Opening up services

Launch of Living Easy disability guide at Stannington Village Hall by Paddy Conway who has had Parkinson's Disease for more than 20 years and he is seen with author Heather Alabaster.'REF 1806130189
Launch of Living Easy disability guide at Stannington Village Hall by Paddy Conway who has had Parkinson's Disease for more than 20 years and he is seen with author Heather Alabaster.'REF 1806130189

A NEW guide has been launched to help people with disabilities find out more about local services.

Living Easy is packed with information about places to go, things to do and specialist support for people with disabilities or mental health conditions in Northumberland.

There are sections on social life, sports, hobbies and holidays, as well as transport and mobility, independent living and health support.

In the work, life and money section there is information about employment and training, benefits, pensions and consumer advice.

Editor Heather Alabaster, who also publishes the county’s Golden Guide, said: “We’re so excited about this new publication, suggested by disabled people themselves.

“They wanted relevant information that included employment, activities and holidays, as well as health support.

“It fits exactly with our own aims because we believe that good local information is inspiring. It encourages people to get out more, try new things and become more independent. The result is a better quality of life all round.

“It will be a fantastic new resource for Northumberland. We are delighted that all the major health organisations have supported it.”

One of the main partners in the initiative is Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Executive Director of Nursing and Operations Gary O’Hare said: “Good services are crucial to help people achieve a full and active life whatever their circumstances. Living Easy holds a wealth of information on how we can help and puts people in touch with all kinds of other resources too so we’re delighted to support it.

“Anyone who uses our services will be able to obtain a copy from our Patient Information Centre.”

The free guide was launched at the Long Term Conditions Forum meeting in Stannington Village Hall last week by Paddy Conway, who has had Parkinson’s Disease for more than 20 years.

It is available in libraries, GP surgeries and from disability organisations, as well as from care managers, support planners and the Community Mental Health Team.

It can also be sent out by post by calling Healthwatch on 01434 600599, or can be viewed online at www.alabas terpublishing.co.uk/publica tions