Christchurch Group delivers specialised training as part of Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke Awareness Month

Staff at Orchard House, an Oxfordshire based neurological rehabilitation centre, have undergone stroke sensory training as part of National Stroke Awareness Month.

After a stroke, a sensory impairment can occur, affecting the way your brain interprets your senses, causing numbness or the inability to feel heat or cold.

Although these symptoms range across the board, they can all be addressed by sensory re-education exercises, which simply reteach your brain how to interpret your senses.

‘Make May Purple’ is the Stroke Association’s annual awareness month, which takes place each May and invites friends, families and communities to show their support for people who have been affected by stroke.

Derby Success for Neale and Ahmed

Derby Success for Neale and Ahmed

The Paul Hunter Disability Classic successfully returned to the Cueball Derby last weekend as World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) staged its latest event for players with learning and sensory disabilities.

The final event of the 2017/18 season, the weekend saw a significant increase in entries from the inaugural competition at the same venue a year previously as two past champions claimed their latest WDBS titles.

The Group 7 tournament for players with visual disabilities saw Birmingham’s Nick Neale claim his second WDBS gold medal following a dominant display in Derby.

Innovative new glasses could revolutionise visually impaired athletes training

Innovative new glasses could revolutionise visually impaired athletes training

INNOVATIVE new glasses which could revolutionise the way in which visually impaired athletes train and compete are one of the many exciting entries for an innovative design competition.

The as yet unnamed concept is the brainchild of Andrew Taylor, a 24-year-old graduate from the University of Bath who had his eureka moment while in the final year of his design project.

His design works in a similar way to parking sensors in that it tracks an athlete’s position in their lane and running direction which is then translated into an audio signal.

The audio gets louder dependent on where the runner is on the track, allowing them to maintain a steady line around the circuit.

Autism With Attitude win second place at UDO European Street Dance Championships

 Autism With Attitude

Autism With Attitude street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge have changed perceptions of young people with autism by competing in the European United Dance Organisations (UDO) Championships in Germany last weekend – and winning second place in the final! Part of Outcomes First Group, Hillingdon Manor provides specialist education and support to pupils aged three to nineteen years old with autism.

The street dance troupe faced top level competition in their category from 15 other teams from across Europe – including the current Dutch and French champions, who finished in first and third place respectively. No other group had special needs.

Koller Makes the VW Transporter Safe for Wheelchair Users


The dynamic EXCEL Aries combined wheelchair and passenger restraint has been specifically designed by Koller to fit VW T5 and T6 Caravelle rails allowing the vehicles to become wheelchair friendly by simply removing or repositioning rear passenger seats.

“We decided to make a restraint especially for the VW Caravelle as it is a popular choice for the conversion to wheelchair use. It is very versatile with a wide choice of adaptation options and configurations. This means it can meet most user’s requirements and so is perfect for day to day transport requirements. EXCEL Aries allows users to easily fit restraint systems without having to change any existing fittings,” said Andy Nurrish, Koller sales manager.

College's FestABLE is dedicated to specialist learning

Sally Phillips FestABLE

Youtubers, assistive technology experts and professionals working with young people who have special educational needs and disabilities will gather for the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning. Young people have helped plan FestABLE’s diverse programme which includes all sorts from the chance to go in the country’s only wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon and play with eye-gaze controlled computer games, to sessions on speech and occupational therapy, Education, Health and Care plans, early autism intervention, SEND reform and removing the barriers to achievement.

TCL Group duo aim to conquer the Alps in memory of colleague

TCL group

Iron-thighed TCL Group cyclists are aiming to conquer the Alps in memory of a colleague who died 18 months ago.

Burleys MD Tony Cammiss and TCL regional director Jon Collins are swapping the relative flatness of the Leicestershire countryside for the Alpine majesty of south eastern France when they cycle a section of the Tour de France along with 15,000 other two wheel loving fanatics.

The pair will be joined by a few friends to raise money for CRY - Cardiac Arrest in the Young -  the TCL Group's nominated charity chosen after the sudden death of young fencing operative and popular colleague Chris Williamson.

wheelAIR are calling all wheelchair sports teams!

wheelAIR backed by Paralympians including Scottish archer Nathan MacQueen

wheelAir are looking for wheelchair sports teams to take part in a short demonstration of their cooling wheelchair backrest cushions.

The cushions are for manual wheelchairs and the talks will include a 15-minute taster session, plus the opportunity to buy in bulk and receive a team deal. 

wheelAIR was devised by Corien Staels of Staels Design in Scotland, and has become a hit after being backed by Paralympians – including Scottish archer Nathan MacQueen – and featuring on Dragons’ Den. wheelAIR backed by Paralympians including Scottish archer Nathan MacQueen

Surrey Teacher and Anxiety Coach Announced as 2018 ‘Inspirational Achiever of the Year

Samantha Hearne from Egham, Surrey is celebrating after been announced as ‘Inspirational Achiever of the Year’ as part of their SuperAchievers awards, after hundreds of nominations from across the globe were submitted, to the business superbrand.   

Samantha is a secondary school teacher by trade and has been teaching for seven years, as well as being a Head of Year for four years. Around a year ago, Samantha also launched an anxiety coaching business, ‘A Happy Mind’. 

Prestigious award for pioneering project


An ambitious project, led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), has scooped a prestigious award after helping to tackle loneliness in local communities.

Since its launch last year, dozens of people have taken part in a wide range of activities organised as part of BeConnected, a pioneering scheme that's now been recognised by a national organisation representing housing association customers.

At a recent awards ceremony in Birmingham, SARH was presented with the Community Focused Service/Product of the Year for the Central Region by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Tpas).

Deaf people encouraged to speak up for their ‘right to hear’

Deaf Awareness Week

Deaf people are being encouraged to speak up for their ‘right to hear’, this Deaf Awareness Week, and make sure venues and services they use are accessible.

The advice laid out in a guide to mark Deaf Awareness Week 14 – 21 May emphasizes the rights hearing-impaired people have to access information and services under the law and what hearing support they should expect in public spaces under building regulations.  

The guide, produced by assistive hearing technology specialists Contacta, also provides practical advice to help people with hearing loss speak out if venues such as banks, shops, public buildings, universities and theatres don’t have a hearing loop, or the loop doesn’t work. 

YHA boosts 8-year-old’s bucket list of wishes

Family Breaks programme

A Yorkshire mum has thanked, Family Breaks programme, a leading youth charity for helping make one of her son’s dreams come true as his sight deteriorates.

Fred Howe, aged 8 from Haxby, suffers from a progressive eye condition which may eventually cost him his sight. Before that day, Fred’s mum Karen is helping him fulfil his bucket list of experiences which he has named Fantastic Mr Fred’s Flight For Sights, in honour of his favourite book Fantastic Mr Fox.

Thanks to YHA (England and Wales), the youngster and his family, which includes mum Karen, sister Eva (10) and dad Dave, got to experience the London Marathon. 

YHA’s Communities Team arranged for the family to have grandstand seats in St James Park, the finish line of the race.

Kirklevington Riding Centre Encourages More Disabled People To Take To The Saddle

Riding for the Disabled Association

Kirklevington Riding Centre, based in Yarm, has become an Accessibility Mark accredited centre after meeting the criteria set out by the Riding for the Disabled Association.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)., in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

A British Horse Society (BHS) approved centre, Kirklevington has been established for 38 years, providing riding lessons to two generations, from total beginners to riders looking to work towards a qualification.

Have you got the Changing Places Toilet Finder app?

Changing Places Tom

Tom Gordon, who has a background as a master locksmith, produces RADAR keys for accessible loos and has developed an app to find your nearest Changing Places. Here, he speaks to UCan2 editor Victoria Galligan about why the UK falls short when it comes to Changing Places…

What are the different types of accessible toilets and what is the difference between them? (Changing Places, disabled access, Space2Change etc)

Over 1,000 people with MS help create new charity website

MS Society

Over a thousand people living with MS have helped develop a new MS Society website, to be launched this week.

The MS Society recruited a panel of 150 people from the MS community to share views on the new site, which goes live today. The panel provided feedback on everything from design and content, to ease-of-use. A further 1,000 people fed back online, and over 800 on the beta homepage.

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said: