Scroll down this page or click on the links below to view the articles in our latest newsletter
Robert Watkins, one of our younger members, recounts his exploits filming with the BBC for its Whizz Whizz Bang Bang programme. Robert, who will be moving up to Gourock High School after the summer may have a budding career in front of him as a designer, read Robert’s own story to find out more....
Recently P7s in Inverclyde were invited to put their names forward for a Workshop at the BBC studios in Glasgow. Two pupils from Gourock Primary School were chosen, Ryan and myself. In a group, with Anton and Adrian from St. Ninians, our task was to design an "all-terrain" wheelchair.
In deciding which type of tracks were best for our chair we were able to test-drive tanks and a four wheel truck at a place called Tanks- A-Lot. I got to drive a Hauggland Bv206, which was really exciting, but also a bit scary. Adrian drove a 4-wheel drive truck and Anton and Ryan drove other, bigger tanks. After consulting with Greg, the BBC presenter who was co-ordinating the filming of the event, we decided that caterpillar tracks were better than wheels. Onwards to Maryhill fire station to look at the hydraulics on the fire engines which would give us ideas for the lifting mechanism so that the wheelchair could rise up.
The next day of filming was in the studios where we helped Ralph, the engineer, build the chair. When the chair was finally finished we went to Mugdock Park in Glasgow to film its trials doing some orienteering. As it turned out the wheelchair we built was very uncomfortable and very bumpy. It made me appreciate how comfortable my own wheelchair is! Filming for Whizz Whizz Bang Bang was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We all got on very well. If I had to sum up the whole experience in one word, it would be... MINDBLOWING!!
John Moody writes about an illness that could affect over 2000 people in Inverclyde...
The World Health Organisation views this condition as being among the top 10 most debilitating illnesses in terms of loss of income and decreased quality of life. This secret condition is known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (known as OCD) and like many mental illnesses there are myths and mistaken ideas about the condition, for many people they may associate it with hand washing and cleaning. Common obsessions include fear of contamination and germs, causing harm to oneself or to others, upsetting sexual, violent or blasphemous thoughts, the ordering or arrangement of objects, and worries about throwing things away.
People may try to fight these thoughts with mental or physical rituals, the compulsions, which involve repeatedly performing actions such as washing, cleaning, checking, counting, hoarding or endless worrying about whether they have done something correctly or that a feared event or action will happen. Avoidance of feared situations is also common; however this often results in further worrying and preoccupation with the obsessional thoughts.
Inverclyde Community Care Forum (ICCF) would like to help people cope with this isolation, and are hosting a support group which meets in their offices at 12 Clyde Square in Greenock. The next meeting of the group is on the 18th April 2007 at 11am. People living with OCD, their families and carers are all welcome. You can contact John Moody at ICCF for more information on 01475 728628
The power of the Internet meant that a former resident of Inverclyde now living in the USA found out about our Shopmobility Service and was so moved that he decided to donate £2000 to further the service. Like ourselves, our local Masons have their own newsletter, which is widely circulated, and it is through this that we have benefited.
Gordon Hendry, one of our directors, went along to the Annual Dinner of the Freemasons of Renfrewshire West Province on 2nd February to collect the cheque on ICOD’s behalf.Gordon thanked the membership for its continuing support of Shopmobility, through caring for two of our scooters, and also for the grand donation. Gordon said, “apart from it being an enjoyable social event it was good to meet up with the members and explain about other services delivered by ICOD. They showed a great interest and are keen to continue supporting our work in helping the disabled community in Inverclyde”.
ICOD campaign on a number of issues, here is a brief update of our activities...
Inverkip Bridge - ongoing concerns about the accessibility of the proposed bridge at Inverkip Station.
Greenock Cut - Working with the country parks authority to ensure recent works help to make the Cut accessible for all.
New schools programme - Working with Inverclyde Council to ensure the new schools will have access for all our pupils.
St Stephens Enterprise Centre - Ongoing negotiations to improve access to this important community resource.
Taxis - Working with taxi companies to ensure everyone can access Taxi services.
Disability Equality Duty - Assisting Inverclyde Council in the development and implementation of their Disability Equality Scheme.
Eating places in Inverclyde - Compiling a directory of accessible eating places in Inverclyde.
Some types of mobility scooter need to be registered with the DVLA and display a “nil duty” tax disc. Scooters which have a maximum speed of 8mph and are designed for road use must be registered. These scooters are known as Class 3 vehicles. Scooters and powered wheelchairs with a maximum speed of 4mph (like those used at Inverclyde Shopmobilty) do not need to be registered. For further information you can telephone the DVLA on 0870 240 0010 or visit http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/invalid_vehicles.aspx
ACUMEN is a mental health service user and carer support network, promoting the participation of service users and carers as equal partners in the development of services. They are currently carrying out a research project in Inverclyde, focusing on the skills, knowledge and positive experience that people with mental health issues have. Only people living within certain areas of Inverclyde who are over 18, have a mental health problem and are out of work can particpate. The research will consist of a confidential questionnaire and group sessions. If you want to help please contact Aileen Bell at ACUMEN, Room 2015, Mile End Mill, 12 Seedhill Road, Paisley PA1 1JS, Tel. 0141 887 9103 or e-mail on email@example.com.
Carers Week -11th-17th June
Look out for a variety of events organised by Inverclyde Carers Centre including a Launch in the Oak Mall on Monday 11th June and an Information Day in Greenock Town Hall, 10am - 2pm on Friday 15th June. Contact the Carers Centre on 735180.
Up to date information on subtitled and audio-described screenings can be found at www.yourlocalcinema.com which has listings for all UK cinemas with these facilities. They can also be contacted by telephone on: 0845 056 9824, textphone users please call using 18001 before the number. Always remember to contact the cinema before you travel to make sure the screening is still taking place.
From time to time our members contact us with disability/mobility equipment for sale, if you would like us to publicise your equipment please contact us.
Welcome to the latest update of Shopmobility! We’re proud to announce that we are now about to register our 700th Service User. Thanks to all who completed our Shopmobility Questionnaire. It is especially important to us to know what you think. After collating the information on the questionnaires, our board have agreed that the Annual Membership Charge as of the 1st June 2007 will be £20. Don’t worry, the fee isn’t due yet, and we will send out reminder letters nearer the time.
After our taste of country life on our last ramble, we will be going for some fresh sea air next time. This is being organised by our social group for Sunday 29th April. We will be visiting the East Promenade at Largs, all the way out to Pencil Point. Rambles are free to anyone wishing to come along and we can provide transport for those wishing to take part. The only cost not included is lunch. Anyone wishing to participate in this event or the social group can call the ICOD office on 01475 732600.
The Greenock Cut has been undergoing some renovation work to make this local beauty spot accessible, and we are pleased to announce that we will be providing three of our electric scooters here. When works are completed there will be a grand opening. Contact ICOD on 01475 732600 for more information.