A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Disabled people who use UK airports have questioned a report which found significant improvement in the provision of assistance to passengers over the last year.The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) third annual report into the assistance provided at the UK’s 30 biggest airports ranked 16 of them as “very good”, and just one – Manchester (see separate story) – as poor.Last year, just six airports were ranked as “very good”.Disabled passengers are entitled to free assistance when travelling by air under European Union regulations, and CAA is the regulatory body that monitors the quality of this assistance.The CAA report for 2017-18 points out that Heathrow, which last year was rated “poor” but is now said to be “good”, had invested £23 million in its assistance service, through new equipment, new technology and additional resources.Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham were all classified as “needs improvement”.CAA said that more than four-fifths of disabled passengers surveyed said the quality of assistance provided in 2017-18 was at least satisfactory, but one in 10 said it was “very poor”.The regulator also said that the airports often criticised airlines – which usually fund the assistance service through local agreements – for being “more focussed on cost saving than in ensuring a high quality assistance service”.The CAA report adds: “If this is happening it is not consistent with the brand values of major airlines.”Responses from disabled passengers on social media suggested CAA’s report had exaggerated the quality of airport assistance services.They were responding to disabled peer Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson (pictured), who had asked disabled people who use airports what their experiences have been.Most of those who responded – although not all – were scathing of the services they have received at UK airports.One, tweeting at @strictlywheels, said she had to complain “probably every other time we fly”, with a lack of consistency and wheelchairs being treated “appallingly”.Another, Tom Staniford, @tomstaniford, said the service was “mostly awful”, due to “poor quality, slow service, lack of care [and] ignorance”.British wheelchair basketball player Billy Bridge, @Billy_Bridge8, said he flies frequently but in the last four or five years he has experienced just one smooth journey.He said: “Airports just can’t seem to grasp how much easier they can make flying for disabled people.”Disabled academic Professor Tom Shakespeare, @TommyShakes, was one of the few who said his experiences had been “almost always positive”, although he said he always takes himself to the departure gate, rather than relying on the airport’s assistance service.But another, @celticchickadee, told Baroness Grey-Thompson that airports “seem to be struggling more and more with capacity”, either because of cutting staff or failing to keep pace with demand.And @prettytwitten said: “I don’t complain every time I have a bad experience or I’d be complaining every time I went somewhere. There is always something.”Ruth Murran, @ruth_murran, added: “My good experiences are because of individuals, rather than the system.“I am fortunate in being able to wheel myself to the gate so can mostly avoid being patronised. Hate the uncertainty and unpredictability.”Baroness Grey-Thompson told Disability News Service said she believed the quality of airport assistance was “getting worse” and was “too variable” and that the CAA figures did not reflect the experiences of disabled passengers.She said that flying was “one of the few time times I feel disabled”.She said: “From the people who’ve been in touch with me, many don’t complain because they’re exhausted by the whole process, or it is too hard to do so.“It all depends on people as well as the process and understanding what disabled people’s needs are.“Personally, I’ve had more challenges flying in the last two years than the previous 20.”She added: “The lack of understanding about how important it is to bring a personal mobility aid to the gate still astounds me.“They should be brought in a timely manner and disabled people shouldn’t be made to feel grateful for getting on or off a plane.”Baroness Sugg, the aviation minister, said in response to the CAA report: “It’s essential that passengers with reduced mobility or hidden disabilities get the service they deserve every time they fly. “The CAA has stepped up its work in this area and plays an important role in showing where improvement still needs to be made.“I welcome the progress made by airports to improve accessibility and will continue to work with all of the aviation industry to make flying easier for disabled passengers.”last_img read more

AS well as the first team taking on Sheffield Eagl

first_imgAS well as the first team taking on Sheffield Eagles this weekend in the Carnegie Challenge Cup Round Four clash at the Stobart Stadium, the Under 20s, 18s, 16s and 15s are also in action.The Under 20s travel to Bradford on Saturday (2.30pm) for a Valvoline Cup tie whilst the Under 18s take on Crusaders at the Stobart Stadium at 12.45pm ahead of the Challenge Cup game.The Under 16s and 15s face Crusaders on Sunday at Liverpool St Helens, kicking off at 1pm (U15s) and 2.30pm (U16s).Come along and support the stars of the future!last_img read more

ON a wet dank night in Widnes you need something

first_imgON a wet, dank night in Widnes you need something to liven you up and keep you warm. Unfortunately there was little of that sort of thing on show as the U19s produced an error strewn performance to rival that witnessed at Castleford last month, writes Graham Henthorne.As on that night, however, the will to win shone through and got them over the line 30-14.Despite all the above defensively this was as good a display as you could want to see from the Saints. The problem was there too much defence on show courtesy of a terrible handling display which constantly turned possession over in our half.The Saints started brightly and with the benefit of one of a host of penalties dished out to both sides, they found themselves with a scrum on half way. Ricky Bailey took the ball down the left feeding Jake Spedding who was just caught from behind 10 metres out. Three tackles later and the same player fed Captain Liam Cooper who charged over from close range.There then followed 25 minutes of frustrating stalemate during which the Saints line was tested often.In situations like this there are few teams that can hold out indefinitely and eventually the Vikings did pierce the Saints defensive line. Albeit only from a cross kick on the last to their tall left winger who towered above Kev Brown to pluck the ball out of the air.Minutes later the Saints found themselves with a scrum on our 10 metre line. Bailey knocked on from the pass and two tackles later the Vikings take an unbelievable lead into the break with a try from a neat grubber to the corner.As is usual when underdogs get a sniff they up their game even more and the Saints knew they were going to have to subdue this enthusiasm and quickly to get anything from the game.Four minutes into the second half, the Saints force both an error and then get a penalty for ball stripping to enable them to threaten the Vikings line. Four tackles into the set and hooker Aaron Smith tunnelled his way over from dummy half to edge them back in front.The comeback seemed to be short-lived, however, as a carbon copy try to the Vikings winger put the Saints behind again.He was denied his hat-trick by a thundering last ditch tackle from Bailey and this seemed to give the Saints the fillip they were looking for and the forwards began to make ground on the back of better handling.Smith dummied his way over from 10 metres out to put them in front but the game was broken open from the restart as Regan Grace scored a trademark 95 yarder. The Welshman took the pass from Rob Fairclough, found a hole, pushed through the line, took it to the fullback, committed him beautifully then pinned his ears back, opened up the afterburners and left everyone for dead on his way to the sticks.The game was finally put to bed with a couple of minutes to go as Smith completed his hat-trick again burrowing over from close range.A wins a win! And considering that the side contained eight of last year’s U16’s (and five of them in the pack) then it’s still a good win.Nobody was at their best but there was an encouraging debut off the bench both for this season and at this level after a long time out with injury for Evan Bullen but stand out player for his commitment, bravery (nice golf ball for a cheekbone) and willingness to work was Kev Brown.Match Summary:Widnes:Tries: Owen Buckley (34 & 49), Keanan Brand (37).Goals: Brad Walker 1/2, Sam Freeman 0/1.Saints:Tries: Liam Cooper (9), Aaron Smith (44, 61 & 76), Regan Grace (62).Goals: Brad Billsborough 5/5.Half Time: 6-10Full Time: 30-14Teams:Widnes:1. Sam Freeman; 2. Nathan Holbrook, 3. Keanan Brand, 4. Ross Webster, 20. Owen Buckley; Joe Lyons, 7. Jordan Johnstone; 8. Jack Armstrong, 9. Danny Walker, 10. Owen Farnworth, 11. Dan Norman, 12. Liam Walsh, 13. Brad Walker. Subs: 14. Chris Wilson, 15. James Rutledge, 16. Pat McCarroll, 17. Connor Cutts.Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Kevin Brown, 4. Cameron Brown, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 7. Rob Fairclough, 6. Brad Billsborough; 8. Levy Nzoungou, 9. Aaron Smith, 16. Alex Eckley, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon. Subs: 10. Jordan Olmez, 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Callum Hazard, 20. Evan Bullen.last_img read more

His side won 2420 with Ben Barba grabbing a brac

first_imgHis side won 24-20, with Ben Barba grabbing a brace in a solid hit out.“I was happy to have a good hit out and we are all looking forward to next week,” he said. “Leigh were strong and will be hard to beat in the Championship this year. They are a Super League club in all but name. It was exactly what we needed.“We know we need to play better, but I have never seen a good friendly in my life! There are a massive number of players chopping and changing and everyone knows it is a friendly.“But there were some positives. Ben Barba played well and that is just what we need from him. Danny Richardson was a real live wire and I thought we created plenty throughout the match even though we were changing players.“We defended well in the second half too, but we needed to as we were poor in the first half.”He continued: “We don’t know our 17 for next week – tonight was a stepping stone to look at some positions and a reward for some guys to force themselves into the reckoning for round one. Some did that tonight and we now move on to next week.”Tickets for Saints home opener with Castleford are now available online or via the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium.You can also call 01744 455 052.last_img read more

Bank of Valletta introduces new opening hours

first_img SharePrint Bank of Valletta is introducing new customer opening hours for its branches with effect from 1st July 2019.The new opening hours will be:Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm;Saturdays from 8.30 am to 12.30 pmEncashment of cheques and cash withdrawals at branches can be affected till noon.In addition, every Thursday, 18 BOV branches are offering extended opening hours on Thursdays from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm. In the localities of Attard, Balluta, Fgura, Ħamrun, Ibraġ, Marsaskala, Mosta, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi, Rabat, Valletta (Republic Street), San Gwann, Siġġiewi, Żabbar, Żejtun, Żurrieq and Victoria.Additional branches will also be offering longer customer hours in the near future.BOV Head Branch Network Geoffrey Ghigo said, ‘In today’s world consumers expect faster service, at hours that are more convenient for their busy lifestyles. The change in opening hours will also enhance the ability of our branch staff to process customers’ applications, resulting in faster response times and increased efficiency.’For increased convenience and 24/7 banking, BOV customers can also make use of the Bank’s extensive range of channels such as BOV Mobile, BOV Internet Banking, BOV Cards and ATMs. WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more