Emaciated mannequin

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland – Body Image and our Workshops

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This week I was shocked to see a photograph of a shop mannequin which appeared to be completely emaciated, posted on my friend’s Facebook. The tirade of comments underneath were predictably negative towards the practise of shops promoting unhealthily thin body shapes. On further investigation, the photograph had come from an article in the Daily Mail on the 21st February. The mannequin was displayed in a Whistles store in London. Eating disorder support charities had condemned the store and called for shops to be more responsible for setting standards. Whilst I personally accept that it is not correct to pin…

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The author Holly Williams

Holly Williams on Scope’s End the Awkward Campaign

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I’ve just found out that SCOPE is running a brand new campaign called End The Awkward. According to them, 67% of Brits feel uncomfortable talking to people with a disability. Part of their campaign is a whole lot of really useful tips and clear answers to questions that might run through the mind of someone who is meeting a disabled person for the first time. While I think SCOPE is really onto something here, I can’t help thinking they’ve maybe missed a bit of a trick. It’s great they’re trying to help people to feel more at ease around disability…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland – Training with the National Gallery

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It’s been an exciting time at Enhance the UK recently as we are involved in some really interesting projects. A short time ago two of our fantastic trainers delivered Disability and Communication training for education staff at the National Gallery. They were so pleased with the training that we delivered that we were invited to attend a meeting regarding how we might work with them in the future. I recently attended the meeting with Jennie (our CEO) and was pleased to learn how seriously they are taking access. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the education team at the…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Behind the Scenes at Enhance: Claire Holland, Head of Training

Posted by | General, My story, News | No Comments

  When Jennie (the CEO for Enhance the UK) asked me if I would like to write a blog, I was a tad hesitant to say the least. What I currently know about the blogosphere (Google is my friend) can be written on a postage stamp. What can I write about, I thought and then it dawned on me. I could blog about my experiences working with Enhance the UK. I am in a lucky position to work on a freelance basis as the Head of Training for Enhance the UK, a charity I am passionate about. Not many people…

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Emily Yates of The Love Lounge

Bluebella Review – Ophelia Bra and Knicker Set

Posted by | Emily Yates, General, Undressing Disability | No Comments

Being a wheelchair user, I have two main issues when it comes to underwear. Knickers being so low that they hardly cover my modesty when transferring in and out of my chair, and bras riding up my back while the straps slowly slide down my arms… neither is particularly sexy. Fortunately, Bluebella have a (very gorgeous) solution: the  Ophelia set. Both bra and knickers are pretty, with  delicate lace covering the back whilst the front is chic and  almost satin. However, the aesthetics don’t overpower the  functionality, and the racer back, front fastening bra stays  in place all day long,…

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Jennie Williams

Disability and dating faux pas

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My name is Jennie Williams, I am the Director and Founder of user led disability charity Enhance the UK, and ​​I have degenerative hearing loss​. My hearing loss is believed to be linked to a heart condition I have called long QT, which is otherwise​ known as sudden death syndrome. For communicating, I wear two hearing aids which I rely on a lot. I am also an extremely good lip reader and sign up to​ British ​Sign​ Language (BSL)​ Level Three​. But, really, ​how many people do you know that sign? Within the hearing world, BSL is not much use…

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The author Holly Williams

Holly Williams on The Celebrity Big Brother Disability Benefits Row

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Taking sides in an argument between ‘professional’ Celeb and glamour model Katie Price and semi-professional troublemaker and glamour nothing Katie Hopkins is a bit like saying whether you prefer eating you own earwax or someone else’s. No-one should be that interested in your answer and which ever camp you place yourself in does nothing to flatter how people see you. Normally I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit interested in such a spat but when it erupted in the Celebrity Big Brother house recently the subject matter this debate between these two intellectual behemoths compelled me to chip in. I…

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The Love Lounge

Thank You, Lovehoney

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Enhance the UK would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Lovehoney, the sexual happiness people, for their very generous donation of £10,000 to The Love Lounge. The Love Lounge is a safe online environment where disabled users and their families can confidentially ask any questions concerning sex, relationships and disability to our panel of disabled ‘non-expert experts.’ They are Emily Yates, an accessible travel writer for ‘Rough Guide’ and Mik Scarlet, a prominent disability activist and TV personality. We initially approached Lovehoney for sponsorship, as they seemed to be just the kind of organisation we wanted to align ourselves…

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“My daughter is 18 and has been blind from birth…”

Posted by | Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability | No Comments

Tim: “My daughter is 18 and has been blind from birth. She goes to college in our local area and is generally quite independent all round. My wife tells me that now, she has started seeing a boy in her year at college. Part of me is happy but a big part is being protective father, especially because of her blindness. Should I just let her be a normal teenager?” Mik: “Hi Tim, Arh the joys of fatherhood. Especially if you have daughters! It’s all worry worry worry! But lets face it Tim, you’d be worried whether of not your daughter was visually impaired. It’s your…

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“Should I brave using my arm prosthetic on the first date?”

Posted by | Mik Scarlet, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability | No Comments

Michelle: “Hey guys, I have recently started internet dating since after Christmas and had a lot of interest on my profile, which is flattering! However, I only have one arm after losing it in a motorbiking accident in my teens. I usually only wear a shoulder prosthetic and skip my arm prosthetic as it can be a real pain – but should I brave it when going on the first few dates to avoid any awkwardness? What are your thoughts? Thanks x” Mik: “Hi Michelle, I am a big fan of being up front, so I would go as you best feel comfortable. If you don’t…

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