Monthly Archives: August 2014

Oswestry Community Games

Start Date:
21st September 2014

End Date:
21st September 2014

Start Time:
12 noon

End Time:
4 pm

Event title: Oswestry Community Games
Venue: Cae Glas Park, Church Street Oswestry Shropshire SY11 2SZ
Name: Clive Knight
Telephone: 07964 615 858
Event description: Oswestry Community Games returns & it promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s games which drew in around 500 people. This family fun event is FREE for everyone to attend and take part in “have a go sessions” and see the amazing activities that are on offer in Oswestry all year round for all ages and abilities.
Everyone who takes part and enjoys one of the have a go activities will be able to learn how they can continue to do so after the games.

Local clubs/organisations will hold demonstrations, have a go sessions for people of all ages and abilities, including disabilities. Bowls, tennis, golf, athletics, family fun activities, disability cricket, girls football, fitness sessions, rugby, gymnastics, will all feature on the day, though more activities are still being targeted.

Fusion Arts will be providing music and dance groups, with have a go sessions for people of all ages and abilities.
There will be a closing ceremony which will bring together organisers and participants to listen to short speeches by dignitaries and our guest of honour -Capt Nick Beighton, Paralympian 2012 will distribute the medals to participants for each activity as appropriate.

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:

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

I often think the biggest challenge in my job is communication.  Almost every day I come across situations when I think ‘how did I not know about that?’ or ‘how come they aren’t aware of this opportunity?’ and as a result I often see excellent initiatives that just aren’t being accessed by the people who would really benefit from knowing they’re taking place.  I have a couple of examples of this.  The first is a workshop that Energize helped organise in July.  It was a 3 hour workshop to give individuals the knowledge, skills and confidence to make activities more inclusive for everyone.  This incredibly insightful workshop was very valuable for the 8 parent/carers who attended, but with 22 potential spaces to fill many more could have benefited from this training.  Fear not, another training course will take place on Tuesday 23 September. Book your place at

Another event that I’ve previously mentioned in my blogs and I know is also featured on the SDN website was the Young Health Champions DART (disability access running team) introduced by their amazing Young Health champion, Ben Sutton-Jones who has worked hard on his initial idea for this Health champion project which would help to get disabled young people more active. DART takes place at the Shrewsbury Quarry 8.45am every Saturday.

I recently met with some colleagues from Shropshire Public Health who have recently launched the Healthy Shropshire website.  This fantastic resource is well worth a look and I’d especially recommend the Active4Health section which includes an online directory providing information to public and patients on suitable exercise opportunities that can be matched to individual’s needs, wants and level of experience.  The Healthy Shropshire website also signposts users to a Green Space section which lists lots of opportunities to get active in your community.  We know that 3 in 4 adults enjoy outdoor pursuits and 55% of adults visit the natural environment at least once a week. A recent ‘Reconomics’ reports brings together research and evidence to demonstrate the huge impact of outdoor recreation. From a gentle walk to a sky dive, exercising outdoors has maximum impact on lowering stress and increasing energy levels compared to exercising inside, plus there are quantifiable economic benefits as outdoor recreation drives local visitor economies. This National report includes a number of case studies and we’re excited that our very own National Trust property; Attingham Park is one of these case studies. Sport Development Officer Lucy Newbury came on board with the National Trust to utilise the 400 acres of green space at Attingham Park as a recognised sports venue. There are now clearly signposted routes for walkers and runners, an orienteering course, archery and Community Games are on offer all year, plus canoeing opportunities and much more – Lucy believes offering the sports has helped engage a new market at Attingham. They are also going to include the guides I included in my last blog which will at least mean that everything is in one place.

And while I’m on the subject of having everything in one place, what more could Shropshire ask for than £241k from the Big Lottery to fund our very own Inclusive Officer. I hope you will all agree that this is a fantastic opportunity and join me in congratulating Shropshire Providers Consortium and their members (including SDN and Energize) for their sterling efforts in securing the funding.

Click here to download the Inclusive Officer Details

Click here to view ‘Reconomics’

Attingham Park Case Study


Potential Change for the Shropshire Walk in Centre

Start Date:
2nd September 2014

End Date:
2nd September 2014

Start Time:
6.30 pm

End Time:
8 pm

Event title: Potential Change for the Shropshire Walk in Centre-Extra Meeting!
Venue: The Lord Hill Hotel, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6AX
Name: Shropshire CCG
Telephone: 01743 277500
Event description: Shropshire’s Walk- In Centre could be moved from Monkmoor Shrewsbury to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. This would mean more people arriving at A&E – where about 60 per cent of patients could be dealt with by a GP – will get access to the most appropriate treatment first time.

On this website we have given details of several Public meetings enabling you to have opportunity to discuss the proposed change. At the meeting held at Crowmoor School on 31st July it was agreed to hold a follow up meeting to share the results of the views shared.

Shropshire CCG have now organised this extra meeting to be held at the Lord Hill Hotel Shrewsbury in order to share the results of the other public meetings before making a final decision is made on what is to happen to the Walk-In Centre.
A decision on whether to relocate the Walk-In Centre will be taken by the CCG’s board later this year.
Come along & find out more, Everyone is welcome & there is NO need to book.


A teenage mother was detained in a psychiatric hospital during her pregnancy, given high levels of medication plus ECT during this period; So that the developing brain of the baby has 220 volts running through it. That was 1949, that baby was me. Of course in 2014 that doesn’t happen does it? Well, actually in some cases it still does!


I spent 5 months with my birth mother at Chaddeslode House which in those days was a home for unmarried mothers. Then a merry-go-round of various placements until finally at 4 yrs old I was adopted, sadly already with embedded anxiety and emotional issues. My adoption was a bit of a disaster and my childhood and adolescence was a very difficult time. 

However what I did have right from toddler hood through to adolescence was the continual support and care of just one exceptional Welfare Officer/Social Worker. She made every child in her care feel special always there for them, going the extra mile even out-of-hours. She guided me through those turbulent times pointing me in the right direction. She saw my potential and used her skills to keep me from going into care again. 

That was the 1950s/60s So now of course that level of care and continuity within Children’s Services is the norm isn’t it? Sadly it isn’t the norm. So was I more fortunate during the 1950s/60s then our Children with emotional issues are today? 

I would really appreciate your comments about this particular blog and if you think Children’s Services have made progress in the last sixty years or is there more that could be done to help vulnerable children? 

Lynda Jones-Official Blogger Shropshire Disability Network on Mental Health Issues

How does TRM (Targeted Muscle Innervation) Work?

With TRM a prosthetic limb is controlled solely by a User’s thought process! The user imagines moving the prosthetic limb and it responds accordingly. To enable this to happen surgery is performed to redirect the nerves that used to control the limb to a new muscle group. Amazingly by connecting existing functioning nerves that controlled a persons limb to a new group of muscles so these muscles can read signals. 

In order for the prosthesis to work, the user has to imagine moving their missing limb. Nerves send these thought signals from the brain to the new target muscle & the result is the muscle contracts. Electrodes that are carefully placed against the skin recognise the signals & with the use of a small computer, it translates them into the desired movement. This results in the user being able to control the prosthesis, even allowing control more than one joint at a time. Ie rotating a hand & gripping with it or bending an elbow & wrist. How amazing technology is becoming but it does not come without hard work by the amputee, expert knowledge of surgeons and a host of other people that work in different areas of the medical profession.

Controlling a Prosthesis by thought alone. Impossible? Not at all!

SDN likes to bring you up to date information on may areas of disability, & indeed just one example was in the March 2014 edition of “Your Voice” which included an article from Access On-line magazine. This particular article reported that a team of Swiss & Italian scientists had enabled Danish amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen to test a wired prosthetic hand enabling him to sense touch. This had been the result of 5 hour operation when electrodes were grafted onto the ulna & median nerves in Dennis’s upper arm. The results were amazing as the outcome was better than expected when he experienced accurate touch in his finger tips but despite this as it was only an experiment Dennis soon had to revert back to his prosthetic limb. 

I was reading a Blesma magazine & discovered amazing things are happening closer to home as technology in the UK has now enabled Corporal Andy Garthwaite to be the first person in the UK to control his prosthesis by thought alone! In September 2010 Andy was wounded in Afghanistan by a rocket propelled grenade, robbing him completely of his right arm. As with anyone loosing a limb there is rehabilitation programme that takes place in the hope of getting back as much as possible of what has been taken from you. Initially he was given a traditional prosthetic arm, as any one would find, this is no substitute for what you have lost, plus having live with the many frustrations that someone in this situation must experience. 

Thanks to a process called Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) & a very clever surgeon from Austria called Professor Aszmann, during a 6 hour operation on Corporal Garthwaite redirected intact nerves into muscles on his chest wall. By placing electrodes on those muscles they become natural amplifiers which then work the prosthesis. Corporal Garthwaite lost his arm from the shoulder so that is why muscles on his chest wall were used. Now when he thinks about using his prosthetic arm it is the thoughts in his mind that triggers the chest muscles to that movement ie to lift, extend. Since Andy’s operation in December 2013, everyday tasks that many people just take as the granted ie turning pages in a book, stirring a cup of tea, making drinks, opening a bottle, unscrewing a jar have become easier for Him. So often people with prosthesis, due to many frustrations in lack of function don’t wear them but with TMR the limb is closer than ever to being like the one you have lost making life easier. 

Like Captain Nic Beighton who spoke at our SDN meeting last December, it takes a lot of rehab & determination by the person who has lost limb(s) to work hard, practice & more practice in order to achieve new goals. Of course for this patients also need the support of not only surgeons & nurses but specialist physiotherapists & occupational therapists. As we know, even with technology nothing will be exactly like the limb you have lost but it is good to see how modern technology is moving forward & hopefully continue to move forward. 

Andy received treatment at several places & like Nick had a lot of his treatment at Headley Court & both are thankful to the MOD & support Blesma as well as many others for the help & support given to them. SDN followed the team which included Nick Beighton-(double amputee & Paralympian London 2012) taking part earlier this year in Beeline Britain (First ever Land’s End to John O’Groats in a straight line)

and you can read (and support) more about this epic challenge by visiting 

Next time: How Targeted Muscle Reinnervation works.

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.

MS Society Newsletter

The MS Society has its big street collection in Shrewsbury on Saturday 16th August and there is a plea in the Newsletter for collectors.  If you think you can help, or you have friends or family who would give us an hour, please phone Joy Jones (all contact details on the back page of the Newsletter).

Click the link to download a copy of the newsletter: MSNewsletterJulAug14

NHS Future Fit Workshops for August and September

Over the coming months, people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and mid-Wales have an opportunity to influence the way healthcare is delivered for the next 20 years.

We want to shape the future of those services for local people with you. We want to involve as many people who live and work in the area who currently or potentially will be using hospital services.

Make sure your voice is heard by attending an NHS Future Fit interactive workshop in August or September, where you can share your views and tell us where you think healthcare services should be located.

We encourage you to book now to attend one of the workshops listed here, featuring:

  • information about NHS Future Fit
  • discussion on how NHS services need to work for the future
  • a say on where services could be located and the reasons why.