Author Archives: Ruby

derwen college

Short Breaks Open Morning at Derwen College

Derwen College offers short break holiday provision for young adults aged 18 and over with learning difficulties and disabilities. Guests can take part in a range of activities and trips, as well as making use of the campus facilities. Holidays can be a great opportunity to relax with friends, meet new people and explore local attractions.

The Open Morning will take place at Derwen College, Whittington Road, Gobowen, Oswestry SY11 3JA on Tuesday 29th January 2019 from 10 am-1 pm. You will have the opportunity to view the accommodation, meet the support staff and ask any questions you have about having a short break at Derwen College. Please telephone 01691 661234 for more information.

For other events coming up at Derwen College, click this link: Upcoming events at Derwen College (Jan-March)

Shropshire deaf and hard of hearing Large

New Hearing Aid Drop in Repair Clinic in Shrewsbury Library.

Shropshire RCC are delighted to announce that from March 2019 they are opening a new hearing aid drop in repair clinic in Shrewsbury Library, Castle Street.

Information, help and advice is available to all NHS hearing aid users and in addition simple hearing aid repairs, retubing and maintenance is available for wearers of NHS hearing aids supplied by
Shrewsbury or Telford Hospital Audiology department.

Drop In dates for 2019 are from 10 am-12 noon on Tuesday 19th March, followed
by monthly clinics every 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Shropshire RCC works closely with NHS Audiology to comprehensively train the
volunteers who staff this clinic. Vicky Sadler, Deputy Head of Audiology at Shrewsbury
and Telford hospital, said:

‘We can thoroughly recommend the Drop In clinic for patients who need re-tubing, advice or peer support with their hearing aids’. As most of the trained volunteers are hearing aid wearers themselves they also know from personal experience about adjusting to hearing loss. If there are multiple or more complex issues then you will be advised to contact NHS Audiology for an

Shropshire RCC volunteers spend as much time as needed to ensure people know how to make best use of their hearing aids in all sorts of everyday situations. This support is also offered through home visits and half day Effective Hearing

For further information about the Sight and Hearing Loss Support Service from
Shropshire RCC or volunteering please phone Susann Mitchell on 01743 342163 or
email [email protected]

Note: SDN Chair said “Now the Signal Hub, in Shrewsbury Riveside is now closed, by having this new drop in facility at central location, it will make it easier for people to get advice and information as well as the other services offered, ie re-tubing of hearing aids.

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Views on Mental Health and well-being Services before, during and after pregnancy.

Healthwatch Shropshire are currently interested in hearing your views on mental health and well-being services before, during and after pregnancy.

Healthwatch Shropshire say: “We want to know more about people’s experience of mental health support when planning to get pregnant, during pregnancy, at the birth and afterwards up to 3 years on. All the responses will be completely anonymous. This is a really important time for us to be doing this in this area as the new community perinatal mental health service is currently be planned and posts advertised”. 

The study needs to be completed by March so if you would like to share your experiences with us.  Please email us at [email protected] or call 01743 237884. Or you can post information to us Freepost HEALTHWATCH SHROPSHIRE or download a form at this link

“Healthwatch Shropshire is the health and social care champion for people and local communities in Shropshire. We are here to help make sure everyone gets the best from their health and social care services – also that those services are as good as they can be and work in a joined up way. We aim to give patients, service users, carers and the wider public a real say in the way health and social care services are run. We use the feedback about health and social care services to hold providers and commissioners to account. Our aim is to ensure that the patient voice remains at the centre of any decisions about service change.

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Shropshire CCG’s Care Closer to Home Programme Board

Would you like to be a Representative on Shropshire CCG’s Care Closer to Home Programme Board and use your knowledge and experience to help develop local health services.

NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently seeking a Patient Representative to join the Shropshire Care Closer to Home Programme Board.

The Shropshire Care Closer to Home Programme Board is responsible for looking at how existing services might be provided differently and more efficiently, co-ordinating and integrating care. The programme aims to give people in Shropshire access to the care they need closer to where they live, either in their own home or in the community.

If you live in Shropshire and have experience of using NHS services then the CCG wants to hear from you.

Dr Finola Lynch, Joint Chair for the Shropshire Care Closer to Home Programme Board at the CCG, said: “Patients are at the heart of everything we do and we make decisions about health services based on the feedback we get. The Patient Representative role is an important one and will help us to ensure the services we redesign as part of the Shropshire Care Closer to Home Programme are ones that residents need and can access.”

For this voluntary role as the Patient Representative on the Shropshire Care Close to Home Programme Board, the CCG is looking for someone who:

  • Lives in the County and has experience of NHS services in Shropshire, or a local carer of someone using NHS services in Shropshire.
  •  An ability to work with senior health and social care professionals.
  •  Has experience and understanding of the community and voluntary sector in Shropshire.
  •  Can take part in discussions on agenda items and act as an ambassador for the patient and public voice, working alongside other Programme Board members as equals.
  •  Has the ability to champion the diversity of patients’ views and not just represent their own experience.
  •  Can understand and evaluate a range of information and evidence.
  •  Respect the need for confidentiality.
  •     Can attend 80% of the monthly meetings, which are held during the day at William Farr House, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury.

If you would like to become the Patient Representative, please write a letter stating why you are interested and what you would bring to this voluntary role as well as contact details.

All letters of expression of interest will be reviewed by a panel, which will include representatives from the CCG, and shortlisted candidates may be invited to take part in an informal chat.

Anyone interested in becoming a Patient Representative must submit their letter by 5pm on Thursday, 31 January 2019, to Barrie Reis-Seymour, Commissioning and Redesign Lead – Shropshire Care Closer to Home, NHS Shropshire CCG.

Email: [email protected].net

Post: NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, William Farr House, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 8XL.


New ME Peer Support Group-Oswestry

A new monthly ME Peer Support Group has been formed in  Oswestry. The group first met on Tuesday 15th January. Future meetings will take place on the 2nd Tuesday each month starting from tomorrow at 1 pm at Kinoculture, 9 Arthur Street, Oswestry SY11 1JN.

Shropshire ME Group - oswestry support group (1)

Support Groups also meet in Shrewsbury, Telford, Whitchurch and Ludlow. If you would like further information, please contact Donna Teague by telephone 07413 2599924 or by emailing [email protected] Alternatively click this link for further information including an enquiry form that you can complete.

Network Rail

Can you easily access your Railway Station?

Over past 12 months several people have approached us regarding access at railway stations. We published an article in our newsletter “Your Voice” about what we experienced while visiting Whitchurch railway station.

For those who missed the article you can download it by clicking on this link:  Whitchurch Railway Station News Article 230618 (1)

Whitchurch is not the only railway station that presents major difficulties to anyone with mobility issues, as well as parents who have children in prams and pushchairs.

Wellington station has better access than Whitchurch, however to get from platform 1 or 2 (and visa versa) passengers have to use steps or have a long walk etc. Ludlow station also has problems, as do several others.

The new lifts and bridge at Telford Central are a great improvement although there needs to be better signage on how to call the lift as it is not that obvious, especially for those with visual impairment. 

People need to use train travel locally as well as across the UK, including the London Underground. By the end of this year, London Underground’s new £15.4 billion Elizabeth Line is due to open but only 13 out of 41 stations on the new network will have level access for wheelchair users and those with mobility requirements. Is this acceptable? We (Shropshire Disability Network) do not think it acceptable, neither does Liam Islam.

Liam is a wheelchair user. He has started a petition calling for all 41 stations on the newly built and generously funded Elizabeth Line network to have full level access in the form of raised platforms which will fully remove the step between the platform and the tube.

To read more about the petition click this link

Please consider signing the above petition which will help many thousands of people with disabilities.  So far 435 have signed this petition, but it will take many more people to sign to bring change, so please tell your family and friends and ask them to help too.

If you experience difficulties with access at any local railway stations please let us know by email to [email protected] or by text/call to 07780 852229 or 07398 350255. Anyone wishing to receive information on the local Passenger Association Groups, with a view to bringing change, please let us know.


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Ophthalmology Survey-Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

Have you used or are you using Ophthalmology services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin? If so, would you please help Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust by taking part in their survey?

Why? The Ophthalmology Team is striving to ensure patients receive appointments in line with clinically recommended waiting times. Ophthalmology currently provides services from 3 main sites; Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital and Euston House in Telford. They are seeking your guidance on how to configure future Ophthalmology services at the Trust and would be grateful if you could complete the short questionnaire.   

This is a link to the survey:

Alternative ways to take part in the survey: They will also be carrying out face-to-face surveying in the Eye clinics, and paper copies of the survey will be available at reception in each clinic.

For more information or if you require paper copies of the survey to be sent out, please contact Kate Ballinger, Community Engagement Facilitator, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals, 01743 492390 or by email [email protected]



Sainsbury’s Whitchurch launches a weekly Quiet Hour

Ann, PR Ambassador at Sainsbury’s, Whitchurch store has informed us they are starting a Quiet Hour, starting today (Tuesday 8th January 2019) from 10.00-11.00 am. This will take place at the same time each Tuesday. 

Anyone who would appreciate a quieter, more relaxed shopping environment, you may like to take up this opportunity. While lights can not be dimmed, there will be no tannoy announcements and no music. It will be quieter with No roll cages on shop floor to cause noise.

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Creating Smiles by Going on a Boat Trip.

“We don’t want to see our boats empty.” Words spoken by Peter Edwards from Heulwen Trust at Shropshire Disability Network on 13th December 2018. 

Heulwen Trust charity started in 1985 but it all began in 1975 when the Prince of Wales’ Committee in partnership with The Variety Club of Great Britain, arranged for the apprentices of Cammell Laird to build a 70ft canal boat specially designed to carry disabled children. It is thought to be a world first! It was named HEULWEN, which is Welsh for ‘Sunshine’ and was launched by HRH the Prince of Wales. The scheme was set up to last ten years, after which local people would assume responsibility to continue the good work. Today, it continues to be enthusiastically run by a team of volunteers.

In 1993 Heulwen Trust took delivery of a second 70ft. narrow boat which was launched and named Heulwen II by Prince Charles in May of that year.

In 2008 Heulwen I was more than thirty years old and becoming more and more difficult to maintain. They decided to commission a new boat and took delivery of Heulwen III “Silver Lady” in June 2009 (and said goodbye to Heulwen I having given us 34 years of service). I wonder if any of the Cammell Laird apprentices ever realised how much pleasure their efforts had given to so many.

As Peter told us “We don’t want to see our boats empty.” 

So how much does it cost? 

Heulwen offers free trips to those who are less abled than others. If you think you fall into any such category, try us to see if we agree with you.  We do try to take a broad view of how we can assist. For instance we do think that if a child is less abled, they should be entitled to celebrate a special occasion by asking their friends to join them in a party on one of our boats without charge for the use of the boat. If you want to decorate the boat please leave yourself enough time before the children arrive.  We do expect you to provide suitable refreshments , sufficient carers and of course the cake.

When can we go?

During the Summer boats are booked well in advance so the boats are well used. However, from December to Easter the boats lie empty for periods of time.

To find out more about the Disabled Boat Trips click the link below:

To read more about Heulwen Trust click on this link:

Note: Members, at our December meeting expressed an interest in having a trip on the Heulwen lll. If you were unable to be at that meeting, but would like to join us on a trip, please email Ann our Honorary Secretary, email: [email protected] or call/text 07398 350255 (SDN Secretary Mobile Number)

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Art 4 Well-Being Course starting soon

Art 4 Well-being is part of the BBO (Building Better Opportunities) lottery funded project. On offer is an 8-week Art 4 Well-being course, looking at the use of different techniques to harness your creativity and help foster a sense of well-being. Various media will be explored from graphite pencils to collage, and we will look at composition and the use of colour or black and white.

These sessions are totally FREE and are part of the BBO Programme Starting at The Gateway Education & Arts Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NA on Friday 18 January 2018 – 9.30am – 12.00 noon.

This course is open to all abilities.

To be eligible you must be:

  • either unemployed (not in work but looking for work) or
  • economically inactive (not in work and not looking for work and want to become more active.
  • You must have a right to live and work in the UK

Everything for this course is provided but booking your place is essential so that enough materials are provide at the course. 

For more information please call or text 07528 700492 or email: [email protected]


For poster, click here: Flyer Art 4 Well-Being