How airports and airlines are becoming autism-friendly

Sam Saunders from Omniserv on How airports and airlines are becoming autism-friendly

OmniServ is the biggest provider of assistance for disabled passengers in the UK. Samantha Saunders, its Head of Innovation & Regulatory Compliance, explains why everyone gains when we adapt surroundings and working practices to help people with autism.

I recently came across an example of an airport operator going out of its way to welcome autistic children to the world of flying. Their ‘Flying With Autism’ campaign gave 60 children with autism the chance to experience all the regular airport procedures, board a plane and taxi to the runway, before returning to the gate. Airport lighting was changed to predominantly blue, to reflect the global ‘Light It Up Blue’ autism awareness campaign.

Gitcombe retreat offers accessible holidays in Devon

Gitcombe retreat offers accessible holidays in Devon

Gitcombe’s exclusive collection of nine 4* and 5* luxury self-catering properties now includes a 'Retreat' ideal for those with mobility needs to take accessible holidays.

To mark its recent expansion, owners father and son, Rodney and Peter O’Brien, have partnered with national holiday letting agency The partnership will bring guests from across the UK to their luxurious holiday properties in South Devon, including its newly built Retreat for large gatherings.

Council Spending On Disabled Facilities Grants Reaches 10 Year High

Disabled man in wheelchair with his girlfriend

Freedom of Information Requests submitted on behalf of A Wood Idea have revealed that council funding through Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) is at a 10-year high.

Data from 73 councils in England shows that the collective spend through DFGs has grown by over 25%, rising from £75,000,000 in 2009/10 to over £100,000,000 in 2018/19, as an increasing number of people use the grants to fund essential accessibility adaptations to their homes.

Of the councils who responded to the requests, Leeds City Council was found to spend the most on funding the grants, averaging £6,508,716 annually between 2009/10 and 2018/19. Manchester City Council followed in second place with an average spend of £4,654,900.

Top tips to help someone live independently

Old lady in wheelchair - Top tips to help someone live independently

According to research released by Carers UK, over 6.5 million people in the UK dedicate their time to caring for their loved ones.

For many older people, or those unable to physically care for themselves, independence means being able to stay in their own homes, however this can sometimes have a detrimental impact on the mental and physical health of their carer.

With the help of technology, medical advice and support from loved ones, caring for someone at home doesn’t have to be such a mammoth task.

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director of market-leading provider of Connected Care and Health solutions Tunstall Healthcare, advises ways that carers can help those they care for live independently for longer.

Prepare the home

Social care provider holds heart-warming community soup event

Social care staff at community soup event

A social care provider hosted a Soup Event at Westmead Day Centre to bring the community together and give local organisations the opportunity to raise awareness and pitch for funding for their community project.

The event, organised by Optalis, provided an opportunity for members of the community to listen to a variety of community project ideas. Through a secret ballot, attendees chose a project and were awarded with funds raised during the evening, match funded by Optalis, and will be later used by the winning organisation to invest in their ideas.

One in seven hospitals charges for disabled parking

disabled parking at a hospital

One in seven hospital sites now charges for disabled parking, an increase of 12 per cent in a year.

The figures, from NHS Digital, emerged as it was revealed that one of England’s flagship hospital trusts is poised to make disabled patients and visitors pay for parking.

Disabled people were charged up to £2.70 per hour at 155 hospital sites across England in 2017/18, up from 139 in 2016/17, 135 in 2015/16 and 132 in 2014/15.

Hospital parking is free in Scotland and Wales but patients and visitors in England paid a total of £156.8 million in fees in 2017/18.

From ‘unable to walk’ to running a miracle marathon with Chris Evans! 

Matt talks to UCAN2 about From ‘unable to walk’ to running a miracle marathon with Chris Evans! 

How alternative therapies defied a long term medical prognosis

Four years ago, Susie James had chronic pain in her arms, hands, knees and feet; any movement was extremely painful; walking was problematic. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and presented with a bleak outlook by her rheumatologist; life-long medication to control her symptoms.

But last weekend, 58 year old Susie ran the London Marathon alongside celebrity DJ Chris Evans, fuelled with an inner energy she had never experienced. A stark contrast to barely being able to shuffle around her own home. 

Rosette of approval for local horse-riding centre following AkzoNobel makeover

Staff happy with the AkzoNobel makeover at Morpeth RDA

A popular North East horse-riding school specialising in therapeutic riding sessions for people with disabilities has been given a new lease of life thanks to a generous donation from AkzoNobel Ashington.

The Pegasus Centre, which is home to the Morpeth group of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), received over 100 litres of specialist paint from the manufacturing giant, including Dulux Trade Weathershield Exterior High Gloss, Dulux Trade Weathershield Exterior Flexible Undercoat, Dulux Trade Weathershield Smooth Masonry Paint and Cuprinol Ultimate Garden Wood Preserver to refresh its indoor arena and stable block ahead of hosting a major regional competition. 

A deal which could transform the learning disability sector

Tech and care industries unite to unveil case for a deal which could transform the learning disability sector

Tech and care industries unite to unveil case for a deal which could transform the learning disability sector

A new report is being launched in Parliament today setting out the case for a deal for the learning disability sector, focusing on realising the potential of technology to boost investment and transform the way care is delivered.

National learning disabilities charity, Hft, supported by Tunstall Healthcare, produced the paper outlining the key arguments for an economic partnership with the government as part of the UK Industrial Strategy – a long term plan for the future aimed at backing businesses to drive productivity through investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

Unique salon for people with learning disabilities opens its doors

Salon for people with learning disabilities

Bradford’s first beauty salon exclusively for adults with learning disabilities has opened its doors with the help of celebrity hairdresser, Andrew Collinge.

Mirror Mirror is located at The Learning Zone, which is just one of many day opportunities run by national learning disability charity, Hft. Based on Preston Street, the beauty room will offer people a chance to enjoy some pampering ranging from hair styling and hand massages to manicures. For those interested in gaining a flavour of the industry, there will also be opportunities to work towards a professional qualification.

Getting accessible gardens right

accessible gardens - a decking path

Truly accessible gardens are few and far between. This is a crying shame as there are so many health benefits to gardens – from improved sleep to better mental health. A study by researchers Soga, Gaston & Yamaura published on Science Direct found: “Participating in gardening activities has a significant positive impact on health. Indeed, the positive association with gardening was observed for a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms, stress, mood disturbance, and BMI, as well as increases in quality of life, sense of community, physical activity levels, and cognitive function.” 

New Sta-Rite Multifunction Forehead Stabiliser Launched

Sta-Rite Multifunction Forehead Stabiliser Launched

Gel Ovations Europe has launched its new Multifunction Forehead Stabiliser for clients with Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Spinal Injury and other conditions requiring cranial stabilisation.

Part of the company’s growing Sta-Rite range of rehab solutions, the new unit combines a headrest and multi-adjustable Forehead Stabiliser. It has been designed to provide users with ‘head drop,’ a higher level of comfort and skin protection compared to traditional forehead straps.

Developed in consultation with Occupational Therapists, Rehabilitation specialists and end-users, the new unit has been designed for use in a variety of applications including wheelchairs, shower chairs, and children’s functional seating.

Clearwell Mobility Hosts Third Annual Walking Football Cup

Clearwell Mobility Staff at Walking Football Cup

Clearwell Mobility and Brighton & Hove Walking Football Club have hosted the third Clearwell Cup at Longhill Sports Centre, Brighton.

The walking football tournament was open to all clubs across the UK and this year it attracted teams from North Wales, London and Canterbury, as well as across the Sussex. The Clearwell Cup aims to promote walking football as a sport and encourage more people to stay active for longer. 

The South East’s leading supplier of mobility and home healthcare products has been sponsoring Brighton & Hove Walking Football club since 2015, and the cup since 2017.