Mr Mister receives his MBE

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During our interview with Brian, we were struck by his quiet, almost humble nature. How is then, that he has managed to achieve so much for the Essex disabled community. Born in Woodford Green in 1945 and brought up in North Chingford, Brian is married with three sons. Since 1974, Brian has lived in the […]

Signature – better communication for the deaf community

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In a new monthly series, Dancing Giraffe will focus on a charity that highlights disability needs and issues. This month we look at Signature. Signature are a charity that promote excellence in communication with deaf and deafblind people, through encouraging greater understanding of deaf people and the languages and communication methods they use. With this […]

The Way I See It – Deaths Under Section

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A recent report has highlighted shortfalls in investigating deaths of patients detained under the Mental Health Act. This is in stark contrast to deaths within prison, immigration and police custody, which are immediately subjected to examination by independent bodies. What is particularly worrying is that 261 sectioned patients died in 2011, and a lack of […]

Sight Impaired and Would Like to Sail?

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Blind Sailing is a registered charity. Their aim is to help blind and partially sighted people sail at all levels. They organise regular training sessions and racing events, providing coaching and help to enable novices to learn to sail and advanced sailors reach their potential in racing. Blind Sailing has two different disciplines: Fleet racing […]

Disabled People and the Proposed New Building Control System

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I recently read an article written by Wayne Roberts about the Canadian Urban Institute’s new report entitled ‘Repositioning Age-Friendly Communities: Opportunities to Take AFC Mainstream’ that talks about a radical shake-up in the way cities are planned. It is urging ‘universal design’ that the disabled community in Canada have been arguing so long for, along […]

NHS South Essex cash boost to improve access to dentists

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More people in south Essex have access to an NHS dentist, thanks to an injection of cash from the Government. NHS South Essex has been given £711,000 to improve access to NHS dentists and promote oral health after successfully bidding for the cash. The funding has been used to ensure more people have access to […]

Life Is Too Short To….

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I have a confession. I would say a secret, if it wasn’t for the fact I’ve divulged it to others with a not insubstantial amount of self-satisfaction. I’m not confessing something I’ve done – quite the opposite. I’ve not partaken in this particular activity for, at a rough guess, the best part of a decade. […]

Are You Aware Of What The Library Service Can Offer You?

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“Shhhhhh!” For many of us who were born pre-decimalisation, this is an enduring memory of the libraries of our youth, along with those of stuffy buildings filled with dusty, weighty tomes that were seemingly irrelevant to our growing minds. It’s fair to say that the focus of libraries was to provide books, and the reason […]

Let’s be clear about … Bowel cancer

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Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK and when it comes to cancer deaths; it’s the second biggest killer. NHS South Essex is supporting an important national cancer awareness campaign, to highlight the early signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign aims to increase cancer survival […]

Who’s Special?

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What makes someone special? Normally it’s other people. As individuals (I would like to believe) we are all special to someone. The word on its own is harmless. It’s the association that people have when we put the words ‘special’ and ‘disability’ in the same context. It helps keep society’s perception of disability and issues […]

A poem by Deborah Stewart

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Fog. Fog That is what I remember Fog. It was actually snowing when he was born But I remember fog. Our hopes and dreams shattered Normal family life lost In that fog. The next 6 months So many questions but no answers In that fog. Appointment after appointment but nothing was clear Just fog. Prying, […]

Moorfields Stem Cell Research for Cure to Blindness

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Stem cell research is considered to be controversial because scientists have to destroy human embryos. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that stem cell treatment will one day cure blindness along with almost every other disease you can think of. There are several clinical trials taking place in the US to assess how good […]

Malnutrition’s ‘Hidden Costs for Families’

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Leading charity Carers UK, supported by nutrition experts Nutricia, is calling for action to improve the nutritional care experienced by carers and their loved ones. Carers UK has published a new report into the impact on families struggling to manage the diet of ill or disabled relatives. Malnutrition and Caring: The hidden cost for families […]