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Inclusive Family Fun (This Half Term)

Empathy for Special Children have two events taking place this Half Term.

Out of this World! Family Fun Friendship Group-Open Days takes place on Saturday 22nd October 10 am to 12 noon at Park Lane Centre, Telford TF7 5QZ & from 2 pm to 5 pm at Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms SY7 9PS.  Click here for more details. http://shropshire-disability.net/out-of-this-world-family-fun-friendship-group-open-day/

Telford Poster: open-day-flyer-telford
Craven Arms Poster: open-day-craven-arms


Halloween Glow Run, Inclusive Event for all the family takes place on Saturday 29th September at Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms SY7 9PS.

Junior Glow Run, Over 16′s Glow Run, Best Fancy Dress and more plus a Disco Party after. All raising money for Empathy.

Click here for poster: glow-run-and-halloween-party-16

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Albrighton Trust-Me & You Project

Me & You Project at Albrighton Trust are looking for people aged 15-25 who have a learning difficulties, special needs or physical disability? Would like to learn something new? Then book your place now while there is still space.

If that is you, they are inviting you to take part in a 6 week (6 one day sessions to take place on Wednesday 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th November & 7th & 14th December) to build confidence and self esteem through the teaching of outdoor activities.

Throughout the course, you will have opportunity to learn new skills, gain qualifications, take on leadership roles, make new friends & have fun plus plan your future.

Click here for brochure: 022 giving you more information including who to contact for further information & what is on offer.


Whizz-Kidz Family Event at Attingham Park

Come & join us for wheelchair accessible den building, campfire lighting including roasting marsh mellows, hallowe’en themed games, Forest School Crafts, pumpkin making & more. (Some activities are weather permitted)

Taking place on Tuesday 25th October between 12 noon and 5 pm at Attingham Park SY4 4TW


Cost: Free for young wheelchair users (up to 25 years of age) and three family members and/or friends. Additional guests welcome but must pay National Trust entry fee. 

Bring a  packed lunch or purchase food from the National Trust Cafes. Parking is FREE. Changing Places facility on site.

Please sign up by contacting Ray on [email protected] or 07788 435 149


Birmingham Rep- Accessible Performances this Autumn

Birmingham Rep Theatre have announced their accessible performances for Autumn & Winter 2016. The programme includes The Exorcist, Treasure Island, The Snowman, Love & many more. With a variety of accessible performances including Audio Described Performance, Relaxed Performances,  British Sign Language Interpreted Performance & Captioned Performances click here for a full list. birmingham-rep-accessible-performances 

Click here for further information including Listening to the Autumn & Winter 2016 Season Audio Brochure http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/visit/access/autumn-and-winter-2016-season/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Accessible%20Performances%20newsletter%2004-10-2016&utm_content=Accessible%20Performances%20newsletter%2004-10-2016+CID_b050be9c28ee613e6807e9c4660587d7&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=see%20the%20full%20list%20of%20accessible%20performances%20here

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Grow Your Tenner is back but not for long! Read on..

Each year Localgiving runs grow Your  Tenner.

Starting Tuesday 18th October at 10 am-Grow Your Tenner is back! Grow Your Tenner each year help local charities like ours raise more money by matching the value of online donations by up to £10. This year’s campaign launches at 10 am on Tuesday the 18th of October. Last year the allocated funding ran out within days. If you can support is, we would be so grateful. Those of you attending our AGM & quarterly meetings will realise how important funding is for us to operate. Anyone wishing to receive a copy of our accounts should call 07780 852 229. If you can support us & give us an early Christmas box, enabling us to continue this website, fund our meetings, our printer, publicity materials, raise awareness we would appreciate it. Thank you.

Thanks to an injection of government funding from the Office for Civil Society, we will now be matching both one time and Direct Debit donations during Grow Your Tenner 2016! Click here for more information https://localgiving.org/what-we-do/campaigns/grow-your-tenner

Click here for our page: https://localgiving.org/charity/shropshiredisabilitynetwork/



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Time to have that flu jab!

Yes, it is that time of year again, when if we have not already had it we should be making arrangement to have our flu jabs. You are eligible for the free flu vaccine if you are pregnant, are aged 65 years or over, have a long term health condition*, or are a carer. Children aged 2, 3 or 4 years are also eligible.
We all need to stay well this winter. You can get a flu jab at your GP or in select pharmacies. Not eligible for the free vaccine? You can still get the jab for a small fee.

Click here to check eligibility: https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/long-term-health-conditions#ALSrvCHojikK1p8j.97

Click here for advice on staying well this winter: https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/none-of-the-above#5UVxKt4O68hZlM0a.97


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Healthwatch Shropshire looks at “Death & Dying”

Each month Healthwatch Shropshire choose a  “Hot topic”. This months is one that can be very difficult to talk about-”Death & Dying” 

Whether in hospital or being supported in the home, there is only one chance for care providers to get this right.  Healthwatch Shropshire would like you to share your stories with them. ie Did you feel the care your  loved one received was what they wanted and expected? Was the language being used by care providers clear and appropriate? Were you given the opportunity to ask questions? If so were they answered in an appropriate way?

Healthwatch Shropshire are keen to build up a picture of how well “End of Life Care in Shropshire” is working. & whether or not people feel supported, 

If you have any comments for Healthwatch about this topic please contact them on 01743 237884 or [email protected]  You can also leave feedback in many Shropshire  libraries where you will find “Tell Us” leaflets which you can complete & post in the boxes provided.

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NHS Future Fit Programme-Pop Up stands at various places in Shropshire

Throughout October NHS Future Fit will have pop up stands at various places throughout Shropshire.  This will give you an opportunity to ask questions, pick up information & discover how patients & members of the public can play a part in the programme, with a consultation due to start towards the end of the year.

With much in the media about possible changes to services at both the Princess Royal Hospital & Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, it is important that people take these opportunities to ask questions.

Dr Julian Povey, Chairman of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“We want people to be as well informed as possible about the programme. We want everyone to understand the positive advantages that NHS Future Fit can provide with the creation of a new Emergency Department and two Urgent Care Centres, each able to see up to 80 per cent of those who currently go to A&E, in Telford and Shrewsbury.”

The pop-up stands will be at:

  • Monday 10th October, 10 am-2 pm – Ludlow Market, Ludlow SY8 1AY 
  • Wednesday 12th October, 10 am-2 pm – Bridgnorth Library, Listley Street, WV16 4AW
  • Monday 17th October, 10 am-2 pm – Bishops Castle Town Hall, High Street, SY9 5BG 
  • Tuesday 18th October, 9 am-5 pm – Charles Darwin Centre (ground floor near to car park entrance) Shrewsbury SY1 2BW 
  • Wednesday 19th October, 10 am-2 pm – Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton, TF9 3AX 
  • Thursday 20th October, 10 am-2 pm – The Centre, Oak Street, Oswestry, SY11 1LW 
  • Friday 21st October, 9 am-1 pm – Whitchurch Civic Centre, High Street, SY13 1AX

More events are to be held in Mid Wales. Last month SDN published dates of pop-ups in the Telford & Wellington areas of Shropshire.

Further Informaion

To view the NHS Future Fit animation please go to: www.nhsfuturefit.org

People can get involved by going to: www.nhsfuturefit.org/get-involved

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Sight Loss Groups (SLOGs) Activities October 2016

All sessions are FREE unless otherwise stated.

Oswestry Group meets on Wednesday 5th October 10 am to 12 noon at Oswestry Memorial Hall, Smithfield St, Oswestry SY11 2EG. Note this is a change of venue as the Library is not available this month.

Unfortunately archery is no longer available in Oswestry so it will be arranged for the New Year in Shrewsbury instead. This month we will have a walk from the Memorial Hall and/or play Boccia, returning for coffee at the Memorial Hall afterwards. 

Ludlow Group meets on Monday 10th October 10.30 am -12.30 pm at St Peters Church, Henley Road, Ludlow SY8 1QZ

This month we will have a talk by Healthwatch Shropshire

Shrewsbury Cycling at Sundorne Sports Village-Wednesday 19th October 10.30 am-11.30 am

We will be having our cycling session at Sundorne Sports Village, Sundorne Shrewsbury SY1 1RQ


Shrewsbury group meets on Monday 24th October 2 pm -4 pm at Shrewsbury Museum, The Square, Shrewsbury SY1 1LH

Please note change of venue. We will be meeting for a guided tour and refreshments in the café afterwards. I will be in touch nearer the time to the Shrewsbury group regarding a cost for this session.

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Jo shares her experience of being a Mother, Carer -part 2

“Hitting 25, does it get easier or harder”

Hitting 25 everything gets harder and if you don’t have a label (which I hate) you have to fight for everything and Jess is unable to do this on her own! Recently Jess became partially sighted through eye surgery. Very little sight in her right and not perfect in the left, but we cannot register as her partially sighted because her left eye is too good! So we have gone through yet another assessment as the 12 hours care she receives to live on her own is not enough to cover her needs though better than the 2 she was originally awarded, but took legal action to get the 12 hours. But that assessment took place in May and still no news. We have been told she won’t lose any as can happen when a re-assessment takes place! Then there is the match funding out of Jess’s benefits for her direct payments, the yearly reviews, the change over from DLA to PIPS. I could go on.

Guilt! It is always there and no matter how hard you try to push it to the back of your brain it somehow worms its way back to the front. Was it my fault Jess is disabled, did I do something wrong during pregnancy? I doing the right thing in sending my child to a special school or should they remain in mainstream schooling? People say things that make you think you are a bad parent such as “should you really allow your daughter to do things other children do?” “Should you not live with your daughter?” But the hardest thing is trying to explain why you will go to the end of the earth to protect them and see they are safe, because they are unable to do this for themselves. Both my children are my world and I love them so much but with a child who is so vulnerable you go that extra mile!

But there is another side to all this. Despite all Jess’s difficulties I wouldn’t change her and I know her dad wouldn’t.

Jess has achieved so much in her life and we are so very proud of her. Jess now works 2 days a week in a garden nursery, she volunteers at a day centre helping to teach sign language. She is vice chair of People’s Parliament Worcestershire for disabilities. She as joined a signing choir. She does Special Olympics, 3 years ago winning gold and silver medals at the national games.

More recently  our second book was published which we co-wrote. As story about a disabled fairy called Jess. www.jessthegothfairy.com Jess is a fairy who looks different but just like Jess herself all she wants to do is be accepted in her community and help others. Jess tells me how she has felt growing up and we try to put this into words. The first book ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’ is about bullying the second about looking different. The message being ‘it’s ok to be different as we are all the same inside!’ The journey it has taken us has been amazing. We visit schools, colleges and disabled organisations where I read our story and Jess signs it. Then she chats to the young people about what is like to be disabled. To see her stand up in front of 200 pupils on her first visit and answer questions of any kind was so emotional and such pride! Seeing these young people who perhaps have never met someone who looks different, nervous at first, but chatting to Jess is wonderful. Jess also encourages them to go for their dream no matter how small, and more important ‘Never give up!’





We also talk to new police officers and GP’s about the stresses of independently living in the community not only from Jess’s view but mine as well as a parent/carer.

I suppose where I am coming from, is yes, there are moments of sheer desperation and these are never going to go away the 24/7 worry question no one will answer “What happens when I am not here?” But there are the magic moments such as the gold medal or watching Jess at People’s Parliament or just having that voice smiling down the phone saying “I love you mum”

To all parents who have a child that needs that extra bit of help along the way, it’s so hard and there will be days when you just sit down a cry and shout at the phone or just want to give up. Don’t, keep fighting and if we all do this we can make a better, safer life for our vulnerable young people.