doubts over Paralympic legacy
JUST 2 months on from the
opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, a new survey of people
with disabilities and carers has found that the Paralympic legacy
may not be as far-reaching as hoped.
In a survey by national disability charity Vitalise, which runs the
Sandpipers respite break centre in Southport, 54% of the respondents
thought that the public did not have a better understanding of the
day to day lives of people with disabilities as a result of the
The findings have cast clear doubts on whether any profound change
in the public's perception of the reality of disability has occurred
and come a matter of weeks after the Prime Minister David Cameron
talked about his hopes for a Paralympic legacy at the Conservative
Even though 82% of the people with disabilities and carers surveyed
felt that the public was more aware and open-minded towards them as
a result of the Paralympics, 40% expressed worries that any positive
change would just be temporary.
The survey was conducted in September and early October among the
people with disabilities and carers who have taken much-needed
respite breaks with Vitalise. 65% of the respondents were people
In the light of the findings, Vitalise is urging society as a whole
to help sustain the Paralympic legacy by engaging with the day to
day lives of people with disabilities and helping them play a much
more significant role in society.
Vitalise Chief Executive, Chris Simmonds, said:- "Earlier this
month, in a moving reference to his son, David Cameron talked of
how, thanks to the Paralympics, 'more people would see the boy and
not the wheelchair...' We agree that the Paralympics has helped
society view disability in a much more positive light.
But the feel good factor may not last forever, and our survey has
highlighted the concerns of people with disabilities that they will
fade from public view and become invisible to society once again. We
must not let that happen.
The real work to sustain the Paralympic legacy starts now. Unless we
as a society permanently change the way we view and value the
capabilities and aspirations of people with disabilities, the true
potential of the UK's disabled population may never be realised."
Vitalise's call is being backed by Team GB paralympian and 7/7
survivor Martine Wright, who was recently named the Vitalise Woman
of Achievement 2012.
Martine said:- "As someone who only recently acquired the
label 'disabled', I have experienced this issue from both
sides. I consider myself lucky in the sense that since 2005 I have
managed to achieve many of my dreams, but I'm keenly aware that the
reality of life for the vast majority of people with disabilities is
very different. People with disabilities have huge potential.
They want to play a part in society, to make a contribution, but too
often they are held back by the negative attitudes of others. The
Games have done an enormous amount of good, but until we start
thinking in terms of what people with disabilities can do, not what
they can't, I'm worried that little will change in the long run."
Commenting on the high profile of people with disabilities in the
wake of the Games, one respondent said:- "Para Olympics has
made a lot more people realise what can be achieved, a lot of
different people have told me they did not realise how much people
like myself can do, so there is far greater awareness since the
However, many respondents doubted whether the Paralympic 'feel good'
factor would have any long-term effects. One respondent commented:-
"I would like to think that the understanding and empathy
towards people with disabilities would last. Unfortunately I believe
that unless you know someone personally or have a disability
yourself, there are many people who choose not to engage or
understand those who are different."
Trick or Treat & Recycle
with Palm Recycling!
"RECYCLE Your Pumpkins" is the message
to residents of Sefton this Halloween, who are being urged to place
them in their kerbside food waste bins, provided by Ellesmere
Port-based Palm Recycling Ltd, who undertake recycling on behalf of
The popularity of Halloween and of course the grizzly Pumpkin
Lanterns, means there's never been a better time to kick-start your
food waste recycling than by placing them in the food waste bins.
Sefton's food waste recycling service, provided by Palm Recycling is
a convenient and very environmentally friendly way of disposing of
gruesome lanterns where you know they will have an ecologically
sound journey into the afterlife.
Residents who have opted into the food waste collection scheme need
only remove candles and tea lights, along with any metal handles,
and cut the pumpkin up to fit in their food waste caddy. Recently
deceased pumpkins, together with any glass bottles, jars and paper
waste from ghoulish gatherings and Halloween parties, can be
disposed of safe in the knowledge that they will meet a less than
grizzly end, but instead recycled into new and useful
Cllr. Hardy, Cabinet Member, Communities and Environment, said:-
"Sefton residents were the first in Merseyside to be able to
recycle their food waste, and this weekly collection is the perfect
service to recycle your pumpkins after Halloween.
It is amazing how much food we waste but now we can divert what was
once thought of as waste,
away from landfill, where it can be recycled into something
useful, which in this case is horticultural products."
Palm Recycling's North West Operations Manager for Sefton, Ruairi
Holyoake, added:- "The weekly kerbside food waste collection
scheme we run works in harmony with the collection of a wide range
of materials for recycling, such as glass bottles and jars, paper,
cans, tins, and textiles. The food waste goes to a special
processing plant in West Yorkshire where it is treated in an
enclosed vessel and the end product is used on local farms as a soil
Residents who are not currently opted into the scheme can request a
food waste bin for outside, an indoor kitchen-handy food caddy and
an information pack, free of charge, by contacting Sefton Council on:-
0845 140 0845. Extra or replacement recycling bags and boxes can
also be requested by calling this number.
NEXT OF KIN APPEAL - DEBORAH
SEFTON'S Coroner's Office
is appealing for any information on the whereabouts of the next of
kin of a 39 year old woman from Southport. Deborah Louise
Corless died at her home in Southport on Thursday, 18 October 2012.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious. An Inquest has been
opened and adjourned whilst further evidence is being gathered.
Deborah is originally from the Lancaster area and it is thought she
may have family still living in the area. Sefton Coroner's
Office would like to hear from her family or anyone who can offer
information that could help trace her family. Anyone with
information should call the Coroners Officer on:- 0151 777 3481.