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All Together Now!

What’s inside NEWS:

p2/3/4/5

WARRINGTON DISABILITY AWARENESS DAY p6-7 UNITED UTILITIES:

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Telephone: 0151 230 0307 Fax: 0151 220 4446

Who to contact Editorial Editor: Tom Dowling email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk

Advertising/sponsorship Chris Groves email: chris.groves@alltogethernow.org.uk

Want All Together Now! on audio tape? Give us a call . . .

NEXT EDITION: Wednesday Aug 2, 2006 All Together Now! is published by All Together Now! Ltd, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP Registered Charity No.1106387 Company No. 5096931 Printed by the Liverpool Daily Post & ECHO, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB

June/July 2006

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NEWS

Opening doors at Number 10 Prostate NUMBER 10 Downing Street IS accessible for wheelchair users – and that’s official, says a Number 10 insider. The statement comes after complaints from a 10-year-old boy who saw a news clip in which a disabled girl had to be lifted into the Prime Minister’s address. Wheelchair-user Nathan Giles, who has cerebral palsy, wrote to the PM complaining that there was no ramp at the entrance to Number 10. He copied in Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Minister for Disabled People, who accompanied Nathan to Downing Street with 30,000 pledges backing national disability charity Scope’s Time to Get Equal campaign, which calls for equality for disabled people. Mr Hunt said: “Nathan raises a very good point that it is not acceptable for an iconic building such as 10 Downing Street not to have appropriate facilities available for disabled people. “I feel immensely strongly that disabled people must be able to enjoy the same life chances as their non-disabled counterparts. “This is the reason why I am backing Scope’s Time to Get Equal campaign and I was delighted to be able to visit

cancer film for deaf

THE PROSTATE Cancer Charity has produced its first sign language video and DVD. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect UK men, yet there is still an alarming lack of awareness and embarrassment about the disease among the UK population.

Downing Street with Nathan to hand over the pledge cards which have been collected during the campaign.” Scope chief executive Tony Manwaring said: “The pledges demonstrate the public’s commitment to ending disablism. “However we realise that there is still a lot of work to be done

before disabled people enjoy the same life chances as non disabled people as pledged by the government.” The Downing Street spokesman said that a ramp is generally available for wheelchair-users to gain access to Number 10, but it had been temporarily moved when Nathan had seen the news item.

The difficulties in understanding and coming to terms with the disease can be even greater for some of the 70,000 British Sign Language users who have been shown to experience difficulties in accessing help from GPs. The video explains the most common prostate problems, possible symptoms, risk factors to be aware of and the next stage in a diagnosis.

Marathon

Branching out for charity NEW Start, the North West heart and lung transplant charity, has opened a unique forest of remembrance in Lymm, Cheshire. The ‘Life for a Life’ Memorial Forest – one of 25 across the UK – invites people to remember lost loved ones or mark a special occasion by planting a tree. As well as planting trees, people can also sponsor a bench or picnic table. Janice Taylor of New Start said: “As well as being a special place to remember and reflect, the forest will help us raise the final amount towards the £1 million we need to bring the first cardiac magnetic resonance scanner to the North West. “This scanner helps the diagnosis and monitoring of all types of heart diseases and will be a massive boost for the region.” The Lymm Memorial Forest is located adjacent to Sow Brook on the Trans Pennine Trail.

New Start, based at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, has raised more than £6 million and offers vital help to heart and lung transplant patients by providing medical equipment, patient care facilities and support groups. Contact Janice Taylor, tel 0161 945 2166

DIGGING DEEP: Left to right: Douglas Graham, chairman, New Start; Pamela Marks, chair, Lymm Parish Council; Karen Mundry, mayoress of Warrington; Ian Marks; Hans Mundry, mayor of Warrington; and John Roberts, chief executive, United Utilities. PICTURE: JOHN KING

Introducing the video is Clark Denmark, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Deaf Studies at University of Bristol and BSL presenter for programmes such as the BBC’s See Hear. Mr Denmark, 57, was successfully treated for the disease in 2001. He said: “This is a vital start to giving men who are deaf the information they need in their own language.” Mr Denmark’s daughter, Cheryl, 28, a graphic designer, helped kick-start the project. Cheryl said: “I had this crazy idea that I could run a London marathon and raise some money to fund a signed video to help people like my dad. “Two years later my dream has become a reality.” Your BSL Guide to the Prostate Gland is available to download from the charity’s website www.prostate cancer.org.uk n Helpline: 0845 300 8383. Textphone, 0845 300 8484.

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June/July 2006

All Together Now!

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NEWS

Can YOU help us to help YOU?

STAR LETTER

Hello!

Congratulations — all the way from Central America

IT’S GREAT to be back – and great to be able to introduce our two new big name partners . . . Cheshire Building Society and Everton Football In The Community are doing tremendous work in the community. To have them on board is absolutely terrific! Together with our other partners – United Utilities, Merseytravel and Liverpool Community College – we can really make a difference. It’s been a fantastic few months since our

first birthday edition. Our popularity is increasing (see the letter from Costa Rica on this page) and we are hearing some great stories about how the magazine is helping people from all over the region. Top of the agenda now, though, is trying to encourage more commercial support to help us to expand our service. Hopefully, we’ll be able to announce a few more partners when we print again – on Wednesday August 2. In the meantime, enjoy this edition – and please continue to send in your articles.

— Tom Dowling, editor

All Together Now! is a registered charity, set up with just one aim – to provide a tip top news service for anyone whose lives are affected by disability, long-term health conditions, or age. The charity relies entirely on support from its partners, advertisers and from general subscriptions and grants.

Deaf singer Caroline is ready to bring the house down

F

OLLOWING sell-out performances at The Drill Hall London and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, deaf sign singer Caroline Parker is on her way to the North West – the last stop in her current UK tour. Signs of a Diva tells the story of undertaker Sue Graves and her transformation into Tammy Frascati, club singer extraordinaire. Her friends are the flat, vinyl sort – strong vulnerable women she identifies with – Judy, Aretha, Nina, Dolly, Dusty, and Patsy - and when the time comes for her to make a life-changing decision

she calls on these women to assist her, and itakes us to a world of classic lyrics and melodies. Performing to a soundtrack that includes iconic performances from divas down the decades, Caroline, as Tammy, interprets, translates, signs and tells the stories of songs that have touched a generation of music lovers - but it is Sue’s story that touches the heart. The show is written by Nona Shepphard who has penned and directed seven legendary all women pantos at The Drill Hall, as well as Crazy Lady (Lincoln, Leicester, Drill Hall, New York), Tobacco Road (Nottingham

SIGNED SONGS: Caroline Parker on her way to the Bollington Arts Centre, Macclesfield

Playhouse) and Café Vesuvio (Royal Exchange, Manchester). Nona also directs the production alongside Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company. The performance is a celebratory way of bringing deaf and hearing people together; an evening making old songs new – for hearing people seeing them signed, and for deaf people who may have never known the words and stories of the songs. n The show comes to the Bollington Arts Centre, Wellington Road, Bollington, Macclesfield. on June 28. Box Office 01625 574410

All Together Now! continues to attract lots of interest from readers right across the globe! Here’s one of our latest letters — from Costa Rica! CONGRATULATIONS on a fantastic magazine! About five years ago my mother decided that we should begin to look after my uncle who suffers from Parkinson’s. It really opened our eyes and made us realise that there are a lot of people in the world that don’t let anything get in their way – as you say in your magazine. We have sinced moved to Costa Rica, Central America where my mother and uncle were born. We feel that Costa Rica needs this sort of magazine to bring the community together.It was by pure chance I found your website and I knew then that it was worth us giving it a go. We have got a lot of support over here but we will be keeping a close eye on your work and would like to stay in touch with you. Our magazine will be printed in Spanish. When it’s published we will send you a copy for review! — Clair-Marie Robertson, Costa Rica

Blooming good luck WINNERS of our streptocarpus plant collection gardening competition are: Mrs C Bevins, Ormskirk, Lancs. Mrs Bevins picked up her copy at Ormskirk Council office. Jean Pressley, Wythenshawe, Manchester. Jean picked up her copy at Warrington Hospital. Jo Kilty, Bramhall, Cheshire. Jo picked up her copy at Cheshire libraries. Maralyn Land, Wrexham. Maralyn picked up her copy from the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Mrs M Kelly, Thornton, Liverpool. Mrs Kelly picked up her copy at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool


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All Together Now!

June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

NEWS

Fancy dancin’? Film provides help to faith communities A NEW film that highlights how faith communities can support people with learning disabilities is to get a London premiere in June. Religious leaders will be at the screening of Faith in Practice, taking place at the Globe Theatre on Thursday, June 8. The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, who made the film, say the film examines how the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu faiths can support people with learning disabilities. Hazel Morgan, the charity’s codirector, says; “Many people with learning disabilities value being part of a faith community but rarely get the support they need to fulfil their spiritual or religious needs.” Faith in Practice is on DVD and video at £12.50 but is free to people with learning disabilities and family carers. n The film is part of the FPLD’s ongoing work into religion and spirituality. Tel 020 7803 1100 n www.learningdisabilities.org.uk

D

ANCERS of all abilities are stepping out to stage a summer spectacular at the Waterside Arts Centre, in Sale, Cheshire. The two-hour long performance includes touch and sensory dance, and features appearances by dance groups including Konnect 2 (Wigan); Needs to Dance (Bolton); Stepping Stones (Salford); Transitional (Oldham); Dodeka (Trafford) and Oakwood Youth Group (Salford). There will also be an exclusive performance by the world-renowned and Manchester-based Touchdown Dance Company. Vicky Fletcher, arts development officer for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust says: “It is a great opportunity for us to

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showcase the talent and appetite there is for dance across Greater Manchester and to forge new partnerships. “Touchdown Dance Company has a great reputation and is passionate about bringing people with disabilities together with non-disabled dancers to share in the joy of dance performance.” Louise Rowley, community arts coordinator, at Fred Longworth High School in Atherton, says: “We want to inspire more people to become actively involved in dance.” n Tickets for the event on Friday June 2, 7pm, are available by calling 0161 912 5616. n For information about the opportunities to become involved in dance, contact Vicky Fletcher on 01942 486918.

Get the next SIX magazines delivered straight to your door — for just a tenner!

Please send this form to: All Together Now! The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14

M

ORE than 5,000 disabled people across the UK are to be offered first aid training, thanks to a £394,700 Big Lottery grant to the British Red Cross. This specialist training will provide practical skills and knowledge to help develop confidence when dealing with emergencies and day-to-day personal care. Forty-two disabled people will be also be recruited and supported to become volunteer educators and trainers in first aid. Caroline Hattersley at the Red Cross said: “This ground-breaking project will enable us to deliver high quality training throughout the UK to people with disabilities. “During the pilot phase of the project more than120 people were trained in first aid, including people with wide-ranging disabilities. “This meant that the way each skill was taught needed to be adapted for participants’ particular abilities and learning styles. For example, a wheelchair user was taught how to instruct another person to place a casualty in the recovery position.” The Spinal Injuries Association also received £220,390 from the Big Lottery Fund for their Healthy,

First aid courses for over 5,000 disabled people Wealthy and Wise project which will help empower people with spinal injuries by increasing their confidence and knowledge, and helping them to manage their own ageing process and return to, or gain, employment. SIA’s executive director Paul Smith said: “This funding means we will be able to offer a specialist support service for people wishing to return to or regain employment after injury, and we will be able to extend the support and advice we provide as they age with their condition.” One of the SIA’s members to have benefited from the group’s specialist advice service is BBC TV Newsnight producer, Jonathan Bell, who was injured in 1993 while serving in the army as an infantry soldier. n The British Red Cross: 0870 170 7000 www.redcross.org.uk n Spinal injuries Association: 0900 980 0501 www.spinal.co.uk

Motor neurone group reaches out MERSEYSIDE Motor Neurone Disease Association is keen to hear from people wanting to help those with MND. Secretary Alun Owen says: “Anyone who would like to get involved with the group are inivited to our meetings,” They take place at The Packet Steamer, Northern Perimeter Road, Bootle, Liverpool, on July 12; August 23; October 4; November 8; and December 13. Contact: 0151 931 1808.

Mental health tackled in £165m scheme THE Big Lottery Fund is pumping £165 million into helping communities build healthier lifestyles. The new Wellbeing programme has a three-pronged focus, aiming to improve mental wellbeing, make people more physically active, and encourage children, parents and the wider community to eat more healthily. Changing attitudes and the stigma associated with mental health will be tackled along with developing preventative approaches to common mental health problems, including stress, depression and anxiety disorders. The funding will improve the ability of communities to organise and run projects that provide opportunities for people to become more active and will encourage those with the most sedentary lifestyles to increase their activity levels in daily life. n Contact, tel:

08454 10 20 30 www.biglotteryfund. org.uk

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June/July 2006

All Together Now!

NEWS

Let’s beat deafness T

HE Duke of York is backing an appeal to raise money for a new research centre that aims to restore hearing to deaf people – and to prevent deafness in those at risk. Deafness is the second most common disability in the UK, affecting almost nine million people. The new Ear Institute at University College London brings together nine leading research teams to create a world-class centre in hearing research. The Duke, who is Patron of Deafness Research UK, said: “The UCL Ear Institute is bringing the full range of scientific disciplines together under one roof for the first time in an attempt to understand the whole hearing process from the outer ear to the brain. “I am delighted to be supporting Deafness Research UK’s appeal to raise urgently needed funds to help fill the Institute with the young, talented scientists it needs to carry out its research programmes.” The Ear Institute is housed next

New help for people with Parkinson’s

to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London. Vivienne Michael, chief executive of Deafness Research UK, said: “Talented young scientists are the key to accelerating progress towards finding ways of curing or preventing deafness. “Our appeal aims to help the Ear Institute fill its labs with the researchers it needs to make the breakthroughs that will transform life for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people.”

ROYAL SUPORT: The Duke of York at the launch

PARKINSON’s patients with dementia can now benefit from a drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s. Exelon is the first medicine of its kind to be licensed by the European Medicines Agency for people with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is primarily a motornerve problem, causing shaking and rigidity. However, in many cases it is also associated with mental decline. Up to 40% of Britain’s 120,000 Parkinson’s patients suffer from varying degrees of dementia. Patients experience a wide degree of symptoms, including hallucinations, anxiety, apathy and depression. Dementia is the most likely reason for someone with Parkinson’s going into a nursing home. Dr Jane Byrne, senior lecturer at the University of Manchester and an expert in dementia, said: “This is extremely encouraging news. For the first time, there is a treatment proven to be clinically effective in some patients available for us to use.”

LIVERPOOL HAS A NEW TESCO STORE! Opening Monday 12th June A brand new superstore set to open in West Derby is involved in a unique partnership, which has offered local people real jobs.

Tesco is committed to creating jobs in the local community, which is a key part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the city of Liverpool.

The regeneration partnership – the largest of its kind in Merseyside - has created over 200 jobs at the new 25,500 sq ft Tesco superstore currently under construction on Deysbrook Lane, with almost half going to the long-term unemployed, single parents, and workers who have been made redundant.

“These are real jobs for local people,” said new store manager Andrew Bland. “Working for Tesco is more than a job - it is an opportunity to get in touch with others, make new friends and recognising that you can make a real contribution and a difference, where it matters, in your own community.”

The Deysbrook Partnership programme involves over 20 different agencies, led by JET Eastern Link (the Jobs, Education and Training Service) as the lead partner along with the Eastern Link Management Services group, Liverpool Community College, Jobcentre Plus and Tesco.

On Monday 12th June, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Joan Lang will officially open the new store. At 10am, Councillor Lang will accept a cheque donation for £1000 from store manager Andrew on behalf of the Mayoral Charity, before cutting the ribbon to declare the new store officially open.

Tesco, working alongside city agencies including the Adult Learning Service, are committed to generating jobs where they are needed most, removing barriers to work and also supporting healthy living.

A number of exciting events will be taking place at the store over the coming weeks, including family entertainment from 3.30pm on Monday 12th June, when Europe’s number one children’s show will be coming to town. The larger than life cuddly bear characters will be performing their children’s show, which includes sing-alongs, fun and games with prizes and give-aways.

The new full-time and part-time jobs include everything from cashiers and sales assistants to security officers and warehouse operatives. Among the successful applicants, who are now part of the Tesco team, is a teenager who is deaf, a husband and wife, ten single mothers and over 42 people who had previously been on income support.

The new superstore will boast quality value food ranges and offer customers a wide variety of other departments, including an electrical department. The store will also have a free customer car park with over 200 spaces. Tesco Liverpool Deysbrook store opening hours will be 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Tesco new store manager presents Imagine Appeal Office Manager Anne Hodgson with a cheque for £1000. Also pictured (back row) Tracy Sheridan (Tesco Duty Manager), Jeanette Irwin (Tesco Duty Manager) and Graeme Gaton (Tesco Duty Manager). Patients sat on the bed (left to right): Louis Jones, 3, Hosen Ojora, 4, Kelsey Duncan, 9 and Dominic Murray, 12. As pictured, a number of toys were also donated to the ward.

Where to find us Tesco Liverpool Deysbrook Barracks Deysbrook Lane, West Derby, Liverpool

Opening hours 8am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday

What’s in store... Cookshop

Electricals

Cold meats & cheeses

Home entertainment

Health & beauty

Bakery products

Car care

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All Together Now!

June/July 2006

DISABILITY AWARENESS DAY

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

SUNDAY JULY 9, WARRINGTON

The best DAD in the world

OYEZ: Warm welcome from Peter Powell

A

RE YOU looking for an exciting and informative free day out for all the family this summer? Then get along to the annual Disability Awarenes Day – Europe’s largest voluntary-led disability event being held in the North West on Sunday, July 9, at Walton Hall Gardens (off the A56), Warrington. DAD 06 is our 15th annual event, and is organised by Warrington Disability Partnership – principally sponsored by Northwest Regional Development Agency. After the great success of last year’s DAD, where the attendance was in excess of 20,000 people, we are again expecting huge crowds. Past visitors have included delegates from Denmark, Italy, France, Sweden,

by DAVE THOMPSON chairman, Warrington Disability Partnership Germany, Austria, Belgium and Gibraltar. After visiting the Warrington event, the Gibraltar team returned home to set up their own annual DAD which was officially launched in 1997. Other similar awareness-raising events have also been held in Cornwall and Rotherham. The theme for this year’s show is “Can Do”. Every exhibitor has been requested to promote what disabled people can do and not to focus on negativity. The day will highlight the range of

independent living and support services offered by more than 250 statutory, business and voluntary organisations, and promote the latest technology and equipment aimed at maintaining or improving independence. The event will also showcase opportunities in the field of sports and arts through exhibitions and interactive events, providing something for all disabled people no matter what their level of impairment/disability. DAD 06 will include the “Slice of Life” film festival, which aims to promote disabled

We’re making the day enjoyable for everyone!

A selection of 2005 winners

Car Parking Public car parking is provided at the bottom of Walton Lea Road (off A56). The main tarmac covered area will be reserved for badge holders only (up to 320 cars). A further 700 cars can be parked on the overspill car park (this is a grass field and can involve a long walk to the event ground). Two free (accessible) Park & Ride scheme buses will operate from Daresbury Laboratory off the A56, and Priestly College off the A49.

Merseytravel

Wildflower Centre

The awards provide an opportunity for disabled people and carers to nominate Northwest employers, businesses, service providers or individuals that deserve recognition for promoting independence, delivering accessible and/or inclusive services, or maintaining exemplary employment practices. Nominate online at

www.positiveactionawards.org.uk

All together now Organised by

Sponsored by

Or call 01925 240064 for a nomination form Closing date 4th August 2006 Martin Yates

people in film-making as actors, producers or in story lines with a positive theme. Access and support are number one on our checklist, including a free accessible bus and Park & Ride services, British Sign Language interpreters, portable induction loops systems, wheelchair loan and an enabler service to help visitors around the beautiful gardens. We have already received pre-bookings from over 100 of last year’s exhibitors, so the message is if you are interested in exhibiting or taking part in the arts or sports arenas then please contact the Disability Awareness Day Administration Team NOW on 01925 240064. Or if you want more information visit the website at: www.disabilityawarenessday.co.uk

Wheelchairs & Enablers Forty wheelchairs are available on free loan. Trained voluntary enablers will be available. British Sign Language interpreters Two qualified BSL Interpreters will be available throughout the day, courtesy of Cheshire Deafness Support. Toilets Two unisex wheelchair accessible toilet units on site and one permanent unisex unit (hoist and changing plinth) in the toilet block adjacent to the entrance bridge.

Disability Awareness Day 2006 Walton Hall Gardens Warrington Sunday, 9th July, 10am to 5pm


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DISABILITY AWARENESS DAY

June/July 2006

All Together Now!

SUNDAY JULY 9, WARRINGTON

What a week THE WEEK leading up to Disability Awareness Day is packed with supporting events. All activities are free, unless stated, but please book early. Here’s the timetable: Sat July 1: Arts Showcase at Old Market Place Warrington. Artists from across the UK performing music and dance. Contact Phil Edwards, 01925 664057 Mon July 3: Access & Facilities Seminar at Walton Hall. Representatives from disability organisations, architects, builders and planners are invited to a workshop on access and facilities in line with the DDA 1995, Part M and BS 8300. 7pm-9.30pm. Contact Colin Whitfield, 01925 240064

FUN TIME: More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed the summer sunshine at last year’s Disability Awareness Day at Walton Hall Gardens. Organisers are expecting even more people to flock to Warrington for this year’s event.

Tues July 4: Positive Action Awareness event for schools at Walton Hall. 9am-12 noon. Contact Derek Jones, 01925 240064 Tues July 4: Employment & Disabled People at Walton Hall. Employers are invited to a workshop aimed at promoting ideas on recruitment, development and retention of disabled employees. 12.304pm. Contact Derek Jones, 01925 240064 Wed July 5: Tea in a Tent at Arts Marquee, Walton Hall Gardens, organised by Warrington Carers Centre. Advanced bookings required. 1pm-4pm. Contact Wyn Higham or Jenny Readman, 01925 644212 Wed July 5: Party in the Park for young disabled people at Marquee 3, Walton Hall Gardens. Organised by Planet Blue, a partnership project between NSPCC, Warrington Youth Club and Warrington Disability Partnership. Entertainment, music, food and lots to see and do. 6.30pm-10pm. Contact Jayne Horton, 01925 240064 Thurs July 6: Disability Equality Duty & disabled people at Walton Hall. Developmental workshop aimed at empowering disabled people to be effective partners in helping statutory service providers meet their mandatory requirements. 10am-4pm. Contact Leonard Cheshire, 01925 414115 or WDP, 01925 240064 Thurs July 6: Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing at Arts Marquee and Marquee 3. Workshops, complementary therapies, music, art and much more. 10am-4.30pm. Contact Janette Norton or Kerry Broadhead, 01925 843600 Thurs July 6: Festival of Life at Arts Marquee & Walton Hall. Learning Disability Services and Liverpool Diocesan Board for Social Care present an interactive evening of craft, drama, song and dance, culminating in a time of Christian Worship. 6pm-9.30pm. Contact Rev Pam Lovett, 01925 664000 Fri July 7: Mega Quiz Night Barbecue in the Park & Disco at Arts Marquee, Walton Gardens. Tickets, £7. 7.30pm-11.30pm. Contact Jon Menzies, 01925 240064 Sat July 8: Wheelchair basketball at Old Market Place, Warrington. 10am-5pm. Contact Colin Whitfield, 01925 240064

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All Together Now!

June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Beat the bogus caller • LOCK Home or away – keep all doors LOCKED

If in doubt

• STOP Is anyone EXPECTED? Is the back door LOCKED?

- keep them out Millions of pounds every year are taken by “doorstep criminals” who trick their way into people’s homes with the intention of stealing money or valuables or charging for work they haven’t done or goods that haven’t been asked for. They can often be very persuasive and plausible and will use any trick in the book to get into your home. Bogus callers come in all shapes and sizes – men, women, even children. They pretend to be “officials”, charity workers, tradesmen, property repairers and the like. They may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, the police, health organisations or gas, water or electricity companies. They may ask for a drink of water or to wash their hands. Some may say they are looking for a lost pet. Many often use “props” like an identity card or overalls with a company logo on them. They may point to electricity or water board vans further down your road as a way of legitimising their visit to your door. Often they work in pairs and while one distracts you at the front door another will nip in your back door and steal your valuables. The effects are often devastating and many victims report a huge impact on the quality of their life as a result. Some people feel so embarrassed at being conned that they choose not to report the crime. Many do not feel confident to stay independently in their own homes.

While the police and others are working hard to detect and prosecute the offenders, the good news is that this crime is easily preventable. If you are expecting a caller make sure you check their identification very carefully, even calling the number provided to check they are who they say they are. Only let someone in when you are absolutely sure that they are genuine. Genuine callers will always be happy to make an appointment to call and will carry an identity card with a photograph. They won’t mind waiting if you want to phone and confirm their identity or want to rearrange the appointment. At United Utilities all our employees carry identification cards with their photograph and customers can call us on 0845 746 2200 to verify whether or not the caller is genuine. To make it easier for our customers who are blind the card also has a contact number in Braille on the back. For extra peace of mind we also operate a password scheme for our ExtraCare customers which helps protect them against bogus callers who say they are from “the water board”. All you have to do is let us know the password you would like us to

• CHAIN Put the CHAIN ON before opening the door use if we visit you. That password will only be known to you and us so that when any of our employees visit you, you can ask them to give you the password before you let them in. And remember, if you are in any doubt, KEEP THEM OUT!

• CHECK Ask for caller’s ID Check it by PHONE Ask for your PASSWORD

Open your door with confidence

With our identity cards and ExtraCare password scheme you know exactly who is at your door.

ExtraCare

Are you disabled, elderly, seriously ill or do you have sight, hearing or learning difficulties? If so you could be eligible for a range of special services which United Utilities offers free to customers with extra needs, called ExtraCare. If you are visually impaired we can send you bills and letters in Braille or large print so they are easier to read. We operate a password scheme to stop Registering for bogus callers getting into your home. ExtraCare is easy We will also take extra steps to warn you just telephone us on if we need to shut-off your water supply.

0845 746 1100 or register online at:

www.unitedutilities.com 05/06/UUNW/DC/1691


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June/July 2006

All Together Now!

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

Public sector bosses under the spotlight A

N INVESTIGATION into the problems faced by disabled people wanting to train or work in teaching, nursing and social care has been launched by the Disability Rights Commission. The Disability Rights Commission’s review will form part of a 12-month Formal Investigation into how training, qualifying and working practices may be posing challenges to the entry and progress of disabled people. The DRC claim that disabled people are far less likely to be working in professional occupations like teaching, nursing

and social care than non-disabled people; that disabled people are still less likely than non-disabled people to be employed in the public sector; and that employers, colleges and regulatory bodies have difficulty deciding who is fit to work, study or register. Bert Massie, chairman of the DRC, says: “We want to see disabled people at the heart of British life and making a contribution to our public services. “Teaching, nursing and social care could benefit from employing and retaining more disabled people, including those with longterm health conditions. “However, these are highly regulated occupations and it appears from our initial work that

this may present a barrier to some disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.” The DRC says it has evidence of disabled people being prevented from entering or staying in public sector occupations, including when they become disabled in later life. Additionally, where disabled people enter training in these sectors, they are often pigeonholed into particular areas of that career where they may not wish to work. A recent DRC study found that only 11% of working age disabled people had public sector jobs compared with 18% of nondisabled people. It also showed that in the public sector, disabled

employees are less likely than non-disabled employees to occupy the more senior levels in professions such as nursing, teaching and social work. n From December 5 the public sector will have new obligations under the Disability Equality Duty. The duty will have a major impact on providers of health, education and social care services, who will have to show how they are proactively promoting equality for disabled people. n The Disability Equality Duty affects around 45,000 publicly funded organisations, including local authorities and government departments.

Make a film DEAF and disabled people across the North West wanting to make their own films are being invited to a new summer school. The project – Shoot to Thrill – is a 15day course taking place in Liverpool between 7-25 August 7-25, and is being run by North West Disability Arts Forum, in partnership with First Take Video, Toxteth Television and filmmaker, Anne Cunningham. The course, for people aged 18 and over, is free and fully accessible with BSL interpreters, audio describers and a PA. Training includes devising, scripting, filming and editing culminating in a short film that will be showcased nationally and internationally. Twelve places are available. Deadline for applications is Wednesday June 20. n Application forms from: NWDAF, 1/27 Bridport Street, Liverpool L3 5QF. Tel 0151 707 1733(V) 0151 706 0365. n Email: information@nwdaf.co.uk

CALLING HR MANAGERS . . . RECRUITMENT AGENCIES . . . WIDER PARTICIPATION/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT OFFICERS . . .

Is

DIVERSITY

high on your agenda?

Let our charity deliver your message to TENS of THOUSANDS of disabled and older people who are eagerly awaiting your announcements To advertise in these pages — AND on our sensational website —call Chris Groves

0151 230 0307 sales@alltogethernow.org.uk

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

Website lessons for lecturers

L i v e r p o o l C o m m u n i t y C o l l e g e s t u d e n t s re c e i v e t h e L e a r n i n g & S k i l l s B e a c o n A w a rd

DISABLED students in higher education are to benefit from more effective teaching and study methods, thanks to a new Internet project by The Open University. The launch of the Making Your Teaching Inclusive website provides practical advice about teaching inclusively for staff across the higher education sector. The site gives lecturers an insight into what study is like for disabled students through a series of case studies and video clips, and offers information on what staff can do to find solutions to many of the common barriers to learning. Will Swann, Director, Students, for the Open University, said the project and website offered a significant contribution in an increasingly important field for the higher

education sector. “The site encourages the adoption of an anticipatory and proactive approach in order for the learning needs of individuals to be recognised and met - and in order to create a learning environment that is inclusive by design.” The site also includes a series of resources for staff development; practical advice on meeting the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and information about different types of learning support, including assistive technologies and specialist staff. More than 9,000 people with disabilities study with The Open University each year. Disabled students are supported by teams of specialist staff - both at the university’s main campus in Milton Keynes and at the university’s 13 UK regional centres.

support for students is

outstanding Ofsted 2005

Over 26,000 learners Over 900 staff 6 centres of vocational excellence 21 drop-in centres throughout the community 13% of learners with a learning difficulty or disability Supported by the following teams:

• • • • • •

dyslexia; specific learning difficulties; visual impairment; hearing impairment; personal care team; physical disabilities. For further information contact:

0151 252 3000 www.liv-coll.ac.uk

GOOD ADVICE: Kathie’s experienceis helping people to find work

How Kathie can help you K

ATHIE Hare-Cockburn is fully aware of how difficult it can be to get on the jobs’ ladder – especially if you are disabled in some way. Kathie is profoundly deaf and knows all about the frustrations of trying to get work. However, she’s just landed her perfect role – giving one-to-one advice to help people into work. Kathie is the newly appointed integrated services officer at JET Eastern Link (Jobs, Education and Training) who are leading Liverpool’s Deysbrook regeneration partnership, which is set to create over 100 new jobs at the Tesco superstore. Liasing with Jobcentre Plus,

Liverpool Community College and the Adult Learning Services, she is advising potential recruits on a wide range of issues from childcare and transport to incapacity benefit and welfare rights. She says: “I am very proud to be associated with this partnership. “It is fantastic to be able to help local people into local jobs and I can obviously advise them through my own experience.” Kathie, who has two children April, 13, and Jake, 12, is based at the Dovecot Multi-Activity Centre. The Eastern Link neighbourhood services project attracted over 700 applicants for posts at the new Tesco store, which opens in June.


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Educational Projects

Community Support

Social Inclusion

Grass Roots Sport

Financial Education

June/July 2006

All Together Now!

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June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

June/July 2006

All Together Now!

EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . . BUSINESS . . . RIGHTS . . . FINANCE . . . EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . . BUSINESS . . . RIGHTS . . . FINANCE . . .

75,000 copies, 200,000 readers Where you can pick up your FREE copy

On course for a caring career? If you’re thinking about a career in health and social care, The Open University course Understanding health and social care is a great place to start. Our flexible, supported part-time courses allow you to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills without disrupting your work or home life.

n IN ADDITION to all your usual stockists,

All Together Now! is now also available at all 49 branches of the Cheshire Building Society and at Trinity Mirror NW centres. n Cheshire Building Society, 01625 434115 n Trinity Mirror NW, 0151 227 2000

Together we are making a difference

Understanding health and social care is practical and relevant. It draws on your own experience of care whether you’re in paid work, looking after a relative, using services or interested in health and social care issues. If you successfully complete the course you will be awarded The Certificate in Health and Social Care, which can boost your career prospects and be a springboard to further qualifications.

Connect to the power of learning now.

0870 900 0310

www.openuniversity.co.uk/hsc Quote code JHGABY To: The Open University, PO Box 625, Milton Keynes MK7 6YG Please send me the Health & Social Care Prospectus

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TO JOIN US CALL CHRIS GROVES, 0151 230 0307

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Your guide to the good things in life — the arts, the countryside, gardening, travel, and much, much more

08 for All – making Merseyside a destination of choice for disabled visitors n Spaceport at Seacombe Ferry Terminal — winner of The Mersey Partnership’s “Tourism for All” Award 2006

Let’s improve their business T

OURISM and leisure businesses need to make themselves more accessible – but on Merseyside real help is available in the lead up to 2008. Tourism for All is big business: Tomorrow’s tourists are more likely to be over 55, and if Merseyside attractions aren’t welcoming and accessible to them and to disabled people they’ll go elsewhere. And of course it helps local people who want to use the place as well. The Mersey Partnership featured a special “Tourism for All” award at its annual ceremony in May, and Spaceport, the new attraction at the Seacombe Ferry Terminal, carried off the prize. DaDa Fest also won an award in the category for the best Small Event, though it’s already the biggest disability arts festival in Europe, attracting people to the area from all over the UK and abroad. The business case for all

by PETER BATES Merseyside Disability Federation this is clear – more accessibility means more customers (and their families and friends spend money as well). The legal case is equally compelling - after 10 years of the Disability Discrimination Act no-one can get away with claiming ignorance. Making venues accessible needn’t cost the earth. The law doesn’t require every small café to put in a lift. People just have to do what’s “reasonable” for their business. How much does it cost to have one menu in large print . . ? But ignoring the law by not even considering what could be done isn’t reasonable and businesses around the country have already found this out in court. In Merseyside our “08 for All” project is there to help. We’re advising some major

new tourism projects on accessibility. We’re arranging for “mystery shopping” – disabled people coming from outside of the area to test out just how accessible places are. We’re also using our funds (from Europe and from local councils) to provide direct assistance for businesses. That’s where readers of All Together Now! can help. Is there somewhere you know that goes out of its way to welcome you? Or have you experienced a local hotel, restaurant or tourist attraction that needs improvements in accessibility or in its attitudes to disabled people? In many cases we can give a free advisory visit and a subsidised professional access audit, and we can also provide free or subsidised training. Cut out the advert on this page and give it to them. Get them to contact us. We want to help them get more customers – before those lawyers arrive.

Making Merseyside a destination of choice for disabled visitors

How accessible is your tourism business? Take advantage of a free advisory visit and much more.... As the Tourist Board for the Merseyside sub-region, The Merseyside Partnership is working with Merseyside Disability Federation and local authorities to improve the experience of all visitors to Merseyside.

l Free introductory advisory visit to your establishment.

l Subsidised participation in Welcome All (part of Welcome to Excellence customer service training). l Subsidised training tailored to your specific needs.

l Full Access Audit of your premises with a written report containing recommendations, with a subsidy of 75% (up to a maximum of £750 per business). l Reduced price first year membership of the National Accessible Scheme for hotels which meet this national standard.

contact Andrew Elliot Tourism Development Assistant, The Merseyside Partnership. Tel: 0151 237 3522 Email: 08forall@merseyside.org.uk

or

Peter Bates Information Officer, Merseyside Disability Federation. Tel: 0151 291 9570 Email: 08forall@merseydisability.org.uk

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June 2-3: Theatre Titanick Insect. Germany’s leading outdoor theatre specialists stage the UK premiere of a spectacular outdoor show. Tel: 0161 224 0020 June 7-11: Folk on the Coast, Wirral. Tel 0151 691 8454 June 8-10: Mobility Roadshow, Kemble, Swindon. Tel 0845 241 0390 June 11: Wirral Bikeathon. Tel 0151 632 0548 June 12-18: National Carers Week. See page 27. June 13: Chester Races Ladies Evening, The Racecourse. Tel 01244 304600 June 14: Carers Event, Liverpool Football Club. Tel 0151 705 2390 June 14-19: International Church Music Festival, Chester Cathedral. Tel 01244 402525 June 16-18: Folk and Boat Festival, Middlewich. Tel 01606 834575. June 16-18: Antiques and Fine Arts Fair, Arley Hall, Northwich. Tel 01565 777353 June 17: Bawming of the Thorn, Appleton Thorn, Warrington. Traditional treedressing celebration, the only one of its kind in England. Tel 01925 715145 June 18: Sefton Cycle Tour. Tel 01695 682020 June 20-21: Cheshire Show, Tabley, near Knutsford. Tel 01829 760020 June 17: Manchester Cycle Show. Tel: 01695 682020 June 17-25: Manchester Bike Week. Get on your bike and celebrate cycling during Manchester Bike Week. Tel: 0161 234 5000 June 17-18: Feast! - Picnic by the Lake. A mass midsummer picnic for all. Platt Fields Park, Fallowfield, Manchester. Sat, 7-10.30pm; Sun, 1-5pm. Free. June 24: Exodus Festival. A unique celebration of the arts and culture of Greater Manchester’s refugee communities. Hulme Park. Tel: 0161 234 2987 June 24-25: Midsummer Watch Parade, Chester city centre. Celebrating the equinox with a colourful cavalcade of medieval characters including a family of giants. Tel 01244 402330 June 24-25: Wirral International Kite Festival. Tel 0151 691 8269 June 24-25: Arley Garden Festival, Arley Hall, Northwich. Tel 01565 777353 June 30: Warrington Walking Day. Tel 01925 715145

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Your guide to what’s going on in the North West this summer

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENTS: CALL CHRIS GROVES: 0151 230 0307 July 1: Chester Races Roman Day. The Racecourse. Spectacular reenactments by imperial legionaries, chariot racing and living history events. Tel 01244 304600 July 1-2: Saxon Invasion! Salt Museum, Northwich. Tel 01606 41331 July 2: Liverpool-ChesterLiverpool Bike Ride. Tel 01695 682020 July 2: River Carnival and Raft Race, River Dee Tel 01244 679178 July 7-9: Chester Youth Games. Tel 01244 402277 July 9: Warrington Disability Awareness Day, Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington (see p6-7) July 14-16: International SWAP (Songwriters and Performers) Festival 2006. A fantastic weekend of musical talent. Various Manchester venues. Tel:

0161 832 1111 July 14-17: Circus Ronaldo - La cucina dell’Arte. Return of this ingenious circus theatre family. Platt Fields Park, Manchester. July 15-30: Chester Fringe Festival. Tel 01244 321497 July 19-23: Royal Horticultural Flowe Show, Hatton Park, Knutsford. Tel 0870 906 3810 July 20-23: Futuresonic International Festival 2006. The UK’s leading digital media and music festival. Various Manchester venues. www.futuresonic.com July 20-30: Contacting the World. A celebration of music, performance and dance. Manchester. July 20-Aug 6: King Arthur. Feelgood Theatre Productions present the world premiere of this epic adventure. Heaton Park, Manchester. Tel: 0161 236 7110 July 22: Chester Lord Mayor’s Parade. City centre and Roodeye. July 22-29: Starbucks Manchester JazzFestival. Various venues Improvise your summer with the foremost contemporary jazz festival in the North of England. Tel: 0161 228 0663 July 20-23: City of Chester Horse Show. Tel 01244 402330 July 24-30: Theatre Festival. Premiere performances of new writing for theatre. Various Manchester venues. Tel: 0161 408 4101 July 25-26: Nantwich International Cheese Show. Tel 01270 610983 July 26-27: The Importance of Being Earnest. Outdoor theatre production of this Oscar Wilde classic. Fletcher Moss Gardens., Manchester. Tel: 01926 430307 July 28-30: St Helens Show, Sherdley Park, St Helens. Tel 01744 455326 July 28: The Importance of Being Earnest. Wythenshawe Hall, Manchester. Tel: 01926 430307. July 29-30: Manchester Summer Mega Mela. An inspiring celebration of Asian arts, music and culture. Platt Fields Park. Tel: 0161 256 4518 July 29-30: The Railway Children. Outdoor theatre production of this popular children’s classic. Wythenshawe Park, Manchester. Tel: 01926 430307

Don t leave home without this guide! A NEW guide to the UK’s “disabled loos” has been published. The toilets, which are part of the National Key Scheme, can be opened using special keys available to disabled people and carers. Local councils can normally make

arrangements for disabled people in their area to obtain the spoecial keys. If you have problems, you can get one from RADAR, price £3.50.The guide costs £10.20, including postage, from RADAR, 12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London, EC1V 8AF. Tel: 020 7250 3222


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June/July 2006

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SUMMER FUN: Engie Benjy and his colourful gang return to the Brindley, Runcorn

Don’t miss out on the action

I

T’S full steam ahead as the Brindley speeds into its jam-packed summer season with something for all the family.

There’s a welcome return for friendly mechanic Engie Benjy and his colourful gang on Saturday June 3. Also back by popular demand are Action Transport Theatre with a new play for 7-11 year olds, Gogo, on Friday and Saturday June 9-10. Younger family members will also be delighted to know that the Mr Men and Little Misses will be celebrating The Surprise Birthday party on Saturday August 12. There’s a treat for ballet fans of all ages when the criticallyacclaimed Images of Dance

make their debut on the Brindley stage on Friday June 16. And from the sublime to the hilarious: the latest member of the Phoenix Nights crew to hit the road, Justin Moorhouse (aka Young Kenny) will be appearing on Saturday June 17. Pauline Daniels’ fans will be pleased to find out that she is starring in the Alan Bennet drama, Talking Heads, along with Dean Sullivan, Brookside’s Jimmy Corkhill (June 29-July 1). The Gallery will also be in full swing throughout the summer, kicking off with the 2nd Halton Open Exhibition (June 24-29), an opportunity for local artists, photographers and sculptors to exhibit their work. Entry forms from the Brindley. Next comes an exhibition by

Welsh artist, Pete Prendergast, A Painter’s Quarry, inspired by the dramatic landscapes of Snowdonia. The Brindley has also managed to squeeze in a programme of summer activities for the kids. Auditions for Summer Holiday are on Sunday June 4. Anyone between 7 and 21 is welcome. The Brindley’s arts development team has put together workshops that range from directing, theatre Fx, and composing music for film. Meanwhile, the highlight of the Brindley’s summer cinema is a killer double bill of Kill Bill 1 and 2 on Saturday July 1. n For tickets and further information, call the Box Office, 0151 907 8360.

WIDNES MARKET Est. 1875 MARKET OPENING DAYS Market Hall Mon - Wed - Thurs - Friday - Saturday Outside Market Monday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday Fleamarket Wednesday OVER 250 STALLS, LOTS OF FREE CAR PARKING, FULLY ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED VISITORS.

Traditional shopping the modern way Widnes Market Office, Bradley Way, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6UE Tel No. 0151 471 7340

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. . . . with John Dempsey

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Take a walk to beat diabetes

APPLYING FOR A GRANT?

FANCY a summer walk in the park? Sign up to one of these gentle rambles and you will also be helping to find a cure for diabetes. National charity Diabetes UK are planning 79 walks throughout the UK and organisers are hoping people across the North West and North Wales will help them in their bid to raise more than £1m. June 11: Liverpool/Formby. Formby Pine Woods. 2pm-5pm. 1-2 miles. Contact Barry Morgan, tel 0151 476 4765 June 17: Manchester. Longford Park. 10am. 1.5 miles. Contact James Arthur, tel 01925 653281 June 18: Morecambe Bay. 8.5 miles. Contact James Arthur, tel 01925 653281 June 18: Aberystwyth. War Memorial, The Promenade. 11m-2pm. 3 miles. Contact Joseph Cuff, tel 029 2066 8276

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS: Scotland has everything for the nature lover including ancient forests, hunting ospreys and, below, badgers June 25: Chester. Ecclestone. 10am. 1.5 miles. Inaccessible for wheelchair users. Contact James Arthur, tel 01925 653281 June 25: Shropshire. Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms. 10.30am-2.30pm. 2 miles. Contact Graham Heath, tel 01694 722216 June 25: York. Riverside Trail. 11am2pm. 1-2 miles. Contact Duncan Robertson, tel 01325 373324 July 1: Liverpool. Sefton Park. 10am. 1.5 miles. Contact James Arthur, tel 01925 653281 July 2: Llandudno. The Promenade, Little Orme. 11am-2.30pm. 3 miles. Contact Joseph Cuff, tel 029 2066 8276 July 16: Wrexham. Acton Park. 11am3pm. 3 miles. Contact Joseph Cuff, tel 029 2066 8267 Sept 10: St Helens. Sherdley Park. 12.30pm. 1.25 miles. Contact Sally Hendry, tel 01928 714255

Rambling on THE DISABLED Ramblers Association have arranged a series of summer walks: June 21-22: Brecon Beacons, moderate June 24-25: Pembrokeshire, moderate June 26: Pembrokeshire, challenging July 4: Pitsford/Graffham Water, easy July 11: Peak District, moderate July 13: Peak District, challenging July 15: Lancashire, moderate July 17: Lancashire, challenging Aug 8-9: New Forest, moderate Aug 22: South Downs, challenging Sep 2: Bristol/Bath, moderate Sep 12: Dartmoor, moderate Sep 14: Dartmoor, challenging Sep 26: Windsor Great Park, easy n Contact, tel 01628 621414 n Email: chairman@disabledramblers.co.uk n www.disabledramblers.co.uk

The northern sights Scotland offers stunning wildlife

S

UMMER’S here and for a change I’m casting my net further afield in search of wildlife and fresh air. While the north west and north Wales have a tremendous variety of habitats that ensure a wealth of species, motorway links and the plethora of information on the internet mean it is pretty straightforward to find another area of Britain – or even abroad – with stunning wildlife. I’m biased, having gone north whenever the opportunity presents itself for the last two decades, but you can’t really go wrong with Scotland. But where in the wild north should you visit? Well, it depends what you’re after – I spent a great week in Speyside earlier this year, although it was colder than an Inuit’s fridge. Knee-deep snow and freezing temperatures are a distant memory now, but the encounters with the wildlife of the area are as fresh as ever.

With warmer summer months, the huge capercaillie, the “horse of the woods” can be harder to find in the expanses of Rothiemurchus and Abernethy Forests, but the area is still very beautiful. Crossbills and crested tits haunt the pines, and the dragonflies and flora of the woodland floor always repay closer inspection. The atmosphere of the Caledonian forests is hard to explain, there is an “oldness” to them that you rarely come across elsewhere in the UK, and often the glades and bogs look like they have not changed in thousands of years ... This cannot be said for Aviemore, the central services hub in the area. This town is always busy with skiers in winter, and walkers in summer, but a short distance away the wilderness still hangs on. What you may lose in birdsong and activity later in the year (for the Highland specialties, April and May are the best months), you gain in more hospitable temperatures, and of course, the stunning sight of hunting ospreys.

Loch Garten is the famous place to go to see this magnificent bird of prey, but they can be seen just about anywhere nowadays. I always enjoy standing on the roadside outside the Inverdruie Trout Fishery on the eastern edge of Aviemore, where ospreys swoop in low overhead to hunt the troutstocked ponds. Superb birds. Several companies offer wildlife tours here, and Speyside Wildlife can lay on a hide to watch pine marten and badger deep in Rothiemurchus – for a fee. For those who really want to get away from the summer crowds, the west coast may prove a better bet. With the Skye bridge (now free) it is easy to get out onto this exciting island from Kyle of Lochalsh. Otters, golden eagles and, if you’re really lucky, white tailed eagles, can be seen on Skye, and an evening spent watching the waves off the west coast can often produce dolphins, seals and even whales.

Even if no cetaceans are breaking the surface, hundreds of Manx shearwaters skimming the waves are guaranteed, as are a variety of breeding auks, rock dove and the striking white forms of fishing gannets. Whales and dolphins aren’t that scarce up here – I’ve been lucky enough to watch both minke and humpback Whales in the Minch, the treacherous stretch of water separating the truly remote Uists, Harris and Lewis from Skye. Seabirds are plentiful and folk are friendly. For the golden eagles try scanning the slopes of the dramatic Cuillin mountains above the tiny hamlet of Torrin from the road beside the sea loch there. Patience is usually rewarded by views of this most majestic of Britain’s birds – but watch out for the “tourist eagles”, the name locals give to common buzzards, often mistaken for goldies by visitors! Apart from the midges and summer rain, the west coast is quite a place for a summer break. n For more info, go to www.scotland.com Wildlife hide, www.speysidewildlife.co.uk

Seabird spectacle IF YOU plan to stay around the north west this summer (and why not?) now is the time to enjoy our own seabird spectacle. You can tough it out from Formby Point and search the waves for shearwaters, gannets, porpoises and terns, but if it is windy, the combination of blown sand and salt surf can make things difficult. I suggest taking the easy option; the pavement and seawall at New Brighton Promenade

– a nice flat surface, no blown sand and plenty of parking. From September onwards there’s also a very good chance of seeing a Leach’s Petrel here, one of our north west specialities. Staying at home isn’t a bad option either – on sunny days our gardens should be filled with butterflies, from the wellcamouflaged Speckled Wood to the dramatic and widespread Peacock butterfly.

CHECK OUT OUR AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE: www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Let us help you promote your project to

200,000 readers All Together Now! is the perffect place to advertise your facilities and services. We can provide you with written estimates to include in your group’s grant applications. For full details of our advertising rates and sponsorship packages call Chris Groves

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All Together Now!

June/July 2006

ARIES (March 20 - April 19) Recent developments must have made you very aware of how you’ve wasted time, energy and, possibly, money in order to make certain things happen. It may be that you have been trying too hard! Fortunately, the fates intend to meet you more than half way at this point and give you at least some of what you want. All that’s required of you is that you are receptive to the opportunities that arise naturally. The proof of this statement will be evident from July 22 when the Sun joins Saturn and Mars, your dynamic ruler, in your house of romance and creativity, enabling you to make more than change for the better. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) Intense planetary activity indicates that it’s time to reconsider your tactics in an important but everyday area of your life. Although some aspects do not appear to be within your control, if you use a few well-chosen words it will be possible to make a positive difference. From July 6 expansive Jupiter moves forward again in the zodiac, which bodes well for dealings with partners and opposite numbers. This is liable to produce good news, as well as an interesting newcomer on the scene. Do not lose faith in yourself because on July 11 a splendid Full Moon promises a chance to spread your wings. GEMINI (May 21 - June 20) Prepare to move forward in a venture of the kind that has far reaching implications for your future path and expectations. It is your own imagination and enthusiasm that will win others over and bring the success you desire so, although everything has to be for real, don’t lose sight of your dreams, which have every chance of being fulfilled providing you advance one stage at a time. During June, income and possessions are highlighted and information arriving in the days following the New Moon on June 25 should be to your advantage. CANCER (June21-July 22) The events of the past few weeks must have increased your determination to cut out the dead wood in your life and be your own person. Continue on the course you’ve set and don’t allow guilt feelings to drag you back. By tradition, you come into your own as the summer begins when the Sun’s arrival in your birth sign starts a new annual cycle or phase of experience. In particular make the most of the days around the sparkling New Moon in Cancer on June 25, especially if you want to make a complete break from the past. . LEO (July 23 - August 22) Mars, planet of willpower and Saturn, the planetary taskmaster, are in Leo for most of this period, so you may feel as if you are driving with the brakes on at times -brimming with confidence and anxious to achieve results one minute, yet full of doubt the next, especially about your direction and future prospects. Nevertheless, your intuition will be working well, which will help you make the right decisions about people, as well as money. Meanwhile, Venus, ruler of the laws of attraction, will make you aware of the

to release the brake on the good luck that was meant to come your way this year. But, before then, on June 25, a supportive New Moon favours expansion, travel, people from overseas and covering new ground mentally. It remains for you to seize the chance to ring the changes and make life more interesting. Although the harsh combination of Saturn and Mars herald a certain amount of challenge, this will serve to make you aware of what to expect in future from an individual who has kept you guessing.

June Baker-Howard

What do the stars have in store for you? benefits to be derived from strengthening an old love affair or friendship. VIRGO (August 23 - September 22) If you are a typical Virgo it’s in your very nature to be supportive to others. Now you must decide where your true loyalties lie because the pattern is one of conflicting demands and claims. If anything, you should allocate some time for leisure, pleasure and socialising because the Sun in Cancer, until June 23, sets the scene for pleasing encounters and worthwhile invitations designed to brighten up the long summer evenings. It is in your own best interests to be outgoing and receptive to ways of meeting friends and making new ones. LIBRA (September 23 - October 22) Set your sights high because a cluster of planets in your house of hopes and wishes indicates that little can stand in your way once as spring makes way for summer! Indeed, according to the laws of astrology, you will soon have a brand new reason to smile and feel elated. And about time too! However, as the weeks go by you will appreciate just how much depends on accurate timing, as well as having the right friends and supporters. This is why you are advised to follow up all introductions and leads. In the next part of your life, you will have a very specific role to fill and anything else would represent a compromise. SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21) Someone or something has prevented you from running your life on your own terms so welcome the fact that on July 6, Jupiter turns forward in your sign

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21) The pressure on you will start to lessen now and before long you will discover that you have the ability to move mountains if so desired. The strange thing is no matter what arises, or how loving or considerate your opposite number tries to be, you could feel somewhat isolated or alone. However, a sparkling Full Moon in your birth sign on June 11 is a positive omen of the right kind of turning point in a personal or financial situation. Once Jupiter, your planetary ruler, turns forward in the zodiac in early July, you can afford to be bold and even a little daring. CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19) The new position of Mars should make life easier for you and bring more cooperation and less indifference or challenge. There will be more offered without you having to ask first. The focus switches to the financial arrangements you have with others, including shared resources and loans. A conversation held around the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 11 should bring one particular series of events to a conclusion. As your love life is also under the planetary spotlight be ready to lower your defences a little and show that you too need affection. AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18) Since early summer the planets have urged you to leave nothing to chance. This becomes even more important as summer unfolds because there’s a risk you could be thrown off course. On the bright side, expect good news by mid June when a supportive New Moon shines in the part of your chart associated with the ability to attract benefits and good will. However, in one particular direction, be prepared to point out that you’re not always available. This may be the only way to gain the understanding or attitudes you seek. By mid July, expect to be planning an important reunion. PISCES (February 19 - March 19) Providence is on your side during June, so take care not to block your own progress, especially in affairs of the heart, which are favoured, and work related situations. No matter what your circumstances are, there is no need to battle alone so pay heed to what a sympathetic companion or associate offers in the way of help, support or guidance. During July, thanks to a boost from Jupiter, the co-ruler of Pisces, you should gain where you half expected to lose. You owe it to yourself to make the most of the improvements on offer. This may cause you to make travel plans or mix with people with different backgrounds or life experiences to your own.

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BOOKS

Thomas takes the autism track A NEW Thomas & Friends book is helping children with autism. The book, How Do You Feel, Thomas?, deals with facial expressions and emotions and is aimed at children with autism who may have particular difficulty understanding emotions. The familiar faces and clear expressions of Thomas, Percy, Harold, James, Diesel and The Fat Controller are combined with fun elements to help children understand how Thomas and pals are feeling. The book is produced in association with the National Autistic Society. Thomas & Friends is one of the world’s leading children’s brands with over 82 million books sold worldwide and broadcast in over 130 countries. How do you feel, Thomas? is available in all good bookstores. n THE CHESHIRE Building Society helped the NAS with a Thomas and Friends bookmark promotion across all its 49 branches throughout the North West. The Cheshire’s chief executive Karen McCormick said: “We have a strong partnership with the NAS, supporting the work they carry out to change the lives of those affected by autism.”

SAY YOU SAW IT IN . . .

IRTON HOUSE FARM Holiday Breaks in the Lakes near Keswick

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

For a colour brochure

Tel: 01768 776380

www.disabledholiday.net email: almond@farmersweekly.net Book now for 2006


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Magnificent seven! E

VEN during a drought, there always seems enough moisture in the soil to keep weeds sprouting. Killing them when young is important. If allowed to flower they could produce seed and remind us of the old gardeners’ saying: “One year’s seed, seven years’ weed.” The good news is that there’s a gardening style to ease the problems of both weeds and water – ground-covering plants. Once established, they shade the ground, depriving weeds of light and conserving moisture. Many species are passed off as “good ground cover” when they are either ineffective or boring. The best have colourful flowers, leaves or berries. They are either low-growing shrubs or perennial flowering plants. Here are seven redoubtable recruits for your border control platoon: 1. Hardy geraniums – not to be confused with the tender bedding pelargoniums – are excellent for the front or centre of a border and there are easy-to-grow ground-cover kinds including the pink Geranium endressii, Geranium sanguineum, the bloody cranesbill – which has magenta flowers – and the striking blue, 60cm (2ft) tall ‘Johnson’s Blue’ Geranium macrorrhizum, with dusky pink blooms, spreads to 60cm (2ft) and does not mind shade. 2. Hebes, from New Zealand, are not all hardy but two tough evergreen types are Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’, with white flower spikes, which makes good ground cover, 30cm tall and 90cm wide (1ft x 3ft), and Hebe ‘Youngii’, a lovely mat-forming variety, 20cm tall and 60cm across (8in x 2ft). 3. Osteospermums are evergreen perennials, spreading to 60cm (2ft), with pointed foliage and colourful daisy flowers. They are from Africa but thrive through most of the North West as long as the soil is welldrained – it can be sandy – even in sheltered coastal positions. The best include Cannington Roy, with a purple centre and white petals tipped with purple. 4. Lithodora diffusum produces flowers among the brightest blue in creation. It makes good ground cover, spreading 2ft (60cm) while growing only 6in (15cm) tall, but needs peaty soil to grow well. 5. My flexible friend is the lesser periwinkle, Vinca minor, a tremendous ground-cover plant because, though it sends its flexible shoots snaking across the ground and round corners, it is easy to control, has shapely oval leaves of glossy dark green all year and is studded with flowers of bright blue, purple or white, often starting in the depths of winter. 6. For heavy shade, the green-and-silver leaved Lamium maculatum is fast growing with prominent yellow flowers in spring but is a little untidy in autumn and winter. 7. Christmas box - Sarcococca humilis is probably the only ground-cover plant which has special winter appeal. It will thrive anywhere, sun or shade, as long as the soil is reasonably fertile and not bone dry. The flowers, white with pink anthers, are tiny but have a sweet scent in the heart of winter.

CHECKLIST WAR ON WEEDS: Ground-covering geranium

The greatest cover-up in the garden Win this fantastic hedge-cutter THE Garden Groom has marked a breakthrough in hedge-cutting. It is one of those rare products that is genuinely new and original – it not only cuts hedges but also shreds and collects the trimmings, doing away with sweeping and stooping. In the two years since it was launched, the Garden Groom Maxi has won industry awards and TV accolades worldwide for safety, design and innovation. Now the machine’s inventors, based in Liverpool, have perfected a smaller, lighter model of the Maxi trimmer, weighing only 2.9kg (6lb 5oz), for use by less robust gardeners. And All Together Now! readers are among the first to have the chance of winning the new Garden Groom Midi, worth £79.99. The Midi, which is mains powered through a 10metre cable, features a rotary blade in a circular head, protected by a special guard; a 300-watt electric motor; a collector bag, and patented safety handles designed to be used in any direction with equal ease, by left and right-handed people. The cutting diameter is 20cm (8in) and hedges are cut by the rotary blade which then passes over a

static blade, acting in scissors action to shred the cuttings, reducing them to 10% of their size and blowing them into the collecting bag ready for disposal. The bag holds 50 litres – the equivalent of 50 sq metres of hedge growth 15cm (6in) long. To win the Garden Groom Midi, answer this question: How much does the Midi weigh? Send your entry with

your name and address on a postcard or sealed envelope, stating where you picked up your copy of All Together Now!, to The Editor, All Together Now!, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP, to arrive by Monday, July 24. n For more information about both models of Garden Groom, check the maker’s website www.gardengroom.com

REACH 200,000 READERS, tel 0151 230 0307

GENERAL: Fix your watering priorities so the plants most in need get most irrigation in hot, dry weather – pots and hanging baskets, seed beds, tomatoes, beans and peas developing pods, and newly-planted shrubs. FLOWERS: Trim over aubrieta and yellow Alyssum saxatile with garden shears and give them a generous liquid feed of high-potash fertiliser. Spend a few minutes every day deadheading container flowers. Make sure the compost does not dry out and give a liquid feed once a week. Plant autumn flowering bulbs such as colchicum and autumn crocus. SHRUBS: Remove the fading flowers of roses, pruning the heads back to an outward-facing leaf joint to encourage a second flowering in appropriate varieties. To encourage a second flush of bloom, spray the foliage with a liquid feed. LAWNS: Grass in which spring bulbs have been grown can be cut lightly now. Lawns suffering from dryness will also benefit if the mower setting is raised. PONDS: Tackle blanketweed and other invasive plants in ponds. Blanketweed can often be controlled for several weeks at a time by removing as much as possible and treating with Tetra AlgoFin which is harmless to fish, wildlife and ornamental plants. FRUIT: Check gooseberry bushes for mildew. Trim off affected shoots and, if the problem seems serious, spray with a fungicide. The taste of fruits coated in mildew is not affected – they can be cleaned up and cooked. VEGETABLES: For a crop of late vegetables, sow quick-maturing varieties and water them thoroughly until well-established. Sow pea Kelvedon Wonder, lettuce Little Gem, carrot Early Nantes 2, radishes, spinach Sigmaleaf and beetroot Pablo. HERBS: Take cuttings of shrubby herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme and cotton lavender. Take cuttings under a leaf joint, strip off all but two or three topmost leaves and set them in pots in cutting compost in a shady position. GREENHOUSE: As tomatoes ripen, keep feeding and watering regularly. Pinch out the sideshoots from cordon tomatoes and tie in the main stem as it continues to grow, and pinch out the growing tip once five or six trusses of flowers have set fruit. Cherry tomato types can be allowed to grow taller. HOUSEPLANTS: Repot if roots are showing through the base holes in the potor on the compost surface. Replant in a pot at least 2.5cm (1in) wider and

Email: sales@alltogethernow.org.uk


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Life in the fast lane M

ERSEYTRAVEL is supporting a series of major sporting and fun events for children of all abilities across Merseyside. The Merseyside Schools’ Athletics Championships, held over two days in May, at Wavertree Athletics Track, on Wellington Road, Liverpool, gave children of similar abilities the chance to compete against each other in a variety of track and field events. More than 175 children from Sandfield Park, Springfield, Broadgreen, Palmerston, Princes and the Elms schools took part in the opening day’s events, followed a week later by 75 pupils with moderate learning difficulties or sensory impairments, from Crosby High, St Vincent’s, Beach Road and Lansbury Bridge schools. Cllr Jack Spriggs, vice-chair of Merseytravel, was on hand to present some of the competitors

Young sports heroes show just what they can do with their awards. He said: “The events are incredibly positive and, most importantly, the children have a really good time. “The achievements of everyone taking part, organising or supporting these events, should be commended.” Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: “We are very proud to

WINNING SMILES: Merseytravel vice chair Councillor Jack Spriggs presenting some of the medals to the at the young competitors Merseyside Schools’ Athletics Championships support events such as this, which can have such a positive effect on the lives of young people. “As an organisation, we try to reach out to as many people as we possibly can. “Young children are future users of public transport and it’s important we maintain our relationships with them, giving them information and advice on public transport. That way can we

help to promote public transport and ensure it is accessible to everyone.” Organiser of the events Steve Sullivan, from the Merseyside Sports Partnership, said: “The support we receive from Merseytravel is fantastic. “It helps us with medals and prizes but also helps young people understand what Merseytravel is and what it does.”

Merseytravel is also supporting the Girls’ Football and Girls’ Mini Soccer competitions as part of Merseyside’s Youth Games on July 7-8. It is also backing the Merseyside Schools’ Swimming Gala, being held at Europa Pools in Birkenhead in October. The event is expected to draw in more than 250 Merseyside youngsters of all abilities.


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Choose Cheshire... Come and work with us Cheshire County Council employs over 23,000 staff in hundreds of different disciplines across the whole of Cheshire. So, whether you're seeking employment, or to change your job, Cheshire is a good place to start. What makes Cheshire special? Diversity is the key to our success. We want to ensure our workforce reflects the full range of people in our population. We are particularly keen to attract people with disabilities and people from ethnic minority groups to work in the Council. Check out local press, specialist press and our website for current vacancies.

www.cheshire.gov.uk/jobsandcareers

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EDUCATION . . . TRAINING . . . JOBS . . FIGHTING TALK: Alison Lapper with Pertemps Mouzer chief executive Paul Mouzer (left) and conference facilitator Peter Tomlinson

Just let us work, says artist Alison ARTIST Alison Lapper told business leaders to give disabled people a job. Alison, who was born without arms and with shortened legs, shared her own experiences and views on disability at ‘Taking the Pulse’ – a conference organised by Pertemps Mouzer. Alison said disabled people face a great deal of discrimination in their search for employment and needed more support from the Government and business. “Employers have reservations about taking on disabled people because they think we will always be off sick, but that’s just not the case. “Disabled people give 110 per cent because they feel they have to in order to prove their worth,” said the inspirational artist famous for posing naked and heavily

pregnant for a controversial sculpture in London’s Trafalgar Square. “I would urge employers to invest in disabled people because in doing so they will bring a whole breadth of knowledge, information and expertise to the workplace and that is a very positive thing. “Also, they will be teaching other employees how to deal with disability which is very important if things are ever going to improve. “When I talk about my experiences there are points where I get quite choked, due to prejudice I encounter,” she added. “When my son, Parys, was born social services tried to take him off me and it is still very raw and terrifying. I do sense the beginning of a change in attitudes but we have still got a long way to go.”

Working for Manchester Manchester City Council is committed to equality of opportunity for all, regardless of race, gender, disability, sexuality, religion or belief, caring responsibilities and age. We aim to build high-performance teams that recognise and celebrate diversity, embracing common goals and striving for continuous improvement. We are working towards developing a workforce that reflects the diverse communities making up the city of Manchester and we positively encourage applications for our jobs that will help us to achieve this.

Don’t miss out! Register now to receive a personal email alert as new vacancies are posted. Simply email jobs.update@manchester.gov.uk with the words ‘email alert’.


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All Together Now! Ltd, The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP Telephone: 0151 230 0307 Fax: 0151 220 4446 email: sales@alltogethernow.org.uk

Teacher joy at court’s decision

BENEFITS Your guide to what help is available

A TEACHER who faced discrimination at work from Nottinghamshire County Council because of her sight loss has won £196,000 in compensation. In July 2004, the Court of Appeal ruled that Gaynor Meikle, a secondary school teacher with over 30 years’ experience, was constructively dismissed and should have received full pay, not sick pay, when her sight deteriorated. The compensation follows that landmark legal ruling. Mrs Meikle’s case was supported by the Disability Rights Commission. She said: “I hope that both the legal judgement and the extent of damages I’ve received will mean that disabled people do not have to face this kind of blatant discrimination in future. “However, I am very sad at the way Nottingham County Council has responded to the judgement by not apologising and not making clear this won’t happen to other employees.” Chris Benson, senior legal officer, at the Disability Rights Commission said: “All her employer needed to do was enlarge the font size of her teaching materials so that Mrs Meikle could read them. “Not doing so has meant losing a valuable member of staff and a lengthy and costly legal process.”

New Benefits applicable until April 2007 DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE £62.25 Higher rate: Middle rate: £41.65 Lower rate: £16.50 Mobility Component Higher rate: £43.45 Lower rate: £16.50 ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE Higher rate: £62.25 £41.65 Lower rate:

INCAPACITY BENEFIT Long term: *Earning Threshold up to

£78.50 £81.00

INDUSTRIAL DISABLEMENT BENEFITS Disablement Pension 100%: £127.10 Statutory Sick Pay: £70.05 Earning Threshold: £84.00 Carer’s Allowance: £46.95

Beat that! Chris’s dream police job C

£84.25

SEVERE DISABLEMENT ALLOWANCE Basic rate: £47.45 Child Benefit-only/eldest child: £17.45 Other children: £11.70

Chris Dingsdale (left) patrols with Community Support Officer Adrian Beaumont

HRIS Dingsdale has always wanted to be a policeman. And now he has been given the chance to patrol the streets. Chris, who has learning disabilities, has been taken on as a police community volunteer in St Helens. “I love every bit of it, because I’ve always wanted to join the police,” says Chris, 20, who helps with the town’s community speedwatch project. “Community Speedwatch addresses speeding motorists, particularly in residential areas,” Chris said. “One driver I spotted was doing 50mph in a 30mph limit, but most people slow down when they see the police officers and CSOs – it’s great to make a difference.” Chris’s mum, Yvonne, is delighted. She said: “He came back buzzing after the first day. “I’m so proud of him, not only because he

RETIREMENT PENSION

‘I love every bit of it. It’s great to make a difference’ had the courage to do it, but because his success means that others will get the chance too.” One of Chris’s pals, 19-year-old Liam Rouski, who also has learning disabilities, has been accompanying Chris and Greenbank community support officer Adrian Beaumont. “It feels like we’re doing something really worthwhile,” Liam said.

“Not only are we getting experience, we’re also helping the community, which feels good.” Chris and Liam have been helped by the Shaw Trust, which provides both work and training opportunities for disabled people. And Yvonne, an administration officer at St Helens Technical College, said she’s thrilled with Chris’s progress. “I was very worried about him at one time because he seemed to be going off the rails a bit, but it was sheer boredom of sitting around the house with nothing to do,” she said. “Shaw Trust has been brilliant for him and the work with Adrian has been wonderful. He’s really enjoying it and he’s got something to talk about at the end of the week.”

REACH 200,000 READERS — 0151 230 0307

MATERNITY ALLOWANCE Standard rate:

£108.85

STATUTORY MATERNITY PAY Standard rate: £108.85 STATUTORY PATERNITY PAY Standard rate: £108.85 INCOME SUPPORT PERSONAL ALLOWANCE Single under 18 - usual rate: £34.60 18-24: £45.50 25 and over: £57.45 Couple Both under 18 - responsible for a child: £68.65 One or both 18 or over: £90.10 PREMIUMS Family:

£16.25

ENHANCED DISABILITY PREMIUM Single child rate: £11.95 Disabled child £18.13 Couple: £17.25 DISABILITY PREMIUM Single: £24.20 Couple: £34.95 Severe Disability Single person qualifies: £46.75 Couple both qualify: £93.50 Disabled child: £45.08 PENSIONER Couple: £83.95 Carer: £26.35 Bereavement: £26.80 PENSION CREDIT Standard minimum guarantee Single: £114.05 Couple: £174.05


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NEWS ON THE WEB


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VROOM VROOM . . . ROOM FOR A SPONSOR FOR THIS SUPERB MOTORING SECTION NOEL’S ROADSHOW: Noel Edmonds will be opening this year’s Mobility Roadshow, taking place at Kemble, Airfield, near Swindon, on Thurs-Sat June 8-10

mobility roadshow

®

If you have a mobility problem, you can’t afford to miss the Mobility Roadshow ® 8th, 9th & 10th June 2006 Kemble Airfield near Swindon Hundreds of products and ideas to keep you mobile, including test drives of adapted and specialist vehicles. Free admission and parking, sign language interpreters, fully staffed crèche, wheelchair and scooter loans to help you get around.

Want to know more? Visit the website at

www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk Or call Mobility Choice on 0845 241 0390

The Mobility Roadshow - it’ll change the way you get around

MARTIN CONQUEST making a vision | creating a future

Freedom to be Wild

Noel set to switch on Roadshow TV CELEBRITY Noel Edmonds will be arriving in one of his eco-friendly QPOD cars when he opens this year’s Mobility Roadshow.

For people who want to go places The worlds first high peformance trike that can be ridden from your wheelchair. Track tested to 100mph. Orders now being taken. To book a test ride please call 0161 351 0324 and/or email: charlie@martinconquest.com

lchair Ride from your whee

.com

www.martinconquest

For more information please contact: Martin Conquest Limited, Unit 4 Mount Street, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 1NS Company Registered in England no. 4620042

RefAble ATN 01 Ref: MC

After the official opening, where he will be accompanied by children with disabilities celebrating National Young Disabled Persons’ Day, Noel will join the team of his Unique Motor Company (the company behind the QPOD) to meet Roadshow visitors. Whether you have a mobility problem, are feeling a little less nimble with advancing years, or just feel you would like a little help to get around there is a wealth of new ideas, products and services at this year’s three-day event, taking place at Kemble Airfield near Swindon (June 8-10).. It’s fully accessible, free and, with 180 exhibitors, visitors will have the widest range of choice in the history of the show.

Many visitors, whether Motability customers or private owners, come to the Mobility Roadshow with one intent - to try as many vehicles as possible for accessibility, comfort and handling. High street showrooms carry little, if any, adapted vehicles, but the Roadshow offers great variety in one place, with vehicles fitted with a variety of adaptations to suit different needs. See the new Ford S-MAX, the newly-launched Astra Twin Top, and a pre-production Kia Sedona Carnival, plus test drive from a choice of over 70 vehicles, including drive-from-wheelchair or wheelchair passenger models. You can beat the queues and pre-register to test drive on the Roadshow website or by registering on the day. But it’s not just about motoring . . . New wheelchairs, scooters and trikes are being launched, including a radical new design allterrain wheelchair from a company

IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE IN

“Just to let you know that the ad worked! The Fiat Multipla has been sold. People are reading the ads in your publication. Good luck for the future!” — MC Warrington

0151 230 0307

that produces racing seats for Formula 1 cars and a traditional wheelchair that easily converts to all-terrain capability. There’ll be the latest innovations in hand and foot controls, seating and harness systems, hoists, lifts and ramps, exercise equipment and specialist products for children – anything and everything that helps people with disabilities to enjoy increased mobility and access. In recent years the show has expanded its travel and leisure section. Accessible diving in the Red Sea and a fully accessible Caribbean cruise are among the holiday programmes being launched. With free parking and entry, wheelchair and scooter loans, crèche and entertainment for young visitors, this is a great day out for all the family. n www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk or call Mobility Choice on 0845 241 0390.


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www.alltogethernow.org.uk

. . . with Jan Lockyer

HELPING HANDS

Ring the changes

DO YOU have a problem with everyday activities such as bending, reaching, dressing, getting in and out of your favourite chair, using the bath or toilet?

Q

If the answer is yes, your local Disabled Living Centre may have the answer for you. Assist UK, formerly the Disabled Living Centres Council, is the national

I AM having difficulty holding the telephone receiver for more than a few minutes. Any ideas?

THERE are lots of inexpensive telephones with a hands free function available. If you want a private conversation then a head set may be a better option though they are not compatible with all phones. If you have difficulty using the phone for any reason – hearing, sight, speech, or with holding the phone or dialling, go to an Open Day at Liverpool Disabled Living Centre on Tuesday June 6 (1pm4pm) and Tuesday July 4 (1pm-4pm) and meet Rhonda Dean, age and disability advisor from British Telecom. She will tell you about all the latest telecom gadgets and let you try a wide range of phones and accessories. n BT’s age and disability service is on

A

0800 919 591.

voice for more than 40 DLCs Assist UK has teamed up with All Together Now! to help readers of all ages and abilities to stay independent. The DLCs provide independent advice and the opportunity to see and try equipment and they are there to help you make the right choice. Remember some equipment can be provided free on loan from the NHS or

social services departments and if you are buying equipment there may be grants available to help you. Be a wiser buyer — it always pays to get impartial advice and there is the opportunity to test the item before you buy. There is also every chance your DLC will have the products you are interested in on display. So if you need help — please use us.

Home help I

AM thinking of having some building work done to make my house more accessible since I now use a wheelchair. What help can I get and where do I begin? ontact your local council – the Community Occupational Therapy service will be able to advise on the type of adaptation and whether any grants are available to assist financially. If you decide to get on with the job independently contact your local Disabled Living Centre to find out about the range of equipment and adaptations available and sources of funding that might

C

help you with the costs.. Then make sure you get several quotes and you know your rights before you enter into a contract. Your local Trading Standards will be able to give this consumer advice. They can be contacted through your local council. Also, TrustMark is a new scheme supported by the Government, consumer groups and the building industry. TrustMark can help you find reputable firms to do repairs, maintenance and improvement work in your home or garden. Tel, 0870 163 7373 n www.trustmark.org.uk

Over 2,000 products on display: G Bathroom and toilet aids G Chairs G Shower equipment G Kitchen and feeding aids G Stair lifts G Beds and bed accessories G Walking aids G Telephone equipment G Personal care products G Hoists G Equipment to help with dressing G Gardening aids G Moving and handling equipment G Ramps G Reading and writing aids and more...

Contact the centre for impartial advice and information on products to assist with independence and safety in daily living. Visits are by appointment except on open days. The centre does not buy or sell equipment. G Telephone: 0151 298 2055 G Email: disabled.living.centre@liverpool.gov.uk G Fax: 0151 298 2952 G Website: liverpooldisabledlivingcentre.com G Liverpool Disabled Living Centre 101 Kempston Street, Liverpool, L3 8HE Liverpool Disabled Living Centre is part of Liverpool Community Equipment Service, a partnership between the NHS and Liverpool City Council.

n HALTON Collier Street, Runcorn, WA7 1HB. Tel 01928 582 920 n LIVERPOOL Disabled Living Centre 101 Kempston Street, Liverpool, L3 8HE. Tel 0151 298 2055 n MACCLESFIELD Macclesfield General Hospital, Victoria Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 3BL. Tel 01625 661 740 n MANCHESTER Assist UK 4 St Chads Street, Manchester, M8 8QA. Tel 0161 834 1044 n NORTHWICH Victoria Infirmary, Winnington Hill, Northwich, CW8 1AW. Tel 01606 79260 n STOCKPORT St Thomas’s Hospital, Shawheath, Stockport, SK3 8BL. Tel 0161 419 4476

Liverpool Disabled Living Centre Enabling people to choose the right equipment

n CREWE Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe CW1 4QJ. Tel 01270 612 343

ALTERATIONS?: Have a word with your council to see what help may be available to you

OPEN DAYS: LIVERPOOL Disabled Living Centre is holding three events during June and July. Tuesday June 6 (1pm-4pm); Wednesday June 21: (10am1pm) and Tuesday July 4: (1pm-4pm).

The solution to a weighty matter

Q A

I NEED to use a seat in the shower but the shower base is plastic and bends when weight is put on it. I am afraid a chair may damage it. Can you help? YOU are right to be cautious. With all the weight concentrated on four small feet, a shower chair or stool with legs could damage the base. If the wall in the shower is suitable, you could have a wall-mounted fold-up shower chair – these are available with or without backs and arms. You can also get shower chairs and stools with flat tubular bottoms instead of feet. These are designed to spread the weight evenly over the tray. Your local Disabled Living Centre will have a range of shower chairs that you can try. Make an appointment!

n WARRINGTON Beaufort Street, Warrington, WA5 1BA. Tel 01925 638867 n WIRRAL St Catherine’s Hospital, Birkenhead. Tel 0151 678 7272

A hoist can really make life easier

Q A

I’m finding it difficult to move my elderly dad from bed to wheelchair. The district nurse says that I will have to use a hoist. To be honest, I find this prospect scary. USING a hoist can take some getting used to. Your local Disabled Living Centre will have a range of hoists on display. Make arrangements for a visit.The staff will demonstrate how the hoist and slings work and will give you the opportunity to use them yourself and build up your confidence. People often find it’s easier than they thought and more comfortable for the person being lifted than they expected. There may also be smaller, simpler moving and handling aids that could be of help, too.

FOR THE latest information on Liverpool Disabled Living Centre take a look at the website: www.liverpooldisabledlivingcentre.com


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HELPLINES DISABILITY INFORMATION CENTRES n

DOREEN in her dream kitchen: “It’s given me back my independence”

New kitchens make life so much easier GRANDMOTHER Doreen Stringer has been given the kitchen of her dreams. For years she had to manoeuvre her wheelchair around a small kitchen, risking being burned. “I don’t know how I managed safely,” she says. “I burned food because I couldn’t see into the pan, and taking trays out of the oven was always tough.” “But this new kitchen has given me back my independence, and my life.” Doreen can now use her oven, hob and reach into her cupboards on her own, thanks to the renovated facilities installed by Trafford Housing Trust.

The £10,000 kitchen has low level work surfaces, cooking areas and switches, and accessories including an integrated chopping board and carousels in the cupboard. It’s all part of a £400,000 regeneration project the Trust is carrying out in 80 homes across the Altrincham area. Trafford Housing Trust chief executive Matthew Gardiner said: “This work underlines what we want the Trust to achieve: bringing about improvements that are tailored to individual needs and make a big impact on people’s quality of life.” n THT: 0161 968 0000

Help at hand for carers

T

HERE is a wide range of events taking place across the North West during National Carers Week (June 12-19).

CHESHIRE Tues June 13 Macclesfield: Caring and Coping event. Alzheimer’s Society. 7pm9pm. Tel: 01625 503302 Healthy Living event with healthy lunch. Tel: 01625 422238 Crewe: Outing to the Dorothy Clive Garden. Tel: 01270 257331 Visit to florestry workshop at Frodsham. Tel: 01606 350789 Wed June 14 Wilmslow. Morning tea at the Methodist Church. Alzheimer’s Society. 10am-12pm. Tel: 01625 503302 Macclesfield: Information event. Tel: 01625 422238 Crewe: “Colour Me Beautiful” session. Tel: 01270 257331 Ellesmere Port: Healthy Walk then Talk. Tel: 0151 357 3363 Thurs June 15 Macclesfield. Visit to the

gym. Tel: 01625 422238 Chester: Canal boat trip. 9.45am - 4.30pm. Tel: 0151 357 3363 Fri June 16 Macclesfield: Afternoon tea, Mulberry Tree Cafe, Heritage Centre. Alzheimer’s Society. 3pm4.30pm Tel: 01625 503302. Health and Wellbeing Day with nutrition advice and homeopathy. Tel: 01625 422238 Crewe: Information drop-in day. Tel: 01270 257331 Sun June 18 Holmes Chapel. Open garden at the Croco Brook Farm, Chester Road. Alzheimer’s Society. 2pm-5pm Tel: 01625 503302.

professional artists and poets. Tel: 0161 234 3970 Thurs June 15 Carers' Feel-Good Day with therapies, workshops and lunch for Jewish carers. Tel: 0161 795 0024. Carers luncheon. Manchester Carers Forum. Tel: 0161 269 9859. 'Strictly Come Dancing for Carers'. Wythenshawe Forum Civic Centre. 5pm-9pm.

MANCHESTER

WIRRAL A new radio station for carers – Carers FM 87.7 – is being set up for the week by WIRED, Local Solutions and Age Concern. Programmes will include information about support groups and voluntary sector services. Contact John Cotcher. Tel: 0151 670 1500

Mon June 12 Carers Cream Tea Party, Dorney Lake. Tel: 01628 777217. Wed June 14 Pamper session. Manchester Carers Forum. Tel: 0161 269 9859. Launch of Arts project for carers working in partnership with Manchester galleries and

MERSEYSIDE Wed June 14 Liverpool Football Club, 10.30am2.30pm. Call in and find out about the kind of help available. Contact, Katherine French. Tel: 0151 705 2390

CHESHIRE Disabilities Federation: Tel 01606 888400 n CHESTER Dial House: Tel 01244 345655 n ELLESMERE PORT DICE: Tel 0151 355 1420 n HALTON Disability Service: Tel 01928 717222 n KNOWSLEY Disability Concern:Tel 0151 480 4090 n LIVERPOOL Association of Disabled People Tel 0151 263 8366/Text: 260 3187 n Disablement Resource Unit, Local Solutions Tel 0151 709 0990 n Glaxo Neurological Centre: Tel 0151 298 2999 n Merseyside Society for Deaf People: Tel 0151 228 0888 n GREATER MANCHESTER

Coalition of Disabled People: Tel: 0161-273 5154 / 5155 / 8141. n WARRINGTON Disability Partnership: Tel 01925 240064 n WIRRAL WIRED: Tel 0151 647 6162 n SKELMERSDALE West Lancs Disability Helpline: Tel Freefone 0800 220676 n ST HELENS DASH: Tel 01744 453053 NORTH WALES: ANGLESEY CIL: Tel 01248 750249 n DENBIGHSHIRE: 01745 354445 n MOLD Flintshire Disability Forum: Tel 01352 755546 n RHYL: Tel 01745 350665 n WREXHAM: 01978 262955 n

CARERS’ CENTRES n

CHESHIRE Unit 8, Albion Walk, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 5XU Tel 01606 330 853 n

KNOWSLEY 149 Cherryfield Drive, Kirkby, L32 8SE Tel 0151 549 1412 n

MANCHESTER Beswick House Beswick Row Manchester M4 4PR Tel 0161 835 2995 n

SALFORD 1 St Philip’s Place Salford M3 6FA Tel 0161 833 0217 n

SEFTON Third Sector Technology Centre, 16 Crosby Road North, Waterloo, Liverpool, L22 0NY Tel 0151 285 4000

n

ST HELENS Millennium House, Bickerstaffe Street, St Helens, WA10 1DH Tel 01744 675 615 n

WARRINGTON The Bungalow, Garven Place, Warrington, WA1 1GP Tel 01925 644 212 n

WEST LANCS 49 Westgate, Sandy Lane Centre, Skelmersdale, Lancashire, WN8 8LP Tel 01695 733737 n

WIGAN & LEIGH 27 Charles Street Leigh WN7 1DB Tel 01942 683711 NORTH WALES: n ANGLESEY 27 Church Street, Llangefni

LL77 7DU. Tel 01248 722828 n

BANGOR Carers Outreach 60 Fford Deiniol, Bangor, LL57 1AA Tel 01248 370 797 n

CONWY 74 Conwy Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7LD Tel 01492 533714 n

DOLGELLAU Swddfa Ganol, Plas y Dre, Dolgellau, LL40 1AD Tel 01341 421167 n

PORTHMADOG St David’s Building, Lombard Street, Porthmadog, LL49 9AP Tel 01766 513 975

SHOPMOBILITY CENTRES n n

ALTRINCHAM: 0161 929 1714 ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE: 0161 339 9500 n BARROW: 01229 434039 n BIRKENHEAD: 0151 647 6162 n BLACKPOOl: 01253 349 427 n BOLTON: 01204 392946 n BURY: 0161 764 9966 n CARLISLE: 01228 625950 n CHORLEY: 01257 260 888 n CREWE: 01270 580 031 n KENDAL: 01539 740 933 n LEIGH, Wigan: 01942 777 985. Minicom: 01942 777 986 n LIVERPOOL: 0151 707 0877 n MANCHESTER Trafford Centre: 0161 747 8046 n MANCHESTER Arndale Centre: 0161 839 4060

n n

NELSON: 01282 692 502 NORTHWICH, Vale Royal: 01606 353525 n ORMSKIRK, West Lancashire: 01695 570055 n PENRITH: 01768 895 438 n PRESTON: 01772 204 667 n RHYL: 01745 350665 n ROCHDALE: 01706 865 986 n RUNCORN, Halton Lea: 01928 717445 Minicom: 01928 717999 n SOUTHPORT: 01704 546 654 n ST HELENS: 01744 613 388 n STOCKPORT: 0161 666 1100 n WARRINGTON: 01925 231941 n WARRINGTON, Birchwood: 01925 822 411 n WIGAN: 01942 776 070


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All Together Now!

Sight Savers help one million people SIGHT SAVERS International, one of the UK’s leading blindness charities, has treated its 100 millionth person since being set up in 1950. In that time, it has also restored sight to 5.656 million people. Sight Savers works in more than 30 countries to combat blindness and secure equal rights and opportunities for those who are blind in the developing world. The charity reported an increase of 14% in the number of people whose vision it helped to restore in 2005 compared to the previous year – 233,203 in contrast to 204,610 in 2004. The number of individuals treated for potentially blinding conditions such as trichiasis and glaucoma also went up last year, from 13.8 to 15.7 million, an increase of 13%. The charity’s chief executive Caroline Harper said: “We’re delighted to see such growth and passing the 100 million mark is a real milestone in our history but, with somewhere in the region of 1-2 million going blind each year, we’re not about to rest on our laurels. “Blind and low-vision people in developing countries are still amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged in the world – our work to change that continues.” There are 37 million blind people in the world; 75% of all blindness can be prevented or cured. n www.sightsavers.org

Hospital mobiles HOSPITAL patients’ groups have welcomed the news that senior health officials and MPs support their campaign to lift blanket bans on mobile phone usage in hospitals. The Patient and Public Involvement Forums feel strongly that people should be offered the choice of onsite facilities or controlled mobile phone use. For a number of years, both private and NHS establishments have banned the use of mobile phones in hospitals, alleging patients’ lives could be put at risk due to electro-magnetic interference. But last June it was accepted hat there is no evidence to suggest mobile telephones present a hazard when in general use within hospitals. Yvonne Fountain, chair of Countess of Chester NHS Trust PPI Forum, said: “A number of NHS Trusts are allowing staff to use mobile phones on site, therefore acknowledging there are no risks to patients. “The Countess of Chester NHS Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust has also adopted new policies, based on Forum feedback.”

June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

The hidden cost of cancer C

ANCER patients are not getting the emotional support they need to cope with the disease, says a new report by Macmillan Cancer Support. As well as high levels of depression and anxiety, cancer patients and carers reported relationship problems including divorce and separation. The report, Worried Sick? The Emotional Impact of Cancer, found that almost half of cancer patients experienced depression and over three quarters suffered anxiety. One fifth had even felt abandoned. In fact, for more than four in 10 patients it is not the physical effects of the disease but the emotional ones that are the most difficult to cope with. Almost one third of people with cancer said their relationships are put under “enormous” strain and over a quarter said they experienced real difficulties in their relationships with their partner as a result of their cancer diagnosis. A quarter of these people said that they had broken up with their partner as a result of their cancer and four in 10 people said that their sex life had suffered. One in three of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, and though it is still the UK’s biggest killer, the number of people living with cancer continues to rise. Each year in the UK more than 275,000 people are diagnosed and an estimated 1.2 million people have at one time received a cancer diagnosis. Increasingly, treatment is given on an outpatient basis, via frequent and prolonged outpatient visits. All the more worrying then that the report of people with cancer feel abandoned by the health system when not in hospital. Instead, patients are reliant on the practical and emotional support of carers – mostly partners or family – nearly all of whom (95%) said they put the needs of the person with cancer above their own needs. n The charity has an information pack for the public, available from Freephone 0800 500 800, and a new DVD about Macmillan Cancer Support is viewable on their website: www.macmillan.org.uk

Ray rolls back the years . . . THE PERSONAL story of Professor Ray Donnelly’s attachment with the UK’s only charity wholly dedicated to defeating lung cancer is told in a new book. In Cinderella Cancer, Professor Donnelly, founder and president of The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, traces the history of the charity which began life as the Lung Cancer Fund. He focuses on the ordinary people, the media, the celebrities and the scientists who made it all happen. Professor Donnelly says: “We’ve come a long way since our beginnings and this book celebrates everyone who has

found a quarter

helped make it happen.” The charity has raised more than £12m to help fight the disease that 38,000 people are diagnosed with in the UK every year. It is also actively campaigning for improvements in

patient care for those diagnosed with lung cancer. n Cinderella Cancer is priced £7.99 and available to buy online at www.roycastle.org. A donation from each sale will go to The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

These parents deserve better THE CHAIRMAN of the Disability Rights Commission has hit out at the lack of support given to parents with learning disabilities. Bert Massie said: “Thousands of parents with learning disabilities have a complete lack of rights to challenge or prevent the most serious intervention by the State - to break up their family.” “They have no right to the support in the home they need, when we know that this support would keep many of

them together.” Mr Massie’s comments come in the wake of a new report from the University of Bristol which claims half of all parents with learning disabilities are having their children taken away from them. “Public policy condemns these parents to a cycle of failure by not even offering low levels of support, said Mr Massie. “Too often the chosen solution is to take the child away. “There is no doubt that in some cases, at root, is the

discriminatory attitude that people with learning disabilities can’t be parents. “It should be a matter of shame that disabled people have no control over the most fundamental aspects of their lives and the DRC is supporting a new bill to finally give disabled parents the right to live independently and to have full access to the support they need.” The DRC is supporting the Independent Living Bill, due to be launched this summer by Lord Ashley of Stoke.

HELP KEEP OUR CHARITY HEALTHY


www.alltogethernow.org.uk

June/July 2006

All Together Now!

29

VAL SURRIDGE points the finger over a peculiarly Celtic condition . . .

I

HAVE always been proud of my links with Scotland and have inherited several mementoes from my Glaswegian father. They include a Lamont tartan tie, pictures of unknown relatives . . . and Dupuytren’s contracture. The tie and pictures were welcome, the hereditary disease of the hands I could have done without. When I first became aware of a small nodule in the centre of my right palm a couple of years ago I didn’t connect it with memories of my father’s badly-contorted hands. He suffered from contracting tendons for many years without consulting doctors. As a marine engineer who worked outdoors at Birkenhead’s Cammell Laird shipyard in all weathers, he was a hardy soul who didn’t complain and considered the problem just an occupational hazard. But as he got older the fingers on both hands gradually tightened and continued to bend inwards. In retirement, he found it difficult to carry out ordinary tasks and could not wear gloves, even in the depths of winter. Eventually, he was referred to a consultant who failed to offer any treatment but the prospect of an operation to cut the affected tendons. He might lose the use of those fingers . . . but then again, he might not. My dour Scot of a dad decided his “clawed” hands were preferable to useless ones, so declined an invitation to be centre stage in the hospital’s theatre. I can’t remember the word Dupuytren’s ever being used. Even years later, when my elder brother, an artist who never worked outdoors, began to complain of tightening tendons, I didn’t really make the connection. He was desperate not to lose the ability to draw and paint and decided to have an operation early on, while only two fingers were affected. In his case, the surgeon’s knife worked wonders and he was able to carry on with his career, a few scars being the only indication that anything had ever been wrong. But, he was warned, the problem could recur at any time. So back to that nodule . . . my doctor suspected the cause straight away after asking a few simple questions, such as “has anyone in the family had a similar problem?” The proverbial penny dropped with a clatter. The consultant confirmed the diagnosis

by Stephen Hawkins chair, Mersey Care NHS Trust

n THE Lamont famiy crest showing a hand outsreteched with the motto: Neither Spare Nor Dispose. No sign of the Celtic disease there! n LEFT: Val and her dad, Tom, at her wedding in 1973

Look what dad handed down and, much to my astonishment, inquired which part of Scotland my ancestors came from. His insight was not really that impressive, however, as he went on to explain that Dupuytren’s is known as a Celtic disorder. Many sufferers can trace their relatives back to the Vikings! People of northern European descent are most at risk and it is a genetic problem. Men are more likely to suffer than women – about seven to one. You can imagine how great that little nugget of information made me feel: Unlucky, or what! The condition usually becomes obvious in middle age ... along with all those other aches and pains. First sign is a thickening in the palm of the hand, usually near the base of the ring or little finger. It is not particularly painful but tender to the touch. Gradually other nodules may develop and, as the tissue shortens, the fingers are drawn into the palm. The exotic-sounding name comes from Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, a celebrated French surgeon, who first described the disease in 1831. The condition, apparently, is progressive and the only treatment in the

long term, I was advised, was surgery, although there are other procedures being developed. Both hands can be affected, and even the feet. I began to wish my family tree was rooted anywhere but Scotland. But after the “table top test” – successfully placing the palm of my right hand completely flat on a hard surface – I relaxed a little. The contracture had not got to a point where surgery was necessary. My GP said there was no need for immediate action, it was a “wait and see” situation. He suggested stretching exercises to help keep the joints supple and I left with the words “come back if it suddenly gets worse,” ringing in my ears. So far, so good. The nodule is there but isn’t bothering me too much. I’m just hoping I never get to the stage dad did. I remember him warning his grandchildren about the perils of feeding sugar lumps to horses. “Make sure you keep your hand completely flat,” he advised and proceeded to demonstrate. Even he laughed! n For more information about Dupuytren’s contracture log on to

www.rsi.org.uk

— PLACE AN ADVERT. Tel 0151 230 0307

A CLERGYMAN started his new post and on his first Sunday in church caused uproar because he wanted to move the piano from one side of the church to the other. It would be closer to the choir and improve communication, he suggested. But the piano had always been on that side, so why move it, everyone said. The next Sunday the clergyman arrived early and moved the piano just one inch towards the other side. He did the same for several years until the piano was finally on the other side. Nobody objected or hardly noticed. Change is constant in our world, but it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate how difficult it is to change people’s perceptions and attitudes. Such is the case with stigma. Back in 1998 the Royal College of Psychiatrists launched a long term ‘Changing Minds’ campaign to tackle the problem of stigmatisation of people with mental health problems.

‘Dangerous’ Research at the start of the campaign showed that stigmatising attitudes were common. In particular: n Many people believed that those suffering from depression should “pull themselves together”. n People with schizophrenia and alcohol addiction were seen as dangerous. Five years on another nationwide survey followed. The results revealed the same pattern of responses as in 1998 but with significant small reductions in the percentages of negative opinions, especially concerning difficulties in communicating with people with mental illnesses. So we are reminded that tackling the stigma of mental illness is an enduring task. Mersey Care has a long-term vision to improve mental health and learning disability services. Having just gained planning permission for a new £40m mental health facility in north Liverpool, it is pleasing to see that commonsense prevailed in the decision-making progress despite opposition. As for the stigma that some people attach to such developments, I would hope that time will help change such perceptions and, like with other major campaigns, people will slowly grow to understand the significance of stigmatising labels on others.


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All Together Now!

June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

GOLDRUSH D ARREN Kenny was star of the show in a British team that won seven gold medals and set five world records in the track cycling events at the Visa Paralympic World Cup.

Picture: MARTIN BIRCHALL

Chris the Crusader! MEET Christopher Foster – the boy whose incredible spirit has helped him make rugby league history. Eight-year-old Christopher, known as CJ, is the world’s first child with Down’s Syndrome to be registered to play rugby league. The St Helens schoolboy is a member of Thatto Heath Crusaders – unbeaten in all competitions this season – and plays with the under-7 side as he is too small to play with children his own age. Records from the Down’s Syndrome Association reveal that Christopher is the first child in the world with the disability to play the game. Dad John says: “Being a

rugby family we were delighted when Christopher took up the sport. “There are a lot of children with Down’s Syndrome who are weighty and have little muscle tone. “But Christopher bucks the trend as he’s quite athletic, muscular and blessed with energy. “He plays every day and when I come home from a 10hour shift he’s waiting with a ball under his arm – even in the pouring rain.” Coach Paul Bretherton says: “It cheers me up watching Christopher play. It’s a huge testimony to his enthusiasm as rugby league is not for the faint-hearted.”

Kenny won a hat-trick of golds – two individual medals and one team gold – in the Manchester Velodrome. The Dorset rider – a double gold medallist at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games – caught Germany’s Tobias Graf to win the LC3 3000m pursuit final. He was in even better form in his second event of the night, taking more than a second off his world record to strike gold in the LC3 1km time trial. Kenny clocked a time of 1:13.365 to make it two golds from two events. Later he helped Great Britain to gold in the team sprint. The trio of Kenny, Jody Cundy (Old Hatfield, Hertforsdshire) and Mark Bristow (Sacramento, USA) beat the Australians in the final after setting a world record of 51.345 seconds in the qualifiers. It means Cundy, perhaps better known as a Paralympic swimmer, has a gold medal and a world record to celebrate in his first major international cycling competition. There was also a brace of gold medals and two world records for Anthony Kappes (Chapel Le Frith, Derbyshire) and Barney Storey (Lancashire). They never looked like missing out on gold in the visually impaired 200m tandem sprint final. The British pair, who had set a world record of 10.597 in the heats, dominated both final races against the German pair Achim Moll and Jan Ratze. And later they added gold in the 1km time trial in a world record of 1:04.667. Athens 2004 gold medallists Aileen McGlynn (Glasgow) and Ellen

HOT WHEELS: GB cyclists in top form at the Velodrome. Pictures courtesy of the British Paralympic Association Hunter (Wrexham) won a gold and a silver. The pair had to settle for silver in the 200m visually impaired flying time trial, behind Australia’s Lindy Hou and Lanelle Linsay. But they turned the tables on the Aussies to win gold in the 1km tandem time trial. Just for good measure, the British pair broke the world record of 1:11.160 that they set to win gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. The new benchmark is 1:10.431. Mark Bristow set a British record of

1:11.123 to win Britain’s gold in the LC1 1km time trial, while Gary Williams (Bickerstaffe, Lancashire) won silver in the LC1 3000m pursuit, losing to Austria’s Wolfgang Eibeck. Williams couldn’t repeat his form of the qualifying round, when he set a British record of 3:39.929. He clocked a time of 3:43.334 in the final. Rik Waddon (Manchester) also won silver in the LC2 1km time trial, but had the consolation of a British record of 1:13.406.

Hot stuff on the Brasilia courts

ON COURT: Debbie Thomas

THE North West’s top wheelchair tennis players put up fine performances in the 2006 Invacare World Team Cup in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. Wirral Tennis Centre’s Debbie Thomas (Prenton) with team mates Lucy Shuker, (Somerset) and Susan Paisley (Cleveland) secured Great Britain’s first top 10 finish for three years. Despite going a set up in the first singles match of GB’s first play-off tie against Chinese Taipei, Thomas slipped to a three set defeat, but her contribution was not in vain as Great Britain went

on to win the tie 2-1 after the deciding doubles rubber. Victory over Spain’s Barbara Vidal 6-3, 6-3 followed by a superb display with Shuker to beat the Spanish No 1 Lola Ochoa 6-1, 6-1 in the deciding doubles rubber ensured Great Britain’s first top 10 placing. Meanwhile, Anthony Cotterill (Macclesfield), making his GB debut in the Quad event for players affected in three or more limbs, shaped well alongside team mates Adam Field (East Sussex) and Chris Johnson (Hampshire). Despite not winning a game, Cotterill pleased the GB coaches.

Send us your reports: email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk


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June/July 2006

All Together Now!

IN MANCHESTER Basketballers on the way to more glory IT WAS silver and bronze for Britain’s wheelchair basketballers. The women’s team found the Mexicans just a little too strong in the last quarter of the final, going down 37-32. GB’s Ann Wild said: “It was a tough game. It’s always a bit of a fist fight with that team, but we did an incredibly good job, especially with our rookies. “At the moment we’re looking towards London 2012 with these young players – getting them out there and giving them some experience of big games.” Meanwhile, the men’s team, which included several new faces, did well to take bronze, beating Sweden 51-34. Dan Highcock (Liverpool), one of last year’s gold medal winning team, said the competition was tough. “It was a great performance by the whole team and our defence was great,” said Dan, 24. “The competition was a lot tougher than last year with Canada bringing a

full strength squad and Australia bringing their best team but it’s a good experience for us to play against the top competition because they are the best teams in the world.” Head coach Dave Titmuss said the event was an important chance to give younger players court time with an eye on the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. “It was a pleasing performance defensively,” said Titmuss. “To have gone away from the tournament without having given minutes to key players for the future would have been a mistake. “I think 10 of the 12 guys we had here will be available for London 2012,” he added. “But I won’t be experimenting when it comes to the World Championships in July. “There are five top players coming back and I’m going to try to get Ade Adepitan (Manchester) to come out of retirement,” he added.

B

Fresh from winning the London Marathon, David Weir proved he’s in fine form across all distances by winning gold in all three of his events – the T54 100m, 200m and 1500m. Tracy Hinton (Llanedyrn, Cardiff) was also in flying form

and belted around the T11 400m to take gold in a time of 1:01.72, 14 seconds faster than Mikiko Masuda of Japan, who took silver. Danny Crates (Stanford Le Hope, Essex), who won gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympics, saw Britain to their ninth gold medal, winning the final event of the day, the men’s T46 800m. In the field events, Beverley Jones (Deeside) won the F37

shot put with a throw of 10.02m, while David Gale (Southport) and Richard Schabel (East Grinstead, West Sussex) took gold and bronze respectively in the F32 and F51 discus throw. Paralympic champion Kenny Churchill (Middlesbrough) took gold in the F37 javelin – setting a world record of 49.78m. Paralympic champion Daniel Greaves (Anstey, Leicester) then added another gold to

HOTSHOTS: The GB men’s team were too good for Sweden in the Visa Paralympic World Cup

Britain’s medal haul by winning the F44 discus. Kim Minett (Fareham, Hampshire), who took gold at the inaugural event last year, narrowly missed out retaining the title for the F40 shot put, taking silver behind Morocco’s Laila El Garaa, who set a world record with her throw of 7.21m. In the same event Sophie Hancock (Horwich, Bolton), who won silver last year, just missed out on a medal, coming

fourth with a throw of 6.11m. Athens Paralympic Games bronze medallist Lloyd Upsdell (Whitchurch, Cardiff) took bronze in the men’s T35 200m. Team-mate Richard White (Catshill, Bromsgrove) came seventh. But there was disappointment for Dame Tanni GreyThompson (Redcar, Cleveland) who could only finish fourth in the T53 100m and sixth in the T53 800m.

Everton’s season off to a flyer

FOOTBALL FOR ALL: Everton’s Lee Carsley, left, and Kevin Kilbane with Pinkey Das, 12, of Merefield school, Southport.

Splashing out in the style of champions NORTH WEST swimmers helped Britain gain five gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes.

Athletes power home with a clutch of medals RITAIN’S athletes won nine golds, one silver and two bronze medals – and set a world record.

31

EVERTON’s Football In The Community programme have been given a dream start to the new season – a £60,000 grant from the Children In Need charity. Premiership players Lee Carsley and Kevin Kilbane joined in the celebrations with a kickabout with young disabled players at Goodison Park. Everton have eight disability teams, including deaf, visually impaired and amputee sides, making it the biggest scheme of its kind on the country. The Blues’ commitment to working with disabled footballers started with visits to special schools and day centres during

which they offered football coaching sessions in parallel with their schools’ development programme. The Football Foundation provided the funding which helped the club appoint a dedicated disabled football development officer. The project has been one long success story and 18 months ago Everton set up the scheme as a new registered charity. A five-year plan is now under way which aims to widen the range of their work which will include raising the standard of the coaching and encouraging disabled people to become football coaches, managers and first-aiders.

Jim Anderson (Broxburn, West Lothian), winner of four gold medals at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, led the way with a brace of European records and a gold medal. Three-times Paralympian Andrew Lindsay (Cowdenbeath) took Britain’s first swimming gold medal of the competition, winning the S7 100m backstroke title. Lindsay was also part of the British team, alongside Matthew Walker (Stockport), David Hill (Exmouth, Devon) and James Crisp (Nottingham), who took gold in the men’s multi-disability 4 x 50m freestyle relay in a time of 1:57.43, more than six seconds ahead of Brazil in second place. Walker, fresh from his recent bronze medal at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, took gold in the S7 50m freestyle, an event in which he won silver at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Natalie Jones (Manchester) won silver in the S6 50m freestyle, tying in a dead heat for second in 38.27 with Finland’s Reeta Peltola. Japan’s Erika Nara took gold. Mhairi Love (Larkhill, Manchester) was fourth with Liz Johnson (Newport, Gwent) fifth. Sascha Kindred (Hereford, exManchester), winner of four Paralympic Games gold medals, took gold in the S7 50m butterfly setting a British record of 33.02. Sixteen year-old Rachel Latham (Wigan) came fourth in the S8 100m butterfly but set a new British record with 37.88.

Send us your reports: email: news@alltogethernow.org.uk


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June/July 2006

www.alltogethernow.org.uk

Tennis aces set for long hot summer

The OTHER World Cup BRITAIN’s top Paralympians won 21 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals at the Visa Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. Read all about it on Pages 30-31. Pictures: British Paralympic Association

Triathlon time, kids! S

IR Steve Redgrave is calling on schools throughout the North West to sign up for this year’s Sefton Triathlon for disabled youngsters. Last year competitors came from Blackburn, Bolton, Southport, and Liverpool to make the event one of the most memorable events in the North West sporting calender. Now Olympian legend Sir Steve and fellow organisers want to attract even more entries for this year’s race. Sir Steve says: “Events like the triathlon are important because they allow children to participate in different kinds of activity. “It is also a wonderful way to raise money.” PE teacher John Moran from St Mary’s College, Crosby, is behind the initiative. He said: “We want to involve as many disabled children as we can from schools right across the whole of the North West.” Macmillan Cancer Relief and the British Hearth Foundation will benefit from the children’s efforts. Teachers interested in joning in the triathlon, taking place at Crosby on Saturday July 8, can contact John on: 0151 924 3700 email j.moran@btinternet.com

ON YOUR MARKS FOR SEFTON: Olympians Steve Smith, Sir Steve Redgrave, Steve Parry and Lee Shearer at Alder Hey Hospital. Picture: TRACEY O’NEILL

Powerlifters shine in world championships GREAT Britain’s Powerlifting squad put in a series of impressive performances at the World Championships in Busan, Korea. Manchester’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jason Irving lifted two personal bests to place 5th, only 7.5kg away from taking the bronze. Powerlifting team manager Jon Amos said: “The GB Powerlifting squad turned in absolutely fantastic overall results laying down a positive message for the future of Powerlifting and the current squads

who are working towards London 2012 via Beijing in 2008.” Adam Alderman (Sibley, Essex), in his final year as a junior, took two bronze medals and lifted a personal best of 112.5kgs in the 48kg category. Paralympian Natalie Blake (Newark), who narrowly missed out on the medals in Athens in 2004, fought off tough competition to win bronze in the 48kg category with a lift of 87.5kg. Newcomer Ali Jawad (London), competing in the junior section,

won silver in the 75kg category by lifting 147.5kg, while fellow junior Glen Puxley (Haverhill) lifted 150kg in the 100kg+ category to set a junior world record and take the gold. There was, however, disappointment for Paralympic champion Emma Brown (Pontypridd) who sustained an injury during training and had to withdraw from the competition. About 300 athletes from 53 countries took part in the championships.

DEBBIE Thomas (Prenton) and Anthony Cotterill (Macclesfield) are among the North West’s players with real hopes of success in this year’s National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. The squad from Wirral Tennis Centre also includes 17-year-old Eleanor Hind, who played able-bodied tennis at club level before having a lower leg amputation last autumn. The next major event after the National Championships is the Men’s Wheelchair Doubles at The Championships, Wimbledon (July 8-9), which will again be televised by BBC TV. Three weeks later (July 25-30), all eyes will turn to Nottingham Tennis Centre for the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. A super summer of top class disability tennis in Britain will culminate at Nottingham from August 813, when the world’s top deaf players will be in action at the 3rd British Open Deaf Tennis Championships. Cheadle Hulme’s Darren O’Donnell, a bronze medallist at the Deaflympic Games in Melbourne in 2005, is likely to be among the leading contenders in the Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events.

Like this mag? Our sincere thanks to all our partners and advertisers who are helping to keep this unique and award winning news service alive and kicking! It is advertising revenue that will ensure the charity’s long-term future. — Tom Dowling, editor

Tel 0151 230 0307 news@alltogethernow.org.uk

issue7  

From the archives, issue 7 of All Together Now Magazine!

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