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Your Voice July-August 2019

This summer edition of Your Voice features special invitations for Shropshire Disability Network members, a debate over disability access in Shrewsbury, and much more. It also features opportunities to steer SDN, as a powerful collective voice for people with disabilities and carers across the county.

Don’t miss your invitation to join in with the friendly Telford Eagles Sitting Volleyball Team or to discover the plant- and wildlife of the beautiful Bridgnorth Cemetery with Caring for God’s Acre. Accessible nature is the topic of the keynote speech at SDN’s AGM, to which you are also warmly invited.

Ahead of the AGM, you are encouraged to consider how you or someone you know might help to take SDN to the next level!

This message of appreciation, which SDN received recently, reminds us why we do what we do:

“It is services like yours which help my elderly parents, who despite their long-term conditions are still fiercely independent, to cope in their own home. Many thanks for your assistance. Keep up the good work!”

Log in to the Members’ Area at the top right-hand side of this page, and then download your copy of Your Voice by clicking on the link below. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please email [email protected] . We would love to receive your comments or ideas.

Your Voice July-August 2019

This edition of Your Voice refers to the role descriptions for Chair and Secretary of SDN and the nomination form for places on SDN’s Management Committee. To download these documents, please follow these links:

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Shropshire Disability Network Management Committee Nominations

Shropshire Disability Network Annual General Meeting and Members’ Meeting will be held on Thursday, 5th September 2019 at University Centre, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8HQ

There are various elections that need to take place at that meeting i.e. Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, Deputy Secretary.  Members also need to be elected to the SDN Management Committee.

If you would like to be elected or you would like to nominate someone (please seek permission first), please complete and return the nomination form below.

SDN holds its Management meetings on the first Thursday in February, April, May, July, August, October and November of each year.  There are no meetings in the same month as Members’ Meetings.

Over the last 11 years SDN has grown and it may be that we need to look at whether it is feasible to continue to hold every Management Meeting from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, or whether it should be a mix of morning and evening meetings.  If your current work prevents you attending meetings during the day, we would ask that you continue to complete and return the nomination form to us, indicating that you would like meeting times to be varied.

 Click here to download a nomination form: SDN Nomination Form 2019

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Have you the skills to be our next Chair or Secretary?

Shropshire Disability Network, our charity is run entirely by volunteers.  We are committed to improving the experiences of people living with disabilities, their carers and families. We cover the county of Shropshire, including the Telford & Wrekin area.

At our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September we election people to serve on our Management Committee and have the following vacancies to fill. Chair and Secretary as well as deputies.

Click here for-Description of the role of Chair: Chair advert (3)

Click here for-Description of role of Secretary: Secretary advert (1)

If you would like to take on either the above roles, or know someone who may be willing to be the next Chair or Secretary of our growing charity, please let us know. 

Volunteering increases self-confidence.  If you have a desire to bring change for people with any kind of disability or their carers and families and to help them find a voice, this role will help provide support for these people.  Our volunteers have found that their efforts for Shropshire Disability Network have given them a sense of accomplishment as well as pride and identity.

If you would like to know more, please contact either Ruby Hartshorn on 07780 852 229 or Ann Shaw on 07970 816 030.  Or email [email protected]or [email protected]

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SDN, Your Charity Needs You!

Shropshire Disability Network is run in its entirety by Volunteers and without people giving of their time, our charity would not exist.

We appreciate all who volunteer for us, whether it is one hour a week or occasional help at Awareness Days and Bucket Collections etc, writing an article for our website and/or newsletter or serving on our Management Committee or working behind the scenes enabling SDN to be the place for disability information in Shropshire as well as helping give disabled people and carers in Shropshire a voice.

SDN will not be able to sustain its work or continue to grow without members/people coming forward to take up volunteer roles. 

We have several opportunities available, here are a few.

A-Z Listing of Useful Organisations: Our listing of over 700 local and national organisations is an important resource, used by many people, professionals and organisations. People visit as they are seeking much needed information for those in the region living with disabilities as well as their families and carers. 

We are looking for a volunteer, who will keep this directory up to date ie check information is current, website links work and logos are correct etc . The volunteer will need to be able to work methodically. Training will be given. For the right applicant this could be a very rewarding opportunity. If you think this is something you could do, you will be helping SDN and the wider Community.

Events: We offer the opportunity to have events listed on our website. This is one of our most popular website pages It is always helpful when people use our easy fill form, at this link as we can then verify and authorise publication. Using the form is the quickest way to get your event publicised and by using it, you help save our Webmaster, Chair and Secretary time as you know your event better than us. While we would prefer people to use the form at the link above, we are looking for one or two people who would be willing to complete and submit forms to us. Training will be available.

Website: We do not need programmers! We would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in overseeing our website, with a view to taking on the role of webmaster. We would also like one or two people who we can train to upload information onto our website. A little creativity and an eye for what makes a good picture now and again otherwise this is perfect for somebody who likes to spend a little time on line.

Why Volunteer? Volunteering for SDN can help you in many ways by building confidence that has often been lost through having the added difficulties in life of having a disability. Some Volunteers tell us, they find it enjoyable and fulfilling but also have become part of a new family. Some people start to volunteer as a way to get back into employment. If you would like to volunteer for a good local charity, we would like to hear from you.

If you would be interested in volunteering for any of the above, please email [email protected] or complete this form or for an informal chat please call SDN on 07780 852229 (answerphone available)

Note: SDN will request References. We do offer necessary out of pocket expenses. 




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Your Voice May-June 2019

Catch up with Shropshire Disability Network’s (SDN) activities in this latest edition of Your Voice.

Read news and views from fellow disability-oriented organisations and public bodies too. From “Awkward Bastards”, the new Victim Advice Line in the West Mercia Police area, and inclusive cycling, to information and open days for people living with multiple sclerosis or a stoma, there is much variety.

For puzzle fans, we also have a wordsearch on the back page, courtesy of SDN member Gill.

Log in to the Members’ Area at the top right-hand side of this page, and then download your copy of Your Voice by clicking on the link below. If you have suggestions for future editions, please email [email protected] . We would love to receive your comments.

Your Voice May-June 2019

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Disabled facilities in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Disability Network has received a letter from one of its members. We have been given permission to share it with you. SDN decided not to disclose the writers name.

Our member wrote:

“I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes politically in Shrewsbury, but I get the distinct impression that Shrewsbury Council want to drive out disabled people.  The latest traffic restrictions in Pride Hill and Butcher Row illustrate.  

I was just wondering whether SDN had any “voice” when the council pulled the funding for Shopmobility in Shrewsbury.  This service is needed for Shrewsbury, not only for residents, but what does it say about us as a town to visitors and tourists that we have no Shopmobility, it does not encourage the less mobile to visit our lovely town and spend money, therefore boosting the local economy.  Just look around at the empty shops.

I have travelled around quite a bit, and I must say, some areas/towns of the country very much impress me with their attitude to the disabled.  Stratford Upon Avon, has free parking including free on street parking.  I’m not for free parking myself just because I’m less mobile, and think that I should pay like anyone else, but it is refreshing when you see things like this and makes you feel welcome. Scotland as well, seemed very “switched on” to the needs of the disabled in many aspects, I was well impressed when I spent a holiday up there and the facilities that were available and accessibility was not a problem, even in the most remote of places.  Sorry to rant on, but I think it’s about time we had better parking and facilities to give a more welcoming feel to our disabled visitors”.

Shropshire Disability Network appreciates the time our member has taken to contact us. We have communicated with the author regarding what SDN has done so far ie twitter poll and email communications.

Disabled facilities in Shrewsbury:

Shrewsbury Big Town Plan- We put information on our website and told members at our meetings about the exhibition in Shrewsbury in 2017. In response to repeated requests for updates on Shrewsbury Big Town plan, we received information on 21st February 2019. This was published in our March/April 2019 Newsletter. We are aware there are further plans to engage with our members.

Large Print Copies of Shrewsbury Big Town Plan-In February 2019, we received 10 large print copies of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan. We have a couple of copies left, if anyone would like one, please call/text 07780 852229

How can you help us be the “Voice” for disabled people in Shropshire?

If you are concerned about the pending closure of Shrewsbury Shopmobility (closed 31st May 2019) or Shrewsbury Big Town plan, we would like to hear from you. Please contact using one of the following ways, by doing so you are helping to give disabled people and carers in Shropshire a voice.

Note this article was published on May 29th. At the time Shropshire Disability Network believed Shrewsbury Shopmobility was closing on June 30th. Today (Wednesday 6th June) we have been informed by Shropshire Council that the date of closure had been brought forward to 31st May 2019. If you used this facility, please let us know how it will impact on you. Thank you.



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Your Voice March-April 2019

Welcome to a springtime edition of Your Voice!

Inside we celebrate 50 years of a national charity based in Ellesmere, two new patrons for Shropshire Disability Network (SDN), inclusive “parkruns” in Shropshire and the services of an SDN member based in Whitchurch.

We bring you updates on Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, See and Hear Shropshire Exhibition, Citizens Advice Shropshire’s opening hours, pension credit and taxi licensing. We also bring you the first in a series of SDN articles related to safeguarding.

Log in to the Members’ Area at the top right-hand side of this page, and then download your copy of Your Voice by clicking on the link below. If you have suggestions for future editions, please email [email protected] . We will be happy to receive your comments.

Your Voice March-April 2019

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Safe Place Shropshire at Barclay’s Bank Bridgnorth

Each year, courtesy of Barclay’s Bank Bridgnorth, a raffle is held to raise funds for the work of Safe Place Shropshire.

Again this year there are some lovely prizes to be won, including a Hamper, Teddy Bear, set of Jess the Goth Fairy books and a few others.
If you call in anytime this week (Monday 18th and Friday 22nd March 2019) between 0930 (1000 on Wednesday 20th) and 1630 not only can you buy a raffle ticket giving you the chance to win a lovely prize, you can also pick up one of our “I need Help” cards. Tickets cost £1 per strip.

We thank Jo and the staff at this branch of Barclay’s Bank for this opportunity to raise funds for us. Barclay’s Bank will match fund the amount raised.

We thank Jo Allmond for organising this event and the volunteers from Shropshire Disability Network and the staff of Barclays Bank for staffing this event. Thank you to all who have donated prizes.

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Breaking News-Shropshire Disability Network (SDN) welcomes Two new Patrons

SDN is pleased to be celebrating ten years since our launch. We have grown from being a group of people who meet and plan, to having a website with a wealth of information. We are recognised as the “go-to” place for relevant, timely and up to date information for anyone with a disability as well as carers. Our membership continues to grow. We have a regular newsletter and lead on the Safe Places community initiative. At our quarterly meetings, we try to bring you guest speakers who will inform and inspire. We engage with many groups and our signposting enquiries are rising.

At this morning’s meeting, Ruby Hartshorn, Chair of SDN said “We are recognised as a leading local charity by other organisations in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.  In 2014 we lost our patron, Emma, who passed away due to her condition.  Until now, the time was not right to appoint someone to replace her.  However, to celebrate our tenth anniversary, we are proud to announce a new appointment”.

SDN has asked two local people, who are already well known to its members to take on the important role of SDN Patron.  They are respected in the area of disability and already have several credits to their name.  We anticipate that both will raise our public profile in their work with SDN.

Jess Noal Hiles

Jess Noel-Hiles, is an active campaigner in the People’s Parliament and is a published author.  She is also a gold medallist in the Special Olympics, having won the Boccia Bowls competition.

Paul Bryce

Paul Bryce is a freelance broadcast journalist.  His condition is known as premature retinopathy.  He can see nothing at all. He studied broadcasting at Staffordshire University.  On graduation he began working for the BBC as a freelance producer, broadcaster and presenter.  He is a regular presenter on RNIB Connect Radio.

Ruby continued “At our December meeting, members encouraged SDN Management Committee to seek and appoint the right people. At this morning’s meeting I was delighted to inform our members that Jess and Paul have agreed to be our Patrons and to welcome them in their new roles”.

Look out for our press release coming soon.

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Two Great Speakers and a Special Annoucement

The final preparations have been made for our meeting on Thursday 14th March 2019.

As well as welcoming welcoming two special guest speakers at the University Centre, The Guildhall, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ, we will be making a very special announcement, Why not join us from 10.30 am for networking and refreshments before the start of our meeting at 11 am. 

Mike Layward from DASH (Disability Arts Shropshire) will tell us about their work.  Phil Ramsbotham will talk to us about his journey with Christianity.

We will hold our regular quarterly raffle and there will be other items to buy, some made by our members.  We will have SDN wrist bands for sale.  This is a good way to raise awareness of SDN. You will also have opportunity to purchase our 10th Anniversary Badges at £1 each as well as a Safe Place Shropshire Badge at £1 each. By wearing a badge not only will you be promoting what we do, but you will be helping to fund our work.

So come along, hear from two of SDN’s own members and at the same time find out about what we have been doing recently to help our members.

For further details please contact Ann, our secretary by email  [email protected] or text/phone 07970 816030