Wolves Disability FC Gets First-Ever Sponsor!

Matthew | Oct 20 2021

Energy Angels, an ethical business that strives to ensure access to cost-effective energy supplies, has come onboard with Wolves Disability FC as the team’s first-ever sponsor!

There are now around 70 players on the Disability team, an amazing increase on the four teammates who attended the first session as Sporting Chances nine or so years ago.

Over the years, Energy Angels has taken an executive box at Molineux, engaged in pitchside advertising as a club partner, become shirt sponsors of Wolves Women – and now they can put Wolves Disability FC in their portfolio, as well!

Luke Shearing, inclusion and cohesion manager with the Wolves Foundation, said: “Last season the teams had the same training kit as the men’s and women’s first teams and this sponsorship means that can continue with that, along with opening up several other opportunities.

“It all adds to the professional feel of the club and gives the players something to be proud of, to make them feel that they are part of the One Pack ethos at Wolves. Energy Angels will be working alongside us and getting involved with community events as well and we can’t thank them enough for their support.”

As for the football team itself, it’s due to play a series of friendly fixtures over the 2021/22 season. Teams are run at under-12, under-16 and open age levels and you can find out more about training possibilities by calling Gavin Jones on (01902) 828 366.

 

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Oct 12

£1 Million Accessibility Funding For Ferries

Matthew

The government has announced that £1 million in accessibility funding will be provided in order to make ferry journeys to the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly more accessible. Operators are now able to bid for grants on projects that will help elderly and disabled people travel confidently on transport links connecting them to the mainland.

Bids can be for equipment such as accessible ticket machines and wheelchairs or for building works such as the installation of Changing Places toilets and ramp levelling.

The incoming bids will be assessed based on the number of passengers likely to benefit from the suggested improvements, as well as value for money. Applicants will need to send in a supporting letter from individuals or local disability charities, as well as three quotes in order to make sure that good value is being obtained.

Chris Heaton-Harris, accessibility minister, said: “These ports provide vital connections to the islands of the United Kingdom and it is imperative that they are accessible to all. We look forward to hearing some innovative and life-changing ideas, as we take another step towards creating a fully inclusive transport network.”

The funding forms part of the government’s National Disability Strategy, which sets out how the government plans to improve the everyday lives of disabled people. The strategy itself has been developed with the help of over 14,000 disabled people, as well as disability organisations, policy experts, businesses and others.

It sets out the actions that will have a positive impact on the everyday lives of disabled people, covering commuting, public transport, accessible homes, enjoying culture, using the high street, going online and more.

 

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Sep 30

Meet George Webster – The First CBeebies Presenter With Down’s Syndrome!

Matthew

TV history was made on September 20th, when George Webster joined the Cbeebies team as the first BBC children’s presenter with Down’s syndrome.

The 21-year-old from Leeds was, according to the Guardian, originally hired to be a guest presenter on the show but he proved to be such a hit with the viewers that the network was bombarded with demands for him to be given a fulltime job!

And his very first show also proved to be very popular with viewers, with a clip of him reciting poetry, making a smoothie and busting out Saturday Night Fever dance moves getting more than 1.2 million views after it went viral on Twitter.

George himself had this to say about his pre-recorded CBeebies debut: “I just felt really positive and excited and happy to get going”. He went on to add that he hopes it inspires people watching at home to make sure they “enjoy every moment and take every opportunity as it comes”.

As well as being CBeebies’ latest asset, George is an ambassador for charity Mencap, recently recorded myth-busting videos for BBC Bitesize, is an ambassador for Parkrun and recently acted in a short called S.A.M., taking the lead as a young gay man who takes a shine to the local misfit. It’s due to be shown on Film4 in October!

The Creative Diversity Network recently released an independent review of the representation of disabled people across the TV industry in the UK as part of its Doubling Disability campaign.

It was found that disabled and transgender people, as well as those over 50 are still under-represented onscreen. However, disabled people are still the most under-represented group across the programmes being monitored.

 

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Sep 20

Gympanzees Set To Open Disability-Specific Leisure Facility!

Matthew

In a UK first, Gympanzees – which delivers fully inclusive leisure facilities for disabled children and young people – is due to open a disability-specific inclusive and accessible site in Bristol in 2023.

The Project Home campaign aims to raise £2.2 million to secure a building and equip it with inclusive sensory and exercise equipment, as well as specialist rooms, so that the 66,000 disabled children and young people living within an hour of Bristol have somewhere to come and play.

The idea is to provide fitness, fun and friendship at the facility in a non-judgemental, safe and welcoming way for children and young people up to the age of 25 who have sensory, physical, learning difficulties, SEN and mild to profound disabilities.

The space will provide an innovative solution to the problems of isolation and inactivity among disabled children. Some 77 per cent of disabled children currently struggle to access regular leisure facilities, so they’re unable to exercise, play or socialise as their peers would.

The centre will be open every day of the week, with a range of activity rooms on offer, such as soft play, sensory, trampoline and music, as well as a specialist gym, exercise suites, accessible playgrounds, therapy rooms, exercise suites and a community cafe.

Stephanie Wheen, CEO and founder of Gympanzees, said: “We are delighted to enter this exciting stage in our plans to build a permanent facility in Bristol.

“Families crucially deserve more than temporary; they need a place they can trust and rely upon all year round that supports all their health and well-being needs, helps reduce their isolation and provides unrivalled opportunities for them to make family memories.”

She went on to say that huge amounts of support has been given, with temporary popup events welcoming 8,000 visitors over 58 days.

 

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Sep 10

Catalyst Programme Launched To Support Senior Leaders With Disabilities

Matthew

A new Catalyst Programme has been launched by the National Leadership Centre (NLC), aiming to support and develop senior leaders with a disability in public sector positions.

Over the course of a year, the programme will deliver intensive residential courses, coaching, networking opportunities and a diverse range of speakers from various backgrounds.

Recruitment is now open and will close on September 24th, with the aim of the programme being to develop people to CEO level in their respective fields.

Advisory board member for the NLC Steve McGuirk said: “The Catalyst programme seeks to help those leaders with a bespoke programme designed to empower disabled people to push for – and break through – the highest levels of public leadership in the same ways as non-disabled leaders.

“Catalyst will create a network of people to sustain peer support and peer mentoring, and create the opportunity for people to share their experiences about what works and what doesn’t.”

He went on to say that it will include similar content to other NLC programmes, while introducing delegates to inspiring case studies and people, with the hope that it will serve as a catalyst for talented leaders to start making a difference to how public services are delivered in the future.

The government also recently launched its new National Disability Strategy, detailing 100 immediate commitments to be made, supported by £.16 billion in funding.

Plans include upgrading job support and opportunities, as well as housing and transport, and improving the accessibility of homes around the UK.

 

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Aug 24

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Starts Today!

Matthew

The long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics kicks off today (August 24th), after a pandemic-related hiatus that saw the event cancelled last year to allow the world to deal with the strange events of the covid-19 crisis.

But the 16th Paralympic Games is finally getting underway, the second time that the Japanese capital has played host to the event after first holding it back in 1964. In all, 537 events will be put on, featuring 22 different sports, with taekwondo and badminton appearing in the tournament for the first time ever.

Sad news for Welsh hopes, however, with the news just in that Matt Bush – Para Taekwondo World Champion – forced to withdraw from the Games because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The opening ceremony itself saw the Afghanistan flag carried in by a volunteer, after the two athletes from the country who were going to compete had to be withdrawn by the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee because of cancelled flights from Kabul.

Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee president, said: “We will include the Afghanistan flag in the ceremony in a sign of solidarity. It is important to highlight that as it is a message of solidarity and peace that we send to the world. We would like to have them here, unfortunately it is not possible, but they will be here in spirit.”

The first day of the Games will see cycling, goalball, swimming table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair rugby all take place… which sounds like a great first day of competing to us. Which events are you most looking forward to watching?

 

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Aug 23

New ITV Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Invisible Disabilities

Matthew

Broadcaster ITV has launched a new on-air campaign to raise awareness of invisible disabilities, developed in partnership with charity Scope and featuring famous faces like Chase star Paul Sinha, actress Kelle Bryan and author Katie Piper.

Research by ITV has revealed that less than a third of the population in the UK are aware of the levels of disability in the country. One in five people are, in fact, disabled but only 40 per cent say they feel confident about telling others that they have a disability.

The marketing campaign forms part of the broadcaster’s commitment to help drive culture change around disability perception and representation, shape culture for good and foster creativity by championing diversity, equality and inclusion.

Paul Fuller, executive director of partnerships at Scope, said: “One in five of us in the UK are disabled, but this is not always obvious. At Scope, we unfortunately hear regularly from disabled people who have experienced negative attitudes, social isolation and a lack of understanding.

“We hope ITV’s campaign will increase awareness of invisible impairments and conditions. It has the potential to challenge viewers, encourage them to deepen their understanding and to become disability allies.”

Hidden disabilities are those that may not be immediately obvious, including learning difficulties, mental health, mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. Conditions can also include asthma and COPD, as well as renal failure, diabetes and sleep disorders when such conditions affect daily life.

Invisible disabilities come with their own specific challenges for individuals, with many misunderstandings arising from others and judgements incoming based on incorrect perceptions.

 

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Aug 10

Govt Launches New National Disability Strategy

Matthew

The government has published its new National Disability Strategy, setting out 100 immediate commitments to be made, supported by £1.6 billion in funding and an ambitious agenda for future reform.

It includes plans to upgrade job support and opportunities, as well as housing and transport, while improving accessibility of homes around the country. Some £300 million has also been set aside to support children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools, as well as an online work passport to help students move from education to the world of work.

The strategy also focuses on improving inclusion in the workplace, tackling the disability employment gap  – which is currently at 28.6 per cent – head on.

To ensure that disabled people are able to live in homes that have been adapted to their needs, action is now being taken to raise the accessibility requirements for new builds, as well as adapting existing homes to make changes such as installing downstairs bathrooms, fitting stairlifts, installing ramps and widening doors.

In addition, it will mandate that ten per cent of homes built through the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme will be for supported housing.

Therese Coffee, work and pensions secretary, said: “The result of an unprecedented endeavour across government, this national strategy will help level up opportunity and improve the everyday experience of disabled people, whether that is at home; travelling on public transport; using the local high street or going online; enjoying culture, the arts or the great outdoors; and exercising civic roles like jury service and voting.”

This comes after the government also unveiled £30 million in funding to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings across England, with the aim being to provide larger accessible toilets and equipment like hoists, curtains, space for carers and adult-sized changing benches.

 

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Jul 28

Salford Trials New App To Improve Gym Access For Disabled People

Matthew

A new app is currently being trialled in Salford that makes it easier for disabled people to make use of sports centres and gyms, with the pilot being carried out by Sport England.

The WelcoMe app, developed by Neatebox, helps people to plan ahead with their trips, giving them more control over their visits and allowing them to get in touch with venues before they arrive, letting them know of any assistance or specific requirements they may have, the Manchester Evening News reports.

App users will have to give venues at least two hours’ notice of their visit so that staff members know how to provide the best level of help, as well as getting equipment ready and making necessary preparations.

Ferdy Habib – whose 20-year-old son has autism and Erb’s palsy – praised the app, saying: “It is respectful and reduces the stress that people can feel particularly if there is a queue at the leisure centre or sports venue.

“Sami just wants to get in the gym and get on with his training session rather than having to wait. To be welcomed in advance would also be a huge benefit as it would put Sami at ease and it would be good for him to know that someone knows who he is in advance. It’s important to realise that not everyone has visible disabilities.”

All you need to do to get started is download the app, set up an account and build your personalised accessibility profile. You can then browse venues and see what accessibility features they have, allowing you to plan visits and indicate the assistance you require on arrival.

 

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Jul 15

Disabled Race Car Driver Takes On Damon Hill & Johnny Herbert!

Matthew

A Wokingham race car driver who was diagnosed with autism as a child and who now drives for an all-disabled team has taken on Formula 1 legends Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill in the Halow Project’s Damon Hill Karting Challenge, which took place on July 13th.

According to the Bracknell News, Bobby Trundley – who drives for Team BRIT – came in second place in the race, which takes place every year to help raise funds for the Halow Project.

The charity itself supports people over the age of 16 with learning difficulties, helping them in their journey through adulthood and giving them the chance to pursue an active social life, make friends and find new opportunities in further education and employment training.

Mr Trundley had this to say about the event: “I absolutely loved racing in the Halow Project event again on Tuesday. To go back to the race that introduced me to Team BRIT, joined by my teammates, and now saying I’m a GT4 driver was just really special.”

“The charity does such great work with young people who face challenges of all kinds – something that I relate to personally, so it was a privilege to be asked to join and fantastic to help them raise funds.”

The karting challenge itself sees teams of up to five drivers compete in a Le Mans style endurance race, with 150 drivers participating in the 2.5-hour challenge. Drivers also have the chance to meet patron and co-founder of the charity Damon Hill, as well as mixing with other young people, celebs, businesses and other professional drivers.

 

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