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Sport is not cancelled as local care home launches a sporting tournament for residents and local community

MAJOR sporting events across the country might have been cancelled because of Covid-19, but the competitive spirit is still flying high at a care home in Liverpool. Thomas Henshaw Court Care Home, in Liverpool, have put its own tournament for residents. The Summer of Sport was set to coincide with the same week when the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would have been held, over 20 July to Sunday, 26 July 2020.

Residents took part in 1 minute sporting challenges, including:- basketball, cricket, football and table tennis, for coveted trophies, in friendly competition with other care homes across the country, which where then awarded during a special closing ceremony, co-ordinated across all care homes, on Sunday, 26 July 2020.

All 114 care homes run by the not for profit care provider of care and housing for older people, Anchor Hanover, have been hosting their very own sporting tournament, encouraging physical activity and uniting the community in a shared love of sports. The tournament comes at a time when 7.2 million older people in England are physically inactive and aims to keep residents fit and healthy.

Although many sports now have to be played without spectators, staff at Thomas Henshaw Court will be there to cheer residents on. Christopher Wilcock, Deputy Manager of Anchor's Hurst Park Court care home, said:- "We are really looking forward to the Summer of Sport events at Thomas Henshaw Court and have lots planned. It's been very disappointing for our residents with sports this summer being cancelled due to the pandemic, so we have decided to hold a week of sporting events. We are also holding an opening and closing ceremony for our residents and will be presenting prizes for the winners as well as for everyone taking part."

Resident Joan McGuiness, age 80, who has lived at Hurst Park Court for 3 years, is especially looking forward to taking part. Joan said:- "I'm a massive Liverpool fan and am so happy that they have won the League for the 1st time in 30 years. It's a shame we've been unable to celebrate due to the pandemic, but I'm looking forward to the Summer of Sport and joining in the football!"

During the Summer of Sport, Anchor is encouraging colleagues and the local community to take on a sporting challenge of their own. A special TRYathlon includes fun sporting challenges that can be done from home, including milk carton weightlifting, toilet roll keepie uppies, and tea bag target practice. Videos of the TRYathalon posted by people on social media will be turned into an epic sports video montage for care home residents to enjoy.

Locals are also encouraged to share their favourite sporting memories on social media using the hashtag #SummerofSport2020. Even though sporting events might be cancelled this summer, sport still has the power to unite the nation.

Learning disability awareness training to be delivered to all health and social care staff

Oliver McGowan who passed away in 2016 Picture.

ALL health and social care staff in Lancashire and South Cumbria will receive training from health professionals working with people with learning disability and their families in a bid to ensure better healthcare for people who have autism or a learning disability.

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) will deliver the training, in conjunction with the Pathways Associates charity, across all health and social care settings. The project will be delivered over the next 12 months and is known as Oliver McGowan training. Oliver lived with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and learning disability and died in 2016 aged 18. His mother Paula has dedicated her life to campaigning for better health care for people who have autism and learning disability.

All training will be produced in collaboration with self advocates and families and then co-delivered to frontline staff in all appropriate settings across Lancashire and South Cumbria, including Hospitals and care homes.

It is estimated that around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability including 351,000 children.

In 2019, the Government set out their commitment to mandatory training in their consultation response in:- 'Right to be Heard.' This was in response to recommendations made in the second annual Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) report.

Stuart Sheridan, Learning Disability and Autism Transformation Lead at LSCft, said:- "A learning disability can affect the way a person understands information and how they communicate, so it's really important people working in a health and social care have a greater understanding of this so they can provide the very best care and support. We wanted to make this training as impactful as possible, so we're delighted to be working with self advocates, family members and Pathways Associates to develop it. It has the potential to a have a big impact on improving the experience that people with learning disabilities have when they are receiving healthcare and by doing so reduce health inequalities that someone with a learning disability might face."

LSCft is 1 of 56 organisations across the country to be asked to develop and deliver Oliver McGowan training.

Oliver's death highlighted the need for health and social care staff to have a greater understanding of learning disabilities to help improve their skills and confidence when delivering care. Oliver's mum Paula McGowan, who grew up in the North West, led a campaign for more training and explained:- "I have always said that I believed Oliver's death could have been avoided and that better training for healthcare staff might have made all the difference. I am extremely pleased to see that the new training is now coming closer to being a reality. I am proud that it will carry Oliver's name and I hope it ensures that in future everyone with learning disabilities and autism gets access to the levels of high quality care that they need and deserve."

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