Category Archives: News


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 is a mobility scooter.

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 and we will put you in touch.

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Signal extends an invitation to all of us to visit their new hub-20th November

Signal extends an invitation to all of us to visit their new hub-20th November 

Many of will have been reading the blogs Paul Coupe has been writing for our website about Shropshire’s first hub first “Hub” devoted to hearing- and communication-related services. Now Signal is inviting us to an open day for people interested in the new Hub on Thursday 20thNovember.  

The hub will host a number of services for people with hearing loss as well as the Links café which works with people with learning disabilities. James Cousins from Signal will be there with Hub manager Paul Coupe between 10 am and 4 pm and will be delighted to show anyone around and have a chat about what they are planning. Signal would be delighted if you could drop in any time during the day for the tour. 

The address is unit

Unit 20-22 Riverside Mall Pride Hill Centre SHREWSBURY SY1 1P”


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Give a Gift to Shropshire Disability Network

We announced recently 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) All match funding available has now been absorbed but you can still donate on-line to Shropshire Disability Network via it just won’t be match funded.

We are still linked up with

Local Giving Logo

We would like to thank all who have donated to our “Give an Early Christmas box to Shropshire Disability Network”. Soon we will be able to announce how much funding you raised. Donations can still be made & although they won’t be match funded-there will be future opportunities that we can take advantage of so we will let you know when these are. 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 


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 & the information is also available at the Charity Commission website.


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Flu Jab Time

Have you had your flu injection yet? More opportunities come your way!


It’s that time of year folks when we need to be getting our flu injections. If you have not had yours this year then do seriously think about getting it done very soon. Shropshire & Telford residents in “at-risk groups” can have a free NHS flu jab. In past years this has been available just at your GP practice but for the first time now the flu jab for those “at risk” is available FREE at pharmacies.


GP’s currently offer free seasonal flu vaccinations to pregnant women, people aged 65 & over & those with long term conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart & lung problems. Not had a flu jab before but think you ought to have one, then it is worth checking to see if you qualify. While none of us like paying, if you don’t qualify then some pharmacies at Asda, Boots, & Sainsburys offer a jab for between £7 & £12.


The new way of offering NHS flu jabs in local pharmacies means it may help you by going to a place that is more convenient & at a time that suits you. This is a new scheme being run by NHS England in Shropshire & Staffordshire so it may be worth you taking it up.


Remember flu is not like a bad cold, it affects the whole body & can make existing conditions worse but it can also increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis. This is a yearly jab that is produced as a protection against new strains of flu & that is why it is important to ensure you are protected each year.


If you are a carer, it is also important that you consider having a flu jab as not only could you take it to those you care for but also if you are ill & cannot continue to care that can also cause additional situations that could be stressful to your loved ones & family as well as put on added pressure on care services & hospitals during the winter months that are always busier.

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AGM 2014 – it was certainly different.

Shropshire Disability Network-Annual General Meeting 2014-it was certainly different. 

We held our AGM on Thursday 18th September 2014 & it was certainly different to those held in the past. So wha2014-09-18 17.12.15 (2)t could be so different after all AGM’s are AGM’s- full of reports, run of the mill stuff and so boring to many people that they don’t attend unless they have a vested interest in taking up a key role or have another reason for attending! 

Well Shropshire Disability Network made this years AGM something to remember by doing all the necessary business but with a difference. Not only did we welcome one “keynote” speaker namely Sue Bott CBE-Disability Rights UK but we invited SID (Shropshire Inclusive Dance) to do a presentation & show a short film about what they do. 

Different it certainly was. “Inspiring” yes but really not the right word to convey what they did and they did us proud. What a shame so many missed it. Really the best description was in a tweet by an SDN member “Live performance from brilliant SID, A conversation in Dance between able and disabled folk” It was just that, as you can see from the photographs.  Thank You SID & thank you to Jim Hawkins for taking these photographs for us. 

Then there was Sue Bott CBE with her Guide Dog Faith who journeyed from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury to give a talk about her career path and how She came to be working for Disability Rights UK. Sue brought much humour into her talk and we thank her, for speaking our language, showing great understanding for those with a disability & how they are being affected by the changes by Welfare Reforms. (more on Sue’s talk coming soon) 

So you missed this one, now you don’t miss our next meeting on Thursday 11th December 2014 10.30 am for 11 am start end by 1pm at the Education Centre, AFC Telford, Watling St, Wellington, Telford TF1 2TU (Guests welcome) Guest speakers will be Debbie Gibbon Carers Service Manager from Carers Contact Centre at Telford & Kate Ballinger Manager at  Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin. Christmas Raffle. Tea/Coffee, Cake & biscuits and who knows what other surprises. So we think you should note this in your diary now & join us at this meeting.

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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.


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.

Shropshire Disability Network is a member of the Shropshire Providers Consortium for more information about our work please visit For more information about SDN contact: Ruby Hartshorn Phone number 07780 852 229

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

Telephone 01743 367758 E mail:

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The Forum is Open!!!

When we did the last refresh of the SDN website we decided to include a forum page so that the membership could have a say on the topics of the day. The Forum page has sat quietly in the background just waiting but now we have activated members accounts and the Forum is open!

What does this mean? It means that there is a place where members of the network only can have their say.

Is it dangerous? Definitely not! All posts are moderated and contributors have to be members of the network.

Will I get lots of spam? Not from us you wont! The forums, just like the whole of the SDN website, are monitored for spam; we aim to keep this a spam free zone.

So what do I do? It’s easy:

You have to be logged in.

  1. Go to the members area by clicking on the Members Area link next to the search box followed by the Forum button .
  2. Or click the “Read More” button on the top of the front page to go straight to the forum page.
  3. Click on the Forum “Shropshire Disability Network (Over to you)
  4. Either: Pick an existing topic, read what somebody else has put, then click in the box below and have your say.
  5. Or: Create a new topic, Give it a title and say what you think..

We will moderate entries as quickly as we can and we will have you up and commenting.

What if I want a forum for my own group? Easy just drop us an e-mail to and we can set one up for you. We can’t cater for closed groups but you can have an area where you can promote specific interests.

So – log in, go the the members area, click on the forum and get commenting.