Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Naidex South 2011

I travelled to the London Excel today for this years southern Naidex.
Traffic was fairly kind to me, only taking just over an hour to get there.
Upon arrival the blue badge parking was clearly signposted and i parked the car and unloaded my power-chair.
After my journey i needed to visit the loo, and was totally amazed that considering the Excel was hosting the event they only have one disabled toilet! The queue was already 5 deep but i had no choice but to wait.
The exhibition itself was very good. Plenty of interesting exhibitors offering a very varied range of items, from vehicles to bathrooms - there was even wheelchair touch rubgy that you could join in with!
I met up with prak from kudosfirst and had a good chat and a catch up.
I also came across a very helpful conversion company called TBC Mobility Conversions. Tom and David introduced themselves to me and asked how they could help. I explained my situation and they were extremely helpful, resulting in me arranging a test drive for next week.
All in all i was glad i made the trip and found it all very well organised - apart from the lack of disabled toilets!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Virgin London Marathon

Spent an excellent day on Sunday cheering on Kirsten Knight who was running the London Marathon on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. Kirsten managed a time of just under 4 hrs 30 mins and raised just over £2,000 for the MDC.

I used my powerchair that was kindly supplied by Kudos First, which made things so much easier. In fact, I would never have risked going to such an event before as I wouldn't have risked falling and injuring myself, so yet again its another example of the freedom the chair has given me.

It was a great day out, so many runners there doing their bit to raise much needed funds for a whole host of charities, and hundreds of spectators cheering them on. All in all a great experience.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Is spring really here??

Managed to get out today and enjoy some of this early spring sunshine.
I went over to the Priory Marina in Bedford on my mobility scooter supplied by Kudos first. The scooter can easily handle the terrain making easy work of the ramps and bridges over the various waterways.
According to the weather forecast we're in for a decent weekend so i'm looking forward to getting out on my wheels!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Deepblue turns Deep-orange......

This weekend deepblue aquatic in Hemel Hempstead is turning "deep-orange" to help raise funds for Kirsten Knight who is running the Virgin London Marathon for The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Members of staff will be wearing orange “Muscular Dystrophy Campaign” T-shirts, and there will be various draws including:

“How many sweets in the jar” - £1 per guess, winner receives the jar of sweets, and “How many Guppies in the tank” – with the winner receiving a fish voucher.

This is an extremely worthwhile cause so we really hope you can make time for a visit.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

Access to Work - Practical Help at Work.

Did you know there is help available if you are struggling at work with access?

Access to Work with the DWP can help you if your health or disability affects the way you do your job. It gives you and your employer advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of your needs.

Click here for more information.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Housing benefit cut hits the disabled

Government figures show about 450,000 disabled people will see their incomes cut under one of the changes planned to housing benefit.

Campaigners fear thousands will be forced from their homes.

From April 2013, housing benefit for working age people in social rented homes will be linked to the size of property councils believe they need.

Ministers say they want housing benefit claimants to choose to rent properties they can afford when in work.

'Recipe for chaos'

An assessment from the Department for Work and Pensions shows the change will leave 450,000 disabled people an average of £13 a week worse off.

Ministers want to encourage housing benefit claimants to move out of council and housing association properties that are too big for their needs, and to make savings in a housing benefit bill that has almost doubled to £21.5bn in a decade.

But Labour's work and pensions spokeswoman Karen Buck said the changes would unfairly affect disabled people.

She said: "If you are going to try and force them out with really proportionately swingeing cuts to their weekly income but you can't even guarantee that you're going to be able to offer them an alternative, then we are looking at a recipe for chaos."

Adam Louton uses a wheelchair and lives with his wife Lindsay in a three-bedroom house in Westminster. He said: "I'm going to have to move well out of the area, probably up north where the housing is cheaper."


The government has already delayed a proposal to remove money designed to fund travel for disabled people in residential care from the existing Disability Living Allowance. The DLA is to be replaced with a new benefit under plans set out in the Welfare Reform Bill.

One disability campaigner said some had told his organisation they were left suicidal about changes to their benefits.

Disability Alliance policy director Neil Coyle said: "We've been contacted by people who've said that if they lose the kind of support that helps them get to work for example, if they're no longer entitled to that support, they'll lose the ability to be independent and they may take their own lives."

Anyone forced to move house will be able to apply for money from a discretionary payments scheme into which the government has put an extra £130m to help deal with Housing Benefit changes.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: "We want people to make choices about size and location of their accommodation based on what they can afford when in work, and this measure will bring the social rented sector in line with those claiming housing benefit in the private rented sector.

"However, the government is committed to supporting the needs of disabled people, including, for the first time, providing a bedroom for a non-resident carer if someone needs overnight care for themselves or their partner."

Councils are legally required to consider the needs of disabled people. But the Communities department has been criticised for announcing a review of all councils' statutory duties.

A spokesman for the charity Scope said : "Under these proposals councils could decide not to provide any services to disabled people, including residential care and respite for families and carers. This is a very real threat to the lives, security and future of disabled people."

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "The department is reviewing the overall burden of statutory duties. Some duties will clearly remain vital, others may no longer be needed or may create unnecessary burdens or restrictions on local authorities."

Source : Ross Hawkins
Political correspondent, BBC News


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dogs for the Disabled - Decorating Team 2011

Well, after much planning the decorating weekend has passed off with great success.

The team assembled Saturday morning and proceeded to take the centre by storm. The team managed to completely redecorate the 3 bedrooms, reception hall, both hallways, lounge and kitchen!

A huge thank you goes out to the following:

Team Members - Tony "The Bear" Moliterno, Ian Henderson, Phil Howe, Nick Wall, Craig Gillespie, Michael Parish, Andrew Meakins, Darren Kempton and not forgetting Mark the handyman!

A huge thank you also goes out to all those who donated paint, tools, beer and food!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Decorating Weekend

A team of 9 volunteers are making their way over to the Dogs for the Disabled centre in Banbury this weekend to decorate the headquarters.
Paint, materials and labour have all been very kindly donated (a full list will appear on here after the weekend) which is all greatly appreciated.

Dogs for the Disabled is a pioneering charity that trains assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities, and families with a child with autism.

Photo's will be posted on here next week.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Virgin London Marathon 2011

A good friend of mine - Kirsten Knight - is running the London Marathon on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Kirsten has always had the ambition to run a marathon and has decided to tie this in with raising much needed funds for the MDC.

It goes without saying, any donation at all, large or small would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to
donate anything you can afford for such a worthwhile cause.

Click here to go to Kirstens' Just Giving page.

And thank you again.

Monday, 24 January 2011

MDC East of England Stakeholder Afternoon

Good meeting today over in Cambridge with the East of England Stakeholders. Many topics discussed including the excellent news that 3 Care Advisers are planned for the region! Some really good speakers and extremely informative.

Views from Greenwich

National Maritime Museum

Yesterday i took a trip down to London to the National Maritime Museum.

I decided to go there for a few reasons - a friend of mine who is a designer needed to do some research, i wanted to use the new scooter from kudos first and also start my New Year resolution of taking a day trip once a month.

To help me with my resolution i ordered a copy of the "Rough Guide to Accessible Britain" which is available free from Motability if you hold a blue badge. The guide is packed full of useful information on many popular attractions throughout the whole of the UK. It covers details like attraction prices, directions and facilities - right down to the nearest places to park and any problems you may experience.

The museum itself was very good. As you'd expect with a central London attraction it is very well laid out with all the facilities you would need.

On site parking is available in the grounds with several pay and display machines with help on hand if required. Parking fees are applicable for badge holders, although entrance to the museum is totally free.
The entrance is found just a short scooter ride around the front of the building were a large information desk is found with plenty of staff to help and provide museum information. The museum exhibits everything from very early works of art, the early navigational tools through to early powerboats and sailing boats.
Facility wise, there is flat access throughout the venue, disabled toilets on each level and a cafe on both the ground and first floors with plenty of room to manoeuvre.

Just behind the museum just up the hill is the Greenwich Obervatory. The hill itself is an extremely steep climb and one where i just would have not attempted if i did not have my scooter as it was just too steep. When i got to the top of the hill the views were excellent and if i didn't have my scooter i would never have seen them. I took a few snaps and then made my well back to the museum for a well earned cup of tea - mainly to warm myself up!

Anyway, the museum is well worth a visit, excellent facilities and a very good day out.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New petition launched: Save DLA Mobility Component

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has launched a new petition to call on the Government to drop proposals to remove the Disability Living Allowance Mobility Component for people living in residential care - including children attending residential schools.

DLA Mobility Component helps to meet the higher costs of accessible public transport (where available), or makes you eligible for an adapted vehicle through the Motability scheme.

Without DLA Mobility Component thousands of adults of all ages with severe disabilities who are supported by the state to live in residential care will be unable to retain voluntary employment or simply to visit family and friends. Many families with children attending residential schools will not be able to fund their own adapted vehicle, and as residential schools only provide transport for the start and end of term, with no extra provision for weekends or holidays, disabled children may end up stuck as a prisoners in their own home during school holidays, unable to take part in leisure activities, or even attend essential hospital appointments.

We need your help to protect this vital benefit for children in residential schools and adults in residential care. Without the DLA Mobility Component, thousands of disabled people will be denied the chance to live full and independent lives.

Please sign our petition now