Latest News

Volunteers Wanted for Coach House Project, Beith

Beith needs you. A grant has been received from North Ayrshire Council to assist in cleaning up, landscaping and turning the former Coach House site in Mitchell Street, Beith, into a community garden.

Several local contractors have offered assistance to clear the site initially and thereafter soil will be laid down and garden will be created together with seating. All volunteers are welcome.

For further information contact 01505 506194.

Ayrshire Health Blog on Enterprising Minds

Helen Lynn, Clinical Director, Learning Disability Services, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has written a very interesting blog about the Enterprising Minds project that is run by Hansel and has been so successful.

Read the full blog here.


Meet Danielle Farrel

Danielle has just set up her own company called Your Options Understood (YOU) which focuses on individuals with a disability, together with their parents, support staff and wider associates. YOU offers an advocacy service and a training service adhering to best practice and concentrating on staff attitudes. YOU also give advice and assistance with the choices available under Self-Directed Support. YOU further offers a consultation service, whereby YOU can share experiences of life with a disability to help and encourage others to achieve their dreams, aspirations and full potential.

Danielle has worked hard to achieve her qualifications, she first gained a National Certificate (NC), followed swiftly by a Higher National Certificate (NHC) and Higher National Diploma (HND).

But that wasn’t enough; Danielle went upwards and onwards, gaining a Batchelor of Arts Degree, with Honours (BA, Hons) in media related studies at the University of the West of Scotland, and then got a Master’s Degree in Research Methods (MA), but that wasn’t enough! Danielle is currently awaiting the reward of all her years of study and effort of her Doctorate (PhD).

Simple? No, Danielle, from Irvine, was born with the condition of cerebral palsy and at a young age faced negative opinions as to whether or not she should even attend primary mainstream schooling as her disability may ‘disrupt’ the class! How wrong were they? Very!

But the struggle didn’t end there for Danielle and her parents. As there was only one “special school” in Scotland that offered secondary education following the mainstream curriculum Danielle’s parents allowed her to choose, she chose the “special school”. But rather than the negative opinions subsiding, they shifted from ‘disrupting the class’ to suggestions that Danielle was now ‘shielded from the real world’.

Despite, the hard journey, the negative opinions of others and physical difficulties Danielle has battled on and has achieved an enormous amount. The next chapter of her life, starting her own company has only just begun and if you are interested in supporting her work or finding out more about her and the company YOU, click here, alternatively you can email Danielle at or or call 07938 998 091.


Are you Crafty and Clever?

Do you enjoy making things? Would you like to share your skills and maybe learn something new? If you would then why not join the Maritime Makers and Skill Exchange. They are a friendly group who meet regularly at the Linthouse Building of the Scottish Maritime Museum, Harbour Road, Irvine. They offer a range of activities and encourage different generations to share their skills and have some fun.

Why not swop skills, such as;

  • Sewing                  for          emailing
  • Knitting                  for         using an ipad
  • Texting                  for         rag-rugging or baking

And vice versus, the possibilities are endless!

So if you have any of these or other skills, go along and share your knowledge. The group sessions are held each Tuesday at the Museum between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, for a donation of £2. If you would like more information, email or call 01294 278283.


The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety

The charity the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety has recently bought Barony St John Church and Hall in Ardrossan (on the corner of Princes Street and Arran Place). From there, they plan to run courses on personal safety, conflict resolution, lone working, practical self defence, first aid and manual handling.

They would also like to know what other services you would like them to run – tell them what the area is lacking and they will see if they can accommodate. For example maybe you feel there needs to be specialist training facilities for the visually impaired; or you’d like to see wheelchair basketball in Ardrossan.

They will have a training room / meeting room available for hire on occasion, or can you simply confirm that you would consider using them to supply your training needs?

They need your support to secure funding and to enable them to get up and running, so if you feel they can help you in the future or to work in partnership, please get in touch.

For further information please telephone Alan Bell on telephone number 07900 950599 or check their website.

Acquired Brain Injuries – Changed Lives

This new blog on BBC Ouch aims to increase awareness of acquired brain injury and its consequences by telling personal stories, you can find details here.

For information on ABI support services locally, see the Dirran Centre profile here.

You can also listen to this fascinating and poignant personal experience on this BBC Radio 4 broadcast.


Looking for a Personal Assistant?

Ayrshire Children’s Services CIC and the Why Don’t You Clubs fully understand the trials and worries families and guardians may have about employing a new Personal Assistant (PA).

That is why Essentials Plus Child Care Training Academies run a 6 week comprehensive childcare course for individuals who are looking to take up employment as child care support staff or PA’s.

Essentials Plus actively welcomes families looking for a new PA to go along to the training academy to speak to trainee PA’s and those ready to graduate from their courses; giving you the opportunity to meet the trainees and ask any questions before making a formal offer of employment.

All the trainees need to complete work placements either with children on 1 to 1 ‘shadow’ basis or in one of the Why Don’t… You! Clubs, which are currently run in Irvine, Saltcoats and Largs. These clubs give families and guardians a brilliant opportunity to observe workers, before choosing the right person to work within your family.

If you would like to chat about any of the services or the training academy please call Marianne on 01294 601974. There is no charge for this service.



Ayrshire Stories about Self Directed Support

Ayrshire Independent Living Network (AILN) recently worked with a Focus Group of people who currently receive Self-Directed Support (SDS) in Ayrshire to review how we can all publicise SDS to others.

With that aim AILN have produced a video  titled ‘Ayrshire Stories about SDS’.  The video has been split into sections so that you can choose different bits of information to look at.

View video sections here

For more information on Ayrshire Independent Living Network (AILN), click here.

Submit a News Story
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.