Mencap and CBF respond to Learning Disability Census 2015

Today, Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) respond to the publication of the Learning Disability Census Report 2015.
The Census was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and commissioned in the wake of physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with a learning disability at Winterbourne View Hospital exposed by a Panorama investigation broadcast in 2011.
New figures from the Learning Disability Census 2015 show that there are 3500 people with a learning disability in inpatient units, who are still at high risk of abusive and restrictive practices. This is inclusive of 480 patients who were unreported in the Learning Disability Census, an increase of 235 on last year.


‘Press-ups in the park’ is the latest initiative to encourage a group of young people with special needs from Redhill, Surrey to keep in trim. The fine autumn weather has allowed the group – who all live at Ambleside Lodge residential care home – to work-out in the open air. The idea is for the individuals, aged 18 to 28, to develop an exercise regime they can transfer to the local gym for when the days turn colder.

“For most of them it’s the first time they’ve taken part in this kind of regular exercise and they’re loving it,” said service manager Rebecca Cretten.

“It’s a wonderful way of making the most of the great outdoors, especially with the lovely mild weather we’ve had recently.

Grease Is The Word

A group of young people with learning difficulties from St Leonard’s on Sea in East Sussex have hosted their own American-themed fun night with a nostalgic take on the hit movie Grease.

The group who live at Bridgewater House residential care service dressed as Pink Ladies and T-Birds and enjoyed an evening of ‘mocktails’, hot dogs and ice cream to the sound-track of the film.

World’s longest running U2 tribute band to headline London’s Borderline for Mencap fundraiser

Didn’t manage to get tickets to U2’s sold out world tour?
World’s longest running U2 tribute band to headline London’s Borderline for Mencap fundraiser
Foreword by the cousin of iconic U2 guitarist, Edge

Date: Tuesday 15 December 2015
Time: 7pm
Venue: The Borderline, Manette St, London, W1D 4JB
Tickets: £15, available at SEE Tickets and TicketWeb

U2 2, the world’s longest running U2 tribute band, will headline London’s legendary Borderline on Tuesday 15 December for a one off show in aid of learning disability charity, Mencap.

Charity launches search for champions across the country

National children’s charity, Young Epilepsy, has launched nominations to find the UK's epilepsy champions.

Now in it’s fourth year, the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards will celebrate the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations across the country. The prestigious awards ceremony will take place in May 2016 at London. In previous years celebrities such as Actor Martin Kemp, TV Personality Peter Andre, Athelete Dai Green, Olympic Champion James Cracknell and TOWIE star Ferne McCann have attended and shown support to nominees and winners.

Helping pupils overcome a fear of maths

Ask any pupil about their ‘worst’ subject at school and you will often get the answer, ‘maths’. Many adults will agree - weirdly it’s still socially acceptable to say you are ‘bad at maths’, or ‘not a maths person’. This has got to change and I’m convinced that removing the ‘fear’ around the subject will go a long way towards developing more positive attitudes towards this vital skill.

Schools step up for Slippers for Shelter to help homeless children this Christmas

School children across the country are getting ready to give their old school shoes the boot, and slide on their slippers instead – all in support of children who will be homeless this Christmas. With a shocking 100,000 children in Britain facing the prospect of waking up homeless on Christmas morning, Shelter is calling on schools to take part in their Christmas appeal, Slippers for Shelter. On Friday 4th December, school children can support Slippers for Shelter in three simple steps:

•Wear your slippers into school;

Important reminders for nurses for Bonfire Night burns

The Children’s Burns Trust predicts that this year 500 children and their families will join the growing number of people who will remember bonfire night for the wrong reasons; with firework injuries to the eyes, head or hands.

If children or adults present with firework burns, although no burn is the same, all burn wound management should aim to:
• Promote spontaneous healing
• Prevent further tissue loss
• Prevent infection
• Provide optimal conditions for surgery, if required
• Be as pain free as possible
• Be acceptable to the patient.
These aims are achieved through:
• Pain management
• Wound cleansing
• Wound debridement, including blister de-roofing
• The use of wound dressings.

Leading charities warn of funding crisis in vital disabled children’s services

New research published today by the Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) campaign shows more than half of local authorities have cut spending on short breaks (respite services) for families with disabled children since 2011/12. The research also shows that families are reporting it is more difficult to access short breaks.   The consortium of charities are warning of the economic and social consequences if local authorities are forced to make further cuts to short breaks services and are calling on the Chancellor to renew the government’s commitment to investing in short break services in this autumn’s spending review as he did in 2010.


Scotland’s largest visual impairment organisation will today launch a new service to support teachers in mainstream schools who have visually impaired children in their classroom. The Royal Blind Learning Hub will provide training, support, advice and workshops to all those involved in the education of visually impaired children and young people across Scotland.

Sense is calling for visions of the future from deafblind people

National deafblind charity, Sense, 60:60 Vision campaign seeks to explore what deafblind and multi-sensory impaired (MSI)people want the world to be like in sixty years time. The charity is calling on deafblind people, their families and supporters to share their visions of the future for deafblind people.

The campaign forms part of the charity’s 60th anniversary year in which the organisation is celebrating achievements made to date, as well as looking to the future to envisage what changes could be made to improve the lives of deafblind people.

Ambitious about Autism host seminar on The Care Act 2014 in Holborn

Ambitious about Autism, the leading national charity for children and young adults with autism, are holding a seminar for parent, carers and professionals on the Care Act 2014 and the law on social care, on Thursday October 15th at St Albans Centre, Holborn, London.

The law concerning how adults (18+) with disabilities are cared for, and the rights of carers, has changed with the implementation of the Care Act 14. The new Act gives carers considerably strengthened rights to support. The seminar is relevant for parents and carers of young people aged 16+ and the professionals who support them. It is heavily subsidised for parents and carers (£10 including lunch) and promises to be a really useful event with a range of speakers including:

New Music Centres to Open in Bristol

Two new Music Centres open their doors this week as part of a city-wide education programme to support 10,000 young people learn, play and perform music. Bristol Plays Music, the city’s music education hub based at Colston Hall, set-up the new facilities in response to demand for more places to join a choir, band, ensemble or orchestra. They are at Bristol Music Centre South, based at Merchants’ Academy covering the south of the city, and the Bristol Centre for Young Musicians at Bristol Cathedral Choir School based in the city centre.

National deafblind charity Sense is offering free yoga, swimming and football

National deafblind charity Sense is running accessible, free exercise sessions for young people and adults aged 16 and over with sight and hearing impairments. Participants will have the chance to try yoga, swimming or football and have fun in a friendly environment. All activities take place at accessible venues and parents, carers and support workers are welcome to join in as well.

Half of Parents Will Take Their Kids Out of School for Holidays Over Next 12 Months

New research by an online travel agency in the UK has revealed that half of parents with children aged between 4 and 16 plan to take them out of school during term time for a holiday; with 82% saying that they would be prepared to pay a fine. The majority stated that they didn't think time out of school would affect their youngster's education in the long run.

Half of parents with children aged between 4 and 16 years old in the UK are prepared to face potential fines over the next year, after admitting that they plan to take their children out of school for a holiday during term time. The majority of these, 91%, will do so in order to save money on their family trip; whilst 24% admitted to doing the same during the last school year.

New Schools Network wants parents to have the right to sack failing heads 

The New Schools Network is calling for greater power to be put into the hands of parents when their local school is failing to perform. A new ‘parental trigger’ would allow parents to voice their dissatisfaction and set in motion change, ranging from an immediate action plan through to a change in leadership.

The charity that sets up free schools is to put forward the idea in a submission to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee. Nick Timothy, director of the New Schools Network said: “Free schools are putting parents in charge, because they’re giving parents more choice about where to send their children to school.

“But there needs to be more accountability in the system so parents can get the change they want when a local school is failing.

New Vision Screening Programme for Primary Schools

A ground-breaking New Vision Screening Programme for primary schools has been launched to help the one million children who have undiagnosed eye conditions in the UK.

The programme is a completely free and quick online assessment system and accompanying toolkit that school personnel, such as teachers, school nurses or administrators, can use to vision screen children.

The Boots Opticians Schools Vision Screening system checks visual acuity to help identify vision defects including amblyopia, refractive error and strabismus.

Once the screening is complete, at the press of a button a letter is produced that advises parents whether their child needs a referral to an opticians or not.