Police officers take the time to care for children, dachshunds break world records, and local 120 year-old charity Disabled Living celebrates its heritage in this week’s good news.
And the sun is finally out. Because Mondays don’t have to be blue.
Police teddies for children
Traffic officers will start carrying teddies in their cars to give to children involved in road accidents from mid-April, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The ‘trauma teddies’ will help keep the youngsters calm while they receive medical care and comfort them after the incident, serving as a distraction while the police are dealing with the situation.
“Road traffic collisions can be a traumatic experience for anyone, especially young children,” said Chief Inspector Tariq Butt from GMP’s Road’s Policing Unit.
“We hope that the trauma teddies will start a connection between the police and the child, and offer them comfort during a distressing time.“
In previous years, children who were hurt in collisions would receive a teddy. Now all youngsters will, injured or not, after police officers recognised their soothing effect in light of upsetting experiences.
“When you go to a collision, children are distressed and the idea is to reassure them by giving them one of these teddies,” said PC Matt Picton.
“It can have a devastating effect on them as they can get much more upset than we can. From previous experience it does work. It has a positive effect on them, it calms them down and it takes their mind off what they have just witnessed.
“When you give them a teddy, it takes their attention away from it.
“It’s also a great ice breaker as they sometimes don’t want to speak to us; we can be scary in our uniforms.
“This gives them something else to think about, as we’ll obviously be busy doing first aid or cordoning off the scene.”
PC Picton says that road traffic collisions involving children sadly happen on a regular basis.
“I’d like to never have to go to them, but unfortunately that’s never going to happen,” he said.
Sausage dogs walk record
Hundreds of dachshunds and their owners gathered at Perranporth Beach, Cornwall at the end of March in a bid to set a new record of pooches in one place, aiming to beat the 500 which gathered in Wales, and set a Guinness world record.
But now, after holding the title since March 25 with 601 dachshunds meeting on the beach, Manchester has been crowned the new winner.
The fun-filled Mass Dachshund Walk was organised and hosted by Julie Barbour, a member of the North West Dachshund Owners group.
Julie said 1,239 dachshunds were present, marking the gathering as the largest to date, with all profits raised from a raffle going to the charity Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD, which provides support for the dogs who need treatment for abnormal intervertebral discs.
The condition is sadly quite common in dachshunds, with an estimated 25% developing abnormal intervertebral discs to the point where they need veterinary treatment.
The Red Foundation, which was launched last year to offer emergency rescue and fostering services for sausage dogs, also benefitted.
A post on the Cornwall Dachshund Walkers Group Facebook page stated: “Cornwall Dachshund Walkers… We see your 601 and raise you to 1,239! #Manchester #ForTheLoveOfDachshunds #DedicatedToDachshundsWithIVDD #TheRedFoundation £5,400 raised.”
But defensive dog owners were quick to point out that Cornwall still had the title for the largest number of sausage dogs on a beach.
Exhibition celebrates Disabled Living charity
Disabled Living, one of Manchester’s oldest charities, launches its brand new exhibition From Donkeys to Innovators this week.
Opening tomorrow, 10th April, at the charity’s Redbank House in Cheetham Hill, the exhibition will celebrate its rich history told through rarely seen archive images, blogs, newly commissioned films and historical documents.
This permanent display, which pays homage to the charity’s remarkable legacy, will have several public open days throughout the year in which these often unheard voices, unique stories and changing experiences of disabled people from across the UK can be shared and preserved.
Actress Cherylee Houston, best known for playing Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street since 2010, has narrated and appears in four new films specially commissioned for the exhibition.
One of the four films to be screened at the exhibition launch gives a unique platform and a voice to young disabled people who talk about their experiences and hopes for the future.
The film has also been made primarily by the young people themselves, over a training weekend in which they learned film-making skills and features real life stories of people living with disabilities.
The showcased photographs go back in time from the first ever wheelchair loan service in 1903, to the opening of Peacefields in Marple, a children’s respite holiday home in 1913 that developed into the Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital, to its first residential home for disabled adults in North Wales in 1949.
“Disability heritage has been very poorly documented in the past, and whilst improvements are being made, it is still very much a hidden heritage,” said Debra Evans, Chief Executive of Disabled Living.
“We are so proud of all we have achieved since launching 120 years ago and that through this exhibition, we can finally show off the many lives we have supported and enhanced over the years.
“There are incredible stories from of the individuals involved both past and present with Disabled Living which up until now have remained untold or largely unheard.
“So it is really great we can launch this exhibition to celebrate and share our heritage, preserving it for the future and demonstrating what a great impact the charity has had, and hope it will continue to have, in years to come.”
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