The Arts Council has announced that it is to spend

first_imgThe Arts Council has announced that it is to spend more than £2.5 million on a programme that aims to increase the number of disabled people in senior leadership roles in England’s arts and cultural organisations.The £2.57 million Change Makers programme, which is also aimed at black and minority ethnic potential leaders, will provide bursaries to fund training placements for nine disabled leaders.Arts Council England (ACE) hopes the bursaries will allow them to gain the necessary experience, knowledge, skills and confidence to compete for future posts as artistic directors, chief executives or other senior positions.One of the disabled people who has secured a grant is artist and arts leader Jess Thom, already well-known through her performing alter ego Touretteshero.She will work with Battersea Arts Centre on an 18-month senior leadership training and development placement, where she will pilot a “relaxed venue” that will take “an inclusive approach at every level”, work on a major new production that will premiere next autumn, and curate a week-long “relaxed festival” at the arts centre in spring 2018.Amit Sharma, currently associate director of the disabled-led theatre company Graeae, will join The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester as associate artistic director for 18 months, where he will direct two productions, and join the theatre’s senior management team.Hannah Kayi Mason, an emerging black and disabled leader in the visual arts, will work with The Art House and other artists and arts organisations on a series of co-productions and solo projects.Another of the nine is James Rose, who has secured a training placement at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), with the help of a private donation.Over 18 months, from June 2017, he will create, curate and direct a new ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians, which he will conduct, and which will deliver a series of performances and workshops across the region.Rose (pictured), who uses a head-baton to conduct, said: “The prospect of developing a new ensemble for the BSO comprising of players with and without disabilities is an exciting one.“This will not only provide a platform for new talented musicians, but it will also be used as a vehicle to inspire those who have disabilities to engage with classical music – whether it be playing or listening.”Abid Hussain, ACE’s diversity director, said: “We’re committed to ensuring the diversity of England is better reflected at a leadership level across the arts and cultural sector.“Through our Change Makers programme, these 20 disabled and black and minority ethnic leaders will have an inspiring and transformational opportunity to realise their leadership potential, giving them the confidence and the experience to take their next step into a senior leadership role, helping to shape the future of our sector.”Picture by Hanazushi Rhodes, Royal Academy of Musiclast_img read more

A disabled woman who took her own life after being

first_imgA disabled woman who took her own life after being told she had lost a benefits appeal had written a letter to civil servants describing the unfairness of the face-to-face assessment that had led to her losing her support.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took just six days to decide her initial appeal, not long enough for Susan Roberts (pictured) to submit any evidence that could have backed up her claim for personal independence payment (PIP).A DWP civil servant even told her – in a letter dismissing this initial appeal, known as a mandatory reconsideration – that there was no evidence that she could have submitted that would have changed her mind.Two months later, she received another letter, this time telling her that a tribunal had also rejected her appeal.The body of Susan Roberts was discovered the following day by a care worker at her warden-assisted flat near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, surrounded by letters telling her that she would not be entitled to PIP.She had also placed a note by her side that informed healthcare professionals that she did not want them to attempt to resuscitate her.An inquest into the 68-year-old’s death did not record a verdict of suicide, but her daughter is convinced that she took her own life, because of the way she died, and because her body was discovered surrounded by her PIP paperwork and the “do not resuscitate” notice.Hayley Storrow-Servranckx is convinced that her mother would still be alive today if it was not for the flawed PIP system, and the assessment she had been given by an Atos healthcare professional. Disability News Service (DNS) first reported on the case last week but has now seen the letters Susan Roberts left beside her when she died.She had previously received an indefinite award of disability living allowance, at the higher rate of mobility and the low rate of care, but the documents show that she was told by DWP on 19 February 2016 that she was not entitled to PIP.She scribbled several notes on this letter, showing where she disagreed with the conclusions that had been reached following her face-to-face assessment.The documents suggest that the assessor – and then the DWP decision-maker – decided that she could wash and bathe unaided, manage her own toilet needs without any help, express and understand verbal information and engage with other people unaided, walk more than 200 metres, and plan and follow the route of a journey without help, and could do all of these things safely, reliably and repeatedly.But she said that she could not do any of these things.Among the documents seen by DNS is a letter she wrote on 29 February. It appears that she had intended to send it to the DWP decision-maker who was considering her mandatory reconsideration.But a DWP notification that told her that the mandatory reconsideration had already been rejected appears to have arrived before she had a chance to send her letter.DWP had taken just six days to reject her appeal, with a civil servant telling her that “it was not felt any further evidence we received would change the findings based on your assessment”, and again giving her zero points for every single PIP criteria.In her letter, she had written: “I request that you read this through carefully – this is my life after all, and I am in a considerable state of depression at the moment, after receiving your decision about my claim for PIP.”She describes the impact of ME on her daily life, which she said provided a window of just two or three hours every day in which she was free of symptoms such as exhaustion, dizziness and inability to concentrate.She says she has chronic, progressive ischaemic heart disease, and was experiencing “excruciating pain” from a gall bladder that could not be removed because of her heart condition.Her letter also describes how a care worker visited her every day to provide painful rectal irrigation and then give her a shower, how she was deeply depressed and had been so “for a long time”, and that her doctor knew that she wanted to die.It also says that she would be “virtually housebound” without her Motability vehicle – which she had had to return after losing her higher rate mobility benefits – and that she had been considered too ill to work since 2001.She says in the letter: “The over-riding problem I have is that my ME – for 80 per cent of every day of my life – renders me incapable of all else except deep and prolonged sleep!!“When I first had a DLA car, I had good days and bad days – I do not have anything but bad days every day now.”It is not clear whether this or any other similar letter were ever posted, but she asked the tribunal to hear her appeal based only on written documents, and she was told, in a letter sent on 17 May, that that appeal had been rejected.The tribunal had granted her six points for her daily living needs, not enough to claim even the standard daily living rate of PIP, and zero points again for mobility. By this time she had had to return her Motability car.She took her own life on 19 May, which it is now believed was just a day after she received the letter from the tribunal.There have been many cases involving deaths connected with claims for out-of-work disability benefits and the work capability assessment (WCA) system, but this appears to be the first time a death has been closely linked to someone losing their support in the move from DLA to PIP.DNS has now collected many more than 100 cases of PIP claimants who have raised serious concerns about their assessments, following a two-month investigation that suggests an institutional problem that spreads across DWP and the two private sector contractors – Atos and Capita – that assess PIP eligibility on its behalf.Last week, a DWP spokeswoman insisted there was “no evidence to suggest any link” between the death of Susan Roberts and her benefit claim, and that neither DWP nor Atos believed they had made any mistakes in this case, pointing out that the independent tribunal had “upheld the original decision”.It had failed to comment on the latest information by noon today (Thursday).Atos does not currently respond to requests to comment on stories from DNS.last_img read more

MORE than 40000 tickets have been sold for the Ru

first_imgMORE than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford on November 30.RLWC2013 General Manager, Sally Bolton said “The sport of Rugby League has a long standing relationship with Manchester United. Old Trafford is a fantastic, proven arena for our extraordinary game and from day one we had planned for the final to be there.“We have a great relationship with the club and are working closely with them to deliver this world class event, the pinnacle of our sport.“Over 40,000 tickets have now gone for the final and three price categories of tickets have completely sold out. The Rugby League World Cup Final is the must-see sports event of 2013 in the UK and fans are responding to that.”The Rugby League World Cup 2013 is the next major sporting event to be held in the UK following London 2012. Hosted by England and Wales, 14 nations will compete over six weeks of competition which kicks off at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on October 26 with what organisers have billed as ‘The Greatest Show that Rugby League has ever seen’.Tickets are now on sale for RLWC2013, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less. To make sure you’ll #bethere buy now at or call our 24 Hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.last_img read more

ADAM Swift scorched home for four tries but Saints

first_imgADAM Swift scorched home for four tries but Saints ultimately went down 33-26 in Catalan.In an end to end contest Zeb Taia’s late effort secured the spoils for the home side.A breathless first half saw Swift grab a hat-trick to leave Keiron Cunningham’s men ahead at the break.Jordan Turner supplied the pass for two of them whilst Shannon McDonnell laid on the other – as well as going under the sticks himself.The second half – one which Saints dominated for long periods – was less free-flowing but equally as compelling.Swift cancelled out Morgan Escare’s effort to set up a barnstorming finish before Taia did the rest to finally break the visitor’s resolve.Saints started the game well and tagged the opener in the first couple of minutes.Luke Walsh’s clearing kick and great defence forced an error from Morgan Escare – and Swift began his assault on the scoreboard.The kick was inch perfect into the in-goal area; leaving the fullback with no option other than to collect and step into the field of play.But as he did he was bundled into touch by a very energetic Jon Wilkin – giving Saints a scrum.The ball then came left, through Walsh, Burns and McDonnell – in his second game this season for the club – for Swift to go over in the corner.Burns missing the conversion.Catalan forced two drop outs as they pinned back the visitors but Saints defended the trouble.The home side then won a penalty and Benjamin Garcia scored after the video referee ruled there hadn’t been an obstruction in the build up.Scott Dureau putting them in front.Buoyant, Catalan were on the front foot and were awarded a number of penalties which got them down the field.And the Dragons went further ahead when Dureau caught Zeb Taia on a good line.Saints were guilty of not respecting the ball and as a result were being pegged back.But on 26 minutes Swift scored again following a fantastic pass from Jordan Turner.Walsh kept the ball alive, got it to the centre who offloaded and allowed his wingman to power over.It was the perfect response following Catalans’ try and at the half hour mark they scored again.After forcing a drop-out Saints recycled the ball – Turner offloaded – and Swift went over.A lovely first half hat-trick from the flyer!And it got better as on 35 minutes McDonnell went in for his first of the year – again thanks to a superb exchange of passes between Walsh, Roby and Burns.But Garcia replied almost immediately after some great handling from the Dragons to make it a two point game at half time.Saints began the second half in the ascendancy having a set… and a penalty… on the Dragons’ line.Catalan weathered the storm and on 52 minutes almost went ahead but Tommy Makinson stopped a certain Fouad Yaha try.Unlike the first 40, the second wasn’t as free flowing as the conditions and defences got on top.But after dominating in terms of chances and possession Saints conceded as Escare broke through.Dureau tagged on a penalty to make it 26-20 but Saints pulled it back with a superb try right from inside their own half.Walsh sent the ball wide, Josh Jones made the break and Swift did the rest.Saints needed to keep their nerve but the harshest of penalties – Richards bizarrely called for ball stealing in a one on one tackle – under Catalan’s sticks allowed them to clear.Taia then showed some wonderful footwork to go under the posts with less than five minutes remaining.Saints tried to set up a frantic finale but Dureau’s drop goal, on the stroke of full time, took it away from them.Match Summary:Dragons:Tries: Garcia (2), Taia (2), EscareGoals: Dureau (6 from 7)Drop: DureauSaints: Tries: Swift (4), McDonnellGoals: Burns (0 from 2), Walsh (3 from 3)Penalties: Dragons: 13Saints: 6HT: 20-18FT: 26-33REF: James ChildATT: 8,886Teams:Dragons: 1. Morgan Escaré; 20. Damien Cardace, 18. Benjamin Garcia, 4. Willie Tonga, 27. Fouad Yaha; 6. Todd Carney, 7. Scott Dureau; 8. Olivier Elima, 9. Ian Henderson, 10. Rémi Casty, 11. Zeb Taia, 17. Elliott Whitehead, 24. Jason Baitieri.Subs: 12. Louis Anderson, 13. Gregory Mounis, 21. Julian Bousquet, 26. Sta Robin.Saints: 34. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Luke Thompson.Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 8. Mose Masoe, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.last_img read more

Club First Team Match

first_imgTwo early tries from Lachlan Coote and then Jonny Lomax’s 100th Saints try put us in control before a further three tries from Theo Fages and a Tommy Makinson double capped off a dominant first half display.Makinson secured his hat-trick in the second half and Lomax added a second try as Saints bounced back to winning ways with a 38-2 victory with Coote picking up four assists on a day when Sean Long waved goodbye.The visitors started the game on the front foot and were ahead in the 4th minute after an Oliver Russell penalty after Saints were penalised for holding down in the tackle.Saints hit back in typical Saints fashion as Alex Walmsley crashed through the defensive line and then offloaded to Fages who fed Coote to score. Coote added the extras giving Saints a 6-2 lead.Saints were in again on the next set as the ball was switched from right to left and a neat kick through from Mark Percival found Lomax who touched down for his 100th Saints try. Coote extending Saints lead to 12-2.Saints were in full flight and the third try came quickly after as a sweeping move out to the left hand side finished with Coote providing the cut out pass to Makinson who finished in the corner. Coote unable to add the extras off the touchline leaving the score at 16-2.Saints fourth try came from Fages as Coote caught the Giants defence off guard and provided a lovely offload to Fages to score.The fifth try followed on the very next set as Fages found Coote and yet again the impressive full back provided the inch perfect cut-out pass to Makinson who walked in at the corner. Coote then converted brilliantly from the touchline to give Saints a 26-2 lead heading into the half time.Saints started the second half as they ended the first. Makinson over in the corner for his hat-trick after taking another superb pass from Coote.Saints were in again minutes later after a short ball from Fages found Lomax who raced in to double his tally with Coote adding the two as we bounced back to winning ways with a seven try haul.Match SummaryStarting 13: Coote, Swift, Naiqama, Makinson, Percival, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Smith, Thompson, Taia, Knowles, Paulo.Interchanges: Amor, LMS, Bentley, Ashworth.Tries: Coote (11), Lomax (14,55),Makinson (18,32,52) Fages (27)Goals: Coote (5 from 7)Huddersfield Giants:Starting 13: Mcintosh, Young, Turner, Wardle, Senior, Gaskell, Russell, Matagi, O’Brien, English, Hewitt, Melor, MurphyInterchanges: Frawley, Lawrence, Ta’ai, CloughPenalty: Russell (1 from 1)HT: 26-2 FT: 38-2 REF: S.MikalauskasATT: 9,527last_img read more

Voting documents to start being delivered

first_imgVoting documents will be delivered by the Police daily as of Tuesday 23 April until Saturday 4 or 5 May according to the electoral district. The distribution of voting documents will take place between 8-1pm and 3-9pm.The Electoral Commission notified those persons whose name appears in the latest version of the Electoral Register published on 13 April about the delivery of voting documents at the address where the voter is registered.In a statement the Commission explained that it is necessary that at the place of residence there shall be a responsible person over 16 years of age who is a relative, and/or resides or works thereat to receive the voting document/s.According to electoral law political party representatives are permitted to accompany the police officer during the delivery. These representatives are supplied with an authorisation tag issued by the Electoral Commission, to be shown on demand.The Commission urged the voters to keep their documents safe as one will not be allowed to vote without them on polling day.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more