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Ben’s Story

We are pleased to welcome Ben to our team of volunteers.  Everyone has their own story; we hope you draw some inspiration from Ben’s:

Parkrun to Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon
I’ve been asked to share my experience of getting active as a newbie wheelchair user following a spinal injury sustained during sport. I moped around for about a year, as I went from running to walking to limping to using a walking stick to a wheelchair.
I got out of my self pity by re-watching the 2012 London Paralympics and sitting in awe of what David Weir CBE “the Weirwolf” and “Hurricane” Hannah Cockcroft MBE achieved.  It was inspiring and motivated me to see what I could do, so I started searching online for a wheelchair upgrade, as the NHS chairs are terrible.  I didn’t have much of a budget, but luckily I managed to find one on Gumtree of all places for £40 + return train fare to Grimsby Town.  Once I had it home I needed to tinker with the setup to make it my own. I’d tried Newcastle parkrun in my NHS chair the Saturday before picking up my Gumtree special and completed it in 52 minutes. The following week in my “new” chair I improved and did so for several weeks leading up to my first Great North Run in a wheelchair. The self confidence I gained from parkrun was invaluable, as sport has always been my go to coping mechanism. Since that first parkrun I’ve completed 48 in my wheelchair (I ran one prior to my injury), volunteered 45 times and I’m hoping to complete 50 in my wheelchair and 50 volunteering on Xmas day at Gateshead parkrun this year (2017).
Once I had the bug, I went on to complete 3 Great North Runs and I’ve gotten quicker each year. The 2015 Great North Run I did in fancy dress with a friend as Lou and Andy from Little Britain, which was great fun. I fought Darlington 10 kilometres race to allow wheelchairs to take part in 2015 and they have now allowed wheelchair users to take part since 2016. My last race of 2016 was North East Marathon Club’s Town Moor half marathon where I got my half marathon Personal Best of 2:19:14. This year I have aimed to do 750 miles, including training miles, with my main races that haven’t been mentioned already, being the Silverstone Half Marathon, where I met David Weir and he is awesome. My first ever marathon at Rock n Roll Liverpool marathon in a time of 5:44:12, where I was the first wheelchair user to ever compete in the race’s 4 years existence. North East Marathon Club’s track marathon is my best time so far of 5:06:09, the Town Moor marathon defeated me after 15 miles this year, due to poor surfaces, but there will always be bumps along the road, no pun intended.
A big surprise was being invited along to Gateshead Harriers Tartan games and I borrowed their racing chair for the 3 events, winning gold medals, I won another gold in the seated discus and a silver in the 100m race. I have since joined Gateshead Harriers and have used their racing chair to improve several distance Personal Bests, including my half marathon of 1:23:22.
The confidence I’ve gained from my sporting adventures has helped me get involved with disability issues by joining Newcastle Disability Forum, where I have already been involved with several consultations. I’m looking forward to any and all future endeavours.

**Change of Telephone Number**

On Saturday 25 November 2017, our telephone number will change to 0191 284 0480 – ask for Newcastle Disability Forum, and you will be transferred to us.



Give As You Live – Janice’s Story

Give as you live………. and me

If you shop on line you can support your chosen charity at no cost to yourself.  It is true!  I didn’t believe it either but I thought I would try it anyway.  I knew the Newcastle Disability Forum was registered with Give as You Live, after all as part of my day job I had processed the registration, so I was ready to give it a try.

One quiet Saturday, I sat down with a cup of tea to order my groceries from Sainsburys.  I logged on to the Give as You Live website, selected Newcastle Disability Forum as my charity and then searched for Sainsbury’s.  I was taken to Sainsburys website and then I simply ordered in the usual way.

My first order through Give as You Live earned the Forum £1.50 and all my subsequent orders earn £0.50 which is a potential income of £25 a year for the Forum, not a lot of money but for a small charity every little matters.  Give it a try.

For further information, and to register, please click here to access the Give As You Live website.



How to spot a SCAM – Which? Guide

Scammers have become more sophisticated in their bid to part us from our cash. From email scams and copycat websites to nuisance calls and tax rebate scams, we need our wits about us. Which? have produced a guide entitled ‘How can I protect my elderly relative from scams?’  This is available by clicking the following link: Which? guide on scams



New Year’s Eve Celebration in Newcastle

NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Newcastle City Council have announced that this New Year’s Eve event will take place on Newcastle’s Town Moor.  Walk the Plank theatre group are due to orchestrate the sound-and-light spectacle, entitled ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’.