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Best foot forward for Helen in the London Marathon


Many of you will remember Helen Freedman, avid supporter of Shropshire Disability Network, regular attender at our meetings & former employee of Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin.

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Helen: running for SDN

Helen was going to run for us in 2015 but deferred her number until 2016 when she had the great news that she was to become a Mum for the first time. Barley was born on Mothering Sunday last year! Within 6 weeks of the birth, Helen who has never run a marathon before, started running again & is all geared up to complete her challenge. As Helen wrote in a recent edition of “YourVoice”


On the 24th April I’ll be in London for the Marathon raising money for SDN. And why….. because I can. I’ve been involved with SDN now for a couple of years and I believe they provide a valuable voice in our rural county. I’ve seen the great work the core team do & want to can raise some valuable funds for SDN. Because I can! “

In support of Helen’s efforts would you be willing to support her in her efforts to raise much needed funding for our own going work? We realise a lot of our work goes on “behind the scenes” as we are all volunteers working from our own homes, but that does not mean we have no costs. Meetings rooms to pay for, website costs, equipment ie banners & on that note with our work expanding we need to buy a third one! Then we have insurance we have to have Charity insurance, then there is paper, toner & other consumables for our laser printer plus “outsource” printing of flyers, leaflets, membership forms plus our regular newsletter which needs printing, envelopes & postage & the shopping list goes on.

So how can you help? At Shropshire Disability Network you can donate to us at any time via LocalGiving.co.uk Ruby our Chairperson has set up a fundraising page for Helen so to make a donation (any amount from £2 would be appreciated & don’t forget you can gift aid it, meaning more money for us & it does not cost you anything more) on-line click here to donate.


Or you can send a donation to Shropshire Disability Network C/O 26 Aldwick Drive, Radbrook Green, Shrewsbury SY3 6BN or request an envelope from us to put a cash donation in. May be ask for an envelope & have a whip round at your place of work, event or something you go to.

Let’s get behind Helen now & don’t forget to look out for someone wearing a Shropshire Disability Network vest with the number 18068 on it -Sunday 24th April as you watch the London Marathon on TV-that is Helen. If you are going to the London Marathon, please let us know by calling/texting Shropshire Disability Network on 07780 852 229

Thank You SDN.



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Sight Loss Opportunity Groups in April

All sessions are FREE unless otherwise stated.

Oswestry Library Wednesday 6th April 10 am to 12 noon.

Ruth Harding from the Macular Society will be joining us to demonstrate some equipment and seeing skills for people with sight loss.

Ludlow at St. Peters Church, Henley Road, Monday 11th April 10.30 am -12.30 pm.

In a change to the printed programme the group will be joined by Milly from Grow Cook Learn for a cooking session. Please bring a Tupperware box, tin or bag to take your culinary delight home with you!

Shrewsbury Cycling at Sundorne Sports Village-Wednesday 20th April 10.30 am-11.30 am

We will be having our cycling session at Sundorne Sports Village.

Shrewsbury Monday 25th April 1.30 pm -4 pm at Pengwern Boat Club

We will meet at Pengwern Boat Club at 1.30 pm. The address is Kingsland, Shrewsbury, SY3 7BD

Directions if you are driving are:

Come along the A488 Porthill Road and turn left after the Boat House pub (or right before it, depending on which way you are coming from) then proceed over the cattle grid down to the Pengwern boat club where you will find parking right next to the club.

What to expect:

We expect to go into the Boat House for an initial chat and then have time to go on the rowing machines in the club house before going outside when we will find out more about the boats themselves and familiarise ourselves. If we are happy then folks can get into boats with the help of volunteers and experienced people from the boat house to do some simple exercises on the river itself. No one will be made to do anything they aren’t comfortable with and we will have lots of sighted helpers for the day.

A note about clothing:

Please do not wear jeans! It’s best to wear sports clothes and trainers (waterproof if it’s raining). Also, no ‘open pockets’ either wear clothes with no pockets or pockets that can be zipped up – this is because sometimes the oars can get caught in people’s pockets.

If you need any more information on anything above please do contact me on 01743 342163 or shls@shropshire-rcc.org.uk

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Severnside Learning Programme has been launched for the sixth year.

On 17th March Severnside Housing launch their Learning Programme for 2016/17. The Learning programme is packed full of over 35 different short courses & training events to help people develop new skills or build on existing ones. All of the training sessions are run by our Severnside staff and partner agencies and are being held at various locations in the local area.

Courses are broken down into five categories –

  • Get Qualified,
  • Get Tech Savvy,
  • Get into Work,
  • Get Money Smart and
  • Get Interested.

Courses are FREE or at a reduced cost to all Severnside residents and we can help with transport and childcare costs if necessary.  We only charge a small fee of £3.50 to non-residents (unless otherwise stated).

Courses range from First Aid to Garden Skills, Cooking to Money Saving & Photography and Upcycling Clothing to Walking for Health.

To find out more click here http://www.severnsidehousing.co.uk/learning-programme


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Easter Events for Young People at the Albrighton Moat and Gardens

The Albrighton Trust will be holding the following events for local young people during the Easter holidays:

Tuesday 29th March -Spring Craft Sessions – ‘Spring Blossom’

Be inspired by the blossoming gardens and create your very own spring flower. Morning session 10 am – 12 pm and afternoon session 1-3 pm. £4 a person.

Wednesday 30th March-Photography Session – ‘Shadows & Silhouettes’

An experimental photography session where participants will explore taking photographs of shadows and silhouettes. 2 hour session 1-3 pm. £4 a person including all photographic equipment required.

Thursday 31st March- Coached Angling Sessions

Qualified coaches will be on hand to help young, novice or inexperienced anglers have a go at fishing. You will learn skills such as baiting a hook, casting a line and landing and unhooking a fish.

Morning session 10-12 noon and afternoon session 1-3 pm. £4 a person including all fishing equipment required.

To book your place on any of these sessions please call 01902 372441 or email moat@albrightontrust.org.uk.

For more information on the Albrighton Trust go to www.albrightontrust.org.uk.


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All In -Spring 2016 Programme

The Spring Edition of the ‘All In’ activity programme has information about activities and opportunities that are taking place. It is packed with details of activities for children & young people with disabilities or additional needs , enabling you to have fun & meet friends & make new ones. For details click hereAll-In-magazine-Spring-2016

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Pharmacy Opening Times-Easter 2016

Shropshire CCG & Telford & Wrekin CCG have published details of opening times for pharmacies during the Easter Holiday period. Bank Holidays can be extra busy times for our Health Service & it can be useful to have this information by us in case we need it. So here are a few details which may be useful to you.

Click here for details of which Pharmacies are open & at what times in the Telford & Wrekin Area. Telford & Wrekin CCG Area Pharmacy Opening Easter 2016 FINAL

Click here for details of which Pharmacies are open & at what times in the Shropshire Area. Shropshire CCG Pharmacy Opening Easter 2016 FINAL

Pharmacists are a really good first port of call if you’re starting to feel unwell.  If you need to see a doctor or nurse, your GP practice should be your first port of call. If you need a doctor out of hours, contact Shropdoc on 0333 222 66 55

If you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor or nurse, call NHS 111 in the first instance. They will provide you with all the details you need if you have to see someone. They may signpost you to a local minor injury unit or walk-in centres. These provide care for illness and injury when it’s urgent, but not life threatening.

Minor Injury Units

Oswestry – 01691 663617

Whitchurch – 01948 660834

Bridgnorth – 01746 762641

Ludlow – 01584 872201

Walk-in centres

The walk-in centre at Shrewsbury is based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. It is open seven days a week, from 8 am until 8 pm, Telephone: 01743 261138

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Big Inclusivity Bike Quest (BIBQ), so what’s this all about?

Shropshire Disability Network face book followers & those looking at our events on this website will know a bit about what Abbots Wood Day Service, a centre for adults with learning disabilities in Shrewsbury, is doing on Tuesday 8th March at 1:30 pm at their premises in Monkmoor. Abbots wood challenge They are aspiring to a big challenge from Michael McCarthy. Many of you will remember Michael & his dad, Brian being guest speakers at Shropshire Disability Network meeting in June 2015. Michael as a child suffered life changing injuries resulting in many issues including physical, sensory & learning. Michael has aspired to achieve so much ie author of 4 books, adventurer who has completed marathons, hill climbs & coast to coast bike rides to name a few. Michael has challenged Abbots Wood Day Service to complete a bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats just like he did. Rising to it, Abbots Wood are showing that disability need not be a barrier & this challenge is all about bringing people together, of course to raise a few quid at the same time would be good. So what are the plans at Abbots Wood? At 1.30 pm on 8th March, the service users, staff and friends of Abbots Wood will be cumulatively cycling the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats at their centre & out on Shrewsbury’s cycle paths using an array of bikes that will include exercise bikes, tandems, tricycles, regular bikes and some specially adapted bikes. Lending them support and getting them off to a good start will be the Mayor of Shrewsbury, councillor Miles Kenny and the Mayoress as well as Michael McCarthy who challenged them plus a few surprise guests too! Quest 88 will also be there with some of their All Ability Bikes for everyone to try out.The project has been inspiring lots of people and organisations to lend a helping hand, organising, advising and supplying material and volunteers. From no bikes at all BIBQ have now received donations of two trikes and the free loan of three tandems and at least three exercise bikes. The support of Cycling 4 All Shropshire, Charlotte’s Tandems, The Inclusively Fit Project and Quest 88 has been invaluable. You can also read more here on our face book page about the challenge https://www.facebook.com/Shropshire-Disability-Network-179575935406600/

Haydn Baker from Abbots Wood Day Opportunities told SDNThe project is all about community, bringing people together through a shared physical challenge and BIBQ will also be discovering our country as we progress northwards, looking at the places they go through and sampling the food from our regions to fuel the miles” We wish Abbots Wood all the best, & ask our readers to show support and even go along to Abbots Wood Day Services at Eskdale Rd, Shrewsbury SY2 5UD & have a go on the growing range of bikes & to check out BIBQ on Facebook at The Big Inclusivity Bike Quest and give them a like and share. Should anyone wish to make a donation they will be able to do so via Facebook and directly to Abbots Wood staff and service users. Any money received will be used to enhance the quality of the wide range of activities available at the centre, in these austere times every little helps.

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Sight Loss Opportunity Groups in March

All sessions are FREE unless otherwise stated.

Oswestry Library Wednesday 2nd March 10 am to 12 noon.

We will be joined by Matron Fiona Gabbitas from the Opthalmology department at RSH for an update on responses to our recent report into patients experiences.

Ludlow at St. Peters Church, Henley Road, Monday 14th March 10.30 am -12.30 pm.

We will be hearing from Ludlow library about the services they have for people with visual impairment.

Shrewsbury Cycling at Sundorne Sports Village-Wednesday 16th March 10.30 am-11.30 am

We have our first cycling session of 2016 at Sundorne Sports Village.

Shrewsbury Monday 21st March at Roy Fletcher Centre, Shrewsbury 2 pm -4 pm

NB This is the 3rd Monday in March (as the 4th Monday is a bank holiday)

In a change to the schedule we will now be joined by Andrea, the new Community Engagement Officer, from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

If you need any more information on anything above please do contact me on 01743 342163 or shls@shropshire-rcc.org.uk

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Write To Your MP: The Cuts To Shropshire’s Funding Affects You

Everybody will be aware by now of the devastating cuts in public funding facing Shropshire Council to the extent that by 2020, the end of the current Parliament, the County will be left with just 25% of its current levels of funding to meet the needs of the people of the County.

It is clear that as a large geographical area with a small sparse population the County is being penalised by the lack of recognition of the unique difficulties that it faces in delivering services.

Voluntary organisations are writing to the Shropshire MPs to highlight the grave injustice that the County is facing. We have attached a form letter below which is a modified version of that which Voluntary Organisations are sending. We are urging you to join the lobby for a fairer settlement for the people of Shropshire and to write to your MP. We offer the template as your starter for ten but feel sure that you will make your views known .

MPs letter Shropshire Feb 2016