News

 SpecialEffect receive early Christmas present from web specialists

 SpecialEffect receive early Christmas present from web specialists

Code Wizards who specialise in enterprise and solution architecture for their clients are delighted to have been able to donate their services to SpecialEffect, the charity that helps children and adults with disabilities integrate with their friends to play computer games.

Following a meet up at a recent UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) conference, the trade body for companies working in the video games and esports arena, Code Wizards met with SpecialEffect and found they could help them with an integration that they required on their website.

They expressed that they needed Twitch integration on their website to help push GameBlast, which is their event for raising awareness and funds by industry veterans and insiders stream their game play.

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Riding for the Disabled Association - RDA - is launching a ‘50 Faces’ campaign to highlight the fantastic achievements of its members, volunteers and supporters.

The focus of the campaign is on challenging preconceptions about disability, volunteering and equestrian sport, through the inspiring stories of people within RDA. 

These stories will then form an interactive collage of images, audio content and films, which will be used as a focal point for the RDA website and across social media platforms throughout its 50th anniversary year in 2019.

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester

Human Appeal, a UK Muslim-faith based charity, have announced that they have distributed 5,252 items of winter clothing to homeless and vulnerable people across Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow as part of their Wrap Up 2018 campaign. Human Appeal have asked members of the public across the three cities to donate unwanted coats for vulnerable people, such as rough sleepers and people living in shelters, and have collected a record breaking total. This is the third year that Human Appeal has run Wrap Up Manchester and the second year it has run Wrap Up Glasgow and Wrap Up Birmingham.

Blackwood House Opens Doors to Independent Living For the Future

Blackwood House Opens Doors to Independent Living For the Future

AN INNOVATIVE home which is set to be the model of how Edinburgh aims to help transform the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities has been unveiled for the first time. 

A working replica of the ‘Blackwood House’ was launched on 4 December at the Edinburgh Community Rehabilitation and Support Service in Longstone.  The home will provide a place for both customers and staff to test and feedback on the latest in technology enabled care within a realistic homely setting.

It is the first step in what is hoped to be the roll out of a number of the specialist properties in the city.

Bluebird Care launches national campaign to #SpreadASmile and tackle loneliness

Bluebird Care campaign

The Bluebird Care team have been encouraging people to help make someone smile throughout their day. At the start of November, they introduced the #SpreadASmile campaign, which invited their teams from across the country to document their acts of kindness on social media and encourage others to do the same. 

This campaign was set up to tackle loneliness and depression, which becomes more prevalent at this time of year, as we approach the festive seasons and people get swept up in the mayhem of Christmas.

Hightown Independence at Christmas: from care home to supported living

Hightown Homes Logo

An Aylesbury resident has moved out of a care home which supports people with learning disabilities, and into her own Hightown supported living extra care flat, just in time for Christmas.

Candy lived at a Hightown care home in Wendover (Buckinghamshire) for the last three and a half years. After growing more confident and becoming increasingly independent, she has moved into her own Hightown supported living extra care flat at The Elms in Aylesbury. 

Candy has already started decorating her flat to get ready for this festive time of year. She has a passion for collecting teapots and one of the perks of having her own flat is being able to display them in her new living room.

Outcomes First Group ranked No.1

Outcomes First Group - Children playing boardgame

Outcomes First Group - a leading specialist provider of care and education services to children, young people and adults with autism, learning disabilities, complex and social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs -  has been ranked number one in Ofsted’s Inspection profiles of the largest private and voluntary providers of children’s homes with 35% of its 45 homes rated ‘Outstanding’ and 65%  rated ‘Good’.  

The organisation operates a national network of award-winning Department for Education registered therapeutic care homes and special schools through its Hillcrest and Options divisions. 

Care Management Group sold to AMP Capital by Court Cavendish

Court Cavendish

One of the UK’s leading high-quality providers of social care to people with learning disabilities - Care Management Group (CMG) - has today been sold to AMP Capital by Court Cavendish. Rothschild & Co and Pinsent Mason were advisers to Court Cavendish in this process.

Court Cavendish - the specialist Health and Social Care turnaround company owned by Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP was brought in to assist CMG back in 2008 at a time when CMG was on the verge of bankruptcy and struggling with business-critical issues including high debt levels and poor quality care ratings.

Epsom Charity has specially adapted toys for disabled children on sale for Christmas

little boy with adapted toy

Epsom design charity MERU now offers a range of toys adapted so that an accessible button or switch will work them, and they’re still available in time for Christmas, but all year round too!

Young children learn how the world works through play – especially cause and effect. A lot of early years’ toys involve squeezing the toy or pushing a button and having something happen.

However, for many disabled children, this can be difficult, as they don’t have fine motor skills or may have other impairments. 

Motability charity boss to go after extra bonus revealed

Motability charity boss to go after extra bonus revealed

The boss of Motability Operations is to step down by 2020 following criticism over his pay and a scathing review from the government's spending watchdog.

The report from the National Audit Office revealed Mike Betts was in line for an extra £1.86m bonus on top of already "generous" pay.

The firm operates the Motability scheme which provides wheelchairs, cars and scooters to disabled people.

Mr Bett's level of pay was described as "obscene" by MP Frank Field.

Mr Field, who chairs Parliament's Work and Pensions Committee, said it was "beyond appalling to learn that money that could have been used to improve the lives of disabled people will be lining his pockets instead".

Importance of taking part in activities when you have a disability

Activities when you have a disability

The term disability covers a wide range of conditions and impairments, but it can be anything which can affect a person’s everyday living. This can include mental, physical, cognitive or developmental impairments. 

It is important that people living with a disability have access to a wide variety of activities which help to improve their everyday quality of life. 

 

Physical Wellbeing

Physical exercise can be a huge challenge for someone who is living with a disability, and this is not just restricted to those with limited mobility. Exercise can seem like a daunting task which is why inclusive sports and activities should be offered widely in the community. 

Giving Peace Of Mind That Loved Ones Are In A Safe Environment

Kinderkey safe environment

The Bearhugzzz SpaceSaver Bed provides a soft, yet strong and safe environment for sleep, play and relaxation. Suitable for vulnerable children and adults, it is designed to accommodate the needs of people with autism, Angelman syndrome, epilepsy, challenging behaviour and multiple learning difficulties.

It can help to eliminate poor sleep patterns and provide safety for those who wake during the night. A major benefit is the bed’s ability to withstand vigorous behaviour, thanks to its soft padded sides which protect the user against injury. The steel walls are covered by soft foam with a waterproof, wipe- clean, antimicrobial fabric that is available in a range of beautiful patterns and colours.

Training Provider Launches Mental Health First Aid England Training Course

Mental Health First Aid England Training Course

Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 526,000 workers suffered from work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17, with 12.5m working days lost. In response to this and the growing need for having trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in the workplace, Health and Safety Training / Consultancy provider Live For Work has launched its first course centred around the mental health and well-being of workers.

The MHFA England training course is designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first-aid basis.

NewVIc dedicated in book about battling severe dyslexia

Front cover of dyslexia book

Expert support and dedication changed Harvinder's life. In the past class teachers may have been confused by the student whose consistent underachievement seems due to what may look like carelessness or lack of effort. Harvinder enrolled at NewVIc in 2010 to the Level 2 Childcare course. He demonstrated a huge passion for working with children. During his initial interview he raised concerns about his struggles with reading and writing. Having had no previous assessments, he was assessed and diagnosed as being one of the most severely dyslexic students at NewVIc.

Majestic Bingo breaks fundraising record for children’s charity, Variety

Majestic Bingo breaks fundraising record

Dizzying abseils, skydives, log flume marathons, bike rides and raft races are just a few of the exciting activities customers of Majestic Bingo Limited indulged in to raise money for Variety, the Children’s Charity. 

The 16 bingo clubs of Majestic Bingo Limited raised a grand total of £132,063.81 over four years for Variety. The average sum of money raised per club has been over £2,000, each year, every year, for four years – the highest of any bingo organisation supporting Variety, the industry’s nominated charity.

Of this feat, Mark Jepp, Managing Director of Majestic Bingo, said: “It’s all down to our dedicated clubs and their generous customers, we can’t thank them enough. 

An accessibility guide to Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle Tulip Maze

Arundel Castle in West Sussex is both an ancient castle and a stately home. Set high on a hill, the Castle has commanded the striking landscape of the South Downs for nearly ten centuries. 

Access to the Castle 

There is Blue Badge allocated parking in the car park near the Ticket Office, which is at the bottom of the hill at the main entrance. There is level access to the Ticket Office, however a steep incline to reach the Castle. A buggy is available to take visitors up the hill and can be arranged by asking a member of staff upon arrival at the Ticket Office. 

Self-assessing back pain by app just as effective as traditional methods, study shows

man with back pain

Patients can assess their own back pain using an app on their phone or tablet as effectively as current paper methods, a new study from the University of Warwick has shown.

The study, published in the open access journal Journal of Medical Internet Research, demonstrates that digital versions of established measurements for assessing back pain are just as reliable and responsive, opening the possibility for their use by patients for routine measurements and clinical trials.

The researchers see this study as a necessary first step in the greater use of digital media in clinical settings, in light of recent calls for greater use of such technology by healthcare providers.

Older People's Charity Offers New Long-Term Health Conditions Guide

Older People's Charity Offers New Long-Term Health Conditions Guide

With 58 per cent of people over 60 living with long-term health conditions* Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has been listening to older people who have been advising on the issues they regularly deal with but find difficult to manage. Working with older people plus GPs and other health professionals the charity has developed a new advice guide to address their needs.