News

Epic cruises for adventurers with physical limitations

Expedition cruises

Expedition cruises are one of easiest, most reliable and least stressful options for people, of all ages and physical capabilities, wanting that truly epic holiday adventure.  With more cruise lines than ever before departing to exotic climes directly from the UK – and from a number of easily accessible, new, regional departure ports too, such as Falmouth, Newcastle, Liverpool and Swansea –  cruise lines are helping UK travellers avoid all the hassle of air travel, with the forever possibility of flight cancellations, lengthy check-in procedures and over-crowded planes. A number of cruise lines have also introduced special onboard features that enhance the experience for travellers with disabilities.

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre launches accessible climbing sessions for people with disabilities

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Westway Trust, has recently received funding from Activate to launch climbing sessions for those with disabilities. The sessions cost £1 per one-hour session and will take place in the afternoon and early evening weekdays.

Thanks to funding and in a bid to ensure climbing is accessible to everyone, Westway Sports & Fitness Centre will be offering climbing sessions to anyone with a disability during the school term times. The centre is launching sessions which will facilitate anyone who is in a wheelchair or mobile impaired, autistic, blind, deaf or suffers from mental health problems.

Superhero Tri backed by Professor Greg Whyte OBE

Superhero Tri Greg and David

Following the success of last year’s Superhero Series, the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries, event partner npower has launched an innovative new service to enable even more families to participate in the inspirational Superhero Tri. 

The new ‘npower support squad’ will provide support dinghies and volunteers to give participants even more confidence to enter the swim section and enjoy the rewarding experience. In addition to providing assistance in the water at Dorney Lake on 18 August, 2018, the support squad will be fully involved on land from leading participants in the warm-up to cheering them across the finish line. 

Npower support squad enables more families to find their superpowers at superhero tri

Superhero Series

Following the success of last year’s Superhero Series, npower is once again supporting the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries. The energy supplier is announcing the launch of an innovative new service, the ‘npower support squad’, to enable even more families to participate in the inspirational Superhero Tri at Dorney Lake on 18 August, 2018.

A recent study indicated that disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive (43 per cent) as non-disabled people (21 per cent) due to a lack of confidence or access to specialist equipment.1

New AI app which reduces low back pain by 40% launches in the UK

Kaia app

Low back pain (LBP) is an increasingly widespread and expensive condition worldwide, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified back pain as being the global number one reason for disability. According to the Office for National Statistics back pain accounts for almost 31 million days of work lost in 2013 costing the UK economy £14bn a year - but this could now change thanks to an AI app which launches in the UK, and has significantly reduced the pain intensity of LBP by 40% in a recent clinical study.

Wheelchair users call for urgent innovation to increase economic productivity in UK

Toyota Mobility Foundation

Data from a new international survey of wheelchair users on behalf of the Toyota Mobility Foundation highlights the need for innovation in the field of assistive technology to allow people with limited mobility in the UK the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the workplace. The impact of which could have huge consequences for the estimated 65 million people worldwide who use a wheelchair and for the global economy.

Adventure Awaits For Amazing Grace Thanks To Ottobock C-Leg 4

Adventure Awaits For Amazing Grace Thanks To Ottobock C-Leg 4

Whether it’s climbing up the side of the O2 Arena in Greenwich or scaling the heights of a treetop assault course, nothing is too big a challenge for former rugby player Grace Matthews.

Which is remarkable, given her whole world was turned upside down after a devastating injury during a match less than two years ago.

Playing in the front row for Bletchley Ladies, Grace, 26, of Milton Keynes, dislocated her knee during a game against Olney, an injury that eventually led to her losing her leg above the knee.

TV presenter launches specialist dementia care for Wellington

Ercall Court

TV presenter Angela Rippon enjoyed afternoon tea when she visited a brand new specialist dementia nursing facility, Ercall Court, part of the acclaimed Morris Care Centre, in Wellington, Shropshire.

The popular broadcaster, an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, met residents and staff at Morris Care’s new Ercall Court to mark the occasion.

RSPCA Honour assistance dog who saves owner's life

RSPCA award guide dog

Elgin has given Julie Barrett and her Mum Sue, from Beer in Seaton, Devon, the freedom to enjoy their life as they know they can rely on his incredible skills. 

As well as being trained to help with everything from dressing and undressing, shopping, and fetching the phone, Elgin also warns Julie when her blood sugar is too high or low, alerts her when she is going to have a seizure and, incredibly, fetches help when she chokes.

Elgin was awarded an Honour at the ceremony hosted by Alastair Stewart OBE at the Royal Society on July 11. 

The ceremony was attended by celebrities including Kate Lawler, Deborah Meaden, Peter Egan and Jo Brand. 

Owner Julie said:

Carbon Black II launches with crowdfunding bid

Carbon Black System

If two is company, three is a definitely a welcome crowd as innovative wheelchair company Carbon Black System turns its focus to an equally innovative finance solution for the global launch of Carbon Black II – the second generation of what has become known as ‘F1-inspired ‘mobility.

Thanks to a new manufacturing process, the unique and futuristic wheelchair, made entirely of lightweight and strong carbon fibre, is being re-launched at a dramatically lower price. 

The business is getting the product ready for wider markets using crowdfunding investment - where a greater number of backers each contribute smaller investments in return for a share of the company.

Council initiative slashes waiting times for Disabled Facility Grants assessments in Ashford

Disabled Facility Grants (or DFGs)

Nine months ago, Ashford Borough Council took steps to tackle the waiting times for Disabled Facilities Grants assessments (DFGs) in a determined bid to improve the quality of life for disabled and vulnerable people.

As a result, the waiting list for the grants has been hugely reduced and the council's Cabinet voted to go one step further by changing the means test formula and by introducing a system of discretionary grants aimed at reaching even more people in need of help.

Disabled Facility Grants are used to pay for essential adaptations to allow disabled people to continue to live within their own homes and to achieve as independent a life as possible.

Funding for powered wheelchair gives 18-year-old new lease of life

Children Today

A young man from Worthing has received a life-changing new powered wheelchair after hitting his £24,000 Children Today fundraising target.

18-year-old Daniel Hanson, who has the progressive muscle-wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is reliant on a powered wheelchair to get around. Yet after five years of heavy use and Daniel’s changing needs, he desperately needed a new wheelchair.

Daniel’s mum Penny comments:

Teesside Tesco bag pack raises funds for Stroke Association

The Beeches Care Home raise money for Stroke Association

CARE home staff raised hundreds of pounds for the Stroke Association and its stroke survivors and their families after helping supermarket shoppers with their packing.

Staff from The Beeches Care Home, in Stockton on Tees, organised the Stroke Association fundraiser at Tesco Extra, on Durham Road.

They spent the day on the checkouts, collecting £219.92 in donations from generous shoppers.

Helen Wood, home manager at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, said:

Fir Tree Fishery CIC - offering accessibility and education for the community

Fir Tree Fishery

Nestling in the heart of Wigan's greenbelt, just a stone’s throw from suburban streets and the local doctor’s surgery, lies a little oasis of calm, Fir Tree Fishery CIC provides an accessible facility in which the elderly, particularly stroke survivors, can come to fish with assistance from young learners who have faced difficulty in gaining qualifications or employment. UCan2 editor Victoria Galligan met up with Martin Taylor, who is the Managing Director, to find out how it has evolved since its inception eight years ago…

Rudding Park Receives the 2018 ‘Catey’ Accessibility Award

Rudding Park

Rudding Park in Harrogate, North Yorkshire was awarded the 2018 ‘Catey’ Accessibility Award announced last night at Grosvenor House, London. Over 1200 of the great and the good from UK hospitality attended the award ceremony, considered as the Oscars of the Hospitality industry.

Peter Banks, Rudding Park Managing Director said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Rudding Park has received the Accessibility Award. We understand our guests have different needs and our philosophy is to continually invest in the business to ensure the products and services are of the highest standard and accessible to all.  

Disability charity makes a racket for accessibility at Wimbledon

QEF

A team of volunteers from Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) are gathering views on accessibility issues from visitors to The Championships, Wimbledon to help to ensure that it serves up a friendly experience for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.

Busy sports events can be tricky to negotiate for people with disabilities, but disability charity QEF has formed a strong partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to advise where there may be  challenges for visitors. The accessibility experts from QEF have carried out hawk-eyed surveys and brought along clients of its services who are wheelchair users to check how measures aimed at improving the experience for disabled people work in practice during the busy Championship Fortnight.

Kelda Wood will “Row to Raise” hope, awareness and vital funds for charity

Kelda Wood will row for Row to Raise

Shropshire charity founder and athlete, Kelda Wood will row 3000 kilometres solo - from La Gomera to Antigua in the Talisker Whiskey Challenge for her project Row to Raise.

Kelda, a professional sportswoman, suffered a life changing injury to her leg in 2002. Since then, she has gone on to become a member of the GB Paracanoe Squad, just missing out on selection for the Paralympic Games in Rio. She later became the first recorded adaptive woman to summit Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.

In 2010 Kelda founded the charity Climbing Out, which runs 5-day outdoor activity programmes that use Kelda's life-long passion, sport, to help rebuild confidence and self-esteem in the young people taking part.

The British Heart Foundation Launches the Big Stitch Challenge

The BHF help beat heart disease

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling on all crafty shoppers from Manchester to help beat heart disease by taking part in The Big Stitch campaign.

Launching on 1st July for two weeks, style seekers can help raise vital funds for life saving heart research, by buying an item from the Chorlton BHF shop and adding their own personal stamp to it. The best will be in with a chance of winning one of three fantastic prizes.

The Chorlton BHF shop, based at 7-9 Chorlton Place, Wilbraham Road is one of 530 BHF clothing and accessory shops across the UK. BHF shops are full of amazing finds that can easily be adapted to suit your personal style, through utilising basic sewing skills and adding decorative items.

Nurseplus’ Eastbourne branch raising £500 for Leonard Cheshire

Nurseplus’ Eastbourne branch raising £500 for Leonard Cheshire

Enthusiastic ramblers from Nurseplus’ Eastbourne branch completed a 20-mile walk to Lewes recently, raising £500 for its chosen charity partner, Leonard Cheshire.

A team of five staff members from the healthcare recruitment company trekked from the office to the market town, passing landmarks such as the Long Man of Wilmington on the South Downs on the way. 

Kayleigh Neale, Branch Manager at Nurseplus Eastbourne, commented: “It felt fantastic to complete the challenge and it’s extremely fulfilling to know that we’ve raised money for such a worthy cause.

Summer time and the days out are easy

Summer time and the days out are easy

Make the most of the glorious weather this summer with inclusive days out inspiration from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. A wide range of top accessible attractions throughout the UK feature in the inspiring new guide to encourage people with diverse needs to enjoy a family day out during the holidays.

The revamped The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, now in its 10th year, offers reviews and details of ramps, accessible toilets, and parking spaces for visitors with more hidden conditions such as autism and mental illness. The guide includes reviews of over 180 venues, including great outdoor escapes such as: