A disabled campaigner has launched a new photo-based website that has put decades of his work online, in a bid to share information about the accessibility of venues across Britain and Ireland.Marg McNiel estimates that he has travelled more than a million miles in his quest to document the accessibility of public venues throughout the British Isles, and says he has taken more than 500, 000 photographs over his lifetime.McNiel has been taking pictures since he was a child in the 1950s, but he has been focussing on producing a photographic access record of Britain and Ireland since he developed ME in the early 1990s.See Around Britain provides photographs of locations (pictured) such as churches, museums, cinemas, railway stations, hospitals, hotels, National Trust venues and other cultural attractions, with the website and mobile app offering multiple pictures of the access at some of the larger sites.The See Around Britain interactive map also features the locations of services such as accessible toilets, Shopmobility centres, defibrillators and accident and emergency departments.He hopes the site – and the free Android and iPhone apps – will offer something different to existing websites that provide photographs and written access information, by being “fully mainstream and fully inclusive” and so not just appealing to disabled people.He wants the site to help disabled people but also anyone else who wants to check out if a location is suitable before they visit, such as families with young children, and foreign visitors, and also people with impairments who don’t see themselves as disabled.McNiel said: “Our approach and philosophy is totally different. We are mainstream and fully inclusive of disabled people, so we reach as many disabled people with impairments as possible.“The photos save a thousand words and don’t lie. They are not pretty-pretty, they are everyday life reality.”He estimates that the website currently covers more than 1,300 venues across Britain and Ireland, with many more of his photographs yet to be added.See Around Britain also has information and photographs for some sites in Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.Over the last 18 months, nearly 20 volunteers have helped McNiel by cataloguing the pictures and writing descriptions of access at venues based on those photographs.McNiel and his fellow trustees Vin West and Trevor Palmer are now looking for sponsorship and more volunteers.The charity, which has so far provided the bulk of the funding for See Around Britain, dates back to 1971, and originally provided drop-in centres and community education and training schemes.The money to launch See Around Britain came from the £1.6 million sale of the charity’s previous base in Islington, north London, which for many years was the home of his photographic archive, the National Heritage Library.The charity has now moved its headquarters temporarily to a rented farmhouse in Wales.
About 1,600 working-age disabled people are dying every year after having their claim for disability benefits rejected, the government has been forced to admit.TheDepartment for Work and Pensions figures (DWP) reveal that 7,990 disabled people wholodged a claim for person independence payment (PIP) in the five years afterthe new benefit was launched in April 2013 had died within six months ofregistering their claim, while also having that claim rejected.Thesefigures mean that more than 130 working-age disabled people a month have beenfound ineligible for PIP following an initial assessment by governmentcontractors Atos and Capita but were still so unwell that they died soonafterwards*.Anotherset of figuresreleased by DWP shows that 3,680 disabled people – or more than 60 a month –died within three months of their initial PIP applications being rejected byDWP.Marsha deCordova, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said: “These shockingfigures show that the cruel and callous PIP assessment is unfit for purpose.“Thatthousands of people die three months after being denied vital social securitypayments is disgraceful. “Ill anddisabled people are being failed [with] the most tragic consequences.“Labour willend the hostile environment in the DWP and replace the PIP assessment frameworkwith a system that treats disabled people with dignity and respect.”The figures werereleased to Labour MP Madeleine Moon by Sarah Newton, the minister for disabledpeople.It was Moon whosecured other figures last month which showed that more than 17,000PIP claimants – out of a total of more than 3.6 million – had died during thefive years while waiting for DWP to make a decision on their claim.Newton alsotold her last week that 11,790 of these undecided claims were dealtwith under “normal rules” and so had not been fast-tracked because they wereterminally-ill.The BridgendMP said this week: “These shamefulfigures reveal how gravely ill people, eligible for benefits, have tragicallyfallen through the cracks of a failing system as they approach the end of life.“Questions to the DWP have uncovered manycases where terminally ill people have had their PIP applications rejected whenapplying under normal rules** and have died within six months.“It is disgusting that people who are dyinghave not been treated with compassion and support and their claim fast tracked.“When you only have a short time left to live you must not be let downby a callous system which is not fit for purpose.”Moon hasintroduced a private members’ bill, which would remove the current“arbitrary” time limit which means claimants can only be treated asterminally-ill if they have less than six months left to live.She said: “My bill will bring the changes needed to ensure we bringdignity and some financial security to the terminally ill and their families.“All terminally ill people should be able to access the special rulesfor terminal illness (SRTI) process. “The clinical judgement of a healthcare professional should be enoughto determine when someone has a terminal condition, without reference to a sixmonths prognosis. “Removing the arbitrary time limit provides medical professionals withgreater clarity, and more importantly, ensures the terminally ill receivesupport with the speed and compassion they deserve.”There aresimilarities between the new figures secured by Moon and statistics releasedby DWP in 2015, which showed that about 100 disabled people everymonth who had applied for employment and support allowance (ESA) were dyingsoon after being found fit for work.As with theESA figures, it is not currently possible to draw clear conclusions about howdeeply flawed the PIP assessment process is because of DWP’s failure to releasecomparable statistics for the general population.DisabledPeople Against Cuts researcher Anita Bellows, who has previously carriedout widely-praised work examining the PIP contracts awarded to Atos and Capita,said: “Once again, the spotlight is on disability assessment contractors, Atosand Capita, and on the DWP, after the release of figures showing the number ofclaimants dying after their PIP were disallowed.”She said the figures should be viewed in the light of around70 per cent of claimants appealing a PIP decision having the initialdecision overturned by a tribunal. She said: “So it can be said with certitude that some of these people whodied were denied the support they were entitled to, or they might have diedbecause of this lack of support. “DWP, Atos and Capita have shown time and time again that they are notfit for purpose, and neither are the tests supposed to assess disability andfitness for work, which have lost all credibility. “It is time to overhaul the whole system to prevent it doing further harm.”A DWP spokesperson refused to say whether Newton agreed that the figuresshowed that the PIP process was failing a substantial number of very ill people.But she said in a statement: “DWP decision makers take into considerationall the evidence provided, including from their medical professionals, whendetermining eligibility for PIP.“Meanwhile, we fast-track the claim process for people who have beendiagnosed with a terminal illness. “We are determined that people get the support they need and under PIP 31per cent of people get the highest possible support, compared with 15 per centunder DLA. “We are also stopping unnecessary reassessment for PIP for people withthe most severe and life-long conditions.”She also said that new SRTI claims currently take an average of sixworking days to process.She said: “We are absolutely committed toimproving the overall PIP claimant experience as this is what claimants rightlyexpect and deserve. “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of anyone who has passedaway but there is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason forclaiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggestotherwise.“People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-lifethreatening.”Meanwhile,DWP has published theresults of its annual benefits satisfaction survey, which show thatthe percentage of PIP claimants who had been in contact with DWP in theprevious three months and were satisfied with the service they received plungedfrom 87 per cent in 2016-17 to 82 per cent in 2017-18.Theproportion who said they were dissatisfied rose from 12 to 17 per cent, and theproportion who said they were very dissatisfied almost doubled, increasing fromfive to nine per cent. Newton alsoreleased figures this week to de Cordova which showed that thenumber of complaints received by Atos and Capita about the PIP assessmentprocess increased from 8,900 in 2017 to 9,400 in 2018.Newton said:“Both of these figures equate to less than one per cent of the total number ofassessments carried out that year.”*The cause of death may be unrelatedto the condition or impairment for which the claimant was seeking PIP**Those expected not to live longer than six months, as opposed to those applying under Normal Rules, should receive PIP more quickly A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note 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…
SAINTS take on Hull KR tonight having won their last three home meetings with the Robins.They were also victorious in the return fixture earlier in the season at the KC Lightstream Stadium.2016 Meeting:Hull KR 22, St Helens 31 (SLR3, 26/2/16)Super League Summary:St Helens won 11 (includes win in 2013 play-offs)Hull KR won 91 drawHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 68-12 (H, 2010) (also widest margin)Hull KR highest score: 40-10 (H, 2014) (also widest margin)Head to Head: SaintsHull KRTries7273Goals6155Metres22,00222,365Breaks8786Tackles57205961Penalties150180Career & Club Milestones Involving Tonight’s Teams:James Green needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career. He has played 79 games for Hull KR since 2012, to go with loan/dual-registration games for Batley (9, 2012), Workington (3, 2012), Featherstone (3, 2013) and Gateshead (5, 2013).Super League Milestones:Pat Richards needs three goals to draw level with Lee Briers in seventh place in the list of all-time leading Super League goalkickers (conversions and penalties only).1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-2015) 1,5662 Paul Deacon (Wigan/Bradford/Oldham, 1997-2011) 1,0433 Andy Farrell (Wigan, 1996-2004) 1,0264 Danny Tickle (Castleford/Widnes/Hull FC/Wigan/Halifax, 2000-present) 9075 Danny Brough (Huddersfield/Wakefield/Castleford/Hull FC, 2005-2006 & 2008-present) 8776 Sean Long (Hull FC/St Helens/Wigan, 1996-2011) 8267 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 8218 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons/Wigan, 2006-2013 & 2016) 8189 Iestyn Harris (Bradford/Leeds/Warrington, 1996-2001 & 2004-2008) 64010 Michael Dobson (Salford/Hull KR/Wigan/Catalans Dragons, 2006, 2008-2013 & 2015-2016) 622First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 222 Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons) 183 Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 164 Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 145 Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) 136 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Junior Sa’u (Salford Red Devils), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 1210 = Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils), Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 11Goals:1 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 752 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 703 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 614 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 596 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 547 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 518 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 489 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 4510 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 33Goals Percentage:1 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 84.37 (27/32)2 Thomas Bosc (Catalans Dragons) 83.33 (10/12)3 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 82.41 (75/91)4 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 80.26 (61/76)5 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 79.54 (70/88)6 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 79.41 (54/68)7 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 78.66 (59/75)8 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)9 Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers) 76.47 (13/17)10 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 75.00 (45/60)Points:1 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1622 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1543 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 1534 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 1465 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1426 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 1227 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1188 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1109 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 10410 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 88Tickets for tonight’s game remain onsale from the Ticket Office and will be available on the turnstiles.
Last Ten Meetings:St Helens 6, Hull FC 8 (SLS8-R2, 11/8/17) St Helens 19, Hull FC 12 (SLR21, 7/7/17) Hull FC 0, St Helens 45 (SLR14, 20/5/17) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle) Hull FC 24, St Helens 14 (SLR4, 10/3/17) St Helens 31, Hull FC 10 (SLS8-R4, 2/9/16) Hull FC 32, St Helens 24 (SLR16, 28/5/16) St Helens 18, Hull FC 47 (CCR6, 8/5/16) St Helens 16, Hull FC 17 (SLR9, 1/4/16) St Helens 22, Hull FC 32 (SLS8-R2, 14/8/15) Hull FC 10, St Helens 17 (SLR15, 22/5/15)Super League Summary:St Helens won 29 (includes win in 2006 Grand Final & wins in 2001 and 2006 play-offs) Hull FC won 17 3 drawsHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 74-16 (H, 1999) (also widest margin) Hull FC highest score: 44-6 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)Milestones:James Roby needs one try to reach a century of touchdowns for St Helens. He has scored 99 tries in 408 games for the Saints since 2004.Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 1 appearance away from 300 in Super League (91 for Harlequins, 2006-2010 and 208 for St Helens, 2011-2018)Try-Scoring Runs:Ben Barba (2-2-1-1) has scored tries in our last four matches.Betfred Super League Leading Scorers:Tries: 1 Fetuli Talanoa (Hull FC) 11 2 Ben Barba (St Helens) 10 3 = Mark Percival (St Helens), Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors) 9 5 Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos) 7Goals: 1 Danny Richardson (St Helens) 41 2 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 37 3 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 29 4 Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 23 5 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 21Points: 1 Danny Richardson (St Helens) 88 2 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 80 3 Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 70 4 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 66 5 Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos) 54Tickets for the clash are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
His side host current holders Hull FC at the Totally Wicked Stadium (3:30pm) – and they haven’t lost in the competition for over two years.“I knew as soon as I joined the club that it was 10 years since they had been to Wembley,” he said. “It was something we spoke about as a group at the start of pre-season. We are aware of it, but we also know there is a long way to go.“It is an exciting game as it is a different competition. We treated it differently against Castleford. It is another game against one of the same teams you play against in your competition but it is different.“You have to acknowledge that it does mean more, but you also want to play the same.“The team are aware it is something special but the way we play has to be the same.”He continued: “Hull may have a few out but their forward pack is very strong and they have a very smart hooker. Their back three are really strong too.“They won’t be far off and have won it for the last two years. It will be tough game.“Radders (Lee Radford) knows how to get them up for this competition. They weren’t sitting top last year but still went on to win it. They will be preparing to do it again.”Holbrook says that both Tommy Makinson and Ben Barba will be available for Sunday’s clash whilst there are no other injury concerns from last Thursday’s win at Castleford.“We’ve had the luxury of a longer turnaround for this game and instead of cramming everything into them, we have had the chance for a slower start to the week which the players have enjoyed.“The excitement will certainly build as we get closer to the game.”Tickets for Sunday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 454 052 or online here.