Beating PTSD, from Afghanistan to Archery

How many times have we heard exercise is good for the mind as well as the body.  That’s all well but what if you want to exercise but you’re not into running, going the gym or don’t quite feel bendy enough for yoga.

Well, I’ve found a fab solution for all ages that is engaging, fun and helps build more than just muscle, ARCHERY!


A new club is up and running in Cheshire, Kyujutsu Archery runs from 12pm on Sunday’s at Brookvale Recreation Centre starting with taster sessions/beginners and leading through to experienced club members.

The club has been set up by Richie and Chris. Richie a veteran became involved with archery after being  injured in Afghanistan and diagnosed with PTSD.  Richie and his family initially received help and support from Combat Stress,  and then Richie was offered an Archery instructors course by Help for Heroes. He now runs the non profit club which is open to  all ages and abilities.

It’s definitely a family run club for families, Secretary Sarah is Richie’s wife and her  brother Instructor Chris was already trained in Archery. Sarah told me the club specialises in being ‘inclusive’ additional needs or disabilities are not barriers and the club adapts to its members, members do not adapt to the club.

There are lots more sessions in the pipeline, outdoors over the summer, after school club, and sessions suitable for those on the Autism spectrum.

One of the youngest members, who informed me he will be nine at the end of June, was preparing for a grading assessment whilst I was there.


I believe he passed and received a certificate later that afternoon.


Archery builds on skills including:

Physical fitness
Gross motor skills
Hand/eye coordination

All of these skills including intense concentration have helped Richie rebuild his life and cope with PTSD. He now has a focus, a family business he loves and a club that is growing weekly.  You can see Richie’s story here on Forces TV.

Why not give it a try.

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Why do I seem to be the only Mum of a teen who says no.

I started writing this at midnight, knowing my teen was home safe and tucked up in bed. When I say tucked up I actually mean eating leftover meatballs and pasta, but he’s home.

He finished high school on Friday and in celebration the whole school year arranged to meet at the park on the edge of the conservation area near where we live, but not at lunch time when they finished school, it was planned for the evening starting at 7pm.

My teen wanted to go, I didn’t want him to go.

I am trying my best to give him more freedom, he is nearly 16 after all, but I didn’t think hanging out in the park till MIDNIGHT sounded good and I knew some of his year group would be drinking alcohol.

Sometimes it’s so hard making decisions as a Mum of a teen. I’ve been to pick him up from parties and watched as a hoard of young teens trundle off down the road walking home through parks, over fields, past the canal, and some of them have been drinking. I’ve said no he can’t walk home late at night. Am I old fashioned, don’t other parents worry?  I wonder  is it because I’m an older Mum, I had my boy at 40.

Of course I’m not the only parent at the pick up but we are getting to be few and far between, what would you do?

As for Friday, well we came to a compromise, he went to the park and we picked him up just after 10.30pm, they all had a great time, and we even gave a couple of his friends a lift home.  And well done to the boy who didn’t spill a drop from his can of cider in the car.

ps….It’s the Prom next week and I’ve heard last years kids had an after party till 8am.  Help me,  SEND WINE!


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Aidan’s Teddy Bear Challenge -Talk about it Tuesday

This is Talk about it Tuesday, here’s my post, add your link below.

Last week I was rummaging through the teenagers stuff in hope of finding a teddy bear, luckily I found a little few stashed away  he said,  “you can take them all” so unemotional these teenagers.

I needed the teddy to donate to Aidan’s Teddy Bear  Challenge. Aidan, who is only 13       has set himself a massive challenge, he has pledged to collect 13.350 cuddly toys, one to sit on  every seat in the Select Stadium in Widnes.

Aidan is hoping that every cuddly toy donated comes with a £1 which will raise over £13.000 for The Olivia Alice Foundation, a cause he has already raised funds for.
Aidan has set himself this challenge to raise funds and awareness for The Olivia Alice Foundation in memory of Olivia Walker who sadly passed away in February 2014.

All money raised will be donated directly to The Olivia Alice Foundation and will be used to help children with complex health needs by providing medical equipment and short breaks.

Aidan needs to reach his target by 10th August, here is some information if you would like to help:


Hi and welcome to Talk about it Tuesday, a place to share your news and views especially charities, good causes and raising awareness.

Get your cuppa and join us for Talk about it Tuesday your virtual chat with a friend.

Add your link

Add a post,  read a post, maybe a couple more if you have time.

If you use the hashtag #TalkTues I can retweet the posts.

Don’t forget to add the badge, thanks for joining in.

The Uncheshire Wife
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A guest post – Are mobile phones materialistic, or a necessity?

Today I have a guest post from an amazing young lady, not only a social media maven but  a BiBs finalist in the Inspire category and a campaigner for disability awareness. Sassy is a Blogger, Facebook user and Tweeter, oh and did I mention she is blind.  Here Sassy explains how she is able to use social media.

Are mobile phones materialistic, or a necessity?

With the boom of technology in the last 10 years alone  smart phones have become the number one product to get, if you haven’t already that is.
Smart phones although still seen as a luxury by some, have now become a necessity, especially for people such as myself.

For those who don’t know, I’m totally blind. I use an iPhone, MacBook, iPad and iPod. I’m not trying to show off or seem flash, I can assure you, it took a long time to save for such items!
But the reason I am mentioning my clear love for Apple products, is not because it’s seen as the coolest gadget, or more expensive luxury, it’s because it enables me to live my life with as much ease and normality as a blind person can manage.

All of the Apple products listed above have specific built in software called Voice-Over. An Apple built-in screen reader that allows me to use technology the way you do.

A screen reader is a text to speech output which speaks the content of a computer display. In Apple’s case it is in-built within every Apple product they sell.. This enables me to navigate my way around my MacBook (what I am using to write this post). I use shortcut keys to navigate, as it would be pretty tricky for a blind person to use a mouse, when they cannot see where it is upon the screen.

My iPad is essentially a larger version of my iPhone, so when I talk about my iPhone, it has all the same functions without being able to call like a phone.
My iPhone; being touch screen will read out wherever my finger lands/ touches on the screen. In order for me to interact with my iPhone, and give it commands, I have to use specific gestures.
For example, if I wanted to call my Mum, I would touch the top right-hand corner of my iPhone, and Voice-Over will say contacts (I have my phone set out in a specific way, so this would not be the case for everyone using an iPhone, even if they too are blind).
I would then double tap with 1 finger,or thumb, to be able to open the Contacts app.
I would then touch the very right hand side of the iPhone screen again, where it will announce “Table Index” the A-Z of the phone book.
I have to hold my thumb down for a second or so before the phone announces “Swipe up or down with one finger to adjust the value” And from there I would continuously flick my thumb up towards the top of the iPhone for it to scroll down.

When I reach the correct letter I would then flick right with my thumb to find the contact i’m looking for. I would have to double tap again with one finger, or thumb, to open it.
I would also have to double tap on the number itself to activate the call button.

So why the double tap gesture?
Imagine running your thumb or finger around a touch screen and having your eyes closed whilst doing so, you would potentially open a dozen apps, send a gobbledegook email to your boss. and a smily face to your brother who is sitting right next to you!
Double tapping is so the blind user can navigate around the screen/ phone itself without any worry of doing these things constantly.

So how do I use social media?

If I am on my iPhone, and using the FaceBook App, I use much the same gestures as I mentioned above with a few added extras.

The FaceBook App in my personal opinion is far better, than using the website,
What I mean by this is: screen readers are programmed to read all text aloud to the person navigating. Imagine how long and arduous a process it is to flick constantly for everything a FaceBook status has:
The persons name
Who their audience is
the location it was published
the time it was published
The status itself
If there are any images
reactions to the status; Like, Comment, Share, Announcing one at at a time.

However there are shortcuts to speed this interaction up a little quicker

Thankfully the app cuts out a lot of the waffle and will only read out:
The persons name
The status
If there is an image
Reactions to the status; Like. Comment, Share.
This will be read all at once, and in order.
In order to interact with the status you can do one of 2 options:
Flicking your thumb down to choose an option; Like, React, Comment, Share, More.
By double tapping the screen with 2 fingers and it brings up a list with the same options I’ve listed above.
You can choose to flick right to get to the specific action or drag your finger down the list and use the 1 finger double tap gesture to active it.

What about other social media platforms?

With each social media platforms there are slightly different ways to navigate each app, and each website. The single and double tap features are sill optimised but it depends on each app developer if they include extra functions for screen readers. An example of this is Twitter. If you go to the Twitter settings you can customise a two finger double tap to do one of 4 actions. I chose my action to create a new tweet. It means I don’t have to find the top right hand corner of the screen, and double tap with one finger to create a tweet. It’s things like that, that help me navigate quicker as a screen reader user 🙂

There are so many things my iPhone can do that help keep my life running as smoothly as a blind person bumping into walls and getting lost can be 😉

And social media is just the tip of that gigantic iceberg…
Where would I be without it? Probably rocking in a corner somewhere 😉 but seriously, technology today has given me and other blind and disabled people a lifeline to keep in touch with the outside world, interact with friends and family who live in other parts of the country/ world, and helps make new connections and new friends 🙂

I hope this post was informative? If you have any questions or would like me to explain anything else from a blind persons perspective then feel free to contact me on the following:
Twitter: @SassyPant6
FaceBook: Thinking Out Loud
Google+: Sassy
A big thanks to Lolly for allowing me to guest post on her fabulous blog, without my smartphone we wouldn’t have met! 🙂

Much love,
Sassy x

The Pramshed
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Get the most from your work storage space.

Our garage is an absolute tip, from firewood storage to a broken treadmill and a thousand bits and pieces in-between, so this summer we’re on a mission to clear it out.

It hasn’t always been like this, it was quite clear with a bit of shelving, ok maybe not exactly clear but it was definitely neat and orderly. In fact we started our business in the garage

6 months later we moved into a warehouse unit. We knew we  needed  to get the most from the warehouse space as square footage is expensive so you need to plan your space wisely.

The space seemed huge, but once we started moving in boxes we knew it would soon become a hazard without proper shelving and storage.

We got some advice and invested in a fork lift truck so we could use the height of the unit, this was invaluable as the floorspace would have quickly disappeared.

There are ways to get the most from your space.

Pallet Racking

Goods in are frequently delivered on pallets these days and they can go straight into storage on their racks, with the right equipment. With racking, pallets can be stored one on top of the next, rather than all on the floor, taking up valuable space.

Mezzanine floors

Are a perfect solution for any business and can be one of the most effective ways to increase, or even double, your available floor space.

If you have a business and need expert advice Warehouse Storage Solutions use the most up to date CAD technology to ensure exact drawings and designs to show the full potential of your storage capacity.

So plan wisely and get the best from your storage.


This is a collaboration

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