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Aiming Higher - Charity for Disabled Children + Community

of August 2013

Aiming Higher H/Q

Vol. 3 - Issue 8 It’s My

Shooting Stars at the Paradise Room Fundraiser

Voice Too

Aiming Higher, with the best will in the world cannot do it alone. We rely so much on the good will of others and their willingness to help us raise the funds we need to operate and keep providing parents, children and their siblings with the much needed support throughout the year. So we are delighted when Keith and Ann Foster, Donna Beattie, Jill Maxwell and Mandy Carteledge organise a full evening of entertainment with The


Shooting Stars and their guests: Aaron Levi (pictured), Katie Mitchell, the decidedly odd Disco Inferno trio, Eleanor Hadgraft, Penny Cartledge, Whittakers Dance Academy, Paul and Alice Deacon, dancer Jordan Riley, Brandon Millar, Laine Wainwright, Hansa Ranasinghe and Chloeann Foster. The evening also featured a raffle and an auction, which revealed a very unexpected item added at the last minute. We are used to bottles of wine and Champagne, bath oils and ornaments, but

When offered little choice Let them hear your voice More voices are bound To make a louder sound

when the last item was sold, a piece of paper was passed to compare Jill Maxwell-Carr in her sparkling jacket. Not

Inside This Issue

trusting the evidence of her eyes, and thinking there must be a mistake, there was a slight sign of panic as she scanned the faces at the table from whence the piece of paper came. But what she thought it said really was what Whittakers Dance Academy

was being offered. Someone was prepared to auction for Aiming Higher, a pony. Not a toy or an ornament, but a real pony. That last item was deemed best put on a back burner for the time being. We also had distinguished guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool, Eddie

Alice and Paul Deacon

Church Street Update Holloways & Friends Blackpool Gazette New FSA Ruling

Collett and wife Heather who both expressed their pleasure and delight and clapped along when Brandon

Layton Institute

asked the audience to get involved in his song ‘Are We Alice and father Paul Deacon

Human’. The Mayor once said, “My intention is to use this


post to generate economic investment and help enterprise.” The Shooting Stars are certainly enterprising


and deserve all the support they can get and we at Aiming Higher are delighted to be chosen as their charity

Waterloo Road

for the year. Local lad and top of the bill, Aaron Levi, did an incredible job of two Neil Diamond songs, and he also

Ride The Lights 2013

commendidly encouraged the audience to support our charity too. Brilliant night, our gratitude to all involved. Chloeann Foster and Brandon Millar





By far, the most ambitious project Aiming


little manic, but the builders and decorators

Higher have undertaken to date, was to agree to take on a five year lease on a large three floor building on Church Street in 2012. It had the potential, we all accepted, but the amount of work required to refurbish the building was nothing short of phenominal. Along with the amount of work required there was the associated cost. When the charity started in 2011, we didn’t even have a tent. But then we found offices that meant we could just move in or indeed, out, instantly. The lack of obligation was appealling. It was considered good value, so we rented two small offices and a storage

could be rented out. The last few weeks were a

unit (the building at 231-233 Church Street has a rental of almost three times as much). We aimed to be moved in and operational by the end of January 2013. It took two months longer but by concentrating on the middle floor first, our office became operational with WiFi and a networked computer system. Work now focussed on the area designated as the place ALS would function with the features the children enjoyed at the Mereside Youth Centre. Co-incidentally at all stages, the top floor was transformed into a living space that

ploughed on, despite the

modifications we

needed to make to lighting, a second toilet and completing the kitchen etc.. Finally, in the last week of July, we got the flooring laid down everywhere and ALS got Ofsted registered at our address. Within days of the due opening of the ALS Summer Holiday Club, the door locking system front and back became functional. We now had two funding streams. The first Holiday Club session was an outright success. Now we have to work hard to pay for it and we’ll need as much help with fund raising as we can get.





We make a sale

Singer: Kelly Johnson

Katy poses for the local press

Holloways & Friends Craft & Vintage Fair

Blackpool Gazette Comes to AH Central

You can’t say we give up easy. Trying something new will always be a challenge, but to gamely try, try again takes some determination, especially when trying to make friends in an alien environment like a Craft and Vintage Fair. Alice and Katy wanted to do it, and I came along in support and to capture the event with my camera. You meet some of the nicest people, and although the total effort against the amount raised isn’t so encouraging, sometimes, it’s more about making friends who have friends and the networking opportunities offered by simply talking to those who attend and have stalls of their own. At the Chadwick hotel in St.Annes, we met the girls of Holloway’s of Poulton, a unique vintage fashions shop, will be doing fund raising for Aiming Higher in their shop and on their website. Result! They since organised another such event at the Poulton Bazaar, St Chads Hall later in August.

Aiming Higher is a charity with a strong sense of community. Although early August with yet still more to be done to our Aiming Higher Central project, and as such still working to get it just right for the needs of parents, children and the community generally, we asked the Gazette if they would be interested in showing their readers what we have done. So it was, that the Blackpool Gazette blessed us with a visit. First to arrive was a photographer and later, a journalist. Yes of course there was a lot of posing and we smiled or grimaced as directed (such fun), but real work was still going on. Painting the large ceiling is making a lot of difference to the look of the front half, really brightening up (and covering up) the area to create a uniform surface. The Gazette will publish their report in print and on-line, and no doubt it will raise awareness locally and abroad. Let’s hope it also raises some much needed funds too.

The Layton Institute was the place to be on 28 July. Our thanks to Shaun and Victoria O’Hagan and the IN Crowd who organised the family fun day fundraiser. The weather was great, and the venue was brilliant. On arrival, the first thing you noticed was a crowd gathered around some well preserved motor scooters along the outside of the building. Shaun said, “Thank you to Paul Livesey and The Blackpool Soul Club for donating the trophy's for the scooter competition and thank you to Frank Sanderson for coming down and judging it. It was nice to see Gaz Heckman and Norman Haslam Jnr from The Beat Generation there showing us support as well, hope you will let people know we raised £530 for a great charity.” Also there was Chubbz the Clown, Face Painting, Sumo wrestlers, a 25 foot blow up slide and a huge bouncy castle. Not forgetting the bucking bull and the lads from Rock FM radio. We think this should be a regular event.

The irresistible lure of cake

Making and Selling Cakes At Events The Food Standards Agency has finally clarified a contravercial Health and Safety issue introduced by the EU regarding the making and selling of jams, cakes, sandwiches etc., to raise funds at community functions. The EU issued strict new guidelines which caused panic and confusion in every charity in the country, leading to the disappearance of the traditional snacks and samples of tasty bites always readily available thanks to the proud cooking skills of an army of home made food fundraisers. The FSA have now ruled that volunteer cooks and charity groups who occasionally prepare food for community events are not covered by EU laws and so there is no need for a food hygiene certificate. Food is always popular at any event, even essential, so this ruling will make a lot of difference in maximising efforts to raise funds at events like the one held at the Leyton Institute for example.


THE VOICE OF BLACKPOOL Stress is one of those things that is able to compound itself. In other words the more we stress, the more we get stressed. The advice given to those that stress is to first recognise that we are stressed, and then employ strategies to reduce it. You can’t just cope with it, because we just end up getting more stressed, we need to relieve stress by maintaining our balance. There are a number of ways to reduce stress in our lives, including: breathing exercises, physical exercises, finding ways to relax (like yoga), limit negative influences, talk to your friends. All these work, but a parent of a disabled child out shopping needs to find ways to de-stress on the fly, as there are any number of ways children push us to our limits of control. Parents learn to deal with a certain number of stressful situations all at the same time, because while it’s being dealt with, our stress, by necessity gets put on a back burner. But sometimes our stress gauge starts to climb faster if we are tired or under the weather, and we run out of resilience faster, leaving us stranded with much more left to do. But reports indicate that unlike normal physical stress, a parent of a disabled child has additional concerns like having to deal with emotional stress. For example, a parent watching their child suffer from ill-health or pain is damaging and emotionally distressing. Or another example might be accessing

and dealing with services which many have identified as stressful and distressing. Having to use a service that was inadequate or inappropriate can be a source of anxiety and even despair. The related problems faced by those in daily stressful situations are also compounded by a parent who doesn’t deal with stress by ignoring it. Along with those who aren’t in a position to deal with it at the time as they are too busy trying to cope with a situation (like stopping a child with no concept of danger from trying to struggle out of their pushchair in a busy place), stress will force a fit of depression. This then can lead to problems with relationships, and more depression. Then of course this can lead to medication and a parent can become less able to care for their family and any disabled children, who often make more demands on the health of mum’s and dad’s. But, there are also associated problems relating to stress that are rarely considered. Like a parent who can become socially disengaged by their need to discuss the problems as a plea for help. Their family and friends find they can’t talk about anything else, alienating themselves. Sometimes, parents come to Aiming Higher and ask us to give them something to do. This shows they recognise a real need for the distraction, which combats stress. It also deals with social dislocation. The charity has long recognised that respite

is another way for a parent to find time to relax and do things for themselves, like a hobby, even shopping. Parents having respite is why we started the charity, but there are now places to go to on-line that can help, like the website here: parentsandfamilyissues/tp/Stress_Mana gement_Tips.htm Stress is a challenging aspect of raising a child with a disability, because it adds to the pressure that is already a part of having a family. Unfortunately there are even more problems to face because of the way stress causes some serious long term health issues. However, volunteering in the community is reported to improve health. Health improvement is rarely cited as a motive to volunteer, yet there is a popular policy perception that volunteering is associated with improved health and wellbeing. Researchers found that those who regularly help out in their community were 20 per cent less likely to die prematurely than those who never volunteered. Casiday R, Kinsman E, Fisher C, Bambra C: Volunteering and health: what impact does it really have? Final report to Volunteering England.

Cortisol and Stress Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably. You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness. Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called "fight or flight" response. Stress secretes cortisol into the bloodstream and so it has been termed “the stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related

changes in the body. Small increases of corti- ed in other areas of the body. Some of the sol have some positive effects: health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the de- A quick burst of energy for survival reasons velopment of metabolic syndrome, higher lev- Heightened memory functions els of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels - A burst of increased immunity of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to - Lower sensitivity to pain other health problems! What this means is that - Helps maintain homeostasis in the body for someone to endure too much stress and not enough relaxation, there is a higher capacity for Having done its job of equipping us with the ill health and putting on excessive body fat. means to run away from danger, our bodies then need to relax so that our bodies can switch Finding ways of lowering stress is therefore off the production of cortisol. However, the vital, making it important to explore ways to body doesn’t know that the stress we feel relax in any way that provides the fix. Each of us doesn’t call for cortisol (to fight or take flight) have different ways to do this but the positive when we are feeling the chronic stress caused end result is the same. Volunteering to work by caring for disabled children. The negative alongside other parents in Aiming Higher will side to high levels of cortisol is an increase in do you good, helping to restore balance. abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposit-



PRIDE IN BLACKPOOL Appreciation loss. Like a picture on a wall, after we’ve seen it every day for a few months, gradually we stop seeing it as it blends into our lives.

WATERLOO ROAD Waterloo, the very name should swell an Englishman’s heart with pride. Nothing to do with Abba and everything to do with honour death and glory. For in June 1815, it was at Waterloo that the Anglo-allied army, under the command of the Duke of Wellington finally brought the brilliant Emperor Bonaparte to his knees, putting an end to his empire. Both sides had a virtually equal number of troops, although the French had far more battle experience. The decisive battle ended wars in Europe for the next half a century until the Crimean War (Oct 1853 to Feb 1856). Napoleon Bonaparte spent the rest of his years in exile on the Isle of Elba, dying in 1821.

From the sea front in the South Shore all the way up to Whitegate Drive where it meets the A583 (Preston New Road), is Waterloo Road. Here though, is featured the short section that is traffic controlled for the benefit of the shopper, running from the junction of Lytham Road down to the sea front and South Pier. If you like Fish & Chips, you must pop in and see Peter Wrigley of Harrold Rigby’s at number 50. As a Fish & Chip connoisseur, I can vouch for this F&C restaurant and take-away with it’s crunchy batter (secret ingredient) as serving one of the most enjoyable meals on the Fylde (meaning ‘field’). I’d travel across town just to eat there. If you’re lucky, you might get a free parking bay right outside the shop, which is good for at least an hour. Oh dear, now I fancy a plate full of fish and chips. This part of Waterloo Road is a great place to bring the family, a great place to shop, and eat. There are four cafes if you need to sit with a brew (cup of tea or coffee), as well as Hampsons and The County Barbecue for warm takeaway snacks. If you need to shop for frozen food, there’s Iceland. Ladies can be pampered at Pamper Time while the men might like to wonder into Cash Converters, or one of the two alternative similar traders. There are sweet shops, Opticians, newspaper shops and a place to gamble on one-arm bandits. The Barnado’s charity shop is here along with four other charity shops. At numbers 25 and 35, there are two Indoor Markets. A rarity these days is a Post Office, found at number 40. A favourite for supplies of cheap (really cheap) food is All Sorts Discount and Bargains. They stack high and sell cheap, individually or by the box (some are almost, or are passed their sell-by date), so for a family having to make their money go further it is a god-send. (Example: Packs of noodles at 10p each. McVities Digestive biscuits, three for £1). Down toward the sea front end (the ice-cream end) there is the Hartes store, who specialise in Christmas items, although they also sell lots of other goods. The pubs are at this end, being The Bull, and the family orientated Dalton Arms (Sky Sports and WiFi too). Cheap shoes can be found at the Shoemarket. Rock City and Ice-Cream shop is down at this end. Just across the road there’s Luigi Notarianni’s Ice Cream Parlour, and possibly the best ice-cream around. The family originated in Italy and settled in Blackpool in 1928, opening this branch in 1937. In this small parade in Waterloo Road, there are a variety of handy shops that make a visit well worthwhile. It was Napoleon that said: "L'Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers." Translation: "England is a nation of shopkeepers", which he swore wasn’t meant as a derogatory remark. Maybe once we may have been, but we are now definitely a nation that shops. Go see Waterloo Road.

We believe in being


ynamic nspirational ositive rofessional ourself

Riding The Lights 2013 As a non-competitive event, Riding The Lights has got everything. It ticks all the boxes for a family, especially if they enjoy cycling together. It is an exiting preview of Blackpool illuminations between 19:00 and 22:00, and an opportunity to join other families for an evening of fun. It’s amazing to see young tykes on bikes furiously peddling to keep up on both sides of the promenade, which was closed to traffic. The 2013 event is Aiming Higher’s third, and all our families were buzzing about it well in advance. The trustees and volunteers were out with their collection buckets and ALS were on hand to help where they could. The Council had Marshalls and First Aiders on hand along the route along with ‘Bike Doctors’ and support vehicles. We organised a big photo shoot outside the Sand-

231-233 Church Street Blackpool FY1 3PB Enquiries: 01253 206448 Email: Events Enquiries: 01253 206447 Email: Website:

Charity Reg. No: 1144664

castle, before getting everyone off on their various journeys, be it on bikes, buggies, pushchairs, scooters, unicycles, well, anything with wheels (even roller skates) and if they didn’t have wheels, they walked The Lights. We tried to be a mass of black and yellow, with our balloons and many participants had creatively added lights of their own to create ways of Lighting their Rides until the batteries ran out. What a spectacle it was, after the first hour there must have been thousands of people involved. As the evening wore on, the lights became more apparent. One one bike, the rider even fashioned Blackpool Tower in colours that changed from blue to green, red, and yellow. Blackpool’s Ride The Lights is definitely becoming extremely popular. We can’t wait for 2014.

Ride the Lights signals the end of the summer holidays for us. Here at Aiming Higher we understand the stress that our families experience over the long holiday periods and Bruce has written an article on this very subject. Aiming Higher Central has seen ALS run a successful holiday club from the centre. There are still plenty of teething problems with the building so all fundraising is very welcome. We would like to thank the In Crowd and Shooting Stars for their fundraising extravaganzas’ over the holiday period. No idea is too big or small for fundraising and we are grateful to Angela and Lee Cooper who took the initiative to hire the Wainwright Club for their daughter’s birthday and turned the evening into a fundraiser. We welcome any wonderful imaginative ideas you may have. Over the summer the Gazette paid us a visit while

Donating to Aiming Higher Through JustGiving We now have an on-line means for our supporters to donate funds. You can donate using your Credit or Debit Card, or set up a money donation via Direct Debit on our JustGiving page. gher/donate To donate £5 straight from your mobile phone, simply text: AHDC01 £5 to 70070 The amount you donate can be as much or as little as you like.

we were all scrubbing and cleaning the centre. We are extremely grateful for all the help and support we received and the message that comes back is ‘doing good, does you good’. So a big thank you to ALL our volunteers. See ya at the Sandcastle on the 7 September at 6.30 pm for the next family event. Oh by the way, should anyone have a van they would like to donate to us, that would be really helpful with the donations for the charity shop, as well as Ebay and auction collections. Worth asking!!



The Voice is produced by Bruce Ainge - Charity Trustee and Editor-in-Chief. Photography is by BCA PhotoDesign unless stated otherwise. All Copyrights acknowledged. All Rights Reserved. Enquiries: telephone 01253 318210

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