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n All Together NOW! is a registered charity set up to provide a tip top news service for anyone whose life is affected by disability, long-term health condtions or age. n The charity – the only one of its kind in the UK – relies entirely on support from its sponsors, advertisers, subscriptions and donations. n If YOU can help, please contact us on

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Eye clinic delays ‘cause blindness’ NEWS

December/January 2014

P

EOPLE are going blind because eye clinics across the UK are too busy to help them, says a leading charity.

Delays in diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care are resulting in people losing their sight,

according to new research by the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Eye clinic staff also describe their working conditions as “chaotic” and “running from one crisis to another”. Responding to a survey, over 80% said their eye department has insufficient capacity to meet current needs, with 94% reporting that future capacity will not meet rising demand. The ageing population and

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Staff at Liverpool’s Christopher Grange visual rehabilitation centre scooped the ‘Innovation in Funding’ award at the Visionary annual conference in Edinburgh. Minicab drivers from Delta Taxis, one of Europe’s biggest private hire companies, have been helped by the centre’s Visual Impairment Awareness Training (ViAT) scheme. Nicola Lee, Delta’s training manager, said: “Since attending the training sessions all our drivers now have a greater understanding about the transport challenges faced by blind and visually impaired people.

IT Support: Ken Almond Website: Pharos Design

NEXT EDITION: Tuesday 4 February, 2014 All Together NOW! is published by All Together Now! Ltd,

Transport remains a huge problem THE Government must work harder to improve access for disabled people across the nation’s transport networks. That was the strong message from Parliament’s Transport Committee. “In the UK, some 11.5m people already live with a recognised disability and more than a fifth of them experience some difficulty when using transport networks,” said committee chair Louise Ellman MP. “So it’s essential that the Department for Transport delivers an ambitious Accessibility Action Plan. “Changes made ahead of the 2012 Paralympic Games delivered access for disabled people to significantly more parts of the public transport network for the first time and highlighted the immense value of such improvements for all. “Yet there is a risk that some of the momentum from London 2012 is being lost because further key accessibility improvements planned by the Department for Transport are being abandoned or watered down.

Penalties

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demand for services across a broad range of conditions were flagged as the main reasons for the increase in patient numbers. A worrying 37% of staff said patients are sometimes losing their sight unnecessarily due to delayed treatment and follow-up care caused by capacity problems. A further 4% believed this loss of sight is happening “often”. RNIB’s chief executive LesleyAnne Alexander said: “These statistics are shameful as nobody should lose their sight from a treatable condition simply because their eye clinic is too busy to

provide care in a clinically appropriate timescale. “Hospital managers are ignoring the capacity crisis, often to save money, and are putting patients’ sight at risk and their staff on course for burnout. “RNIB believes these shocking results should act as a wake-up call to commissioners and to hospitals. They should be aware that if they do not act soon, they could be at risk of clinical negligence claims.” The charity says people need to understand the timeframes of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care that expert bodies have set, and to take legal action when the system fails them. n RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999 n www.rnib.org.uk

FARE PLAY: Mike Bailey, centre, with Delta staff and volunteers at the Visual Rehabilitation Centre with their award for the charity’s taxi training course

Editor: Tom Dowling email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk

Chris Groves

Treatment at ‘crisis point’

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TRAINING scheme that helps taxi drivers understand the issues facing blind people has won national recognition.

Courses to be set up for all retailers “The course is now an invaluable element to our training and I would not hesitate in recommending ViAT to all customer service industries.” Mike Bailey, manager at the rehabilitation centre, said: “We are all extremely excited and proud of winning the award. We know how much everyone is benefiting from the training that we give to taxi drivers. “Now we are developing an

accredited course for the whole retail sector. “ViAT Retail will raise awareness of the needs of visually impaired people enabling them to be able to shop independently and reduce feelings of isolation. “During the year we hope that more than 500 retail staff will benefit from the course.” n Contact Mike Bailey, 0151 220 2525.

HALF OF All Together TogetherNOW! NOW! READERS DO NOT SEE ANY OTHER NEWSPAPER — THE MURRAY CONSULTANCY

“On buses, the Government’s decision not to require all drivers to have basic training in disability awareness is unacceptable.” Ms Ellman added: “Penalties should also be imposed on operators who claim to offer accessible routes but then fail to provide accessible buses. “Ministers should also require the phased introduction of audiovisual information systems on all buses. “On the rail network, disabled travellers should not have to book organised assistance in advance, so over time this requirement should be phased out by every train operator.”

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Top accolade from media experts YOUR FREE All Together NOW! newsapaper received another top accolade from media experts across the North West. The UK’s only paper of its kind was Highly Commeded at the O2 Media Awards. Here’s what the region’s media experts said of our work . . .

Archbishop’s blast for ‘scrounger’ tag

All Together NOW! is more than a vibrant charity newspaper. It is a campaigning, specialist publication helping to change attitudes towards those with disabilities. Founder Tom Dowling has assembled a small team delivering a big hitting paper with a circulation in excess of 100,000 copies. It doesn’t have the deep pockets of larger newspaper HOT NEWS: Chris Groves, right, and Ken groups but holds firm in its determination to deliver a well

Now for an even better new year

Almond, centre, receive the award from Rob Isherwood, operations manager at O2 Bury

designed, well written, authoritative newspaper.

IT’S GREAT to get interest from other groups across the UK who can see the huge benefits a newspaper like ours would be for their communities. Our latest trip was to Wolverhampton for an event organised by Wolves Aid. Steve Daniels, a trustee of Dudley Disabled Learning Activities & Advice Centre, sees the potential. He said: “I’m going to see if we can get funding to set up a paper here.”

n READ ALL ABOUT IT: Laura Cowley, Wolves Aid administrator, with editor Tom Dowling and Wolfie – another big fan of All Together NOW!

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! — from all of us at All Together NOW!

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THE Archbishop of Canterbury has called for an end to the “benefit scroungers” image portrayed in some parts of the media. In a letter to the Christian disability charity Livability -– of which he is President -– the Most Reverend Justin Welby wrote: “Disabled people have much to offer to our local communities, workplaces and to society in general. “But they face real financial hardship and unacceptable barriers when trying to access education, training, housing, transport and the care they require. “Many disabled people face hurtful and unnecessary stigma and the routine portrayal of disabled people in some parts of our media as ‘benefit scroungers’ can only result in more divided communities.” The Archbishop also stated that churches should lead the way and ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard and their opinions valued.

n EVERYONE at All Together NOW! sends their deepest sympathies to the family of Reg Almond, who has died after a courageous battle with cancer. Reg and his wife, Joan, pictured, spent the last two decades refurbishing old buildings at their Irton Farm near Cockermouth, Cumbria, into a holiday complex for visitors with and without disabilities. “All we both want to do is to make people happy,” Reg said in an interview with us last year. We’re certain there will be thousands of holidaymakers who will be thinking of the Almonds this Christmas.

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‘Please don’t let us die this winter . . .’ BRITAIN’S biggest organisation doing battle for pensioners is urging its 1.5m members to email energy secretary Ed Davey over the number of older people dying of cold-related illnesses. Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), said: “Every year over 25,000 older people die in this country from coldrelated illnesses and the best the Government can do is to tell people to put a jumper on. “Most of the big six energy firms have now announced eye-watering increases in their charges and rather than tackle the scandal of fuel poverty, the Government has instead redefined what it is, so as to cut down on the official number of those who cannot afford to keep warm. “Ministers have got to get a grip on the problem and start addressing the need for higher winter fuel payments, widespread insulation programmes and the introduction of a block on the right of energy companies to simply put up bills without any regard to the economic climate in which they operate.”

Why I love this paper All Together NOW! has helped me to get the information I needed for my teenage son who has learning difficulties and autism. Your newspaper and website are excellent. What I especially like is that the articles are written in a more upbeat and entertaining way than some other disability publications. There really is something for everyone. I am now going to take out a subscription – so no more just hoping that there is one available to pick up from the hospital.— Luisa Lauren, Currer Walk, Steeton, West Yorkshire

Compensation warning UP to 140,000 people – many of them children -– who put injury compensation payments into a special account to fund medical care for life are in danger of running out of money. The cash, paid into the Court Funds Office’s Special Account, could run out long before their original expectations, says a top investment management firm. The CFO provides banking and administration services and manages a total of £3.3 billion of assets, yet its Special Account pays just 0.5% interest. Investec Wealth & Investment say this falls way short of inflation – currently 2.2%. IW&I calculates that if a £1 million award had been invested in the Special Account today and £50,000 in today’s value was drawn down annually for medical care and support, the portfolio would run out of capital in just 16 years.

NEWS

December/January 2014

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‘GPs not taking deafness seriously’

Good news on the way for subtitles TV BROADCASTERS will have to measure the quality of the subtitles they provide on live television programmes, the broadcasting watchdog has announced. “We are taking important steps towards improving the quality of subtitling on live programmes for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers,” said Claudio Pollack, Ofcom consumer group director. “Ofcom expects regular reporting by broadcasters to help improve

subtitles over time, as well as allowing us to identify exactly which areas need most progress.” The results of an Ofcom consultation showed viewers noting problems with the speed, accuracy and presentation of live subtitles, while they often appeared out of time with the pictures. Under the new measures, broadcasters will have to collect data on the number and type of errors, as well as subtitling

speeds and latency (the gap between the words being spoken on screen and the corresponding subtitle appearing). n About 7.6 million UK adults use subtitles. Of these, 1.4 million have a hearing impairment. n 70 channels are now required to provide subtitling. n Most of these show prerecorded programmes, for which subtitling can be prepared in advance.

Cash lifeline to go on Government wrong to axe Independent Living support for disabled – court

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AMPAIGNERS are celebrating after the Court of Appeal overturned the Government’s decision to stop paying money which enables disabled people to live in the community.

Judges found there was not enough evidence to show that the consequences of closing the Independent Living Fund had been properly considered. This means that until or unless the Government revisits the decision more than 19,000 of the most severely disabled people in the UK will continue to receive the support they are currently entitled to. The fund helps them to live independently and participate in society as workers, in education and in pursuing their interests. The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in the case, brought by several disabled claimants, as an expert body with a mandate from Parliament to oversee the public sector equality duty. The court decided there was insufficient evidence that the “very grave impact” on some of those affected was properly brought to the Minister’s attention – despite officials having been clearly informed of the possible impacts not only by service users but also by local authorities. Wendy Hewitt, the Commission’s legal director, said: “The court

A guide to get YOUR teeth into!

EUREKA! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax has launched an online guide for parents of children with autism. The Eureka! Story is a visual, step-by-step guide to the entire museum so that children can familiarise themselves with everything that they will experience before they arrive. Rachel Halford, mother of 12 year-old Jack who helped on the project, said: “Having something that tells you everything to expect and written in the way that the children can understand is absolutely invaluable.” n www.eureka.org.uk Tel, 01422 330069 agreed that what was needed was consideration of the impact of the proposal on all disabled people and specifically on ILF recipients who would most obviously be affected. “Where the balance is to be struck between those is for the Minister t decide, but she must fully appreciate the impact.”

Stuart Bracking and other claimants argued they would have lost their independence as a result, forcing many to live in residential care and give up work or study. Now that decision has been overturned, the Government will have to reconsider its plans for the future of the fund.

MANY GPs are failing to take adult deafness seriously enough, with nearly half of all patients not being referred to specialists for assessment. As a result, many deaf people face social isolation, are more like to suffer from depression and dementia, and struggle to find work, claims a new report. They are also missing out on the latest technology, such as the use of cochlear implants which can transform lives, because of existing rules. And they are not getting the information about products that could enhance their lives. Those are the findings of a new report, Adult Cochlear Implantation: Evidence and experience – The Case for a Review of Provision, supported by Cochlear Europe, and launched by The Ear Foundation. Sue Archbold, Ear Foundation chief executive, said: “There are well over half a million people in the UK with severe to profound hearing loss, most of whom are in later life, yet the vast majority don’t know about the technology available and how to access it.” A key speaker at the conference was GP Dr Andrew Dunlop, who developed sudden and profound hearing loss in April 2009 and received a cochlear implant in January 2010. Dr Dunlop said: “I am passionate about encouraging and promoting the possibilities of cochlear implantation. I think there is an iceberg of unmet need out there.” n There are about 5,000 adults now fitted with cochlear implants in the UK. Over the next 20 years it is estimated that over 14.5m people will have a hearing loss. with over 2m of these experiencing severe hearing loss.

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

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December/January 2014

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Wheelchair user’s bus test case victory

Mental health work in the media honoured BBC’s Newsnight, comedian Jon Richardson and long-running drama series Casualty were among the winners of the Mind Media Awards. The 20th year of the awards ceremony brought together Olivia Colman, Ruby Wax, Denise Welch and other celebrities to highlight the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media. Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills, pictured, said: “The media has amazing power to inform and to inspire. It has a duty to tell the truth about mental health problems and in doing so, challenge the painfully outdated opinions that many people still hold.” Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, said: “We know that accurate reporting has a hugely positive impact on people who are affected by mental health problems but, sadly, stigma and discrimination still prevails in society. “That’s why we want to thank all our winners and our shortlisters for being brave enough to keep on challenging perceptions and making the voices of those with mental health problems heard.”

Ban suicide sites NEW computer software being introduced by Google and Microsoft to block access to child abuse websites must also include suicide sites, says the national charity dedicated to preventing young suicides in the UK. “These sites can and do lead directly to the deaths of vulnerable young people,” said Martyn Piper, vicechairman of PAPYRUS. “They must be treated with at least the same urgency as the child abuse sites. “We have always contended that technology could be used to block access to harmful sites without preventing access to online help for those contemplating suicide.” n PAPYRUS helpline: 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697, email pat@papyrus-uk.org

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FATHER’S FIGHT FOR JUSTICE

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FAMILY has won permission to take a legal challenge to the Court of Appeal over the removal of their son’s Disability Living Allowance.

National charities The Children’s Trust and Contact a Family say that the benefit was stopped because Cameron Mathieson spent more than 84 days in hospital. Cameron had complex health needs and died in October 2012, aged five, having spent more than half of his life in Alder Hey Hospital. The Mathieson family, from Warrington, Cheshire, are challenging the DLA ”84-day rule”, whereby DLA is suspended for under-16s when they spend more than 84 days in hospital, so that no other family with a disabled child who spends long periods in hospital will have essential benefits taken away from them. An estimated 500 families are affected by the rule each year. In correspondence with the charities, the Government has argued that the suspension of DLA payments is justified when a child spends longer than 84 days in hospital because they say a patient’s needs will be fully met free of charge by the NHS. But the

Parents to get day in court over Cameron

charities’ survey of 104 families shows the Government’s rationale is flawed: n 99% of those responding to the survey reported that they provide more or the same level of care when their child is in hospital, compared to when their child is at home. n 93% said their costs relating to their child’s disability increased when their child is in hospital. Both charities are calling for the 84-day rule to be abolished. Craig Mathieson, Cameron’s father, said: “We are very encouraged by the decision to allow our case to be heard by the Court of Appeal. “We are determined to overturn this grossly unfair rule in our son Cameron’s name to stop more families having to go through what we have had to endure, even though it will make no financial difference to us in the future. “When a child is so ill that they need hospital care, they and their families need support, not

penalties, yet the system only causes more distress and hardship. “Cameron had a unique combination of conditions and was the only such patient in the world with both cystic fibrosis and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy in the genetic combination he had. “While he was in hospital my wife and I remained his primary caregivers and one of us stayed by his bedside at every waking moment, caring for him, nursing him, keeping him happy, bringing his brothers and sister to see him and play with him, giving medicines and far more than the hourly checks that he would have received on such a busy ward. “Abdicating Cameron’s care to hospital staff during this time was simply not an option because they had made it clear to us how much they depended upon our input, yet after 84 days his Disability Living Allowance was suspended, along with Carer’s Allowance and our National Insurance contributions, heaping unbearable financial and emotional pressure on us as a family.”

n The case is expected to be heard at the Court of Appeal within the next six months.

IN A landmark decision, a court has ruled that bus companies must ensure wheelchair spaces are available for anyone who needs them. The “first come, first served” policy operated by First Group discriminated against disabled people under the Equality Act, Recorder Paul Isaacs decided after a hearing at Leeds County Court. The case was taken by wheelchair-user Doug Paulley, from Wetherby, who planned to travel to Leeds in February last year, but was prevented from boarding the bus because the driver refused to insist that a mother with a pushchair move from the wheelchair-space. Mr Isaacs concluded in his written judgment that it was reasonable that “the system of priority given to wheelchairusers should be enforced as a matter not of request, to any nondisabled user of the wheelchair space, but of requirement”.

Campaign Meanwhile, the lawyers who secured the court victory have launched their Equal Justice campaign, which is warning that disabled people will now find it almost impossible to take such cases under the Equality Act. They say that cuts to legal aid and reforms to the way legal costs are dealt with by the courts in civil cases mean that someone like Mr Paulley, who was awarded £5,500 compensation by the court, would instead have found himself thousands of pounds out of pocket. n The campaign is backed by Baroness GreyThompson; the actor, dancer and comedian Kiruna Stamell, and Lord Low.

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IT’S GOING to be a Christmas this lucky family will remember a very long time! Robin Barnes’ entry to our sensational Park Christmas hamper competition was the first drawn out of the hat. His prize: Park’s top-of-the-range Empire hamper, worth ÂŁ553.50, jam-packed with festive goodies. There’s top brand confectionery, desserts, soft drinks, beers, wines, spirits, pasta, soups, vegetables, freezer foods and the finest quality meat. “Winning this superb prize is just fantastic. It’s the highlight of our year,â€? said Robin, from Rainhill. “My wife Lesley and daughter Laura thought I was joining when I told them that I’d had a call from All Together NOW! “We are all big fans of the paper. Laura has cerebral palsy and I pick up the paper every time we visit Whiston hospital. It’s invaluable to us packed with news and information that we can’t get anywhere else.â€? More than 1,500 people entered the competition.

All Together NOW!

Minister’s challenge

HAMPER WINNERS: Robin, Lesley and daughter Laura. Picture: KEN ALMOND

THE NEW minister for disabled people – a former spin doctor who idolised Margaret Thatcher – has received a mixed welcome from disability campaigners, writes JOHN PRING. Mike Penning, pictured, the Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead, has replaced Wirral West MP Esther McVey, who has been promoted to Employment Minister. Nick Goss, a leading disability equality consultant, said: “He’s a really down-to-earth guy, a former fireman, not a career politician.� Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said she hoped he would work cross-government “to make sure that skills, employment, education, social care and equality are pulled together to make a difference to disabled people’s lives.� But Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, said: “Penning seems to be yet another minister for disabled people foisted onto us who has very limited experience of disability issues and of having shown interest in them.�

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Lack of sleep is becoming a real nightmare Shameful

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ACK of sleep is at crisis point for thousands of families with disabled children, causing ill health and relationship difficulties.

More than nine out of 10 parents and carers are regularly up in the night with their children and a leading charity says they are in desperate need of help with the hidden scourge of sleep deprivation. In a disturbing report, Tired all the Time, half of 2,000 people questioned said they have health issues due to lack of sleep while one in four have suffered relationship problems. They have finally spoken out about the impact on their lives in the report by Family Fund, the UK’s largest charity providing grants to low income families with disabled or seriously ill children. One parent, Purabi, described how caring for her daughter, who has severe cerebral palsy, left her feeling “too tired to speak clearly, some days

feeling like a zombie. Too tired to have a life of my own”. The report also found that: n 11% experience tiredness at work. n 15% are concerned about siblings and the wider family’s health. n Almost 1/3 had not sought professional support. Single mother Purabi said her 10-year-old daughter Rhea “cannot eat, so is tube fed; cannot breathe at night, so is ventilated; has drug resistant epilepsy, and has strong seizures every day and every night. She is also blind, has scoliosis, global developmental delay, kidney damage and is non-verbal. “I have been so tired some days, I have not felt safe to drive up to Rhea’s appointments. Too tired to do basic tasks like cooking a healthy meal. I also have had episodes of severe dizziness. “The Family Fund has been very supportive

over the years with grants for sensory equipment, and helping with our service contract for the two ceiling hoists that are vital for Rhea’s safety.” Cheryl Ward, chief executive at the Family Fund, said: “This report shows the daily mental, physical and emotional challenges that families with disabled or seriously ill children or young people face when sleep eludes them night after night. “The intense desire from parents for wider recognition of the impact of sleep deprivation cannot be ignored and we are keen to work with other organisations providing support across Scotland and the rest of the UK. “We want to help bridge that gap and give families a better night’s sleep.” n Across the UK last year, the Fund supported 64,020 families with £33 million in funding, 5,000 more than the previous year. Tel. 08449 744 099.

Half a million young carers ALMOST half a million young people under 25 provide unpaid care every week in England and Wales, say the GMB trade union. And the North West (62,826) has the highest number outside of London. Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB’s equality officer, said, “Our new report shows the extent to which we rely upon young people to provide unpaid care, day in and day out. They are an essential part of the ‘glue’ that maintains social solidarity across the generations. “The report cuts across the picture that we have of today’s young people and the extent to which we rely on them.”

Young Mayors’ pledge LEARNING THE ROBES: Sarah, left, and Katie with Lord Mayor Councillor Gary Millar

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EENAGERS from two special schools are planning some very ambitious resolutions for the New Year.

Sarah Skelland and Katie Daley have just been elected as Young Lord Mayors of Liverpool – and they are determined to make the region a better place for everyone. Sarah, a pupil at Sandfield Park, West Derby and Katie, from Aigburth High, were chosen after a poll among members of Liverpool’s Schools Parliament, which discusses relevant issues and submits recommendations to the

by LARRY NEILD

city council and Liverpool’s elected Mayor Joe Anderson. The two 16-year-olds attended a special ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall were they had to swear an oath of office before embarking on their civic duties. During their year of office both girls will spend a month working alongside the Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Millar. Sarah said: “I feel very proud and happy to be Young Lord Mayor and maybe I can help some children in

Liverpool. I will try to do a good job and make my family, friends, school and all the people happy.” Katie also said she was looking forward to her year of office, and having the opportunity to participate in civic life of the city. Sarah follows in the footsteps of other pupils at Sandfield Park School who have already worn the badge of office – Danielle Pritchard, Michael Ellison, Chris Lamb and Gerard Young. Sarah Spoor, Sandfield Park’s learning mentor, said: “Being a Young Lord Mayor means so much. It increases confidence, means

meeting new people, the challenge of speaking in public, representing other young people, feeling proud of themselves, and being positive role models for others, with pride in their city. “It means attending lots of different types of events including community events, attending community lunches, food bank, opening new centres, attending special events and celebrations etc.” Pam Shaw, Sixth Form head at Katie’s school, Aigburth High, said: “We are very proud of Katie. She is rising to the challenge and enjoying her role.”

treatment of children ENGLISH people should be “profoundly ashamed” at the state of children’s health in the country. That’s the highly crititical conclusion of a report by England’s top doctor, who says the UK lags behind many other European countries. In her annual report, chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies said the statistics surrounding children’s health were “absolutely shocking” and painted a “very worrying picture”. They include: n In England, five more children up to 14 die of avoidable causes every day than do in Sweden. n Only 25% of children with clinical mental health disorders receive specialist help within three years. n Nearly 27% of UK children are either in, or at serious risk of being in, poverty. That compares to just 16% in the Netherlands. n 12.5% of toddlers are obese, as are 17% of boys and 16% of girls up to the age of 15. n 75% of lifetime mental health disorders start before 18 years of age, with the peak onset of most conditions being from eight to 15. n About 10% of adolescents are suffering from a mental health problem at any one time. Dame Sally said her annual report calls for a scheme offering vitamins to young children in low-income families to be made universal. And she wants a survey of young people’s mental health, amid concerns about funding and services. She said obesity stood out as one of the big issues, but the report also demonstrated the interplay between health, social environment, emotional environment and education. The long-term cost of childhood obesity to society is estimated to be as high as £700m a year. Dame Sally’s report also calls for: n A named GP for every child with long-term conditions. n A new national children’s week to celebrate children and young people. National Children’s Bureau chief executive Dr Hilary Emery said: “As a nation we must be much more ambitious about giving every child the best start in life, and this should be a priority for all decision makers in central and local government.”


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

December/January 2014

All Together NOW!

How we can help . . .

H

ERE at the Morgan Foundation we want to help organisations who share our philosophy – Making a

Difference. Over the past decade we have helped hundreds of organisations across the region, committing over £10 million. This year we will be giving away a whopping £1.5 MILLION to good causes. Created in 2001 by

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

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

Just the Happy 2014! I ticket for autism T

HE Morgan Foundation loves helping charities that are making a real difference to people’s lives.

T HARDLY seems possible that Christmas is nearly upon us again! Looking back over the year at the Morgan Foundation, we have offered support to over 30 new charities and organisations. This has been in the form of ongoing funding for up to three years, one-off grants and in some cases, an extension of funding – PLUS the donation of Morgan Foundation Smiley Buses to help with transport. In all, more than 100 organisations have benefitted from our support in 2013, and by the end of the financial year £1million will have been

distributed, making a huge impact across the region. The aim of the Morgan Foundation is to “make a difference”. We believe the generosity of our founder, Steve Morgan, the commitment and dedication of our trustees and staff means that we have the opportunity to tackle disadvantage, improve life chances and well-being for people less fortunate than ourselves. We are looking forward to another busy and fulfilling year. On behalf of the Morgan Foundation, I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas – and an even happier New Year!

Autism Networks has been doing exactly that for the past 11 years, by providing lots of invaluable support for families affected by autism in and around Crewe. The team at the Prince Albert Street centre are now busily preparing for their inaugural Winter Conference, taking place at the town’s football stadium on Wednesday February 12. Mick Rimmington, projects co-ordinator for Autism Networks, said: “The conference is a great chance for parents to find out about the help and opportunities that are available. “We are also pleased to be have influential guest speakers from the world of autism – Paul STICK ‘N’ STEP, the Wirral-based charity who work with children Shattock, Dr Luke Beardon, Dr Olga with cerebral palsy and their families across the North west and Bogdashina and Alison Douglas. North Wales, hosted their annual Black and White Ball at Thornton “And there will be a variety of workshops and Manor Hotel - and came away almost £12,000 richer! a trade area where visitors can find all the latest The evening saw Radio City presenter Pete put his compering skills to information, technology and support services the test as one guest made him a charitable offer he couldn’t refuse - a from local and regional suppliers.” £500 donation to the charity in exchange for the chance to talk about Autism Networks was founded in December Stick ‘n’ Step on his late night radio show. 2002 and provides a support network for True to his word, Pete welcomed Neil Lofthouse to talk live on air the parents and carers – and social evenings, three following day! times a week, for children with autism. Stick ‘n’ Step have even more to get excited about – they have just They also recently opened a Saturday morning cinema club, and have an autism consultant and opened their new charity shop and none other than Pudsey Bear a speech and language therapist, who both dropped by to wish them well and to cut the ribbon. donate their time free of charge. n If you’re up for a bargain and a warm welcome from shop n Conference tickets are available at manager Liz, just pop along to 48 Mersey View, Brighton-le-Sands, earlybird 20% discounted rates of £20 for near Crosby, Merseyside L22 6QB. parents and £40 for professionals. n For more information on Stick ‘n’ Step, contact n Contact 01270 580444 Kerry Roe-Ely on 0151 6380888 www.sticknstep.org n www.anconference.co.uk

Stepping out in style

Thanks . . . ANN MORTON at the Erlas Victorian Walled Garden writes . . . “Thanks to funding from the Morgan Foundation, the Erlas Victorian Walled Garden, in Wrexham, have forged a partnership with Cambria College (formally Yale College), where nine young students between 18 and 20 years old in the supported learning department gain experience in basic plant propagation. “The students have visited each Friday since September, carrying out gardening activities within the restored garden. “The productive gardens provide a peaceful and therapeutic environment for many people to build their confidence, improve their health and well-being, and to team-work and forge friendships. “The gardens are open between 9 and 3.30 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and visitors are very welcome.”

n Tel 01978 265058. www.erlas.org

www.morganfoundation.co.uk Tel. 01829 782800

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GETTING ON . . .

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All Together NOW!

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

Christmas dinner . . .

Q

LAST Christmas my wife and I stayed with our daughter down south and we realised how stressful it can be catering for a big family at this time of the year. Trying to meet everyone’s needs was very difficult when she had so much cooking to do and when people tried to help it seemed to make things worse. So then and there we booked a big table at a good hotel for this year’s Christmas family dinner, thinking it would be a nice surprise for her. We now have a great-grandson and we thought our daughter would welcome being free to make the most of seeing him and playing with him. But the “surprise” has gone down like lead. She seems to think we are criticising the way she organised last Christmas and is quite hurt. Added to this the baby will not be coming north because my grandson has agreed to spend Christmas with his wife’s parents and this is a blow to my wife and I who see very little of the baby. The wife’s parents see much more of him. We shall miss seeing our grandson, too.

A

FAMILY Christmases can be fraught with fall-outs and hurt feelings and your mistake was in not consulting your daughter before you booked the Christmas dinner. Like many people she probably has a love/hate relationship with the festive season. She moans about all the extra work involved but another part of her wants to keep up the old traditions. Your grandson and his wife face a delicate situation in deciding which home to go to and they alone have to be left to work it out without any pressure. A north and south Christmas alternately could be a compromise. Try to make your daughter see the bright side. With no need to slave over a hot stove, Christmas Eves could be very special party times for young and old alike. No need to get up at the crack of dawn either!

December/January 2014

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Life is fragile, handle with care . . .

The cost of dying is now £7,500 THE cost of dying now stands at over £7,500 – a leap of 80% in seven years, according to new figures. A funeral alone now costs an average £3,456, an inflationbusting 5.3% increase on 2012. And when you include other death-related costs such as probate, headstones and flowers, the total average figure reaches £7,622, a 7.1% rise since last year, research

by Sun Life Direct has found. The rises come as many struggle with funeral costs. Almost one in five people (18%) who have organised a funeral in the past four years struggled to pay for it, with the average shortfall rising from £1,246 to £1,277 year on year. Burials are significantly more expensive than cremations with the average burial at £3,914, costing

One in 4 planning to sell up N

EARLY three quarters of the UK’s 10.4 million pensioners own their own home – but a quarter of them expect to sell their property to raise money or make their life easier.

And just 6% of those planning to sell their home intend to move into specialist retirement accommodation, while only 4% expect to move into a rental property. Research from Prudential also reveals four in every five retired homeowners who expect to sell, plan to buy another property. This is equivalent to around one million homes being bought and sold by pensioners, many of whom will release substantial amounts of cash by downsizing. The majority (73%) of retirees

almost £1,000 more than the average cremation at £2,998. The increase this year is mainly due to the rise in disbursement fees – in particular cremation and burial fees which are usually controlled by local authorities. Since 2007, burial fees have risen by 69% and cremation fees by 51%. Sun Life Direct predict that average funeral costs will reach £4,326 by 2018.

Grim up north...

MEN living in Manchester have the lowest healthy life expectancy (HLE) in the UK – 15 years lower than those in the south east. Government figures reveal that Manchester men can expect 55 years of HLE compared to 70.3 years in Richmond upon Thames. A North-South divide in both life expectancy (LE) and HLE exists for both males and females, with HLE in the North East statistically significantly lower than all other regions.

who plan to sell up and buy another property want to move into a smaller and less expensive home. On average, they expect downsizing to raise as much as £62,000. Nearly a quarter (23%) plan to use the money raised to boost their income in retirement, 13% will pay off debts and 8% say they will use the money to help with everyday living costs. Prudential’s research also shows that over one in five (22%) retired homeowners still have an outstanding mortgage, with average monthly payments of £254. The convenience of running a smaller home was the most commonly stated motivation for those who plan to downsize – 48% say they want a simpler life.

Separately, 22% claim raising money is the main driver for their sale, while 11% want to reduce household bills. Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Housing wealth is potentially a significant source of additional retirement income for pensioners who own their own home. This is why so many of Britain’s pensioners plan to become last-time-buyers. “However, it is dangerous for people to assume that housing wealth can make up for a lack of retirement planning. “To ensure a comfortable retirement it is important to start saving as much as possible as early as possible, and to seek professional financial advice on the best retirement income options.”

SENIOR MOMENTS . . . with FRANK HARRIS

MONEY MATTERS

Car hire abroad GOING abroad? Here are some tips for hiring a car. Firstly, use a website such as rentalcars.com or holidayautos to book your car and remember to get CDW included. When you collect your vehicle, tired from a plane journey, you will be asked to sign various forms. But be careful: you are signing to say the car is in perfect condition when the truth is you have not seen it yet. Also, they will ask you to take out insurance to cover other items, such as tyres, glass, breakdown, lost keys. This can be expensive, so take out cover before you go. Use a site such as insurance4carhire who will sell you a policy to cover you worldwide for about £50 for a year – a Europeonly policy is cheaper. This will cover all eventualities including the excess on the CDW that again they will try to tell you needs extra insurance. With such a policy you can decline all extras. Next, check the petrol policy. Some charge you for a full tank at a premium price expecting you to bring it back empty, which is impossible unless you are prepared to push it the last mile or so. Better to try to get a full tank and take it back full, refuellingl at the last garage before the airport. They will block an amount from your credit card (without actually charging you) and then, if you have to pay for anything, get receipts so you can claim on your return. If necessary get a police report. I recently returned a hire car and was told there was a car aerial missing. I argued for 30 minutes that there had not been one at the start, but as I had signed a form to say all was in order, and I had a plane to catch, I had to pay and am now reclaiming from insurance4carhire. It was only £40, but it is an aggravation you can do without. So, if you hire a car, beware of the extras that they will always try to get you with. Enjoy your holidays.

Gordon Viner FCA CTA gordonviner@aol.com


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

December/January 2014

Christmas is always an expensive time of year so the last thing hard-pressed households need is the added cost of repairing a frozen or burst water pipe. New research from United Utilities has revealed that a third of North West families could not afford to fix a burst pipe this winter, while one in fifty people say they’d need to cancel Christmas. The average repair bill for a frozen or burst household pipe is estimated at ÂŁ525. It’s an added expense that few households can afford, which is why United Utilities is encouraging customers to take some simple precautions around the home to prevent a bleak midwinter. Lagging your pipes, especially the ones in cold places such as the loft or garage, could make all the difference between a very Merry Christmas and a winter of financial woes. Sally Ainsworth, United Utilities’ head of customer experience said: “The thought of so many people suffering the stress of burst pipes over winter makes us shudder, especially when it can be avoided with a bit of planning. “It’s really easy to protect your pipes, providing peace of mind and preventing an unexpected hole in your finances.â€?

All Together NOW!

Beat the freeze, by getting your home wrapped up! With a bit of forward planning, you can avoid the expense and mess of frozen or burst pipes. Here are four top tips:

1

Keep your pipes toasty by wrapping them in lagging. Pay extra attention to the pipes in cold places such as the garage or loft.

2

Find your stop tap, just in case you get a burst pipe and need to switch the water off quickly. Hint: it’s usually under the sink.

3

Keep the central heating on low to prevent your pipes from freezing. Time it to come on if you’re away over Christmas.

4

Have the name of a plumber handy in case the worst happens. You can find your nearest qualified knight in shining overalls at www.watersafe.org.uk

For more advice on keeping pipes warm and freeze-free this winter visit unitedutilities.com/winterwise

Need a little ExtraCare? We offer a range of free services to help customers who: q BSF PMEFS q IBWF B EJTBCJMJUZ q IBWF B TFSJPVT JMMOFTT q IBWF TJHIU IFBSJOH PS MFBSOJOH EJGÄ DVMUJFT

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

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or customers with extra and f n ee h g n ds ith extra needs w elpi s r h e A tom

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

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All Together NOW!

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December/January 2014

MERSEYTRAVEL

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

ALL ABOARD: Maureen Clunan (Chair, Stockbridge Village Association), Cllr Ken McGlashan (Deputy Mayor of Knowsley Town Council), Tony Ely, Heather Weightman (Deputy Clerk, Knowsley Town Council ), Cllr Dennis Baum, Cllr David Watkinson, Billy Bradshaw (Merseytravel), Andrew Cawley (MD Peoplesbus) and Simon Ackers (Merseytravel)

Have your say on our services COME and have your say on public transport issues at Merseytravel’s Customer Forums which will be held across the region from January 13-17. This is your chance to raise issues that are important to you and representatives from Merseytravel, Arriva, Stagecoach, Merseyrail and other transport providers will be on hand to listen to your opinions. n For full details visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk, and you can email forums@merseytravel.gov.uk

Hospital link is perfect tonic! M

ERSEYTRAVEL has responded to requests from residents and community leaders by launching a new service The weekday service links Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Stockbridge Village, Prescot and Whiston hospital. Operating every hour during daytime, Route 111 runs from Alder Hey hospital at Eaton Road, via Princess Drive, Stockbridge Lane, Knowsley Lane, to Prescot Bus station, continuing along Warrington Road and Dragon Lane to Whiston

ONCE again Merseytravel is offering free Christmas Day bus services to help people visit their loved ones in hospital or spend time with their friends and family. n For timetable information, visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk n For a printed copy of a timetable visit one of the Travel Centres, or call the Brochure Hotline on 0151 330 1066, or email publicity@merseytravel.gov.uk

Hospital, from where it loops back along Kingsway and Manchester Road to Prescot bus station. The service then returns to Alder Hey hospital via its initial route. This new Monday to Friday daytime service has been introduced with funding from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) in response to requests for a better link between Stockbridge Village and the hospitals.

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

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

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

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

NATIONAL research charity Rica has published its latest transport guide for older and disabled people. The guide gives an overview of bus, coach, community transport, ferry, plane, taxi, train and tram travel, with information about access, journey planning, concessions, accessible toilets, loop systems, parking and how to report back or complain. There are travel tips and advice from experienced travellers and a list of useful contacts. Rica research and publish free consumer reports based on rigorous research and provide practical information needed by disabled and older consumers. They also carry out commissioned research work with manufacturers, service providers, regulators and policy makers to improve products and services, increasing their awareness of the needs of disabled and older consumers. n The guide is available free online www.rica.org.uk/content/acces sible-public-transport and is also available free as an audio-cd, tel. 020 7427 2460. n For a print copy, send a large (A4) self-addressed envelope with £1.10 in stamps to: Rica G03, The Wenlock, 50-52 Wharf Road London N1 7EU.


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

December/January 2014

All Together NOW!

£2k handout to help car losers

D

ISABLED people forced to give up Motability vehicles – by the Coalition’s stringent new benefit changes – will get one-off cash handouts of up to £2,000 to help buy a used car. With estimates of 100,000 to 200,000 people who could lose entitlement to the Motability Scheme, the cost of the “transtional support package” could be as high as £400 MILLION. Lord Sterling, chairman of the Motability charity, said: “Since its inception over 35 years ago, the standard of service and support provided by the Scheme has always

reflected the very special needs of our customers. “Two years ago when the Government initially proposed the adoption of Personal Independent Payment, we decided that we wanted to help those customers who can no longer use the Scheme. “Therefore, over the next five years as PIP is introduced, the Motability Scheme plans to provide a one-off transitional package of support and advice regarding alternative mobility arrangements to these former customers.” People who entered into their first lease agreement with the Scheme before January 2013 and therefore

could not have been aware of PIP and the associated risks when they joined (that’s the vast majority of customers), will get £2,000. Those who entered into their first lease agreement with the Scheme with an awareness of PIP being introduced and of the risk that they could lose eligibility following a future PIP reassessment (after January 2013 and up to December 2013), will get £1,000. People who have made an Advance Payment (an additional upfront payment to lease a larger or more complex vehicle on the Scheme), will be refunded on a pro-rata basis.

NEXT STOP AUSTRALIA FOR JOY!

— Page 16

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www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Driven with Impulse WHEELCHAIR accessible vehicles are restoring independence - and opening up new horizons - for thousands of families across the UK. So too are vehicles that can be driven by people remaining in their wheelchairs! The new Peugeot Partner Impulse from Allied Mobility is certain to get the pulses racing. Impulse takes travel for wheelchair users to a new level, letting people drive from their wheelchair or sit upfront as a passenger. It even allows two wheelchair passengers in the up-front position,1 All together now_Oct13_Half.e$S:Layout side by side. Wheelchair-users travelling alone 3 EEGLASSer 201 R F CY mb

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can operate the tailgate and access ramp remotely and be secured safely in position, thanks to a floor docking station Automatic transmission and an electronically operated handbrake are standard, and further driving aids and adaptations can be added as required. Wheelchair users can also travel up-front in the passenger position. Extra height between floor and steering wheel make for a much better driving position for wheelchair or powerchair users. In addition, the superb eyeline ensures visibility for 03/10/2013 excellent 15:49 Page 1 wheelchair users, whether driving or as a passenger.

Allied Mobility sales director, Peter Facenna, comments: “We set out to design the ideal drive-fromwheelchair vehicle and we’re really delighted with the result. “What’s fantastic about Impulse is the fact that one vehicle can offer so many options. Anything that brings wheelchair users more freedom and choice is a plus in our book.” n The Peugeot Partner Impulse is available to buy or lease through the Motability Scheme, with Advance Payments starting from £12,995. Assistance may also be available via the Access to Work scheme. Call free on 0808 115 0548 or email info@alliedmobility.com

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Jean and William Thompson with Graham Evans and Sir Bert Massie, right

Jean’s keys to freedom GRAHAM Evans, MP for Weaver Vale, and Sir Bert Massie, Governor of Motability, handed the keys of a new adapted Ford Focus to Jean Thompson at Polar Ford, Edwards Road, Runcorn. Jean, 66, who lives with her husband William, has postpolio paraplegia. “My husband and I are both disabled so we have been leasing cars with Motability for many years,” said Jean. “Motability has just made life so much more manageable. I really don’t know what I would do without it. After we got our first car through the Scheme, it completely transformed our family life.”

Added Value No Added Cost With Allied Mobility, having your own wheelchair accessible car doesn’t have to cost the earth.

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IT T BOXER SPIR NEW PEUGEO


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Outback is new target for the Joy of motoring!

I

T WAS all a bit of a breeze when Joy Rainey tackled the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in her 1904 Oldsmobile.

Her faithful Curved Dash Runabout might only have a comfortable top speed of 25mph but the 60-mile trip from London’s Hyde Park to Madeira Drive in Brighton was a great deal easier than the car’s previous outing – more than 2,650 miles from coast to coast across America. Joy, a racing driver with restricted growth, finished the run in a few hours but it took her 31 days last spring to complete the mammoth trip from California to Florida, undertaken

to raise money for cancer research. “Everyone was so supportive,” said Joy. “We even gatecrashed a drag racing meeting along the way and were allowed to drive up and down the strip to huge cheers from the crowd.” Despite a high octane motor racing and hill-climbing background, Joy’s first London to Brighton Run in 2001 gave her a taste for this slightly slower branch of the sport. She bought the Oldsmobile in 2006, completing the Run successfully in 2006 and 2007. “Then my partner, Trevor Hulks, and I decided to re-enact a coast-to-coast US crossing made in 1903 in a similar Oldsmobile by pioneering drivers Lester Whitman and

December/January 2014

Eugene Hammond.” Trevor set about rebuilding the car for the journey but sadly died of cancer before the pair could go. “It took me a while to summon up the courage to do it without him,” said Joy “But I’m so glad I did. It was a fitting tribute to Trevor and helped raise muchneeded funds for Cancer Research UK.” The trip has given her a taste for more long distance driving in the Olds. Next, Joy is planning a slightly longer expedition– from Adelaide to Darwin in her native Australia. “Back in 2004, I did the London to Sydney Marathon in a ‘modern’ (a 1970 Morris Minor) and loved the Outback so much that I vowed I would return one day.”

All Together NOW!

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December/January 2014

READERS’ LETTERS . . . OPINION . . . COMMENT . . .

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

After a tough 12 months – my 2014 wish list Remploy: Remploy: what’s what’s wrong with us?

A

WHILE ago I contracted a printing house to produce some little health booklets for me.

The voluntary group I headed at the time was given some money to pay for printing work. I gave the contract to a small operation staffed by people with mental and physical disabilities. I went to the printing plant numerous times, looked at some of the employees, and thought how in the name of God do they manage, coping with such problems. Watching them happily work, often struggling because of their various difficulties, was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I salute them. I was thinking of them when I watched a story on the telly that had my blood boiling – the closure of the last Remploy factory in the North West. Hundreds of disabled people, previously happy in their work, have been condemned to a life of isolation and loneliness, and perhaps poverty, because Liz Sayce, head of Disability Rights UK, concluded those people would be better working in an ordinary workplace environment. Excuse me, this is Planet Earth and the great plan isn’t working.Nine out of 10 previously happy disabled workers will never work again in their lives. Remploy did indeed ghettoise people, but it suited these workers. We live in a cruel world where unless you have two arms, two legs and fully working brain you’ve more or less had it. A society that does not stretch out its arms to those who need our help is not a society — LARRY NEILD at all.

Swasie’s back!

CHAMPION fundraiser Swasie Turner is showing there’s a whole lot more to him than just climbing lighthouses in his wheelchair and pushing himself across the Falklands! The former policeman, whose leg was amputated following a road accident, has just had his second cartoon book published. Swasie says: “The book portrays my lampooning of all the Jobsworths that prevail in our society and corridors of power who egotistically insist on imposing their despotic authority without compassion, initiative or common sense to those of us that have to suffer them.” Jobsworths, priced £9.99, is available at all good bookshops www.swasieturner.org

IT’S BEEN a particularly tough year for so many disabled people and their families as they faced cuts, cuts and more cuts. But imagine if you were given a magic wand and able to bring some muchneeded New Year cheer. Here are a few things I would like to happen . . . .

n A Government Bill abolishing the Bedroom Tax or Spare Bedroom Payment: This tax on the so-called spare bedroom has had a disproportionate and adverse affect on disabled people who need more space, not less, for a whole range of reasons, such as storing disability equipment, having a room

for a carer to stay, or because as a consequence of disability a couple cannot sleep in the same bed. n A Government commitment to ensure that equality laws are implemented: This would enable more disabled people to get jobs and reduce discrimination. n A reversal of the policy to reduce entitlement to the new Personal Independence Payment (mobility) from the ability to walk 50 metres to 20: Unless this happens, tens of thousands of people will not qualify for this benefit and hence lose their entitlement to a Motability vehicle. n A comprehensive social care policy: For

SOUNDING OFF!

years governments of all colours have talked about the crisis in social care but none has resolved it. The latest idea is to merge health and social care but although health care remains free, social care is means tested. What was once seen as health care is now classified as social care so what was once free now attracts charges. n A New Year in which disabled people are not portrayed as scroungers and layabouts in face of all the evidence to the contrary – and policies that enable disabled people to play a full role in society and contribute as millions of disabled people already do.

This Fund should be extended!

with Sir BERT MASSIE

IN ONE of its first acts, the Government said it would close the Independent Living Fund.

Scrap VAT on fuel bills EACH year the Government makes a cold weather payment to elderly and some disabled people. But many disabled people do not need to wait until winter to feel cold. Poor circulation and an impaired ability to generate heat means feeling cold all year round. The heating has to stay on when in most households it has been lowered or turned off.

And that means paying higher and higher energy bills right through the year - cash that is then unavailable for other purposes. Each energy bill includes within it 5% VAT, which is a tax on heat. One way in which the Government could help disabled people would be to scrap this tax and thus lower the bills.

Disability aids – are we being ripped off? O

NE OF the results of cutbacks to social care budgets is that disabled people are increasingly having to buy their own aids and adaptations.

For those with cash in the bank above the proscribed limit this has always been so, but now even those with no, or very limited, resources are being hit. Of course, most of us who are disabled need more than just one piece of equipment, so the cost multiplies as we buy more equipment. That is why it is important for disability equipment to be priced as competitively as possible. This equipment, when bought by

a disabled person, is exempt from VAT, so this should help keep the price down. It is surprising therefore that it is often so costly. Of course, some equipment will often be expensive but there is emerging evidence to suggest that sometimes disabled people are being over-charged. In Australia, the Queensland Competition Authority is investigating why some equipment costs twice what it costs in the United States. Suppliers in Australia are already arguing that such comparisons are meaningless because of the higher standard of assessments in Australia. But we do not need to go as far as Australia. In this country the Office of Fair Trading has issued a Statement of

Objections alleging that Pride Mobility Products Limited (Pride), a manufacturer of mobility scooters, based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and some of its retailers, have infringed competition law. It is claimed that Pride Mobility prevented companies that sold their goods from offering lower prices to disabled people. This is an interim judgment that is open to challenge but many disabled people will wonder why mobility scooters can cost as much as £6,000. As the cost of disability equipment is increasingly falling on to disabled people it is time to ensure the industry that supplies it strives to provide value for money. The spotlight is shining!

This was set up in the 1980s to give financial support to disabled people who lived at home but had high and expensive care and support needs. Almost 19,000 people are supported by the fund. Payments of £300 a week are common and this enables disabled people to employ Personal Assistants to help them dress, bathe and get out and about. The Government argued that local authorities would provide these services and the ILF could close. This neat argument ignored the fact that local authorities were facing huge Government-inspired cuts to their social care budgets. There would have been no replacement service. As a result of a challenge in the courts, in which it was ruled that the Government had taken insufficient account of its duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the closure was unlawful, the Government has decided to leave the ILF open. It is likely that the Government will review the ILF in the future but for the moment almost 20,000 disabled people can sleep more peacefully. For more than three years I was a trustee of the ILF and know how important it is. We should be extending its service, not reducing it.

450,000 readers and GROWING FAST!

TAKE ME HOME!


INDEPENDENT LIVING

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December/January 2014

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Dawn of a new era for The Co-op . . .

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LEFT: Phil Allsop (The Co-operative), Mayor of Poynton Gabor Bartos, Stuart Merebith from the Macclesfield Wheelies and store manager Jonathan Doyle

T

HE Co-operative has opened its first new store that focuses entirely on providing products and specialist advice to help keep people mobile and independent.

The Co-operative Independent Living, in Poynton, Cheshire, offers practical assistance and

specialist products to people who need some day-to-day help so that they can lead as full a life as possible. Similar Co-operative stores will be rolled across the country – and an online shop is in the pipeline. The new store features a vast range of products, from mobility scooters and beds to chairs, bathroom aids and specially-

shaped cutlery, while staff have received specialist training to offer expert, one-to-one advice. Customers can also benefit from a free consultation and product demonstration in their home to ensure products are right for them. A large range of items can be personalised or tailor-made to suit individual requirements and a free

delivery and installation service is also available. John Nuttall, director of The Cooperative Pharmacy, said: “The expansion into this area is a natural fit with our Co-operative business. “Whether customers have a disability, a chronic condition which means they have functional limitations on their daily life, or

they just need a bit of help getting things done, we believe everyone has the right to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect to ensure they get expert advice.” Store manager Jonathan Doyle said: “We want customers to be able to make informed decisions about their mobility aids and ensure they get the right item that is suited to their needs, first time.”


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INDEPENDENT LIVING


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INDEPENDENT LIVING

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New build rules could prove a backward step

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INDEPENDENT LIVING All Together NOW!

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XPERTS are warning Government plans for new housing standards do not do enough to prioritise accessible homes.

Access and housing experts were speaking out over the Housing Standards Review, which aims to reform England’s current jumble of building regulations, guidance, codes, and local and national standards. The review is the work of the Department for Communities and Local Government, which has now closeda 10-week consultation over its proposals. Last year, when announcing the review, the Government made it clear that it wanted to “reduce bureaucracy and costs” for house builders, although it promised to deliver “quality, sustainability, safety and accessibility”. Don Foster, the Libl Dem communities minister, who commissioned the review, pledged that essential safety and accessibility protections would remain untouched. But experts warn that vital changes could be introduced without most disabled people

December/January 2014

by JOHN PRING

realising what had happened. The Government currently plans to “dilute” some existing standards, such as the amount of space that has to be provided in ground floor hallways, and the need to have space available for a through-floor lift if one is ever needed, says Tracey Proudlock, director of the disability and access consultancy Proudlock Associates She said: “There are things in there that are quite dangerous and will set back housing opportunities.” The consultation document suggests a three-tiered access standards system. Level one would provide a new version of Part M of the building regulations, which currently provides “adequate accessibility for most people, including many older people, and basic visitor access for people who use wheelchairs”. Level two would be an alternative to the existing Lifetime Homes Standard,

administered by Habinteg Housing Association, and would provide “adaptability as well as improved accessibility for everyone”. The highest level of accessibility would be a revised version of the current Wheelchair Housing Design Guide, also administered by Habinteg. Homes built according to these standards would secure “very good accessibility for most people, including the majority of wheelchair users”. Sir Bert Massie, ex-chair of the Disability Rights Commission and former Habinteg board member, said: “Britain has an ageing population and will face increasing costs of providing care and support for older people. “This could be provided in costly care homes or hospital but for many it would be better if they could stay at home. They will need housing with accessibility features. “The Government needs to deliver housing standards that are forward-looking and recognise that poor housing standards have an impact on people’s lives and lead to increased public expenditure.”

A shower seat that’s practical and stylish W

strength, support and durability. The products include a double curvature wall mount, cross bracing support and triangular structure which can support a weight of up to 300kg (40 stone). SlimFold has an RRP of £175 (plus VAT) and can be fitted from heights of 417mm which ensures safe transfer between standing and sitting or from a wheelchair. There is no maximum height restriction.

ETROOM specialist Impey Showers has revealed an incredibly stylish and revolutionary new shower seat and bench.

Shower seats are essential for those with mobility issues but traditional models are very clinical in appearance, bulky, create trip hazards, act as dirt traps and can damage floors. Impey’s SlimFold shower seat is stylish, safe and functional, bears weight of up to 40 stone and has a profile of just 111mm when folded. The Slimfold bench has a profile of 55mm, enabling the shower door to fold fully inwards without colliding with the seat. Neil Whitehead, from Impey Showers, said: “We firmly believed that existing shower seat design needed to be evolved and improved to provide the healthcare market with an exciting,

aspirational and safe product.” The new SlimFold is available in 10 colours and ensures maximum

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

n The Impey SlimFold is the latest in Impey’s range of innovative wetroom products that encourage independent living. The product is made from polyethelene which is ‘warm to the touch’, semi flexible, comfortable and non-abrasive. The product is unique to Impey Showers. n For more information, including stockists, call 01460 256 090 or you can visit www.impeyshowers.com/slimfold

Impey steps up its home grants fight A COMPANY that specialises in providing wetrooms for disabled people has stepped up its campaign to raise awareness about Disabled Facilities Grants. Alex Londgen, marketing manager at Impey Showers, said: “We hope our actions will help to raise awareness of these serious issues and put pressure on the right people to improve the situation.” Impey Cares was set up in 2012 to raise awareness of the difficulties disabled people face in obtaining funding for accessible showering facilities for their homes as a result of Government spending cuts. The scheme donates free wetrooms to those with mobility issues who have been refused funding through a Disabled Facilities Grant. Impey is calling on the Government to ringfence DFG funds so that people in need actually receive the money allocated, rather than them being redeployed to other areas of social care and support. n The company wants people to support its campaign by signing its new charter. n Impey Showers, Tel. 01460 256 080 www.impeycare.co.uk

A shower seat with style and function that can safely support up to 300kg*.

Folds away neatly with no leg protrusion

Available as a seat or bench in 10 vibrant colours

For more details and demonstration video visit: www.impeyshowers.com/slimfold or call 01460 256 090 *Independently tested to BS12182 and BS12727.

impey-caring-uk.indd 1

SHOWERING FOR THE CARE MARKET

17/09/2013 12:15


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GOOD OLD DAYS: Left, village shop at Whiston hospital. Right, the dementia team at the Royal Liverpool – Shaun Lever, Richard Evans (Workers Educational Association); Tracey Hill (Costa manager); and Mandy Jones from Sedgmoor Dementia Centre in Norris Green

‘A quarter of bonbons, madam? That will be 5d, please!’ ROOMS in an older people’s hospital ward on Merseyside were transformed by staff into a 1950s-style village square. The event marked the launch of Whiston Hospital’s new Reminiscence Rooms which aim to create a familiar environment for patients living with dementia or cognitive impairment. At the launch event, patients and their visitors tucked into treats from the village tea room which served classic afternoon tea and cakes, while a visit to the sweet shop, complete with old-fashioned weighing

scales, saw old favourites like Bon Bons and Everton Mints handed out in paper bags. Ann Marr, chief executive said: “Patients can now enjoy memories with staff and their families, watch old TV clips and listen to music they have enjoyed in their youth.” Meanwhile, there was an afternoon of nostalgia with free tea, coffee and cakes at a new Memory Café at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The first “Remember When” session helped to roll back the memories of people who worked at Ogden’s,

Tate & Lyle, Taverner’s and Littlewood’s Pools. They reminisced about the ‘good old days’ and passed around old football programmes, ration books and classic table games. There was also an expert on Liverpool history on hand to answer any questions. Shaun Lever, dementia practitioner at the Royal, said: “This event is a great way of giving people with dementia somewhere they can meet each other and chat about objects from their past which might trigger happy memories.” n To book a place at the next event call 0151 243 5350.

Don’t be too careful C

networks are lost,” Professor Clarke explains. Risk enablement in contrast to risk aversion is the best approach DOCTORS can now calculate cardiovascular conditions, and a case of early-stage cognitive to take once dementia has been It can also result in the unnecessary the risk of older patients with lower level of education. disorders that make people diagnosed, researchers insist. loss of a person’s skills, according to Type 2 diabetes developing Using these factors, vulnerable to the side effects of The key is not immediately to Professor Charlotte Clarke, whose dementia. researchers at the University diabetes treatment. strip people of the important parts latest research was the inspiration for a A new study showed that there Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht “The risk score will also help of their identity but to find ways to new play. are eight deciding risk factors have developed a test that us to understand the causes of allow those with dementia to do Prof Clarke, from the University of older age, cerebrovascular predicts the risk of an individual the increased risk of developing things which are important to them Edinburgh, says: “Carers, family and conditions, acute severely diabetes patient developing dementia among diabetes – albeit in an increasingly even some health practitioners may irregular blood sugar levels, a dementia in the next ten years. patients because we can study supported way. unwittingly be behaving in ways that history of depression, Lieza Exalto, at UMC, said: them in the early stages of the “Rather than simply stopping can cause ‘silent harms’ for people with microvascular conditions, “Doctors can use the model to dementia process.” something which is perceived as dementia in their efforts to help them diabetic foot deformities, help them make decisions in the risky such as going for a walk, we live with the condition. need to think about finding ways to “Being too risk averse in one’s “And this concern can lead to them avoiding performed during the Economic and Social make it possible. approach can make it even more difficult for Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social activities that are meaningful to the person with “This could include involving other people – the person with dementia to maintain their allScience.. dementia and indeed support their sense of such as alerting neighbours, using volunteer important sense of identity, ability to contribute, who they are, for example, meeting people, Jill has dementia, goes out and events lead help, informing the police of the person’s social relationships and quality of life. to panic among relatives who believe her to be going for a walk, cooking or helping with address, employing new GPS or mobile phone “As a result, the person with dementia may missing. Concerns are raised about whether grandchildren.” experience a more rapid decline in feeling they Decisions around employment or the freedom technology or engaging peer support.” Jill should be allowed to leave the house alone Ultimately, researchers say, taking things are valued and that their life has purpose.” to drive need careful consideration that in future and her whereabouts are constantly away from people with dementia removes their Created by Skimstone Arts, the play, Jack balances risk with negative impact. checked. sense of who they are. Taking a few risks is as and Jill and the Red Postbox, is based on “Carers are frequently anxious and hyper“Dementia can frequently be seen as a important for the quality of life of a person with transcripts from 89 interviews with people with catastrophic diagnosis which can quickly lead vigilant about the person with dementia,” Prof dementia as anybody else. dementia and their family members and was Clarke points out. to isolation if employment and other social

ONCENTRATING only on keeping people with dementia safe can actually make them worse.

Dementia test for diabetes patients


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MEDICAL NOTES Yoga works wonders for back pain patients CHRONIC back pain sufferers who take part in specialised yoga classes have far fewer days off work than those who don’t. After a 12-week course of classes, they found that their everyday lives and their pain were more manageable. Researchers were looking at whether yoga could be cost-effective if used by the NHS to treat patients with chronic or recurrent lower back pain. And the answer, in the UK’s biggest ever study of the benefits of yoga, was “very probably, yes!” Professor David Torgerson, who led the study by the University of York, said: “Back pain represents a significant burden to the NHS in the UK and to society as a whole. “As well as the associated health care costs, it is also a major cause of work absenteeism which leads to a productivity loss to society.” The trial involved two groups of people with chronic or recurrent back pain, with one taking part in a 12-week yoga programme designed by senior yoga practicioner Alison Trewhela. Those in the yoga group missed four days’ work as a result of their condition, the others missed 12 days.

Breast cancer diet BREAST cancer survivors are helping scientists with a new study examining a diet that could support weight loss and recurrence of the disease. It is known obesity or weight gain following treatment increases the likelihood of the cancer returning. Now a dietary plan that could aid weight loss in post-treatment patients has been developed by scientists at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. Professor Steve Heys, Cancer Research Programme Leader at the university, said: “We are aiming to pinpoint a healthy diet that is satiating, tasty and supports weight loss, and thereafter maintenance, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.”

Fat’s life, folks NEW figures show that within 10 years, there will be over 480 million people classed as overweight or obese in the world’s nine major economies – up from 167 million people. This will result in significant pressure on health services, says research and consulting firm GlobalData, who compiled the figures. The US will continue to be the worst affected, with 81 million people estimated to be overweight and 113 million obese by 2022. This will be followed by Brazil, with 64 million overweight and 26 million obese people by 2022. It is estimated that 2.8 million people in the world die each year due to obesity and its associated conditions. Alison Carpenter, a GlobalData analyst, said: “It will be difficult for public health organisations to aim effective control measures at these populations to contain this growing epidemic.”

Migraine shock figures

‘M.E. sufferers neglected’ MORE than one-third of health trusts in England either don’t or can’t confirm that they properly provide for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland provision is far worse, says Action for M.E., the UK’s leading charity for people with the condition, a chronic, fluctuating neurological illness affecting an estimated 250,000 in the UK. The charity’s damning report,

Ignorance, injustice and neglect, paints a disturbing picture about NHS specialist services for people with M.E., claiming national standards and clinical guidelines are being ignored. Sir Peter Spencer, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These figures are a disgraceful indictment of institutionalised discrimination and neglect. “Health services in all of the four home nations are still not even beginning to address the needs of this vulnerable patient group properly.”

LACK of training for GPs, too few specialist nurses and insufficient money for research mean vital help is not getting to many of Britain’s eight million migraine sufferers. The Migraine Trust have revealed that about one in five women and one in 12 men are migraine sufferers – the same as the numbers for diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. Yet family doctors receive just one hour’s training on migraine and headache, while the UK has only 12 headache specialist

nurses, including a single one in Scotland, and none in Wales or Northern Ireland. Anna Andreou, a research fellow at London’s Imperial College, said: “Migraine is among the most disabling conditions, with huge costs to society and the country’s economy. Headache research should be present in all medical schools and research centres.” The Trust has produced a powerful 80-second film about migraine. www.youtube.com/watch?v= UKTo-OuKhKg

Diabetes test for children Y

OUNG people with type 1 diabetes at risk of heart and kidney disease can now be identified with a simple urine test.

“Managing type 1 diabetes is difficult enough without having to deal with other health problems,” said Professor David Dunger, from the University of Cambridge. “By using early screening, we can now identify young people at risk. The next step will be to see if drugs used to treat heart and kidney disease – such as statins and blood pressure lowering drugs – can help prevent kidney and heart complications in this young, potentially vulnerable population.” Up to 40% of young people with type 1 diabetes may be at risk of kidney disease, a complication which also increases the risk of heart disease. Although elevated albumin levels in the urine are already used to identify adults with diabetes who are at higher risk of kidney and heart DAILY JABS: Insulin injections are vital for people disease, this is the first time that researchers have shown that normal with type 1 diabetes variation in these levels can be an indicator of risk during adolescence. Dr Alasdair Rankin, director of research for the national charity Diabetes UK, said: “Every year, too many people with type 1 diabetes n DIABETES is a condition where there n People with Type 2 diabetes don’t experience kidney failure and heart is too much glucose in the blood. produce enough insulin or the insulin disease as a result of their diabetes and they produce doesn’t work properly n In the UK, there are around 3.8 million this can have a really devastating effect people who have diabetes, and around (known as insulin resistance). on their lives. 850,000 who have not been diagnosed. n 85 to 90% of people with diabetes have “By showing that people at high risk of Type 2. n People with Type 1 diabetes cannot these complications can be identified produce insulin, which breaks down the n Type 2 diabetes is treated with a when they are children, this research healthy diet and increased physical sugar. offers the exciting prospect that in the activity. In addition, tablets and/or n No one knows exactly what causes it, but future we might be able to offer insulin can be required. it’s nothing to do with being overweight and treatment early to stop them from it isn’t currently preventable. n If not managed well, both Type 1 and happening. Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating n It usually affects children or young “While it would be a number of years adults, starting suddenly and getting complications. before this became a widely-available worse quickly. n Diabetes is the leading cause of treatment option, this does offer real blindness in people of working age in n Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin hope of another way to help people with doses – taken either by injections or via an the UK and is a major cause of lower type 1 diabetes have the best possible limb amputation, kidney failure and insulin pump – a healthy diet and regular chance of a long and healthy life.” physical activity. stroke.

Fact file

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Don’t suffer in silence . . . A HARD-HITTING campaign is under way to highlight the support available across Merseyside for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ campaign – run by Liverpool Community Health’s SAFE Place team – will be appearing on posters and flyers in local health centres and other community locations across Merseyside. The team will also deliver training sessions aimed at raising awareness among health professionals and other local

agencies of some of the key issues surrounding domestic violence Shelly Stoops, service manager for SAFE Place Merseyside, said: “Domestic violence and sexual assaults really can affect people from all walks of life, and we would urge anyone who has been affected by these issues, either recently or at any time in the past, to come forward and talk to one of our team of professionals in complete confidence – either with or without police involvement.” SAFE Place is Merseyside’s

Sexual Assault Referral Centre. The service provides free, confidential support and advice to anyone affected by domestic or sexual violence - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since launching in 2008, this unique service has supported more than 1,100 victims of sexual assault crimes, and has also aided the police by providing forensic evidence which has led to numerous arrests and convictions. n Access SAFE Place for free and confidential help and advice on: 0151 295 3550 or visit: www.safeplacemerseyside.org.uk

Sign up to a Dry January

New city health centre

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NEW, state-of-the-art health centre is set to open right in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

The centre, which opens in mid-December, will bring together a variety of Liverpool Community Health’s community health services. Located at Liverpool ONE, with entrances situated on both Hanover Street and David Lewis Street, the centre will have a wider range of health services and all under one roof. The services relocating into the new site include: n ABACUS Sexual Health Services (Dale Street)

n The Armistead Centre (Stanley Street) n Liverpool City Walk-In Centre (Great Charlotte Street) n Sexual Health Services (Great Charlotte Street) In addition, a new interactive Health Information Centre will be opening at the new site. Patients will also benefit from better transport links (bus, train and parking), as the new centre is located next to car parking facilities, and less than a minute walk from the Liverpool ONE bus station and Central Station for Merseyrail services. Bernie Cuthel, chief executive at Liverpool Community Health, said: “As a Trust, we are

LCH’s health promotion team are encouraging residents to consider joining the Dry January challenge for a healthier start to the New Year.

committed to delivering high quality health services to our local communities and to supporting people to live longer, healthier lives. “Our new city-centre location will closely support us in this aim, enabling us to provide a wider range of health services in a modern, friendly and easily accessible healthcare facility, which will better serve the growing population of people who live or work in Liverpool city centre. “We hope it will be a real asset to local communities for many years to come.” n The new health centre is at The Beat, Hanover Street/David Lewis Street, Liverpool, L1 4AF.

‘Dry January’ is a nation-wide campaign organised by Alcohol Concern which aims to encourage as many people as possible to reduce their alcohol intake – or give up drinking for a whole month. Current advice says that people should not regularly drink more alcohol than the daily guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol for men (a pint and a half of average strength beer), or 2-3 units of alcohol for women (a medium glass of wine). However, just under a third of men (31%) and one in five women (20%) regularly drink more than this recommended safe amount. Kellie Cureton, an Alcohol Specialist for Liverpool Community Health, said: “Whilst there is nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink, during Dry January we want to encourage people to start looking at how much and how often they are drinking, and consider cutting back a little. “You don’t have to have an entirely dry month to take part in the challenge either. Even pledging to cut back just a bit can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing.” n To sign up to take part in Dry January now, visit: www.dryjanuary.org.uk

A team not to be sneezed at!

WINNERS: From left, Kevin McCann (Splinter Design), James Brown (LCH), Michelle Porteus (LCH), Rob Brydon (awards host), Anna Beaumont (LCH), Rachel Robinson (LCH), and Jane Wilson (CIPR CEO)

To find out more, visit . . .

THE Communications Team at Liverpool Community Health scooped a national PR Week Award for their staff flu campaign. The Trust fended off tough competition from leading global brands including British Airways, Avanade UK, Nokia, and Philips to win the award. Developed with support from Liverpool agency Splinter Design and photographer Matt Goodfellow from Dupe Creative, and with hair and makeup designed by local makeup artist Amanda Mackie, the winning campaign was based around a

series of spoof 1950’s style public health messages and featured real staff members. Michelle Porteus, director of human resources and organisational development at Liverpool Community Health, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won at this year’s PR Week Awards. “We are very proud of the impact that our staff flu campaign has had, and to have that success recognised nationally is a fantastic achievement.”

www.liverpoolcommunityhealth.nhs.uk


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December/January 2014

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What happens to the brain with depression

Beatrice Fraenkel chair, Mersey Care NHS

D

ISABILITY and human rights campaigners have for many years asked the question: “What value do we put on human life?” Unfortunately, to some in our society, that price is far too little...

This was reflected in the incident of a man threatening to throw himself from a motorway bridge, causing the closure of the M42 for 24 hours. Some irate drivers vented their anger on Twitter and Facebook, labelling his actions selfish and encouraging him to jump. Fortunately the man was talked down safely by police negotiators. A senior officer responded to abusive on-line messages and gave as good back by criticising those who had mocked the distraught individual. In my previous column I mentioned how social media can empower people and enable us to take part in wider conversations that can have a real impact on all our lives. In the M42 debate a number of sympathisers emerged to express their concern for the man, including one young woman who used social media sites, such as ‘Minds Like Ours’, to challenge discrimination. Combating stigma is an ongoing battle; we must do it not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also to ensure equitable treatment for all affected by mental distress.

A real champion One campaigner who has championed awareness of dementia is Tom Dunne, from Liverpool. Tom, who has dementia, won the overall Mersey Care Positive Achievement Award 2013 for his committed and down-to-earth approach with a number of projects. He stresses the importance of listening to people who have dementia and treating them with dignity. It’s a sobering thought that by 2020 there will be nearly one million people in the UK living with dementia. As we near the end Liverpool’s Year of Dementia Awareness, Tom is an example to us all to continue to challenge stereotypes and stigma. At this time of year spare also a thought for people who are lonely, isolated and in distress. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, has called on people to show “love and affection” at Christmas. But perhaps a theme for all year round is what Gandhi once said: “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

PEOPLE experiencing depressive episodes show increased brain activity when they think about themselves, University of Liverpool researchers found. That knowledge could now lead to better treatment for people with anxiety and depression. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain imaging technologies, scientists found that people experiencing a depressive episode process information about themselves in the brain differently to people who are not depressed. Researchers scanned the brains of people in major depressive episodes and those that

weren’t while they chose positive, negative and neutral adjectives to describe either themselves or the British Queen - a figure significantly removed from their daily lives but one that all participants were familiar with. Professor Peter Kinderman, head of the university’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said: “We found that participants who were experiencing depressed mood chose significantly fewer positive words and more negative and neutral words to describe themselves, in comparison to participants who were not depressed. “That’s not too surprising, but the brain

scans also revealed significantly greater blood oxygen levels in the medial superior frontal cortex - the area associated with processing self-related information - when the depressed participants were making judgments about themselves. “This research leads the way for further studies into the psychological and neural processes that accompany depressed mood. Understanding more about how people evaluate themselves when they are depressed, and how neural processes are involved could lead to improved understanding and care.” Nearly one-fifth of adults experience anxiety or depression.

Good moaning! C

OMPLAINTS about the NHS rose steeply last year – but we are still not complaining enough.

And too many complaints are being ignored or pushed aside, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman says. Labour MP Ann Clwyd’s report into shocking standards of NHS care described the past 10 years as a “decade of failure”. Retired nurses who contributed to the report warned that the profession had become less caring because it lacked leadership, compassion and a sense of responsibility towards patients. They said nurses today were more concerned with complicated medical tasks such as taking readings rather than changing dressings, washing or feeding. Now a website that provides advice to the families of elderly people has compiled a simple “how to complain checklist” and is urging the families of elderly patients to file complaints on their parents’ behalf. “There are still many people who never complain,” says Deborah Stone who set up myageingparent.com last year. “Patients over 65 make up the majority of most hospital stays,” says Deborah, “and are by far the biggest user group of all medical services. “But this is the generation that was told to believe that the ‘doctor is always right’. A great many are also unwilling to take on authority because of their declining health or mental faculties. This is where their family must step in. “These tips may help to make the process easier both for you and for the person dealing with your complaint.” n Don’t delay: Complain as soon as possible after the event. n Make sure you are complaining to the right organisation and the right department within that organisation. Usually, the head of the department that you are complaining about is the best first point of contact. n Tell them it’s a complaint. Ask for details of the complaints procedure and find out who will be handling your complaint. n Put it in writing. If this isn’t something you

TAKING A BREATHER: Andy McCabe, left, Jimmy Hawkes and Bev Ellis

Charity trio’s running total at £2,500 THREE dedicated charity runners has earned the Royal seal of approval. Or, rather, the Royal’s seal of approval... indeed, Liverpool’s Royal Hospital has every reason to applaud the threesome after benefiting from their efforts. Jimmy Hawkes, 36, Andy McCabe, 36, and Bev Ellis, 30, are taking a well-earned rest after running 2013

miles in 2013 to raise money for the hospital’s R Charity and Macmillan Cancer Support. The Kielder 3 are all amateur runners who undertook their first marathon together at Kielder Water in Northumberland last year. They decided to aid the Royal’s cancer unit because Bev’s uncle received stem

feel comfortable doing, ask a friend, carer, family member, or an organisation like Citizens Advice to help you. Make sure to write ‘complaint’ at the top of your letter or email, so there can be no doubt. n Be clear and brief. Give contact telephone and email details, as well as your address. n Get family or friends to read your complaint before you send it.

cell treatment at the hospital in 2012, though he sadly died earlier this year. Bev said: “It was very emotional, but we all knew how much what we were doing could potentially help other cancer sufferers. It’s been a hard 10 months but a very worthwhile one.” So far, their efforts have raised more than £2,500 for the hospital.

n The Local Government Ombudsman deals with complaints about local authorities and certain other bodies, including all types of adult social care providers. The LGO can look at complaints about care arranged directly with a care provider by someone paying with their own/family money, or someone using money provided by a council.

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MEDICAL NOTES New hope for lung and asthma patients

Tom’s a true fighter CONGRATULATIONS to Tom Dunne who received well-deserved recognition at this year’s Positive Achievement Awards, run by Mersey Care NHS Trust. Despite dealing with his own dementia, Tom campaigns for greater awareness and improvements around dementia care. Tom, of Belle Vale, South Liverpool, received a standing ovation at the awards ceremony at Aintree Racecourse and told the audience: “You have given me and others with dementia, and their families, hope for the future.”

A NEW drug could provide a major breakthrough in the treatment of people with asthma and lung disease. Scientists are said to be “eagerly awaiting” more tests on the drug that could treat obstructive airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in two ways at once. The drug, for now known as RPL554, has the potential to both reverse the narrowing of the airways (bronchodilation) and reduce inflammation quicker and with fewer side effects than current therapies. According to research published in medical journal The Lancet, it could be “one of the most substantial advances for some time in the management of patients with chronic airway obstruction”. Dr Samantha Walker, head of research at Asthma UK, said: “This new drug will be unique in its ability to combine opening up the airways with rapidly reducing inflammation and shows great potential.”

Bionic gran! n PICTURED: Tom (right) receives his cheque for a dementia project from BBC presenters Stephanie McGovern and Roger Phillips

C

HRISTMAS is going to be extra special for bionic grandmother Irene Purcell.

Less fat in your food

Irene, 61, has suffered painful rheumatoid arthritis for more than 40 years and had both knees replaced aged just 35. Last year, she faced the prospect of having her right arm amputated at the shoulder until orthopaedics expert Prof Simon Frostick stepped in to fit a prosthetic limb in a revolutionary operation. Prof Frostick became the first person outside the United States to use the artificial implant during surgery at Liverpool’s Broadgreen Hospital. “I couldn’t cook,” recalled Irene, from Huyton. “It was too dangerous with anything hot. I was limited to soup. Carrying shopping became a big problem. I had to wear slip on shoes and didn’t bother with socks.” But since the op, Irene is free from pain and getting her life back again. It is one of the first occasions in the UK that doctors have performed such a radical operation. Surgeons have previously replaced REVOLUTIONARY: Irene Purcell has had her upper arm replaced with a bionic bone part of the arm with implants, like elbows and shoulders, but the full humerus (from shoulder to elbow) implant procedure is in its infancy. Irene said: “Since it was replaced it was like IT may not be an option worldwide suffer from exercise. But a recent switching a light off – the pain has gone. right now, but getting out high blood pressure study by Scottish “I’m looking forward to doing normal things in the sunshine helps (hypertension), according researchers found that not every day, things without thinking twice.” lower blood pressure. to the World Health enough sunlight was also Prof Frostick said: “Rheumatoid arthritis is a Scientists have proven Organisation, and over a factor. destructive disease affecting multiple joints that UV light – which nine million people die The blood pressure of and people with it can become severely comes from the sun – yearly from its volunteers fell disabled at a young age. encourages the consequences. significantly when they “Ms Purcell had an elbow replacement but production of nitric oxide, The condition is often were exposed to the UV complications meant she had to have the which in turn helps to the result of a modern light from a heat lamp, but whole bone removed from elbow to shoulder. bring down blood lifestyle - poor diet, too remained unchanged “There were very few options available and pressure levels. much alcohol and when the UV light was the replacement humerus and joints were Around a billion people nicotine, and insufficient filtered out. probably the only viable option, other than amputation of the whole arm.” arthritis, bone tumours, bone infections or colleagues and I’m mentoring them to take He added: “Irene hasn’t been able to use whose arms have been shattered in accidents, over from me when I retire,” he said. “The her arm for two years. But two days after with designs built to match patients’ learning curve is very long and very steep. the operation she was bending her elbow.” specifications. “Mentally, it is extremely hard work. The level Prof Frostick created the limb, made from He emphasised the need for surgeons who of skill and expertise required to conduct this cobalt, chrome and polyethelene, with Biomet carry out the procedure to be highly type of surgery means that it is only provided of Indiana, in the US. He says the procedure experienced. “I have two junior consultant in two or three places in the UK.” can be used on patients with rheumatoid

LET THE SUNSHINE IN . . .

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IMAGINE an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with fat. Then another one filled past the half-way mark. That’s the amount of saturated fat to be removed from the nation’s diet in the next 12 months. Food makers and retailers have signed up to a new pledge aimed at improving health by taking thousands of tonnes of saturated fat out of the food we eat.

Don’t ignore signs MOUTH cancer cases in the UK went up by well over a thousand in 12 months – a figure medical chiefs describe as “very worrying”. British Dental Health Foundation chief Dr Nigel Carter said: “Smoking and drinking to excess increase your chances of getting mouth cancer by 30 times as much. “Of greater concern is the rise of the human papillomavirus (passed on via oral sex). It is forecast to overtake smoking as the leading cause of the disease in the next 10 years. “Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth should not be ignored.”

Fight eye disease YOU can lower the risk of developing age-related eye disease by taking certain vitamins and nutrients. They were the findings of the largestever study into age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in the over-60s. The London Eye Hospital has launched a range of supplements called MacuLEHTM, for those looking to prevent the onset of the disease, and those with early and established AMD. MacuLEH costs £29.99 for a 30-day supply and is available at www.londoneyehospitalpharma.com

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

Charlotte’s tribute to her Salford stars . . .

TAKE ME HOME!

PARALYMPIC hero Charlotte Henshaw has paid a glowing tribute to the professionals who have supplied her with artificial limbs since the age of two.

GREAT PAPER, GREAT BRAND

ESTHER McVEY, EMPLOYMENT MINISTER

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Universities challenged!

GOLDEN GIRL: Charlotte Henshaw with students BenOrchard and Sophie Ashton

U

NIVERSITIES are continuing to fail disabled students, say the shock findings of a report by young campaigners.

Many disabled students are still unable to use vital facilities on campus as universities fail to provide the support they need, according to the new research. Four years on from a study that exposed access problems at universities, the report from the Trailblazers group – part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign – reveals that significant barriers are still in place. Among the findings of the report, University Challenge 2013, three in 10 recent graduates who took part in a survey said they felt limited in what they could study because of concerns about their care packages, while six in 10 said there was not enough information about accommodation for disabled students on university websites. Only just over half of universities responding to

Disabled students hit out

another survey for the report said disabled students had full access to all of their teaching rooms, study rooms and libraries, while three in 10 said their graduation ceremony had taken place in an inaccessible or non-inclusive location. Just one in five universities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said there was an accessible toilet with a hoist in every one of their buildings. The report includes pages of advice and information for disabled young people planning to go to university, as well as quotes from graduates describing their own experiences. One, Harriet Butler, said: “I would have wanted care in place earlier so I could have enjoyed my first year. My experience

would have been improved by a disability support service that actually knew what they were doing.” Matilda Ibini, told how she boycotted her graduation ceremony because the university had been reluctant to provide any details about access until she bought tickets. The report calls for: n Accessible and inclusive graduation ceremonies n A recognition of the additional care and support disabled students will need when living independently. n Better access to student union facilities. n Extra support and information for disabled students on work placements and internships. Tanvi Vyas, Trailblazers project manager, said: “There are plenty of simple measures that universities can take. Providing inclusive freshers’ guides, handy information on accessible transport and buildings, and support networks can all make a huge difference to students adapting to campus life.”

The swimmer, now 26, believes their expertise in prosthetics helped her power to a silver medal at the London 2012 Games. Charlotte was at the University of Salford to re-open its prosthetics and orthotics centre which was refurbished at a cost of £1.3m. Salford is the only university in England to offer prosthetics and orthotics training which prepares students for highly skilled work as prosthetists (fitting artificial limbs) and orthotists (fitting supportive braces and splints). Training takes place in the Brian Blatchford Building which was first opened in 1993 following a donation from the Blatchford family – founders of Blatchford Clinical Services which manufactures prosthetic and orthotic products. Charlotte, who won silver in the 100m breaststroke, had both legs amputated above the knee when she was 18 months old. Her first pair of prosthetic legs was fitted aged two. She said: “I firmly believe that the dedicated professionals I’ve seen since I was two years old have helped me to become an athlete. The new facilities at Salford will help people like me to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

Pay deal DISABLED workers are being urged to check they are not being underpaid following changes to the National Minimum Wage, which took effect in October. The Government’s Low Pay Commission Report 2012 revealed that more than 9% of workers with disabilities were paid at or below National Minimum Wage. The National Minimum Wage rates: Adult rate: £6.31 an hour. 18-20 year-olds: £5.03 an hour 16-17 year-olds: £3.72 an hour Apprentice: £2.68 an hour n Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

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EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . . OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Sir Richard Leese with Breakthrough UK’s chair Jackie Driver (left) and Michele Scattergood, chief executive

Breakthrough’s new move SIR Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, officially opened Breakthrough UK’s new headquarters in Crumpsall. The charity, which set up

in 1997 in Ardwick, has worked with more than 6,000 disabled adults across the North West to find full-time employment, work experience or training opportunities.

Sir Richard said: “The work of Breakthrough UK’s team is proving invaluable and their work is making a real difference where it matters the most.”

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books

December/January 2014

ARIES March 21st - April 20th December opens with exciting opportunities to travel overseas on a journey that will have a dramatic impact on your outlook changing some of your most recently acquired views and values. The end of the month finds you locking horns in a power struggle with a powerful but envious figure who has badly underestimated you; don’t worry, you’ll come through this with all flags flying! A new opportunity will present itself in the opening days of 2014. Your social life will start to pick up during the second half of the month. You’re about to meet some exciting people. TAURUS April 21st - May 21st Don’t feel pressured to overspend on Christmas gifts; your loved ones will be just as happy with modest, handmade gifts. Avoid arguing about religion or politics at a New Year’s Eve party; you’ll want to ring out 2013 on a positive note. A religious, ethical, or cultural question will arise at the start of the year. You have strong feelings about this issue, but may be forced to keep quiet while tempers rage out of control. A colleague will give offer support toward the middle of the month.

COURAGE: Yogi Davies and Susan

Heroic struggle against all odds The Scrum That Changed My Life by Bryan ‘Yogi’ Davies and Elfyn Prichard, published by Y Lolfa, £9.95 SIX YEARS ago rugby fanatic Bryan ‘Yogi’ Davies was playing his last ever game for Bala against Nant Conwy. Yogi, 49, was made captain for the day in what was meant to be a fitting finale for the front row player. But five minutes into the game the first scrum collapsed, leaving him with lifechanging injuries: a broken neck and damaged lungs. Yogi’s book tells the story of his life before the accident and his heroic fight for survival following the scrum that changed his life. The book is set in three parts: part one of each chapter follows developments since his accident, part two looks back at Yogi’s life before the tragic scrum and his struggle against the odds even then, while part three conveys the thoughts and reactions of his wife Susan – the policewoman who has been a tower of strength throughout to Yogi and the children. Sadly, weeks before publication, Yogi died. Until his death he remained positive and even continued to coach rugby from a speciallyadapted wheelchair. On September 14, over 700 mourners gathered in the same field as he suffered the horrific injury for an uplifting funeral. The book includes a postscript: a tribute by his daughter and his final letter that will surely bring tears to many eyes.

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GEMINI May 22nd - June 21st Romance is in the air. Keep your eyes open for somebody with a special style that sets them apart from the crowd. If you’re already in a relationship, this will be a good time to embark on a dream the both of you have had for some time. The early days of the New Year warn against lending and borrowing money. Payment from a job you performed some time ago will arrive on or around the 16th. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend all of these funds on bills. An opportunity to travel will arrive quite suddenly as January turns to February. CANCER June 22nd - July 23rd There is a wonderful opportunity to make a name for yourself. An embarrassing secret comes to light in mid-December. Try not to pass judgment on a neighbour or relative who lied about their past. Compassion is critical, especially at this very special time of year. A romantic or business partner will feel threatened in the New Year. Try to help. Be ready for an unexpected refund, dividend, or inheritance. There’s all sorts of ways you can put this money toward but spoil yourself with a new entertainment centre, computer, or smartphone. LEO July 24th - August 23rd If you’re single, you can meet someone special at a sporting event, dog park, or library. But remember you can’t turn your back on the people who loved and supported you this entire year. Fortunately, Christmas will afford you the opportunity to blend both your TAKE ME HOME! personal and

at the end of December, as 2014 promises to be a year of dramatic transformation for you. Learning a new skill will be trickier than you anticipated during the early part of January. As February approaches life will become considerably easier. Let your family pamper and pet you. You’ll benefit from the extra tender loving care.

RUSSELL GRANT CALLING . . . public lives. The early days of January are always good for launching a fitness regimen, but beware of pushing yourself too fast, too hard. Two heads are definitely better than one near the 30th, when the New Moon favours partnerships of all kinds. VIRGO August 24th - September 23rd This is a wonderful time to extend an olive branch to a family member who left the fold some years ago. A lot of time has elapsed since that troubling time, and all those old resentments can be swept under the wrong. Romance heats up around Christmas. The Full Moon on January 16th forces you to cancel personal plans for the sake of a friend. Your loyalty will be soon repaid. Relationship matters improve dramatically as January turns to February. LIBRA September 24th - October 23rd Legal battles probably won’t go very well in the countdown to Christmas. You’re better off settling a dispute out of court. Although this flies in the face of your quest for justice, this is one of those times when it’s better to admit defeat than subject yourself to an exhausting battle. The opening days of the year may be filled with emotional turmoil. There will be disagreements about a potential move and tensions will be running high. In the end, you may have to defer to someone who has more power and money. SCORPIO October 24th - November 22nd A little persistence goes a long way, especially on the 17th. Christmastime affords lots of amusement. Be very careful about the resolutions you make

SAGITTARIUS November 23rd - December 21st Fresh opportunities abound at the beginning of December. People are very receptive to your particular brand of charm. The secret to your success is your distinctive personality. Schedule a romantic rendezvous during December. A new source of income becomes available in the opening days of the year, but there will be a hitch. Try to have a little extra cash in reserve near the 16th, when an unexpected expense will crop up. The New Moon on the 30th will afford a welcome opportunity to have fun with friends. CAPRICORN December 22nd - January 20th The spotlight will be trained firmly on you this Christmas, when loved ones will celebrate your efforts to make this the happiest Yule tide in recent memory. Say what you mean and mean what you say when making New Year’s resolutions. Your words have added power at the end of December. You have a chance to revamp your image during the opening days of January, but don’t make any hasty decisions. A gradual change is preferable to a radical overhaul. Don’t do anything you will later regret. An exciting moneymaking opportunity will arrive on the 30th. AQUARIUS January 21st - February 19th A childhood dream is within arm’s reach. Christmastime allows you to rest, relax, and rejuvenate with the ones you love. The final days of 2013 prompt you to question your priorities. This would be a good time to make some resolutions that reflect your emerging needs. You’ll be forced to let go of an old grudge in the opening days of January. In some ways, you’re not ready to forgive and forget. Still, you owe it to yourself to try. Clinging to this issue will cause you to miss a golden opportunity. PISCES February 20th - March 20th The spotlight will be trained on you throughout early December, so take advantage of it! This is a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to your favourite cause. It looks like 2013 will go out with a bang! Social opportunities abound in early January, but beware of letting just anyone into your circle of trust. A seemingly wild rebel is more trouble than they are worth. Stick close to friends who have proven their loyalty

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SIX OF THE BEST HERITAGE SEED BOXES TO BE WON IF YOUR seed packet storage needs upgrading, why not turn to tradition to solve the problem? We have teamed up with Suttons Seeds – founded in 1806 – to offer six £35 prize packages, each comprising a Suttons Heritage Seed Box and six packets each of flower and vegetable seeds. These prizes are unique to All Together NOW! readers, with the varieties specially chosen by our gardening expert Peter Surridge from Suttons’ vast range. The Heritage Seed Box, evoking centuries of gardening, is based on the colourful cover design of an old Suttons catalogue. It helps to store seeds the correct way - away from moisture as well as excessive heat and cold. The box measures 16cm x 22cm x 6cm deep (61/2in x 9in x 21/2in). The flowers – all new varieties – are gaillardia Red Plume, a double-flowered deep red annual; Suttons-bred linum

The vegetables represent the best of the old and new. Tried-and-tested varieties are broad bean The Sutton (introduced 1923), Carrot Amsterdam Forcing 3 (1911) and lettuce Little Gem (1880). The top-quality new kinds are runner bean Armstrong, beetroot Pablo and courgette Patio Star. n To enter the competition, answer this question: When was Suttons Seeds founded? n Send your entry with your name and address on a postcard or sealed envelope, stating where you picked up your copy of All Together NOW! (and tell us what you think of the paper) to: Suttons Seeds Box Competition, All Together NOW!, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP, to arrive by Friday, January 24. n You can also enter online at www.alltogethernow.org.uk n For the full range of Suttons’ seeds and products go to www.suttons.co.uk

Santa’s planters Charmer Salmon, salmon with a dark red centre, blooming up to two months; poppy Ladybird, with a large spot on each petal; sunflower Shock-o-Lat, with large, redbronze heads and yellow tips to the petals; aster Ostrich Plume Mix, with large, feathery heads in vivid reds and purples; and sweet pea Coronation Festival, in colours of red, white and blue.

H

ERE’S something different for your letter to Santa: ask for a shrub with colourful, sweet-scented flowers from Christmas into the depths of winter.

Plant it by a gate or much-used path to breathe the perfume as often as possible. Here are three of the best ranges readily available: n Viburnums – including Viburnum x bodnantense, a hybrid produced at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in north Wales. This opens flowers in rich hues of red and pink on white before the leaves unfurl – and carries a knock-out fragrance. The blooms appear over a long period from winter to spring. Improved varieties include Dawn, dark pink, Deben, white, and Charles Lamont, bright pink. All of these grow slowly up to 2.5 metres with a spread of 2 metres (8ft 6in x 6ft 6in). A parent of the Bodnant strain, Viburnum farreri, has bronze leaves when young, turning red-purple, to be joined in late autumn by whitish blooms. In mild weather, these continue to appear after the foliage has fallen in winter. The berries are red. It was named after its discoverer. Not all viburnums come from exotic locations. There are two wild British species worth planting mainly for their red autumn leaves: Viburnum opulus, the guelder-rose, and Viburnum lantana, the wayfaring tree. But don’t dig them up from the countryside – it’s illegal and, anyway, better forms are available from garden centres and specialist nurseries. Most species can be propagated by cuttings taken in summer. Viburnums are generally trouble-free though aphids and leafspot can be a problem n For winter scent, daphnes rival viburnums. The flowers are tubular with four waxy petals spreading outward at their tips and with a fragrance that is often almost too sweet for prolonged sniffing. The best-known type is

IN THE PINK: Winter colours of Daphne mezereum, left, and Viburnum bodnantense Daphne mezereum, or mezereon. The flowers are rich rosy-purple, heavily fragrant and tightly clustered along bare, upright stems in late winter, and are succeeded by red fruits. White forms are followed by yellow berries. Mezereons reach a maximum height of 1.5 metres (5ft) and, although some live for only a few years, new specimens can be grown easily from seed, as long as you keep finches away from the berries. As a bonus, self-sown plants are sometimes found around established shrubs. n Flowering cherries do not all wait until spring to flower. The species (Prunus x subhirtella), the autumn or winter cherry, is the only one daring enough to bloom when

nothing but frost and snow are forecast. The variety Autumnalis is one of the most reliable and earliest to flower – from October in some years – with small, white blooms, sometimes tinged pink, and continuing into late winter. Three closely-related kinds have pink flowers, Autumnalis Rosea, Pendula Rosea, with weeping branches, and Pendula Rosea Plena, weeping with clusters of semidouble, rose-pink blossoms. To add to the colourful display, the young foliage of those varieties is bronze then takes on yellow tints in autumn. Sometimes dark red berries are also produced. These are small trees, growing slowly to over 6m (20ft).

CHECKLIST FLOWERS: Finish planting tulips and any overdue spring bedding. Snip off the dead flower heads of winter pansies and violas regularly to encourage more blooms. Transplant self-sown foxgloves into groups. SHRUBS AND TREES: Brighten up north and eastfacing walls and fences by planting hardy climbers such as winter jasmine, which produces masses of yellow, star-shaped flowers, and ivy varieties with variegated gold and green leaves such as Sulphur Heart. PATIOS: Move patio pots into the sunniest position and raise them on bricks or pot feet so they do not stand in puddles after winter rains. LAWNS: Give the lawn its final trim of the year on a mild November day. Clean the mower, check nuts, bolts and wiring, have it serviced and sharpened if necessary, and wipe all metal surfaces with an oily rag. PONDS: Remove leaves from the surface. Left to sink and rot, they use oxygen, which is needed by fish and other pond life. VEGETABLES: Keep leeks earthed up. Support tall crops like brussels sprouts against winter gales. HERBS: Pot up parsley and chives to grow on an indoor windowsill. Also pot up roots of mint in 22cm (9in) pots and keep them under glass to provide early shoots when they will be most appreciated early next spring. GLASS: In the greenhouse or conservatory, water sparingly fuchsias and other exotics being overwintered under glass, keeping the compost just moist. Check for insect pests on the plants and squash or spray. HOUSEPLANTS: Continue feeding varieties still to flower such as Christmas cactus. Make sure they have enough light, but don’t leave them on a windowsill at night after the curtains are drawn or they will suffer in the chilly gap between glass and curtain. Don’t overwater.

WINNERS THE TWO lucky winners of the Alan Titchmarsh tools competition were: Mrs Angela Rimmer, of Portland Street, Southport, and Mrs Bailey, of Briggs Fold Road, Egerton, Bolton. Both winners receive a set of lightweight gardening tools from the Alan Titchmarsh English Style collection made by Bulldog Tools, each worth £125.

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December/January 2014

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BOX OFFICE SENSATION!

Until Jan 11: Robin Hood. Bolton Octagon.Legendary tale. Nov 29-Jan 18: Aladdin! The Rock and Roll Panto. Liverpool Playhouse Panto featuring rock and roll hits. BSL 7 Jan, 7pm. Captioned 11 Jan, 1.30pm. Autism friendly 14 Jan, 5.30pm. Audio described 16 Jan, 1.30pm and 7pm Nov 29-Jan 25: Beauty and the Beast. Theatr Clwyd. Rock and roll pantomime. Dec 2-Jan 11: Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fazakerley. Liverpool Royal Court. New comedy from Fred Lawless. Dec 3-31: Cinderella. Preston Charter Theatre. Pantomime. Dec 3-Jan 5: Snow White. Stoke Regent Theatre. Classic pantomime. Dec 6: Russell Watson and Friends. Preston Charter Theatre. Charity concert from the People’s Tenor. Dec 6-Jan 5: Dick Whittington. Manchester Opera House. Rags to riches pantomime. Dec 6-Jan 5: Peter Pan. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Pantomime. Dec 6-Jan 5: Aladdin. Rhyl Pavilion. Pantomime. Dec 7: Slade & Sweet. Southport Floral Hall. Two of the biggest rock bands. Dec 7-29: Sleeping Beauty. Llandudno Venue Cymru. Pantomime. Dec 7-Jan 18: Sleeping Beauty. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Panto featuring Joe Pasquale. Dec 10-Jan 4: West Side Story. Manchester Palace Theatre. Modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Dec 11: Beyond the Barricade. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Brand new festive spectacular production. Dec 11-14: Glyndebourne’s L’elisir d’amore. Stoke Regent Theatre. Opera by Donizetti. Dec 12-15: Aladdin. St Helens Citadel. Pantomime. Dec 12-Jan 5: Jack and the Beanstalk. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Giant-slaying pantomime. Dec 13-15: Beauty and the Beast. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Pantomime. Dec 13-31: Jack and the Beanstalk. Southport Floral Hall. Pantomime. Dec 13-Jan 5: Peter Pan. Liverpool Empire. Swashbuckling pantomime adventure. Dec 14-Jan 12: Beauty and the Beast. Runcorn Brindley. Pantomime. Captioned Fri 27 Dec, 7pm. Audio Described 4 Jan, 5pm, and 7 Jan, 1.30pm Dec 17-8: Fanfare for Christmas. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Music from the Haydock Silver Band. Dec 17-28: The Night Before Christmas. Salford Lowry. Cheery and informal story for ages 3-8. Dec 18: Grand Christmas Concert. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Family performance from Poulton Band. Dec 19-21: Christmas Crackers 2013. Port Sunlight Gladstone

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

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

01745 330 000. RUNCORN The Brindley: 0151 907 8360. SALE: Waterside Arts Centre: 0161 912 5616. STOKE: Regent Theatre: 0844 871 7627. SOUTHPORT: Floral Hall: 0844 847 2380. ST HELENS: Theatre Royal: 01744 756000. Citadel: 01744 735436. WOLVERHAMPTON Grand Theatre: 01902 429212.

Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!

Theatre. Children’s festive song and dance show. Dec 20: Take Phat. Runcorn Brindley. Take That tribute. Dec 24: Livewire! The AC/DC Show. St Helens Citadel. Tribute to the high voltage Australian rockers. Dec 28: The Houghton Weavers. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Christmas folk music and comedy. Dec 29-30: The Lost Present. Salford Lowry. A Christmas adventure. Jan 6-11: Scrooge. Llandudno Venue Cymru. Adaptation of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Jan 7: Sleeping Beauty. Liverpool Empire. Ballet. Jan 8: The Nutcracker. Liverpool Empire. Ballet. Jan 8-18: Ghost. Stoke Regent Theatre. Stage adaptation of the classic romance film. Jan 9: Swan Lake. Liverpool Empire. Ballet. Jan 9-12: Little Red Riding Hood. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Pantomime.

Jan 9-12: Cinderella. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre.Pantomime. Jan 10: Giselle. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Ballet. Jan 11: Swan Lake. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Ballet. Jan 11: James Arthur. Liverpool Empire. X-Factor 2012 winner. Jan 11-2: Trevor Noah. Salford Lowry. Stand-up comedy. Jan 12: Sleeping Beauty. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Ballet. Jan 13: Jethro. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Cornish standup comedian. Jan 15-16: The Space Inside. Salford Lowry. Dance spectacular. Jan 16-17: Wrong ‘Un. Salford Lowry. One-woman musical. The adventures of Lancashire mill girl Annie Wilde in England in 1918. Jan 17: Hal Cruttenden. Salford Lowry. Stand-up comedy. Jan 17: The Mersey Beatles. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Tribute act.

Promote your shows here . . .


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December/January 2014

All Together NOW!

31

WIN A FAMILY TREAT!

TIS the season of pantos and goodwill. And to show just how much goodwill there is around, we’re extending the deadline for our super Brindley panto competition.

Merseyside actress Kate Mellors takes the lead role in Beauty and The Beast and says it’s a dream come true! “I really can’t wait for the curtain to go up,” said Kate. “Beauty and The Beast is a bit different from your usual panto. It really is a dream come true to be playing her this year and I get to wear the famous yellow dress!” Playing the Beast at the Brindley is Joshua Mumby, who played Fleshcreeper in last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Sarah White is also back, this time as Countess de Beaumont; Hollyoaks’ Andy Moss is Anton; Joe Standerline is The Dame; and Callum Arnon plays Ben. We have a FRONT ROW family ticket (four people) to give away for the 5pm show on Sunday December 22 Answer this question for a chance to win: Who plays the Countess de Beaumont? n Answers on the back of a postcard to: Panto Competition, All Together NOW! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP. Please include a phone number. You can also enter online at: www.alltogethernow.org.ukk n Closing date: Monday December 16. n Beauty And The Beast runs at the Brindley from 13 December until 12 January.

Jan 17: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Preston Charter Theatre. One of the world’s leading orchestras. Jan 17: Jason Manford. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Stand-up comedy. Jan 17-18: We are One. Runcorn Brindley. Breathtaking dance show. Jan 18: Burlesque! Salford Lowry. Top quality burlesque show. Jan 18: The Take That Experience. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Take That tribute act. Jan 18: Mike Wozniak. Salford Lowry. Stand-up comedy. Jan 18: Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. Liverpool Empire. The hit kids’ TV show on stage. Jan 18-19: Anamal Dance Company. Runcorn Brindley. Live dance show. Jan 19: Miles Jupp. Salford

Lowry. Stand-up comedy. Jan 19: Showcase 2014. Runcorn Brindley. Dance spectacular from Alexandra Jane’s school of dance. Jan 20-24: The Pride. Manchester Opera House. Olivier award-winning landmark play. Jan 20-25: Tonight’s the Night. Manchester Palace Theatre. Smash hit musical comedy. Jan 20-25: Dreamboats & Petticoats. Llandudno Venue Cymru. Musical inspired by the greatest rock and roll songs. Jan 21: Shakespeare4Kidz Macbeth. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Shakespeare’s play adapted for kids. Jan 22: Brendan Cole Licence to Thrill. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Dazzling dance show from Strictly star. Jan 22: Shakespeare4Kidz Macbeth. Salford Lowry. Shakespeare’s play adapted for kids.

Jan 22-Feb 8: Once a Catholic. Liverpool Royal Court. New play directed by Kathy Burke. Jan 23: Jason Manford. Blackpool Grand Theatre. Stand-up comedy. Jan 23-25: Cirque Berserk. Salford Lowry. Death-defying feats from an award-winning circus. Jan 23-25: Little Shop of Horrors. Runcorn Brindley. Stage musical from the 1960s Bmovie of the same name. Jan 24: Motown’s Greatest Hits. Preston Charter Theatre. Greatest songs from Motown. Jan 24: Nights on Broadway. The Bee Gees Story. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Jan 24-26: Fawlty Towers Dining Experience. New Brighton Floral Pavilion. Join Basil, Sybill and Manuel for the meal experience of a lifetime! Jan 25: The Treorchy Male Choir. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. One of the greatest

choral ensembles of all time. Jan 25: Brendan Cole: Licence to Thrill. Manchester Opera House. Strictly Come Dancing star’s own spectacular dance show. Jan 25: Let’s Hang On. Stoke Regent Theatre. Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Jan 26: Brendan Cole: Licence to Thrill. Liverpool Empire. Strictly Come Dancing star’s own spectacular dance show. Jan 26: The Pauline Daniels Xmas Comedy Cracker. Port Sunlight Gladstone Theatre. Music and myrrh. Jan 27-Feb 1: Thriller! Live. Manchester Opera House. Tribute to Michael Jackson. Jan 27-Feb 1: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Feel-good international sensation. Jan 31-Feb 1: Cirque Berserk. Southport Floral Hall. Fantastic circus.

450,000 readers. Call us NOW! . . .

WE’RE GOING PLACES IN 2014!

0151 230 0307

TAKE ME HOME!


All Together NOW!

32

December/January 2014

The Accumulator Quiz

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

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DOWN

1. 4. 8. 10. 11. 12. 14. 16. 17. 19. 22. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 13. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Front (6) Upward slope (6) Invertebrate (6) Sell door to door (6) Large stream (5) Paddled (6) Clandestine (6) Follow orders (4) Ripped (4) Catch sight of (4) Pace (4) Very strict (6) Boredom (6) Later (anag.) (5) Stimulus, boost (6) Threefold (6) German songs (6) Pal (6)

32

Each question has four possible answers and is worth from one to 15 points. Circle your chosen answers and keep a record of your points total. Maximum total points 120. QUESTION 1 – for 1 point: What territory did the Russians sell to America for two cents an acre in 1867? A Alaska B The Virgin Islands C Hawaii D New Mexico

QUESTION 10 – for 10 points: In which country was Pilsener lager first brewed?

QUESTION 2 – for 2 points: What does a philatelist collect? A Books B Medals C Railway memorabilia D Postage stamps

QUESTION 11 – for 11 points: Which disease is transmitted by the tsetse fly?

QUESTION 3 – for 3 points: Which spice adds a yellow colour to Indian curry dishes? A Cardamom B Turmeric C Cumin D Chilli

QUESTION 12 – for 12 points: Who was the first castaway on Desert Island Discs?

A B C D

A B C D

A B C D

QUESTION 5 – for 5 points: In which of these continents is the Appalachian mountain range? A Europe B Asia C North America D Australasia

A B C D

Air vice marshal Group captain Air commodore Wing commander

QUESTION 6 – for 6 points: Which of these services is monitored by the body known as Ofsted? A Consumer protection B Water C Police D Education

Malaria Sleeping sickness Yellow fever Legionnaire’s disease

Arthur Askey Gracie Fields George Formby Vic Oliver

Madagascar Borneo Sri Lanka Easter Island

QUESTION 14 – for 14 points: On which Shakespeare play was the film The Boys From Syracuse based?

QUESTION 8 – for 8 points: Who wrote an autobiography about his early years entitled Boy? A B C D

Switzerland Germany Czech Republic Belgium

QUESTION 13 – for 13 points: Through which of these islands does the equator pass?

QUESTION 7 – for 7 points: Which of these posts ranks highest in the Royal Air Force?

SUDOKU

A B C D

Roald Dahl Ian Fleming Christopher Fry Roddy Doyle

As You Like It Love’s Labours Lost The Comedy Of Errors Twelfth Night

QUESTION 9 – for 9 points: The metal used to make the Victoria Cross is taken from guns used in which battle?

QUESTION 15 – for 15 points: Actress Geraldine McEwan was married for 49 years to Hugh Cruttwell, principal of which arts organisation?

A B C D

A B C D

Waterloo The Somme Sebastopol Rorke’s Drift

Royal Academy of Music Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts Royal Ballet Royal Academy of Arts

KAKURO

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

EASY

DIFFICULT

4 6 1

A B C D

Actress Geraldine McEwan. See Question 15

QUESTION 4 – for 4 points: In which London square is the TV soap EastEnders set? A Albert B Victoria C Hanover D Leicester

Wince (6) Gambling room (6) Edict (6) Three-dimensional (6) Tolerate (6) Score (6) Neat (4) Nuisance (4) Abnormally fat (5) Wept (5) Helpful (6) Develop, disclose (6) Commend (6) Sharp cry (4) Let it stand (4) Great fear (6) Inflamed spot (6) Threaten (6)

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

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

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SAY THAT AGAIN . . .

RESOLVE to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment — Sydney Smith, 19th C English writer

WE SPEND January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives . . . not looking for flaws, but for potential — Ellen Goodman, American journalist


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

December/January 2014

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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.

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3 DEF

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8 TUV

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Spaces and any punctuation marks are represented by 1.

1. Stoneware items 227 737 653 158 418 192 551 752 783 124 313 474 176 871 269 873 361 752 683 712 331 768 183 217 378 174 331 752 83 4. Watch brands 847 768 173 566 321 446 371 367 745 134 519 364 841 276 264 639 182 414 383 717 241 663 421 248 493 228 747 8

273 337 518 633 423

2. Film actors 326 691 338 486 194 764 841 276 653 172 793 634 437 132 643 724 414 844 147 268 669 153 315 663 715 164 246 576 6

566 373 184 928 612

5. Desserts 252 626 264 316 687 922 245 466 312 786 142 312 732 617 672 795 522 821 428 328 337 322 531 535 591 568 218 278

PATHWORDS

SPOT CHECK

Starting from the central shaded letter, move one letter at a time (up, down, right or left, but not diagonally) to find the surnames of 18 English footballers.

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 9?

551 492 512 186 225

3. Types of pasta 622 276 641 736 631 666 353 713 273 255 317 724 438 841 728 465 413 874 554 122 735 541 527 246 318 376 423 554 186 783 554 641 744 286 64

731 253 381 124 728

6. Book genres 246 472 749 173 544 164 548 279 123 836 314 677 671 763 879 284 661 447 867 917 736 231 735 314 357 626 231 274 63

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

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1. The Hubble telescope is placed into earth orbit by the space shuttle Discovery.

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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 man’s name.

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HEART WIND

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PATONCE 1) In heraldry, a cross having four arms expanding in curves from the centre;

F

2) A French sailing vessel with an arched keel and a steeply raked stem and stern;

2. Conservative MP Ian Gow is killed by an IRA car bomb.

3) A wooden sole, mounted on an iron ring, to raise the shoe above the mud.

3. Customs officers on Teesside seize parts of a suspected ‘supergun’ destined for Iraq.

Add the given letter to the first word to make a new word. Clue: Destiny forms the outline of the story.

WAS IT? a) 1987; b) 1988; c) 1989; d) 1990; e) 1991.

___ +P=P___

466 887 134 333 176

WORD WIZARD

2

K

MISSING LINK

––––

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

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

BREAK

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DIALLING CODES

CROSS CODE 7

All Together NOW!

ALL THE ANSWERS Pathwords: Terry; Smith; James; Fowler; Redknapp; Beckham; Robinson; Campbell; Southgate; Heskey; Lampard; Owen; Rooney; Ferdinand; Neville; Hargreaves; Gerrard; Cole.

4 2 3 1 7 9 8 6 5

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KAKURO MEDIUM

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ADVERTISE HERE 0151 230 0307

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Accumulator Quiz 1 – A; 2 – D; 3 – B; 4 – A; 5 – C; 6 – D; 7 – A; 8 – A; 9 – C; 10 – C; 11 – B; 12 – D; 13 – B; 14 – C; 15 – B. Starspot Crossword Across – 1 Façade; 4 Ascent; 8 Insect; 10 Peddle; 11 River; 12 Canoed; 14 Secret; 16 Obey; 17 Tore; 19 Espy; 22 Step; 26 Severe; 27 Tedium; 28 Alter; 29 Fillip; 30 Triple; 31 Lieder; 32 Friend. Down – 1 Flinch; 2 Casino; 3 Decree; 5 Stereo; 6 Endure; 7 Twenty; 9 Tidy; 10 Pest; 13 Obese; 15 Cried; 18 Useful; 19 Evolve; 20 Praise; 21 Yelp; 22 Stet; 23 Terror; 24 Pimple; 25 Impend. Star Name: SOPHIA LOREN

Word Wizard No 1 is correct. A patonce is a heraldic cross. Dialling Codes 1. casserole; jug; vase; wall plaque; cheese dish; soup bowl; tureen; planter; coffee pot; tea service; side plate. 2. Danny DeVito; Will Smith; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Daniel Craig; Hugh Grant; Tommy Lee Jones; Jack Nicholson. 3. macaroni; penne; noodles; farfalle; spaghetti; ravioli; fusilli; capelli; lasagne; vermicelli; tortellini; rigatoni. 4. Tissot; Sekonda; Longines; Fossil; Diesel; Zenith; Armani; Timex; TAG Heuer; Swatch; Omega; Citizen;

Accurist. 5. blancmange; mousse; zabaglione; crumble; ice cream; sorbet; syllabub; gateau; cheesecake; jelly; pavlova; tart. 6. biography; religion; military; adventure; horror; poetry; fiction; history; reference; self-help; romance; crime. Spot Check A = 1; B = 4; C = 6; D = 3; E = 2; F = 5. Missing Link good; earth; ring; arch; lion; down. Name: Gerald. Make a Date The year was 1990. Transformer Lot + P = Plot.

REACH 450,000 READERS . . .

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34

All Together NOW!

SHOPMOBILITY n ALTRINCHAM. Tel 0161 929 1714 n ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE. Tel 0161 339 9500 n BARROW. Tel 01229 434039 n BIRKENHEAD. Tel 0151 647 6162 n BLACKBURN AND DARWEN. Tel 01254 690566 or 07757 502217 n BLACKPOOL. Tel 01253 349 427 n BOLTON. Tel 01204 392946 n BURY. Tel 0161 764 9966 n CARLISLE. Tel 01228 631564 n CHESTER. Tel 01244 312626 n CHORLEY. Tel 01257 260 888 n COLWYN BAY. Tel 01492 533822 n CREWE. Tel 01270 580 031 n ELLESMERE PORT. Tel 0151 355 1420 n KENDAL. Tel 01539 740 933 n LEIGH, Wigan. Tel 01942 777 985 n LIVERPOOL. Tel 0151 707 0877 n MANCHESTER Trafford Centre. Tel 0161 747 2684 n MANCHESTER Arndale Centre. Tel 0161 839 4060 n NELSON. Tel 01282 692 502 n NORTHWICH, Vale Royal Tel 01606 288820 n OSWESTRY. Tel 01691 656882 n PENRITH. Tel 01768 895 438 n PRESTON. Tel 01772 204 667 n RHYL. Tel 01745 350665 n ROCHDALE. Tel 01706 865 986 n RUNCORN, Halton Lea Tel 01928 716971 n SHREWSBURY. Tel 01743 236900 SKELMERSDALE. Tel 01695 550066 n SOUTHPORT. Tel 0151 288 6885 n ST HELENS. Tel 01744 613 388 n STOCKPORT. Tel 0161 666 1100 n WARRINGTON. Tel 01925 240064 n WARRINGTON. Birchwood Tel 01925 822 411 n WIGAN. Tel 01942 776 070 n WINSFORD. Tel 01606 557550 n WREXHAM. Tel 01978 312390 MIDLANDS n BIRMINGHAM. Snow Hill Railway Station. Tel 0121 236 8980. Level 2, Centre Car Park, Bullring. Tel 0121 616 2942 n STAFFORD. Tel 01785 619456 n STOKE ON TRENT. Tel 01782 233333 n SUTTON COLDFIELD. Tel 0121 355 1112 n TAMWORTH. Tel, 01827 709392 n WALSALL. Tel 01922 650781 n WEST BROMWICH: Sandwell. Tel 0121 553 1943 n WOLVERHAMPTON. Tel 01902 556021

December/January 2014

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

New polio award for Graham and Jean

CARERS’ CENTRES

0

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NEW award that recognises the outstanding support being given to people with polio has been won by Graham Cox and his wife, Jean. The Barbara Wood Citizenship Award PROUD: Jean and Graham Cox with Pamela Jones, was set up in honour of Barbara Wood, seated, chairman of The British Polio Fellowship who joined The British Polio Fellowship in the 1960s. receive this first award in her name means more Since then, Barbara has dedicated her life to than I can say. Thank you to all those people who serving the community and remains an active nominated us.” member of the Merseyside branch. Ted Hill, chief executive of the BPF, said: “It was Graham Cox contracted polio in 1955 and spent felt Barbara’s immense contribution to both The 11 months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. British Polio Fellowship and the wider community Supported by his wife Jean, he has been raising deserved to be recognised and that the best way money for the Fellowship since 1990. to do this was to create an award in her honour.” Graham said: “Barbara remains an inspiration to n British Polio Fellowship on 0800 018 0506 many people with polio in Merseyside, so to

HELP AT THE END OF A PHONE n ANGLESEY:

TARAN Tel 01407 721933 n BLACKPOOL Disability Information and Support. Tel 01253 472 202. Textphone 01253 476 450 n CHESHIRE CIL Tel 01606 331853 n CHESTER Dial House Tel 01244 345655 n DENBIGHSHIRE Tel 01745 354445 n ELLESMERE PORT DICE Tel 0151 355 1420 n HALTON Disability Service Tel 01928 717222 n KNOWSLEY DISABILITY CONCERN. 0151 480 4090 n LANCASTER DISC Tel 01524 34411 n LIVERPOOL Association of Disabled People. Tel 0151 263 8366. Text 0151 260 4076 n MERSEYSIDE Coalition of Inclusive Living. Tel 0151 260 4001 n NEUROSUPPORT Centre Tel 0151 298 2999 n MANCHESTER (GTR) Coalition of Disabled People Tel 0161-273 5154 n MOLD Flintshire Disability Tel 01352 755546 n NELSON: Pendle Pakistan Welfare Association. Tel 01282 603 616 n PRESTON DISC: Tel 01772 558 863. Textphone 01772 204 787 n RHYL Tel 01745 350665 n STOCKPORT: Disability Stockport. 0161 480 7248 n WARRINGTON Disability

Partnership. 01925 240064 WIRED Tel 0151 670 1500 n WEST LANCS HELPLINE Freefone 0800 220676 n ST HELENS DASH Tel 01744 453053 n WREXHAM Tel 01978 262955 MIDLANDS BIRMINGHAM Disability Resource Centre Tel 0121 789 7365 Disabled People’s Network Solihull Tel 0121 788 1544 STOKE: Disability Solutions Tel 01782 683800 WOLVERHAMPTON Elder and Disabled Group Tel 01902 448552 n WIRRAL

ORGANISATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND n ACCRINGTON Tel 01254 233332 n BARROW Tel 01229 820698 n BIRMINGHAM Action for Blind Tel 0121 665 4200 n BLACKBURN Tel 0125 554143 n BLACKPOOL: N-Vision Tel 01253 362696 n BURY Tel 0161 763 7014 n BURNLEY Tel 01282 438507 n CARLISLE: Action for Blind People Tel 01228 595121 CHESHIRE & N WALES: Vision Support. Tel 01244 381515 n CUMBRIA (West) Tel 01946 592474 n CUMBRIA (Sth Lakeland) Tel 01539 726613 n GUIDE DOGS Tel 0118 983

5555 n HENSHAW’S 0161 872 1234 Tel 0151 708 7055 n LIVERPOOL: Bradbury Fields.Tel 0151 221 0888: Action for Bind Tel 0151 298 3222 n MANCHESTER: Action for Blind Tel 0161 787 9252 n PRESTON: Action for Blind People Tel 01772 320550 n OLDHAM Tel 0161 682 8019 n ROSSENDALE Tel 01706 873256 n SIGHTLINE (North West) Tel 0800 587 2252 n WIGAN Tel 01942 242891 n WIRRAL Tel 0151 652 8877 ORGANISATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF n BIRMINGHAM Institute for Deaf Tel 0121 246 6101 n CHESHIRE Deaf Society Tel 01606 47831 n CUMBRIA Deaf Society Tel 01228 606434 n LANCASHIRE (EAST) Deaf Society Tel 01282 839180 n MANCHESTER Deaf Centre Tel 0161 273 3415 Genie Networks. Tel 0161 941 4549. Text 18001 0161 941 4549 n MERSEYSIDE Society for Deaf Tel 0151 228 0888 n ST HELENS: Deafness Resource Centre Tel 01744 23887 n WOLVERHAMPTON Centre for Deaf Tel 01902 420904 n N WALES Deaf Association, Tel 01492 542235

n ACCRINGTON Tel 01254 387 444 n BLACKBURN with DARWEN Tel 01254 688 www.bwdcarers.org n BLACKPOOL Blackpool Borough Council, Tel 01253 477 716 n CUMBRIA Carlisle. Tel 01228 542 156 Penrith. Tel 01768 890 280 Barrow-in-Furness. Tel 01229 822 822 Kendal. Tel 01539 732 927 Whitehaven, Tel 01946 592 223 n CHESHIRE Helpline: 0800 085 0307 n KNOWSLEY Tel 0151 549 1412 n LANCASTER Tel 01524 66475 n LIVERPOOL Tel 0151 705 2307 n MANCHESTER Tel 0161 835 2995 n MORECAMBE Tel 01524 833456 n PRESTON Tel 01772 200173 n RUNCORN Tel 01928 580182 n WIDNES Tel 0151 257 9673 n SALFORD Tel 0161 833 0217 n SEFTON Tel 0151 288 6060 n ST HELENS Tel 01744 675 615 n STOCKPORT Tel 0161 456 2808 n WARRINGTON Tel 01925 644 212 n WEST LANCS Tel 01695 711243 n WIGAN & LEIGH Tel 01942 683711 MIDLANDS n BIRMINGHAM Tel 0121 675 8000 n SOLIHULL Tel 0121 788 1143 n WALSALL Tel 01922 610 810 NORTH WALES n ANGLESEY Tel 01248 722828 n BANGOR Tel 01248 370 797 n CONWY Tel 01492 533714 n DENBIGHSHIRE: NEWCIS, Tel: 0845 603 3187 n DOLGELLAU Tel 01341 421167 n FLINTSHIRE: NEWCIS, Tel: 01352 751436 n WREXHAM CARERS SERVICE Tel: 0800 276 1070

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October/November 2013

All Together NOW!

Fox leads the way as swimming records tumble SEVEN World and 15 European records were broken in a fantastic display of disability swimming at the National Open Short Course Championships. The first to set a new World record was Jonathan Fox (Manchester HPC/Newquay Cormorants SC) in the S7 100m Backstroke. The 22 year-old touched in a new time of 1.08.51, knocking a second and a half off the previous record. Fox’s performance was quickly followed by 14 year-old Alice Tai (South East) who set a new European record in the 100m Backstroke for the

Frederiksen calls a day PARALYMPIAN Heather Frederiksen has announced her retirement from swimming after a career of six years at the top. Frederiksen, 28, from Leigh, was one of six British athletes to stand on the top of the podium at the London 2012 Paralympic Games after swimming to victory in the S8 100m Backstroke. The multiple-world record holder made her international debut for British Para-Swimming at 20 years old and didn’t look back, scoring a total of 20 international accolades in her career including 10 gold medals. Heather said: “It was a really tough decision but I haven’t been in the best of health for the past two seasons. “I recently got married and we are starting a family. I am expecting my first child and I can’t wait to be a mummy.”

Manchester’s big splash MANCHESTER is to be British Para-Swimming’s only high performance centre, following a decision not to renew a contract with Swansea. The Manchester Centre will be refurbished and rebranded as the National Performance Centre - with a larger sports science team. National Performance Director Chris Furber said:“The city is home to a number of elite sports including taekwondo and cycling, and provides an excellent support network which we can utilise.” OLYMPIC bronze medallist Graeme Smith has been appointed the new British Para-Swimming National Coach. Smith, who won bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in the 1500m Freestyle, will work alongside Head Coach Rob Greenwood. Smith is excited to be part of a new team of coaches leading the biggest Paralympic sport and found the opportunity was hard to resist.

S10 class (1.09.56). Eleni Papadopoulos (Manchester Aquatics) was ecstatic with two European records. She clocked her times in the SM10 100m Individual Medley (1.12.79) and S10 100m Butterfly (1.10.05). Stephanie Slater (Preston Swimming Club) also set a European record in the S8 100m Butterfly (1.12.56). Stephanie knocked a commendable ten seconds off the old record. There was also memorable performances from Paralympic champions Josef Craig (South Tyneside Swim Team) (S7) and Eleanor

Simmonds (Loughborough University) (S6). Both touched in World record breaking times in their 400m Freestyle events - 4.32.38 and 5.27.58, respectively. Scores of British records were broken during the two days including Sascha Kindred (County Hereford), Oliver Hynd (Nova Centurion), Aaron Moores (Trowbridge ASC) and Hannah Russell (Kelly College, Tavistock). Thomas Hamer (North West) and Amy Marren (London) picked up the best performance trophies. n Full results are available on www.efds.co.uk

SMASH HIT: Gordon Reid claimed his second Nottingham Indoor title, beating Dutch top seed Maikel Scheffers

DOUBLE UP! G ORDON Reid and Jiske Griffioen won their second Nottingham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament titles, writes MARSHALL THOMAS.

Reid, Britain’s No.1 and world No.4, claimed his second men’s singles title in three years and Dutch world No.3 Griffioen secured her second successive Nottingham title. Second seed Reid and Dutch top seed Maikel Scheffers met in the men’s final in Nottingham for the third successive year after both having beaten each other in the last two finals, but 2011 champion Reid

proved strongest this time as he claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Second seed Griffioen dominated the women’s singles final, recording a 6-1, 6-1 victory after being forced to three sets last year by Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock. Andy Lapthorne retained his quad singles title beating Antony Cotteril 6-2, 6-1 - while Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley regained the women’s doubles title. Antony Cotterill and Adam Field also justified top seeding to win the quad doubles title.

Preston and Bolton to start the new season THE 2014 British calendar of wheelchair tennis tournaments get underway in February with the ITF 3 Series North West Challenge at South Ribble Tennis Centre, Preston. It is the first of two British-based tournaments taking place in successive weeks - Bolton Arena will also be hosting its first ever international wheelchair tennis event at the Arena Indoor ITF 2. The ITF Futures Series Sheffield

Stay ahead of the game

Wheelchair Tennis Tournament will have NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour status for the second year in a row in March, while another new addition is the ITF Futures Sunderland Open in June. Once again, one of the highlights of the summer will be the Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Event, in which new British women’s No. 1 Jordanne Whiley was a finalist this year. Nottingham Tennis Centre host

the British Open in July before the ITF 1 Series Nottingham Indoors returns there in November. Elsewhere, the Cardiff Wheelchair Tennis Tournament retains its ITF Futures Series status in October. Finally, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the setting in November for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end championship for the world’s leading singles players.

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Shooters shine in Spain GREAT Britain’s Disability Shooting Squad recorded their best ever result at the annual European Shooting Championships in Alicante, Spain. The 16-strong squad returned with eight medals - two golds, five silvers and a bronze - and set two new world and European records. Paralympian Matt Skelhon was Britain’s individual gold medallist taking the top podium spot in the R6 50m Rifle Prone Mixed SH1 - the event in which he won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Matt shot a fantastic qualification score of 626.2 - a new world and European record - and qualified for the finals in first place. He then secured another world record, shooting 206.9 to win gold. GB’s second gold came in the team competition where Richard Davies, Adam Fontain and Ryan Cockbill won the R4 10m Air Rifle Standing Mixed SH2. James Bevis won the individual silver in the same competition. There was also an individual silver medal for British Paralympian Deanna Coates in the R2 10m Air Rifle Women SH1. The third silver medal came from Matt Skelhon, Lorraine Lambert and Benjamin Jesson who the team competition in the R3 10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed SH 1. There was another team silver for GB, this time from Georgina Callingham and James Bevis and Tim Jeffery in the R5 10m Air Rifle Prone SH 2. Other GB medals came from Lesley Baldwin and Karen Butler in the R8 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women SH1. n The GB squad: Owen Burke (Denbighshire), Deanna Coates (Yateley), Karen Butler (Bristol), Mandy Pankhurst (Ash), Lorraine Lambert (Portsmouth), Lesley Baldwin (Perthshire), Matthew Skelhon (Peterborough), Benjamin Jesson (Crawley), James Bevis (Teignmouth), Richard Davies (Stourbridge), Adam Fontain (Basildon), Ryan Cockbill (Birmingham), Georgina Callingham (Bourne End), Tim Jeffery (Newbury), Roy Carter (London) and Pamela Grainger (Bedfordshire).

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36

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

December/January 2014

POWER TO ATHLETES D

All Together NOW!

Top honour for Weir in Athens

Advisory body will make Paralympics even better

ISABLED athletes are set to have a new voice near the heart of the British Paralympic Association.

A new Athletes’ Commission – comprising seven athletes and two retired athletes – will be set up to advise the BPA. The BPA’s announcement came less than a month after it admitted there was not one disabled person among the “team leaders” heading the high-level preparations of 21 UK Paralympic sports in the lead-up to Rio 2016. In August a survey revealed that most of the UK’s leading disability sports organisations were controlled by nondisabled trustees and directors. BPA only had one disabled person on its board of nine directors. A BPA spokeswoman said:

by JOHN PRING

“We have always worked closely with our athletes and sought their opinion on plans and projects that we undertake for a Games; for example, we consulted with athletes at several points during the process for designing and developing the kit for London. “After London, we felt it was important to make the consultation process more systematic. “The commission will help us to ensure that the athlete voice in all our Games planning is even stronger than it has been previously and that athletes continue to be at the heart of all the BPA’s work.” The BPA says the Athletes’ Commission will represent athletes’ views to the board, executives and planning

groups for future Paralympic Games, in areas such as antidoping, team planning and preparation strategies, and arrangements for athletes’ villages. The seven athletes on the commission are footballer David Clarke, rower Tom Aggar, swimmer Claire Cashmore, athlete Stef Reid, skier Tim Farr, Sophie Christiansen from the equestrian team, and Ben Quilter from judo - were nominated by their own sports and fellow Paralympic athletes. They were elected from a list of 18 candidates, with nearly 500 athletes invited to cast two votes. Nearly 200 athletes took up the chance to vote. The two retired Paralympic athletes on the commission are rower Helene Dyson and wheelchair basketball’s Caroline Matthews.

Libby’s new role PARALYMPIAN Libby Clegg is a new ambassador for the Royal Blind charity. Libby, 23, an expupil at the Royal Blind School, said: “If it wasn’t for the Royal Blind School I don’t think I’d be the person I am now. They taught me to value myself and never to be embarrassed by my disability.”

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Stay ahead of the game

BRITAIN’S Paralympic wheelchair-racing hero David Weir scooped one of the biggest gongs of the night at the International Paralympic Committee’s 2013 Paralympic Awards in Athens. Weir received the award for Best Male which celebrated his London 2012 performance where he won gold medals in all his events - 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and marathon. Weir said: “It’s just great being recognised for what I did in London. It was an amazing achievement, and obviously the IPC could see competing in the T54 events and coming away with four gold medals was one of the toughest things in the world. I fulfilled my dream of coming away with four gold medals at a home Games.” Channel 4 won the award for Best Broadcast after showcasing more than 500 hours of London 2012 coverage; Telegraph Media Group won the Best Written (print and online) award; and BBC World Service won Best Radio. Best Female was won by wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer (NED); Best Female Debut by sprinter Marlou van Rhijn (NED); Best Male Debut by handcyclist Alex Zanardi (ITA); and Brazil’s 5-a-side Football team won Best Team.

President Phil

SIR Philip Craven has been re-elected as President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the world organisation for Paralympic sport. It will be his fourth and final term as President, a position which sees him direct and lead the Paralympic movement worldwide. Tim Reddish, chair of the British Paralympic Association, said: “Sir Philip has been a dedicated and passionate advocate of Paralympic sport and under his stewardship we have seen the Paralympic movement develop tremendously.”

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