WheelPower appoints new Chair

WheelPower appoints new Chair

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, today announced the appointment of Rob Wilson as their new Chair of Trustees. Rob succeeds Kevan Baker OBE who retires as Chair after more than 20 years in the role.

Former Member of Parliament for Reading, Rob Wilson has a wealth of experience and joins WheelPower at an exciting time during the 70th anniversary year of the first Stoke Mandeville Games which sparked the Paralympic Movement.

How Good Design is Behind Effortless Independence

How Good Design is Behind Effortless Independence

As Cliff Kuang said in Fast Company, “Disability is an engine of innovation”[1].  Yet too often, it produces clinical, functional products. Somehow style gets lost in the design for people with disabilities. And yet, just because we lose our mobility, or hearing, or sight, it doesn’t mean we also lose our style or our desire for an exciting social life. It’s important to have wheelchairs and hearing aids that work, but the next step could be; ones that we actually covet! Design for people with disabilities currently provides for our basic needs, but it needs to respond to our desire for a good night out!

New book, Mindful Little Yogis, aims to help children with special needs, master self-regulation and improve mental wellbeing

New book, Mindful Little Yogis, aims to help children with special needs, master self-regulation and improve mental wellbeing

LONDON, England (7th September 2018) – Mindful Little Yogis is a new book to help children with special needs master emotional self-regulation and improve mental wellbeing. As a step-by-step guide to calming strategies for children, the book contains fun, practical mindfulness activities, adaptable for a range of abilities, including autism, ADHD and other special needs. With simple breathing techniques, sensory integration, yoga games, and other activities, children learn to self-regulate and find a sense of calm during times of anxiety and other heightened emotions.

Green-Fingered Alice Wows Friends At Care Home

Green-Fingered Alice Wows Friends At Care Home

A woman with learning difficulties is wowing house-mates and staff at the residential service where she lives in Kent, with her previously unsuspected horticultural skills. Twenty-five-year-old Alice Hoad never misses a chance to visit the newly-renovated vegetable patch of Rhyme House in Sittingbourne to inspect the fruit and vegetables she has planted herself, and water them or do some essential weeding. 

Before this summer Alice – who has autism and exhibits echolalia - had no experience of gardening since childhood, but staff at Rhyme House correctly identified it as a new hobby that was likely to appeal to her. 

6 ways resistance training can help with depression

6 ways resistance training can help with depression

We all know that when we exercise, it lifts our mood and makes us feel better. In fact studies have shown that if you’re physically active, your risk of developing depression reduces by 15%. Recent research from the University of Limerick found that resistance or weight training significantly reduced depressive symptoms for around 2,000 people who participated in their study. With this in mind, we caught up with Keith McNiven, founder of London based personal training company Right Path Fitness (https://rightpathfitness.co.uk/) to give us his 6 top tips on how resistance training can significantly help with depression.

1) The feel good factor

Olympic Park Wheelchair Basketball Tournament to support Women in Disability Sport

Olympic Park Wheelchair Basketball Tournament to support Women in Disability Sport

Leading disability charity Path to Success has announced September 25th as the date of its 3rd annual charity Wheelchair BasketballTournament, which will this year raise money for women in disability sport.

The tournament will take place at the iconic Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, with funds raised directed to Path to Success’s ‘Path to Tokyo 2020’ campaign. Corporate teams are being invited to donate and take part in the tournament, competing to be crowned Corporate Wheelchair Basketball Champions 2018.

Teams will be coached and joined on court by Paralympians Louise Sugden and Ann Wild OBE, while Channel 4 presenter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan will also coach and compere the event.

Enchanted Forest ploughs £6,000 into show to improve accessibility

Enchanted Forest ploughs £6,000 into show to improve accessibility

The award-winning Enchanted Forest sound and light show is ploughing £6,000 into the event to improve accessibility for wheelchair users and disabled customers.

The investment in the Pitlochry event this October will include improved path access, increased access to the show's catering and storytelling areas, and a state-of-the-art Mobiloo toilet. Together, the changes will enable many more visitors to gain accessibility to all parts of the show.

The MOT Rules for WAVs Have Changed

The MOT Rules for WAVs Have Changed

If you own a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle which is approaching or more than 3 years old, there have been some important changes regarding the requirements of the MOT Test, which now state under Section 7.1 (Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems (SRS)) that the MOT Tester must inspect:

  1. all seat belts fitted
  2. child seats and restraints that are permanently attached to the vehicle using Isofix mountings or nuts and bolts
  3. anchorages for the securing of disabled persons belts or wheelchairs

What Has Changed?

National supported living provider achieves goal of 100% ‘Good’ CQC ratings

National supported living provider achieves goal of 100% ‘Good’ CQC ratings

Eden Futures, a national supported living provider, has achieved ‘Good’ CQC ratings across all of its 12 services that support 167 services across the country.

In every service, the Care Quality Commision (CQC) conducted inspections across the five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) - ‘Safe’, ‘Effective’, ‘Caring’, ‘Responsive’ and ‘Well led’. Not only was every service rated as ‘Good’, but every single KLOE was also rated as a minimum of Good.

Eden Futures now has a 100% ‘Good’ CQC score for every KLOE in all of its supported living services across England, a goal that was set only three years ago.

Mansfield and Lincoln services were the latest registered offices to have been inspected and were praised by the CQC for their caring and compassionate approach.

Manxiety: Young men need more support to seek help instead of ‘manning up’ to prevent anxiety from ruining careers and relationships

Manxiety: Young men need more support to seek help instead of ‘manning up’ to prevent anxiety from ruining careers and relationships

New research reveals that 70% of young men with anxiety report that their work performance and relationships are affected, yet well over half of them are still not seeking help.

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the UK, with one in five people reporting that they feel anxious a lot or all of the time,[i]  seriously affecting work productivity. More than 45 million working days have been lost due to anxiety combined with depression and stress in the past three years, including a 25% increase over the past year alone, costing the British economy an average of £2.4 billion[ii] a year.  

Boost your mental health during National Parks Week with accessible days out

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

Ahead of National Parks Week (22-29 July 2018) The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain has shared the top ways to get out into the fresh air and explore the great outdoors, which can benefit our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Ecotherapist, Hayley Gillard, highlights some of the many emotional health benefits that a fun day in the great outdoors can have. From boosting creativity and productivity to combating stress, Hayley describes nature as “absolutely essential to our emotional health”.

Hayley Gillard explains:

Are we tackling employment discrimination effectively?

employment discrimination - Chris O’Sullivan from the Mental Health Foundation

by editor Victoria Galligan

Despite disability discrimination being illegal under the Equality Act 2010, many people with disabilities find getting work difficult – either through direct discrimination during the application process, or because health issues affect their working pattern. 

In a recent case, a DWP worker was awarded £26,000 in compensation after his employer was found to have discriminated against him, after he took time off for medical reasons. Barrie Caulcutt had suffered an asthma attack at work and his employer had called him "a whinger". He was given a written warning for taking two and a half days off sick more than he was allowed.

Putting an end to ‘hidden disabilities'

Blue Badge Scheme

The Department for Transport recently announced that the Blue Badge Scheme will change. New criteria will mean people who have hidden disabilities that make it hard to travel safely will be eligible for a Blue Badge. This will help people with disabilities like autism and learning disabilities and people with mental health conditions.

When you have a hidden disability you are working against people’s ignorance. If people can’t see a disability then they don’t think it’s there, or they don’t believe the severity of your disability is what you say it is.

I have cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. I think that if I lined up 10 people, 9 out of 10 wouldn’t see my disability or wouldn’t believe it.

£76m a year for vulnerable people to live independently

Specialised housing

Thousands of extra homes, Specialised housing designed for people with disabilities, mental health issues and older people who need extra support, will be created over the next three years with an additional £76 million a year, government announce today.

This supported or specialised housing is designed to be accessible and aid independent living by having features including:

Individual home with their own front door flexibility to adapt or install equipment or assistive technology in the home varying levels of personal care and support to residents, including access to GP or other health services communal areas (for housing for older people)

Back pain AI app could save economy billions each year

Kaia back pain app

Stephan Huber, Chief Medical Officer of Kaia Health, discussed the back pain app and how it could save the economy billions each year…

How long has the app been in production for and who developed it? 

The app has been produced for 2.5 years now and it is still being redeveloped continuously to adapt to user feedback, and to continuously improve clinical outcomes. The Kaia team are working on this daily. We developed the app in Munich, Germany with a strong collaboration with University Pain Centers including the Center for Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. 

Tell us about the clinical trials. How did the app make a difference?