Empower Magazine Issue 3

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Credit - www.gray-hughes.com


It’s about ability, not disabilities

Official Media Partners: 30 years of inspiration




© Ottobock

Ottobock Private Clinic

Otto Bock Healthcare PLC Unit G1 – G2, Stockton Close, Minworth Trade Estate, Birmingham B76 1DH T +44 (0) 121 359 6323 • F +44 (0) 121 359 6324 • clinic@ottobock.com • www.ottobock.co.uk

Ottobock Private Clinic At our purpose-built flag ship facilities at Minworth, Birmingham, you will be treated with outstanding care and cutting edge technology across all our product ranges which include custom made bespoke items and Ottobock stock products to enhance your independence and mobility.

You will have access to the finest clinicians experienced in writing complex cases, who will look after your total care, improving and managing your symmetry, signposting you to the correct treatment for your needs, measuring and documenting outcomes and responding to all questions or concerns you may have.

Ottobock provides services in all areas of rehabilitation including:

We commit ourselves to ensuring you will have a professional and rewarding experience when visiting us. We offer a one to one consultation using the latest technology, enabling us to offer a tailor made solution.

• • • • •

Prosthetics Orthotics Neurostimulation Silicone Special seating

We will provide advice on the most appropriate intervention with no obligation to purchase, following assessment.

Our clinicans also have experience in all areas of legal work incorporating: • Writing joint statements • Provision of second opinions on reports or case evidence • Attending case conferences and court hearings Our clinicians are Bond Solon trained and comply with the Civil Procedure Rules Part 35. For overseas clients we are happy to offer assistance with visa application, referral letters, transportation and accommodation secured at corporate rates.

For more information or arrange a *free assessment call 0845 2666 514 email: clinic@ottobock.com or visit us at www.ottobockuk/privateclinic *Quote Empower2 when booking your assessment




07 - 11. NEWS

• Ladies Day • Kartforce: Team KF • Pednor 10: Charity Run • Kevin Brennan: Cycling Challenge • Sept 2014: Channel Swim • WWTW: Cumbrian Challenge

The Douglas Bader Foundation


15. DWP

• Paralympic Games Preview


• A Catalyst for great positivity


• The Provision of Prosthetics

35. CMSUK 37 - 41. MOBILITY

• Worlds most advanced prosthetic knee fitted in the UK • Legs 4 Africa


• CAE - Adapting your home to suit you

48 - 52. PAIN MANAGEMENT • Natural ways to free yourself from Phantom Limb Phenomena

53 - 57. SPORT

• LimbPower - Health & Getting Fit • Amputee Football (EAFA)

58. DAYS OUT & ATTRACTIONS • VisitEngland - Access for All


• Planning a Trip Away. With thanks to: The Douglas Bader Foundation, ProActive Prosthetics, Kartforce, Kevin Brennan, BLESMA, Pace Rehabilitation, Walking with the Wounded, Tom Williams (Legs 4 Africa), Mike Penning (DWP), Clare Tigoglu (Prosthetica), Ottobock, AIM, Rob Thomas (New Law), Adam Shelverton (CMSUK), Kiera Roche (LimbPower), Alexandra Smedley (CAE), Rachael Horton (Pain Management), Visit England, James Catchpole & all advertisers.

Images Supplied by: Front Cover Graham Hughes (www.gray-hughes.com), Stef Reid, ProActive Prosthetics, www.professional-images.com & thanks to all other image contributors.

Published & Designed by: www.publishingmagazinesltd.com © Publishing Magazines Ltd

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© Publishing Magazines Ltd 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors and omissions. No responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for any claims made by the advertisers in this publication.

Contact Us: sales@publishingmagazinesltd.com studio@publishingmagazinesltd.com Website: www.empowermagazine.org.uk Twitter: @EmPower_Mag

Follow us: @Empower_Mag


vividly remember when Douglas died. His untimely death from a heart attack aged 72 in 1982 whilst being driven back from London by Joan, Lady Bader, caused a great gap in our lives. Staying with them in Berkshire we had seen them leave and noticed how pale Douglas was. He had only recently had a heart attack on the Golf Course appearing in a TV Pro-Celebrity Golf match with Seve Ballesteros and Peter Allis. The concept of the Foundation started around the kitchen table within 24 hours prompted by the extraordinary number of people who contacted us, the media coverage, all expressing how much Douglas had been an ‘Inspiration’ to both able and disabled alike. Our original Board of Trustees consisted of those who flew with Douglas side-by-side, became friends in POW camps, had known him and worked with him post-war in his civilian life, and family. Our first Patron was HM The Queen Mother. In 1982 DBF was a ‘’newbie’’. The limb less community was served by established Forces Benevolent Funds and National Charities created by former and Serving members of the Armed Forces, Housing Trusts formed and named after War heroes, Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centres that purely treated amputees. Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton was such a hospital and where Douglas continued to be treated all his life. QMH became the location for our first endeavour, The Douglas

Bader Centre, and also our HQ. Forming the Douglas Bader Foundation has enabled us to continue the legacy of Douglas’ ‘Inspiration’, a double amputee who fought back and demonstrated that disability does NOT equal no life, far from it. There are some seismic developments in prosthetics , sporting initiatives inspired by the London Paralympic Games, a growth in the numbers of people with limb loss caused by the theatre of war, by suicide attacks, tragedy, accident , wrong place wrong time, children being born with congenital limb loss. We ourselves are continually Inspired by the many limb less people we meet of all ages, and those who provide the wide range of support for them in every discipline. DBF are delighted to be a Media Partner with EmPower, warmly welcoming this new publication that highlights the support network, individual inspirational and group achievements, new initiatives, giving attention and a voice to the community that we serve as one. David Bickers CEO DBF and son in law of Douglas and Joan Bader.

Rascal Rehab is ON THE BALL! Rascal Rehab are proud to present the Luca Football Powerchair from You-Q


The Luca Football Powerchair is available in Mid-Wheel Drive (MWD) and Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) powerbase, with a wide selection of inter-changeable parts and the option to add contoured seating to give teams the ability to configure to multiple members of the team with some quick adjustments. Specifically designed to give low seat to floor heights and meet the tough requirements of power football. Available in 2 frame colours: Dark Grey or White with caps and side bumpers sprayed in team colours The Luca Football Powerchair gives unbeatable manoeuvrability, acceleration and power to win the game!

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Stefanie Reid Paralympic long jump silver medalist Scott Moorhouse Paralympic javelin finalist Stefanie Reid Paralympic long jump silver medalist Scott Moorhouse Paralympic javelin finalist

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Tel: Tel:01252 01252702 702500 500


Ladies Day By ProActive Prosthetics:


n Saturday 1st of February 2014 ProActive Prosthetics hosted their first Ladies Day. The day was conceived as the team at ProActive Prosthetics observed many of their lady patients who enjoyed chance meetings in the clinic. A day was arranged for their patients to have the opportunity to meet each other in a more relaxed way and have some interesting topics to discuss. The day started with a thought provoking film called ‘Fitting Room Friends’ made by a team of amputee ladies from the Royal National Orthopedic Limb fitting Centre at Stanmore. The film followed a group of amputees who met and became friends at the limb fitting centre. It was both poignant and fun covering everything from what to wear to cosmeses and dance classes. The film, along with its many issues was discussed between the ladies. Jane Hunter, Prosthetist and Orthotist at ProActive Prosthetics talked about some of the prosthetic issues particular to female amputees. Statistically, there are 3 times as many male amputees as females. In the Boston marathon bombing in April 2013, 8 out of the 16 victims were women. Some new treatment factors emerged from the treatment including the need for more privacy, modesty and a sense of dignity in the evaluation process and a preference for a female prosthetist. Jane also talked about topics such as the best type of nail varnish to use on prosthetic limbs. After a lunch during which the ladies had plenty of time to get to know each other a little better, Stef Reid, Paralympic Silver medalist spoke about her experience of being a lady amputee. Stef became an amputee following a boating accident when she was 16 years old. She talked very openly about

>> Stef Reid, Paralympic silver medalist the effect it had one her at the time and how she was quite shocked about how big her prosthesis needed to be considering she had only lost her foot. She spoke about the clothes she wore then to conceal her loss and said that many of her new acquaintances had no idea that she wore a prosthesis. These days, of course, she has no desire to hide her prostheses, in fact she has recently been modelling designer clothes for Debenhams in her running blade. Stef then confronted the subject of relationships. She confided that the less concerned she became about her disability the more dates she was asked on. She is married to a paraplegic and admits that she found his complete comfort with his own disability made him more attractive to her. ProActive Prosthetics Physiotherapist, Pam Barsby, led a discussion about balance and fear of falling and dealing with different environments such as ice and snow, rough ground, escalators and steps. The ladies enjoyed Pam’s practical approach to everyday difficulties.

>> Ladies that presented at the ladies day

The day came to a close with ladies swapping contact details having agreed that they would all like to meet again sometime soon. Among the many thank you letters received

one lady wrote ‘I feel sure that we all took away some helpful nuggets which will shine at appropriate opportunities.’ Another wrote ‘You are providing a special place for people to be enabled to regain physical independence and to recover mentally and emotionally to live life to the full’. And another wrote ‘For the first time since my accident I felt part of a group of people who understand what I was going through.’ ProActive Prosthetics would like to thank the speakers Nicola Lane, Stef Reid, Jane Hunter and Pam Barsby for making such an interesting day and to the lovely ladies who came for the day. Thanks also go to Elemis who supported our event by providing a beautiful bag full of goodies for each of our guests. ProActive Prosthetics will be arranging another ladies day in the Autumn this year.

For more information on ProActive Prosthetics please visit: www.proactiveprosthetics.co.uk Contact:


Tel: 01252 702500

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EMPOWER: NEWS Charity Run Helps Fund Running Blades for Worthy Amputees


n a clear but frosty Sunday morning, on the rural edge of Chesham in Buckinghamshire, 7 amputees were amongst 200 runners who were lining up for the 5th ‘Pednor 10’ charity run.



irst Team of Injured Troops to Compete in 24 Heures du Mans Six of the KartForce drivers are now progressing to team endurance racing in cars. Once again, the team is made up of drivers with different injuries, the worst being our 2 double a/k amputees with missing fingers and thumbs. Hand controls for race cars are normally designed around one driver who has 2 fully functional hands. We therefore had to design a new set of hand controls – again. The aim, again, was to ensure drivers got full performance from the car so they can compete on equal terms. We needed a set of hand controls that allowed drivers to steer, throttle, brake and change gears, all virtually at the same time whilst keeping both hands on the steering wheel. Simple – a steering wheel with right hand throttle paddle, left hand brake paddle and gear up & gear down buttons (plus Press To Talk radio button). As one lad has a missing left thumb and

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the other a missing right thumb, there are dual buttons on the left and right. This means they can be racing into a corner, throttling then applying the brake and changing gears, whilst steering around the corner and throttling out, changing gears again. These hand controls sound simple enough but have required a lot of specialist engineering to work out all the different components, and make then all work at high speeds and perfect accuracy. We’re very grateful for the support provided by the Douglas Bader Foundation, who have supported this project with a grant. It’s extra special because Team Kilo Foxtrot will be racing in a Jaguar XF-S that was built in the same factory that built Spitfires. An amputee British war hero has helped make it happen for another generation of amputee war heroes. If anyone wants more information or help with hand controls or karting, please contact Dave Player on dave@kartforce.org

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Organised by the Arctic One Foundation, the challenging 5-mile loop navigated through the picturesque rolling countryside of the Chiltern Hills and consisted of 2 laps for individual runners or 1 lap each for 2-person relay teams. Proceeds from the event were being split equally between five amputees, to enable them to purchase sports limbs. As Arctic One founder Matt Kirby explained, “A running blade can enable a lower limb amputee to have a more natural running gait and participate in sport in the same way as able bodied athletes”. He continued, “Arctic One helps able bodied and disabled people to get involved in sport, so we are thrilled to be able to assist these worthy recipients”. The amputees benefiting from the fund raising included Andy Lewis, Helen Chapman, Rio Woolf and Keira Roche (unfortunately Kieran Maxwell was unable to attend). Joining them, to complete the Pednor 10 race were fellow amputees Scott Richardson and Jamie Gillespie from nearby Pace Rehabilitation. The company was also represented by their GB Paratriathlon patient Clare Cunningham. Prior to the race, Clare said, “This is actually the furthest I’ve run in five years, as the run portion of a Paratriathlons is only five kilometers!” However, she needn’t have worried as she comfortably completed the race by out sprinting her husband Dave to the finish line, to claim

the bragging rights in the Cunningham house. All the amputee competitors successfully completed the course, including a very spirited Helen who did the whole ten miles on crutches. As she explained, “It was quite icy and I managed to face plant twice when my crutches slid away from me on the hilly sections, but I wasn’t going to give in!” Recreational triathlete Jamie acted as a pace maker for Scott, who was competing in his first ever run since losing his leg more than thirteen years ago. Afterwards, a delighted Scott said, “I never ran much with two legs, let alone one. However, having a running blade made the world of difference, so its great that the other amputees will benefit too from this event.” As a result of entry fees, a raffle and donations from The Pednor 10, The Arctic One Foundation are presenting each of the amputee recipients with £700 to help fund their running devices and compete in future events. Update: Following the Pednor 10 and other fundraising activities, Helen Chapman (pictured), from Walton on the Naze in Essex, has received a bespoke running prosthesis from Pace Rehabilitation. She recently competed the Silverstone Half Marathon 25 minutes quicker than last year, benefitting from her first ever Cheetah blade. Helen is also running the London Marathon in April.

EMPOWER: NEWS Amputee cyclist prepares for John O’ Groats to Lands End challenge


was in a hit and run accident in 1982 when I was 18. I was on my motorbike and was hit head on by a car. The driver was never caught. The front part of my foot was almost severed and was useless. I had been a good footballer and played tennis, hockey and cricket. I got depressed and frustrated because I couldn’t do all the things that I was good at. It was difficult coping with that and in 1984 they removed half of my foot and my lower leg was amputated in 2011. By then I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t walk more than 20 yards. I was 20 stone when I had the surgery because I had been so inactive. I was in a wheelchair for a while afterwards, or I used crutches for short distances. My first prosthetic weighed 3lb

and seemed to weigh a tonne. I’m on my third prosthetic now, and it weighs just 549g. The foot is an elite blade and Hayley Ginn who used to coach T44 100m olympic champion Jonnie Peacock has taught me to jog. I was inspired by the paralympics and by the cyclists flying around the velodrome. I realised how much courage and determination they must have. I decided this year to do a bike challenge to raise money for “Help For Heroes”. I did not have a bike and hadn’t ridden since I was a kid. A local shop donated a bike and I decided to ride 56 miles. I train in the gym and at the leisure centre velodrome and sometimes I ride 30 miles. Julia Easton was my personal trainer and my training coach. In October, five of us, four able-bodied, cycled from Letchworh to the park. It

took four hours twenty minutes. When I got home I realised what I had achieved and was proud of myself and especially that I’d got through the London traffic. Cycling is relaxing and it gets the adrenalin going. I have competitions with myself and will try to beat younger riders next year. I want to ride from John O’ Groats to Lands End: 110 miles a day in 9 days. The date for this is the 23rd May 2014.

I want to prove to myself that I can do it and raise as much money as I can for charity. To support Kevin’s challenge please visit: http://www.bmycharity.com/ KevinBrennan2014 http://amputeecyclist.co.uk Social media twitter: @kevbre222 With thanks to sponsors: OSSUR, Pro Bike Kit, My Protein, Gosling Sports Park.

September 2014: The Channel Swim

First all-amputee team to attempt the Channel crossing The Challenge In September 2014 a team of four BLESMA Members will attempt to become the first all-amputee team to swim across the English Channel. The team will be swimming in a relay and according to the rules outlined by the Official Channel Swimming Association, which do not make any special dispensations for amputees.

The rules also include only allowing swimmers to wear swim shorts and a swimming cap – so no wetsuits! The guys will also be swimming without wearing their prosthetics. The swimmers will be training throughout the year to acclimatise to the water temperature, which will probably be around 18°c. To put this into perspective, a comfortably warm bath is usually in the region of 38-41°c, which is a few degrees above body temperature. So far, training events have included Chillswim Coniston

in the Lake District where the temperature averaged at 15.8°c!

a Chief Executive. He currently lives in Newport, Essex.

The Team Craig Howorth (46): Craig is a right leg below-the-knee amputee after losing his leg in a road traffic accident in 2006. Craig had previously served as a submariner in the Royal Navy from 1988 to 1993. He currently lives in Bacup, Lancashire and now works as a trail leader for Military Mountain Bikers.

Conrad Thorpe (50): Conrad was born and grew up in East Africa and represented Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in 1982. He served in the Royal Marines for 21 years, during which time he was selected for the Special Boat Service and served all over the world with them, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Conrad damaged his ankle while running which eventually led to an elective amputation in 2011. Jamie is his prosthetist - which is also how he joined the team. Conrad is now the Chief Executive of one of Africa’s leading risk management and security companies.

Jamie Gillespie (39): Jamie was serving as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers when he was involved in a road traffic accident and lost his left leg below the knee in 1994. He was discharged from the Army in 1995 and has since retrained as a prosthetist and is living in Watford. Stephen White (49): Stephen was serving as a Rifleman with The Royal Green Jackets when a cruciate knee injury led to him losing his left leg above the knee. Stephen was discharged from the Army in 1987 and has since become

The team are fundraising for BLESMA, and if people would like to donate, they can go to www.justgiving.com/stephenwhite12 For more information on BLESMA – please go to www.blesma.org

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Rehabilitation Services Prosthetics I Orthotics Physiotherapy I Counselling Occupational Therapy Immediate Needs Assessments Expert Witness Services Quantum Reports

Above the knee amputee returns to mountain biking

Back to life – in the saddle National Referral Centre Tel: 0845 450 7357 Email: info@pacerehab.com

PACE Rehabilitation 36 Brook Street, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2BX

Unit 1, Anglo Business Park, Asheridge Road, Chesham, Bucks HP5 2QA


33 MOUNTAINOUS KILOMETRES: Are you up for the challenge?


enue Grasmere Sports Ground, The Showfield, Stock Lane Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SL. Dates Friday 13th – Sunday 15th June, 2014

The Event:

On 18th May 2013, Walking With The Wounded launched its inaugural Cumbrian Challenge event. The feedback we received from competitors and the memories created amidst the stunning scenery of the Lake District was enough to convince us that the Cumbrian Challenge would be an annual event for us to enjoy alongside our extraordinary supporters. Our 2014 event has moved from Patterdale to the stunning village of Grasmere, which is less than 10 miles away from Lake Windermere and will take place on Saturday 14th June. Whilst the format of the weekend event will remain the same, we are doubling the number of participants to 800, comprising 200 teams of 4 competitors per team. Join us for a literally breath-taking weekend amidst the stunning scenery of the Lake District. Not only will you meet and race against members of our South Pole expedition team, there will also be the opportunity to meet some of the incredible men and women who we have been able to support during their career transition from the military and which is down entirely to your extraordinary fundraising efforts. The Cumbrian Challenge 2014, will again be supported by Helly Hansen, and we invite you to register a team of four and take up the challenge of competing against our inspirational wounded servicemen and women. The event is designed to provide an exhilarating challenge in a fun environment, combining a competitive race followed by a party atmosphere on the Saturday evening with drinks, food and an informal awards ceremony.

Team Entry:

AsSUPPORTED of 1st October BY 2013 we had received over 100 e-mails showing an interest in applying

>> Pictured: A View of Grasmere from Stone Arthur for a team place, having been 35% oversubscribed for our inaugural in May 2013 event we can only ask that you book early to avoid disappointment. No team place will be confirmed until receipt of entry fees and team registration form. The team entry fee is £400 (per team of 4 people). The minimum age of participants is 16, but each team must include one adult of 18+. Your team entry fee will include: • Your food on Friday evening, hot and cold drinks / snacks • On Saturday afternoon as well as food on Saturday evening • A technical training T-Shirt • All event administration • Water stops en route • Mountain rescue team (with vehicle support) and route marshalls’ • Suggested training, food and required kit information • First aid teams • Timing and checkpoint control staff • Health and safety route management • Toilet facilities and showers at the site base • Saturday evening entertainment We also ask that you undertake some fundraising for the Charity, and that each team raises a minimum of £1000, equating to £250 per team member. As one of our key charity partners we recommend using Virgin Money Giving for your fundraising efforts.

it will not be possible due to timescales of event administration. ALL team members therefore need to be in agreement over what route they will be doing. The Tough – 20k hike, 1000m of altitude gain, Expected time: 5 hours The Tougher – 33k hike, 1650m of altitude gain, Expected time: 8-10 hours Both courses will take competitors across the Langdale Pikes with The Tougher course taking in ‘Bow Fell’ and ‘Crinkle Crags’ including the famous ‘Bad Step’. Please register online at www.sientries. co.uk/event.php?event_id=1194. You can also edit your team at www.sientries.co.uk/ login/login.php. To register your team, four team members are not required at this stage, one name will be sufficient. However, please bear in mind that team places will not be guaranteed until payment is made.

Prizes: There will be prizes given for: • Highest fundraising team • Fastest ‘Tougher’ route team • Fastest ‘Tough’ route team Walking With The Wounded will make a donation to ‘Fix The Fells’ who are part of the National Trust and are responsible for mending any deterioration caused by visitors to The Fells.

The Route:

The challenge will be a circular route, achievable within one day, with 2 route options to cater for varying levels of physical fitness. The cut off for route changing will be 2 weeks prior to the event, after which point

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BravesGoFree! *


WE HAVE NINE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN Sat 17th May Sat 24th May Sat 7th June Sat 21st June Sat 28th June Sun 6th July Sat 19th July Sun 10th August Sat 23rd August

Moray Flying Club, Kinloss Barracks, Morayshire Scottish Aero Club, Perth Airport, Scone, Perth Ulster Flying Club, Newtownards Airport, Portaferry, Co Down Devon & Somerset Flight Training, Dunkeswell Aerodrome, Honiton, Devon Pembrokeshire Flying Club, Haverfordwest Airport, Haverfordwest West London Aero Club, White Waltham Airfield, Maidenhead, Berks Shropshire Aero Club, Sleap Aerodrome, Harmer Hill, Shropshire Goodwood Flying Club, Goodwood Airfield, Chichester, West Sussex Cornwall Flying Club, Bodmin Airfield, Cardinham, Bodmin, Cornwall

For further information and to register go to:

www.douglasbaderfoundation.com Charity Commission Registered No. 800435

An initiative of




roup Captain Sir Douglas Bader was commissioned as an officer in the R A F in 1930 but after only 18 months he crashed his aeroplane and became a double amputee caused by “my own fault” in an aeroplane accident in 1931. Douglas was discharged from the RAF and after the outbreak of the Second World War, re-joined the RAF as a disabled pilot. Douglas was a member of 222 Squadron and was promoted to lead 242 Squadron. His skill as an aviator and contribution as an outstanding leader and fighter ace during WW2, along with his continuous attempts to escape prisoner of war camp after he was shot down, were immortalised in the book and film ‘Reach for the Sky‘. The Douglas Bader Foundation was formed following his death in 1982 by immediate friends and family to continue his Inspiration: For a number of years we have developed activities and services for the limb loss community, many of which are FREE. We need help from BAPO members to in particular source children with limb loss and their families to attend our 2014 schedule of 10 Bader Braves Flying Days, 2 Adventure weekends and 4 Go Kart days. Sourcing via the NHS network tends to lean more towards children with Learning Disabilities rather than Physical Disabilities and whilst we can accommodate both we wish to focus on our primary market those with limb loss whether congenital or from amputation.

Our BADER BRAVES initiative was launched in 2010 to give children with limb loss and children with other disabilities the opportunity to experience flight in a light aircraft in association with 10 Flying Clubs and their members around Great Britain; to enjoy multi outdoor and indoor physical activities at the Calvert Trust locations in Lake Kielder, Northumberland and Exmoor, Devon; new for 2014 Go-karting days, organised by KARTFORCE consisting of retired and serving wounded soldiers who pursue the sport themselves and wish to share the sport with limb impaired children providing the karts and the adapted steering mechanisms to suit. The Days Out are completely free for children with limb loss and their families up to a total of four per family. We can accommodate 24 families at our Flying Days and Go Kart Days ( includes a packed lunch ) and 14 families at the Adventure week-ends which includes FREE accommodation on site and FREE meals from arriving on Friday evening and Departing after lunch on Sunday. Also please Spread the Word to your amputee and limb impaired patients, customers, contacts, about our Bader Grants and Team Bader activities. BADER GRANTS have assisted countless disabled individuals and groups throughout the UK to achieve a variety of goals in diverse areas ranging from education, the arts, sport and recreation to small businesses including being a Marketing Partner of The Junior Amputee Games at Stoke Mandeville organised by LimbPower and TEAM BADER activities Enabling amputees and other disabled and able bodied to participate in Fund Raising Sporting and Other Activities. TEAM BADER CYCLING has over the years created events including Cycle Jordan, Cycle Spain, Cycle Cuba, and Lands End to

‘A disabled person who fights back is not disabled… but inspired’

John O’Groats and most recently TANDEM CHALLENGE WALES undertaken by our Amputee Cycling Founders, Wyn Jenkins, Margaret Biggs. TEAM BADER ATHLETES – regular participation in Half Marathons, Marathons, and 10k events around the UK TEAM BADER CHALLENGES - a number of Treks including Inca Trail, Black Sea to Petra, Great Wall of China, Three Peaks. All our limb loss friends need to do is to either, go on line www.douglasbaderfoundation.com for a request form, select event or activity, submit to be confirmed and turn up.

Participation is subject to availability, For more information: Call 020 8748 8884 or email davidbdbf@hotmail.co.uk for a request form, select event or activity, submit to be confirmed and turn up. Participation is subject to availability.

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The sleek design links the hand and foot cranks via a direct drive belt. This enables anyone to exercise arms and legs in a cyclic manner. Simply add resistance as you drive for fitness. Designed in New Zealand and inspired by the ‘All Blacks’ this is one exercise product that is tough, beautifully designed and stunningly practical. We know you will like it. Already chosen by many home based clients, therapy practices and gyms. Contact us to see one or order one.

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Winter Paralympic Games Preview (March, 2014) >> Written by - Mike Penning MP, Minister of State for Disabled People

There are just days to go before our athletes take to the field in what promises to be a thrilling Winter Paralympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.

I wish all our athletes every bit of luck in their endeavours; I’m sure that they will do us proud.


ifteen competitors will be travelling from the UK to take part, picking up where Team GB left off during the highly successful London Paralympics of 2012. Millie Knight, who is visually impaired, will be among them after the Alpine Skier successfully made it onto the team. Just 15 years of age, she is the youngest ever athlete to represent Great Britain at a Winter Paralympics and received one of the best presents ever when she found out on her birthday that she would be going to Sochi. Millie lost much of the sight in her left eye at the age of six. But Millie, who had recently been on a skiing holiday, did not let her disability get in the way of pursuing her new found passion and she continued practicing her new sport. All her grit and determination appears to have paid off. Tom Killin will be part of the Wheelchair Curling team that will be vying for a place on the podium. Tom won Silver with the Curling Team in Torino in 2006 and also competed in Vancouver four years later.

during the same tournament, so comes with a proven track record in a wide variety of sports. Ever since the first Winter Paralympics was held in Sweden back in 1976, this country has been proud to participate in every tournament that has followed. Our athletes have done well, coming away with six Silver and 15 Bronze medals in total. But the coveted Gold has eluded us – up until now. Hopefully that will all change in the days ahead and I am sure the entire country will be willing on Team GB to win the nation’s first Gold Medal when the Games get underway on March 7. They have a fantastic opportunity to do just that. At January’s IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in France, Jade Etherington and her guide Caroline Powell snatched two Gold medals in as many days. Winning the second of her two medals, she beat her Paralympic team-mate Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans to the top spot by less than a second.

Unusually, Tom has successfully made the switch from competing in Paralympics’ events to Winter Paralympics.

For a country that is not exactly blessed with an abundance of ski resorts, this was a fantastic achievement and something that both duos will take great heart from as they prepare to repeat their success in Sochi.

He won two Silver medals in the Wheelchair Fencing events at the 1980 Arnhem Games. He also competed in Wheelchair Table Tennis

I wish all our athletes every bit of luck in their endeavours over the coming days; I’m sure that they will do us proud.

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A catalyst for great positivity >> Written by - Clare Tigoglu, Prosthetica


n May 2012 I was involved in a car accident, I sustained a lot of injuries including a heavily crushed right leg. It was touch and go whether I’d survive, so I was mightily relieved to pull through albeit with a limb missing. My first concerns were for my children, beautiful twins aged 10 at the time. Gabby and Alex weren’t allowed to see me for about 6 days, I was so worried for them and wanted to get out of hospital as soon as I could to be back at home with them. Six weeks later I was discharged from hospital, it was a huge learning curve getting used to every day life as an amputee. I had been studying Art and Textiles at Bath Spa University and wanted to get back and get on with my course. I pared down my hours to a minimum in order to cope. As an art student I had been working on body politics in a variety of medium prior to my accident. It seemed natural to explore this experience through my artwork. To express my emotions, convey how it feels embrace my new form as an amputee. I wanted to make alternative prosthetic legs. I hoped to create some celebratory prosthesis rather than the usual rather clumsy legs given by the N.H.S. With this piece I wanted to convey a humourous, feminist statement. A comment on women’s domestic role, I made a cast of my stump to make the socket, which I chose to make from fibre glass without colour to echo the faded dishevelled state of the broom. It’s size was important to me. I hoped to make it fantastical and larger than life. It would be impossible to wear such a thing comfortably and this was to emote the burden of ones position, which can be as an amputee or not! During my working process I found that I wanted to express both my psychological state and my physical feelings of having a phantom limb. I was very inspired by a piece at the ‘Superhuman’

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exposition at the Wellcome Collection last summer. An excerpt of Matthew Barney’s ‘Cremaster 3’ with model, athlete and double amputee Aimee Mullins performing roles involving beautiful and metamorphic prostheses that grant surreally envisaged super powers. I felt very motivated to make work that involved the psychological side of the accident and hope to create the manifestation of that through my art. To emote the profound change and new form I own. To move forward with it has meant that I needed to allow this real sufferance in order to be able to then celebrate it. The next piece I made was rather convivial and great fun to wear! My inspiration came from the ancient swirling dervishes who spin with full bodied white skirts. They dance in spinning motion to induce a trance like state. I made a socket by making a copy from my first piece. I then covered this with the stump sock linings provided by my prosthetist, who also supplied the longer stockings with which I made the pendulous tentacle like appendages. With all my work around the prosthetics I have tried to use humour, to engage with my audience and to convey my character. After exploring my feelings around what had happened to me I started to work on more practical work. I wanted to produce covers for my leg that would make me feel better about having to wear it. I considered it a chance for me to make beautiful art that in turn has the practical property of covering my leg. The idea was to make covers that could be changed easily that would serve as an accessory.

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I intended to make covers which people could interchange to compliment their outfits. I was inspired greatly by the Paralymics, it was fortuitous that while recovering and rehabilitating I had such an amazing event to watch. I researched limb loss as I had not encountered it previously, to be honest I had no idea what to expect from life. I came across the wonderful work of Sophie de Oliveira, the founder of The Alternative Limb Project. Her amazing, uplifting prosthesis helped me to consider the possibilities with my leg covers. I also found out about a company in America called Bespoke Fairings, they make incredibly beautiful coverings for prostheses using 3D printing technology. I made hundreds of drawings and set about making moulds to craft some leg covers of my own. The process was very new to me and I encountered technical problems, such as how to fit the covers to my leg. Eventually I reached a point where I was happy with my creations and I began to wear them out and about. I had some photographs taken to show off the designs and even made a Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Prosthetica Next stop will be developing a website and hopefully offering my services to fellow amputees who would like to wear one of my leg covers. I feel strongly that having a prosthesis that you are happy with is helpful for successful rehabilitation. Moreover, the process of addressing ones physical condition and can be a catalyst for great positivity.


Marathon Challenge for Amputee Ex-Servicemen


aving recently returned from the South Pole with Prince Harry, amputee ex-servicemen Duncan Slater and Guy Disney are not resting on their laurels, as they prepare to run the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. The Walking With The Wounded duo have recently been provided with bespoke running prostheses at Pace Rehabilitation, in anticipation of their 26.2 mile challenge on 13th April. As Duncan quipped, “You’d think after the South Pole we’d be taking it easy, but I suspect that this isn’t going to be at all easy! However, we are up for the challenge!” Duncan was seriously injured whilst on active service in Afghanistan in 2009. The injuries to his feet were so severe that he was told he would never walk again, so elected to have both legs amputated below the knee. Despite not attempting to run since, he has cycled from Lands’ End to John O’Groats and become the first bilateral amputee to walk to the South Pole, so is fired up for this next challenge.

>> Pictured: Bilateral amputee Duncan Slater with his pair of running blades As he explained, “Not being able to run has been one thing that I’ve really missed since my accident” He added, “Our prosthetic legs for the South Pole expedition were faultless, so I’m confident that the team at Pace will make Guy and I great running legs too. We can’t wait to try them out”. Despite their eagerness, neither have ever attempted to run a marathon before. So, with only a few weeks before the race, specialist amputee running coach Hayley Ginn (Carbon Motion) is assisting with a training program and exercise regime. As she explains, “A marathon is a big challenge for anyone, let alone for an amputee. Couple that with just a few weeks preparation and its becomes a huge ask. However, judging by their Polar exploits, they have a proven history of getting the job done!”

>> Pictured: Duncan Slater (left) & Guy Disney (right) about to take their first running steps

Following an initial appointment to cast their residual limbs, the pair returned to Pace’s Chesham (Bucks) clinic recently to be fitted with their bespoke running

prostheses. Almost immediately Duncan and Guy were jogging up and down the clinic room, before venturing outside to put their blades through their paces, under the watchful eyes of prosthetist Paul Richardson and Hayley. Paul commented, “We’ve used a slightly more cushioned liner to increase protection from the impact of running, which is working well.” Adding, “It’s fantastic to see them both taking to their blades so quickly”. Both Duncan and Guy were delighted with their new prosthetics, as Guy summaried, “It is a completely different sensation to run on a blade, the energy return feels terrific.” Calming adding, “I guess its just down to us to put the miles in now!” A video featuring the duo running on their blades for the first time can be viewed at: http://bcove.me/xr7ykv0i (British Forces News)

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Improving People’s Lives The London Prosthetic Centre understand that every patient is different. Our specialised private service ensures that your clinical care package is created to complement your lifestyle and to help you enjoy life.

For further information visit: www.thelondonprosthetics.com Unit 20, Kingsmill Business Park, Chapel Mill Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 3GZ Tel: 0208 789 6565 Email: enquiries@thelondonprosthetics.com

Call now for a free Consultation and to enter the draw to win an ipad (entries(entries close 31 December close 31 July 2013 2014 -- Quote Quote EMPOWER) EMPOWER) ŠAdolfoMaciocco.com


Amputee wonder woman set to embark on next challenge with specialised prosthetic skiing leg 48 year-old London amputee Georgy Evans, who has so far taken on running, scuba diving and horse-riding with the help of a range of cutting-edge prosthetic limbs, is now set to embark on a new challenge on the ski slopes thanks to a specialised prosthetic skiing leg which was developed and fitted by The London Prosthetic Centre.

“I was also very young, which meant that I needed constant adaptations to match my growth, and walking or running with the woollen, and later cotton, stump socks, which had little to no absorption properties, lead to terrible blisters.”

n 1968, at just three years old, Georgy was shopping with her mother in a store on Kensington High Street when her wellington boot became caught in an escalator, dragging her leg in and trapping it between the side panel and the moving steps. Fire-fighters freed Georgy from the escalator, but within hours of the accident at a nearby hospital, it became clear that her leg needed to be amputated, as she explains:

Georgy’s newly found freedom gave her the confidence to embark on new challenges, including scuba diving, horse-riding and taking part in the BBC programme Beyond Boundaries, pushing herself to the limits of endurance trekking, climbing mountains, cutting through jungles and kayaking down rivers across Africa.


“I can remember very little of the accident itself but the firemen and surgeon who helped me on the day were fantastic. At that time, there weren’t any warning signs on escalators, and my surgeon, who had operated on a number of other young children due to similar circumstances, campaigned with my family to bring reforms into place. Eventually the yellow lines and warning signs that you see on escalators today were introduced. “Adapting to life with the limited functionality of the prosthetic limbs available at the time, which were made of wood and held in place with leather straps, was very difficult and a major obstacle for me was on a psychological level, as nobody really talked about disability. I was consistently encouraged to walk as ‘normally’ as possible and to not tell anyone about my leg by hiding it under long skirts or trousers.

After many years struggling to cope psychologically and physically with her disability, Georgy was offered a lifeline in the form Abdo Haidar, the current Consultant Prosthetist at The London Prosthetic Centre. He suggested that she try a newly-developed carbon fibre prosthesis which, when used alongside pioneering silicone gel stump socks, allowed Georgy to run or walk as far as she chose to, without experiencing any blisters on her stump or any need to recover afterwards.

However, Georgy had always wanted to be able to ski. She continued: “I tried skiing several years ago with my everyday prosthesis, and it proved to be extremely difficult. I saw an article about how Heather Mills had overcome this and other challenges through the use of a specialist skiing prosthesis from the London Prosthetic Centre, and was delighted to find that Abdo could develop a similar leg for me. It’s a wonderful place and the level of care, attention and innovation from Abdo and his team was fantastic. “The reason I do so much now is down to prosthetists like Abdo who are so patient and creative. I’m very excited about taking on this next challenge on the ski slopes, and will be heading to Xscape at Milton Keynes very soon.”

Consultant Prosthetist, Abdo Haidar said: “We were determined to develop a prosthesis which would meet Georgy’s exact requirements, and we worked very closely with her for several months, fine tuning the design of the leg at every stage to ensure we did just that. “Georgy is a truly remarkable person, who is living life to the full and always taking on new challenges. It’s been a pleasure working with her, and we look forward to seeing her continue to achieve so much.” The London Prosthetic Centre is the only facility in London to provide cutting-edge prosthetic care within a private facility equipped with a modern workshop and silicone facilities. It is a division of RSL Steeper, which was founded in 1921, and is one of the largest suppliers of prosthetic, orthotic and assistive care in the world.

For further information visit: www.thelondonprosthetics.com Address: Unit 20, Kingsmill Business Park, Chapel Mill Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT1 3GZ Tel: 020 8789 6565 enquiries@thelondonprosthetics.com

www.empowermagazine.org.uk - Page 19

With easy-to-select grip patterns and patented technology, bebionic3 allows you to just get on with your life



Please support AIM’s launch party, whether you’re a business, an amputee, or would simply like to network, this event is designed to be fun and work for all. Sponsor packages are available on request.


IM registered as a nonprofit community interest company in August 2013, using both Andy and Stephens joint skills to run as a business providing valuable charitable work.

AIM invites you to their launch party at Langtree Park Rugby Stadium, St Helens 10th MAY 2014

As a business it provides inspirational and motivational talks to schools, colleges and businesses improving individuals desire to achieve more and AIM high, in turn improving the productivity within the organisation that purchases AIM’s services.

RSVP Email: info@weareaim.org Tel: 01744 808 100 Dress Code: Dress to Impress

As a charity it provides amputees with a vision for the future, AIM encourages and supports amputees towards education, employment, sports and hobbies. During 2013 AIM met some very inspirational amputees that really deserve acknowledgement for there achievements, AIM has chosen their inspirational child Callum Wilson, inspirational teenager Lindon Longhorne and Inspirational adult Sue Bibby and informed them of their awards on 31st Dec 2013, their awards will be presented to them in person on AIM’s official launch event on May 10th 2014 by Directors Andy Reid and Stephen Cruse, and also the person that AIM have nominated as their inspirational Mascot of 2014 – Lauren Parker who is in the picture with Andy and Stephen after being presented with her Child of Courage award in November 2013.

All of AIM’s inspirational people of 2013 and AIM’s inspirational Mascot of 2014 have very powerful and moving stories of what they have suffered with and how they have overcome their disabilities to be massive achievers in their own right, all of which will be clear to all on the AIM Launch Party May 10th 2014.

>> Pictured: Directors Andy Reid (Left) & Stephen Cruse (Right) AIM is currently working on several projects that will give many amputees chances to develop new skills, be more proactive in the hunt for employment and also find new hobbies and even help with the interaction of sports which may never of appealed to amputees prior to amputation. Since company registration AIM has inspired and motivated staff at some high profile corporations including Peninsula and ASDA, AIM have also worked with some of the newest secondary school academies including the very new and prestigious Wigan UTC, also adding to our client base is some of the UK’s top rugby league giants. AIM’s client base is growing and the feedback from our clients is very impressive. AIM hopes to incorporate more amputees into the business as we are meeting more and more people with such inspiring and motivating stories, with the help of Andy and Stephen’s life changing experiences AIM will endeavour to encourage and support others reach their goals.

Individual £50 seat includes; • Drinks reception with Live • Solo Artist • 4 Course Meal with Wine • Inspirational Awards Ceremony • Live Band • Surprise Entertainment • Late Disco Table of 10 £450 Corporate Sponsor Packages available on request Website: www.weareaim.org Email: info@weareaim.org Tel: 01744 808 100 /AmputationInspira tionMotivation @AIMnwUK

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he Genium™ X3 is the world’s most technologically advanced microprocessor, offering above-knee amputees the most natural gait possible. Following extensive research and development, the new prosthetic knee joint is waterproof, offers new modes never before available and is virtually impenetrable by dust or dirt.

Ottobock Genium™ X3 >> The world’s most technologically advanced prosthetic leg

Based on the market leading Genium™ microprocessor knee, the Genium X3 offers new features including • ‘Running’ mode: a bespoke feature designed for jogging and exercise. • ‘Mute’ button: the Genium X3 can be silenced for meetings or visits to the cinema • Walk2Run’ feature: designed to enable users to cross a road quickly or run for a bus naturally and intuitively Combined with an increased battery life, the Genium X3 is the next generation in prosthetic technology. The Genium X3 offers more physical capabilities than any other prosthetic leg including running, walking backwards, crossing and stepping over obstacles in a more anatomically correct way, and assisting climbing stairs step-over-step with minimal compensatory movement. The Genium X3’s gyroscope and accelerometers measure the velocity and position of the knee in space. The angle sensor determines the position of your knee joint. The specialised software analyses the data being gathered from its sensors one hundred times per second. All this means that the Genium X3 can determine in real time the support you need from your leg, depending on where you are in your walking cycle or whether you’re going up or down steps or an incline.

About Genium X3 Materials: The Genium X3’s corrosion resistant materials (titanium, hard anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and coating) making this leg waterproof and virtually impenetrable by dust or dirt. Waterproof: The Genium X3 has undergone stringent waterproof testing. Completely submersible, the Genium X3 allows unprecedented contact with water. The knee is perfect for anyone working near water or for activities such as swimming, washing your car or boating. (Just be sure to clean it afterwards.)

Battery life: The Genium X3 has a battery life of 5 days. The charging is induction (magnetic) to the back of the knee and can even be charged through clothing. It also offers an automatic “sleep” mode to extend battery life. That translates into more than five days of use without the need for a recharge, giving you greater independence Sensors: The Genium X3 has additional sensors integrated in the tube adapter. From the moment your heel strikes the ground until your toe lifts off, the sensors tell the microprocessor exactly where you are in your walking cycle, as well as measuring the amount of force acting on the knee. The sensor data helps give you the most natural movement possible. It also allows you to carry loads and bear weight without adversely affecting the function and safety of the knee. New technologies: An accelerometer and a gyroscope intuitively know where your leg is in space, using the same technologies from Wii™ gaming systems and smartphones, for a virtually natural gait. That means less worry of a stumble or fall and less concentration needed when you’re on the move. Activity modes: The Genium X3 offers five activity modes for your choice of activities –biking, golfing, and more – activated using a key fob-sized remote. A mute mode silences all vibration and beep signals for quiet activities such as meetings, movies, or fishing. There is an additional Velcro attachment supplied for your convenience to hold the remote control if required.

Run: Via the remote, the Genium X3 switches into a larger swing angle for running and other sports. Plus, the innovative Walk2Run mode detects start-and-stop running (such as crossing a street or trying to catch a bus).


Pictured: 3/4 View of the new Ottobock Genium™ X3

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Jim & Ted Durey >> Jim was born 10 minutes before his identical twin brother Ted and since their birth, little has separated them. What they did not know was one day they would become the only known pair of double amputee twins in the UK


iving less than five miles from each other near Maldon, Essex, Jim and Ted, both 70 years old, are not your average retirees. Both lead very active social lives, are avid amateur radio operators – and both are double amputees. “I was diagnosed diabetic when I was eight years old and lost my legs when I was fiftytwo”, explains Ted, a retired Blacksmith. “Whereas I lost my legs in stages, the first when I was 56 and the second only four years ago, when I was 66 years old” added Jim, the eldest of the identical twins and a retired marine engineer. Jim also contracted diabetes in his twenties and both brothers remain insulin dependent.

Get the best out of living

“We’ve both had a lot of trouble with our prosthetic legs over the years - mainly with the section of the leg that attaches to the residual limb, known as the socket. We had bruising, blisters, sores and infections that restricted our mobility” said Ted, “what able-bodied people don’t understand is the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable”. “We saw an advert in a magazine for a private prosthetist, Ian Jones of LimbSolutions, and he came to see us at home” explains Jim, “When he saw the state of our legs he put a case forward to our local PCT to look after us directly. He managed the whole process from start to finish and in the end, we both won the right to be treated by Ian privately. He made us new sockets that were comfortable and fitted us with highperformance prosthetic feet, made by prosthetic experts, Ottobock.”

 Specialist Prosthetic care  Hitech Prosthetic components  Silicone restoration  Sport Prosthetic  Medicolegal  Prosthetic reports and assessments  Private prosthetic care at affordable prices  Over 20 years experience  Sports Limb Specialist  Fast delivery – cast to delivery can be in 48hrs  Prosthetic products available for users to purchase direct  Weekend treatments

Free C-Leg and Genium trials Quote LA2013

For more information contact 01420 563247 Email info@limbsolutions.co.uk or visit our website www.limbsolutions.co.uk

Private Prosthetic Services

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“The difference was chalk and cheese”, adds Ted, “I was mobile again for the first time in as long as I can remember. I was able to go back to work, bear weight, lift pallets off the back of the truck – I didn’t feel disabled. The ‘Triton’ feet that we have are excellent, they help us balance, move and we use much less energy. I love camping and my legs really have given me a new lease on life”. Jim expands “When I first saw Ian, I only had one leg missing, but when an infection in my remaining leg turned bad very quickly I phoned LimbSolutions right away. Ian was at my bedside in hospital that evening (he’d travelled to the other side of the country) and took

a cast of my leg two days after amputation. Within five days of my second amputation I was up and walking. He listens to you, and makes a solution that is right for you and what you want to get out of life. It one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I’ve been walking on the same legs now ever since”. Both Jim and Ted had their legs amputated with only an epidural for pain relief. Both are family men; Ted has a wife and Jim has four children and eight grandchildren – none of whom have yet inherited diabetes. Jim and Ted have been part of research at University Hospitals London as part of a study into identical twins with diabetes. They are both avid amateur radio operators and enjoy communicating to the world over the airwaves. To learn more about LimbSolutions, contact T: 01420 563 247 or info@limbsolutions.co.uk

To learn more about Ottobock feet and other prosthetic components, visit: www.ottobock.co.uk or call T: 01784 744 900

The difference was chalk and cheese, I was mobile again for the first time in as long as I can remember. I was able to go back to work, bear weight, lift pallets off the back of the truck. Ted Durey


The Provision of Prosthetics >> Written by - Rob Thomas, Solictor at NewLaw

It seems sometimes that the provision of prosthetics for people who have suffered limb loss is starting to enter the realm of (and in this I am showing my age) Oscar Goldman in “The Six Million Dollar Man”.


entlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.” Unfortunately the reality is someway off that despite recent reports of prosthetic hands which can allow the user to “feel” objects (BBC 5th February 2014) and knee or ankle joints with microprocessors providing power where none has been possible previously. We have a situation where in truth we have a two tier system. We have one group of people who have suffered limb loss who cannot blame anyone else for their misfortune who are left to use what the NHS can provide them with. The other group can

It is essential that the solicitor running a personal injury case takes the time to get to know their client and understands what they enjoyed doing before their accident and how they used to spend their time with their friends and families.

blame someone else for their injury and, with access to insurance funds, can get to grips with the most cutting age prosthetics that money can buy. There is a kind of half way group in the form of ex-servicemen who lose limbs on active service. They receive excellent critical care and then rehabilitation at Hedley Court and are provided with some of the most up to date prosthetics that are available. However on discharge home they can often find that their local NHS do not support that piece of kit and so they either have to give it up and use what the state provides or they incur significant cost of maintaining the kit themselves only for it to need replacing in due course when the NHS rears its head again. We cannot change Government policy regarding what statutory services will or will not fund and so there has to be focus on the group a solicitor can help through personal injury claims. NHS provision is so uncertain that it is better to take it out of the equation wherever possible and try to secure certainty for clients by recovering compensation for them to buy the most appropriate prosthetics that they can and make sure that they have the funds to pay for their maintenance and replacement throughout their lives. It is essential that the solicitor running a personal injury case takes the time to get to know their client and understands what they enjoyed doing before their accident and how they used to spend their time with their friends and families. This information will help them understand how to help the person get back to enjoying those things once again. This can mean providing a range of prosthetics to let you live the life you want to. Your solicitor should understand your

need to manage your injuries in the future. Degenerative change in joints worked harder by the loss of a limb and the adoption of prosthetics is a fact of life. We need to make sure that this is managed properly and the impact reduced as far as possible. The same applies to issues surrounding pain and its management. This can be phantom limb pain as well as pain on the residual limb affected by use of a prosthetic. Good care and support can work wonders. This may mean that you will need to use a wheelchair occasionally to reduce the workload on your joints. If that is the case then we need to make sure you are living in a home that caters for that. If your current home can’t be adapted then a solicitor will help you find, purchase and adapt an appropriate new home and make sure that process is as stress free as possible. You should be able to return to your preaccident life, as far as that is possible, quickly following the accident. Your solicitor should help in your rehabilitation by engaging with the Defendant insurer and getting rehabilitation funded by them as well as sourcing interim payments of compensation as soon as possible. Sometimes there can be unavoidable delays in this, especially if fault for the accident is in dispute, but the majority of cases should ensure that money is available to help when it is needed. At NewLaw we use the best rehab providers and the best private prosthetics producers wherever possible. We are committed to making a difference to you from the outset using our welfare team to provide real support when it is needed and getting you into quality rehabilitation as soon as possible. Interim payments will ease the financial burden caused by an accident particularly if the injured person is the main breadwinner in a household. We are there to support you.

www.empowermagazine.org.uk - Page 25

Personal Injury

Scott’s Story Life for Manchester teenager, Scott Wall, was turned up-side-down when he was knocked down in a ‘hit and run’ incident just a few hundred yards from his home in Droylsden. Scott, who was 17 at the time, had been making his way to the local gym when he stopped to talk to a friend on the pavement at the side of the road. He was struck by a car driven by an uninsured, unlicensed driver which had sped out of control whilst breaching road traffic signals, pinning Scott against a wall. The driver and passenger of the vehicle fled the scene immediately after but were apprehended after police investigations. His friend managed to get out of the way of the vehicle, but Scott was not so lucky and sustained serious injuries.

He was rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department at Tameside General Hospital and had to undergo a below-the-knee amputation to his left leg. His lower right leg was also very seriously injured and emergency doctors only just managed to save it.

Positive actions From the beginning, Scott and his family received support from Irwin Mitchell’s inhouse Client Liaison Team. Scott’s Mum was determined to get the best possible care for her son and worked closely with Jonathan Betts and the team to investigate the possibilities of getting an extension annex built at the family home.

Jonathan Betts, partner and a member of Scott’s legal team, commented: “Due to the traumatic nature of Scott’s injuries he could not climb or descend stairs which was a huge issue, as at the time of the incident the only bathroom facilities were on the first floor.”

Personal Injury

“I am so lucky I had such a strong team of people around me, including Mum, who fought hard with my lawyer to ensure I received the best possible treatment.” - Scott

Working together From the outset, a collaborative approach was adopted in dealings between Irwin Mitchell and the Motors Insurers Bureau (MIB), who were ultimately responsible for handling Scott’s legal claim as the driver of the car had been uninsured. Irwin Mitchell managed to secure their agreement to implement the code of best practice for early intervention and rehabilitation. This resulted in the MIB providing case management, occupational therapy and architectural assistance together with funds to build a self contained annex to the side of the family house within just three months of the incident. The annex had its own custom built bedroom and bathroom. This was a real triumph and restored some dignity for Scott who had for a short time been living in the family dining room where all his care and personal needs were met.

The relationship between Irwin Mitchell and the MIB and subsequently their solicitors, was excellent. Interim funds were available not just for Scott’s needs but those of his family too.

Now 20 years old, Scott is currently studying Business Management at Salford Univerisity. Its only through the collective and dedicated commitment of Scott, his family, the care and legal team that Scott has progressed so far after his incident and he is now optimistic about his future.

Interim payments were also secured for surgery on a private basis and for the provision of vehicles, wheelchairs and other equipment that was needed. Scott hit the headlines in 2006 for being one of the first people in the UK to wear a bionic foot which he had fitted at a clinic in South Manchester.

Dedicated commitment The value of building links between the Irwin Mitchell legal team and that of the Motor Insurers Bureau to ensure Scott’s immediate and future needs, were considered above everything else. Crucially, this ensured that Scott and his family could concentrate on his progress.

To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on 08000 23 22 33 or text CLAIM to 61993 and someone will call you back

Irwin Mitchell








Irwin Mitchell Scotland Glasgow Irwin Mitchell Consulting Office† Irwin Mitchell Abogados


Leicester Málaga


www.irwinmitchell.com Irwin Mitchell LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Its associated firm Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP is a separate Scottish legal practice which is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.

A refreshing approach to legal care Losing a limb does not mean losing your independence. At Thompsons, we have helped thousands of adults and children to adapt and enhance their lifestyles following an amputation. Our serious injury team brings together the most dedicated serious injury lawyers from every corner of the UK, so there is someone close by wherever you are.

We understand the physical, emotional and psychological impact that losing a limb can have on individuals and their families. So whether it’s helping you to come to terms with your amputation, accessing the best medical care or ensuring that you regain your independence as quickly as possible, we can put you in contact with a network of experts and support you through a compensation claim.

Aer the accident I felt so low, as I had so much taken away om me. I couldn’t work or cay out normal every day tasks such as picking up a gl…ompsons Solicitors were superb, ering suort and guidance and ultimately suring me a nancial slement that meant I could plore top-end thnology. Michal Takac Thompsons’ amputation client


ompsons Solicitors really did ght my corner; th were very patient with me as I tried to rebuild my life aer the amputation. Matthew Roache Thompsons’ amputation client

What Thompsons can do for you: Provide expertise to guide you through a compensation claim to cover lost earnings, healthcare costs, and adaptations to lifestyle Put you in touch with dedicated client support co-ordinators, occupational therapists, prosthetic specialists and the Limbless Association

Ensure your long term care and wellbeing is planned for including rehabilitation, physiotherapy, psychological and neurological treatment and cosmetic surgery Help you present the best evidence possible and advise on time limits that may apply in relation to your claim

We have expert knowledge of running military, road traffic, clinical negligence and industrial accident cases and a proven track record of success. What’s more, we work solely for people who have been injured. We never work for employers and we never work for the insurance industry. Call us on 0800 0 224 244 to get free, no obligation, advice from our specialist serious injury team.

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Amputee puts his best (bionic) foot forward Not so long ago, the idea of people being fitted with bionic prosthetic feet would have been confined to the realms of science fiction, but they are now being offered to amputees in the UK for the first time. Even though he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2009, Jozef Metelka swore that it wouldn’t stop him fulfilling his sporting dreams. The selfconfessed adrenaline junkie from Oxford admits, “The accident turned my world upside down but as soon as I could get out of hospital I was back in the gym and trying to exercise as I was doing before. It was very frustrating in the beginning as I had to get used to the crutches and it was difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have my foot. My first prosthetic was from the NHS and it helped me through the first few weeks after my

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operation but it soon became apparent that, for me to continue my sporting lifestyle, I was going to need something more”. Hilton Obery, a Solictor at NewLaw, first met Jozef in April 2009 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. After such a traumatic event Jozef was alone in the country, with little or no understanding of what he should do next. Hilton recalls giving Jozef his mobile number in case he needed any help, “I remember he rang me on Good Friday to explain that he was going to have his amputation the following day. At this stage I was essentially offering the services of a Welfare Officer, as he didn’t have one. We very quickly appointed a Case Manager so that he could get additional support.” NewLaw assisted by directing the Case Manager to the most relevant experts in their field and organised interim

compensation payments for Jozef, allowing him to move to more appropriate accommodation in August 2009. These interim payments have not only allowed Jozef to continue to do the things that are most important to him, but also enable him to be the recipient of a rather special prosthetic. In the Summer of 2009 NewLaw referred Jozef to PACE Rehabilitation for an immediate needs assessment and, after initial fittings, the 27 year old became the first recipient in Europe of the American BiOM power assisted ankle system. After being in development for six years the BiOM has been fitted to several hundred amputees in the US and Canada, but only recently became available in the UK. Invented by Professor Hugh Hurr, himself a double leg amputee, its design evolved within the leg laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Harvard University and is the first prosthetic

...with a little help from NewLaw. foot which provides power to the user, allowing the amputee to walk faster and with less energy. His solicitor, Hilton, understands the difference this has made to Jozef, “By providing this latest prosthetic technology, we’re giving Jozef the best opportunity to return to as close to his pre-accident situation as possible. We are always looking to assist our clients in getting the newest technology and, in Jozef’s case, he’s the first person in Europe to have this prosthetic”. At £55,000 for the whole prosthesis, this latest technology is at the cutting edge of design with a price reflecting that. A representative from PACE said, “We appreciate that it will only be available to the fortunate few at this time. However, we hope that future developments will allow more accessibility for a greater number of amputees who will surely benefit from this design”.

Jozef, who has been skiing and mountain biking since he was three and playing tennis since he was six, could not imagine a life without sport. “I have been very fortunate to receive great prosthetic support and have tried to continue to lead an active life.”

“I have been very fortunate to receive great prosthetic support”

energy, but I still walk faster! It’s unlike any other design I have tried, it’s as if my amputated leg has come alive again and without NewLaw’s help, I wouldn’t be wearing it today”. Jozef has no plans to stop striving to achieve more and is looking forward to trying out the next addition to his collection, a rollerblading leg!

For more information on how NewLaw can support you,

He is now the owner of 12 specially crafted prosthetic legs, allowing him to compete in cycling races across the world and to become a professional ski instructor, but the sports lover’s favourite prosthetic is his BiOM foot. “I try to focus as much of my energy to these high level activities, so it’s important that I rest when I can. Using the BiOM foot for everyday use allows me to use less

call Rob Thomas on 0333 321 7496, or email him on Robert.thomas@new-law.co.uk

We support you

solicitors Tel: 0333 321 7496


Snowboard, Above Knee Amputee & Personal Injury Lawyer


s an above knee amputee I am used to being told that I am not able to participate in most sports. This only makes me more determined to try.

When I was asked to write an article for Empower I thought to myself “what can I write about to engage readers rather than just another boring legal article?” I decided to share my experiences of adaptive winter sports. I lost my leg following a serious road traffic accident in 2002. I was just 23 years old at the time of my accident and initially I thought my life was over. However I have achieved more than I ever thought possible.

As a result of the compensation I recovered for my injuries I was able to purchase myself an extreme sports knee and instruct the excellent team at Pace Rehab to assemble it for me. The beauty of this leg is that it is an all round leg which can go in the sea, in the snow and on land. It’s an extreme sports leg, but the one thing I learnt very quickly is that the leg doesn’t enable you to do the sport - you still need to master the techniques. This became immediately apparent when I visited the Ski Dome to try out the new leg. I attempted skiing first, thinking that it would be far easier than skiing on one leg - how wrong was I! I soon discovered that the snow at Hemel Hempstead tasted very different to that in the Alps! Next on my list was snowboarding. I was told it is almost impossible for an above knee amputee to snowboard. Never one to shy away from a challenge this just made me more determined to master it. My family and I booked a ski trip to La Plagne in France and I

The first instructor I approached said I was aiming for the impossible so I contacted another ski school. After a brief assessment we reviewed the adaptations needed and gave it our best shot. My instructor, Adrien thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, as did I. At first I admit it did seem impossible but with practice, patience and perseverance, I was able to link my turns, sideslip and even go down a small blue run on my own. It is difficult to describe that exhilaration, achievement and a sense of independence that I felt when linking those turns! I am passionate about the importance of rehabilitating successfully following an injury. So often solicitors will strive to obtain compensation for their clients but forget that it is not just about the money. A person who has suffered an injury wants to get their life back on track as soon as possible. Linnitts Solicitors is different to the other law firms. Why? Partly because I know what it is like to be injured and to go through a personal injury claim system, but most of all because I know how to rehabilitate successfully and get your life back on track. At Linnitts we specialise in not only recovering you compensation but also the rehabilitation aspect involved, which is often overlooked. This could include obtaining an interim payment to cover your loss of wages or working with one of my many contacts

to help you rehabilitate physically and/or psychologically. For us, it not just business it’s personal. The point I am making is that you need to choose the right lawyer. Linnitts Solicitors has first hand experience of personal injury having been through it myself. This means that we truly understand what you are going through and can definitely help get the compensation and rehabilitation you need to get your life back on track. If you have suffered an accident and what to discuss it further, then please feel free to call me on 01626 333380 or email me at chris@linnitts.co.uk.

s in M on 30 ltati ee u Fr ons C

Since my accident I have become more involved in sport than I ever was before. I have taken up cricket, archery, skiing and more recently snowboarding. I never skied before my accident and at first it seemed impossible but with practice and perseverance I can now ski red runs without difficulty. I ski three track – on one leg using two outriggers (similar to crutches but with short skis on the end). Skiing three track is an exhilarating experience but never one to get bored I decided earlier this year to attempt snowboarding.

made enquiries at various ski schools hoping to book a specialist adaptive instructor.

Call 01626 33 33 80 or Click linnitts.co.uk

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• No win, No fee

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Our Services Include: • Personal

Injury • Family Law Litigation • Employment Law • Wills, Probate & Tax Planning • Civil

Linnitts Solicitors. Suite 1, Wessex House, Tuckers Maltings, Teign Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 4AA

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We can help you make a claim for compensation Whether you’ve suffered from: Surgical errors / Misdiagnosis / Hospital acquired infections Delay in cancer diagnosis / Negligent care / General injury

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Case Management Society UK >> Written by - Adam Shelverton, Rehabilitation Consultant at QBE European Operations


ase Managers – what do they do?

To some of you Case Managers need no introduction. They are the professionals who have helped organise rehabilitation and care professionals in line with your needs and requirements to maximise your functional recovery and independence post accident. For some the relationship between themselves and their case manager covers many years and occasionally continues indefinitely. However Case Management is a relatively new specialism in the UK. Case Management is a collaborative process which: assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors and evaluates the options and services required to meet an individuals health, social care, educational and employment needs, using communication and available resources to promote quality cost effective outcomes.

What is CMSUK?

The Case Management Society UK (CMSUK), is a non-profit association of Case Managers, committed to the delivery of quality Case Management through standards of best practice while promoting the individual and collective development of Case Management throughout the United Kingdom.

Case Management Evolution

Case Management has been practised since the early 1900s, originating in the USA and now widely used in various other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Early providers of Case Management services were community nurses and social workers who co-ordinated services through the public health sector. Following World War II, insurance companies began to employ nurses and social workers to assist with the co-ordination of care for soldiers who suffered complex injuries requiring multidisciplinary intervention. In the early 1970s Case Management evolved within the American public health system. In general the role was to co-ordinate, facilitate and follow, clients using of a variety of health and social services. During this time it was acknowledged that a variety of professionals were carrying out a Case Management type role. As cost containment emerged in the health care industry, the priorities of Case Management became meeting the clients needs and making good use of community resources.

The History of CMSUK.

In the late 1990’s many people started working in Case Management in the UK, primarily in the personal injury industry, became concerned at the lack of standards or structure to the Case Management profession in the UK. Many of these Case Managers were from overseas where Case Management is an accepted practice. The Bodily Injury Claims Management Association (BICMA) an organisation heavily involved in rehabilitation in the insurance industry, shared the concerns of the various Case Managers. BICMA Contacted CMSA and negotiated the purchase of the franchise and invited UK Case Managers to a meeting which in turn led to the formation of CMSUK. CMSUK was formed in 2001 and became active in January 2002 when Lord David Hunt of the Wirral became one of the founding members / directors and later became the President of the organisation. CMSUK became a charity in February 2006. As a charity our purpose is to protect and promote public well being.

Standards of Practice

Managers can use these Standards to ensure that they are providing a quality and safe service for the benefit of service users, and commissioners can use the Standards to establish that Case Managers are able to adhere to levels of competent work developed. The Standards contain audit tools (tick box checklists) so that Case Managers can regularly monitor their performance, or have the tools available to show to others as a measure of quality. CMSUK although not a regulatory body does recommend that any purchaser of Case Management should preferably use Case Managers who are members of CMSUK, BABICM and the VRA. For the future of Case Management CMSUK, BABICM and the VRA are working together in the hope of securing a recognised professional pathway for Case Managers. CMSUK has over 500 professional members which is growing year on year. Approved Case Managers can be searched and viewed on our website. The register shows all Case Managers and corporate members that have current membership and meet the minimum requirements in terms of qualification and experience and that they adhere to the standards of practice. If anyone is interested in becoming a member or wants to find a Case Manager please find further information at www.cmsuk.org.

The utilisation of Case Management services in the UK is proving its worth in terms of improving rehabilitation, quality of life and increasing client satisfaction. Additional benefits are improved compliance with healthcare regimes, promoting client selfdetermination, facilitating client independence while reducing the overall care costs.

However there can be disparity in the UK in terms of the quality of Case Management and that’s partly down to the lack of regulation. Essentially anyone could become a case manager whether they have any practical experience or clinical background or not! In 2005 and updated in 2009, CMSUK developed Standards of Practice for Case Manager’s. Case

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heelchair Football is an up-andcoming sport, with clubs across the UK. All players compete in Powered Chairs, so it is suitable for players with limited upper body mobility. Clubs have specialist coaching, equipment and support which enables people of all ages and abilities to play. Taking part is a great way to get active and participate in a fun, team activity! For sports that require the use of a wheelchair careful consideration has to be given when selecting the best wheelchair for the job. Mobility aids used for sport need to be fast and agile, and that often requires a specific design and the use of lightweight materials. Sharp turns, sudden stops and quick acceleration will all be performed in a sports wheelchair, so making the right choice is essential for sporting success. Electric Mobility is proud to include the Luca Football Powerchair by You-Q to their increasing range of Rascal Rehab Powerchairs for people with disabilities. Available in MidWheel Drive (MWD) and Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) powerbase with a wide selection of inter-changeable parts together with the option to add contoured seating to give teams the ability to configure to multiple members of the team with some quick adjustments. Selecting a wheelchair with the correct seat height is critical to sporting excellence, as it directly affects the user’s centre of gravity, comfort and balance. The optimum seating height can also prevent injuries such as those caused by impact, pressure or tipping over.

Powerchair Football SHOOTS TO THE TOP So the Luca Football Powerchair has been specifically designed to give low seat to floor heights to meet the tough requirements of the sport. With E-Qlass as standard seating, there is also the wide range of seating options available below: • Seat Widths 16”,18”.19.7” (42,45,50cm) • Seat Depths 16.5”,18.9”,19.7” (46,48,50cm) • Width adjustable by 1” each side by adjusting armrests • Smaller Seat width from 12.6” (32cm) on Qlass contoured seating • Seat Height 16.14” (41cm) 60amp batteries • Seat Height 17.32” (44cm) 78amp batteries Powerchair Football is a sport that requires specialist equipment, in order to play it safely and within The Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) rules. For more details about the sport, visit www.thewfa.org.uk. Living with disability no longer has to be a barrier to competitive involvement in sport – the 2012 London Paralympic Games was proof of that. If you are a Wheelchair User and love Football, why not play a fast, action-packed Game in the Luca Football Powerchair with its dynamic programmable controls, upgraded 4 pole motors and removable Striker footguard, this is the Powerchair for you with unbeatable manoeuvrability and acceleration. Contact Electric Mobility for more information and details of Rascal Rehab Specialists.

0800 252 614 sales@electricmobility.co.uk electricmobility.co.uk

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Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club are very happy with the Luca Football Powerchair. We have been delighted with the efforts that Electric Mobility have gone to to get the Luca to the specifications that we requested. As a club we have bought 6 Luca football Powerchairs with various seat sizes and seat specifications as well as 2 of our players buying their own. >> Cath McNicol – The Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Team Coach & herself an accomplished player in Powerchair Football Premier League & Team GB


First in UK to fit the world’s most advanced prosthetic knee >> Provided by - Ottobock on behalf of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC) is the first place in the UK to fit a patient with the world’s most advanced prosthetic knee.

The world’s most technologically advanced prosthetic knee, providing the most natural movement possible


n 2010 the Murrison report was published, which saw the Government announce plans to invest £15 million to support and improve prosthetic services for military veterans. Following this staff at the SMRC have been working in partnership with the Veteran’s Prosthetic Panel and Ottobock, who have designed the new Genium X3, to lead the way in the next generation of prosthetics. It has been labelled “the world’s most technologically advanced prosthetic knee, providing the most natural movement possible.” The new prosthetic knee is waterproof and is virtually impenetrable by dirt or dust. It also features never-seen-before features to allow users to move easily from walking to jogging to running, there is also a mute button so that the prosthesis can be silenced for things like meetings or trips to the cinema. The Genium X3 also has an increased battery life of more than five days and comes with a Bluetooth remote control so that users can switch between modes with they’re on the move. It offers more physical capabilities than any other prosthetic leg including walking backwards, cycling, climbing stairs and stepping over things.

Our first patient to be fitted with the new model is ex-serviceman Gregg Stevenson from Burnley. 29 year old Gregg lost both of his legs while serving as a Royal Engineer in Afghanistan in 2009. Gregg said: “I am so pleased to be the first person to use this new leg and I am so grateful to the staff at the SMRC for working so hard to get hold of this for me, way before anybody else has it. I have a young son so now I’ll be able to run around and play with him like other parents can, without having to switch between different limbs. Since I was injured I haven’t been able to go back to work as an engineer because the prosthetic legs that I was using before really limited my movement, but now I’m hoping to get back to work, it’s fantastic.” Dr Fergus Jepson, Consultant at the SMRC said: “It’s so pleasing to see a young man who is a double amputee, as a result of fighting for his Country, being given a new lease of life thanks to this amazing new technology. We know how much this will enhance Gregg’s life and give him new opportunities and we are so proud to be the first centre in the UK to provide this piece of kit for one of our patients.”

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Mountain Trike: Take Yourself Further


he Mountain Trike is an all-terrain self-propelled wheelchair, which has been designed using a masterful blend of unique innovation and drive system with high specification mountain bike technology.

tracks, beaches, nature trails and hills.

After 5 years of development the Mountain Trike Company began trading at the end of 2011. An avid mountain biker, award winning British inventor, Tim Morgan wanted to design a product that would enable wheelchair users to experience the great outdoors in the same way he did on his bike. The Mountain Trike Company manufacture a unique, custom built wheelchair designed to tackle woodland, mountain bike

No other manual wheelchair on the market provides comparable high level of manoeuvrability and uneven surface performance, practicality and comfort. Despite deep mud and wet ground the unique drive and steering system means your hands stay clean and dry.

Mountain Trike gives wheelchair users greater freedom and independence than a typical manual wheelchair.

The Mountain Trike is purposely designed to meet the needs of paraplegics and amputees who are otherwise fit and healthy

and who are currently severely limited as to where they can go with current manual wheelchairs. Other manual wheelchairs have limited off-road capabilities and are ill suited to rough terrain and many urban situations. Weighing just 20kg, the Mountain Trike is really light, but its robust aluminium frame, top-end mountain bike components and cool rugged look means it is able to tackle dense woodland and mountain bike tracks. Much of this is down to the three independent shock absorbers, one for each of the drive wheels and one on the small wheel at the back, these keep the Mountain Trike firmly rooted. The back wheel is where the steering takes place, which provides excellent control at high and low speeds. The revolutionary lever drive system provides the mechanical advantage to ride up steep hills and maximise the rider’s strength whilst the whole time keeping your hands nice and clean! All weather mountain bike disc brakes provide excellent stopping power and control and can be mounted on either the left or right depending on the rider’s preference. It can easily be folded to assist loading into family hatchbacks and estate cars. Mountain Trike have a very wide range of customers, as young as 11 and as old as 70, men, women and a variety of abilities. Inventor and Managing

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Director, Tim Morgan offers a very personal service, the quality of his product and customer care is at the forefront of the business. Selling direct to customers ensures that each Mountain Trike is right for the individual needs of the customer. Once a rider masters the manoeuvrability of the Trike, a whole new world of outdoor activities is waiting to be explored that conventional wheelchairs just can’t offer. The Mountain Trike Company currently distributes and sells direct to customers worldwide from their UK business. All Trikes are custom built and come with a 3 year warranty, choice of frame colour, adjustable frame, footrest and seat. There is also an option for short-term hire schemes for UK customers – perfect for holidays or weekend activities. For more information please visit www.mountaintrike.com or email us and we’ll happily answer any queries info@mountaintrike. co.uk Watch the Mountain Trike performance here: http://bit.ly/W9qKKN Web: www.mountaintrike.com Email: info@mountaintrike.co.uk T: +44 (0)1270 842616 Twitter: @mountaintrike Facebook: facebook/mountaintrike

EMPOWER: MOBILITY Are you finding that your stairs are now appearing as challenging as a mountain? installation depends on the configuration of you stairs. Prices are subject to survey but start from £1850 saving you up to £3000 on the cost of a new one. With curved rentals we require a minimum commitment of 6 months. We can however remove it before then if you require. A1 Stairlifts Services can help! With over 100 years experience in the stairlift industry, we specialise in the installation of rental stairlifts straight or curved. Our team want to help find the best fit and solution for you. We offer fixed monthly payments including all maintenance, on straight stairlifts. There is a fixed deposit of £395 which includes the installation and removal of your stairlift. With no minimum rental period. On curved rentals the price of

Short or Long Term


• Straight or curved • From £10 a week • Low £395 deposit for straight stairlift & Maintenance FREE for life • Nationwide Quick installs

A1 Stairlifts Services can also offer fixed price service warranties for most makes of Stairlifts, undertaking one off services and repairs for people and don’t want to commit to a contract. Our sisters companies also sell or can remove unwanted Stairlifts for you. www.easystairmobility.co.uk www.unwantedstairlifts.co.uk www.completestairlifts.co.uk Please contact us on: 0808 102 0212 or visit A1stairlifts. co.uk for more information.

Our customers love our friendly, reliable team and our smooth installation process.

Call FREE to talk to an expert on:

0808 808 1020212


Taking the dull out of disability Just because you need mobility support does not mean that you have to put up with a dull, functional grey colour! Walking aids just got glam, whether it be for a glamorous night on the town, special event, supporting your local sports team or even a trip to the shops can be made that little bit more special. Glamsticks helps to make your sticks or crutches as unique as you are.

Order direct or create your own Bespoke GlamSticks, Price on request. Take a look online for one of the existing designs in the catalogue or send Sharon an email and she can discuss your custom made bespoke designer mobility aid.

Winner of mobility product of the year 2011, and voted top ten best mobility product 2011.

Glamsticks are bespoke, designer items made with you in mind! Glamsticks are THE new designer mobility aids!

Visit us at: www.glamsticks.co.uk Email: glamsticks@hotmail.com

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@glamsticks facebook.com/GlamSticks


We dare you not to be inspired: >> Interview with Tom Williams, Founder of Legs 4 Africa


hat is Legs 4 Africa?

Legs 4 Africa is a charity project, set up here in the UK, who’s efforts are directed towards collecting redundant prosthetic limbs from manufacturers, disability units within hospitals and anywhere else we can get our hands on them. The limbs that we collect are transported to The Gambia and though we have only delivered about 20 so far, we have over 200 in storage which will be taken out to The Gambia this April as part of our campaign, ‘Leg it to Africa’.

What inspired you to start Legs 4 Africa charity? It all started in October 2012 when a friend and I went travelling down the sunny coast of Africa and found ourselves in The Gambia. The people of The Gambia are extremely friendly and we became particularly close to a very generous and delightful family. Paul, the father of the family, was an amputee and we could see first-hand how his disability affected himself and other family members. He was dependant on his family for so much, even relying on them to move him from his bed to the dinner table. The poor quality of life was evident, not just in Paul, but his entire family. It took up a lot of his family’s free time, affecting his children’s social life and education. Though we knew nothing about prostheses, we offered to help the family find a prosthetic leg for Paul once we got back to the UK. Through relentless phone calls and research we found Karl Ives, a prostheses expert based in Portsmouth, who sympathised with our story and agreed to sponsor the materials and build a new

prosthetic leg for Paul. We delivered Paul’s new leg, without him knowing that we had even found him one and the look on his face was something that will stay with me forever. Whilst researching how we could help Paul, we learned that because of EU legislation, prosthetic legs cannot be recycled or refitted and around 2000 prosthetic legs are disposed of in the UK every year. I realised that if I could get my hands on these prosthetic limbs, then I would be able to change the lives of hundreds of struggling people, just like Paul.

How do you see Legs4Africa developing? Since delivering that first leg to Paul 2 years ago, we have managed to recover a further 18 legs and deliver them to The Gambia. We have formed a strong partnership with the Disability and Social Welfare department at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul. As the unit specialises in prosthetic limbs and mobility equipment, they are able to customise the legs and deliver them to the amputees at no cost. Through this trusted connection, we are able to keep sending used prosthetic limbs to The Gambia. Through their new found independence, hundreds of amputees will regain their ability to work.

How can people get involved? Legs 4 Africa is a new organisation that has a huge social media platform. As such we are always encouraging people to get involved, post on our Facebook page, www. facebook.com/legs4africa, follow us on twitter, @Legs4Africa and visit our website, www.legs4africa.org. We are always looking for inspiring ideas, creative concepts and practical pursuits that will help us to achieve our goals. You can donate to the project by simply spreading the word and sharing our endeavours with as many people as possible. Add to our campaign by doing something on your own to raise money or awareness, then share it with us on our social media platform. You can visit our Crowd Funder page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/legittoafrica and donate money to the next trip we are taking to The Gambia with some 200 prosthetic limbs. We need to raise £5500 by 3rd March 2014 and you can get involved, not only by donating, but by sharing this with as many people as possible.

As our charity grows, we want to be able to take this number into the thousands, forming partnerships with organisations in other African nations. As well as partnerships on the African side, we are working to increase the ties we have with organisations in the UK. This will increase the number of used prostheses we can get and create an awareness of the sheer number of prostheses that are disposed of every year. We hope that in the future, through our campaign, we can change the legislation and ensure all second hand prostheses are recycled for use in the developing world.

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Adapting your home to suit you >> Written by - Alexandra Smedley, Centre for Accessible Environments


he Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) is an advisory body and charity for disabled and older people, and professionals involved in creating inclusive environments. We have been the leading authority on inclusive design in the UK for over forty years. CAE provides a range of services, including, publications, many of which cover topics from access auditing to technical design guidance and handbooks. Our membership offers a unique product - our quarterly journal Access by Design and a monthly Access Newsletter, an essential roundup of current consultations, news, events and reports, as well as key campaigns, trends and case studies in the field of access. We also provide scheduled and bespoke training for access professionals on subjects, such as, access audit methodology, design guidance including accessible housing, the nationally recognised Lifetime Homes standard and Wheelchair Accessible Design criteria, as well as housing adaptation training for Occupational Therapists (OTs). CAE also provides consultancy services which support our charitable functions. Our in-house team of access consultants can be commissioned for a range of work on both existing and new build projects, providing, design appraisals, access statements, mystery shopping consultations, and project management of schemes from start to finish.

As part of our charitable remit we provide information and guidance which typically assists individuals who are at a loss as to what they need, who can help them appropriately, and how they can cover the cost of an adaptation, especially when life-changing events occur. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for the initial point of contact that reassures people that there are processes in place, funding options available and associated organisations that can assist in the assessment, design and installation for a residential adaptation.

Beginning an adaptation The start of any adaptation process should begin with an assessment of your needs which can be undertaken by an OT. If you are a resident in social housing you will be able to access your local OT team through the housing department within your local authority or housing association. If you are in your own privately owned accommodation you can approach the OT team through your local primary care trust or GP. An assessment of your needs will look at the basic functions you need in order to carry out to live an independent life in your own home. Can you enter and exit your home freely? Can you gain access to your parking area, garden, balcony or terrace? Can you manage your own personal hygiene needs, prepare food and eat meals with other family members? Can you undertake household chores like laundry and get to your bin store? All day-today elements that make up a home life. Following on from your assessment the OT will make recommendations for adaptations they think are necessary to allow you to have a level of independence in your own home. These adaptations can range from quick

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fixes, such as, the installation of support rails in key areas like the front entrance, stairs and bathroom, or major adaptations such as extended rooms for step-free wet room style showers in a bathroom, or increased circulation space to accommodate mobility aids and ease of movement around your home. If there are level changes to overcome, there are a range of solutions that can also be considered such as ramped access or the installation of a lifting device such as a platform lift or stair lift. Other areas of the home that may need adaptations are the position of light switches or sockets, doors can be rehung to open on opposite sides or even removed and kitchen, bathroom or storage areas being repositioned for ease of use.

Funding adaptations Cost is always at the forefront of anyone’s mind in these situations, but there is a national scheme that is available and is managed locally with varying budgets through your local authority. This is called a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). You can generally find out how to apply via your local authority website or by speaking to someone in the benefits department. As these are managed locally, each authority has a different criteria and budget to work to, but

INDEPENDENT LIVING all adult applications are means tested, so, adaptations can vary. Children under the age of 18-years are not means tested but one of the conditions of the grant is that you remain at the property for at least five years following the adaptation. It is important to think about your long term needs and if your situation may change in the future – take this into account when planning any changes. Making the right changes and any preparation work that can accommodate future adaptations are more cost effective when done in the first instance. If you want to get an alternative assessment or have the financial means to cover some costs, you can always seek advice from an access consultant or other housing adaptations specialist.

Finding an expert The National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) is the UK accreditation body for access consultants and auditors. You can be assured that if you commission an NRAC member you are getting a professional who has been through a rigorous application process, who adheres to a Code of Practice and has valid Professional Indemnity insurance. You can find NRAC members on the online database at www.nrac.org.uk or call 020 7822 8282. Alternatively, you can get appropriate contacts via the Housing Adaptations Advisory Service (HAAS) list which is held by CAE. This is a database of self-appointed housing adaptations specialists who range from architects, construction professionals and building surveyors. Members of the HAAS list can provide you with one-hour, free-of-charge consultation before being commissioned for any work. You can get details from CAE by emailing info@cae.org.uk or calling 020 7822 8232. Once you have had an assessment and worked out an appropriate plan of works with one of these professionals, the next steps are to see what additional permissions you may need, before you can make any changes to your home. Planning policies vary from area to area and this information can be found within your local planning department. If you are seeking a DFG and live in social housing, this part of the process will be covered by the OT and the local construction firm used by the authority. This is typically a Care and Repair organisation. You can find more information about these and where your local agency is from their national hub website called Foundations www.foundations.uk.com. If you are going through the adaptation process independently, your access consultant or HAAS member can help you

through this part of the process. Checking what, if any, planning policy applies and if you need to make an application. Most adaptations don’t need planning permission unless you are undertaking major structural adaptations such as an extension or changing the frontage of your home. The next step is Building Control approval. Again this is not always necessary for minor adaptations but for any structural changes you will probably need to get the work signed off to ensure it is safe and meets current Building Regulations. Your access consultant or HAAS member will be able to produce the access statement required. This is the document that explains the work that has been undertaken and refers to the relevant technical design standards applied or if you have a bespoke solution, will explain the layout and include scale plans.

Products for the home Continuing with an independent adaptation, if you need equipment or products to improve accessibility in your home, such as a hoist or height adjustable counters or lifting aids, you can get recommendations from your OT as part of the initial assessment. If there are a range of different pieces of equipment you should check which product best suits your needs and your family home or lifestyle. There are various organisations that have showrooms where you can test things out and get an idea of the different products without getting the hard sell from a manufacturer or supplier. The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) and Rica are organisations that can help you explore available product options – their websites are a great resource and include consumer research and feedback.

The adaptation process can seem overwhelming initially, but it can be simplified with the right people and organisations working with you. You don’t have to go through it alone. You also don’t need to compromise on style or finish. You can make these adaptations in your home whilst retaining the feel and appearance of a family home and not a clinical or medical appearance. More and more product manufacturers are realising that there is a large market for stylish aids and adapted equipment in a residential setting. For example, a well-planned bathroom adaptation can still have a high end feel with grab rails in a brushed steel finish that cover the essential reach areas but are designed to look like an elegant piece of the bathroom layout. Shower seats are now available as a clip-on product that is secure when in use but easily removed to maximise space for other household members. A successful housing adaptation can maintain your level of independence and ensure that your house remains your home. For further information, visit the CAE website - www.cae.org.uk

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©JP Events Photography

Colin wears a super lightweight Comfort Fit Socket™ and specialised running blade.

Dorset-Ortho.com Contact +44 (0)1425 481794


Run Rio Run Rio runs in a pair of trainers for the first time with the NEW Junior Cheetah® Running Blade!

Rio was born without a shinbone, knee or ankle joint (a one-in-a-million condition called Tibial Aplasia), which necessitated the amputation of his lower right leg through the knee when he was just 14 months old. This high activity Junior Cheetah® Xplore prosthesis is the first of its kind in the UK and is based on the original Cheetah used by leading Paralympians such as Jonnie Peacock. Dorset Orthopaedic and Össur worked closely to provide Rio with this custom designed prosthesis, allowing him to run in a pair of trainers for the very first time! Rio’s mother, Juliette Woolf commented: “Rio has already seen a huge improvement from the Junior Cheetah Xplore and he is ecstatic that he can now wear shoes on both feet!”

© bnps.co.uk

Dorset Orthopaedic supported Össur’s product in order to make it specifically suitable for Rio’s body and activities. They created a new Comfort Fit lightweight socket for the prosthesis with a fun design inspired by the popular children’s film ‘Rio’, that Rio himself requested specially.

© bnps.co.uk


io Woolf, aged 5, has become the first amputee ever to receive this newly designed children’s version of the Cheetah running blade from Össur.

The Junior Cheetah® Xplore uses the same carbon composite construction as the adult Cheetah products, inspired by the hind legs of the fastest cat in the world. However, the prosthesis has been adapted to suit the demands and rigours of everyday life for a child, with a smaller, thinner blade and more flexibility. Össur also positioned a footplate on the bottom of the blade so that Rio’s prosthetist at Dorset Orthopaedic, Paul Neve, could cover it with a foot cosmesis that fits Rio’s shoes. The foot was one of the most important elements for Rio as he can now fit in with all his friends and wear a pair of shoes when he plays with his friends or a pair of trainers in P.E. at school. Paul Neve explains the importance of the footplate: ‘The footplate creates a huge advantage as Rio now has a heel. This means that he can walk heel-toe, heel-toe, rather than only being able to bounce on the blade.’ The foot gives the blade the capacity to allow the user to stand still rather than constantly bouncing from the spring that you would encounter with the original model. Rio can run, jump, stand, walk and play! In addition, the blade and the socket’s carbon construction mean that the blade is lightweight; ‘The key thing is that it is a lightweight high activity leg. It will flex and bounce back with an element of springiness. Rio will get back almost 100% of the energy he puts into the blade, making it very efficient for any of his activities.’ (Prosthetist, Paul Neve). Rio has a huge interest in running and is always pushing himself further. He first

asked his parents for a running blade when watching Jonnie Peacock win the 100m Gold at the Paralympics. With his newest blade he can now go faster as it will respond to the energy he puts into it: “Rio is thrilled to have a ‘Rio’ leg based on his favourite film and we are also delighted to announce we’ve been invited to Rio 2016 as special guests. This is one of Rio’s biggest dreams come true!” (Juliette Woolf) Chairman of Dorset Orthopaedic, Bob Watts remarked: “We’ll look forward to seeing what Rio can do with his Jonnie Peacock special!”

For more information about Dorset Orthopaedic and for updates about clients and clinicians visit: www.dorset-ortho.com and www.facebook.com/ DorsetOrthopaedic. Contact Dorset Orthopaedic: +44 (0)1425 481 794 enquiry@dorset-ortho.com www.dorset-ortho.com

www.empowermagazine.org.uk - Page 45

Pain Management without medication Day long Pain relief and support you can control

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EMPOWER: INDEPENDENT LIVING EMPOWER: INDEPENDENT LIVING Debra, a double amputee struggled to balance her daily routine with prescribed pain management until she tried the Starlock cushion.

This cushion saved my life , its the best I have ever had and would recommend it to anyone seeking drug free pain relief

In 13 years of sitting in a wheelchair I have sat on dozens of cushions the Starlock is the only one that I feel comfortable on and can use without taking a cocktail of painkillers


ebra a professional mum with an infant son, woke one morning with chronic leg pain and struggled to get out of bed.

Over the next six months her condition deteriorated. Diagnosed with poor circulation in her hips and infected with severe MRSA, both legs were amputated to save her life. Spending long periods of time in a wheelchair she had suffered acute discomfort around her coccyx. Debra’s GP managed her per pain relief with a variety of prescribed drugs. These offered some respite but the side effects affected her ability to work and impacted on the time spent with her son.

Seeking an alternative to medication she was referred to her local wheelchair service. Numerous pressure management cushions were tried but to no real impact on her comfort. In June 2014 she was introduced to the Starlock cushion, Immediately it removed all pressure and the pain disappeared. Debra has never been more comfortable and would recommend the Starlock cushion to anybody seeking non prescription pain relief. In a recent interview, Debra stated “this cushion saved my life , its the best I have ever had and would recommend it to anyone seeking drug free pain relief”.

Brian: Found pain relief and comfort without taking a cocktail of prescribed medication.


n 2000 Brian, a roofer and active rugby player suffered life threatening injuries after falling 18 foot, onto a concrete floor. He lost a leg and was partially paralyzed from the waist down.

Previously he had been prescribed market leading air cell, gel and foam based pressure management cushions but the results were limited due to constant pressure on his vulnerable areas.

Due to the extent of his injuries Brian spends long periods of time in his wheelchair and had suffered constant discomfort and pain. In the past has suffered from grade three pressure sores resulting in extended stays in hospital.

The Starlock air cell cushion significantly impacted on the quality of his life

He actively manages his own pressure care and avoids taking pain killers whenever possible.

“In 13 years of sitting in a wheelchair I have sat on dozens of cushions the Starlock is the only one that I feel comfortable on and can use without taking a cocktail of painkillers. “ “I have had 13 years with pain and suddenly it’s gone. “

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Photographer: Dik Ng

Natural ways to free yourself from phantom limb phenomena

Muscle tension is a response to pain and stress. Muscles that are tense experience more pain than when relaxed. Use this technique to progressively relax the muscles of your body, and better manage your pain.

>> Rachael Horton, Hypnotherapy Expert, shares practical and effectivetechniques to naturally control phantom limb pain and sensations.

Find somewhere comfortable where you can relax deeply. Play some soothing music and use soft lighting. Close your eyes to increase your focus. Perform the 1-Minute Breathe-in-Calm technique, then:


ypnosis is one of the most safe and effective ways to overcome phantom limb pain and discomfort. In this article, I share practical ways to combine relaxation, breathing, visualisation and natural pain relief to help you to gain back control.

“Pain and discomfort can be overcome” Step 1: Breathe out stress

“Relaxation is the key to pain relief”

The stress effect Whilst phantom limb experiences have physical sources, they are worsened by psychological factors. Have you noticed that sensations or pain seem to worsen when tense or stressed? This is because stress and pain are linked. Relaxation is the key to pain relief. When your body relaxes deeply you produce endorphins – your body’s natural painkillers, more powerful than morphine. Relaxation works! However learning to relax takes practice – especially when you are experiencing discomfort. Releasing muscle tension moves your attention away from the pain and helps you sleep better, gives you more energy and helps other pain relief methods work better.

1-Minute Breathe-in-calm • Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose (using your diaphragm to draw in the air) for a count of 4. • Hold your breath for a count of 7. • Breathe out s-l-o-w-l-y through your mouth (imagine gently blowing out a candle) for a count of 8. • Repeat the above a few times. Then go about your day.

Relaxation and natural pain relief start with controlled, deep (diaphragmatic) breathing. This is a really easy technique to learn. Make yourself comfortable and focus on your breathing.

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5-Minute Power Relaxation

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Exhale, letting the breath flow through your body allowing all the muscles from the top of your head all the way down your body to relax and go limp. With practice you can take a single deep breath and as you exhale instantly relax your entire body Now imagine a wonderful place; perhaps a beach with white sand and a warm blue sea. Make the image really vivid and beautiful; notice the sounds, sensations and temperature. Really enjoy this experience. When you’re ready to come out of relaxation, allow your body to begin to move to restore flexibility and open your eyes. How do you feel afterwards? What did you notice? What did you enjoy about the experience?

Step 3: Be Mindful Mindfulness techniques have positive effects on anxiety, depression and pain management. Using powerful visualisations shifts attention from those old phantom sensations.

In the ‘now’ • Take a moment to observe your breathing. If your mind wanders, return it to your breathing. • Now notice any unwanted thoughts. Imagine the thought(s) written on a fluffy cloud. •Watch it as it floats away leaving a beautiful clear sky.

EMPOWER: PAIN MANAGEMENT Step 4: Free your mind and think positive Managing stress is essential for good health and to reduce phantom limb experiences. Your thoughts are so powerful they influence how you feel and the way you respond. By thinking more positively, and letting go of unwanted emotions (such as stress or fear of pain), you can ease muscle tension and phantom limb discomfort.

How can I overcome unwanted emotions and think positively? To manage, rather and avoid unwanted thoughts and emotions requires thinking positive thoughts instead of negative ones. This will reduce any fear and develop a sense of freedom from pain. The secret to controlling your thoughts and pictures in your mind is to become aware of your thinking and feeling moment-to-moment. Throughout the day, pause to ask: • “What am I feeling at this moment?” • “What am I thinking just now?”

Balloon technique • Allow your body to relax and picture balloon. Think about any unwanted thoughts, feelings or responses you had in the past. For instance • Thoughts – of pain, discomfort or other negative thoughts • Feelings/Emotions – guilt, apprehension, grief or loss • Sensations – pain, buzzing, tingling, burning or stabbing • Images – pictures in your mind • Behaviours – any unwanted responses Now blow those old ways into the balloon. Make sure you include everything you no longer require, then tie the end of the balloon and let it drift into the air. Wave goodbye, knowing that you’re moving onto a better way of thinking. Notice how the balloon drifts further away until completely – gone.

How do you feel now? Sense the release.

Think about how you will respond differently now. The new thoughts and feelings you will have. You can choose now how to respond. If at any time any unwanted thoughts, feelings or images should reappear, simply imaging batting them away and replacing with more positive alternatives to quickly gain control of your mind.

Ask yourself – “What am I feeling at this moment? How would I prefer to feel?”

Once you have identified the underlying thoughts and emotions, here is a great way to release negative thoughts. • You feel a cramping, imagine uncramping that part, easing it, soothing it. If there’s a colour, change the colour to a soothing, relaxing colour that instantly removes any old cramping sensation that used to exist there.

Step 5: Visualise comfort Since the mind is unable to distinguish between real and vividly imagined, we can use the power of visualisation to reframe these sensations and resolve the pain.

Mindful visualisations

• There is a sensation of pins and needles, imagine removing the pins. Whatever sensation you experienced, your body knows how best to overcome this.

• Relax all the muscles of your body. • Notice any sensations in your phantom limb. They change from moment-to-moment, perhaps ebbing and flowing; shooting sensations then relaxing. Avoid controlling them, simply observe them. • You have the power to change these sensations. Imagine them flowing out of your body down a calm stream, or change them to more relaxed, comforting feelings. • Allow tranquil sensations of calm relaxation to flow through the area. Notice how you can relieve any discomfort. • Spend time relaxing and practicing this each day.

Inner body healing Now relax and imagine travelling inside your body to the area where you experienced phantom limb sensations. What does it look and feel like? For instance if: • It feels tight or vice-like, imagine this area becoming looser, more relaxed; freeing the tightness. • It is red/inflamed or burning, imagine a soothing, cool fluid gently flowing through the area, calming, easing; let this sensation flow out of your body.

• When you’re ready, bring yourself out of relaxation slowly by allowing all flexibility to return; opening your eyes brings you instantly back into the room – refreshed and energised. Notice how you feel now as you’re beginning to take charge of your mind.

“There is one natural therapy that can relieve most, if not all pain hypnotherapy”

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THE FASTER YOU CAN RECOVER FROM TRAUMATIC INJURY AND PROGRESS TO PROSTHETIC FITTING, THE FASTER YOU CAN RETURN TO DAILY LIFE. Game Ready® introduces a new line of wraps designed specifically for traumatic amputee patients. By delivering active compression and circumferential cold therapy like never before, the proven Game Ready

RENTAL NOW AVAILABLE To learn more, download a free Game Ready Guide to Amputee Recovery at www.gameready.co.uk

System takes post-op recovery and ongoing treatment to a higher level. With Game Ready you can reduce pain and swelling, accelerate healing, and return to daily living faster.

©2013 CoolSystems, Inc. All rights reserved. RIAW 03/13

www.gameready.co.uk | 0845 2417 920



ame Ready®, the leader in active compression and cold therapy technology for injury treatment and post-operative recovery, has recently launched a new line of revolutionary wraps designed specifically for patients with amputated limbs. It is the first-ever cold and compression system available for traumatic amputees, which can be used immediately post-op to help speed up the healing process and reduce pain without use of narcotic medications. The wraps decrease crucial time to prosthetic fitting, aid in the reduction of prosthetic fittings and relieve residual limb pain due to continual use of prosthetic devices. Released in the UK in early 2008, the Game Ready system has quickly become the treatment modality of choice for providing cold & compression therapy for individual patients, athletes, national sporting teams and orthopaedic surgeons. Game Ready was the preferred supplier of cold & compression devices for Olympic polyclinics during the London 2012 and was widely used by most countries attending the Games. The product is also used extensively by military rehabilitation and medical clinics throughout the world, and it was after working with staff at DMRC Headley Court in Surrey along with leading US military clinics that the company realised there was a need to try and adapt their wrap technology to specifically help amputee patients. As Greg Pearce, Game Ready UK’s managing director and himself a Chartered Physiotherapist recalls, “The staff at Headley Court were already modifying the application of wraps from our existing range to apply to the stumps of amputee patients to control swelling and pain as part of their rehabilitation and prosthetic fitting process with good effect, so it was pretty obvious that there was a strong need for the company to adapt the existing technology to cater not only for these service personnel but also the general public and amputee athletes.” Game Ready had already done a significant amount of work with the military in the US, during which time they had also received many requests to develop a wrap specifically for traumatic amputees.

In looking at the statistics, the company found that 75 percent of traumatic amputees in the military are below-the-knee amputees, and even outside of the military population, below-theknee amputees still comprise the largest percentage of amputees. For this reason, the company decided to channel efforts into finding a way to modify their existing technology to a device that could help traumatic injury patients and successfully developed the Below-The-Knee Amputee Wrap, and hopes to unveil wraps for abovethe-knee and other extremities later this year. The Below-The-Knee Wrap is ergonomically designed to best fit the lower limb. Game Ready worked closely with trauma and orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation staff and prosthetic departments to ensure the best fit. The wrap features low profile, circumferential coverage for better surface contact and more effective treatments and is easily adjustable for enhanced comfort. The wrap can also be used with prosthetic shrinkers (sleeves/ stockings), so there is no change in procedure that medical professionals will have to do in order to use this therapy system. The new amputee wraps provide all of the same benefits of the original Game Ready therapy devices, which deliver the ACCEL Technology (Active Compression and Cold Exchange Loop) through the ergonomic, dual-action wraps. Game Ready’s patented two-chamber wrap design (one for air, one for water) enables the integrated delivery of compression and cold therapy for body parts. ACCEL Technology proactively aids lymphatic function, encourages cellular oxygen supply and stimulates tissue repair. Game Ready works by continuously circulating cold water from the control unit’s ice reservoir, via a connector hose, through the inner chamber of the anatomical wrap (this chamber is situated closest to the

body) before returning to ice reservoir. As a complete loop, the cold water is refreshed through the ice before returning through the anatomical wrap, thus delivering continuous and fully adjustable cold therapy to the body part allowing heat to be removed from the treatment site. As opposed to static applications of cold therapy such as an ice pack or cuff, the continual flow of cold water means temperature can be maintained more effectively for longer periods of time. As the water is constantly moving, this largely eliminates the risk of freezing and tissue damage due to tissue being exposed to subzero cooling. The temperature can be easily adjusted using the temperature control dial so that the application is always comfortable for the patient. Simultaneously, the control unit pumps air into the separate, outer chamber of the anatomical wrap, intermittently inflating and deflating according to the pressure setting that is selected. The compression not only assists in preventing/ limiting swelling, but also conforms the Anatomical Wrap to the contours of the body. This increases the surface contact and aids the delivery of the cold therapy to the contact surface. As well as offering interest free finance options, Game Ready UK now offers a monthly rental service that is already proving extremely popular with the general public. To learn more about Game Ready and to download specific information about the Below-Knee-Amputee Wrap, go to www.gameready.co.uk

www.empowermagazine.org.uk - Page 51


Step 6: Natural freedom from discomfort


• Imagine a dial that controls messages from your brain to all nerves of your body

• Now, turn the dial to “OFF” to shut off sensations throughout your body; as you do, feel the relaxation and numbness spread through your body. You can feel sensations of pressure, movement, but you feel a complete sense of comfort.

• The dial has ON, OFF and COMFORT options.

• Turn the dial to COMFORT. You can deactivate any part of your body you choose to experience comfort and deep contentment.

• Notice how the dial is usually “ON” and you can experience sensations/pain.

•Turn the dial back to “ON” to instantly restore all mobility and alertness.


Growing evidence proves Mirror Therapy works and it has been described in medical literature to be of benefit to 80% of users, when used as part of a therapy programme. Read testimonials and the medical evidence at:-

www.reflexpainmanagement.com Or ask your physiotherapist about Mirror Box Therapy.

Folding Mirror Box. Reader offer Only £23.56* Voucher Number EMP314

Tel. 0161 408 4455


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*Online price for small mirror box (Hand/Wrist) including online discount and readers offer , usual price £29.99. Offer ends 30 days after publication.

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Follow us: @Empower_Mag

The following will help you induce a pain-free state to incorporate into your everyday life.

Step 7: Smile! The future really is your choice Smile! Laughter and smiling – even if you don’t feel like it – reduces stress and pain. Start each day with a smile and choose how you want to think and feel. Managing your chronic pain or discomfort is an ongoing effort. The more you actively take charge the more you will quickly gain control and overcome the sensations of your phantom limb.

The next part of the journey is your choice. You have the power to achieve anything. Remember, when overcoming stress and pain, relaxation works. All you have to do is remember to do it! More hints and tips are available in Rachael’s book 28 Days to Change Your Life (www.change4-life.com/shop. html).

Photographer: Dik Ng

• Use the 1-Minute breathe-in-calm and 5-Minute Power Relaxation to calm you then close your eyes. You must be as relaxed as possible to get maximum benefit from this next technique.

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience, typically resulting from injury or trauma. It is a protective feedback mechanism preventing further damage and allowing time for healing. You experience phantom limb pain because the parts of the brain that previously controlled the limb remain intact. The brain continues to send messages but doesn’t receive feedback resulting in phantom pain.


Why you need to think about your health and getting fit? >> Written by - Kiera Roche, CEO at LimbPower

I don’t think I am being presumptuous when I say we all want to live a longer, healthier and happier life. Yet as amputees and ambulant disabled people we are prone to live a more sedentary life than our able-bodied friends, which takes its toll on our physical and psychological health.


read recently that 30 years ago above knee amputees were believed to have an increased mortality rate of 1.4 times that of a non-amputee (I don’t want to be one of these, do you?) Things have changed greatly in the last 30 years with enhanced prosthetic technology, a better understanding of the importance of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and improved access to sports through events like the LimbPower Games and Junior Games; yet still weekly participation in sport among people with a long-term limiting illness, disability or infirmity is 18.5%* That’s around half of the general population level at 39.2%. The good news is that the number is going up.

It’s hard getting motivated when you’ve had your life turned upside down, you’re in physical pain, you don’t have any energy, your socket doesn’t fit or you don’t know where to start...

Where do I start?

Walking Ambassador Mark O’Leary mark@limbpower.com

It’s hard getting motivated when you’ve had your life turned upside down, you’re in physical pain, you don’t have any energy, your socket doesn’t fit or you don’t know where to start, but there are some basic steps we can take to improving our health and general fitness. According to Gretchen Reynolds who wrote “The First 20 Minutes,” “The very least you can do is probably just standing up, the science is very persuasive that just not sitting for a long time makes some difference, but, certainly at least 20 minutes a day makes a truly profound difference in your health and dramatically reduces the risk of a whole host of diseases, particularly diabetes, heart disease and dementia, as well as cancer”. There are many different forms of exercise that are suitable for amputees and people with limb difference, of all ages and abilities such as walking, swimming and cycling. Other low impact activities like Pilates, yoga (including desktop or wheelchair yoga) Thai chi and belly dancing are good for posture and core stability. We know that participation in sport reaps many physiological benefits but it also has psychological benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mood and happiness, and can relieve depression. The three most popular activities among disabled people are walking, swimming and cycling (along with cue sports)** You can have a go at all three of these activities at the LimbPower Games, Primary Games and Junior Games or you can talk to one of our ambassadors or our sports and fitness officer about each of these activities.

Cycling Ambassadors – Damian MacDonald damian@limbpower.com or Gemma Trotter gemma@limbpower.com Swimming Ambassador Russ Young russ@limbpower.com LimbPower are planning on organising a series of one-day participation activities in each of these activities throughout the summer. If you would like to know more about our events and activities you can join our eNewsletter by emailing gemma@limbpower.com Not all of us have the potential to become Paralympic athletes but we all have the power to improve our life expectancy and to live healthier lives by eating a good diet, exercising and looking after our bodies. Regular exercise increases our physical well-being through; physical strength, cardiovascular performance, muscle tone, balance and coordination. There is a plethora of research, which suggests that participation in sport also improves our psychological wellbeing; through better coping mechanism, improved cognitive abilities, enhanced mood, increased self- confidence and self-esteem. So why not have a go yourself, whether it’s simply walking a little more, getting onto a bike or going for a swim in your local pool. You will feel better, improve your strength and physical fitness, and live longer. *Data is taken from the 2012 Active People Survey ** Data taken from the Sport England website

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Get in! PICK A SPORT...

Discover more about all the summer and winter Paralympic sports. Try our ‘Find a Sport’ tool to see which sports might best suit you – there’s something for everyone.


Enter your postcode into the Deloitte Parasport ‘Find a Club’ tool to search our database of over 2,500 clubs and find out which are nearest to you.


Sport is more than just keeping fit and healthy; it’s about having fun, making new friends and challenging yourself to try something new. So get out there, get involved and most importantly enjoy it!

www.parasport.org.uk info@parasport.org.uk +44 (0)20 7842 5789 twitter.com/Parasportuk Parasport is a free tool designed to inspire, inform and signpost disabled people and those interested in disability sport to high quality opportunities.


Deloitte Parasport


eloitte Parasport acts as the Yellow Pages of disability sport. Run by the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with support from Deloitte, the website is designed to inspire, educate, inform and sign-post disabled people, and those interested in disability sport, to high quality sporting opportunities. Visit the website and find out which sports best suit your abilities with our Find a Sport tool, then put your postcode into our Find a Club tool and locate disability sports clubs in your area, now with over 2,500 clubs listed.

For more information please get in touch: 020 7842 5789 info@parasport.org.uk www.parasport.org.uk www.twitter.com/parasportuk

ParalympicsGB Sport Fest


f you’re a disabled person and want to try lots of different Paralympic sports and meet medal winning athletes then you should attend the BPA’s ‘ParalympicsGB Sports Fest’, taking place in Manchester’s Sport City on 19th May 2014.

Paralympic sports all under one roof and see which one is right for them.

Sports Fest was devised to encourage and develop the interest in participation of disability sport, following the London 2012 Paralympic Games. All 26 summer and winter Paralympic sports are invited to attend, where they host come and try sessions and bring along medal winning athletes for you to meet, ask questions and be inspired by... they also add some London 2012 magic!

If you don’t live in the Manchester area, you can still register your interest and we’ll send you an email when we know the next location and date ParalympicsGB Sports Fest will be visiting.

Register your attendance or find out more about the event by visiting www.sportsfest. uk.com.

And don’t worry if you’ve never played sport before, it’s not about finding talent or potential medal winners; it’s about giving people the opportunity to try lots of different

www.empowermagazine.org.uk - Page 55



Karting for Injured Troop >> Written by - Dave Player, Kartforce

Ever thought about giving golf a try? The England Golf Partnership is committed to inspiring more people to play golf through our Get into Golf campaign.


artForce was set up to introduce injured troops to motorsport, starting with kart racing and progressing to team endurance car racing. The aim was to ensure drivers with severe injuries, such as double above knee amputees with missing fingers and thumbs, are able to compete against noninjured drivers on a totally level playing field. To achieve this, we had to design a new set of hand controls that were quick and easy to install and remove from rental karts, yet low tech and low cost – and ensure drivers get full performance from the kart. As some of the lads had missing fingers and thumbs, a steering wheel was no good as you can’t grip a steering wheel without a thumb and work paddles for throttle or brake. A handlebar set-up doesn’t require the same amount of grip and makes steering much lighter. The brake is an hydraulic brake master cylinder from a motorbike – the larger the bore, the easier it is to operate. A 19mm bore – the same used on the top racing

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motorbikes – allows the brake to be worked with 1 finger.

Get into Golf provides a range of opportunities to get started; delivered in group sessions and at £25 for 5 hours of coaching they are also a low cost entry in to the game. All equipment is provided, with golf clubs offering sessions for juniors, females and males and are a great opportunity to go with friends or family, to learn and enjoy together.

The throttle is simply a brake lever from a bicycle. By using high quality Teflon coated cables with a larger sleeve, and straightening out bends, this ensuring the least amount of friction, so throttling can be done with 1 or 2 fingers.

National Golf Month will be taking place in May with golf clubs running a range of activities to get started, to get back in to playing or for you to play more often. To find out about these visit the Get into Golf website and get involved. Golf is an adaptable game, whether you’re starting at 6 or 60! Whether you want to hit some balls on the range, hone your skills on the putting green or want to play 6, 9 or 18 holes. There are a range of opportunities to play socially and competitively, with golf offering a wide range of formats and venues across England.

One of our lads is a double a/k amputee and only has his middle finger on his left hand – and he’s one of our top drivers. We race in team endurance races from 2hrs to 24hrs and have had some really great results. We beat Team McLaren in their own race – we came 2nd and they came 5th. There are tracks all over the country that have our hand controls. Anyone can just call the track and ask them to fit the hand controls and take enjoy karting like everyone else. Tracks provide “Arrive & Drive” sessions as well as organise regular weekly and monthly races that anyone can compete in. If anyone wants more information or help with hand controls or karting, please contact Dave Player on dave@kartforce.org

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Like getintogolf @getintogolf

To find an activity near you go to getintogolf.org/map or call 0800 118 2766 to find out more


Amputee Football – Levelling the Playing Field >> Written by - James Catchpole, EAFA South, www.theeafa.co.uk

As an amputee footballer, I’ve been wondering what it is about the game I love, that makes it so compelling. There are lots of sports for us amps, after all, many of them higher profile and better funded.


s an amputee footballer, I’ve been wondering what it is about the game I love, that makes it so compelling. There are lots of sports for us amps, after all, many of them higher profile and better funded. Admittedly, being a through-hip single leg amp narrows the options considerably. We through-hipsters can’t expect too much from our prostheses. In fact we tend to be far more mobile on crutches. I did see a few of us crutching about on the telly at the Paralympics, but only in one event that I can recall: the onelegged high jump. And for that, competitors had to cast off the tools they’d mastered – their crutches – for a short hop and a quick flop over a bar. Quite impressive, on its own terms, but somewhat counter-intuitive. Surely as permanent crutch users, we need a game that allows us to revel and excel in the unusual skills we’ve learned just going about our daily lives. After all, we’ve gotten pretty quick on our sticks. And amputee football gives us that: a seven-a-side game on good grippy astroturf, where everyone’s on crutches (apart from the goalkeepers), and we can run and turn and skip and spin and crunch into each other and go flying, sticks and all, to our hearts’ content. All well and good. Then again, that may be how amputee football started, with permanent crutch users, but that’s not where it ends. Permit me a little autobiographical diversion... Having lost my leg as a baby, and having learned I could play football with my mates once I dumped the prothesis and took to the crutches aged 13, like a bird released, I figured I was pretty good. Someone at my local astro in South West London said there

was a national game for guys on crutches like me. I was 20 by then, fit and cocky, and as skillful on the sticks, I was sure, as anyone could possibly be. Lots of these other guys in the national amp footy setup would be above or below knee, and would use false legs. If they only picked up the sticks to play football, how good could they really be? I’d run rings round them. Not so. A healthy reality check ensued. I got myself an invitation to train with the squad, and went up to the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, ready to strut my stuff... And of course, the game was fast, and hard, and supremely well-organised, and passed me by in a disorientated blur. EAFA, the England Amputee Football Association, runs four regional teams in a national league, and on top of that, a Great Britain squad that trains and plays internationally, to a very high standard. All the players, apart from those goalkeepers (who are single arm amps), are missing all or part of one of their legs, but to very different degrees. As well as a smattering of throughhips like me, there are the above- and belowknee amps I expected, and even some who are missing just a foot. Perhaps half of them put legs back on, after training. What surprised me then, and still does now, is that the guys who normally walk on prostheses aren’t actually at a disadvantage. Often, they play able-bodied football to a competitive level on their false legs (some of them Sunday League, no less), but they’re able to master the sticks as a separate discipline, and then transfer over all their football know-how. Which begs the question why, if they’re able to compete with the able-bodied on reasonable terms,

would they want to take off that high-spec prosthesis and pick up their raggedy old NHS sticks to come and play in our game? There are several answers. The game’s highly skilled and specialised: there’s a particular sort of crutch-ballet to it, both graceful and supremely intense, which compensates for the damaged limb by making full use of the three working limbs that remain. It provides about the most complete workout you can get outside of a pool or a gym, and gives your aching stump a break. And then there’s the fact that the game, at the top level, is highly professionalised. You can join a regional side and start straightaway, no matter what level of skill or experience, but if you aim for the top, there’s a considerable reward: the GB squad travels overseas every year to compete in international tournaments, the next of these being our World Cup in Mexico, this Autumn. But my favourite answer is this. Once we’re all on crutches, the playing field is level. It isn’t usually, in life, and that’s ok: I take just as much delight as do my below-knee, leg-wearing colleagues in proving I can keep up with able-bodied players, down my local astro of a weekday evening. But there’s nothing to beat the game at the weekend where the legs come off and the crutches go on, and where all that separates us is our skill at what we do, and all that unites us is the same. To come play the beautiful game, whether on a prosthesis (at regional level) or on crutches (at regional or national level), or if you’re an arm amp who likes going in goal, contact James on south@theeafa.co.uk or on 07789 588 070

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Access for All

Written by: VisitEngland

Credit: VisitEngland/NewcastleGateshead Initiative


ngland is a magical place where everyone can have a piece of the action. No matter what your accessibility needs are we are constantly monitoring and evaluating ways to further improve your visitor experience. VisitEngland is launching a new Access for All campaign, which includes a series of guides to help inspire an accessible break in Bath, Leicestershire, Brighton and NewcastleGateshead. The guides list a range of attractions and accommodation from free museums and value accommodation, right up to luxury spas and hotel suites. Here we take a look at the mini guides that will help you to plan your next accessible break in these dynamic locations. Credit: VisitEngland/visitBath.co.uk

NewcastleGateshead This sparkling North East city is a hub of fashion, culture and shopping well worth checking out. The Norman Forster designed Sage Gateshead, perched along the Tyne, is one of the best music venues to be found anywhere and it’s also an ‘Access for All’ award winner. The intu Metrocentre is the biggest shopping/leisure complex in Europe. Wheelchair users hitting the cinema screens and shops will find arrival easy.

Bath People have been holidaying in Bath for 2,000 years so come and see what the fuss is about – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site after all. The Roman Baths, built around a hot thermal spring, is a fascinating experience accessible to everyone. Amazing artefacts and displays offer a visceral connection with thousands of years of history and all staff are friendly and thoroughly accessibility aware. Bath’s elegant Georgian heritage is beautifully displayed in the incredible architecture of the Royal Crescent. Pop

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Grab a bite to eat at award-winning Fat Buddha Asian Bar & Kitchen before heading to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art for some art in easily accessible galleries. If you still haven’t quenched your thirst for shopping (will you ever stop!?) there’s intu Eldon Square with accessibility throughout. Stay at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. Located on the Quayside a short distance from the city centre, the hotel has a range of facilities including a 15 metre pool – all access friendly. Wae’ aye man indeed.

inside the magnificent townhouse at No.1 Royal Crescent for a glimpse of Georgian finery or take an accessible guided tour with Bath Parade Guides. The accessible Victoria Art Gallery houses priceless works of art and offers specific activities like workshops and holding sessions. And it makes sense a city this gorgeous has its very own (accessible) Fashion Museum. Just a mile from Bath’s historic centre is the Holiday Inn Express with free Wi-Fi, Blue Badge parking and seven purposebuilt accessible rooms.


The history in Leicestershire, at the heart of England, is palpable. The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last time the English throne was seized in battle (by a man born in Wales no less) and the date changed the destiny of the nation. The bloody conclusion to the Wars of the Roses saw the ascension of the Tudors with the enthronement of King Henry VII. The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre opens you up to hundreds of years of history with hands-on activities and talks. And you can discover more about the whole gory saga at the Leicester Guildhall which chronicles the hunt for the bones of the battle’s loser, Richard III. Snibston Discovery Museum has over 90 science and technology hands-on exhibits and the National Memorial Arboretum inspires remembrance with 50,000 trees to wander among. And if all of that sounds like thirsty work, head to The National Brewery Centre and raise a glass to hundreds of years of brewing history (it’s educational). ‘Access for All’ award winner Hinckley Island Hotel, has level access, lifts, ramps and accessible parking, not to mention four fully accessible rooms with wetrooms and a Health Club, swimming pool and Piazza Lounge.

Credit: VisitEngland/VisitBrighton


Brighton & Hove Committed to being accessible to all, this lively cosmopolitan city by the sea has got something for everyone in the independent boutiques lining the Lanes and North Laine, spectacular Regency architecture and the iconic Brighton Pier stretching out from a colourful seafront. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery provides step-free access to its innovative and dynamic galleries, while not far away, the Hove Museum and Art Gallery is home to a kaleidoscope of collections from toys to fine art. Preston Manor gives you a taste of Downton Abbey and the Royal Pavilion (once the pleasure palace of the Prince Regent) displays paintings from the Queen’s own collection on its extravagant walls.

Credit: VisitEngland/VisitBrighton

To plan your accessible break and to download a PDF, large print Word or audio guide, go to VisitEngland.com/accessforall. A limited number of printed copies are available for those who cannot access the guides online. Email: qad@VisitEngland.org or call 0207 578 1454. Credit: VisitEngland/VisitLeicester

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History, heritage and... handrails

When you take a short break the last thing you should be thinking about is how to get around, whether your hotel has a lift or which attractions are accessible. You should be concentrating on having fun! That’s why VisitEngland has teamed up with VisitBath, goLeicestershire, Visit NewcastleGateshead and VisitBrighton to create travel guides for people with access needs, including ways to save when you travel by train.

Download your guide at VisitEngland.com/accessforall


Prepare for an Prepare for an exciting journey journey through through 350 million yearsexciting of evolution

350 million years of evolution


Sunday 11am – 4pm and has free entry.

iscover the story of our planet and its people at the Great North Museum: Hancock. Highlights of this popular museum include a planetarium and a life-size T.rex dinosaur skeleton, mummies from ancient Egypt, a largescale interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall with major displays showing the wonder and diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms. The museum has an ever changing programme of free family events, exhibitions and adult learning programmes.

The museum serves as a gateway to the environment and landscape of north east England, with the Hadrian’s Wall Gallery displaying exhibits from the entire length of the wall in the single greatest collection of artifacts from the World Heritage Site. The Great North Museum: Hancock was Joint Winner of the Visit England Access for All Gold Award in 2012. The museum has limited blue badge onsite parking – full accessibility details are at

Great North Museum: Hancock is open seven days a week from Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm and

The museum has an ever changing programme of free family events, exhibitions and adult learning programmes

Great North Museum: Hancock is open seven days a week from Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm,

Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm and has free entry. The museum serves as a gateway to the environment and landscape of north east England, with the Hadrian’s Wall Gallery displaying exhibits from the entire length of the wall in the single greatest collection of artefacts from the World Heritage Site. The Great North Museum: Hancock was Joint Winner of the Visit England Access for All Gold Award in 2012. The museum has limited blue badge onsite parking – full accessibility details are at www. greatnorthmuseum.org.uk

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iscover the story of our planet and its people at the Great North Museum: Hancock. Highlights of this popular museum include a planetarium and a life-size T.rex dinosaur skeleton, mummies from ancient Egypt, a largescale, interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall with major displays showing the wonder and diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms. The museum has an ever changing programme of free family events, exhibitions and adult learning programmes.


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Joint Winner of Visit England Access For All Tourism Gold Award 2012 See our website for full access details www.greatnorthmuseum.org.uk Great North Museum: Hancock, Barras Bridge, Newcastle, NE2 4PT Tel: (0191) 222 6765 • Textphone: 18001 0191 222 6765


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Sage Gateshead is an international home for music and musical discovery. North East England Tourism Access For All Gold Winners 2012 and 2013

Visit website for listings 0191 443 4661


An Extra Pair of Hands at Eureka!

Ever needed an Extra Pair of Hands?


ureka! the National Children’s Museum in Halifax has been providing extra services for disabled children and their families since 2011 under their award winning project, Helping Hands.

Organising a day out with disabled children can sometimes be daunting which is why we want your experience of visiting Eureka! to be as fun and as stress-free as possible.

Our FREE Extra Pair of Hands service can provide you with: v A trained Eureka! Enabler dedicated to your family for 2 hours of your visit.

In May, it’s the turn of children who are wheelchair users or have impaired mobility, when boccia and football slalom will be on offer at a special Saturday club. The whole family is welcome to join in the free fun, which includes a packed lunch and an annual pass.

v Exciting suggestions for helping your whole family to play together and have fun. v Practical advice for making the most of your visit.

k ally too ’t abler re “Our En my son. I wasn n so ith y w m e nd tim a ll, a t .I a stressed lt safe with himin.” fe a g e o it a said h d ly ite efin would d

FREE Sa & Holid turday are also ay clubs availab le

Visit www.eureka.org.uk/ helpinghandsclub or call 01422 330069 for more information.

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This project is possible thanks to funding from:

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If you are a member of an organization for children with a disability, Eureka! will provide a club session just for your group – also free of charge!

With over 400 interactive exhibits and six galleries, Eureka! is a popular choice for families looking for a day out, and their unique Extra Pair of Hands service offers extra support for those with disabled children. Families can book a trained Enabler to help plan their visit to the museum and be an Extra Pair of Hands on the day. To find out more or book your Saturday club place, ring Trizia on 01422 330069. Eureka! is open 7 days a week during school holidays. Visit www.eureka.org.uk for full details.


ADVENTURE REHAB: Getting peoples lives back on track


n 2001 Jim Bonney was injured falling 1000ft down a ridge whilst attempting an unclimbed route on Mount Hunter in Alaska - he became a below knee amputee as a result of his injuries. His subsequent recovery and continued operational career as a Royal Marines Officer, as an amputee, saw him leading Royal Marines by Sea and by Land. Cheerfulness under adversity is a Commando Quality and became the catalyst for him specializing in delivering and leading unique recovery teams in a Military environment. Key to his philosophy was re-inspiring and remotivating traumatically injured service men and women back to health and supporting them to either return to operational service or navigate the path to new lives in the civilian world through leadership and adventure. In 2010 he retired from the Royal Marines and set up ADVENTURE REHAB. The concept was simple - to provide a unique route to recovery that innovated and inspired traumatically injured people recover their self confidence, their sense of purpose and to inspire them to reach beyond the norms that society places on recovery; to get back to a satisfying and purposeful existence’s - to get their lives back on track. 3 years later ADVENTURE REHAB has done exactly what it set out to achieve - working almost exclusively with amputees, the ADVENTURE REHAB team is delivering a diverse program of leadership, inspiration, coaching, adventure and technological innovation that is helping traumatically injured people and their families to find a route to recovery that they can follow, be supported and find their own space to grow. The philosophy behind ADVENTURE REHAB is based on the Coaching and Self-determination theory concept that the military rehabilitation process uses as a central core to the recovery process. The individual and their family are part of a system that has to work in balance and traumatic injury affects the physical,

the psychological and the relationships in everyone’s world. Our approach recognizes this and actually helps to restore the physical, personal and relationship elements in the recovery. The programs are based residentially in a variety of gradually more challenging settings that help develop people’s domestic confidence and help return the individuals to independence, safely. We make recover an engaging journey and hit the hurdles head on – as they occur, in a supported and inspirational environment. The residential course is delivered as a continual coached and development process. The course is delivered across 6-8 months with a residential module delivered every 6-8 weeks. The group residential weeks are delivered in a peer supported environment by the ADVENTURE REHAB team. Individuals who are participating in the program will then have a mentor and coach who maintains a program of coached development between residential weeks.

So ADVENTURE REHAB delivers a unique, residential peer supported and coached process that supports the injured individual and their family in a way that is not available outside of the military environment - and like the results that the military achieve through shared adversity, coached leadership and with detailed and innovative support ADVENTURE REHAB achieves the end state of getting peoples lives back on track.

For further information visit: www.adventurerehab.co.uk Write to us at: Office 17, Dainton Business Park, Heathfield, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6RG

Email: info@adventurerehab.co.uk

The great flexibility of this approach is that it supports the needs of medical appointments and assessments and for prosthetics and adaptive equipment to be designed and built in a way that support the individual. Additionally the course is of sufficient duration that real change can be effected in all areas that the injured individual consents to have support to resolve. The process is sufficiently robust that a huge number of goals can be identified and dealt with that reach far beyond the initial scope and aspiration for the injured person and their families. The ADVENTURE REHAB program and team have the unique coaching and leadership capability to deliver bespoke elements to individuals depending on specialist interests that clients may have be it horse riding, cycling or the full spectrum of water sports - as well as the technical capability to design and manufacture specific and specially adapted equipment and apparatus.

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AYLESBURY WATERSIDE THEATRE 13th March - 15th March 2014 0844 871 7607 RICHMOND THEATRE 17th March - 22nd March 2014 0844 871 7651 WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND 26th March - 29th March 2014 01902 42 92 12 MALVERN THEATRES 31st March - 5th April 2014 01684 892277 NOTTINGHAM THEATRE ROYAL 14th April - 19th April 2014 0115 989 5555 /CharlieFTour



UK TOUR 2014 UK TOUR 2014

BROMLEY - CHURCHILL THEATRE 21st April - 26th April 2014 0844 871 7620 NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL 28th April - 3rd May 2014 08448 11 21 21 NORWICH THEATRE ROYAL 6th May - 10th May 2014 01603 63 00 00 WYCOMBE SWAN 19th May - 21st May 2014 01494 512 000 GUILDFORD G LIVE 22nd May - 24th May 2014 0844 7701 797

COLCHESTER MERCURY THEATRE 27th May - 31st May 2014 01206 573948 TRURO HALL FOR CORNWALL 2nd June - 7th June 2014 01872 262466 MANCHESTER OPERA HOUSE 9th June - 14th June 2014 0844 871 3018 _________________ For booking links and information visit



Much talked about play starring Ex-Service personnel comes to Theatre Royal ‘I am so proud and overwhelmed. It is the most moving play I’ve seen for a long, long time. The public should get behind this and be part of something unforgettable.’ >> Ray Winstone


n the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1, the play The Two Worlds of Charlie F, will start a new UK tour visiting Newcastle Theatre Royal 28 April – 3 May. The tour, which will be supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, will be supporting The Royal British Legion by raising funds at each performance. It will be performed by medically discharged military personnel, as well as professional actors. The Two Worlds of Charlie F was the idea of Alice Driver, the then Masterclass Creative Producer and now the Executive Producer of this new tour. Her initial idea was to provide a unique work placement for serving wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel within a theatre company. This was the first time that the MOD had allowed a theatre company access to their wounded soldiers and led to workshops and interviews with the WIS service personnel from the war in Afghanistan, which, in turn, led to a play being created through the partnership of The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, The Royal British Legion and Defence Recovery Capability, written by the award-winning poet and playwright Owen Sheers. The play was rehearsed and performed on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End for two sold-out performances. The play then went on a short UK tour, visiting Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh, and won the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression 2012. The production was directed by Stephen Rayne with the support of patron Trevor Nunn. The other two patrons were Ray Winstone, the project ambassador, and recently retired General Sir David Richards,

Chief of Defence Staff. It received five-star reviews, full houses and standing ovations wherever it played. A documentary commissioned by Alan Yentob looked at the process of creating and staging The Two Worlds of Charlie F. Called Theatre of War, it was first shown on BBC1’s Imagine… and is currently nominated for The Grierson Documentary Awards.

‘Very, very funny, very, very touching. I think everyone should see it’ >> Joanna Lumley ‘Theatre at it’s most direct, vital and moving. Inspirational stuff’ >> Michael Sheen The Two Worlds of Charlie F is a soldier’s view of service, injury and recovery. Moving from the war in Afghanistan, through the dream world of morphine-induced hallucinations to the physio rooms of Headley Court, the play explores the consequences of injury, both physical and psychological, and its effects on others as the soldiers fight to win the new battle for survival at home. The play is a very personal and very moving look at the effects of war on individual combatants, but it also has a huge amount of humour and humanity. The cast will include ex-servicemen and women Bombardier (Rtd) Gareth Crabbe, Rifleman (Rtd) Daniel Shaw, Darren “Swifty” Swift, Marine Cassidy Little and Lieutenant Col (Rtd) Stewart Hill, with further casting to be announced. Marine Cassidy Little, who plays the title role of Marine Charlie Fowler, was born in Canada and studied performance

art in the United States. He then did stand-up comedy in Britain before joining the Marines (as the result of a bet). Cassidy lost a leg in his second tour of Afghanistan. Writer Owen Sheers is the author of two collections of poetry, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill, a work of narrative non-fiction about Zimbabwe, The Dust Diaries, a novel, Resistance, and a novella, White Ravens. In 2011, he wrote the script for the National Theatre of Wales’s The Passion, directed by and starring Michael Sheen. His verse drama Pink Mist, commissioned by BBC Radio 4, was published by Faber and won the Hay Medal for Poetry 2013. On the night the show opens at Newcastle Theatre Royal, Mon 28 April, patrons can support the Royal British Legion’s Bravo 22 Company, a theatre project for wounded soldiers, by opting to buy a £50 ticket. This ticket price includes a glass of champagne with the cast after the performance. ‘A special offer of £10 tickets are available to Empower Magazine readers. Contact Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 and quote ‘empower’. Restrictions apply, not available online.‘ The Two Worlds of Charlie F appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday 28 April – Saturday 3 May. Tickets are available from £9 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

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Key things to think about when planning a trip away >> Provided by - ABTA The Travel Association


EFORE YOU GO: Planning your trip

Giving your travel company as much information as you can will help you to plan a great holiday. Be realistic and list your particular needs in different holiday situations: booking, travelling, transfers, accommodation, getting out and about in the destination. Consider how independent, comfortable and healthy you’re likely to be in different environments and climates, and in places where language may also be a challenge.


• Consider the assistance you and those you are travelling with may need at each stage of your holiday. • Travel providers, tour operators and disability organisations in the UK, and the Embassy or High Commission of the country you plan to visit can help you plan. • Your disability or health condition and the facilities offered by the travel provider will affect the type of holiday you choose.


However you book – in a shop, via a website or call centre – and whoever you book with – direct with a tour operator, airline or cruise company – the booking process should be accessible. Your travel organiser should be able to provide information in large print or braille, on disk or memory stick, on audio file, or simply by email. A key point when booking is to pre-notify your travel company of your needs (preferably at the point of sale, and no later than 48 hours before you travel). Pre-notification is vital because without it you have no legal guarantee that you’ll get the assistance you need on your journey.

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Remember, if you have a permanent and stable disability you do not require medical clearance to travel. However, some airlines and cruise companies may ask for medical clearance and may want assurance that you can attend to personal needs, such as feeding yourself onboard, or using the toilet. Crew onboard are not required to provide this type of assistance. You and your doctor may need to complete a Medical Information Form (MEDIF), valid for one trip and only for the travel arrangements shown on your ticket. Frequent travellers with a stable condition may be able to obtain a WFrequent Travellers’ Medical Card (FREMEC): a permanent record of your specific needs.

THE JOURNEY: Point of departure

Finding your way around an airport, port or station can be tricky – a bit of planning can help. In advance, try to find out about the layout and the distances involved, for instance from arrival point to check in, departure lounges to gates etc. And make sure you know where help points are situated where you can make your arrival known. Help points should be clearly marked. If you use a wheelchair, you may be allowed to stay in your own chair to the boarding gate (depending on the type/severity of your disability and if your wheelchair can be loaded at the gate). If not, you will be transferred to a boarding wheelchair and your own chair checked in. Wheelchair users are usually boarded first, and you can ask to be pre-boarded. If you are hearing or visually impaired, you may wish to tell staff at check in and the gate, so that you don’t miss announcements or changes to departure display screens.

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OUR TOP TEN TIPS: 1. Plan, plan, plan: Gather as much information as you can in advance about your destination, transport options and your likely needs while there. 2. Before you book: Consider what assistance you’ll need at every stage of your journey, the equipment you need with you, and whether you’re travelling with others who can provide some or all your assistance. 3. Pre-notify: Tell your airline, travel agent or tour operator of your needs for assistance ideally when you book but at least 48 hours in advance. 4. Arriving for departure: Find out in advance about the layout and facilities at the airport, port or station. Where are the help points, and where will pre-booked assistance meet you? 5. At check in: Confirm pre-booked assistance when you check in. Aircraft seats with extra legroom are always in demand, so if you need one, explain why. 6. Moving through the terminal: Air and sea ports must provide free assistance to disabled and less mobile passengers. 7. Boarding: Get to the boarding point as early as you can. Disabled passengers will usually be called for boarding first. 8. On board: Airlines must make all reasonable efforts to arrange suitable seating. You can carry up to two items of mobility equipment on board. 9. In destination: If you told your holiday company of your needs at the time of booking, all the services you’ve booked should be accessible and meet your requirements. 10. Coming home: Make sure the information you give for your outbound journey is recorded so that the same assistance is provided on your way home. This is why written confirmation that your needs have been noted is crucial.



oliday Extras is the UK’s number one provider for holiday add-ons such as airport hotels, parking and lounges. Their mission is to make travel easier for their customers.

An especially convenient service is Meet and Greet or Valet parking, which can be enjoyed at most major UK airports. Meet and Greet parking is perfect for helping take the hassle out of travel for disabled travellers.

The company offers hotels and parking that is close to most UK airports, as well as the cruise ports of Dover and Southampton.

Mrs Munns, a Holiday Extras customer, travelled with her family and young children. She wrote: “Valet parking at Stansted was very convenient and easy for my disabled father. No problems and easy access to the terminal on departure, and the car was ready for us on our return.”

A holiday gets the best possible start when it begins with an airport hotel – particularly when there is the pressure of checking in for a flight at the crack of dawn! Instead of a stressful drive to the airport, you could be checking in after enjoying a great night’s sleep and tucking into a delicious breakfast. A night’s stay at an airport hotel can be much cheaper than you think - with savings of up to 40%. Often, a hotel with parking for the duration of your holiday can cost little more than the parking alone.


Holiday Extras also offers a bespoke holiday insurance service. Latitude - a service designed specifically for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Star Award –making them the favourite supplier of holiday insurance as voted by travel agents.

In 2013, Holiday Extras was awarded the title of Best Insurance Provider at the Globe Travel Awards for the sixth year in a row. As well as this, they scooped a Travel Bulletin

Over 31 years, the company has built a reputation for providing hassle-free holidays, and the range of add-ons available at airports around the country has grown.

Holiday Extras has been listed eight times in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Powered by

Relax...we’ve got it covered Wanting travel insurance but have a pre-existing medical condition? Latitude offers comprehensive travel insurance on most pre-existing medical conditions, at a competitive price. • Cover available for all the family up to the age of 89 • Single trip and annual policies available • Comprehensive cover levels • Covers most pre-existing medical conditions • Winter sports and cruise cover available • Up to £5,000 cancellation cover • Single trip duration up to 90 days

For a bespoke quote telephone our UK call centre on 0800 781 4086 80038 HX EMPOWER MAG_FAW.indd 1

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Legal Advice from Irwin Mitchell Compensation is only part of the story as limbloss and amputations have a dramatic and life-changing impact not only for the person injured but also for those who are close to them. We passionately believe that our clients and their families deserve the best possible medical care, rehabilitation and specialised support after a serious injury. www.irwinmitchell.com/personalinjury Freephone: 08000 23 22 33 Follow us on Twitter @IMAmputeeInjury

Personal Injury

Irwin Mitchell LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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