News

Historic Northumberland port receives green makeover thanks to local mental health charity

local mental health charity making environmental improvements

A local mental health charity has been helping to make environmental improvements to the landscape around Northumberland’s biggest port. 

Service users from Blyth Star Enterprises’ Stakeford Nurseries have been planting trees and shrubs at the Port of Blyth’s South Harbour as part of a new landscaping maintenance contract. 
The commercial contract forms part of the work carried out by the mental health charity under the remit of its ‘Next Steps’ project, which aims to provide its service users who have participated in the horticultural training programme taught at Stakeford Nurseries with volunteering experience in community-based environments. 

£20m fund marks one year on from the Inclusive Transport Strategy

Disabled person on train station using the transport strategy

Industry invited to nominate stations across Britain that would benefit from improvements to accessibility. Department marks one-year since the publication of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, the move follows wider developments to make the transport network more inclusive, such as the extension of the Blue Badge scheme. Disabled rail passengers across the UK are set to benefit from a raft of accessibility improvements with the opening of a £20m government fund (Monday, 8 July 2019).

Disabled people must have better access to public transport before London car-free day

Disabled person trying to get access to public transport

A leading not-for-profit business and disability organisation is calling on  the London Mayor disabled people to have better access to public transport, following the announcement that there will be a car-free day across London on 22 September to raise awareness of the air pollution crisis.

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

Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity receives backing

Children at Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity

Robert Walters Group UK has named the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity as its official UK charity for 2019.

The charity supports under 5s with cerebral palsy and other motor learning impairments – focusing on helping children to realise their full potential.

The bulk of fundraising for the charity will take place on the Group’s annual Charity Day, taking place on Friday 11 October 2019.

All 400 of Robert Walters Group UK employees - across London, the South East, Midlands and the North West - will be taking a break from work for the day and will be tasked with raising as much money as possible for the charity. 

Government To Introduce Natasha's Law

Food allergy form for Natasha's Law

A new law will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced today in a drive to protect the country’s two million food allergy sufferers.

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, the Environment Secretary confirmed legislation will be brought forward by the end of summer to strengthen allergen labelling rules.

PM launches disability policy overhaul

disability policy overhaul – inequality lettering

Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed plans to enhance the lives of those living with a disability in the UK, announcing the launch of an Equalities Hub in Parliament.

With around a fifth of the working-age population living with a disability, the Prime Minister also announced a new cross-government disability team which will sit alongside the Government Equalities Office and Race Disparity Unit in a new Equalities Hub.

This team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to develop a new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy. Further measures will be set out later this year.

Norovirus Outbreak Closes Hospital Wards In Cornwall

Woman feeling sick because of the norovirus

An outbreak of the Norovirus has forced medics to close hospital wards in Cornwall this morning. 

People are being urged to avoid the Royal Cornwall Hospital after three wards have been contaminated with the vomiting bug. 

Senior staff at the hospital have issued a "Black Alert", known as an "OPEL 4" which the NHS classifies as a "serious incident".

Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.  You are likely to have caught Norovirus if you experience a sudden sick feeling, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

Other symptoms can include a slight fever, headaches, painful cramps and aching limbs. Symptoms generally only last for about two to three days.

New Film Launched To Celebrate Disability Football

Football

The Football Association [The FA] has today released an inspiring new film to celebrate disability football ahead of the 2019 FA Disability Cup, which will take place at St. George’s Park on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June. 

The film shines a spotlight on five grassroots disability footballers telling the story of their own individual journey into the game, from those seeking a competitive environment in which to play the game to others simply finding fun, sociable ways of keeping active.

Review of Blue Badge fraud as scheme is extended to those with ‘hidden disabilities’

blue badge holders sign

People with hidden disabilities will soon be able to access Blue Badge parking permits, thanks to the roll out of new guidance today (Saturday, June 15).

For drivers or passengers with dementia, anxiety disorders or reduced mobility, anticipating difficulty travelling, such as trouble finding a parking space, can result in a build-up of stress on top of the stress of the journey itself.

The new guidance, which represents the biggest change to the scheme since the 1970s, will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult by providing better access to work and other amenities, while also helping combat loneliness by helping them stay connected to family and friends.

More businesses are becoming Disability Confident

Disability confident man working at a warehouse

The Department for Work and Pensions reported that over 46,000 people have used a new search engine filter that gives them a direct line to Disability Confident employers, in the first six months of the tool being launched.

Jobseekers have been able to search for vacancies with Disability Confident employers on the government’s Find a Job website since November 2018.

The news is evidence that there is growing demand for opportunities with inclusive employers.

Disability Confident is the government’s flagship disability employment scheme which supports employers of all sizes to recruit and retain disabled staff.

A tribute to disability activist Professor Mike Oliver

A tribute to disability activist Professor Mike Oliver

UCan2’s Jenni Meredith on the legacy of disability activist Professor Mike Oliver, and the future of disability rights in the UK under new Disabilities Minister Justin Tomlinson as Brexit looms...

In March this year, Professor Mike Oliver, a fiery disabled activist and the man who changed mainstream attitudes with his social model of disability, sadly died.
He was the person largely responsible for forcing the UK Government to adopt anti-discrimination legislation in the form of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), yet was disappointed with the Act when it finally appeared on the statue books.

Housing association develops policy for employees and tenants

Housing association step free route sign

Housing association L&Q has partnered with two leading organisations to ensure it is offering the best service to its disabled staff and residents.

As part of its disability inclusion initiative L&Q will work with Evenbreak, a social enterprise that helps inclusive employers attract and retain more talented disabled people.

L&Q is also working with disability charity Scope to develop housing advice content for their website and advice line.

Already L&Q has upskilled its employability service, to better engage and support disabled residents in securing employment.

Fellowship award offered by children’s disability partnership

Staff from Newlife charity with children's disability partnership signs

An exciting new funding partnership will see dedicated investment of £270,000 ring-fenced specifically to help children with disabilities across the UK.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children have joined forces to offer talented post- doctorial researchers the opportunity to compete for a pioneering three- year fellowship award.

The partnership, launched earlier this week at RCPCH’s annual conference in Birmingham, will enable the chosen recipient to have a real impact on the lives and health of children with disabilities across the UK.

Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

Princess Anne Launching 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

HRH Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association in Scotland

A new tartan has been produced by Lachcarron of Scotland in celebration of 50 years of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) providing therapy through horses.

The tartan was launched at an anniversary event in Edinburgh by RDA President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. The Princess met with volunteers and participants from around the country and was presented with her very own RDA tartan scarf by brothers Andrew and William McLeod.

Blenheim Joins Forces With Farming Charity

Blenheim Staff with Farming Charity staff

Blenheim is working with an Oxfordshire-based farming charity to host working visits for people with learning disabilities and autism.

A team of co-farmers from FarmAbility will be making regular visits to the Blenheim Estate to assist in a variety of hands-on animal and land-based activities.

The initiative is part of a series of community-based charitable programmes supported by Blenheim as part of its goal to double its charitable contributions within a decade.

FarmAbility is a farm-based programme for co-farmers, who are people over the age of 16 with learning disabilities and often also with autistic spectrum disorder.

Student nurses attempt Guinness World Record

Student nurses attempting Guinness World Record

Over 500 student nurses, academics, healthcare professionals and people with learning disabilities, as well as their family and friends, gathered in Birmingham on Friday 26 April to attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people in one room simultaneously signing ‘Hello my name is’ using Makaton.

The #HelloMyNameIs campaign calls for more compassionate care by highlighting the importance of seeing a patient as a person and putting them at the heart of decision making.

The Guinness World Record was attempted at the annual Positive Choices Conference for Learning Disability Nursing students.

Spinal Unit Games and WheelPower attracts 136 newly paralysed sports

Chris Keogh member of WheelPower

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, recently welcomed 136newly paralysed men and women representing 15 spinal injury units from across the United Kingdom and Ireland to the 32nd Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium from 9-11 April 2019.

Some had never played sports before, and each person had a different story to share as to how they became paralysed, yet all were willing to give the 26 different sports and physical activity sessions a try, before entering competition sports between the Spinal Unit teams. The flagship event finally culminated in a gala dinner and awards ceremony for all the participants, sports leaders and supporters of the event to celebrate the achievements and effort of all the participants and winners. 

CMG and Regard Campaign For Change

A group from CMG at the C4C Conference

CMG and Regard, a leading provider of support for people with learning disabilities and associated complex needs, is proudly supporting self-advocacy group – Campaign 4 Change – which is led by 11 of the people it supports.

Campaign 4 Change (C4C) is made up of members who passionately campaign on issues that affect people with learning disabilities and autism, both on a local and national scale.