Category Archives: News

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Volunteer! What’s in it for Us? What’s in it for You!

 Volunteer! What’s in it for Us? What’s in it for You!

Many organisations rely on volunteers to operate & more are looking to having volunteers work along side employees. From 27th May 2008 when SDN started our organisation has been run on volunteers & that is no different today. We are very pleased to be a growing organisation, we are reaching more people, responding to more inquiries & our signposting work is increasing. As we grow so we need new people on “board” to share & help others.

May be you have thought about volunteering but never taken that step to do it. May be you have thought well just an hour a week does not sound much, but that hour would make all the difference to us. So what could that hour be:

  • Completing events forms that can be uploaded by someone else to our website.

  • Checking some details on our A-Z listing of useful organisations.

  • Helping to Organise an event.

  • You may have a gift or skill you want to offer us to see if we can use.

May be an hour a week is too much & you would prefer occasional volunteering so would like to be included on a list of volunteers that we can approach ie

  • Helping to man a stand at one of the days when we raise awareness of SDN

  • Helping at one of our Collections days at Shrewsbury, Oswestry, or Telford

  • Proof reading “YourVoice”- the more we have in the team, the better it is for all who help us as we are not struggling when one of us is unwell or people are on holiday etc

  • You may be very knowledgeable with regard to a type of disability or long term condition or have a story that you would like to share with others but need guidance on how to do it. We can help you write that blog.

  • You may like to read articles on to YouTube enabling us to reach those with visual impairment as well as the non reader.

May be you have more time to offer & would like to get involved in the Management side of SDN, if so we would like to hear from you. All roles need deputies but also we feel that Junior roles are also important so that younger people can engage plans & SDN plans ahead. We need Outreach Officers in Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Church Stretton. There are many opportunities with us for you.

We need our members to become more involved in SDN as we are a “membership” organisation that must have a “board” with a majority of people with disabilities, long term conditions or carers. So if you have a little time why not try volunteering for us as not only would you find it can be very rewarding but by doing so you are helping your fellow members.

So why volunteer?

  • You share your skills & by doing so help others & your organisation.

  • It can be rewarding as you meet other people, may be make new friends, learn more about us, connect with members but also gain a sense of achievement.

  • It can help with loneliness & depression.

  • It can increase your confidence & self esteem.

  • You may learn a new skill or develop those you have.

  • It is good for your health & well being, giving you a sense of achievement.

  • It could enable you to get paid employment and you would have a very reputable organisation to put down as a referee on applications.

We have many volunteering opportunities for you, and may be you have a new idea to offer to us, so if you want to give something back, please tell us. One lady said “Since I have helped at your awareness days it has got me out of the house for a few hours, I felt isolated but I now look forward to it as we always have a laugh & I go home feeling better, that I have helped SDN and others”

As one of our twitter messages says “Value your volunteers, we do”

So why not give give it a go, you may be surprised how rewarding it can be call 07780 852 229 or email admin@shropshire-disability.net or email info@shropshire-disability.net or use the contact form on this website.

Ruby Hartshorn

Deputy Chairperson

 

 

 

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Scam Alert – Message from West Mercia Police

Phone call

It would appear that the scammers are out and about early as West Mercia Police have received two reports of scams in the Force area.

The first one involved calling a person stating they were from the Ministry of Justice claiming that there is a substantial cheque waiting for you but first you have to obtain some money which will be collected by a courier after you have confirmed that you have the cash, about £280.

The caller is a very convincing person with an English name and an Asian accent.

If in doubt please contact the Police Control Room on 101 as this potential victim wisely did.

E mail

The second scam involves Natwest mentioning that it has upgraded its Security machinery.  It invites the person to log in to find out more.  Please do not do this.

Age UK has produced an excellent booklet on how to avoid the scams.  A good bit of bedtime reading.  www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security/scams/scams-through-the-post/

www.actionfraud.police.uk  also would like to know if you have been a victim of a scam

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Join a Shropshire Wild Team

Are you interested in getting more physically active and venturing out into the Shropshire countryside?

There are currently limited spaces to take part in a new six month “Shropshire Wild Team” volunteering programme. Each team will consist of eight people and the programme will involve taking part in countryside management tasks. 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 basic map reading, bush craft skills and species identification and data collection (or any other preferences voiced within each team). At the end of the six months you will have gained a range of new skills used in the outdoors by professionals and enthusiasts alike. We’d hope you go on to continue to use your new knowledge whether through independent personal interests or even moving into further volunteering opportunities.

At the end of the six months the volunteers will be offered final direction and support to move on with their new knowledge, skills and contacts to continue to engage in the outdoors. A positive outcome for the individual, for local communities and for Shropshire’s wider natural and cultural heritage!

An interest or curiosity in the “outdoors” would be an advantage as we will venture out in all 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 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 if you prefer and have independent travel means, to meet us there.

There are two teams that meet in Shrewsbury on Tuesday and Thursday and one team in and around Ludlow on a Wednesday. Times, depending on task and place with be on average from between 10am and 3pm.

Click here to download a poster: Join Shropshire Wild Team

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

 

British Blind Sport

Supporting Visually Impaired People in the Swimming Pool.

British Blind Sport, believe that every visually impaired person has the right to participate in the sport of their choice. They understand & know that there are many hurdles & barriers to overcome in order for each and every visually impaired person to have the same accessibility as a sighted person.

 

A new resource has been launched aimed at educating leisure centres, swimming clubs & coaches, parent carers, carers and teachers on how best to support visually impaired swimmers. The specific purpose is to support, share ideas and give guidance on how to include people with a visual impairment.

 

It aims to educate on the ‘small changes’ that can be made to encourage more visually impaired people to take up swimming, and to make people aware of the types of visual impairment that coaches and centres might encounter. Areas that we need to be aware of include:

  • Using basic communication skills to support the needs of people with a visual impairment.
  • Understanding where you can obtain further support to ensure your club is fully accessible and inclusive to people with a visual impairment.
  • How to apply your knowledge to meet the needs of people with a visual impairment.The gala is open to blind or partially sighted young people, aged between 9 years and 17 years. You can enter as a team, a group or an individual. Races are open to all abilities and include free style, breaststroke, backstroke and relays. Hosted by British Blind Sport, this event is the only specific VI Youth swimming competition in the UK, attracting a number of blind or partially sighted young people from across the country. Go along for a fun and competitive day out!Here is the link to the resource you can access: http://www.britishblindsport.org.uk/vi-friendly-swimming/introduction/

 

  • To see full details of this event look under the “Events” tab on our (SDN)) website & click on 15th March on our calendar for full details.
  • On the 11th March 2015 the National VI Youth Swimming Gala will be held at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, Solihull
Helen Feedman

Helen Freedman writes her last blog

Helen Freedman writes her last blog for us as Senior Business Manager of Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. SDN wishes to thank Helen for her all her support in all She has done for us by supporting our meetings, writing blogs, alerting us to events that will be of interest to our members & so much more. We have enjoyed working with her & will miss her. Helen, we wish you well  in your new busy role! This is not “bye bye” Helen, we will still have contact with her, She will be keeping an “eye” on us & we will be doing the same. Read on to find out what Helen will soon be doing including how She will support SDN in 2016!

 

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Cycling 4 All Shropshire – Inclusive cycling opportunities

What is Cycling 4 All Shropshire?

Cycling4All Shropshire is keen to promote and develop opportunities, for people of all ages and abilities, to enjoy cycling in a supportive and comfortable setting.

 

 

There are currently outdoor sessions running at several locations across Shropshire including, Shrewsbury Sports Village, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry, Maurice Chandler Leisure Centre, Market Drayton and South Shropshire Leisure Centre, Ludlow. It is easy to take part and you can just come along on a drop in basis or contact the centres to ask about pre- booked sessions. There are sessions that run through the school holidays which gives an opportunity for the whole family to join in.

The family sessions run by Cycling Projects are dependent on the support of Shropshire County Council but it is hoped that a couple of permanent opportunities will be set up at in Ludlow (or possibly Craven Arms) and Oswestry. It is proposed that these sites will have a small selection of bikes at each location and be volunteer led through the community, parents and carers.

There are many volunteering opportunitiesat the centres and on Cycling4All – Shropshire the community group. We also need help with fund-raising to increase the available fleet to include some step through cycles, a wheelchair transporter and more children’s cycles. If you are interested in getting involved we would be delighted to hear from you.

More information at http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycle-centre/cycling4all-shropshire

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Swap and Sell

We’re trying something new. For a trial period we are setting up a forum for members to Swap and Sell unwanted items that might be of use to other members. Our first item was a mobility scooter but that has now been taken.

It’s easy to do and the rules are simple. Just go to the members area (you have to be a member to use the forum) and click on the link to Forums. You will see Swap and Sell there; just follow the link and create a new topic OR if you see something in which you might be interested e-mail admin@Shropshire-disability.net and we will put you in touch.

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Give a Gift to Shropshire Disability Network

We announced last year about a match funding opportunity that SDN had decided to engage with as any donations up to £10 were doubled. (ie your donation of £10 became £20 to us! If you are a tax payer, we received Gift Aid on top) You can still donate on-line to Shropshire Disability Network via Localgiving.com it just won’t be match funded although there will be days throughout this year when there will be new offers to encourage people to donate to small local charities. Wednesday 25th February is one day called #Giveme5 this means 1000 donations of £5 will be randomly picked so the donation will match funded meaning we get your £5 plus another £5!

We are still linked up with

Local Giving Logo

We would like to thank all who have donated via Localgiving.com to Shropshire Disability Network”. At each quarterly meeting we will announce how much funding you have given to our work. If making a one off donation all you will be asked for is Your Name, email address and then you pay via a card or paypal. If gift aiding then you will be asked for your address etc 

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Just wondering why we need your ongoing financial support. Yes, it is not always obvious with an organisation like ours as we have no premises but a website as one of its two prime tools to do our operate. Here is an idea of what we use your money on (and you will see more when you click on the link above) 

Website Costs before any maintenance or upgrades costs between £420 & £450 a year

This is for website hosting & protecting our website & email domain addresses 

Printing of our membership forms and general flyers cost around £475 per year. 

Stationery/Toner for internal printing (not newsletter) costs around £600 a year

(we also need laminating pouches re exhibition stands, postage, envelopes etc) 

Then we have to pay for quarterly meetings (venues, refreshments, speakers expenses which are around £500 to £600 per year) Our Outreach work also comes at a cost because without Outreach we can not reach new members & promote the work we do. Our FUNd-raising Sub Group needs funding, enabling them to take pressure off the Management Committee by organising fund-raisers.

We have other expenses like producing 8 editions of “YourVoice” enabling those unable to use IT for whatever reason engage with us. There are times when we need to reimburse travel expenses to our valuable volunteers, then there is insurance (approx £350 a year) and equipment to purchase & the shopping list continues. With your support, we can do more, so please if you can donate to our work, it would be appreciated. Every £ helps us, help you, help others.

Thank you, for the support you give us. 

Annual accounts are available on request to admin@shropshire-disability.net & the information is also available at the Charity Commission website.

 

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SDN Shares in Lottery Award for Inclusively Fit Project – Press Release

Shropshire Providers Consortium (SPC) and partners (Energize (County Sports Partnership), Shropshire Disability Network, Figaro, Headway Shropshire, South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, Shropshire Football Association and Shropshire Public Health). are today announcing their  excitement, reference the award of the Reaching Communities Big Lottery Grant.

Shropshire Inclusively Fit Project

Julie Tustin SPC, Marinda Ashwell Healthy Shropshire, Ruby Hartshorn SDN, Mark Fosbrook EFDS, Helen Freedman Energize and Roy Waterfield Shropshire FA

The grant is for £241,000 and the four year project is called Shropshire Inclusively Fit Project. There is additional funding from Shropshire Public Health and Energize (County Sports Partnership) taking the total project to £282,500.

Social isolation for young disabled people increases substantially after leaving education, young people can become isolated with no peer support to help engage in sports or social activities. Coupled with Shropshire rurality making travel difficult, this can be a real problem.

 

 

 

An Inclusive Officer will be employed to:

  • To reduce social exclusion and health inequalities by raising awareness and opportunities for engagement within sports clubs and societies for disabled people of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.
  • Identify current exercise and sport provision for disabled people (mental & physical) of Shropshire
  • Run a travel and equipment bursary for disabled people of Shropshire.
  • Raise awareness & practical solutions for sports and social clubs throughout the county to make adaptations to facilities and become more inclusive as a body with more accessible activities for disabled people.
  • Develop a buddy volunteer scheme to provide support to and at events for disabled people to attend and participate.
  • Run sport taster sessions across the county for disabled people and clubs.

The project aims to make sport & physical activity more accessible to disabled people by providing a web based resource, of what’s available, transport & equipment support and most of all a volunteer buddy to go along with for the first few visits. We all know how difficult it can be walking into a gym or sports club for the first time, imagine how that must feel if your disabled and have no idea what facilities are available to you or how people may react to you?

The partnership will be governed by a steering group made up of the above partners and disabled users.

Ruby from Shropshire Disability Network (SDN) stated that “it is fantastic that disabled people will now have opportunity to engage in sport & physical activity in a way that has been impossible for many, due to transport & rural issues. The Buddy Scheme & Bursaries will enable those that want to, to have a go, it gives them opportunity.”

SPC would like to thank Shropshire Council (Sport & Leisure Team), Shropshire Public Health & Energize for use of their surveys and statistics and Shropshire Disability Network for their consultation with the target group.

                                                      -ENDS-

Editorial Information:

Shropshire Provider’s Consortium (SPC) is a collective of community and voluntary sector organisations working and bidding together for the benefit of the people of Shropshire.

The consortium pools the experience, skills and knowledge of its members to deliver seamless services for clients and customers, creating a more defined public profile for Shropshire’s VCS sector and enabling organisations to work as one. http://shropshireprovidersconsortium.co.uk

Shropshire Disability Network is a member of the Shropshire Providers Consortium for more information about our work please visit www.shropshire-disability.net For more information about SDN contact: Ruby Hartshorn admin@shropshire-disability.net Phone number 07780 852 229

Further Information about Shropshire Inclusively Fit Project. please contact Julie Tustin, SPC Contracts Manager.

Telephone 01743 367758 E mail:       julie.tustin@spconsortium.co.uk