Independent Living – welcome to the first Independent Living newsletter of 2021


Happy New Year and welcome to the first Independent Living newsletter of 2021!

06.01.21 Contents:

• Philip Anderson on Strange Times

• UK – a Justgiving nation?

 Vitamin C for COVID

 Design the Change

• Mobility Unlimited winner

• Latest – Scottish consultation

Find out how John Cleese gave Philip Anderson a fillip!

1. Philip Anderson on Strange Times

I am delighted to be able to commence 2021 with another lovely article from our regular contributor, Philip Anderson.

In it, he reflects on the past year, restricted like no other, and his hopes and fears for the future.

What did he miss most, and what might be the significance of lockdown for people without health issues? Some things did give him a fillip in 2020 - read his article to find the role played by John Cleese! (pictured here)

Justgiving nation, by Peter Markham

2. UK – a Justgiving nation?

The UK is one of the most charitable nations in the world.

But is this generosity being taken for granted, with individuals having to force politicians to pay for services that really should be provided by the state?

Peter Markham of the Immigration Advice Service has written a thought-provoking article about the government’s apparent inclination to abdicate responsibility in key areas where national action is required.

Read more here

vitamin C for COVID

3. Vitamin C for COVID

We have been hearing a lot about vitamin D, including the possibility that it might have a role to play in protecting us from COVID.

But there is another vitamin, which we all know as a great support for the immune system generally - vitamin C.

A major international review has found that vitamin C could save the lives of those badly infected with COVID-19 and make the symptoms of milder infections less severe. Yet governments are still categorising this as “false information”.

More details about here

Design the Change student competition

4. Design the Change

An interesting challenge for product design students. Design the Change is a competition sponsored by Bolt Burdon Kemp to come up with a product aimed at improving the lives of people with a spinal cord injury.

It could be something simple, like a new, easier way of accomplishing an everyday task. Or perhaps more complex, such as completely reimagining a common household appliance.

The winning entry will receive a £3,000 prize, along with £2,000 for their university and the chance of a week-long work placement at charity Cerebra’s research centre.

More details here

Intelligent carbon fibre wheelchair from Phoenix instinct

5. Mobility Unlimited winner

Regular readers may recall that I have been following the progress of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge since its launch three years ago.

December saw the grand finale, when the overall winner was announced. More than 80 teams entered, from 28 different countries, all with their own tech-based ideas to improve life for people with impaired mobility.

A UK team, Phoenix Instinct, won the $1 million prize to continue work on their intelligent ultra-light carbon fibre wheelchair.

Read more here

consultation on adult disability payment

6. Latest – Scottish consultation

The Scottish government has launched a consultation into Adult Disability Payment, which replaces PIP and DLA. It is open until the 15th of March 2021.

The consultation is asking questions about whether the draft regulations will achieve the aims of Adult Disability Payment.

More details here

Don’t forget that you can apply to join the Independent Living Facebook group, if you would like to spend more time discussing these themes with other interested people.

There are various ways you can get in touch with us: email me; visit our Facebook page and leave a message there; or if it’s short and sweet, Tweet!

Previous newsletters are archived here.

If you are reading a copy of the Independent Living newsletter that has been passed on to you by a colleague or friend, why not sign up for your own free subscription – it’s quick and easy, and won’t lead to your inbox being bombarded with other stuff.

That’s it until next week!

Thank you for reading and best wishes,


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Independent Living
Frances Leckie


t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
Skype: francesleckie

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