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Issue:- 2 February  2012

Local disability charity champions dignity in care

VITALISE Sandpipers unveils new range of respite break opportunities for the region’s disabled people and carers.  National disability charity Vitalise, which runs the Sandpipers respite centre in Southport, has marked national Dignity Action Day by unveiling an innovative range of accessible respite break opportunities for people with disabilities and carers from the North West region in its UK Breaks Brochure 2012.

Among Sandpipers’ provision in 2012 will be Youth and Young at Heart Weeks, aimed at the younger age group, while the centre’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Weeks, which provide a supportive environment for couples affected by dementia to spend quality time together and reconnect as husband and wife, have also been stepped up in response to demand.

The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will also be a top attraction at Sandpipers this summer, with tickets secured for the Olympic football. For music lovers, the centre has added a new Beatlemania Week devoted to the legendary Fab Four, featuring a performance from a top tribute act, to complement its ever-popular Queen Week.

To complete the programme, a wide variety of Special Interest Weeks to suit all tastes has been laid on, including themes like the Diamond Jubilee, Country & Western, Holistic Therapy, Sci-Fi, Northern Heritage and Animal Magic.

To enable as many people as possible from the region to benefit from a break, Vitalise is currently offering £200 per person off any two-week break at Sandpipers in February and up to 10 March. As a further affordable option, the charity’s new midweek Mini Breaks are also on offer from £199 per person on selected dates in February and March.

Darren Holloran, Vitalise Sandpipers General Manager, said:- "We have chosen Dignity Action Day to announce our range of breaks for people with disabilities, since treating people with dignity and respect is at the very heart of what we do. I really hope that the way we do things here at Sandpipers will be seen as an example of what can be achieved with a fundamental respect for the individual.  We’ve always understood that people with disabilities and carers have every right to expect exactly the same freedoms and choices that anyone else would expect from a break, which is why we’ve worked so hard to provide a greater range of revitalising breaks and inspirational experiences at Sandpipers than ever before."

In addition to Sandpipers, Vitalise operates two other specialised UK centres located in Chigwell in Essex and Southampton, each providing 24-hour nursing care on call and the personal support of volunteers, together with an inclusive programme of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment.

The aim of the breaks is to improve the quality of life of people affected by disability through socially inclusive programmes of activity which are designed to restore their confidence, wellbeing and capacity to cope.

Vitalise subsidies the cost of all its breaks. The subsidies are generated through the charity’s own fundraising efforts, with the aim of making the breaks as affordable as possible to all. As a further raft of support for people in particular financial hardship, discretionary funding is available through the charity’s Joan Brander Memorial Fund, which was set up in memory of Vitalise’s founder.

The new Vitalise UK Breaks Brochure 2012 is available from Vitalise by calling 0303 303 0145, email or download.

The Club is alive… with the sound of music!!!

DO you find yourself singing around the house, and feel that you need more? If so, then this is for you. The Club has teamed up locally with KTB Music to bring you the brand new Longton VM Choir. But before we get the song sheets printed or buy the baton, the club as thought it should conduct some quick on-line market research to help with the planning, namely:-

1. Has anyone got a piano they could lend us, or even might want to get rid of?

2. Are you free on Wednesday Evenings from 7:30pm to 9:00pm?

"Whilst we are not aiming for this year`s Christmas No. 1, we are certainly aiming for a good night out, with a good group of people of all ages and abilities. You don`t need to be a Charlotte Church or a Russell Watson, but just someone who wants a good sing song. Once we get enough replies, we can then sort out a start date and let you have more details. Are you up for it?" Manager, Andrew Worthington told us.

If you can help go to:- for contact information.

The North West Economy Forecast A £90m benefit From Royal Lytham & St Annes Open Golf!

AN independent study commissioned by Open Championship organiser, The R&A, has forecasted that this year’s event, to be staged at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club, will deliver a total economic benefit close to £90,000,000 to the regional economy of the North West!

The headline figure includes a forecast economic impact of £35.1 million and a destination marketing benefit of £52.6 million gained through global television exposure of the week-long event to be held over 15 July to 22 July 2012.

Researchers at the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University base their economic impact forecast on 185,000 spectator admissions and the established spending pattern of players, the media, event staff, sponsors and organisers measured over the last two championships.

Commenting on the research findings, R&A Executive Director - Championships, Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said that:- "The Open Championship comes to England’s Golf Coast to provide the best players in the world with a true test of golf and it is good to know that we also bring an important financial boost to the host economy."

Welcoming The Open Championship economic impact forecast, Fylde Borough Council Chief Executive, Allan Oldfield said:- "Having The Open Championship in town is clearly beneficial to local people and businesses in Fylde and we look forward to welcoming the many thousands of spectators destined to attend this years event."

Commenting on the wider legacy of The Open Championship, Lancashire County Council Chief Executive, Phil Halsall said:- "The Open this year will be the Championship’s third visit to the North West in just seven years. In hard times the cash injection that comes with hosting the event can make a real difference to the economic outlook of the region."

Companies in the North West are demonstrating their enthusiasm to do business at The Open accounting for 30% of official hospitality sales to date.

Overall official hospitality sales are a third up on last year at this time with some packages already sold out. Official hospitality packages are available exclusively through:- and companies should be aware that unofficial operators do not have on-course facilities.

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