Birmingham man who is deafblind to take on 52 mile trek

Birmingham man who is deafblind to take on 52 mile trek

A Birmingham man, who is deafblind, will attempt to complete an epic 52 mile trek in the summer, walking the distance of the RidgeWay, a historic national trail in the South of England, helping to raise money for the national disability charity, Sense.

44 year-old John Churcher, from Erdington, has a hearing impairment and only 3% vision. His friend, 49-year-old Mark McGowan, from Glasgow, will be John’s sight-guide for the walk, assisted by Jay Owen (27) who is autistic.

John, who has Usher Syndrome, is no stranger to great feats. Over the last decade he has become an accomplished climber, competing at the Paraclimbing World Championships, and being recognised as the first blind person to climb to the summit of the Eiger. 

Freedom of the Borough for rugby club who keep on giving

Freedom of the Borough for rugby club who keep on giving

European rugby champions Saracens, who are at the forefront of a scheme to help young people with learning disabilities, have been awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Barnet.

The prestigious award was granted to the club for their match winning performances on the pitch as well as for their work in the community.

Chairman Nigel Wray said: “To be awarded Freedom of the Borough, makes us as a club, incredibly proud." 

 The Sarries Foundation,  has teamed up with sponsors Alan Day Volkswagen ,who supply the club with a fleet of vehicles for players and senior staff,  pioneering touch rugby sessions every Monday for youngsters aged between 11-20-years-old.

Torch Trophy Trust honours Goalball volunteer

Torch Trophy Trust honours Goalball volunteer

A dedicated volunteer for Goalball, the only Paralympic team sport specifically designed for blind and visually impaired (VI) athletes, has received one of the highest sports volunteer honours.

On Wednesday 7th March, Adam Knott was given the Jimmy Hill Award for Young Volunteer of the year. The honour was bestowed by HRH The Duke of Gloucester at the Torch Trophy Trust awards for his commitment to goalball.

The Torch Trophy Trust has been celebrating sports volunteers since 1962, with a member of the Royal Family presenting the awards each year since 1980.

Adam, an NQT music teacher from Winchester, was nominated by the governing body of the sport, for his dedicated service to the game – as a GB player, club founder and coach.

No Barriers Radio: disabled DJs wanted to join team

No Barriers Radio Josh

A radio station set up by a DJ with learning difficulties are looking for disabled volunteers to present their shows – and are appealing for help to find a premises. No Barriers Radio is headed by station master Josh Hornsey – who is just 14 years old – and founder and chairman David Braysher, who has been DJing since 1978.

The members pre-record shows from their homes and transfer them via MP3 onto the website,, where they can be listed to globally. Shows vary from 50s and 60s music to current pop and dance music. Anything goes and requests are welcome. 

Kelyn Takes Independent Living In Her Stride

Kelyn Takes Independent Living In Her Stride

A Twickenham woman is celebrating living an independent life in the community. Kelyn Esprit who has been living in care settings since she was 18 has recently moved into her own flat. Kelyn, 34, is being supported by care staff from nearby Jubilee House, run by the Regard Group who provide care services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.

“Keyln has been dreaming about moving into a home of her own for many years,” said Jubilee House manager Louisa Terry. “But with housing opportunities so limited it has taken until now for it to become a reality.

People with unstable finances five times more likely to turn to high-cost credit

Doorstep lending money in hand

UK households struggling on volatile incomes are five times more likely to turn to high-cost credit products such as rent to own and doorstep lending, new research from Citizens Advice shows.

In its latest report, ‘Walking on Thin Ice’, the national charity says household budgets are increasingly vulnerable to changes in income or life events because of lower levels of savings and falling real earnings. People in insecure work are particularly at risk.

It also reveals that last year, almost half of UK adults (48%) experienced at least one monthly drop in their income, with an average largest fall of £385. One in five (21%) people with a volatile income said they went without food or other essentials in order to pay their bills last year.

Web tool WeMa Life sources health, care and wellbeing services

rajal patni WeMa Life

WeMa Life, an online marketplace and app, has been created to take the pain out of sourcing, booking and paying for health, care and wellbeing services.

From young people wanting regular fitness sessions to people in their 40s and 50s responsible for looking after elderly parents, WeMa Life has a broad appeal. It will also have significant benefits for individuals needing to arrange care before or after clinical treatment, removing stress and complexity from an already difficult situation.

Users can book social care, domiciliary care, nursing, domestic help, personal care and hygiene, massages, yoga and Pilates instructors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, personal trainers and more.

Accessibility Mark Comes to Isle of Wight

Accessibility Mark Comes to Isle of Wight

A riding centre on the Isle of Wight has become the latest centre to form an association with RDA through its Accessibility Mark scheme.

Island Riding Centre gained its accreditation following training and assessment and is now hoping to be able to expand its services to more disabled riders.

Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Set in stunning countryside, Island Riding Centre is the premier riding venue on the Isle of Wight, and benefits from some of the best beach and countryside trails in the UK.

How confident are people in disabled access in the UK?

How confident are people in disabled access in the UK?

New research reveals that 92% of disabled people do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access.

27th February 2018: Over 700 disabled people have described situations they have faced when experiencing disabled access at different places. The findings, revealed in the new Access Survey by the charity Euan’s Guide and Disabled Access Day, show that 83% of disabled people have been affected by poor accessibility, and 92% do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access.

Win £3,000 for your school in Mouth and Foot Painting's Unique Arts Awards!

Mouth and Foot Painting Alan Titchmarsh and Ellie Jones

The UK’s only charity dedicated to training young disabled artists, the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Trust Fund (MFPA), has opened entries for its national 2018 Unique Arts Awards – with £600 in Great Art Vouchers for the winner and £3,000 of vouchers for their school up for grabs. 

Now in their third year, the awards recognise artistic excellence among disabled young people between the ages of 7 and 21 from across the UK. In October, the finalists will receive their awards at a glittering ceremony to be held in central London. 

Social network ensures Jonathan keeps busy

Social network Jonathan

A young man with learning difficulties and autism who was facing loneliness after friends at his residential home moved out, has made friends thanks to a social network.

Jonathan Richardson, 29, who has been living at Winchester House in Sheerness, Kent, since 2008, was missing two close friends who had moved out into supported living accommodation at the end of last year, so service manager Lisa Falconer suggested they find him new friends by creating a profile to share with other services run locally by care-provider the Regard Group.

Lisa said: “Although Jonathan was still in contact with his former housemates, he needed new friends fill the gap when they moved out, and the profile we created for him has yielded great results.”

Inclusive choir fills care service with the sound of music

inclusive choir singers

The sound of music is filling the air at one of Regard Group’s services with the launch of a brand new inclusive choir which is open to all.

Paige Marley, senior support worker at Victoria, a Plymouth-based residential service for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, is leading the group which has called itself The R-Factor – R stands for Regard.

Paige was keen to give everyone joint ownership of the inclusive choir from the start, and was delighted to receive a great response to her request for song suggestions from people interested in attending.

Funding boost for disabled access review charity

Euans Guide funding boost

Funding boost for Euan’s Guide to expand its successful Ambassador Network in Scotland.

Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website, has received £5,526 of National Lottery Awards for a funding boost in support of its Ambassador Network in Scotland. The charity, founded in 2013, is used by disabled people, their families and friends to review, share and discover accessible places around the UK and beyond.

Euan’s Guide will use the National Lottery funding to expand and develop its Ambassador Network in Scotland. The network is a growing number of Ambassadors who are committed to making more disabled people aware of the website and how they can use disabled access reviews.

Businesses unprepared for threats to disability rights post-Brexit, survey finds

Businesses unprepared for threats to disability rights post-Brexit, survey finds

Crucial gains for disability rights secured by the business community must not be reversed post-Brexit due to a lack of planning and preparation, [Business Disability Forum|] has warned. 

According to a survey of 1611 people (including 140 business-owners) run by Business Disability Forum with YouGov in January 2018, high proportions of people believe there will no impact on disability employment and three-quarters of business-owners that there would be no effect on their ability to cater for the needs of disabled people.

But Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, warned:

RIDI: Finalists Announced

RIDI: Finalists Announced

Following a rigorous and robust judging process, the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) has released its eagerly anticipated shortlist for the 2018 RIDI Awards. As in previous years, the calibre and breadth of entries presented a challenge for the independent judging panel.

Now in their fourth year, the RIDI Awards celebrate progress and recognise the success of organisations that are making headway in increasing the inclusion of disabled professionals.

The 2018 entries came from organisations across the UK and from many new sectors, including transport, engineering, retail and professional services, reflecting RIDI’s sustained programme of outreach activity in 2017-18.

SI² Fund invests in Active Minds international growth

SI² Fund invests in Active Minds’ international growth

SI² Fund, a European social impact investment fund focused on scaling impact-driven businesses, on Thursday 14th December announced its investment in Active Minds, a UK-based company that develops human-centred activity products and games for people living with dementia. The funding by SI² Fund will be used to accelerate international growth, expand its product offering and achieve social impact at scale.

Innovative ProMove Sling enhances OmniServ’s customer experience delivery for PRM passengers at Heathrow

Innovative ProMove Sling enhances OmniServ’s customer experience delivery for PRM passengers at Heathrow

OmniServ, the UK’s leading airline and airport assistance services provider, working in partnership with the airlines at Heathrow, has deployed nearly 100 innovative new ProMove Sling devices across the airport’s terminals, significantly enhancing the level of care offered to PRM (People with Reduced Mobility) passengers.

The ProMove Sling is an easily transportable, lightweight option for lifting and transferring PRM passengers when it is impractical to deploy a powered hoist. When used correctly by properly trained staff, it is safe, comfortable and dignified, reducing the need for support personnel to touch the passenger or the danger of causing any injury such as bruising or shearing.

Special Olympics campaign

Special Olympics

Special Olympics & Play Unified Help 30,000 Young People Fight Intolerance in First Two Years

Play Unified, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is celebrating a second successful year fighting intolerance in schools across the UK - reaching almost 30,000 young people nationwide, enough to fill a football stadium!

The Special Olympics campaign aims to change perceptions of and end intolerance towards young people with intellectual disabilities (ID), such as the fact 8 in 10 experience bullying.  It aims to strengthen leadership and sport participation pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities and develop inclusive environments in schools through sport.

Scandic Hotels receives accessibility award and invited to speak at UN Office in Vienna

Scandic Hotels receives accessibility award and invited to speak at UN Office in Vienna

Scandic Hotels’ holistic accessibility strategy has earned the company an award as one of the most innovative practices in the prestigious Zero Project. The award ceremony will be held at the Zero Project Conference at the United Nations Office in Vienna. In addition to receiving the award, Scandic Hotels has been invited to speak about the company’s world-leading accessibility initiatives at the event.

-    This is yet another fantastic acknowledgment of the committed work that we’re all doing to advance accessibility every day, from the management team to the team members at all of our hotels, says Even Frydenberg, President & CEO of Scandic Hotels Group.