Saturday, 30 June 2012

Action Duchenne announces £5million skipDuchenne fund to focus on delivering cure

skipDuchenne to raise £5m over the next five years, and to lobby Government for matched funding to support gene therapies for all those living with Duchenne

Action Duchenne, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has today launched its skipDuchenne research fund. The fund will raise £5m over the next five years and will be seeking Government matched funding (from the fund announced by David Cameron in April) to support clinical trials of gene therapies for Duchenne patients in the UK. Action Duchenne will be working closely with the International Duchenne Exon Skipping Consortium (iDESC) to facilitate development of systemic anti-sense therapeutics for neuromuscular disease, with the goal of providing access to treatments to as many Duchenne patients as quickly as possible.

skipDuchenne is already supporting cutting edge research and earlier this year provided a grant of £160k to Royal Holloway University College to develop full length dystrophin, effectively a cure. A grant of £23k was secured by skipDuchenne from Jeans for Genes to further support the project.

The first exon skipping drug is expected to be on the market in 2014, but due to the way that genetic medicines are currently approved, it will only benefit 14% of Duchenne patients. skipDuchenne is currently building a fund of £180k to sequence rarer exons, which will help to ensure that treatments that will benefit between 60% and 80% of boys living with Duchenne are available by 2014.

Martin Bashir, broadcaster, patron of Action Duchenne and whose brother Tommy had Duchenne commented, “My own brother lived until he was 29, but even now this is very much the exception. We are on the verge of perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the treatment of Duchenne. This is a pivotal and critical moment in the fight against this disease and the funds needed are a drop in the ocean when compared to the social and human cost of caring for these young men. We urgently need the Government to provide the matched funding required to bring these treatments to market as soon as possible.” Martin Bashir, who will be covering the Olympics for the broadcaster NBC, is advocating on both sides of the Atlantic for those with Duchenne.

In April 2012 the Prime Minister, David Cameron launched a fund of £180 million to provide grant funding for innovative small and medium sized enterprises and academics to develop solutions to healthcare challenges. Mr Cameron said:
"The UK boasts a world-leading life sciences sector which is changing at an incredible pace. And I'm absolutely committed to helping it widen its significant foothold in the global market. Benefiting both patients and the British economy, this £180 million programme will support both SMEs and academics and help to ensure that they can turn their promising ideas into innovative technologies."

Action Duchenne’s Boys to Men Campaign which was the focus of recent lobbies to Westminster, Holyrood and Stormont (the lobby to the Welsh Assembly will take place on 17 July) is calling on the government to provide matched funding for skipDuchenne from this fund.

Nick Catlin, Head of Research at Action Duchenne commented, “Since we launched Action Duchenne in 2001 so much has happened in the race to find a cure for Duchenne. In those days they said there was no hope, now we are on the edge of a breakthrough and a potential cure for this devastating condition. Now that we are so close to viable treatments and a cure, skipDuchenne aims to raise vital funds to ensure that these medicines are developed quickly and made available so that they benefit the current generation of children living with this cruel condition. We are asking our members, supporters, funding partners and the Government to support us in this goal.”

Tyran Hawthorn, aged 25, who is living with Duchenne, recently featured in an ITV Meridian news piece, “Out of the sixteen boys at Treloars College who were there at the same time as me only one other friend is still alive. Unfortunately, he is in intensive care where he has been since January. We keep hearing how young men with Duchenne should live into their 30s and 40s, but at the moment that simply isn’t happening. We need these gene therapies urgently.”

Professor Francesco Muntoni, Chair of Paediatric Neurology, ICH - Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, Dept of Neurosciences & Mental Health, Faculty of Population Health Sciences and a founding member of iDESC said, “The landscape of potential treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has improved out of all recognition in the last ten years. We believe we are now getting closer to a viable treatment and iDESC has been set up to ensure a high level of focus to delivering these treatments as soon as possible. We are delighted that skipDuchenne is supporting iDESC with much needed funds to ensure that we deliver for these children.”

Matthew Wood, Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford said, “Exon skipping is the most promising of several new potential treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to emerge in very recent years. It is crucial now to capitalise on these scientific advances and to ensure that the clinical potential of exon skipping is maximised and that its benefits reach as many Duchenne boys as possible as quickly as possible. skipDuchenne is poised to play a very important role in achieving these goals”

Dr Keith Foster at the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, who is looking at a system to produce full length dystrophin, said, “Gene therapy research is progressing at a faster pace than ever before. It is crucial to raise the funds so that we are able to finish the project and to change the regulatory climate so that the treatments are made available to Duchenne patients as quickly as possible. The skipDuchenne research fund will help support our efforts and ensure that we keep awareness levels high.”

To make a donation to Action Duchenne - Text ACTION to 70003 Texts cost £3 plus network charge. Action Duchenne receives 100% of your donation. Please obtain bill payers permission. Charity No 1101971

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

London Ambulance Service to save £200,000 per annum by moving to shared financial services

Financial processes are being outsourced to ELFS Shared Services in partnership with Advanced Business Solutions

The London Ambulance Service, the busiest ambulance service in the country serving more than seven million people, is anticipating cost savings of £200,000 per year by outsourcing its financial accounting services and the management of its accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes.

ELFS Shared Services (ELFS), a division of Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be managing the Trust’s financial processes using a finance system that is being provided, hosted and supported by Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). ELFS is now providing shared services to 17 NHS client organisations at its North-West base. London Ambulance Service’s go live is planned for 1st July 2012.

The Service is taking the decision to outsource its AP and AR processes together with its financial accounting services (including control account reconciliation and cash management) to help deliver its cost reduction targets without compromising financial service delivery. ELFS will be servicing the London Ambulance Service including its 70 London ambulance stations and will be using Advanced’s finance system with integrated electronic procurement, business intelligence (SAP Business Objects) and document management (Version One).

London Ambulance Service’s central finance and procurement teams together with staff from its logistics site, will also have access to the Advanced finance system. This system, which is being provided as a managed service and is replacing a more manually-intensive onsite finance solution, will enable authorised staff across all 70 stations to electronically procure goods and services. In September 2012, budgeting and forecasting functionality is being added to the system to enable a more automated, collaborative and transparent approach to budget setting.

ELFS and Advanced Business Solutions were selected by the Service after a competitive tendering process that involved a panel of assessors from the finance, procurement and IT departments together with end users from across the Service.

Amanda Cant, Deputy Director of Finance, London Ambulance Service, says, “ELFS was chosen because of its NHS heritage and track record of providing high quality financial and procurement services within a shared services environment. Advanced’s integrated finance system, which will be supporting our financial operations, is also proven to be robust, reliable and functionally-rich.”

The Service is anticipating significant cost savings by moving to shared financial services and a new managed finance system, aiding its cost reduction goals.

Amanda Cant says, “By outsourcing our financial accounting, AP and AR processes to ELFS and moving to an Advanced managed finance system, we expect to save at least £200,000 per year. These savings are key if we’re to meet our tough cost cutting targets.”

Amanda Cant adds, “This is the first shared service arrangement the Service has ever entered into and so it has been a very important and considered decision. We will be working very closely with both ELFS and Advanced to ensure a smooth transition and long-term success.”

Monday, 25 June 2012

Intellicig ‘Goes Down a Storm’ at the Brunnenfest of Oberursel in 2012

Intellicig Germany
With some 2 million users of e-cigarettes in Germany already – according to a recent article by e-cig enthusiast Professor Dr.J├╝rgen Ruhlmann, Medical Director of the prestigious MedizinCenter in Bonn, which specialises in nuclear medicine, radiology and radiation therapy (and currently featured on Intellicig’s German website) – it was no real surprise that the Intellicig stand at the ‘Fountain Festival’ was a raging success ...despite the weather.

The Brunnenfestof Oberurselis an incredibly popular folk festival in Germany’s Taunus region which draws huge crowds eager to enjoy the attractions of the four day festival (June 1st-4th). These included a large amusement park, a brilliant fireworks display, live music and dancing. A ten-kilometrerace and a craft market attractedsignificant numbers of weekend visitors as well as the traditional water-based attractions of Oberursel – known locally as the ‘Fountain City’.The Brunnefest was also an ideal event at which to promote Intellicig.

There’s clearly an appetite for electronic cigarettes in Germany. Intellicig Deutschland is always keen to meet the German public face-to-face to inform them of the particular benefits offered by the Intellicig range. Intellicig’s ‘Quality designed in Great Britain’ is a reassuring feature in a market of often questionable quality. With many products coming in from outside the EU which barely meet minimum German Trading Standards requirements, the fact that Intellicig is the the world's first e-cigarette manufactured to the same exacting EU regulatory standard as a pharmaceutical product is of great interest.

Intellicig Deutschland’s Guy Eaton (pictured) said: “We had four days of intense discussion and consultation with visitors throughout the festival. We also made some real sales, even though the weather only ‘played nice’ for two days before turning rainy and stormy. At one point we were in danger of being blown away along with our brochures!

Despite the wind and the rain we experienced genuine interest. People wanted to be reassured about fears that the e-cigarette may be dangerous.They clearly liked the professional advice and the ‘quality and purity approach’ of Intellicig, as well as the chance to try the product themselves.”

Intellicig Deutschland’s Henning Dransfeld added: “We had quite a few people who bought a starter kit in the first or second day, then come back afterwards to order more and to tell us that they have not smoked since. Some were very grateful!

It’s particularly nice when you are just advising someone and a customer from the day before comes around to tell them ‘this is great, go for it!’ We also won back a couple of people who bought cheap e-cigarettes without consulting in a news agent and got disappointed. Intellicig changed their minds.”

Electronic Cigarettes

US allergen firm opens new lab in Wales

An allergen testing business based in the US has strengthened its UK operations by opening a new laboratory in Cardiff.

INDOOR Biotechnologies, which has its headquarters in Virginia, set its sights on Cardiff Medicentre in the grounds of the University Hospital of Wales as the home of its new state-of-the-art facility. It will see the company expanding its allergen analysis services and its research and development arm as it enters the next phase of growth.

Dr James Hindley, Scientific Operations Manager, who is heading up the new lab said, “Much of what we will be doing in Cardiff is measuring allergens from species including cat, dog, dustmite, pollen and nuts. Our clients are academic and non-academic researchers, allergen manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of allergen reduction or management products and food companies based all over the world ho call on us to help detect and work towards minimising the effects of allergens.”

INDOOR’s new facility will also be used to carry out allergy-based research and to develop new products and services including new allergen detection kits which will be sold to allergy sufferers and companies and researchers working in countries including France, Spain and Japan and throughout the UK.

“The scale of our work reflects the ongoing issues allergies present in everyday life, and the strong commercial basis for what we’re doing,” said Hindley. “By creating this new lab, we will be opening up new markets to supplement those already secured by our US parent company.”

The group’s expansion into Wales comes at a time when Welsh life sciences businesses are set to benefit from a £100 million government fund aimed at building on Wales’ growing reputation in this area.

“The progress that’s been made in life sciences and innovation here over the last 1-2 years is impressive and there is a tangible and promising emphasis on helping these companies thrive,” said Hindley.

South Wales born and bred, Hindley studied Biochemistry at Cardiff University, obtaining his PhD at the hospital campus just a stone’s throw away from Cardiff Medicentre. After a spell working at INDOOR’s US headquarters and its UK base in Warminster, Hindley is excited to be bringing the company to Wales.

“On a personal level, I’m thrilled to be back in Cardiff, starting to put something back into the region. I’ll be maintaining close ties with Cardiff University in particular and look forward to recruiting local talent and growing the company with the support of Cardiff Medicentre.”

The business incubation site was chosen as the base for INDOOR’s new facility because of its prime location on the hospital campus, its set-up and the facilities on offer, including part-fitted labs. INDOOR’s fellow tenants at Cardiff Medicentre include the medical devices company Asalus, drug testing business Cansford Laboratories and the ultrasound training company Medaphor.

“It’s hugely inspirational to be working alongside growing businesses which are doing some pretty exciting things,” Hindley said.

Dr Mark Bowman, Director of Innovation at Cardiff Medicentre said, “We’re delighted to welcome James and his team. As a business incubator which supports and nurtures new life science companies, we’re always pleased to see businesses with great ideas, and people with a strong work ethic and plenty of ambition.”

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Charity inspires woman to run 2012 Safaricom Marathon

On 30th June 2012, which is also Armed Forces Day, Zenia Bond from Stroud in Gloucestershire will be taking part in the greatest challenge of her life – running the 2012 Safaricom Marathon, one of the 10 toughest marathons in the world, on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya in aid of Walking with Warriors.

Zenia decided to take part in the marathon after being inspired by newly formed charity Walking with Warriors, which furthers the rehabilitation of injured servicemen and women through developing projects which address some of the most challenging situations faced by indigenous peoples around the globe today. The pilot project by Walking With Warriors will be a gravity fed water pipeline serving a Samburu tribal community and elephant pan dam, not far from Lewa.

Zenia has never been to Africa, and this will be her first full marathon, "I have trained for marathons before, and never made it to the start line, but when I decided I was going to run the Safaricom Lewa Marathon no one was going to stop me! That is the Walking With Warriors spirit. It inspires you to push your boundaries beyond what you think you are capable of.

“For me training for and running this marathon is an incredible physical and mental challenge. To take on that challenge I had to ignore all those voices (both inside and outside my head) that said I was incapable, and to instead listen to those who said  “you can do this”  and then just get my head down and start training – hard!”

“I really want to show my respect for the strength, determination, and aspirations of all those involved in Walking With Warriors and it could not be more fitting that I should be running my first marathon in Kenya amongst the people, culture and environment that inspired that Walking With Warriors spirit in the first place.”

The first £1000 raised in support of Zenia's run goes directly to the event's organisers, Tusk Trust, a charity which raises money to preserve African wildlife and help alleviate poverty. Anything else raised will go to Walking With Warriors.

Walking with Warriors furthers the rehabilitation of injured servicemen and women of all types by employing them to manage, develop and supervise projects that are addressing some of the most challenging situations faced by indigenous people around the Globe today.

By concentrating on the skills and experience that these individuals already have as part of their former training and careers, Walking with Warriors will facilitate projects within the fields of infrastructure, health care, education, security and environmental and wildlife preservation.

Those selected to take part are encouraged to establish strong bonds with local inhabitants, respect their culture and traditions and contribute towards the well-being of the tribal group on a long term basis. In return, they will gain valuable experience of working in an international development arena while receiving continued support in their rehabilitation and the chance to live amongst some of the most inspiring cultures and environments in the World.

Through its commitment to sourcing, establishing and managing a portfolio of meaningful projects, Walking with Warriors, aims to accomplish what no other body has yet achieved – a combination of providing a long term future for injured service personnel and their families – and training local people in the developing world to manage their own affairs professionally and and in the knowledge that they are securing their own futures.”

You can donate to Zenia and Walking with Warriors please visit –

For more information about Zenia's run and sponsorship details contact
Zenia Bond at

For the latest information, follow:

Stomp Away Summer City Stress with Hi-Tec’s Top Three London Walks

Top outdoor retailer, Hi-Tec hopes to inspire city dwellers to put on their walking boots and escape London’s chaos by selecting three top walks to be enjoyed in and around the city this summer.

Jubilee travel drama gave some prelude as to how crowded and congested trains, tubes and roads might be over the coming weeks, and so Hi-Tec is keen to remind those living in the city that there are options for escape during London’s busiest summer in history.

The recommended walks start at Osterley Park, Richmond Hill and Morden Hall Park; locations that have been selected because Londoners will be able to use some of the less-congested transport routes to get to them during the Games.

Osterley Park
Perfect for relaxing picnics and family strolls, Osterley Park is one of the last surviving country estates in London and its grounds offer a welcome retreat from urban life. Due to the flat landscape and carefully positioned lakes and trees, a stroll in the park will involve many beautiful views of the house, most impressively the view across the tranquil expanse of Middle Lake.

Where to walk: A loop can be followed from the main car park; take ‘Nine-Acre Path’ in the north-east corner of the park, through farmland, passing the Second World War rifle range, Middle Lake, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Lodge and head back past Osterley House, where you can stop to visit the house and tearooms if you wish.

How to get there: Bus routes H28 or H19 run near the house. The nearest train station is Isleworth (1.5 miles from Osterley) or use Osterley Underground via the Piccadilly line. By bike follow London Cycle Network routes 101 and 102.

Richmond Hill
The iconic view from Richmond Hill, down towards the River Thames, is the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament. A rewarding circular route links Ham House and Garden with Richmond Station.

This walk will ease your mind as you leave the hustle and bustle of Richmond town centre behind you to take in the glorious view from the Hill, admire the grand 17th century Ham House and stretch your legs along the Thames for a river stroll home.

Where to walk: It’s possible to plan a route from Richmond Station walking from the high street to Richmond Hill, past the Royal Star & Garter into Richmond Park grounds. Through the grounds, past King Henry’s Mound (another viewpoint) and leaving the park onto Petersham Road, through Ham Avenues to Ham House, and returning to the station via the Thames Path.
How to get there: Train or tube to Richmond Underground/Overland Station. Bus routes alight at Richmond Station/the Quadrant. Cycle Network 4 passes near Ham House.

Morden Hall Park
Taking in a historic stable yard, snuff mill and rose garden, a walk through Morden Hall Park will take you far away from modern day city life and back in time to an era reminiscent of Britain’s agricultural and industrial heyday. There are opportunities to spot wildlife along the River Wandle and see the watermills that generated the park’s fortune from drying and grinding tobacco into the fine powder, known as ‘snuff’.

Where to walk: Plot your own circular walk taking in the river, the water mills, the rose garden and the meadows or wetlands.

How to get there: Several buses stop close to the Park from Sutton, Mitcham and Wimbledon. The Tramlink runs between Wimbledom, Mitcham, Croydon and Beckham Junction, alight at Phipps Bridge for the southern side of the Park. The Northern Line will take you to Morden Underground station (0.75 miles away) and Morden South station via national rail is 0.5 miles from the park. By bike take National Cycle Network Route 22, which incorporates The Wander Trail.

For details on other walking destinations in the UK, visit Hi-Tec’s Inspiring Walks gallery at .

Evidence suggest that Big Buns result in Big Buns

Whilst it may appear that we consumers have won the battle of the supersized portions, I can report that we have not. All that has happened is that the very clever marketing people in the food manufacturing industry changed their language and span us a number of different lines with the same meaning. “Bigger Bag” crisps, “Multipack” chocolate bars and “Buy 2 get one free” on Mars, Twix and Snickers are all just new ways to sell us more products, new ways to say “Supersize”.

Kate Walker from said “Supersized portions are again on the rise and just because the marketing people call it something else, like “The Kid’s Challenge” (named as such because it weighs as much as a child at 9lb of food” doesn’t make it okay.” In this evening’s TV programme “The men who made us fat” (BBC2 at 9:00pm), the presenter takes on the “challenge”, an emotive word that makes eating the huge meal sound like a victory and the eater a potential hero. Man Vs Food is another popular TV show depicting the overconsumption of massive portions of food as some kind of conquering of Everest event.

As a consequence, we are losing our perspective on what a normal portion looks like. I can remember when a cheeseburger (300kcal) with small fries (230kcal) was considered the normal thing to order at MacDonald’s, with the Big Mac being something of a challenge to be attempted only rarely, and whilst the nutritional value of Cheeseburger and Fries may be questionable, it was certainly enough food to stave off hunger till your next meal. Now the burger of choice seems to be the Big Mac (540kcal) and this has been supplanted as the challenge in the consciousness by the Angus DeLuxe at (750kcal).

So the marketers are still doing an excellent job of moving the goalposts and getting us to buy more and more food. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that by choosing the Cheeseburger you are selecting the “Lighter” option. So next time you fancy the Angus Deluxe with large fries and a triple thick shake, remember that the 1810kcal it contains is almost your entire recommended calorie intake for the whole day in just one meal.

Tel: 0845 3637148

Npower reports Newcastle teens spending more time watching sport than playing it

npower research reveals that a quarter (24%)of teens in Newcastle spend more time watching sport on TV than playing sport outdoors. Even more revealing is that one in four (25%) of children in Newcastle admitted they have no one to take them out or there are not enough facilities for them to enjoy the great outdoors.

The research, commissioned by npower to celebrate the launch of its No Power Hour Road Show 2012, reveals that half (50%) of Newcastle kids admit they’re addicted to TV, the computer or video games.

However, the unprecedented number of sporting events and national celebrations this summer may be inspiring a newfound wave of patriotism, uptake of sport and community spirit, with over a fifth (21%) of Newcastle's children attending their first ever street party or picnic this year. One in four (24%) has also been inspired to take up a new sport or hobby this year, with athletics, track and field being the most popular choice (70%), closely followed by football (30%) and then swimming and/or diving (20%).

As the title sponsor of The npower Football League, the energy company is treating kids in four major cities to yet another fab free summer event with a football-tastic display of themed activity zones, including a penalty shootout area, keepy-uppy contests and a dribbling zone to practice footie skills. The npower No Power Hour. Road Shows aim to show how football can be just one of many activities kids can take part in if they just turn off their gadgets and technology for an hour each day.

Clare McDougall, npower's head of education and community, says: "Our research shows that there is a real desire amongst children to spend time outdoors but they are constrained by being constantly switched on to video games, TV and the computer or have no one available to take them outside.

"This summer's spectacular series of events is providing inspiration for young people to switch off technology and spend time with friends, family and neighbours, learn new sports and hobbies and get out and about within their communities.

"Our npower No Power Hour Road Show will visit four of the UK's major cities to energise families and show just how much fun can be had outside, away from gadgets, using their own energy."

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Croftons Personal Injury Solicitors Offer Free, Friendly Advice

Based in Manchester, Croftons Personal Injury Solicitors deals with a wide range of injury claims from accidents at work to road traffic accidents. The friendly team fight tooth and nail to help those that were in an accident that was not their fault, offering 100% of the compensation thanks to the no-win-no-fee agreements the solicitors have put in place.

Croftons Personal Injury Solicitors have built upon their personal injury service by offering free and friendly advice. Making a claim can be a nerve racking experience and whilst the compensation that any claimant may receive will not make up for any emotional hardship endured, the solicitors put their clients first to ensure they feel at ease.

At Croftons Personal Injury Solicitors, the team deal with claims of all shapes and sizes. The no-win-no-fee process which is in place ensures claims are stress-free and dealt with in a friendly and professional way.

The team have worked on all types of compensation claims types and thus have the experience to ascertain whether they can help their clients from the start. The strict no-win-no-fee agreement promises claimants 100% of their compensation, free from deductions in the hope that it will contribute towards any loss of earnings and help clients get their life back on track.

Legally trained expert are always happy to help and provide information about the claims process. Call 0800 2800 094, request a free call back or complete the online form and speak to a member of the team today about what to do next.

‘Team E-Lites’ launch 2,000-mile Round Britain Charity Challenge

An intrepid group of powerboat racers called Team E-Lites are tomorrow embarking on the adventure of a lifetime – a  2,000 mile journey around Britain to raise funds for children’s hospices.

Team E-Lites will launch from Salcombe, in Devon, on Thursday morning (21st June) and aim to circumnavigate the country in just 11 days, returning on Sunday 1st July.

Throughout their clockwise route, the team will make 10 stops to hand over to hospices a share of the thousands of pounds that the project is expected to generate. E-Lites, the UK’s leading electronic cigarettes manufacturer and founder of Team E-Lites, has already donated £3,500 to the cause and hope this can be doubled by auctioning rides in the powerboat along the way.

Team E-Lites, supported by BananaShark Racing, had been hoping to compete in this year’s historic RB12 endurance race but when that was postponed a few weeks ago they launched a phoenix-style mission to complete the course on their own in aid of children’s hospices.

E-Lites co-founder and director Adrian Everett said: “This is an ambitious undertaking – not just in terms of logistics but in the physical and mental challenges the crew will face as they race over rough seas for several hours a day at high speeds. But determination is in the DNA of E-Lites and we’ll do absolutely everything we can to see this through on behalf of the thousands of sick children who will benefit from the money we are raising.”

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday 21st June Depart from Salcombe, Devon Arrive in Newlyn, Cornwall
Friday 22nd June Depart from Newlyn, Cornwall Arrive in Swansea
Saturday 23rd June Depart from Swansea Arrive in Douglas, IoM
Sunday 24th June Depart from Douglas, IoM Arrive in Troon
Monday 25th June Depart from Troon Transit Caledonian Canal
Tuesday 26th June Arrive in Inverness
Wednesday 27th June Depart from Inverness Arrive in Edinburgh
Thursday 28th June Depart from Edinburgh Arrive in Grimsby
Friday 29th June Depart from Grimsby Arrive in Chatham, Kent
Saturday 30th June Depart from Chatham Arrive in Portsmouth
Sunday 1st July Depart from Portsmouth Arrive in Salcombe

A crew of three experienced drivers and navigators – including championship winners John Cooke, Graham Lawton and Jeremy Gibson – will guide the 38ft BananaShark Stirling powerboat around the route, covering distances of up to 260 nautical miles per day, which will mean several hours spent battling often difficult conditions and high waves.

Beneficiaries will include Little Bridge House in North Devon; Children’s Hospice South West; Ty Hafan, near Cardiff; Rebecca House Hospice, in the Isle of Man; Friends of the Beatson, in Glasgow; Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS); St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice, in Grimsby; Demelza Hospice Care for Children, in Kent; and Naomi House, in Winchester.

CHAS fundraiser Amy Telford, CHAS Fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful that CHAS has been nominated and thank the whole powerboat team for their efforts. We wish them the best of luck for their adventure.”

In addition, E-Lites hopes to educate smokers around the country about its leading range of electronic cigarettes, which offer a healthier, use-anywhere, smoke-free alternative to conventional tobacco cigarettes.

To underline this ‘clean air’ message, the team has ensured carbon neutral status for its powerboat, with highly efficient Yanmar BY260 engines that will drive the craft despite a capacity of only three litres each.

The Round Britain Charity Challenge, supported by Raymarine navigation technology, will be covered online by a GPS tracking system that will chart the crew’s progress in real time, while video specialist Veho is supplying cameras that will film the action for viewing via websites and social media.

BananaShark director and co-driver John Cooke said: “Following the postponement of the Round Britain race we were incredibly disappointed but thanks to the incredible generosity and support of E-Lites and our other sponsors we will not only complete the challenge but also make a difference in the local communities.”

A map of the full route can be viewed by clicking here

To follow the progress of the Round Britain Charity Challenge as it happens, go to

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The "Beautiful Game" and The Link With Addiction

The opportunity to represent at international level is every sports person’s dream so we can sympathise with the frustration for the likes of Kyle Walker, Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry who due injury will only be watching from the sidelines.

Of course, injury in competitive sport is part and parcel, but how many of us consider the impact of repetitive mild head trauma and the longer term effects on the brain? One of the key elements in the 'beautiful game' is the ‘header’; players can strike the ball with their head dozens of times during a game and tens of thousands of times over their career.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease associated with repeated mild brain trauma such as a head-clash or from repeatedly heading the ball, has received little publicity to date, despite the dangers. It leads to lasting cognitive and behavioural effects; in particular, higher instances of addiction and depression. The most severe case of CTE was former England international, Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 with the coroner confirming that his death was caused by repeatedly heading the ball over his career. His wife said that he 'became increasingly agitated and suffered from eating disorders and behavioural disorders'.

Doctors Asken and Schwartz measured both the likelihood of concussive head trauma and the effects of heading the ball repeatedly during a footballer’s career. Their study of players in the 1993 Olympic football tournament found that 89% were found to have a history of head injury and 54% had suffered from concussion. With regard to heading of the ball, it is estimated that a player will head the ball, on average 9 times per practice session and 7.85 times per game. A player such as John Terry is likely to head the ball three times as much as that. The official Euro 2012 ball weighs 15.2 ounces and is hit at speeds of up to 74mph. This impact is 'similar to the repetitive blows to the head sustained in boxing', a sport for which CTE even has its own name, pugilistic dementia.

Dr Michael Lipton of Montefiore Medical centre studied the brains of 32 amateur footballers who underwent a special type of brain scan known as diffusion tensor imaging, which is good for visualising nerve and brain tissue. The 32 volunteers who underwent the scans were asked to say how often they headed the ball during football training and play.

This revealed that players who were "frequent headers" had obvious signs of mild traumatic brain injury on their scans. The part of the brain most affected was the medial temporal lobe, associated with addictive behaviour, depression, emotions and impulse control. The researchers believe the injuries build up over time, and Dr Lipton stated that "Repetitive heading could set off a cascade of responses that can lead to degeneration of brain cells." The damage only occurred in players who said they headed the ball at least 1,000 times in a year. Although this might sound like a lot, it amounts to a few times a day for a regular player, say the researchers.

Alastair Mordey, Programme Director at The Cabin Chiang Mai, a pioneering treatment centre in Thailand, has worked with footballers, rugby players and boxers. He feels that because so little is done to screen players during their careers, the most important thing that players can do is seek effective treatment.

“Most treatment centres rarely consider the brain. A big part of treatment of addiction and depression is not looking at what is wrong with the client but what is wrong with their brain. Addiction is defined as a neurological disorder, in particular addiction the reward, motivation and memory circuits of the brain. In addiction the motivation or reasoning centres of the brain (located in the frontal lobe) become damaged making addicts impulsive and unable to reason things through properly. With brain injury that reasoning ability is already impaired due to organic damage inflicted from an outside source (such as a brain injury).”

At The Cabin, counsellors use behavioural therapies such as positive thinking exercises and visualisations, mindfulness meditation and intensive physical exercise which have been proven to improve the strength of connections between different neural pathways in the fore-brain and the mid-brain which regulate activities like mood and impulse control. With this knowledge it is possible to treat addicts with mild to moderate brain injury without the need for excessive medication as therapy stimulates the growth of new neuronal pathways and strengthens underused pathways in the brain circuits damaged by addiction and brain injury.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

ExtraCare Charitable Trust Hosts ExtraCare’s Got Talent in Birmingham, Milton Keynes

It's been a busy month for ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents and staff. The ExtraCare Torch Relay has been touring the lengths and breadths of the country and now, Milton Keynes and Birmingham have hosted their very own version of Britain’s Got Talent.

Committed to providing residents with an inspirational and independent place to live, ExtraCare Charitable Trust have alternative care homes across the country which offer over 55s a place to relax, stay healthy and enjoy the company of likeminded people.

The communities in the alternative care homes across the country are diverse and fun. The team believe that the provision of activities and health and leisure facilities enable residents to carry on living a healthy and independent lifestyle and the latest event, ExtraCare’s Got Talent is a fine example of the fun and friendly environment that ExtraCare promises.

Residents from villages in Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire joined together to enjoy a day out at Chrysalis Theatre in Milton Keynes. The theme for the day was Viva Las Vegas and as always, the residents got involved, dressing up and performing highly entertaining shows.

Rosewood Court residents and staff impressed the audience with their own rendition of Lady Gaga’s hit song Poker Face, complete with costumes and dance routine whilst three residents from Lovat Fields performed a dance to Viva Las Vegas.

Hosting the next show was New Oscott Village who themed their performance to Top of the Pops. Karma Chameleon and Michael Jackson were just two acts that impressed the audience. Shocking acts came from Camoys Court and Broadway Gardens who performed in bikinis and a Foster and Allen song respectively.

Coming up this month, residents from other villages across the country will join at Lark Hill Village and The Rose Garden in Nottingham and Hereford to host their own performances.

For more information on the ExtraCare Charitable Trust and the villages across the country, visit the website at

Annual Action Duchenne lobby heads for Stormont today, 18 June

Families and supporters call on MLAs to support Action Duchenne’s Boys to Men campaign and adopt the 4 Point Plan to end serious under-funding for medical care, support and research for life wasting condition.

Hundreds of boys living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, their families and supporters will be heading for Stormont, the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly today, Monday 18th June 2012. Set as the date of its Northern Ireland lobby, Action Duchenne supporters and families will be lobbying MLAs to demand match funding for its ground breaking research programme, improved multidisciplinary medical care to be delivered via 9 Centres of Excellent throughout the UK with at least one in Northern Ireland, and access to specialist educational support and support for independent living. Action Duchenne is the leading UK charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research into treatments and finding a cure and providing support for families living with Duchenne.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a severe muscle wasting disease that affects mostly males and is 100% fatal. Sufferers are diagnosed usually by the age of five and without good medical intervention they rarely live beyond their late teens and twenties.

In their message, the families will call for support for National Commissioning and a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for healthcare in Northern Ireland (access to which could add as much as 10 to 15 years’ life expectancy and improve the quality of life). They will also request allocated funding for high quality research, for all patients living with Duchenne to have access to a first genetic treatment in the next 3-5 years and for individual health and social care planning with personalised budgets to promote independent living.

Dean Widd, Regional Development Officer for Action Duchenne and father of a son with Duchenne stated; “Northern Ireland is slipping behind the rest of the UK in its treatment of Duchenne patients. Families in Northern Ireland had no Care Advisor for a period of six months, while those living across the border in the Republic of Ireland had access to five.

“In some places children are receiving hydrotherapy regularly while others have sessions only six times per year. Some of those sessions take place in a pool shared with injured animals.

“The clinician in place in Northern Ireland has 288 patients but only eight hours per fortnight in which to see them leading to a serious shortage of available appointments. We desperately need a Centre of Excellence in Northern Ireland.”

Nick Catlin, Head of Research at Action Duchenne, said; “Twenty years ago there was little treatment for Duchenne, but advances in medicine, including current clinical trials as well as internationally agreed standards of care, make a longer lifespan and improved quality of life for all young men living with Duchenne a real possibility.

“We are now on the verge of bringing truly ground breaking genetic treatments for Duchenne to the market and it is a critical time to invest in research for treatments that will see the condition stabilised to enable our young people to live longer. There is no doubt that our campaigns and the tireless fundraising of our families and supporters have already made a difference, but without further funding and government support we cannot achieve our goal of providing personalised care and support into adulthood to improve the quality of life for those living with Duchenne.”

In its Lobby briefing document the charity details its key requirements which include; improved healthcare across the UK with nine specialised centres of excellence including at least one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that can deliver the range of services set out in the Agreed Standards of Care for Duchenne; a total of £5million match funding to support its five year SkipDuchenne research programme, that will ensure that patients have immediate access to personalised genetic treatment.

It also calls for access to specialist educational assessments and interventions, careers advice and support to enable independent living and social inclusion. Action Duchenne already works with Decipha to support young people at school with Duchenne through specialist assessments and learning programmes, winning the National Lottery Award Best Education Project in 2012 for its work.

Martin Bashir, Broadcaster and Patron of Action Duchenne, added; “We need to do what we can to encourage research, raise funds and support families who confront this condition with such bravery and resolve.”

Why Waiters Are The Fittest Workers

Jenny Craig Logo
Research shows that waiters are amongst the fittest workers because their job includes a huge amount of incidental exercise. The research was conducted by weight management experts JENNY CRAIG, who advise clients on an active lifestyle as well as providing portion controlled meals direct to the door. 1

The weight management specialists investigated how many steps people in various professions take throughout a working day by tracking 100 Australians across 10 different occupations with a pedometer. Waiters clocked an average of 22,778 a day. Walking the hospital corridors at an average of 1088 steps per hour over lengthy 12 hour shifts, nurses came second with 16,390 steps a day. Retail workers came third with 14,660 steps a day. The least active categories were people with office jobs (7,570 steps a day) and those working in call centres taking a mere 6,618 steps.

JENNY CRAIG spokesperson Nathan Johnson said: “Research shows we should be aiming for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day in order to get the basic benefits of physical activity; improved heart health, lower cholesterol levels and a boost in perceived well-being.2 But those who are trying to lose weight may need to do more, say 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day.”

As for the UK, on average Brits spend 6 hours a week doing sports and other exercise. People working in construction and engineering, retail, wholesale and transport claim to be even less active and report spending about 5 hours per week being physically active. Those working in legal occupations and Human Resources claim to be most active, spending 7 hours a week on physical activity. 3

The research supports JENNY CRAIG’s philosophy that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to exercise, but that anyone can incorporate activity into their daily routine. Though it is true that certain professions don’t seem to encourage incidental exercise, the weight management specialists have drafted up a list to help all include fitness into their workday.

1. Instead of emailing or phoning your colleagues, get out of your seat and go and ask the questions;
2. Walk to work or get off the train or bus one stop early;
3. Opt for the stairs instead of lifts or escalators;
4. Go for a walk during your lunch break, and get your colleagues to go with you to make it more fun?;
5. Have standing or walking meetings with your colleagues;
6. Meet a friend for a walk at lunch instead of a large lunch? Are we going to add this sort of info to the website too?
7. Wear a pedometer. Nathan Johnson says: “Wearing a pedometer is a great way to track your daily steps and an essential tool if you’re aiming to lose weight. By doing so you could be shocked at how much exercise you’re actually doing each day.”

H2Open releases free app

H2Open logo
H2Open, the world’s only dedicated open water swimming magazine, this week released a free app and sample issue for iPad and other tablet devices. The app is available on iTunes, Google Play (for Android) or via H2Open’s website (

Simon Griffiths, H2Open’s editor, says, “we previously had a paid for app but thanks to the support of Huub (a wetsuit maker), Gone Swimming (a swimming holiday company) and Diabetes UK we’ve been able to move to a free app model, and the app comes with a 16-page sample issue.”

Full magazine downloads and subscriptions still need to be paid for, but these are sold at a discount to the print version of the magazine. Additionally, the full collection of back issues is available through the app.

“We’re curious to see how well the free app model works,” says Griffiths. “Early indications are positive with a significant increase in downloads in the first 24 hours, followed by a jump in magazine sales. It seems that readers like to test-drive products for free but are willing to pay if they like what they see.”

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust saves £421,000 with Advanced’s Patient-level Resource Management

Product standardisation in theatres to deliver a further saving of £150,000

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) has saved £421,000 using a Patient-level Resource Management (PRM) system from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). RD&E has also considerably improved stock control in the theatres and now has access to invaluable spending insight. By standardising on certain products used in surgery, RD&E is looking to achieve a further 3 per cent cost saving on the Trust’s £5.5 million theatre budget, equating to an additional £150,000.

As a leading foundation trust, RD&E needs to ensure that excellence is being delivered in all areas. Stock control, especially in the theatres, was identified as an area in need of improvement as no standard, efficient means to manage stock existed. An IT solution that could deliver improved stock control and greater procurement insight, while having the ability to cost the whole patient pathway, was therefore required.

PRM from Advanced was selected as RD&E’s preferred solution and by November 2010, it had been successfully implemented across all 23 of the Trust’s main theatres. RD&E is currently looking to roll-out PRM to a further four day case theatres.

Theatre staff are using PRM to capture the detail and cost of all items used for surgery, from anaesthetic through to surgical mesh. All items used are recorded (with product specific codes) against the patient’s code and once the operation is over, all the recorded billing materials are checked for accuracy before being committed to PRM. The system also automatically raises an order when items require replenishing (based upon pre-set stock levels). Before PRM, re-ordering stock was a far more manual and time-consuming process.

Fred Cock, Clinical Services Manager from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, says, “Stock checks can now be done with a touch of a button. Before PRM, staff had to be gathered at a weekend to count and record all stock items. This was very labour-intensive, open to errors and couldn’t provide a real-time, holistic view of stock across the theatres.”

With greater control over stock levels and improved inventory management, waste across all 23 theatres has been reduced. To date, RD&E has saved £421,000 by bringing PRM into their mainstream savings programme.

Cock says, “The £421,000 savings RD&E has so far achieved would not have been possible without Advanced’s Patient-level Resource Management system. We have improved inventory management, thereby reducing our stock holding and cutting unnecessary waste. This provided us with an initial cost saving and the business intelligence to make further cost savings within the programme.”

The insight that PRM is delivering will enable even greater cost savings moving forward. RD&E now has the necessary intelligence around product spend and usage to enable meaningful supplier negotiations, enabling the procurement of more cost-effective products. With patient-level product detail available, this is also enabling an analysis of the products and product lines being used, how much they are costing and spend per surgeon.

Cock says, “With intelligence about our products and their associated costs at our fingertips, we can investigate why one surgeon may be using products that are more expensive than another surgeon. We have the insight to ask questions and find answers so that we can make cost-conscious decisions.”

RD&E also intends to standardise on certain cost-effective products used in surgery, such as surgical mesh used in hernia operations. There is no real difference in the application of standard surgical meshes and so the Trust plans to roll-out a standard, cost-effective type across all theatres.

Cock says, “There cannot be an unequivocal acceptance of the cost of products used by surgeons which is why intelligence is so important. By standardising on certain generic products used in surgery, this will provide a further 3 per cent cost saving on our £5.5 million theatre budget, equating to another £150K of savings.”

For further information about Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust visit

Monday, 11 June 2012

Going for Gold!

Liam Tancock our sponsored swimmer
    Liam Tancock their sponsored swimmer
Just in time for the London Olympics, award winning spa, Ragdale Hall is launching a new treatment - using products with gold as the main ingredient!

Gold is synonymous with luxury, warmth and a glowing radiance and the Golden Touch will achieve all these things.

During the seventy minute treatment, a cocktail of skin-loving products, including a combination of champagne, pearl and caviar extracts, are used to treat the skin, leaving it lustrous and radiant.

The treatment begins with a full body exfoliation with a golden shimmering cane sugar scrub with caviar extracts, which will help slow down the ageing process.

Whilst you are cocooned in an anti ageing full body wrap of champagne and grape extracts, a relaxing facial is performed. A shimmering gold dry body oil is applied before concluding the treatment with a soothing back massage.

A blissful treatment which will leave you glowing with health and relaxed in mind. Price: £70, Time: 70 minutes

Perfect for Olympic swimming medal hopeful, Liam Tancock, who regularly relaxes at Ragdale Hall before big competitions. Twice World Champion Liam is based at Loughborough University and has been sponsored by Ragdale Hall for the last five years.

He visited Ragdale Hall this week to try the Golden Touch following a pre Olympic training camp in America. With only weeks to go before the opening ceremony, he very much enjoyed the touch of gold!

Later in the year Ragdale Hall will be launching the ‘Golden Indulgence’ – the ultimate treatment in their already impressive treatment offering.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Annual Action Duchenne lobby off to Westminster 13th June

Families and supporters call on MPs to support Action Duchenne’s Boys to Men campaign and adopt the 4 Point Plan to end serious under-funding for medical care, support and research for this life wasting condition.

Hundreds of boys living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, their families and supporters will be heading for 10 Downing Street and the Department of Health on Wednesday 13th June 2012. Set as the date of its annual lobby, Action Duchenne supporters and families will be lobbying MPs to demand match funding for its ground breaking research programme, improved multidisciplinary medical care to be delivered via 9 Centres of Excellent throughout the country, and access to specialist educational support and support for independent living. Action Duchenne is the leading UK charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research into treatments and finding a cure and providing support for families living with Duchenne.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a severe muscle wasting disease that affects mostly males and is 100% fatal. Sufferers are diagnosed usually by the age of five and without good medical intervention they rarely live beyond their late teens and twenties.

In their message, the families will call for National Commissioning of more multidisciplinary centres of excellence for healthcare around the country (access to which could add as much as 10 to 15 years’ life expectancy and improve the quality of life). They will also request allocated funding for high quality research, for all patients living with Duchenne to have access to a first genetic treatment in the next 3-5 years and for individual health and social care planning with personalised budgets to promote independent living.

Nick Catlin, Head of Research at Action Duchenne, said; “Twenty years ago there was little treatment for Duchenne, but advances in medicine, including current clinical trials as well as internationally agreed standards of care, make a longer lifespan and improved quality of life for all young men living with Duchenne a real possibility.

“We are now on the verge of bringing truly ground breaking genetic treatments for Duchenne to the market and it is a critical time to invest in research for treatments that will see the condition stabilised to enable our young people to live longer. There is no doubt that our campaigns and the tireless fundraising of our families and supporters have already made a difference, but without further funding and government support we cannot achieve our goal of providing personalised care and support into adulthood to improve the quality of life for those living with Duchenne.”

In its Lobby briefing document the charity details its key requirements which include; improved healthcare across the UK with nine specialised centres of excellence (including at least one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) that can deliver the range of services set out in the Agreed Standards of Care for Duchenne; a total of £5million match funding to support its five year SkipDuchenne research programme, that will ensure that patients have immediate access to personalised genetic treatment.

It also calls for access to specialist educational assessments and interventions, careers advice and support to enable independent living and social inclusion. Action Duchenne already works with Decipha to support young people at school with Duchenne through specialist assessments and learning programmes, winning the National Lottery Award Best Education Project in 2012 for its work.

Martin Bashir, Broadcaster and Patron of Action Duchenne, added; “We need to do what we can to encourage research, raise funds and support families who confront this condition with such bravery and resolve.”

Time table for the day - Wednesday, 13th June,

9.30-10.00: Meet at the Aldersgate Room at Central Hall for preparations and signing of petitions.

10.00-10.30: Move outside to prepare for march.

10.30-11.00: March to Department of Health.

11.00-12.00: March to Downing Street and hand in petition.

12.00-13.00: Return to Central Hall (unless you are meeting your MP - who you can meet in Committee Room 6 in Westminster Palace).

13.00-14.00: Refreshments in Central Hall

14.00-15.00: Speakers in Central Hall

15.00-15.30: Q&A, networking and socialising.


Caroline Godfrey – Researcher, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford

Neil Williamson - Transitional Lead Nurse, Richard House Hospice

Dave Anderson - MP for Blaydon, and Muscular Dystrophy campaigner

Nick Catlin – Head of Research, Action Duchenne

Established in 2001 Action Duchenne aims to support and promote innovative research into a cure and effective medicines for Duchenne/Becker Muscular Dystrophy. The charity, which is led by Duchenne families, aims to promote awareness of the condition, to improve care services, and provide access to a range of educational and support/development programmes for people living with Duchenne at every stage of the condition. This is achieved by working in partnership with government agencies, NHS and care organisations, other charities, academic, scientific and research groups, and biotech companies worldwide.

Action Duchenne is actively campaigning for best practice in care for Duchenne based on the publication of an international consensus document in Lancet Neurology in Jan/Feb 2010. The published article was the product of an extensive review by 84 international experts in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis and care, and was supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US. It provides an expert guide to recommendations on the multidisciplinary care that should be available to all individuals with Duchenne. Several Duchenne patient organisations including Action Duchenne and the TREAT-NMD network have helped to produce a ‘Guide for Families’, based on the original academic article, which is written in language accessible to all without a medical background.

Since 2003 Action Duchenne has provided £4m for research projects and partnerships. The charity has worked with the MDEX consortium, Department of Health, and the Medical Research Council to deliver new clinical trials for Duchenne drugs. In addition, it has been instrumental in developing projects with biotech companies both in the UK and US including key projects with AVI Biopharma and Summit.

In 2005 Action Duchenne launched the DMD Patient Registry, a national database that holds gene information of people living with Duchenne that is used to speed up the recruitment of patients for clinical trials. For more information please visit:

In 2008 Action Duchenne launched the Include Duchenne project in partnership with Decipha. This programme addresses the learning and behaviour needs of those living with Duchenne. In 2011 Include Duchenne won the National Lottery Award for Best Education Project for Decipha. For more information please visit:

Action Duchenne promotes social inclusion within the community for young men living with Duchenne through its Genius programme. For more information please visit:
In 2010 the National Advocacy Council was launched to spearhead the lobby for government funding for research into Duchenne and to improve access to Standards of Care.

Patrons of Action Duchenne include: actress Helena Bonham-Carter, cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber, journalist & broadcaster Martin Bashir and radio broadcaster & media trainer Susan Bookbinder. In addition, Richard Goodman, one of Great Britain’s leading young athletes is an Ambassador for Action Duchenne.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Undiagnosed diabetes

Is it possible that the number of people suffering from diabetes is woefully under-diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with diabetes in March of this year. Apparently my Type 2 Diabetes should have been diagnosed last August, but, somehow, the very high blood sugar level was overlooked and no action was taken.

However, my wife -herself a diabetic- was convinced that I was suffering from diabetes for at least the past five years, but although doctors tested my blood glucose levels they apparently gave no cause for concern.

So, are the current tests for diabetes inadequate?

If my case is typical, then there must be a large number of people who are suffering with untreated diabetes. Which, potentially, is putting them at risk from a variety of health conditions that can be linked to diabetes, such as gangrene, vision loss, etc.

What can the medical profession do to correct this problem?

Natural Detoxifying Drinkable Elixirs

Natural detoxifying drinkable Elixirs for total health and beauty from within three powerful Elixirs, combining the best of bioscience and nature, have landed on UK shores.

Cosmetofruit Chile Elixirs are sourced from Chile, a country with unique bioclimatic conditions and hold the elixir of life in a super berry supplement. The unique phytonutrients of this 100% natural, detoxifying range, deliver amazing benefits for beauty and health from the inside out.

Because of Chile's rich soils, extreme temperature variations and aggressive climatic and sunlight conditions between the Andes Mountains and the Humboldt Current (a cold, low-saline current that runs along the coast of Chile), fruits and plants that grow in the area contain phytochemical profiles that are not found in any other planet latitudes. The polyphenols and flavonoids contained in these elixirs provide 30%-40% more of health- bearing, detoxifying molecules than similar berries cultivated in other world regions.

The berries are harvested by hand using centuries-old traditions from Mapuche Communities. Proprietary natural, non- transgenic, state-of-the-art bioprocessing technology methods are used to improve their concentration by selecting polyphenolic and flavonoid molecules that increase the intestinal absorption and bioavailability for the target tissues.

Cosmetofruit Chile Elixirs, with their unique Phytonutr-A-Berries Complex, act on the body's cells and tissues to help detox, regenerate and strengthen from the inside out. A unique complex of handpicked Chilean Super Berries, Grape Seed Extract, Green Coffee, Spiruline Seaweed, Algae, Biotin combined with Andes Water (famed for its exceptional healing qualities), are some of the ingredients that make these Elixirs so rare and desirable.

Each of the three Cosmetofruit Elixir variants has been designed with a unique formula providing optimum results for a specific cosmetic requirement.

Face Anti-Aging Defence
Grapes & Blueberries help restore tone and elasticity of the skin and help fight harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure Grape Seeds Extract is a powerful free radical fighter that helps to enhance microcirculation. Kalpariane Algae helps to stimulate and maintain collagen and elastin, as well as hyaluronic acid synthesis, Green Tea Extract helps to reduce inflammation in the skin and has an inhibitory action on collagenase, which is a collagen-reducing enzyme that breaks down collagen

Luxurious Hair & Nails
Maqui & Wild Blackberries help fight free radical formation in the digestive system and the rest of the body, helping to maintain liver detoxification response and prevent damage caused by diseases and chronic inflammatory processes, Biotin & Calcium Pantothenate help to provide softness and strength to hair and nails

Total Body Booster
Wild Murta & Cranberries help to drain fluids and lipids preventing the formulation of cellulite, regulate metabolism and regenerate and repair damaged tissue, Green Coffee Extract helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite and recover skin tone and firmness.

Concentrated Spiruline Seaweed nutrients help to bring elasticity and tone to the skin Taken orally, 4 ml once a day will provide the body with a powerful boost of complex nutrientsto detoxify and rebalance the body and ensure it's working at peak performance.
 The principle of Cosmetofruit Chile is a simple one. It is all about making yourself beautiful from the inside out. Cosmetofruit Chile products are detoxifying elixirs that contain only 100% natural raw materials, berries an grapes originally from Chile; moreover they contain no preservatives or artificial sweeteners. So, there are no adverse effects from long term consumption. For optimum results it is advised that each elixir is consumed daily for 3 months. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome or other metabolic pathologies should consult their physician before consuming. Can be combined with other supplements, except those which are high in Vitamins A and E as there can be side effects from consuming too much of either.

How to Get a Perfect Night’s Sleep

In order to keep ourselves happy and healthy, both in mind and body, there are several steps that you need to take. Many of us know the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet and making time to exercise and get our cardio levels up, but some people do not consider the importance of sleep in maintaining the body and keeping you in tip-top condition.

Getting enough sleep is incredibly important and can make a huge difference to the quality of your life and your productivity levels throughout the day. The minimum amount of sleep that is recommended per night is eight hours; anything under this may leave you tired and sluggish the following day. The most important factor that can help you achieve a great night’s sleep is the kind of bed you sleep on; everyone has their preference, but most people prefer sleeping on double beds than on smaller single-sized beds. Double beds give you the space you need to move about in your sleep without being disturbed and can often be far more comfortable.

Setting the scene
The quest for a good night’s sleep should begin long before you actually put your head upon your pillow; there are several things you should be doing throughout the evening to ensure you are in the optimum condition for sleep. The first tip is one that many people are aware of and that is to not consume any caffeinated products before going to bed; this does not just include coffee but also many soft drinks that can contain high levels of caffeine.

The next tip is to consciously take steps to unwind your mind throughout the evening; listening to music or watching a film before bed can often make it harder to drop off as your brain is continually being stimulated by noises and images. Many people find that reading a book can help them become sleepy and spending half and hour reading in bed before turning out the lights is enough for them to drift off.

Other tips to consider
Many people find that they often wake during the night as they are too warm or too cold and this disturbs them from their sleeping pattern; regulating your body temperature throughout the night will help you to enjoy an uninterrupted sleep and wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. You can achieve the perfect temperature to sleep in by having a warm duvet over you and keeping a window open slightly to let in a slight breeze; this should help you moderate your body temperature and not be woken by feeling either too warm or cold.

It can also be advisable to wake a warm bath shortly before going to bed as this can help relax you and out you in a peaceful state before attempting sleep. It seems the more relaxed you are prior to going to bed the more fulfilling your sleep will be.

read more at blog

Get your pregnancy fitness and yoga fix…

In Europe and the US, up to 40 per cent of women gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. TheBeezKneez fitness company and new Chiswick yoga studio, Yoga West, have teamed up to develop an innovative pregnancy fitness programme combining cardiovascular training and yoga to help mums to be stay in shape.

Expectant mothers who sign up will have access to twice-weekly yoga and fitness with core conditioning classes focusing on suppleness, relaxation and breathing techniques for birth, as well as classes which help to maintain cardiovascular fitness and core strength during pregnancy.

Class participants can choose the date they start their programme which runs for six weeks in Chiswick and costs just £150.

Vicky Warr founder of TheBeezKneez group fitness classes says: "Teaming up with Yoga West means we can offer a perfectly balanced pregnancy exercise programme.The two classes together really complement each other".
Classes will take place at Yoga West on Thursdays at 11.00am to 12.15pm and with TheBeezKneez fitness company at Arts Educational School, Tuesdays at 7.35pm.
Places are limited so email or to reserve your place now. Press invite to classes for purpose of review.

TheBeezKneez provides pregnancy exercise classes, post-natal group fitness classes and personal training. Classes provide an easy way for mums-to-be to stay fit during their pregnancy and maintain a healthy body shape.

Yoga West is a newly opened dedicated yoga and pilates studio in Chiswick. There is a wide variety of yoga and pilates classes and courses for all levels and all ages with London’s leading teachers. Lulu Winfield teaches all pregnancy yoga classes at Yoga West

Vicky Warr, Founder TheBeezKneez
Vicky Warr is an accredited pregnancy and post-natal fitness specialist as well as the founder of and head trainer at TheBeezKneez She is also a pregnancy fitness expert for Mothercare and a regular contributor to BBC radio. She is available for interviews.

Jo Martin, Prenatal Fitness Instructor at TheBeezKneez
Jo Martin has over 12 years experience of teaching group fitness classes. She has a specialist qualification in Active IQ Level 3 Award in 'Designing Prenatal and Post Natal Exercise Programmes' and is a very popular well known instructor for inspiring Mums and Mums-to-be to exercise during pregnancy and beyond.

Lulu Winfield, Pregnancy Yoga Instructor
Lulu has been working around childbirth since the late 90's. She is a doula, reflexologist, childbirth educator and yoga birth teacher and trained for two years under Lolly Stirk and Yvonne Moore - founder members of The Active Birth Centre and movement. She has trained as a hypno-birthing teacher in the Marie Mongan method and currently mentors trainee Yogabirth teachers and doulas.

Lulu infuses her classes with powerful breath work to draw the attention deeper within, and uses cleverly adapted poses to reveal both the softness and strength in the mind and the body, essential in preparation for birth. She is a hugely popular teacher with a unique and joyful touch and is passionate about sharing the transformative power of yoga.

Tesco's fundraising idea that is worth its weight in gold!

Tesco has announced a new way for customers to support their Charity of the Year, Cancer Research UK. When customers exchange their gold for cash through the Tesco Gold Exchange, they will have the option to donate a percentage of their proceeds directly to Cancer Research UK, which Tesco Gold Exchange will then top up to raise even more money.

The money raised through Tesco Gold Exchange will help Tesco reach its £10 million fundraising target to support Cancer Research UK’s research into the early diagnosis and detection of cancer. Early diagnosis helps to ensure more people beat cancer by receiving treatment at a time when it is more likely to be successful.

The partnership comes as Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which is being sponsored by Tesco for the eleventh year running, gets into full swing. Race for Life is an amazing women-only series of events where women can choose whether to walk, jog or run a 5k or 10k route.

Euan Ballantyne from Tesco Gold Exchange said, “Trading in unwanted gold is a great way for everyone to get involved in fundraising. It’s a quick and easy process and can be done online from the comfort of your own home.”

Claire Rowney, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Cancer Research UK said: “We’re always keen to explore different ways to fundraise and that’s why we are working with Tesco Gold Exchange to offer our supporters a new way of contributing towards our life saving research. Donations will mean our scientists can focus on more research to find out how we can get cancer diagnosed earlier and help more people to survive cancer in the future.”

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

USA Pro Launches New Fitness Collection

Sports Direct
Spring clean your fit kit and embrace your new work out regime with USA Pro’s brand new 2012 women’s fitness collection. Showcasing colourful, comfortable and stylish performance products that will invigorate your summer fitness routine. This stylish and feminine range features T’s, gym pants, shorts, hoodies, jackets and accessories to complement your every work out.

The new range mixes vibrant colours with clean, sleek, comfortable lines that move naturally with your body and create sexy silhouettes, making you look and feel good. It’s the perfect fusion of fashion and function, workout and leisure – for every lifestyle and every fitness fix.

Key pieces from the USA Pro range include racer back sports vests, sports bra tops, loose fit t’s and a variety of gym pants all of which incorporate flat seam construction to prevent rubbing, along with PRO-Dry moisture management fabric to keep you dry as you workout.

You can get the entire new range exclusively from as well as USA Pro fitness equipment and running shoes, so you can complete your workout wardrobe this summer for less.