t have enough support to manage bowel-related incontinence

A staggering 85% say they do not have enough support to manage their mental health

Even though a new pathway from GIRFT (Getting It Right First Time) – an NHS programme to improve treatment and care – was implemented, we are not seeing much change

This group has made me more confident I will continue to advocate for others with CES for as long as I am able n

n Personal Budgets Helpline Tel 0330 995 0404

Opening hours: 9 30am-1 30pm, Tues and Thurs personalbudgets@ disabilityrightsuk org

n Disabled Students Helpline Tel 0330 995 0414

Opening hours: 11am-1pm on Tues and Thurs

students@disabilityrightsuk org

n Scope’s Disabilty Information and Advice Line (DIAL) Freephone 0808 800 3333

HELP AT THE END OF A PHONE 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
Carers), Tel,
n ACSIL (Amputees and
0151 261 1166 n
0151 298 2999
16 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024

Alison has ill health on run

ALISON Beveridge shows she’s taking great strides a year on from sharing her personal battle with anorexia

Her novel, Me, Myself and Ed, shed light on the mental and physical impacts of the life-threatening condition

In the book, the protagonist’s struggle with an eating disorder is personified through the character of “Ed” (Eating Disorder).

Since then, Alison has turned her life around and now coleads a thriving women’s running group to promote fitness and wellbeing.

She said: “I’ve qualified as a running coach for 261 Club Newcastle, a women’s social running group.

Additionally, I’ve earned a promotion at work, now working for a travel company in the product and operations department, allowing me to explore the world and embrace new experiences.”

Her book has just been re-printed and is available at good bookstores and Amazon.

www alisonbeveridge co uk


n ACCRINGTON Tel 01254 233332

n BARROW Tel 01229 820698

n BIRMINGHAM Action for Blind Tel 0121 665 4200

n BLACKBURN Tel 0125 554143


Tel 01253 362696

n BURY Tel 0161 763 7014

n BURNLEY Tel 01282 438507

UK theatre first for Eleanor, 12

MEET Eleanor Stollery –Britain’s youngest visually impaired person to provide an audio description in a UK theatre

And the 12-year-old didn’t carry off her duties at just any venue –she worked with the National Theatre during a performance of Roald Dahl’s The Witches for 850 children from nearly 30 schools

Eleanor said: “I was so glad I could help children experience and enjoy the show together with their classmates ”

The audience of primary and secondary school students included 76 who were visually impaired

Eleanor delivered audio description using a braille script and cued by professional audio-describer and mentor Roz Chalmers

The National Theatre’s sound department developed an innovative system that enabled

Eleanor to operate the audio description console and microphone using a foot pedal so she could read her script with both hands

This collaboration not only showcased Eleanor ’s skill and talent, but also created a platform for visually impaired children to

experience audio description from a young person like themselves

A teacher who attended the performance said: “The children have not stopped talking about their experience

“It certainly has enriched their lives and given them a love for all things theatrical ”


n CARLISLE: Action for Blind People Tel 01228 595121

n 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 or 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


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 SOUTHPORT Centre for the Deaf Tel 01704 537001

n ST HELENS: Deafness Resource Centre Tel 01744 23887

n WOLVERHAMPTON Centre for Deaf Tel 01902

705959 / 486923 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 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 & WARRINGTON Helpline:0300 102 0008 n KNOWSLEY Tel 0151 549 1412 n LANCASHIRE 0345 688 7113 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 (WIRED) Tel 01925 633 492 n WEST LANCS Tel 01695 711243 n WIGAN & LEIGH Tel 01942
CARERS’ CENTRES SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 17
GREAT STRIDES: Alison with fellow members of women’s running group STAR ROLE: Eleanor at work during Roald Dahl’s The Witches

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20)

Your intellectual powers are on top form A relative will have some good news that will make you breathe a sigh of relief Fun family pastimes will be a great outlet for your energy on the 30th As June begins, get back in touch with someone who is waiting to hear from you They will be delighted to receive your message The Full Moon on the 22nd will bring the full consequences of decisions and actions made earlier in the month July’s New Moon on the 5th will bring an unexpected and unusual offer your way It will be necessary to discuss some options with your family before you go any further Your love life will receive a welcome boost in August when the New Moon brings pleasant developments that will put a close relationship onto a new footing

TAURUS (Apr 21-May 21)

You should be able to achieve short-term goals quite easily Don’t hesitate to showcase your ability If you’ve been considering getting started on a creative idea, put it in motion now Keep telling yourself you can do this June’s New Moon on the 6th makes this a good time for going over finances and expense sheets and catching up on paperwork Getting involved in neighbourhood issues will make you a local celebrity You will see some dramatic changes in your social world in July New bonds are about to be formed The Full Moon can create havoc with travel plans Money from a gift, bonus or an activity you love makes it a good August You might also use this extra cash to finance a cherished dream Booking a holiday, buying a vehicle or a holiday home are among the possibilities

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)

Getting out in nature will uplift your mind, body and spirit This will help you to handle a difficult situation that’s about to surface Keep conversations light It will be hard to find common ground on the 23rd when the Full Moon magnifies misunderstandings June brings fresh opportunities – but also some important decision to make Your captivating personality will impress people Don’t hesitate to promote your past achievements A show of enterprise and initiative will have impressive financial implications in July If life lacks excitement and you want a challenge, the Full Moon on the 21st will remind you that there are better possibilities you need to explore August’s New Moon on the 4th will fill you with determination All of a sudden you will feel more optimistic about your ability to make these work

CANCER (June 22-July 23)

Don’t dwel on negatives, start counting your blessings You’re aware of your powerful sixth sense so try and keep things in balance You will need to contact someone about a long-term project you are working on Keep an open mind throughout June The more eccentric and unlikely a scheme sounds, the more likely it is to succeed The Full Moon warns that being in a bad


What’s in store for you this summer

mood drains your energy July brings a more relaxed frame of mind You will come up with ways to improve your home or workplace, and there is a chance to team up with an old friend or partner Someone will pay back some money you had forgotten they’d borrowed from you in August Look on this as a gift from the universe as the New Moon will be encouraging you to buy something special for yourself

LEO (July 24-August 23)

It’s a good time to get ideas off the ground You need to calm your mind and thoughts to make an important choice Once you make this decision, you will feel more in control and a more distinctive path will lie ahead June’s New Moon on the 6th will bring some happy news that gives you and your family something special to celebrate Do your best to avoid head on confrontations Life could get a bit bumpy as the summer progresses so try and keep a cool head Instead of preying on negatives, consider the positive possibilities of all situations Be sure to snap up an unusual offer in August You won’t want to miss out on a great opportunity A change in arrangements will be unsettling but eventually this will put you in a better position Invest in your own happiness

VIRGO (August 24-September 23)

Try to broaden your horizons Dealing with the mundane things in life can be tiring Your thoughts will keep wandering on the 23rd when the Full Moon makes concentration difficult Wait until the 30th before considering a proposal that could change your life June’s a time when won’t stop until you get results and this is how you will make significant headway with an ambitious project The Full Moon on the 22nd warns that friendships will suffer if you aren’t willing to nurture them If it’s a while since you had some fun, July’s New Moon on the 5th will bring some great opportunities Trust your intuition August is a great time to go after a cherished dream Arguments over money will weigh heavily on your mind Stand your ground Don’t be intimidated by someone with a powerful personality

(September 24-October 23)

Don’t let every day tasks drain your energy You expect things to go wrong even though they won’t Your confidence has taken a knock Discussing these with a trusted friend is better than to suffer in silence Your mood picks up in June Meeting up with an adventurous friend will make you look into travel possibilities Instead of waiting for others to make decisions, the Full Moon on the 22nd pushes you to take the initiative Set goals and you will achieve something special in July A lot of energy will be invested in family and domestic concerns A friend will provide the inspiration for some unusual plans There’s a happy and harmonious feel to August, and there’s a good chance you will meet someone special However, don’t get carried away with making too many plans that inlcude others – they may have their own commitments

SCORPIO (October 24-November 22)

Are you letting someone’s petty criticism undermine your enjoyment of life? Spending some time alone in quiet contemplation will give you a stronger sense of self You will feel more confident about getting plans for the future underway in June Your days can be as glorious as you want them to be Whatever your circumstances, you will find something to be happy about With this positive attitude, your blessings will multiply and grow July’s New Moon on the 5th will be a perfect time to bring old plans back out into the open You will soon get over any disappointments caused by the Full Moon on the 21st August makes you hopeful and cautious optimism is advised A new task can also be used as an excuse to escape a tense situation


(November 23-December 21)

Look into improving your health – a few simple changes will pay off enormously Don’t be surprised if the Full Moon on the 23rd brings a repeat performance of a past situation You will find it easier to get on the same wavelength as others who are involved in important discussions, negotiations and transactions Spending on

social pleasures will be unnecessarily high in June Set a spending limit If you have been hoping to launch a special project, July’s the time to do it But don’t go wild Occasionally, it does you good to stop and smell the flowers August’s New Moon encourages you to make choices based on your own interests and desires Spending time with offbeat, creative friends will be refreshing Keep believing in yourself and you will overcome a difficult situation Finding outlets for your creativity will lessen any disappointment


(December 22-January 20)

Family outings will be delightful The Full Moon on the 23rd will make you nostalgic when some happy and some not so happy memories come flooding back A family feud will be resolved

Changes and upheavals will knock your schedule for six in June causing some chaos and confusion Before getting angry, consider whether old routines may have needed a shake-up

Someone close has a proposal in July that will be like a dream come true A problem that crops up will have a simple solution Channel any frustrations into physical activity in August Steer away from people who will try to put you in the path of temptation The Full Moon on the 19th highlights the importance of getting financial matters agreed A legal matter will be decided in your favour on the 27th This means one less thing for you to have to worry about

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 19)

You will feel inspired to create something unique and wonderful Whatever might concern you at this time, you need to get straight to the heart of the matter Leave nothing unspoken when it comes to money issues involving family and friends June’s New Moon on the 6th reminds you that being kind to yourself does not make you selfish Start doing things that make you feel happy too Inside information gives you an unfair advantage – be careful how you use it As well as the joy you get from a group situation in July you have it within you to make a friend’s day Emotions will be up and down like a see-saw at the end of the month August brings you much joy and laughter

PISCES (February 20-March 20)

It might be worth taking a chance on a glamorous scheme You will be extremely perceptive on the 14th and you will intuitively know what lies behind confusing smokescreens June brings a strong desire to transform your home in some way A trip and a change of scenery will have an invigorating effect But some tough decisions need to be made Your family and loved ones are more understanding than ever This will give you the courage to share your more adventurous hopes and dreams with them Events mid-July will be amusing and bordering on the comical Keep a special eye on a youngster in the family in August Take them to one side for a quiet conversation Even if they don’t show it, they will appreciate your advice Life is about to bring an unusual amount of variety

Please help keep this vital charity newspaper alive . . . see back page 18 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024

Until May 11: Boys from the Blackstuff Royal Court, Liverpool This is 80s’ Liverpool Chrissie, Loggo, George, Dixie and Yosser are used to hard work and providing for their families But there is no work and there is no money What are they supposed to do? Work harder, work longer, buy cheaper, spend less? They just need a chance

May 7-11: The Kite Runner The Lowry, Salford Afghanistan is a country on the verge of war and best friends are about to be torn apart It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul, the skies are full of colour and the streets are full of the excitement of a kite flying tournament, but no one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever Audio described and touch tour, May 8; signed, May 11

May 7: Bonnie and Clyde Palace Theatre, Manchester New musical Two small-town kids became the biggest folk heroes in all America They craved crime, adventure and each other

May 7: Julian Clary Opera House, Manchester

May 8: Jacqui Dankworth & Charlie Wood Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 8: Sherlock’s Excellent Adventure Storyhouse, Chester

May 8: Paul Smith: Pablo Pavilion, Rhyl

May 8: Ed Byrne: Tragdy Plus Time Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 9: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 9-11: Showstopper Playhouse,

Whether you fancy Hamilton in a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara, you suggest it and The Showstoppers will sing it!

May 9-11: Rumours of Fleetwood Mac Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 9-11: The Sound of Music –Presented by BOST Empire, Liverpool Musical Timeless story of growth and hope amidst the horrors of World War II A highspirited, young governess brings music and joy back to a broken family, facing danger and conspiracy as the Nazis gain power in an uncertain Austria

May 9: Michael starring Ben The Brindley, Runcorn Tribute show

May 9: The Searchers: Thank You Tour Pavilion, Rhyl

May 9: An Evening of Burlesque Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 9: Ed Byrne – Tragedy Plus Time Lyceum, Crewe

May 9: Johannes Radebe: House of JoJo Opera House, Manchester

May 9: Most Haunted with Yvette Fielding Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 10-12: Dante or Die: Kiss Marry Kill The Lowry, Salford

May 10: The Searchers – Thank You Tour Lyceum, Crewe

May 10: Ultimate Eagles Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 10: The Story of Soul Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 10: Whitney – Queen of the Night Opera House, Manchester

May 10: Ben Portsmouth –

ALBERT Lee is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists in music history

“Great musicians make you want to dance, make you cry and make you fall in love,” says Jools Holand, “and Albert does that with his playing ” Albert has worked with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou

Harris and The Crickets over his long and illustrious career

The country-rock artist started his career during the emerging rock ‘n’ roll scene in London Just turned 80, he’s touring again Catch him at: n Jun 11: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton n Jun 12: The Lowry, Salford n June 14: Lowther Pavilion, St Annes


This Is Elvis Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 11: Fast Love Venue Cymru, Llandudno George Michael tribute show

May 11: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern

Jukebox Opera House, Manchester New York City’s pop-jazz sensation

May 11: Cinderella and the Two Ugly Sisters: The Adult Patomime Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 11: Totally Tina Lyceum, Crewe

May 11: Showaddywaddy Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 12: Video Games in Concert Empire, Liverpool

May 12: Rat Pack Live Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 12: This is Elvis Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Ben Portsmouth in the King’s shoes

May 12: Count Arthur Strong And It’s Goodnight From Him Lyceum, Crewe

May 12: Dionne Warwick – Don’t Make Me Over The Lowry, Salford

May 12: Luther Live Regent Theatre, Stoke Tribute show

May 13: Punt and Dennis The Lowry, Salford

May 13-16: The Syndicate Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Based on the BBC TV series, a new play following five supermarket workers whose lottery numbers come in

May 14-18: Drop the Dead Donkey Everyman, Liverpool BREAKING NEWS: 30 years since the launch of the trailblazing, smash-hit TV series, the Globelink News team are back, and now live on stage for the very first time Starring the original cast members

Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Neil Pearson, Jeff Rawle, Stephen Tompkinson and Victoria Wicks

May 14-18: The Phantom of the Opera The Brindley, Runcorn The dark love story of Christine, who becomes the obsession of a masked musical genius living beneath the Paris Opera House

May 14-18: What the Butler Saw Grand Theatre, Blackpool Joe Orton’s final manic farce

May 14-15: Strictly – The Professionals

The Lowry, Salford

May 15-18: Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle Palace Theatre, Manchester

May 15: Cloudbusting: The Music of Kate Bush Lyceum, Crewe

May 15: London Symphonic Rock

Orchestra Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool May 17: Sensational 60s

Experience Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 15: Bill Shankly’s FA Cup Farewell Empire, Liverpool Kevin Keegan, Ian Callaghan and Alan Kennedy recall the good times

May 16: Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals Empire, Liverpool

May 16: Jools Hollland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 16-19: Awful Auntie Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 16-19: Madagascar The Musical Regent Theatre, Stoke Relaxed performance, May 19

May 16: Frank Skinner – 30 Years of Dirt The Lowry, Salford

May 16: Genesis Connected Theatre Royal, St Helens Tribute show

May 16: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Lyceum, Crewe

May 17-19 The Syndicate The Lowry, Salford New stage play based on the TV series that follows five supermarket employees whose lottery syndicate numbers come in, just as their jobs and livelihoods are under threat Will a share of the £18m jackpot make their dreams come true? Audio described/touch tour, May 17; signed May 18

May 17-18: Rhod Gilbert & The Giant Grapefruit Empire, Liverpool

May 17: The Bootleg Rock Show Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 17: Sensational 60s Experience Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 17: Gordon Giltrap & John Etheridge Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

The top guitarists join forces

May 17: So True Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Spandau Ballet tribute show

May 17: Mama Africa Storyhouse, Chester

May 18: Richard Marx Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

May 18: Paul Smith – Pablo Lyceum, Crewe

May 18: Rush – A Joyous

Jamaican Journey Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Musical telling the story of the Windrush Generation and how reggae music took the world by storm

May 19: The Drifters Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 19: Beyond the Barricade Grand Theatre, Blackpool

May 19: Simon Munnery’s Jerusalem

The Lowry, Salford

May 21-25: SIX Empire, Liverpool From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales

May 21-25: Jesus Christ Superstar The Lowry, Salford Signed, May 22; audio described, May 23

May 21: Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch Grand Theatre, Blackpool

May 22-Jul 7: Disney’s Aladdin Palace Theatre, Manchester Musical following the adventurous Aladdin as he embarks on a journey to win the heart of Princess Jasmine and defeat the wicked Jafar With the help of his genie, Aladdin navigates the streets of Agrabah and discovers there’s more to life than just material wealth

Relaxed performance, Jul 4

May 22-25: Operation Julie: A Rock

Musical Lyceum, Crewe Over four decades ago, rural West Wales was at the centre of the greatest drug bust in history

Continued Pages 20, 21, 22

To advertise, contact . . . SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 19

l Contunued from Page 19

May 23: ELO Again Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Tribute show

May 23: Sing The Musicals Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 23: Emilio Santoro as ELVIS Pavilion, Rhyl

May 23: The ELO Experience Opera House, Manchester Tribute show

May 24-Jun 22: The Netherley Hillbillies Royal Court, Liverpool Jed, Lisa, Elly May and motherin-law Renie aren’t used to being rich They were always rich in spirit and all that but now they’re proper rich Like big house in Formby rich

May 24: All Killa No Filla – Live. Opera House, Manchester

Comedy A night of serial killer discussion, overdressing, and possible slander

May 24: Tom Allen. Pavilion, Rhyl

May 24: The Choir with No

Name: The Big Gig. Everyman, Liverpool Uplifting night of singalong rock and pop classics at this unique, feel-good event for all the family

May 25: Rosie Holt: That’s Politeainment. Playhouse, Liverpool Following a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe season, Rosie takes this brandnew show on the road, to tightroping the thin line between politics and entertainment

May 25: The Diana Ross Story. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

May 25: Rhod Gilbert & The Giant Grapefruit Opera House, Manchester

May 25: Johannes Radebe –House of Jojo. Venue Cymru Dance

May 26: Dinosaur Adventure Live –Trouble on Volcano Island. Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 26: Bowie Experience. Opera House, Manchester Tribute show

May 26: YES. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool The progressive legends are back

May 26: The Searchers – Thank You Tour. Grand Theatre, Blackpool

May 26: Johannes Radebe – House of JoJo. Regent Theatre, Stoke

May 26: The Importance of Being Ernest. Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 27-Jun 1: Grease Empire, Liverpool

Musical The much-loved musical is back and grittier and more glamorous than ever before

May 27: Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show Theatre Royal, St Helens

May 28-Jun 1: There’s a Monster in Your Show Playhouse, Liverpool A group of performers are preparing to start their show, but quickly discover they are not alone on stage

May 29: The Sound



Grand Theatre: 01253 290190


Octagon: 01204 520661


Storyhouse: 01244 409 113


Lyceum: 01270 368 242


Empire: 08444 999 999

Everyman & Playhouse: 0151 709 4776

Philharmonic Hall: 0151 709 3789

Royal Court: 0870 787 1866

Unity 0151 709 4988


Venue Cymru: 01492 872000


Theatr Clwyd: 0845 3303565


Opera House: 0870 401 9000

Palace: 0870 401 3000


The Lowry: 0843 208 6000

Access line: 0333 320 2838


Floral Pavilion: 0151 666 0000


Pavilion: 01745 330 000


The Brindley: 0151 907 8360


Theatre Royal: 01744 756000


Regent Theatre: 0844 871 7627


Jolly good Fallows

SHAUN Fallows is a poet born with cerebral palsy Real and raw, expect potholes, speed-dating and Amsterdam in this exploration of disability, relationships and travel n Jun 6: A Lovely Word featuring Shaun Fallows Everyman, Liverpool


of Springsteen Grand Theatre, Blackpool Tribute show

May 29: Ed Gamble: Hot Diggity Dog Opera House, Manchester

May 30: Jurassic Live Grand Theatre, Blackpool

May 30: ROH Live – Message in a Bottle Storyhouse, Chester

May 30: Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 31-Jun 2: Strawberry Jack: A Tale from Paradise Grand Theatre, Blackpool

May 31: Supreme Queen Theatre Royal, St Helens Tribute show

May 31: Love Hurts: Power Ballads and Anthems Venue Cymru, Llandudno

May 31: UK Pink Floyd Experience Pavilion, Rhyl Tribute show

May 31: Sir Bradley Wiggins. Lyceum, Crewe

May 31: Kevin Quantum: Momentum. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Where science and magic mix

Jun 1: Let’s Hear it for the Girls. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton The music of Abba, Chaka Khan, Beyoncé and many more!

Jun 1: Jools Holland and his Rhythm &

Blues Orchestra Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jun 1: Chicago Blues Brothers Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jun 1: An Evening with Alfie Boe Regent Theatre, Stoke

Jun 1: Dear Billy The Lowry, Salford Hilarious stories about the Big Yin – Billy Connolly Signed

Jun 2: Johannes Radebe: House of JoJo Empire, Liverpool Roof-raising music, dazzling costumes and, of course, world class dance

Jun 2: Northern Chamber Orchestra –Peter and the Wolf Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 2: Count Arthur Strong And It’s Goodnight From Him Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 2: Alfie Boe. The Lowry, Salford

Jun 4-15: 2:22 A Ghost Story. The Lowry, Salford

Jun 4-5: Moby Dick. Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 4-5: Desperate Scousewives. The Brindley, Runcorn Laughs all the wayin the days leading up to a wedding in Walton jail

Jun 5: The Carpenters Story Empire, Liverpool

Jun 5: Barely Visible The Lowry, Salford What it’s like to be lesbian

Jun 5: Walk Right Back Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Everly Brothers’ story

Jun 5: The Scummy Mummies: Greatest Hits Playhouse, Liverpool They’re back! Ellie and Helen are guaranteed to make you feel normal about your parenting skills, or very smug about being child-free

Jun 6-7: Sweeney Todd – A Victorian Melodrama The Lowry, Salford

Jun 6: Go Your Own Way – The Fleetwood Mac Legacy Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Tribute show

Jun 6: Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle. Empire, Liverpool Comedy Jun 6: Jarlath Regan: Yer Man. Playhouse, Liverpool

Jun 6: A Lovely Word featuring Shaun Fallows. Everyman, Liverpool

Jun 6: A Beautiful Noise. Lyceum, Crewe Neil Diamond tribute show Jun 6: Dreamboys. Regent Theatre, Stoke

20 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024 . . . reaching people who are digitally excluded . . .
JUDY and Liza are heading to Merseyside to take you on an emotional rollercoaster journey This turbulent tale of Hollywood stars Judy Garland and daughter Liza Minnelli is set against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert n Jun 13: Judy & Liza The Brindley, Runcorn Jun 28: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Rhy thm ’n’ blue

TOP tribute band The Bootleg Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are coming together again for a very special summer show

This time they’re celebrating the Beatles’ famous “blue” album –Greatest Hits 1967-70 So get ready to sing along to Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, St Pepper ’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, A Day in the Life, All You Need is Love, Magical Mystery Tour, Hey Jude and many more classics n Jul 5: For You Blue: Celebrating The Beatles Greatest Hits 1967-1970 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

n Aug 21-27: Liverpool International Beatleweek Festival www internationalbeatle week com


Jun 7-9: Zog and The Flying Doctors Storyhouse, Chester Magical adventure

Jun 7: Clinton Baptiste: Roller Ghoster! Lyceum, Crewe

Jun 7: Crissy Rock - Stand up to Suicide The Brindley, Runcorn Chrissy’s stand up show that will make you laugh but pull at the heart

Jun 7: Rhod Gilbert & The Giant Grapefruit Regent Theatre, Stoke

Jun 7: The Best of Queen: The Break Free Tour Grand Theatre, Blackpool Tribute show

Jun 8: Oh What a Night Venue Cymru, Llandudno Musical journey through the incredible career of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Jun 8: Liberation Squares Octagon, Bolton

Jun 8: Red Hot Chilli Peppers Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 8: Calling Planet Earth The Brindley, Runcorn Music from the 80s

Jun 8: The American Revue Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Country rock show

Jun 9-10: Shrek the Musical. The Brindley, Runcorn

Jun 9: Luke Combs UK Tribute Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 9: And Finally Phil Collins Lyceum Crewe Tribute show

Jun 9: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool Jun 9: The Carpenters Story Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 10: Disney in Concert: The Sound of Magic Empire, Liverpool

Jun 11-29: Dracula: The Bloody Truth. Octagon, Bolton Madcap comedy retelling of the iconic gothic classic Grab a sharpened stake and a clove of garlic and join Professor Van Helsing in this new show Audio described, Jun 22; signed/captioned Jun 25. Jun 11: ROH Live – Andrea Chenier

Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 11: Bowie Live Grand Theatre, Blackpool Tribute show

Jun 11: Albert Lee 80th Birthday Tour Floral Pavilion, New Brighton The very best in guitar playing

Jun 12-22: Tell Me How It Ends Everyman, Liverpool It’s Liverpool, 1987 The AIDS epidemic strikes and across the world, groups of lesbian women hold out their hands to help In this city, Aster sits by Marc’s hospital bed watching, wondering and reading

Jun 12-14: Macbeth The Brindley Runcorn

Jun 12: The Glen Miller and Big Band

Spectacular Grand Theatre Blackpool

Jun 12: The Simon & Garfunkel Story Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 12: Whitney – Queen of the Night. Lyceum, Crewe Tribute show

Jun 12: Albert Lee 80th Birthday Tour The Lowry, Salford

Jun 13-16: Awful Auntie Empire, Liverpool David Walliams’ adventure story, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie!

Jun 13-14: Uncanny: I Know What I Saw Playhouse, Liverpool Danny Robbins with chilling real-life stories of the supernatural

Jun 13: Jusy & Liza The Brindley, Runcorn

Musical about Hollywood’s biggest stars against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert

Jun 13: The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 13: The Simon and Garfunkel Story Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 13: Liverpool Legends: An Audience with John Barnes and Peter Beardsley Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 14: Sofie Hagen: Will I Ever Have Sex Again? Unity, Liverpool

Jun 14: Paul Smith – Pablo Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jun 14: Jimmy Carr: Laughs Funny Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 14: Luther Vandross – The Legend Lives. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jun 14: The Bohemians: Queen Greatest Hits Pavilion, Rhyl

Jun 14: Albert Lee 80th Birthday Tour

Lowther Pavilion, St Annes

Jun 15: Tommy Blaize. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Lead singer on Strictly Come

Dancing for 20 years takes to the stage

Jun 15: Nadiya & Kai: Behind the Magic Pavilion, Rhyl

Jun 15: Red Hot Chilli Peppers Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 15: One Night of Billy Joel – The Piano Man Theatre Royal, St Helens Tribute show

Jul 16-27: Hairspray The Musical Palace Theatre, Manchester The ultimate feel-good musical is back Welcome to the 60s, where everyone’s grooving to a brand-new sound!

Jun 16: Hello Again – The Neil Diamond Story Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 16: The Legend of Bob Marley Theatre

Royal, St Helens Tribute show

Jun 16: Uncanny: I Know What I Saw. The Lowry, Salford Creepy tales brought to life

Jun 17: The ELO Experience Empire, Liverpool Electric Light Orchestra tribute show

Jun 17: Uncanny: I Know What I Saw. Grand Theatre, Blackpool Creepy tales

Jun 18: Six Chick Flicks Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Parodies of famous chick flicks

Jun 19-20: Paul Smith – Pablo Floral Pavilion, New Brighton He’s back again Jun 20-Jul 14: Wicked Empire, Liverpool Musical the magic that shaped the destinies of two unlikely friends on their remarkable journey to becoming Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West

Jun 20: I’m Frank Morgan: RewiRED Pavilion, Rhyl Drama

Jun 20: Everything Changes The Brindley, Runcorn Take That tribute

Jun 20: Luke Combs UK Lyceum, Crewe

Jun 21: Soul & Motown Night Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jun 21: KVN Dance Company – Coppelia Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 21: John Lydon – I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Johnny Rotten changed the face of music and sparked a cultural revolution

Jun 21: Reelin’ in the Dan Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool Steely Dan tribute band

Jun 22: John Lydon – I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right. Storyhouse, Chester

Jun 22: Supreme Queen Lyceum, Crewe Tribute show

Jun 23: The McCartney Songbook Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 24-29: Sister Act. Storyhouse, Chester The uplifting musical

Jun 25: One Night in Dublin The Brindley, Runcorn

Jun 26: The Simon and Garfunkel Story Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jun 26: Taylormania Lyceum, Crewe Tribute


Jun 26: G4 20th Anniversary Tour Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 27: Jimmy Carr: Laughs Funny Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jun 27: 80s Live. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jun 27: The Rolling Stones Story Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Continued next page SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 21
To advertise, contact . . .

l Contunued from Page 21

Jun 27: Holly McNish: The Lobster Tour Playhouse, Liverpool Poetry with piles of smiles

Jun 28-29: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical The Lowry, Salford

Jun 28: A Vision of Elvis Theatre Royal, St Helens Tribute show

Jun 28: The Searchers and Hollies

Experience The Brindley, Runcorn Tribute show

Jun 28: Johnny Cash Roadshow Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Tribute show

Jun 28: Judy & Liza Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Turbulent tale of Hollywood’s biggest stars against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert

Jun 29: The Magic of Motown Pavilion, Rhyl

Jun 29: MANIA: The Abba Tribute Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jun 29: Love Hurts: Power Ballads and Anthems Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jun 30: Ruby Wax – I’m Not As Well as I Thought I Was The Lowry, Salford

Jun 30: The King’s Voice Octagon, Bolton Gordon Hendricks superb tribute to Elvis

Jul 1-6: Jesus Christ Superstar Venue Cymru Starring Julian Clary as Herod (Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances only), Ian McIntosh as Jesus, Shem Omari James as Judas and Hannah Richardson as Mary

Jul 2-6: Life of Pi The Lowry, Salford

Jul 3: Uncanny: I Know What I Saw Creepy tales Regent Theatre, Stoke

Jul 4: John Bishop: Back at It Regent Theatre, Stoke

Jul 5-Aug 3: Sisters of Mercy Royal Court, Liverpool Sister Petra and Sister Brenda have grown up in St Elmo’s Convent in Dingle as identical twins but Monsignor Michael has some shocking news for them

Jul 5: For You Blue: Celebrating The Beatles Greatest Hits 1967-1970 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool The Bootleg Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are coming together again

Jul 5: Celebrating George Michael The Brindley, Runcorn Tribute show

Jul 8-20: & Juliet Opera House, Manchester New musical that proves when it comes to love, there’s always life after Romeo

Jul 11: Dreamboys Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jul 11: Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice – Together Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jul 12: Lipstick on Your Collar Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Back to back hits from the 1950s and 60s

Jul 13: The Lancashire Hot Pots Grand Theatre, Blackpool Comedy folk band

Jul 15-20: Pretty Woman Regent Theatre, Stoke Musical

Jul 17-20: Ghost: The Musical Storyhouse, Chester Adapted from the hit film the story follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam’s untimely death

Jul 18-20: Brave Space The Lowry,

Souled out

SMIGGER’S having a mid-life crisis All he (Liverpool actor Andrew Schofield) wants to do is roll back the years and dance to 70s soul music with Donna, Terry and Pat But since the grandkid came along, Donna hasn’t been interested in their usual Sunday nights in town (or much else) Get ready to be transported from Scottie Road to Pontins Prestatyn to Liverpool’s over40s Sunday night pub scene – complete with a 70s soul soundtrack n Aug 16-Sep 14: Lost Soul 2 Royal Court, Liverpool

SISTER Petra and Sister Brenda have grown up in St Elmo’s Convent in Dingle as identical twins – but Monsignor Michael has some shocking news for them They’re NOT twins n Jul 5-Aug 3: Sisters of Mercy Royal Court, Liverpool

Salford Circus/dance

Jul 18: 80s Live. Empire, Liverpool

Jul 18: Rhythm of the Dance. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jul 18: The Smooth Rock Show. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jul 19: Totally Tina. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Triubute show

Jul 19: Lord of the Dance – A Lifetime of Standing Ovations. Empire, Liverpool

Jul 19: Bad Staff Bootcamp.

Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jul 19: The Chicago Blues Brothers. Pavilion, Rhyl

Jul 19: ELO Again. Venue Cymru, Llandudno Tribute show

Jul 20-Aug 3: Come From Away. Venue Cymru, Llandudno Smash hit show shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these “come from aways” into their lives with open hearts

Jul 20: Anton and Giovanni: Together. Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Jul 20: Totally Tina. Pavilion, Rhyl Tribute show

Jul 21: Anton and Giovanni – Together. The Lowry, Salford

Jul 22-27: An Officer and a Gentleman Empire, Liverpool Musical Timeless story of love, courage, and redemption will make your heart soar and leave you breathless, longing for more

Jul 23-27: A Chorus Line The Lowry, Salford Musical capturing the spirit and

Tarby in towns

n Aug 17: Welcome to an Evening with Jimmy Tarbuck Rhyl Pavilion n Aug 18: Storyhouse, Chester

n Aug 23: Grand Theatre, Blackpool

tension of a broadway chorus audition

Jul 23-25: A Chorus Line. The Brindley, Runcorn Musical

Jul 24: Thanks for the Memories. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Neil Sands new matinee show

Jul 25: The Drifters Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jul 25: I’m Frank Morgan –Rewired: A Take from Paradise. Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Jul 26: Jurassic Live. Pavilion, Rhyl

Jul 26: Twist & Shout. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jul 26: Barry Steele presents The Roy Orbison Story. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Jul 27: Meatloaf Tribute – Hits Out of Hell. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Jul 28: Brian Conley: The 3rd Farewell Tour …To Date. The Lowry, Salford

Jul 28: Warrington Concert Band. The Brindley, Runcorn

Jul 28: The Greatest Hits of Motown –How Sweet It Is. Empire, Liverpool

Aug 2: Ultimate Classic Rock Show. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Aug 3: Thank You for the Music. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Abba tribute show

Aug 3: Calling Planet Earth. Venue Cymru, Llandudno The hits of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, ABC, Depeche Mode, OMD, The Human League, Tears for Fears, The Police, and many more

Aug 4: Lipstick on Your Collar Grand Theatre, Blackpool Step back to the 1950s and 60s

Aug 9: Gary Murphy presents Music & Laughter. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton Guests include Ricky Tomlinson and Sean Styles

Aug 10: Dreamboys. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Aug 10: Burt Bacharach Singbook. Theatre Royal, St Helens

Aug 10: Thank ABBA for the Music. Pavilion, Rhyl

Aug 13-Sep 1: SIX. The Lowry, Salford Tudor times musical

Aug 13-18: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Venue Cymru, Llandudno Award-winning musical bursting with unforgettable songs by the Sherman Brothers including Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain and Truly Scrumptious

Aug 16-Sep 14: Lost Soul 2. Royal Court, Liverpool Liverpool actor Andrew Schofield back with the team that will have you laughing in the aisles!

Aug 17: An Evening with Jimmy Tarbuck. Pavilion, Rhyl

Aug 18: An Evening with Jimmy Tabuck. Storyhouse, Chester

Aug 18: Rock for Heroes. Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Aug 18: Focus. Floral Pavilion, New Brighton The 60s rock band are back

Aug 19-24: Hairspray The Musical Empire, Liverpool Fun-filled, feel good show bursting with show-stopping numbers, dazzling costumes, and dizzying danceroutines Featuring some of musical theatre’s biggest and best hit songs, including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, Good Morning Baltimore

Aug 19-21: The Tiger Who Came to Tea Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Aug 21: Some Guys Have All The Luck Theatre Royal, St Helens The Rod Stewart story

Aug 22-23: Liverpool International Beatleweek Festival Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Aug 23: An Evening with Jimmy Tarbuck Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Aug 23: A Country Night in Nashville Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Aug 24: I Like It Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Gary Murphy’s tribute to Gerry Marsden and the Swingin’ 60s

Aug 25: ELO Again Grand Theatre, Blackpool Tribute show

Aug 26: Joe Pasquale Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Aug 28-29: Sarah Millican: Late Bloomer Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Aug 30: Bowie Experience Theatre Royal, St Helens Tribute show

Aug 31: The Lancashire Hot Pots Theatre Royal, St Helens Comedy folk band

Aug 31: The Harry Styles Tribute The Brindley, Runcorn

Aug 31: Mothership The Brindley Studio, Runcorn Led Zeppelin tribute

Aug 31: Barry Steele presents The Roy Orbiso Story Venue Cymru, Llandudno

. . . reaching people who are digitally excluded . . .
22 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024
. . .


THE response to “Fuchsia” could be “Bless you!”

It seems an unflattering name for a beautiful, useful garden flower which has been in Britain since 1788

Most fuchsia species come from Central and South America where they were found by 17th-century European explorers.

They were named in 1703 by a French monk, Pere Charles Plumier, as a compliment to Leonhart Fuchs, a German herbalist and plant illustrator, who had died 150 years earlier

Magellan, who was Portuguese

It is good for hedges and tolerates rain, coastal salt breezes and a degree of urban pollution Although considered a summer and autumn plant, it often blooms for longer periods in mild weather

Fuchsia magellanica, a hardy species from

which many modern hybrids have been bred, was named after the first circumnavigator of the globe, Ferdinand


IF I were banished to BBC radio’s Desert Island, I’d want some choice vegetables with me as well as my favourite discs – a Desert Island Dish of eight varieties chosen for their ability to put tasty food on the table or maybe on a palm leaf

My top eight in order of harvesting

Fresh garden PEAS, one of the great tastes of early summer, a steaming bowlful topped with a knob of butter and a sprig of mint

Every variety tastes good but, for consistent reliability and fine flavour I’d take CANOE

This species, with crimson and purple ballerina-like flowers, provided the genes for breeding programmes which have produced numerous varieties in a range of shapes and colours – pink, purple, red, mauve, white and various bicolours such as Fuchsia Frosted Flame

sized carrots with minimal leaf growth and is pest-resistant

It can be sown at any time from March to June and matures in about 75 days with numerous well-filed pods on compact plants which need less support than larger types, useful on a desert island or anywhere breezy

One variety of CARROT, PRIMO, has, for me, replaced most other kinds, whether sown early, mid-season or late

It is faster to mature than the traditional early kind, Amsterdam Forcing, better for autumn than Autumn King, and produces a crop of medium-

FRENCH BEANS can be sown from late April to July They tolerate dry conditions well and crop reliably For these qualities plus sheer flavour, I choose COBRA If I were allowed a runner bean as well, it would be FIRESTORM COURGETTES seem to tolerate weather of all kinds, hot and dry or wet and windy, and have good flavour cooked or chopped raw in salads but depended on sunshine to open the flowers for pollination until my favourite, the self-pollinating variety PARTHENON, was introduced

There are many mouthwatering POTATO varieties these days, from waxy salad types to floury spuds for mashing or baking, but for all-round flavour and texture, whether roast, mashed or baked, I’d take the early-maturing variety LADY CHRISTL.

Among the splendid TOMATOES available are some which owe more to gimmickry than good taste

I can’t resist cherry tomatoes and my favourite is the SAKURA, a terrific blend of sharpness and sweetness

It’s a greenhouse type but who needs a greenhouse in the South Seas?

The PARSNIP does not excite everyone but those who try this vegetable after it has been sweetened by frost then roasted or chipped is bound to be hooked I’ll need a freak frost on the island – one is enough to improve the flavour For taste, nothing beats the 1897 variety TENDER AND TRUE

BRUSSELS SPROUTS are sweetened by frost too, and it is difficult to decide between several varieties The variety CRISPUS produces a prolific crop on compact plants which would stand up to the trade winds

FLOWERS: Trim over aubrieta and yellow Alyssum saxatile with garden shears and give them a generous liquid feed of highpotash fertiliser Plant autumn flowering bulbs such as colchicum and autumn crocus

PATIO: Spend a few minutes every day dead-heading container flowers Make sure the compost does not dry out and give a liquid feed once a week

SHRUBS: Trim lightly over winter-flowering heathers and water with a liquid feed Remove the flowers of roses as they fade To boost a second flush of bloom, prune the heads back to an outward-facing leaf joint If aphids or diseases like blackspot or mildew are a problem, spray the foliage with a solution combining insecticide and fungicide

LAWNS: Grass in which spring bulbs have been grown can be cut lightly

PONDS: Control blanketweed by removing as much as possible and applying a proprietary treatment

FRUIT: Watch for aphid attack on gooseberries and currants, usually starting in the tips of shoots, and squash them or spray with a contact insecticide

Also check gooseberries closely for sawfly larvae – inconspicuous green caterpillars which can strip a bush of foliage Hand pick and spray with an insecticide

VEGETABLES: When the first pods of broad beans set low on the plant, pinch out the growing tips at the top of each stem to encourage the pods to fill out and discourage blackfly Sow successional crops of salad leaves and lettuce

HERBS: Sow Florence fennel and chives outdoors Sow seeds or buy plants of other herbs such as dill and coriander If you find parsley difficult to grow, sow it now Make seed-drills just a quarter of an inch deep and water them with boiling water, then sow the seeds thinly

GREENHOUSE: As tomatoes ripen, keep feeding and watering regularly Pinch out the sideshoots from cordon tomatoes and tie in the main stem as it continues to grow, and pinch out the growing tip once five or six trusses of flowers have set fruit Cherry tomato types can be allowed to grow taller

HOUSEPLANTS: Water more freely, feed regularly and do not leave them in full sun all day except for types really suited to those conditions SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 23 ,. . . donate to the All Together NOW! charity . . . see back page
TASTY TIMES AHEAD: Tomato Sakura and, below, pea Canoe COLOURFUL: Fuchsia Magellanica and Fuchsia Frosted Flame

which are marked with shaded stars. These letters will make an anagram of the name you are looking for.

The Accumulator Quiz

E ach 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?

QUESTION 7 – for 7 points:

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)

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) 24. Angry (5)

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

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.

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

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.

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

24 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais. See Question 5
1 8 10 18 20 22 28 30 11 2 23 12 3 21 24 13 17 20 4 13 21 29 14 19 5 9 25 31 15 6 26 16 7 17 27 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ 1.
celebrity name hidden in this Starspot Crossword?
the crossword in the normal way then
a note of the letters contained in all the squares
Tropical fruit (5)
After (5)
25. First-rate (5)
Enlist (5)
Television (inf.) (5) Can you find the
STARSPOT CROSSWORD SUDOKU 86 3 71 42 79 86 7 16 3 2 5 3 1 4 6 87 3 6 4 9 8 13 6 94 9 8
12 14 4 16 21 11 16 23 7 20 5 13 18 4 30 16 23 12 24 13 MEDIUM KAKURO 9 58 9 4 87 3 8 7 2 6 524 1 8 3 7 6 9 48 2 9 75

EACH number in our Cross Code grid represents a different letter of the alphabet. You have three letters in the control grid to start you off.

Enter them in the appropriate squares in the main grid, then use your knowledge of words to work out which letters should go in the missing squares.

As you get the letters, fill in other squares with the same number in the main grid and control grid. Check off the alphabetical list of letters as you identify them.


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

1 famous Germans past and present 266 313 726 514 343 415

586 162 753 631 343 874

241 484 612 677 125 237

813 467

Each pair of words has a missing word between them that acts as a link to both (e.g. FRONT – DOOR – MAT). The initial letters of the six answers (reading downwards) will spell out a type of meat.

and any



5. ower;sunfl hazelnut; palm; peanut; argan; olive; walnut; axseed;fl 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.

Starting from the central shaded letter, move one letter at a time (up, down, right or left, but not diagonally) to find 17 g


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


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

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

2. The first weekly children’s comic paper, Comic Cuts, is published in London.

3. The first ever official English County Championship cricket match begins in Bristol. WAS IT? a) 1890; b) 1895; c) 1900; d) 1905; e) 1910.


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


1) The pollen basket of bees, which is protected by a fringe of long hairs;

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

3) A mythological raven that was supposed to bring bad luck if sighted before noon.

2. White Christmas; Love Actually; Jingle All The Way; The Grinch; A Christmas Carol; Home Alone; Arthur Christmas.

1. Anne Frank; Heidi Klum; Marlene Dietrich; Hugo Boss; Albert Einstein; Mesut Özil; Angela Merkel; Karl Lagerfeld.

Word Wizard No 2 is correct. Corcass is marshy land. Dialling Codes

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.


Across – 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 – 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.

10 – B; 11 –A; 12 – B; 13 – A; 14 – D; 15 – C. Starspot Crossword

255 Seabank Road, New Brighton, Wallasey, Merseyside, CH45 1HE. Tel: 0151 638 0412 Email: Portraits Weddings Commercial Print sales Tuitian Picture Framing Photo Restoration Studio Hire. SUMMER 2024 All Together NOW! 25 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? A B C D F E 1 2 3 4 5 6
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ACTION – – –
CURRENCY – – – – TRUST BELL – – – – PEG WATER – – – – TOP SPRING – – – – – SKIN PEN – – – – SAKE
_ _ _ _ _ + R E = R E _ _ _ _ _
1 – A; 2 – D; 3 – C; 4 – B; 5 – D; 6 – C; 7 – C; 8 – D; 9 – A;
Accumulator Quiz
Make a Date
year was
Transformer Resound.=RE+Sound 587163924 428671593 194536872 165927834 971385264 346829715 384291567 265713948 753498126 719358624 865794132 231647598 748135629 658213479 396425817 817946532 942561783 527836941 SUDOKU EASY SUDOKU DIFFICULT CROSS CODE 12 14 4 16 21 11 16 23 7 20 5 13 18 4 30 16 23 12 24 13 6 7 3 9 8 6 2 4 1 7 9 4 3 1 2 4 3 6 1 9 7 8 9 4 9 6 8 4 1 KAKURO MEDIUM Pathwords dibber; scythe; lawn spiker; sickle; weed puller; leaf rake; trowel; hoe; tree lopper; axe; secateurs; cultivator; shovel; spade; lawn edger; fork; patio nife. ALL THE ANSWERS
Meat: mutton.

KEN PYE’s latest book, Even More Merseyside Tales, is available in all good bookshops or from Ken directly (as are all of his books and Factsheets)

Sur vivor of bombs and the bulldozer

EIGHT hundred years before it would be recognised as even a town, let alone a city, St Patrick is said to have sailed from Liverpool to convert Ireland’s pagans to Christianity

Before departing for the Emerald Isle in AD432, reputedly on the orders of Pope Celestine I, St Patrick is believed to have preached a sermon

And in the more than a millennium and a half since, neither bulldozers nor the destruction that came with the Reformation have stopped Christians marking the spot on which he is said to have addressed the faithful

Today it is an impressive place of peace and contemplation, but it was not always so For centuries, a stone cross stood on the site in Standish Street, off Great Crosshall Street, and this became a point of

pilgrimage – until the Reformation, in the 16th Century, when it was removed but not forgotten

In 1860, following the massive growth of the Catholic community in that district, with migrants escaping from the catastrophic Irish Potato Famine, the Church of Holy Cross was built, directly over the site, and named after it

Sadly, and along with so many other city buildings, Holy Cross Church was destroyed by Nazi bombing, in 1941


It was completely rebuilt in 1954, but in 2004, this new church was then also demolished, and replaced with a modern office and apartment blocks

However, this all happened against the strong protests of a much reduced but still fiercely faithful congregation

These people, as well as other folk from

the local community, were determined not to let the significance of the location, or of their local parish, vanish under the bulldozers that were now knocking down their street, homes, local shop and pubs

As the long terraces of houses were replaced by the cul-de-sac, and its dozen or so attractive bungalows, the people decided to recreate the site of pilgrimage

This is why, in the midst of this secluded and now little-known close, there is a small, well-kept area of lawn and flowerbeds, surrounded by low railings and shaded by trees

Here, as well as some memorial plaques and tablets, is a large sandstone cross that originally stood inside Holy Cross Church, near the altar

The tiny garden is also home to part of the foundation stone and stained glass from the church: As well as this, two time capsules are buried in the ground,

containing other artefacts from this onceimportant parish and its congregation

However, the most powerful object to be seen in this very special memorial garden is contained within the large, transparent, vandal-proof display case

This stands against a tall, brick wall on one side of the small garden Inside this is a beautifully-painted, lovingly carved, life-size statue of the Virgin Mary cradling in her lap the crucified body of her son, Jesus Celebration

Whether you have a faith or not, and whether or not that faith is Christianity, I suggest that most people would be moved by this celebration of community and of religious belief, as well as by the silent tranquillity of the garden – hidden away as it is, from the noise and traffic of Liverpool’s busy, city centre roads Ken Pye – 0151 427 2717 26 All Together NOW! SUMMER 2024
PADDY POWER: St Patrick preaches to captivated Christians TRANQUIL: The memorial garden in a seculded cul-de-sac

Everton’s Down stars serve up an online cracker

EVERTON In The Community’s Down syndrome players showed why they are among the best in the country

Celebrating World Down

Syndrome Day, the players put on a great show in an action-packed game streamed live on YouTube The five-a-side match involved teams managed by

Everton FC ambassadors Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart EiTC’s disability programme has 14 teams including pan disability and impairment specific teams, amputee, Down

syndrome, U13, U16 and adult male and female pan disability teams n www youtube com/live/nf3lnA8Vqk?feature=share www evertoninthecommunity org/


TEENAGER Noah Crosby is heading for the top in motor sport – three years after a dirt bike accident left him paralysed

The 19-year-old is set to take on the 2024 racing season with Team BRIT – the world’s only competitive team of all-disabled racing drivers

He was on his way towards a career as a motocross freestyler when he misjudged a jump, breaking his back in a fall that left him paralysed from the waist down Noah spent last year learning the ropes with Team BRIT Now, a partnership with the Motability Scheme will enable him to complete a full season in the Britcar Trophy – moving him up the ladder of motorsport and onward in his racing dream

Team BRIT has created innovative hand control technology to enable disabled drivers to compete on equal terms with ablebodied drivers

Last year, Noah obtained his race licence and competed in the Citroen C1 Series, learning more about the sport and honing his skills Noah, from Towcester, Northants, said: “I learned so much driving the C1, but I’m really excited to be taking on a new championship in a much more powerful car this year

“Our races will also be on the same

Battling Noah challenges for success on the circuit

weekend as our teammates in the British Endurance Championship, so being part of the whole weekend of racing will be fantastic ”

Lisa Witherington, managing director of customer services at Motability Operations, the company that deliver the Scheme, said:

“We’re all looking forward to watching Noah’s career with Team BRIT develop and supporting him to achieve his ambitions in motorsport

“We believe in Team BRIT’s mission to level the playing field for disabled people both in motorsport and beyond ”

n The Motability Scheme helps over 700,000 disabled people and their families access independent mobility

About Team BRIT

l Team BRIT is the world’s only competitive team of all-disabled racing drivers

l Its vision is to support, inspire and motivate people facing physical and psychological challenges by demonstrating what can be achieved through motorsport

l By developing the world’s most advanced racing hand control technology, the team has created a level playing field drivers in motorsport

l www teambrit co uk

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