Give Blood- National Blood Week 11th- 17th June 2012

June 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today is World Blood Donor Day and countries across the world are encouraging more people to become blood donors and thanking current donors for their generous blood donations which help save hundreds of lives every day.

Here in the UK ‘give blood’ are hosting National Blood Week from 11th-17th June. During this time a team of donor experts are touring the country in a bid to inspire more people to become donors and advise them on how, when and why becoming a donor is so important.

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Give Blood for National Blood Week

 Blood stocks have to be replenished to ensure that blood banks are supplied with enough blood to help poorly people. The levels and availability of blood types ranges which is why it’s so important to get as many people from all ethnic backgrounds to become donors.

Unfortunately some people won’t be able to donate blood, some medical conditions and prior experience can affect eligibility- check here for more info. And I know that many older donators are upset that they have to stop donating after their 66th birthday; if you’ve given blood for a long time it does become an important part of your life but for a donor’s own health this upper age limit is strictly followed.

This is why it’s important to ensure that younger people become donors. Healthy youngsters are perfect donors as they can regularly give blood and help make a difference. Giving blood can be daunting, especially if you’ve not done it before, but speaking from experience I can assure you that it’s nothing to worry about. 

Rachel Riley giving blood

Countdown’s, Rachel Riley giving blood

Simple ensure you follow the standard guidelines of drinking lots of water, a good night sleep and regular meals prior to giving blood and make sure you rest afterward. Once you’ve perked up you’ll have that feel-good feeling of doing something so positive that you’ll no doubt want to continue donating which is fantastic.

So during National Blood Week visit the give blood website to learn more about how important it is to roll your sleeves up and give blood. Online you can register as a donor and find a local blood donor centre, plus make an appointment to meet an advisor who will explore you eligibility and explain how your blood could help save a life.

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National Epilepsy Week 2012

May 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s currently National Epilepsy Week (20th-26th May 2012) and epilepsy organisation, Epilepsy Action, are using this week to raise crucial awareness of the neurological condition which affects over 600,000 people in the UK.

The theme to this year’s awareness week is achievement. Epilepsy Action are calling on epileptics to recall their proudest moments and most significant achievements to prove that epilepsy doesn’t have to stop people enjoying their life just like everybody else.

National epilepsy week

A whole host of epileptics have submitted their stories online. Their personal tales range from youngsters with epilepsy learning to swim, excelling at school and even sky diving! And adults achieving career successes beyond their expectations, having children and been able to take part in sporting activities after seizures, surgery and medication.

Each story is inspiring and it’s great to see a national awareness campaign that has such a positive approach. All too often we are bombarded with facts and figures. Epilepsy Action’s focus on achievements is refreshing and gives a personal touch that’s incredibly engaging.

In addition to promoting stories of personal achievement from ordinary epilepsy sufferers, Epilepsy Action also called on World Champion hurdler, Dai Greene, to recall his experiences of achieving great success whilst living with epilepsy.

epilepsy action

Dai’s story was published in an awareness supplement featured in Monday’s edition of The Guardian, which I’d highly recommend reading as it features a range of issues surrounding epilepsy including effective management of epilepsy in the workplace and in schools- read or download ‘Epilepsy Celebrating Achievement’ here.

Epilepsy is a condition which can affect just about anybody- old people, young people and fit and healthy people. The truth is you probably don’t realise the majority of sufferers have epilepsy which is why epilepsy is a condition that is worth supporting. During National Epilepsy Week why not spare half an hour to check out a local event, make a donation or just get clued up on the facts, it could really make a difference.

Top Tip: Did you know that people suffering from epilepsy can be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard and save up to 1/3 off rail travel. Visit www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk for more information.

National Vegetarian Week – Homemade Veggie Pizza and Potato Salad

May 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s National Vegetarian Week so I’ll be sharing some of my favourite vegetarian dishes on the blog throughout the week- I’d love to hear which veggie dishes you enjoy cooking so please leave a comment below.

Here at Bath-Knight the sun is shining and it’s finally starting to feel like summer is on the way. So I thought that I’d share a couple of simple recipes which you can eat outside whilst enjoying the sunshine.

NVW veggie pizza

Vegetarian homemade pizzas are really easy to make and although I tend to make my own pizza bases (I follow Jamie Oliver’s recipe) you can buy readymade ones from local supermarkets.

The best thing about homemade pizza is that you can add whatever toppings you like. For a veggie feast stock up on olives, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, sweet corn, jalapeños, garlic, onion, capers and plenty of different types of cheese. With so much choice even meat eaters will love these pizzas.

NVW potato salad

I like to serve pizza with a side salad and often I’ll make this potato salad to accompany a light supper. It’s also a great recipe to use when guests are around for BBQ’s or picnics in the garden. This potato salad can be eaten warm or cold and keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Beryl and Betty win Best Entertainment Show at Sony Radio Academy Awards

May 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last night the Sony Radio Academy Awards took place at a lavish ceremony in London. Considered to be the Oscars of the radio industry the award show welcomes some of the most familiar voices from the radio including Chris Evans, Nicholas Parsons and Jeremy Vine.

However, the stars of last night’s show weren’t the national radio stars who you might have expected. Instead the spotlight was on pensioners, Betty Smith and Beryl Renwick, who host a Saturday evening show on BBC Radio Humberside that won this year’s Sony Radio Award for Best Entertainment Show.

beryl and betty Best Entertainment Show

Beryl and Betty – Best Entertainment Show Winners

Aged 86 and 90 Beryl and Betty have become the oldest winners of the radio accolade and have turned into a radio sensation after been described by the Sony Radio Award bosses as a ‘joyous entertaining double act’ who are successfully giving ‘a voice to a sector of society unrepresented on radio’.

I couldn’t agree more with Sony Radio as Betty and Beryl’s show, which is produced and hosted by co-presenter David Reeves, showcases just how full of life and passionate older people are. Dubbed the ‘golden girls’, Beryl and Betty talk about everything from their day to day lives, fashion, memories from the good old days and their love of Michael Buble, all with so much enthusiasm that it’s infectious.

Beryl and Betty with David Reeves and their award

Beryl and Betty with David Reeves and their award

Beryl and Betty’s big break came as quite a surprise as they only took to the mic after been ‘spotted’ by David Reeves whilst on a tour of their local radio show six years ago. He was so infatuated by their sense of humor and upbeat outlook on life that he offered them a slot on the show and the rest is history.

All too often older people are written off because of their age, which is why I’d like to send huge congratulations to the Beryl and Betty on the success of their show which is officially the Best Entertainment Show on the radio. You can listen to the Beryl and Betty online here or catch them at 6pm on Saturday evenings.

Britain’s Got Talent Winner- Pudsey and Ashleigh

May 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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congratulations pudsey and ashleigh britains got talent winners.pudsey and ashleigh winners of britain's got talent

What an absolute delight to see Ashleigh and her very talented doggie Pudsey crowned the winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2012 on Saturday night.

I wouldn’t normally watch Britain’s Got Talent but I was intrigued to see who would actually win as the office had been buzzing all week talking about their favourite performers:

Natalia and Kyle where very popular in the office with their twist on ballroom dancing although their performance was unfortunately not at as good as previous, due to Natalia’s leg injury although it was a very commendable effort to still perform in such pain.

The other favourite in the office, as well as the doggie, seemed to be the Loveable Rouges, three very talented young men that surprisingly didn’t finish in the top three.

I must say that all the contestants did remarkably well, Only Boys Aloud came third and second place went to the amazing voices of Jonathon and Charlotte even though they didn’t win at only 17 and 16 they truly have a remarkable career ahead of them as I’m sure Simon Cowell and other producers will be scooping up as much of the talent from the show as they can.

As well as winning the glorious title of Britain’s Got Talent, a staggering £500,000 cash prize, Ashleigh and Pudsey now have a performance at The Royal Variety Performance where Her Majesty the Queen will be in attendance to plan and look forward to.

At only 17, Ashleigh has said that she will be spending some of the money on a new lead for Pudsey as they lost his on Saturday night and that she has always wanted to have her own business for film work for dogs or animals, it sounds like the prize money will be able to turn her dreams into reality especially with Pudsey now being insured for 1 million pounds and already estimated at earning over 5 million during his doggie years.

Big congratulations to top dog – BGT Winners Ashleigh and Pudsey 2012!

Naidex National 2012

May 1, 2012 at 9:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Naidex National 2012

Today is the opening day of Naidex National, the UK’s largest exhibition for disability, homecare and rehabilitation. Naidex attracts the leading names in the industry and truly is an event which shouldn’t be missed (I’m travelling down to the NEC this morning) as it’s the place to find out what’s new and what we can expect from 2012.

I’ve attended Naidex year after year as the exhibition works around the mantra of ‘Inspiration for Independent Living’. Strong to its word Naidex features a hugely diverse selection of products and service for people who require additional help in maintaining or regaining their independence.

Products at Naidex include facilities for elderly people, disabiled people and superb ranges for children with disabilities. Anything featured at Naidex is guaranteed to be one step ahead as manufactures often choose Naidex to showcase their brand new products and technologies.

Last year I was lucky enough to see the ReWalk by Cyclone, a devise which fits around the bottom half your body including sensors and computerised motors enabling paralysed people to stand up and walk independently. Claire Lomas, who was left paralysed after she fell off a horse, is currently making headlines as she attempts to complete the 26.2 mile London Marathon in the ReWalk.

I’m confident that this year’s event will prove to be even more innovative than last and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how much more product development has been made throughout the year.

A highly anticipated event this year’s 2012 exhibition will be opened by Falkland’s war veteran Simon Weston OBE, who has overcome some of the toughest challenges in his life and truly is an inspiration to live independently and enjoy every moment of life. Hopefully I’ll get to catch him over the course of the day.

I’ll be blogging about my time at Naidex throughout this week.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week 16th –22nd April 2012

April 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today marks the beginning of Parkinson’s Awareness Week ran by Parkinson’s UK, the leading research and support charity for Parkinson’s here in the United Kingdom.

Throughout this week the charity hopes to help more people understand what Parkinson’s disease entails and how the progressive neurological condition affects 130,000 sufferers and their family, friends and carers in the UK.  But more specifically, Parkinson’s UK would like to find a cure, and in turn raise crucial funds to enable on-going research.

Parkinson's UK

Parkinson's UK hosting Parkinson's Awareness Week

To kick start Parkinson’s Awareness Week, Parkinson’s UK has launched a ground breaking research project called ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’. The research project is set to become the world biggest in-depth study into people who have Parkinson’s and aims speed up the process of finding a cure for the disease.

Running over a 5 year period Tracking Parkinson’s will be headed by Dr Donald Grosset at the University of Glasgow, and funded entirely by Parkinson’s UK. The project will work with over 3,000 volunteers who will have their condition monitored in greater detail than ever before.

For research purposes volunteers have to be under the age of 50 or recently diagnosed and willing to have a blood test taken plus attend visits with their consultant every six months. And that’s it, there’s no scary operating tables or scans just a small insight into your condition which could help change the way that Parkinson’s is treated forever.

Find a Cure

'What would a cure mean to you' message board

Along with the launch of Tracking Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s Awareness Week is host to numerous awareness events across the country- find one near you here. And a new message board called, ‘What would a cure mean you’, which is encouraging suffers, family and carers to share their thoughts and experiences with one another. Having read some of the posts this morning I think that the message board is a fantastic place to start understanding why development into a cure or more advanced treatment is so important to those who are affected by Parkinson’s disease.  

Support Parkinson Awareness Week today by visiting Parkinson’s UK website and read an additional BBC article on Tracking Parkinson’s here.

Purple Day 2012- Epilepsy Awareness

March 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today it’s Purple Day which is an international awareness day that supports epilepsy. I first became aware of Purple Day in 2011 and was stunned to discover that Purple Day was dreamt up by Canadian school girl, Cassidy Megan.

An epileptic herself, Cassidy Megan decided to create a day which would help raise the profile of epilepsy and get people talking about the condition which affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

To support Purple Day you simply have to wear purple on 26th March. You can wear anything from a purple cardigan, tights, socks, dresses or even paint your nails purple. It’s completely up to you. But by wearing purple you will be showing your support to the world’s most common neurological condition.

Purple Day

Celebrate Purple Day 2012

Purple Day is now a globally recognised awareness day and celebrations and events are taking place across the world. Here in the UK 12 people from the Joint Epilepsy Council (JEC) are climbing Big Ben to raise awareness of the condition. Two of those people are MP’s Laura Sandys and Paul Maynard both of whom are epileptic and hoping to get rid of the stigma which still surrounds epilepsy.

Climbing Big Ben is an incredible achievement because the 334 spiral stairs to the top have been restricted to those who suffer from epilepsy for the past 150 years. Only recently has the ban been lifted allowing today’s climb to take place.

I send all the best of luck to this year’s Purple Day and encourage everyone to check out the Purple Day website.  It’s incredibly interesting and packed with epilepsy facts which could change the way you think about epilepsy forever.

Did you know that Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Charles Dickens were all epileptic.

No Smoking Day 2012

March 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Today is No Smoking Day and the British Heart Foundation is encouraging smokers to give up the habit for good.

nosmoking_day_2012I know that giving up smoking is incredibly difficult and often it takes several attempts but it really is worth persisting with as not smoking can dramatically change your life.

For older people quitting smoking can be more of a challenge because it’s a lifetime habit. But older people are likely to see the benefits more than anyone else. As well as endless positives on your health, older people will see a huge improvement in quality of lifestyle.

So if you’re trying to give up smoking for good use the No Smoking Day website as a resource for helpful tips and contact. There are plenty of services available to people looking for help quitting including your local GP.

My top tip is to look realistically at how not smoking can change your life. Work out how much money you’ll save in a month. If you can manage not smoking for this period of time treat yourself to something special or save the money for a special occasion- a holiday, weekend break, new car.  

I’d like to wish everyone the very best of luck quitting and a healthy future!

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