The clocks have gone back and the nights are beginning to draw in, but our newsletter, jam-packed with news and offers, is here to brighten up your day!
Book of the month: ‘Looking After My Balls’
Today is the first day of November – also known as ‘Movember’ – a month dedicated to raising awareness of men’s health.
When we talk about men’s health, we should be talking about all men, including those with learning disabilities and communication difficulties, which is why we’ve selected ‘Looking After My Balls’ as November’s half-price book of the month.
It’s important for every man to check his balls regularly and to see his doctor immediately if he finds any changes that are not normal for him. You can use the pictures and information in this book to help men with learning disabilities learn more about their testicles and about how to look after them. The pictures are designed to help the reader to ask questions or share their concerns.
Order your half-price copy on our website: https://booksbeyondwords.co.uk/bookshop/paperbacks/looking-after-my-balls
Discussions, drawing and diversity at Mental Wealth Festival 2018
This September saw the fourth Mental Wealth Festival take place in London. As ever, the two-day festival boasted a fascinating line-up of talks, workshops and activities about what we can do to maximise our wellbeing and good mental health, with topics ranging from work and education to tai chi and art!
Beyond Words ran ‘pop-up’ book clubs across both days. And on the second day of the festival, a Beyond Words group took part in a ‘Relax with Paintings’ session at the National Gallery. Our Books and Training Adviser, Vivian, joined the group for a guided tour of the gallery, listening to the stories of the works of art on display, and explaining afterwards, “I felt like I was going inside the picture”. The group spent time viewing and sketching the artworks, which they later enlarged to form a single giant mural to tell a new story – a caveman story in fact! Vivian summed up the day: “I felt like an artist, like Van Gogh but a girl version.”
“Lonely no longer”: The OpenStoryTellers review ‘Belonging’
In the latest edition of Community Living magazine, members of the OpenStoryTellers professional development skills group shared a thoughtful and insightful review of ‘Belonging’:
“It taught us that friends are important and having new friends makes you happy and want to socialise with them more.
Spending time with friends brings the best out in us, and that is clear in this book. In the book, the woman started off sad but ended up being happy because she has a friend and she’s not lonely any more. She faced a big challenge, so it was brave of her to go out. We have all had experiences like this ourselves, so we can relate to it.”
Read the full review on the Community Living magazine website: www.cl-initiatives.co.uk/finding-friends-lonely-no-longer
New book about constipation in development
You may (or may not, if you follow us on Twitter) be surprised to hear that the latest book we have started work on is all about constipation. However, in the wake of recent events, it’s clearer than ever that this is an extremely important topic that we all need to get much better at talking about.
Our forthcoming book will address the management and treatment of constipation in a straightforward and open way, showing that it’s ok to talk about poo because this means that problems can be spotted and resolved before they become more serious.
There’s still a lot of work to do on this book, and so if you know of any groups who would be interested in helping us test out the story by telling us what they think of the pictures we’d love to hear from you. You can email Hannah at email@example.com for more details.
Vivian nominated for the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List
A big congratulations to Beyond Words’ Books and Training Adviser Vivian for her nomination in the work and employment category of Dimensions’ Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018!
Vivian’s enthusiasm, kindness and insight comes through in everything she sets her mind to, and this nomination is a testament to her hard work. Despite not winning this year, Vivian is thrilled with her nomination: “I feel honoured. This means a lot to me.”
You can find out more about the Leaders’ List on Dimensions’ website: www.dimensions-uk.org/get-involved/campaigns/learning-disability-autism-leaders-list/about-leaders-list/
New Beyond Words book club up and running in Strood
We’re delighted to report that we have another new book club to add to the list of groups meeting in community spaces across the UK. Our newest club is based in the Tolgate Coffee café in Strood, and would be delighted to welcome new members if you or someone you know fancies joining (or even just popping along to see what it’s like).
To find out more about Beyond Words book clubs, including a list of locations and a guide on how to set up your own club, visit our website: www.booksbeyondwords.co.uk/book-clubs
#RightfulLives exhibition: human rights, learning disability and autism
The #RightfulLives exhibition is an online exhibition born from a conversation about how frequently the human rights of people with learning disabilities are not recognised or respected, and how the legal framework of the Human Rights Act appears to do little to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
The exhibition is split across six ‘rooms’, each of which focuses on an Article of the Human Rights Act, and includes a mixture of poetry, artwork, film, photography and narrative, with the aim of raising awareness of people’s legal rights and calling for positive change.
View the exhibition online: http://rightfullives.net
A very warm welcome to new team members Lucy and Annette
Finally, we are very pleased to be welcoming two new members of staff to the Beyond Words team. Lucy Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org) is joining us in the role of Business and Development Manager, whilst Annette McCartney (email@example.com) is our new Training and Practice Manager. We’re looking forward to sharing news about what they’re working on soon.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about our latest news and offers. If you have any comments about our newsletter please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your continued support.
The Beyond Words Team