Category Archives: News


Did you take part in Learning Disabilities week?

One of Mencap’s biggest ambitions is to change public attitudes towards learning disability. Mencap know they cannot do that without first understanding what people really know and do not know about learning disability. Learning Disability (LD) Week (14th-21st June) represented a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of what people know about learning disability.
They have devised a survey tool to explore people’s current level of awareness or knowledge of learning disability.
The survey should be filled in by people without a learning disability who took part in activities during the LD Week, and who are 16 years of age or older. 
The survey can  be completed electronically, the link being
Click here for a  paper version of the survey which can be printed off and completed by hand. 
The guidelines within the survey attached gives you more information.  The survey itself is from pages 3-6. 
Please send completed surveys to:
C/O Rachel West
Suite 2,
Bromwich Road,
Worcester WR2 4BN 
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SDN’s strides towards there next disability challenge

Remember the Geoff Forgie Memorial Disability Challenge of 2012, teams carrying someone who uses a wheelchair or would find it difficult to access the Long Mynd due to a disability or long term condition.
Our pioneers had a wonderful time, putting their trust in teams to carry them, accessing a beautiful area of Shropshire-feeling the breeze on their face- As one person said “it was so peaceful to be up there, sun shining, I loved every minute, what an experience”

Did you experience the blistered hands a result of being a carrier? One of our pioneers-Alan saw the issues with the borrowed frames & gave himself a challenge to design a bespoke wheelchair frame that can be fitted to different types of wheelchairs & a lighter but still robust frame. Having designed it & a long search to get the design drawings signed off by qualified drawings engineers the next search was on to find a company willing to make the frame. It took months of appeals on radio, local press, social media and other sources to find a company who was willing to help. 

Local firm Price Fallows of Shrewsbury who do engineering work around agricultural products (trailers, combines etc) as well as work relating to barges were only too willing to help Alan & us. SDN Management Committee agreed to commission one frame. 

Yesterday a big milestone was reached when the frame which has been put through rigorous strength tests by Price Fallows, was handed over to SDN. Radio Shropshire were so helpful in reporting live at the handover.

So another step taken, what happens next? SDN will be putting it through more tests & then we will be looking for companies to sponsor our frame at a cost of £400 each. We hope to hold our next challenge is 2016 & already we have signed up our first team as Price Fallows have offered to put a team in.


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Shropshire Disability Network walks away with gold!

Each year designed as part of the annual civic calendar of the Shrewsbury Town Council, the Mayor of Shrewsbury has an Award Scheme which recognises not only the major players in shaping Shrewsbury, but also those unsung heroes who go about their lives, helping others and don’t seek any form of recompense or acknowledgement. 

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Awards are presented to organisations and groups, businesses and individuals whose achievements have contributed to making Shrewsbury the place that we all enjoy living in, working in, shopping in and visiting. 

There are various categories with outright winners in each together with Bronze, Silver & Gold awards. SDN were delighted to receive a gold award from Cllr Beverley Baker who was Mayor of Shrewsbury 2014/15 It was awarded to SDN in recognition of our achievements towards enhancing the social wellbeing of the area. 

Click here to read a full report

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Transport & Parking Issues in Shrewsbury

Many members attending our meeting last Thursday will agree it was a good one, well attended Not only were we honoured to have The Mayor Of Shrewsbury Councillor Miles Kenny join us, we also had Michael McCarthy an inspirational author share his story with us (more coming soon)

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Our other topic was transport and parking issues, which is very important to many of us. We had Matt Johnson Area Transport Planning Commissioner (North) join us together with Matt Davies talking about parking issues. Matt agreed to send us more details regarding the trial taxi rank in Mardol, Shrewsbury. 

Mike, in his email to SDN Secretary said “You will note from the schedule the bay outside Blacks is 16m long, and the new disabled bay by Timspons is 12m long – it is appreciated that there is a 4 m reduction in provision on Claremont Street, but, as you are no doubt aware, those with a blue badge are able to park in pay and display bays at no cost for as long as they wish, and park on the double yellow lines for a period of up to 3 hours as long as there is not a loading ban in force or the parking is causing an obstruction”

He has also forwarded three documents to us:

Those attending the meeting also agreed that we-Shropshire Disability Network being the “collective voice for people with a disability” would put in a response to the consultation that is open to 12th August 2015 but we would also encourage you to make your own individual responses.  Click here for details


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Tracy writes -How & when I began my International duty & where my journey takes me……

I began my International duty at a stadium in Warrington in 1998, without much sleep the night before. I was a bag of nerves. Competitions took place in a big cage. Once you enter the cage you would then be tied to the ground with some very strong straps for safety reasons. Around the cage there would always be three or four officials. The rules were very strict. Your coach wasn’t allowed anywhere near you. You weren’t allowed to use your own equipment. You were allowed five attempts in total. Two practice throws followed by three competition throws.

The officials would always sound a horn to let you know when to throw, and to warn the spectators. To be honest the horn sounded like a sick duck, and it often put me off.That day I threw the club just over six metres. I just about qualified. I was thrilled. I left the field with a tear in my eye. I stayed in a five star hotel with the rest of the squad that night. We had a meal together. I travelled home to Anglesey the next morning. I felt washed out. When I got home I fell asleep on the sofa.

 My next stop was Brecon in South Wales. It was cold and windy. I was feeling sick with nerves. The wind is the club thrower’s worst nightmare. It was my turn. I gave it all that I had, but the wind threw my club down at five metres. That was just not good enough. That was below standard, and way below my own standards. I put my head in my hands and began sobbing. I was glad to see the back of Brecon. Well, until next time anyway. I left without a medal that day.

 The most bitter sweet moment of my career occurred at the CP World Championships in 2001. The Chinese coach Quang Jaung tried to get me disqualified for lifting my bum off the seat whilst throwing the club. It was a false allegation and they didn’t succeed to strip of my bronze medal. I left Nottingham with a mile long smile on my face that day.

I had some success that year. I only took home bronze medals, so I was left feeling disappointed. Well at least I had something to work on for the next season. I was highly thought of in the squad. I was a good hard working athlete, but I often let my nerves get the better of me. It was only because I cared so much.

By 1999 things were really looking up. Wales was sponsored by British Telecom. I was awarded the Mark Lynes Cup for Achievement in Athletics. I was deeply touched that my effort had been recognised by the coaching staff and my team mates. It was a much needed confidence boost. My medal count was growing. I picked up two silver medals. One in the Welsh Games in Wrexham, the other at the Colwyn Bay Games in Colwyn Bay. It was simply an amazing feeling. All of my hard work was beginning to pay off. I had a sense of belonging by this point. I also felt as if I’d discovered my purpose in life.

In March that year I was selected to go warm weather training in Portugal. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. Not only was I going to fly for the first time. I was representing my country, and I was going to spend my twenty first birthday in Portugal too.

The day we flew is a day I will never forget. There was a dress code. Black trousers, white shirt or blouse, black shoes, and our black white and yellow Wales Centre of Excellence jackets. Before we took off from Manchester. The captain welcomed us on board. All of the passengers clapped and cheered. We joined in too. Well we were on our way to Portugal after all. The plane took off at five hundred miles an hour down the runway. I felt excited and scared at the same time.

The highlight of my career happened in the summer of 2000. It was the moment I’d been dreaming of for the whole of my athletic career. One minute I was just an average person, the next I was twice Welsh National Champion. My senses were overwhelmed. There were people clapping and cheering as I proudly took the podium. The medals were placed around my neck. I threw my fist up in the air in celebration. It was simply the best day of my life, and of all the places I could have been that day I was in Cardiff.

Being in Cardiff that day meant everything to me, being presented with the gold medal, and gaining the title Welsh National Champion was simply the icing on the cake.

I knew I was in real trouble now. But only in a good way. It was when the BBC and S4C came knocking on my door that I truly realised what I’d done. There were people congratulating me and wishing me luck everywhere I turned. It was very humbling. It was very difficult to even find the time to do normal things. And then surviving that Grand Prix in London…


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One not to miss! Thursday 11th June 2015

All of us at Shropshire Disability Network, hope you have Thursday 11th June in your diary as we look forward to welcoming you to a meeting that we know will inspire many of you.

Courtesy of John SImcox at Mears, Shropshire Home Services Unit 3, Hartley Business Centre Monkmoor Road Shrewsbury SY2 5ST we look forward serving refreshments from 10.30 am to 11 am the time our meeting starts. 

Not only will you hear about what we have been up to the last few months but we look forward to welcoming Matt Matt Johnson-Area Transport Planning Commissioner (North) who is an expert on concessionary travel etc plus one of his colleagues will join us who is an expert on parking issues.

Michael McCarthy our second guest speaker will be talking about his life and the books he has written. Michael from north Shropshire suffered life changing injuries as a child which left him not only blind but with other long term conditions.

Click here for more details June Meeting Flyer

Let Russell our Secretary know of your intentions of joining us by emailing or calling 07794 497 704



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Swimming Provision in Shrewsbury

Start Date:
1st July 2015

End Date:
25th September 2015

Start Time:

End Time:

Shropshire Council have launched a consultation on Swimming Provision in Shrewsbury. They want to consult a wide range of user groups, interest groups and organisations in the town, including the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum, (a group set up to bring clubs and users of the Quarry together to work towards improvements to the centre) as well as the wider population. We want to hear from people who don’t use the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre as well as people who do.

We think it is important that our members & supporters take part in this so for more details click here

If you have friends with no IT access we suggest they call 0345 678 9077 & ask for details in an appropriate format. This consultation starts today (28th May 2015) & ends on 25th September 2015.