Young filmmakers could get their big break with Business Disability Forum event

Young filmmakers could get their big break with Business Disability Forum event

A disability film festival held by Business Disability Forum in London this summer will see lucky students win a paid job with the production company 90seconds. 

The Business Disability Forum Film Festival, which this year is sponsored by Barclays and will be hosted at KPMG’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, will showcase the best young filmmakers and their takes on what it means to be disabled in 2018. 

The Festival will take place on 20 June 2018 from 3.00pm – 6.00pm.

In the lead-up to the Festival, Business Disability Forum are running a challenge for student and graduate filmmakers, with competing teams given seven days to write, produce and direct a film about disability.

PLAYMOBIL announces sponsorship of World Autism Awareness Week

PLAYMOBIL announces sponsorship of World Autism Awareness Week

PLAYMOBIL toys are played with across the world and enjoyed by children of all ages. In fact in 2017 the toy giant marked the production of its 3 billionth figure.

This year the beloved toy maker is working with the National Autistic Society to explore how the hand-sized figures with the famous smile bring joy to children on the autistic spectrum, and help support their ongoing development.

The partnership will see PLAYMOBIL explore the relationship between children on the autistic spectrum and their much loved PLAYMOBIL toys through a research project. The toy manufacturer is also sponsoring this year’s World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW), taking place from March 26th. The week is the National Autistic Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Four-year-old's mobility dilemma solved by vehicle hire company

Mobility - Mary in the car

A little girl with one of the world’s rarest medical complaints was giving a boost by disability vehicle specialist Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH) when her family hit severe mobility problems.

Four-year-old Mary Allen, of Nantwich, Cheshire, was born with macrocephaly-capillary malformation syndrome (MCAP) – a condition that affects only 300 people globally and leads to severe physical and learning problems. She also suffers from hydrocephalus and epilepsy, which cause life threatening seizures, and has spent her life in and out of hospitals, including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Calvert Trust Kielder unveils new interior design at accessible holiday centre

Calvert Trust Kielder cushion

Wheelchair-accessible holiday accommodation centre Calvert Trust Kielder has joined forces with respected artist and interior designer Anne Curtis to revamp a suite. 

A former quarter-finalist on BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Anne has worked with the award-winning centre’s dedicated team to re-design The Gallery Corridor, consisting of five rooms each with a nature theme to highlight the local wildlife at Kielder Water and Forest Park. 

This is the first time Calvert Trust Kielder has partnered with an interior designer with all parties hoping to mirror the success of the centre's collaboration with architect and TV personality George Clarke  (Amazing Spaces) for its hugely popular ‘Sky Den’ accommodation.

Could you make a Videocamp film about inclusive education?

Videocamp supporter Sally Phillips

Filmmakers with disabilities are being invited to enter a Videocamp funding competition, where the winner will be given prize money to spend on producing their movie.

The $400,000 (£285,000) Videocamp Film Fund 2018 will be awarded to the maker of a film (animation, documentary or fiction) on the theme of “inclusive education”. The competition is open to filmmakers worldwide, and is the largest social impact film fund of its kind. It launches at the UN on World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March 2018, and entries close on 21 June 2018.

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical

So here is our story, more ancient than hist’ry, With monsters and mortals and Gods on their thrones. This March, the Orpheus Centre celebrate their 20th birthday with a musical extravaganza at The Other Palace. Highlighting their important work, alumni and current students from this pioneering disabilities charity will join forces with recent graduates from the Arts Educational School to present Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus – The Mythical.

Disability rights campaigner and scientist Stephen Hawking dies

Prof Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking — 'Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.'

Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, leaving a legacy of scientific discoveries as well as years of campaigning for disabled rights.

Prof. Hawking, who suffered from motor neurone disease and had been wheel-chair bound since the late 1960s, saw worldwide success as a leading physicist. his book The Brief History of Time (1988) sold over 20million copies in its first 20 years of publication. It was written in an easy-to-understand style, so readers without prior knowledge of scientific theories could understand complex ideas including general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Disability employment specialist awarded Most Inspirational Social Care Professional

Autism Awards

A Surrey Choices employment support specialist is celebrating after winning a prestigious award at the National Autistic Society’s Autism Awards 2018.

Winner in the ‘Most Inspirational Social Care Professional’ category, Carolyn Tucker impressed the judges with her exceptional contribution to the lives of autistic people.

Carolyn supports people with a wide range of disabilities by helping them to find employment opportunities with local employers.

The support specialist works for the EmployAbility Service at Surrey Choices with adults who may have traditionally found it difficult to secure employment. EmployAbility is a dedicated service that helps to find work placements, training, volunteer opportunities and paid work with employers.

Wheelchair star Ade Adepitan launches crowdsourcing campaign #mymobilityunlimited

#mymobilityunlimited ambassadors

Wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan and journalist and broadcaster Martyn Sibley announce a global crowdsourcing campaign to find solutions to the challenges faced by people with lower-limb paralysis. The crowdsourcing, entitled #mymobilityunlimited, will hopefully inspire innovators taking part in the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. 

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.