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The British Polio Fellowship is hosting one of three 75th anniversary roadshow in London in June; with Team GB paralympian Anne Wafula Strike attending to give a talk to member entitled “how to improve your wellbeing”. Anne is well placed to give such a talk, from her position as an experienced competing paralympian, but also as someone suffering from the late effects of Polio, and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). The roadshow is to be held at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel, between 10am and 4.15pm on Thursday 12 June.
“It is such an exciting prospect to have a well-known paralympian such as Anne attending our roadshows; she offers first hand advice about how a person can live an active and healthy lifestyle when living with the late effects of Polio,” explained Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship. Anne supported The British Polio Fellowship earlier this year by presenting the medals to the winners of The British Polio Fellowship National Indoor Games, hosted in Leicester.
The keynote speech on the day is being presented by Anne Glynn, Neuro-rehabilitation Specialist and Physiotherapist at Colchester Hospital Essex. Anne will be discussing the management of the late effects of Polio and PPS, and will follow her presentation with a Q and A session. The afternoon will see a screening of The Journey, followed by a break for lunch before the commencement of the afternoon workshops. These will cover a range of topics from the value of occupational therapy, to updates on the latest changes to disability benefits.
The Heathrow roadshow is the first of three across the country marking the charity’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and will enable members to meet up and attend workshops relating to the late effects of Polio and PPS, while enjoying the entertainment on offer on the day – which will include a screening of The Journey, a unique film where members share their life stories and memoirs relating to Polio and The British Polio Fellowship’s role in their lives.
“We felt that our 75th anniversary was the right time to get out and meet people, we have been overwhelmed by the response from those wishing to attend and the event is already oversubscribed.
“It is set to be one of our most successful roadshows yet, which is a very exciting prospect for us at the charity,” said Ted Hill. “We hold a number of events every year, but this year is very special and our roadshow plans reflect that.”
Part of the activities Ted alluded to include the appearance of a digital graffiti wall, which will enable people to create their own digital works of art as part of the charity’s ‘sowing the seeds of hope’ campaign.
The British Polio Fellowship has been inviting schools and organisations throughout the country to plant wildflower seeds with the aim of raising awareness about the late effects of Polio and PPS in the UK. Some 10,000 packets of seeds provided by Syngenta and Westland Horticulture have also been distributed via the charity’s bi-monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. The campaign will culminate on PPS day when the charity attends a Parliamentary reception on 28th October.
“The start of the Heathrow roadshow coincides with the start of the World Cup in Brazil, but there will be enough activities to keep members occupied and away from the TV screens,” added Ted. “The graffiti wall is very new and exciting and for traditionalists we have our popular history corner and support services information, while a qualified, trained therapist will be on-site offering massage treatments.”
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the effects of Polio and PPS. For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call us on 0800 043 1935, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk
Notes to editor
About the London Heathrow Roadshow
London Heathrow Marriott Hotel
London Heathrow 2014
10.00am – 10.45am Registration
11.00am – 11.45pm Keynote Speech: ‘The Role of the Neuro-Physiotherapist in the management of the late effects of Polio and PPS’ Presented by: Anne Glynn, Neuro-rehabilitation Specialist, Physiotherapist, Colchester Hospital, Essex
11.45am – 12.00pm Question & Answers
12.00pm – 12.30pm British Polio Film Screening ‘The Journey – Living with Polio & Post Polio Syndrome’
12.45pm – 2.00pm Lunch
2.00pm – 3.00pm Workshops 1 & 2 (running in parallel)
Workshop 1 How can Motability support you?
Workshop 2 How Occupational Therapy can help you continue living independently
3.00pm – 4.00pm Workshops 3 & 4 (running in parallel)
Workshop 3 How to improve your wellbeing – Presented by Anne Wafula Strike
Workshop 4 Disability Benefits – update on latest changes
Throughout the day
Come and visit the popular History Corner where we will once again share our heritage through memorabilia and enable people to positively look back and recall visits to Lantern Hotels, sports and games of past days, outings and the fellowship which many of our members found over the years.
Digital graffiti wall
In between all the serious things we are also ensuring that you can have some fun. Our digital graffiti wall enables you to produce an amazing work of art. The wall, which caters for all abilities,
incorporates a photo booth where you can have your photo taken by our attendant and moments later it appears on-screen ready for you to add your graffiti touches. Your finished artwork can also be saved so you can then send your image(s) to Facebook, Twitter, your email accounts or you can just take away a print.
A therapist will be available to provide a few moments of relaxation by massaging people’s hands. Make sure you don’t miss this welcome treat.
Support Services information
Laura, our Information Officer, will be on hand to answer any questions you may have relating to your condition and provide information on literature available to support your needs.
You will have an opportunity to purchase some of our latest merchandise produced to mark our special 75th Anniversary
About Anne Wafula Strike
Anne was born in a rural village in Kenya, contracted Polio aged just two and half, she struggled to get to grips with her disability as she didn’t have a wheelchair to help her, only callipers and crutches. Anne faced prejudice from those in her village that didn’t understand the illness.
Despite these setbacks and contending with prejudice, Anne achieved fantastic academic results, went to university which made her qualified as a teacher, she then ultimately moved from a village that didn’t even have running water to make a new life with her partner in Britain.
As she moved to the UK she found that she had much more access as a disabled person and that people were more accepting of her disability. When Anne moved to the UK she watched the Commonwealth Games of 2002, where she saw her future competitor’s wheelchair racing, she was inspired by these women and made the decision that she would like to take up wheelchair racing herself, a mere couple of years later she was racing against them.
Anne went on to be the first East African to compete in her sport of wheelchair racing internationally, once she had become a British citizen she join Team GB and was given the honour of being the torch bearer for the Paralympian team, she is now a role model and inspiration for a new generation of women.
About the British Polio Fellowship
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). It provides information, advocacy, welfare and support to enable its members to live full independent and integrated lives and works to develop worldwide alliances with other Polio and post Polio groups for the mutual benefit of its members.
Further information about the British Polio Fellowship and details on how to make a donation can be found at www.britishpolio.org.uk or by calling 0800 043 1935.
About Post Polio Syndrome (PPS)
Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a neurological condition which can occur in up to 80 per cent of those who have had Polio. It is thought that around 120,000 people in the UK are living with the effects of Polio or PPS today.
After an interval of several years of stability, individuals can develop increasing weakness, fatigue and pain in previously affected or unaffected muscles, a general reduction in stamina, breathing, sleeping and/or swallowing problems and cold intolerance. PPS usually begins very slowly, although it can appear suddenly and often following triggers such as falls, surgery or immobility.
There is no specific cure for PPS, but properly managed it may stabilise or only progress slowly and lessen the cost on the NHS. Much can be done to retain independence, including appropriate treatment for symptoms, self-management strategies such as pacing and energy management, appropriate use of adaptive equipment, looking after your general health, and social and emotional support.
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR
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