Shine Northern Ireland newsletter - Summer 2014


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Latest news from the Shine Northern Ireland Team!

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Shine Northern Ireland newsletter - Summer 2014

  1. 1. NI Newsletter Registered Charity No. 249338 Summer 2014 Energetic Family weekend at Share Centre Lisnaskae, Co. Fermanagh Ten families from throughout Northern Ireland, with a child or young adult who have spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and are between the ages of 10 and 16 years old, were given an opportunity to take part in a family weekend in Co. Fermanagh – a ‘Time to Shine’! On the evening of Friday 4th April, all families booked into the Share Centre. Chalets were allocated and everyone settled in. The activities started after breakfast on Saturday morning with a choice of canoeing on the lake or circus skills and wall climbing. After lunchtime, these activities were reversed so everyone had the opportunity to take part in all three. The swimming pool was available throughout the free time for those who wished to use it. On Sunday morning, the families, all dressed up in combat gear and armed with ‘guns’ and hard hats, were split into two teams for a ‘shoot out’ t throughout the campus! Archery was also on offer with bows provided according to the ability and strength of the user. The Share Centre staff were very competent and took on many roles during the course of the weekend. Everyone was encouraged to participate in all the activities and new friendships were developed among those who took part. On evaluation of the weekend, everyone reported having a good time and requests made for further Family weekends. Shine NI PO Box 132, Cushendall BT44 0WA E: T: 01733 555988 W: Requests (were) made for further Family weekends. Shine families at the Share outdoor activity centre Having a go at canoeing Ready to take the plunge at the Share Centre
  2. 2. My visit to NI Doing the Larne race gave me the chance to visit Northern Ireland and see for myself some of Shine’s great work at first hand. So that’s why on a Thursday evening in March, I was an avid student at Shine’s Belfast craft evening, learning how to make earrings and a necklace out of beads. Alongside me were a group of adults with spina bifida, who find these classes invaluable opportunities to meet other people and to do activities they want to do. This builds confidence and provides relaxed opportunities to communicate about specific issues which the adults encounter. There were significant differences within the group’s craft making ability, but everyone helped each other. Great opportunity This formative experience was followed by a visit to Derry/Londonderry to see a support group for young children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and their parents, led by Shine’s health adviser, Marie McGonnell, and support worker Sandra Campbell. At one level, this event looked like any similar mother and toddler group with plenty of music, dancing, and generally rowdiness. On another level these groups offer an opportunity for parents to network, share experiences, and talk informally about the many challenges they face in bringing up disabled children. Finally, to the bowling alley to meet up for a drink or two with a group of young adults for whom the day-to-day issues are about health, transport, and the world of work. They had plenty of questions for me, not least why I was running the Larne Half Marathon and not the Derry full marathon, and would I fundraise for a health centre there next year?! Frontline work Three short encounters with Shine’s frontline work: advising, helping, and just being there when it matters. Many thanks to Shine’s Director in Northern Ireland, Cathy McKillop, for being such a kind host and for the wonderful work her team do. by Richard Astle, Shine Chairman ...these groups offer an opportunity for parents informally about the many challenges they face in bringing up disabled children. Richard learns to ‘craft’ with a Shine member Richard at the Larne half marathon with Cathy Mckillop, Shine NI Director (left), and Pamela Dickey, Shine Project Worker (right) 2
  3. 3. Shine Board seeks new NI member Carers and Disability Forum Meeting I chair my work’s Carers and Disability Forum and was delighted to welcome guest speaker, McGonnell, Health Adviser Shine NI, to our meeting. Marie presented on ‘Living with an Ostomy’ and outlined the reasons why people need an ostomy operation. She talked about the many difficulties people face post-surgery such as coming to terms with having such major surgery or finding suitable medical products, and she outlined the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and participating in exercise. She ended on a positive note saying there was no reason why anyone with an ostomy could not take part in sports. Understanding your needs Members affected by this issue were able to share their experiences, and while this can be a difficult subject to talk about, we reiterated the importance of telling your office manager if you have an ostomy, so they can gain some understanding of your needs. I know I can speak for the rest of the forum when I say that the presentation was very informative. On a personal level, I learned a lot as things have certainly changed since I had my own urostomy surgery 45 years ago. On behalf of the forum, I would like to thank Marie for attending our meeting. by Karen Tilson Congratulations to Pamela Dickey, Shine Project Worker Pamela is expecting a baby in June and we wish her our congratulations. She went on maternity leave in May, so please contact Cathy McKillop, Shine NI Director, on M: 07762 574861 or E: if you require support. 3 The Shine Board has a place reserved for an NI member. Our current member, Michael McKernan, is standing down. The Board meets four times a year in Peterborough. More detail is available in Together magazine, Issue 13, page 6. Anyone interested in standing for this position can talk to Cathy McKillop on M: 07762 574861 or E: It is really important that we have Northern Ireland representation on the Board. All smiles around the table!
  4. 4. Fundraising update Thank you to Helen Shanks for raising £2,745 for Shine. Helen held two coffee events in her home – one for mums and friends of Loanends Primary School, and the other for family and friends. Helen provided all the goodies, and made jam, chutney, and craft which were also sold on the day. Foyle & District Roundtable have selected Shine as their charity of the year. The first event was a formal evening in Beechhill Hotel. The event was attended by a number of our members, and Seananin McCallion was the “Belle of the Ball”. Seananin arrived in a stretch limo and really enjoyed getting dressed up. We will let you know the total amount raised later. Top: Shine members enjoy the roundtable festivities. Bottom left: The Foyle Roundtable fundraising ball Bottom right: Helen’s fundraising helpers with their goodies If you haven’t already joined us on facebook, ‘like’ us today at Contact details for Shine NI Postal Address: Shine Northern Ireland, PO Box 132, Cushendall BT44 OWA First Contact T: 01733 555988 Cathy McKillop, NI Director Shine E: T: 07762 574861 Marie McGonnell, Health Adviser E: T: 07789 616420 Catherine McCurry, Education Adviser E: T: 028 9083 0382 Sandra Campbell E: T: 028 7135 9900/07789 616451 Irene Kean E: T: 028 9042 3067/07525 965434 Dolores Black E: T: 028 9081 4116 /07816 966866 Janet Davidson E: T: 028 4066 2868 Summer schemeThe week will include music, dance and performing arts 10am to 3pm daily Mon 11th to Sat 16th August. Production on Sun 17th August in the Mac Theatre Belfast Venue in Belfast TBC Children from age 4-18 and siblings Bring your lunch! 4