Category Archives: News

Quarry Pool 250-253

Swimming Provision in Shrewsbury

Start Date:
28th May 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.

me (2)

Tracy writes “All I did for weeks & weeks was throw throw dreadful blue sandbags”….

All I did for weeks and weeks and weeks was throw these dreadful blue sandbags at a net & what makes her happy!

It all began when I met fabrics tutor and Welsh athletics coach for the disabled, Anthony Hughes. In time Anthony and I got on rather well. He invited me along to an athletics training session that took place every Thursday night at The Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool.

Five O’ clock that Thursday evening I got on the bus that was waiting outside the medical centre, and off we went. We arrived at the Leisure Centre. I went up in the lift, and went into the sports hall. It smelt of stale sweat.

We all lined up against the wall. Anthony said “Hi” to us all. Shortly after we started doing some warm-up exercises. Warm-up exercises are to prepare the body for exercise and prevent injury. We did many different exercises, but there is one that will stick with me forever. You clench your fists and hold your arms straight out to the side, and leave them there for one minute. The longer you leave them there the heavier your arms felt. It was like you had a bag of sand in each. My muscles were burning. I was so glad when it was over.

The sports hall was split into four different stations; javelin, shot putt, discus and club throwing. Anthony took me around each station, explained a little bit about each sport and allowed me to try each of them. We both agreed that club throwing might be the sport for me, so we made our way back to the club throwing station. He first of all made me observe someone throwing the club. After a while he told me to reverse up to the blue mat with my back to the net. He then handed me a small blue torn sandbag with a floppy handle and told me to throw it. I did just that until we were called to the wall to do our cool-down stretches at the end of the session. Cooling down is very important after exercise. It helps

to relax muscles minimising the risk of injury.

We then made our way to the café upstairs, where we had our tea. I felt drained

and struggled to pick up the fork to eat my baked potato. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I slept well that night. I continued with the training sessions every week and made steady progress.

All I did for weeks and weeks and weeks was throw these dreadful blue sandbags at a net. I got to know the sandbags quite well. It was fair to say that we had a love / hate relationship. Quite frankly their floppy little handle infuriated me.

Soon Anthony pointed out that I was looking to the side when I was throwing the bag. This was affecting my throw. I needed to be looking ahead, and get out of the habit of looking at the bag. After weeks of working on these points, and weeks of Anthony calling me spaghetti arms (Haha). My technique improved a lot and I progressed to throwing a club. I was very happy.

I trained hard for a period of twelve months. Then one Thursday night it was announced that there was a training session at The Flash Leisure Centre on the following Saturday. I went along. I couldn’t help but feel there was something a bit different going on. People had travelled up from South Wales. Obviously people I’d never seen before. Anyway I thought nothing of it and carried on. At the end of the session, Anthony wheeled beside me and said “You have just had your trial for Wales. You were successful. Congratulations!” I was speechless. I came over all emotional. My voice broke as I thanked him.

Next time: Read how & when “I began my International duty” & where my journey takes me ”….



shropshire wild 250-253

Shropshire Wild Teams, would you like to join us?

Simon Brown Outdoor Development Officer, at Shropshire Council updates us on Shropshire Wild Teams.

Do you feel you need to be more active and like the idea of venturing out into the Shropshire countryside? Shropshire Wild Team volunteers are involved in landscape management projects as well as other outdoor activities. You don’t need to have any experience and there’s no requirement to be physically fit. We especially welcome people with disabilities or who are receiving support from health or care services.

As part of a team you will travel around Shropshire’s amazing landscapes taking on projects such as ground clearance, footpath maintenance, hedge laying and gate installation. You will also have a go at other activities such as walking, basic map reading, bush craft skills and wildlife surveys (and any other preferences voiced within each team). Over time you will gain a range of new skills used in the outdoors by professionals and enthusiasts alike.

A curiosity in the “outdoors” would be an advantage as we will venture out in most weathers (storms and blizzards probably excluded). Some of the locations may be more remote or offer more challenging terrain. So, while there is no need to be physically fit you will have to be able to physically negotiate some of these spaces. All activities will proceed at a level and pace people can manage and are comfortable with. You will also have to be able to get to a central meeting point to journey onto each location in our minibus. Or alternatively if you have transport you could meet us there. As volunteers any travel costs are reimbursed. There are two teams that meet in Shrewsbury on Tuesday and Thursday and one team in and around Craven Arms and Ludlow on a Wednesday. Times, depending on task and place with be on average from between 10 am and 3 pm.

Click here to download a poster: Join Shropshire Wild Team Join Shropshire Wild Teams – Copy

If you are interested or would like more details you can get in touch with Simon Brown, Outdoor Development Officer, at Shropshire Council via or on 01743 255 055


Anna Parish 250-253

TelfordUCare Updates us on what they are doing for Carers…

A while back we told you about the work that AFC Telford United are doing to engage with Carers. In 2013 they launched TelfordUCare. Recently Ruby together with SDN members John Morris & Chris Alvis were invited to AFC Telford United Presentation Evening. Ruby took opportunity to ask Amanda White lead Carers Champion for an update.

Amanda tells us..

 TelfordUcare is a scheme run by volunteers at AFC Telford United in Wellington. The scheme supports those who need physical help (whether permanent or temporary), anyone who attends with their carer, or is a carer themselves. We support both home and visiting fans, providing everything from lap blankets and mobility aids, to tea runs and company. If you should need us, just look for the ladies in pink!

Over the last two seasons we have been fortunate to receive a small amount of funding from the NHS, and have partly used this to provide tickets to events at the football club, enabling our guests to experience events that would have been difficult for if when they have to pay for a carer to support themselves or the person they care for.

The photo is of Anna Parrish, many will know her at AFC Telford United for her sunny smile and quick sense of humour. Even more people will know her for her kindness and willingness to help. Many of our supporters are aware of the public face of the scheme (Amanda White), but Anna has so far declined to take part in the publicity as she is camara shy! Anna joined the TelfordUcare scheme at the beginning of this season as a second team member, and has taken on her role whole heartedly. Many of our supporters are aware of the public face of the scheme (Amanda White), but Anna has so far declined to take part in the publicity as she is picture shy!

This last season has seen few successes on the field, but many in the terraces (such as the community coaching team recruiting Sean Clancey, and the development of the “Family Stand”), as our team is now due to expand. Mary Et, who has been a long-time volunteer at AFC Telford United is moving across from stewarding, to an active role within TelfordUcare. We are very pleased to have her aboard.

Although the exact ticket prices have yet to be confirmed for the coming season, we can confirm that disabled fans can still attend games for the “concession” price, and accompanying carers are free. Please enter by the corner gate and speak to a steward. Parking for Blue badge holders is free, once again, please speak to a steward.

TelfordUcare can be contacted on Twitter @TelfordUcare.


lyneal Trust 250-253

Barge safari- is wonderful and FREE day out

 ‘Barge safari’ is wonderful and free day out ! 

Shropshire Wildlife Trust is offering people with disabilities the chance to cruise the meres and mosses of North Shropshire on Saturday 16 May, absolutely free.

 A ‘barge safari’ will set off from Lyneal, near Ellesmere, at 10.00 am and head to Morris Bridge on Whixall Moss, with binoculars supplied for everyone on board. Return will be by 1.00 pm.

The Wildlife Trust has hired the Shropshire Lad barge from the Lyneal Trust. It has a ramp and hydraulic lift – and wheelchair users are able to access all parts of the Lad.

The Lad has been designed to take wheelchairs up to a maximum width of 26” – the standard size for wheelchairs. More information is available at the Lyneal Trust website:

 A bird expert may be on hand to point out and help identify birds spotted along the way, but in any event Luke Neal, the Meres and Mosses Community Officer, will be on board to explain about this internationally important landscape, the work being done to protect it and the special species that can be found there.

 Participants on the trip will also be shown the Meres and Mosses all-ability trail at Whixall with disabled parking which allows visitors of all abilities to return to enjoy the mosses.

Places are free for this wonderful trip, but booking is essential. Telephone Luke Neal at 01743 284275 or email






Jessica Lightwood

Jessica Lightwood-Sports Inclusion Officer for Shropshire writes

Welcome to Spring,

The sun has come out to say “hello”, encouraging more people to go outside and enjoy the rays of Vitamin D. Spring is a time of new beginnings with blossom on trees, daffodils blooming and the smell of freshly cut grass.

Now is a great time to start thinking about the small steps we can make to become more active, and start a new beginning ourselves. Here are a few ideas that we can try but remember the aim is not to create additional pain (and if that happens-stop)  The aim is to get our hearts beating faster, help our circulation etc

  • Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil –If you can stand- hold onto the work surface & slowly bend your knees- keeping your back straight then stand up straight again, see how many times you can do this until your cuppa is ready.

  • Whilst adverts are on the telly – try lifting your knees & moving your ankles in a circular motion as if you are drawing circles in the air, or if you are safe to use stairs-go for a walk up and down them.

  • Go outside if you can, walking to the corner of the road or further, invite friends to walk with you as they will not only be company for you but may welcome the opportunity.

Remember with any exercise to start off gently & if you are concerned,  do not be afraid to seek medical advice before you do any of the above.

We can measure our improvement with any of these activities by counting the distance or repetitions and trying to beat your last score.

Throughout March I have been out visiting some more inclusive activities around Shropshire; Rowing, Tennis and Dance to name a few. I saw a visually impaired man take part in rowing for the first time at Pengwern Boat Club. This began on an indoor rowing machine being coached the correct technique, then progressed on to rowing on the water in a Double Skull (two-man boat). I was amazed at the knowledge of the coaches and how they were able to adapt and support this man to take part in, and not only experience but enjoy a new activity.

All the activities I have been visiting will contribute to the Active Lifestyle directory which will be hosted on SDN website later this year. If in the mean time you would like to know more about local opportunities for you to be more active email where your individual enquiries will be responded to.

A closing note from me which I think some of you will have heard before & know to be true

It’s the small changes that last a lifetime

Jessica Lightwood

Shropshire Sports Inclusion Officer


kelda gb shirt 250-253

Our own, picked for Europeans & World Cup!!!

We are so pleased to share with you both Nick Beighton & Kelda Wood have been picked in their respective sports for the Europeans & World Cup as the road to Rio 2016 picks up pace.

Many of you will remember Nick Beighton talking at our members meeting back in 2013. Kelda is our avid blogger writing her diary to Rio. You can read all Kelda’s blogs under her own tab “Kelda writes” A fascinating journey sharing how it really is!

It is great that we can share the achievements of people who have been able to overcome some of the obstacles they have faced after life changing injuries. We know our members are inspired & encouraged by us sharing this type of news/stories.

SDN sends congratulations to all who have been chosen but especially to Kelda & Nick & look forward to following their progress. Click here to read more

Beeline Britain 250-253        kelda wood 250 253


assistance dog 250-253

Sam updates us on her personal journey to have an Assistance Dog

Hi everyone,

This is the second instalment of my blog about my journey towards getting an assistance dog. I have not got any further in doing fund-raising, as I have been busy with a course with the prince’s trust and volunteering.

However, I have thought further on some of the things an assistance dog could do to support me. I find it hard to wake up in the mornings as I’m often tired, and tend to fall back asleep unless I am being prompted. An assistance dog would be able to wake me up if I set an alarm by pawing at me. Having an assistance dog would also mean I will sleep better, as the weight of the dog on the bed, research has been shown helps the sleep pattern of people with autism, similar to the effects of a weighted blanket.

The dog would generally help with anxiety whilst out and about, and help with transitions to get to and from places by centring me and reducing my anxiety while I’m travelling by train and bus.

He would also be trained to provide a barrier between me and other people, so that I don’t get too overwhelmed in crowds. Generally I feel an assistance dog would improve my mood and give me a sense of purpose.

By the time I do my third blog, I hope to have got further in the logistics of how to fund my dog.

Thanks for reading,