Independent Living- Welcome to this week’s Independent Living newsletter


Welcome to this week’s Independent Living newsletter.

07.04.21 Contents:

• The value of life

• Back to the leisure centre

 Tango for Parkinson’s

 Combating fuel poverty

• Ramp it up

• Latest – Sensory Sunday

Philip Anderson writes on the value of life

1. The value of life

The pandemic exposes us to life and death decisions over which we have no say. In his latest thought-provoking article for Independent Living, Philip Anderson reflects on how such decisions affect us all.

What is any individual life worth? Are we all worth the same? Who gets to decide, and how do they do it?

Read his article here – and share your thoughts on a controversial subject

Time to get back to the leisure centre!

2. Back to the leisure centre

Last week, I reported the shocking but sadly not unexpected news that it is likely four out of every 10 people with a disability have not exercised during the pandemic.

This isn’t down to laziness. This is, in the main, down to access.

People haven’t had the correct equipment at home, it may not be possible to fit said equipment in their homes, those who need the assistance of another person to exercise couldn’t have visitors… the hurdles have been endless.

Sarah Joiner, vice chair of the MS Trust and self-confessed swimming addict, writes about the importance of getting back to the gym or leisure centre as soon as it is permitted.

Read more here

Tango for Parkinson's

3. Tango for Parkinson’s

You may have clocked the fact that I am a big fan of dancing – excellent exercise for mind and body, which always leaves you with a smile. More than can be said for some other workouts!

I was intrigued to discover recently that Argentine tango has been used successfully to improve the gait of people with Parkinson’s, and help reduce falls.

Find out more here

Grant to combat fuel poverty

4. Combating fuel poverty

The pandemic has really exacerbated financial problems for many families caring for a disabled child. Being unable to afford to keep your home warm enough is sadly not a rare experience.

Children’s charity Caudwell Children has been awarded a grant from the Energy Saving Trust (as part of their Energy Redress Scheme), in order to help combat fuel poverty amongst families who have a child with a disability.

More details here

Astor Invincible changing bench

5. Ramp it up

I love this story! A German grandmother is making access ramps out of Lego. Helped by her husband, she builds the ramps from hundreds of plastic bricks and many tubes of glue.

Ebel started on the project to help raise awareness of barriers to access. She herself is a wheelchair user, since being involved in a car accident. Her brightly coloured ramps are being taken up by businesses in her local town, and she is sending instructions as far afield as Austria, Spain and the United States.

Her biggest challenge is getting hold of donations: people are reluctant to part with their bricks!

Of course we have a great selection of ramps on Independent Living – though none made out of Lego!

Short updates on subscribers

6. Latest – Sensory Sunday

In normal times, going shopping is something most of us take for granted. But for many individuals with autism, it is a sensory experience they find overwhelming, with too much noise, bright lights, too many people - even too many strong smells.

Dimensions UK has provided advice to a well-known retailer so that they can offer a sensory hour on Sunday when calm conditions make shopping less daunting.

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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