Features

Eco-friendly gloves provide additional benefits to eczema sufferers

Eco-friendly bamboo gloves for eczema sufferers

Bamboo is one of nature’s most sustainable resources with plants growing around 15 metres tall in only 6 months. It’s ability to be processed into fibres allows it to be used in the production of gloves that provide various benefits in comparison to cotton, nylon or polyester alternatives.

Glove usage for eczema

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. 

New funds to improve mental health of homeless young people in North East

Homeless person with bad mental health holding a cardboard house

A major new partnership between Depaul UK and the CareTech Foundation will provide more than £23,000 to transform the lives of homless young people in the North East. The organisations will work together to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people living in Depaul’s supported accommodation across the region.

Part of the new grant will fund a specialist mental health worker who will be focused on helping young people grow their personal confidence and ability to cope. Through a number of workshops and activities, the programme will build resilience and offer techniques for maintaining positive wellbeing and mental health.

What time is it?

Child using an EasyRead Time watch to tell the time

Telling the time is a basic life skill that all children need to learn.  Being able to manage your own time is an important part of independent living.  But for many children, learning to tell the time is a challenge.  It can be especially difficult for those with learning difficulties.

Time is taught in Primary School as part of the Maths curriculum, but many children move on to teenage years and beyond, still confused about time.  Why is it difficult?  Several issues spring to mind…

Digital vs Analogue – in our increasingly digital age, children are used to seeing digital clocks.  They can easily read the time from a digital clock by simply reading the numbers.   But it’s hard to develop an understanding of time in this way.

Dementia Carers Count launch one-day courses to support family carers 

Dementia Carers with father

New charity Dementia Carers Count has launched a new range of one-day courses for family carers in addition to their three-day residential course programme. The new courses offer a bite-sized approach, covering specialised subjects which can help carers to build the skills and confidence to see them through the challenges that caring can bring. 

Dementia Carers Count has a unique vision: that all family carers of people with dementia will feel confident, supported and heard. These new one-day courses are part of a new series called “Caring About…”and will focus on the emotional as well as the practical needs of carers encouraging them to look after themselves as well as helping them understand the needs of the person with dementia. 

New form of hallucination identified as psychological disease and public health concern  

Dr William Van Gordon on New form of hallucination identified as psychological disease and public health concern  

A new form of hallucination has been identified as a psychological disease and an emerging public health concern as part of an international research project led by the University of Derby.

Conventional hallucinations typically involve seeing or sensing things which do not really exist. 

Now, researchers have come up with the theory of ‘inverted hallucinations’, which means not seeing or sensing things which do exist.  

If a person suffers from inverted hallucinations, it implies that their real-time awareness of psychological and sensory experiences is significantly impaired, and therefore they experience a distorted perception of reality and miss out on their life.

Survey on accessible transport and parking opens

London transport

Business Disability Forum is launching a new survey today seeking the views of people with a disability or long-term condition on public transport and accessible parking.

Angela Matthews, Head of Policy and Advice, Business Disability Forum, said:

“Transport is how we get to where we need to be – whether that’s getting to work, going to meet friends, going on holiday or accessing healthcare.

“But despite the vital role it plays in all our lives, travelling can be a stressful and difficult experience if you have a disability and that’s why we are launching our new survey, ‘Getting There: How accessible is transport in 2019?’

Calvert Reconnections unveils panel of expert advisors

Bill Braithwaite from Calvert Reconnections

Calvert Reconnections - the UK’s first intensive Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) rehabilitation centre focused around outdoor activities - has unveiled its panel of expert advisors.

The ground-breaking centre, run by The Lake District Calvert Trust (LDCT), is being advised by nationally regarded brain injury experts Bill Braithwaite QC, Heather Batey, Professor Mike Barnes and Dr Rob Forsyth in the run up to its Autumn opening.  Calvert Reconnections has also launched a new website at http://www.calvertreconnections.org.uk/  

Secret Access - Changing the world one step at a time

Secret access step

Once Upon a Time, there was a young man in a wheelchair. This young man was a Prince and lived in the kingdom of a King and Queen. One day, the Prince had enough of being told how to live his life. He wanted to be like all of his friends living independently in a Castle and creating a Kingdom. The time had come.

The Prince spent many months valiantly battling to find the perfect Castle. Some were too old, some too small and some did not even have access at all. The King and Queen cried for the Prince to return but his determination grew. Through extremities of weather and the challenges faced, the Prince pursued with his dream.

The art of independent living - at 99!

Independent Jean Butchart turning 99 and cutting her birthday cake

With an ageing population, finding centenarians is becoming less rare, but a 99 year old enjoying independent living is still quite a find.

Miss Jean Butchart is her own boss, with her own home, friends and hobbies. When asked what her secret was, she retorted: “Your guess is as good as mine!”

Born in Newcastle, Jean Butchart moved to Scotland aged six months where she grew up and qualified as a teacher in Domestic Science and Home Economics. During the war Miss Butchart taught in a Herefordshire school until a role in Aberdeen’s College of Domestic Science brought Jean to the Granite City in 1948.

Learning disability charity recognises outstanding volunteers 

HFT Learning Disability Charity Logo

This Volunteers’ Week, national learning disability charity Hft is celebrating its 110 volunteers, who have dedicated more than 8,000 hours of their time in the last year. 

The charity offers various opportunities for volunteering, ranging from corporate volunteering and fundraising to a buddy scheme. Volunteers have the chance to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities, while also gaining confidence, skills and new friendships as a result. 

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things 

Doug Smith - ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Volunteers are at the very heart of the success of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), and are the glue that binds every aspect of the charity together.

Every year, Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) provides a chance to celebrate the amazing contribution that is made by ordinary people from every walk of life who give up their valuable time to benefit others.

But, as a recent RDA report found, volunteering doesn’t just benefit the participants but has a huge role to play in tackling loneliness and mental health, helping people gain more perspective and become less inward focused.

Meet the 50 Faces Breaking Down Barriers

RDA 50 Faces Campaign

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating 50 years of achievement, therapy and fun through horses with a stunning online collection of portraits and stories from all over the UK. 

Designed to challenge preconceptions about disability, volunteering and the world of horses, 50 faces is a celebration of the brilliant, fearless and pioneering people who make up the RDA family.

Right from the start, RDA has helped to open up the world of horses to everyone. The charity’s radical mission in 1969 that ‘no disabled person who could benefit from riding shall be denied the opportunity of doing so’ was the start of a quiet revolution that is still breaking down barriers today. 

A Shared Passion Helping Disabled Riders

Disabled Riders at Accessibility Mark

In the 50th anniversary year of RDA, the opportunities available to disabled riders are now much more varied than when the charity first began five decades ago.

Two Kent-based centres that are working together to complement each other perfectly are Chalkdown RDA and Smarden Therapeutic Stables, which is an Accessibility Mark accredited centre.

The two very different groups are located just seven miles apart but share the same passion and goals for making a huge difference to the lives of their amazing riders.

Stairlift donations to transform palliative care

Acorn Stairlift

Acorn Stairlifts has announced plans to raise £20,00 for Marie Curie to fund 1,000 hours of care from its specially trained nurses.  

Continuing the partnership between UK-based stairlift manufacturer and Marie Curie, £10 will be donated to the charity for every stairlift installed before 9thJune. 

Acorn Stairlifts already installs up to 60 free stairlifts each year to Marie Curie patients, helping support people living with terminal illness by giving them the freedom to be cared for at home. 

Caren Larkman-Ayre, national sales manager at Acorn Stairlifts, said: “We’re very proud to be supporting Marie Curie, a charity that does amazing work caring for people during exceptionally difficult times.

Ten ways to make a meeting more inclusive

A group of people in a meeting at work, one of them is in a wheelchair

To mark the launch of its new guide, Meetings Matter, Business Disability Forum is offering advice to all businesses on how to make meetings and events more accessible for disabled employees and clients.

The 10-point meeting checklist is adapted from the not-for-profit membership organisation’s new 24-page guide. The practical and up-to-date resource provides advice on arranging meetings which meet the needs of all colleague and attendees.

The guide covers all aspects of organising a meeting, from set up to on the day, and follow up arrangements. It also reflects the fact that more and more people are now using technology to enable them to take part in meetings and events remotely and from anywhere in the World.  

10-point meeting checklist

Tapping into the Therapeutic Benefits of Riding

Two horses ready for riding

Tapping into the Therapeutic Benefits of Riding with Accessibility Mark

Barnfields Riding Stables based in Chingford, London is looking forward to welcoming more disabled riders to take to the saddle, thanks to Accessibility Mark.

Located near the popular horse riding locations of High Beach and Epping Forest, Barnfields Stables offer lessons to riders of all abilities but specialise in novice and nervous riders.

Owner Natasha Burke decided to apply for accreditation after finding details of the joint scheme between the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and the British Equestrian Federation online.

Accessibility Mark aims to provide riding schools with the knowledge to confidently deliver sessions to disabled riders.

London transport nightmare

London transport

London transport nightmare – New travel experiment reveals dire commutes for wheelchair users. London wheelchair users’ commutes take 49% longer than an able-bodied person’s on average

A shocking 71% of London tube stations NOT fully accessible

Disabled public transport users don’t feel that official apps or planners cater to their individual needs