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Thanet ADDers Newsletter


Volume 1, Number 3, August '97

Important, Please Note

This is a copy of our local group's paper newsletter sent out to members of Thanet ADDers. For our main online homepage click here for adders.org. Much will have happened since this newsletter was sent out, so check adders.org for up to date information.

Great Day Out

Two coach loads left Margate at around 9 am. We had a good journey to Chessington, though a few showers of rain had us crossing our fingers for better weather.
We arrived at 11.15 am, by which time some of our children were 'climbing the walls', but we were still all in good spirits. From then on, the sun shone and everyone seemed to have a great time. We had a few, short, sharp, showers but nobody seemed to mind. The underlying success of the day seems to be that as well as the ADD/ADHD sufferers enjoying themselves, the rest of the individual families were also able to 'let their hair down', in the knowledge that they weren't going to be the only ones at the park that day, with youngsters that might just 'upset the apple cart'. The staff at Chessington's made sure we were all able to enjoy ourselves, and we're very grateful to them. Our thanks also go to Dave Lee's Happy Holidays, whose donation made it all possible.

Meetings

The next meeting is on Wednesday 3rd September at 7.30 p.m. at St Paul's Community Trust hall where the speaker will be Mr Cole. Mr Cole is a local homeopath and will speak to us about alternative therapies. The cost of the meeting will be 2 per head to cover costs.

Adult meetings will take place every first Wednesday of the month at St Paul's Community Trust hall and if you have any ideas for people to come and speak please let us know.

The first Wednesday in December will be a Christmas social event. Donations for raffle prizes would be gratefully received.

Youth Club

The Youth club now runs every Friday evening at 6-7.30 p.m. We now meet at Hartsdown Leisure Centre where the children have the choice of playing table tennis, badminton, basketball or football. There are also crash maps available for the younger children to jump on. On average we have 15 children per week who come along. They seem to really enjoy themselves. Some parents stay, whilst most go off for one and a half-hours peace and quiet. The age of the children range at present from four to 15 years and a small charge of 1 per child is asked to help cover the hire of the hall and refreshments.

Meeting with Department of Health

On Wednesday 27th August, I was invited to attend a meeting with senior civil servants at the Department of Health. The meeting had been arranged by Tessa Jowell MP after she had been seen by Kathy West from the south London support group. Apart from Kathy and myself the meeting was also attended by Ben Leete from ADDNet UK and Harry Marsh from Contact a Family. We went along armed with questions as to how the Department were going to help sufferers of ADHD and what they actually knew and were going to do about advancement and continuity of diagnosis and treatment for ADHD around the country.

Bob Jezzard, senior policy advisor and a child psychiatrist, said that the department was aware of the condition and that ADHD was generally discussed under the overall title of child Mental Health. Although we all tried to put over that ADHD is a physical, neurological condition that continued through to adulthood and that with early diagnosis and treatment, either with medication or various other methods, a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering could be avoided.

We also tried to point out how early screening could save a lot of heartache and juvenile delinquency. The officials remained adamant that the condition did not require discussion as a separate issue but would continue to be discussed under the child Mental Health agenda.

Harry Marsh from Contact a Family is writing on our behalf to Tessa Jowell MP asking for ministerial intervention with raising the profile of ADHD in both adults and children and to suggest that an early screening programme, perhaps during the child's first school medical would help with early detection.

Right to learn campaign

Every member should have received a letter about the right to learn campaign. We have had a few responses from other areas so if you have any problems with the education authority and their handling of your child's education or problems with schools either giving medication or generally not accepting your child's condition and would like us to take these up with the Department for Education and Employment, please get in touch.

Sponsored cycle ride

As you all know now, Richard is cycling round Thanet to raise funds for both our group and Dave Lee's Happy Holidays. Please try to find sponsors for him if you can, as this will be a really great achievement for him to complete.

Richard has been loaned a bike from Ken's bike shop in Margate for the event and the Thanet Gazette are keen to have all the details so that they can promote this for us. Look out for the story soon.

If anyone knows someone who works for Rail Track who hasn't used his or her charity scheme so far, let us know. All Rail Track employees have been told that anything they donate or raise for charity, rail track will double the amount up to 1200. At least this is what we have been told, so it could be useful if they could help us.

Fund Raising

If anyone has any ideas for fund-raising we would like to hear from you. We hope to arrange a sponsored bounce for the children in the near future.

If you have any ideas or can help in any way please contact us. Expenses are getting higher as membership grows, now over two hundred members, therefore all ideas and offers to fund raise for the group are welcome.

Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club has generously donated some rugby balls to the group for use as fund-raising items. Two of the balls are signed by last season's England team, captained by Will Carling. These will be auctioned hopefully through the local press and it is hoped they will prove to be good fund-raisers. If anyone wants to place a bid please give us a call.

Other interest

You may be interested to know that Dave Lee's Happy Holidays have arranged a celebrity Golf Classic on Sunday 21st September at Charts Hill Golf Club, Biddenden, Kent. Gates open at 9 am tee off 11 am. Admission adults 5, children and parking free. Celebrities hoping to attend include Pat Jennings, Teddy Sherringham, Neil Ruddock, Victor Ubogo, Glenn Hoddle, Norman Pace, Jim Davidson and many more. This looks not only to be a great day out but all proceeds go to a worthy charity.

Articles for newsletter

If anyone has any articles for the next newsletter such as stories poems or tips, please let us have them by 30th September for inclusion in October's newsletter. Any photographs would also be welcomed.

We would like to produce a children's quarterly newsletter, so if any children have any stories, jokes, poems, puzzles or tips on how they cope with their ADD or how they feel about the condition or medication, please send them in or give them to us at youth club. Brothers and sisters are welcome to send items as above, also tips on how to cope with their brother or sister. It is hoped to produce this in October in time for the half term holidays, so please get articles to us by 30 September.

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