Equality A Diversity A Inclusion

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June 2018 Newsletter Vol 68


At the Volunteer Midlothian, Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony, as part of Volunteers’ Week, on Thursday 7 June at Newbattle Abbey College, Forward Mid Volunteers won the Health & Wellbeing Award. 2018.

Mike Harrison accepting the Volunteer award presented by Allister Short & Mairi Simpson, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership.Pictured is Mike Harrison accepting the Volunteer award won by himself, Jeff, Marlene and Iain Tait, presented by Allister Short & Mairi Simpson, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership. This award is a testament to many hours of work over the year in the interest and well-being of disabled citizens across Midlothian. The testament to a small group of committed, motivated energised, disabled people working in generous spirit towards improving the lives of disabled people across Midlothian.

“Well earned appreciation, and the least the recipients deserve – Midlothian people benefit so much from their immeasurable input, carried out professionally and with (sometimes dubious) humour.” – Catherine Acton, Local Area Co-ordinator.

“It is recognition of all the many volunteer hours they contribute, not just to Forward Mid, but to many other groups and organisations, JPDPG being only one of them.

Well done and very well deserved. Congratulations”

Jayne Lewis. Planning Officer, Physical Disabilities. Midlothian Council.

Enormous thanks and appreciation of Jeff Adamson, Marlene Gill. Iain Tait and Mike Harrison for their incredible effort, motivation, energy, individual and team skills and contributions, humour and determination over the last year. Well Done team!!

2018 Busy Launch of Disabled Peoples Directory

Front Page of the 2018 DirectoryForward Mid Launched there 2018 Disabled Persons Directory and the Self Directed Support Guide, at the MVA Office, 4-6 White Hart street, Dalkeith.

The event on the 16th May 2018 proved very popular and it was very well attended. In fact as the event started it quickly became very busy. Free Coffee’s Teas and Croissants were very well received everyone who attended had kind words about the directory, however the Self-Directed Support Guidelines had to be explained in depth as not many people had any knowledge of this subject.

the launch of the 2018 directory for disabled people in midlothianWhere can you pick up a copy?

All midlothian libraries, MVA office in Dalkeith. You can request a copy by writing to Eric Johnstone at 4-6 White Hart Street, Dalkeith EH 22 1AE, or Email eric.johnstone@mvacvs.org.uk or Phone Telephone logo 0131-663-9471

I prefer an Electronic copy? Then download it from www.forwardmid.org.uk/directorypage1a.html you will find two copies the smaller size is for phones and tablets.

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A Treat Coming to Café Connect

Lea Taylor from Scottish Storytellers will be visiting Café Connect in August 2018, with her collection of wondrous stories and songs, put a reminder in your diary now 28th August 2018. This is something very special.

Lea brings her storytelling alive by encouraging active participation with stories and songs. These include Traveller tales, Celtic tales, international tales, fairy tales, wonder stories, environmental stories, peace tales and original stories.

Cover of lea Taylor Midlothian Folk Tales bookLea is passionate about storytelling’s ability to inspire, inform, educate, enable and enlighten. While she has extensive experience of storytelling with family groups and children she has also used her skills in a variety of other contexts ranging from schools (transition and project work) to business and community groups.

Founder member for BagaTelle, Midlothian’s storytelling development group and long-standing member of the Botanic Gardens ‘Talking Trees’ Lea is always passionate about using storytelling in all the activities she is involved in. In 2013 Lea developed the First Young Storytellers Festival (Edinburgh, Lothians, Dunbar) and is actively involved with Young Storytellers Scotland. Her book Midlothian Fold Tales is now for sale on Amazon.

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Café Connect

Forward Mid

Forward Mid is an active vibrant and purposeful group of people whose aim is to improve the lives of physically disabled people in Midlothian at home, at work and in the community.
For further details please contact Eric Johnstone Tel: Telephone logo 0131 663 9471

A community Cafe in Dalkeith. It is a monthly get together for physically disabled people, Carers and people with disabled friends.

In fact, Café Connect is for anyone looking for a cup of tea or coffee.

3d image blue stick men holding hands

2016 Forward Mid Fabric logoForward


Disabled People

Equality A Diversity A Inclusion

White cup and saucer with teaspoon coffee in cup

Last Tuesday of the month
2 P.M. - 4 P.M.
Dalkeith Old People’s Welfare Hall
Saint Andrew Street

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Thousands of Scots Face Social Care debt

Thousands of Scots in Social Care are trapped in debt as they struggle to meet the costs of their care.

An investigation by the GMB Union has revealed that more than 15,000 people fell into arrears for their care costs over the past two years.

Of the 15,733 found to be in debt, 6,443 people were registered by their local authority as being subject to debt management procedures for non-payment of Social Care charges.

Scotland against the Care Tax FlagOver the last years, 11 people ended up in court for non-payment, this was a marked increase from 2015/16 when no proceedings were launched.

The Union has warned that the amount of people struggling to meet their care costs is likely to be higher as not all local authorities respond to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests submitted. Eight Councils in Scotland did not reply to the Union.

The Investigation found 166,835 people across the UK fell into arrears on the Social Care Payments, with 78,000 debt management procedures recorded.

“These stark figures show the UK’s Social Care ticking time-bomb has now blown a gaping hole in families’ finances.”
Said; GMB National Officer Sharon Wilde.

“The fact more than 1,000 people have been taken to court because they are unable to pay for the costs of their own care – or that of their loved ones – shows the system just isn’t working.

Meanwhile, our ageing population is creating a huge demand on for care staff – but caring is still not seen as a sought-after career.”

Charges for non-residential care have been introduced in many Local Authorities in recent years as councils look to address reductions in their funding.

Jeff Adamson, Chair of Scotland against the Care Tax, said:

“We have known for a long time that the Social Care charges drive disabled people into poverty, but these figures are truly shocking.”

“Not only are people who come to councils seeking help at a time of crisis of being driven into debt, Councils then take them to court. THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

Councillor Peter Johnstone, Health and wellbeing spokesman for the convention of Scottish Local Authorities said:

“uthorities are supporting those who are in arrears to manage debt and are striving to reform adult social care.”

Gareth Jones

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Five-a-Side Football Team

five-a-side football Team PlayersOver four years ago, in response to requests from several men connected to Midlothian Local Area Co-ordination (ENABLE Scotland), an informal game of five-a-side football was arranged. This became a regular fortnightly event; indoors during darker evenings and outdoors otherwise. Players have come and gone over the years; however there is a core group of 8-10 competitors, ranging in age and ability, but all keen to build on their skills.

The benefits are clear to see as fitness levels, skills and confidence have increased and friendships, new and old have developed. As in all aspects of life, issues have arisen and learning about compromise and team work has been essential in resolving these. LAC has played an important role in overseeing all these aspects of the play.

Recently Jamie, from Midlothian Council Sport & Leisure, has joined to coach the players. Jamie’s connections with Lothian Special Olympics and Dalkeith Thistle Community Football Club have led to an exciting opportunity for players to train with Dalkeith Thistle and potentially represent Lothian at the Special Olympics GB 40th Anniversary Games in August. The players are thriving in the challenge. Many thanks to Yvonne Hay, MBE, Midlothian Council’s Community Recreation Officer for her input into making this happen.

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Have you Heard

Have you heard Logo

2 White Hart Street,
EH22 1AE
First Wednesday of every month
10.30-11.30 am
No appointment necessary. Just drop in.
(Re-tubing, battery replacement and advice)

Midlothian council Leaf LogoHave you heard Logo

Midlothian Community Hospital,
70 Eskbank Rd,
EH22 3ND
Every Monday
Phone Audiology on Telephone logo 0131 536 1637 and ask for a Midlothian clinic appointment

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Midlothian Disabled People’s Assembly

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be part of a group of people with collective goals. A group of disabled people with Power, Potential and Determination.

What might a Midlothian Disabled People’s Assembly look like?

What might a collective gathering of disabled activists achieve?

Vibrant meetings with guest speakers who inspire and challenge us from Health and Social Care and local & national politicians?

Forward Mid are asking that question and want to explore making it happen.

  • An opportunity to meet, share info, find out what disabled citizens of Midlothian want from Forward Mid.
  • An enthusiastic, energetic group of people, meeting regularly, who know the challenges for PD people and discuss creative solutions to resolve them.
  • A place for Blue-sky thinking.
  • What will this Assembly be known as – let’s all decide.
  • Engaging with disabled people who haven't/can't participated in such events before.
  • Build social and civic relationships with like-minded people.
  • Letting disabled people know that their voices can be heard and acted upon.
  • Inform, Educate and Entertain.

You’ll be hearing more about this idea over next few months.

If the idea interests you In any way – Get in touch. We hope to plan the first gathering of disabled People as Midlothian People’s Assembly later in the year. Any Questions or opinions on ideas – please give us a ring or send us an email. -

Eric Tel: Telephone logo 0131 663 9471   Email: eric.johnstone@mvacvs.org.uk

Midlothian Disabled People’s Assembly Mind map

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Momentum Logo

Momentum, an organisation which helps people with disabilities or who are disadvantaged train for employment has been named as one of the providers of the new Fair Start Scotland programme.

Momentum is the delivery partner for Midlothian and the Scottish borders delivering the Scottish Government’s new Fair Start Scotland programme.

From April 2018 the new Fair Start Scotland service will aim to help at least 38,000 people to find employment, including those facing barriers to entering the labour market.

The key focus for the service will be tailored and personalised support for all those who participate. Key elements of the service are:

  • Tailored in depth Action plans to support individual circumstances
  • 121 support and group learning and development
  • Occupational Psychologist support for those with more complex needs
  • Employment and placement opportunities from our dedicated employer services team
  • Up to 12 to 18 months of support and 12 months of support whilst in work
  • Participation will be entirely voluntary

Delivery Manager Tracy Connerton says,

“Momentum is delighted to be delivering Fair Start Scotland and we are looking forward to helping the people of Midlothian and the Scottish borders on their journey to finding sustainable employment”

The Midlothian Office will be opening shortly in the meantime you can contact:

Tracy Connerton

Fair Start Scotland Delivery Manager

Midlothian and Borders

Telephone logo 07873300974

Or visit www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/

Momentum Scotland is a company limited by guarantee and having charitable status. Registered in Scotland No. SC127950. Scottish Charity No. SC004328. Registered Office: Pavilion 7 Watermark Park, 325 Govan Road, Glasgow G51 2SE.

Companies logos that support Momentum

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I Had a phone call my mum is ill,

I had to get from Edinburgh to Sheffield quick

Hello, my name is Sheree and I’m a wheelchair user. We booked my train ticket online; there is no tick box to request disabled seating. You can add your disabled rail card into the journey.

I then called customer services to ask for special assistance to get me onto the train. I was told because I had just booked the ticket they could not book special assistance and I would have to just find someone at the station. This is already creating anxiety because I will be doing the journey myself; I'm in my wheelchair with my case. We got to the station and luckily my husband and daughter took me down. We could not find anyone to help we just kept getting told to go to this desk or find someone walking around that can help. My train now was leaving in 20 minutes. Eventually, we found a train employee who said he would help. My train was on a different platform so two lifts to get there. Then the stress started again because I had not booked special assistance no one was willing to really help.

After much discussion with various employees, we were told to go up to the end carriage and someone would bring a ramp. There was another wheelchair user and I was told that there are only two disabled areas on the train. So if there were not free then it meant someone would have to sit in a normal booked seat. Eventually, I got on the train having been taken to the last carriage was told it was all the way back to carriage A. I got pushed onto the train, the train left within a minute. I asked if they would let Sheffield know I needed help to get off the train. Of course, I'll call and let them know you require assistance. Now on the train trying to pull myself together and let my anxiety slip away as in my mind, it's all, okay, I will get help. I have had 3 occasions now that I've had no one meet me to help me off the train and had to ask passengers for help. One time I had my children with me we were put on the wrong train.

We arrive at Sheffield and I'm waiting and waiting no one came and in the end, I had to ask Passengers once again to help me!! There was no one around with Ramps or even workers around on the platform. More stress and anxiety created when it should have been a very easy task to help me off the train.

What I also want to add is when I booked my train to come home I booked special assistance as it was more than 24 hours. I got to the station went to the office and they knew I needed help to get on the train. The train arrives I get help to get on. I was assured that someone would meet me in Edinburgh to help me get off. Arrive at Edinburgh and there was the ramp and employee waiting for me. So when booking special assistance for help, it makes your travel and getting on the train very easy no stress just a wave to your family with a smile then relax and enjoy the journey.

When you are assured you will be getting help and assistance and no one is there to help you on or off the train, it's very stressful and worrying as I need to get off at my destination and not end up still being in the train and heading to the next station!!!

My advice would be on the web page there should be a tick box to request the wheelchair area. Make the special assistance booking less than 24 hours, sometimes people do need to book a train at last minute.....Thanks for reading any comments welcome.   a virgin train


Every care has been taken to ensure that the content of this work is accurate at the time of writing. However, no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any statement in this work can be accepted by the authors

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Forward Mid newsletters are available in large print on request from Eric Johnstone Tel: 0131-663-9471 or email eric.johnstone@mvacvs.org.uk write to him at MVA, 4-6 White Hart Street, Dalkeith, EH22 1AE with your request. Electronic copies can be found on www.forwardmid.org.uk. The latest Firefox browser has the reader symbol Firefox reader symbol in address bar in the address bar, click and select narrate from left menu. The latest Safari Browser has the reader symbol Safari Reader symbol in address bar but does not read aloud. These only work on websites without errors. If you require help please contact Forward Mid and we will arrange to help you.

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