Snap News:

September 2016

Welcome to SNAP News In September. We hope you have all enjoyed a great summer. We've been busy going to some great events including Parallel London and getting a new website! 

This months news kindly sponsored by: icandance a fabulous London-based charity that provides dance & performance opportunities to children with disabilities. 

I can dance

Welcome to Snap's new look!

This month we launched our new website: - bringing together SNAP Childcare & SNAP16+ under one site. We work with people of all ages from newborn babies to adults and wanted a website that reflected that! 

Our jobs will be branded with the individual logos to make it easy to spot if you're looking for work with a specific age group.

There are a few tweaks still to be made and over the coming months we will be adding videos, Snap reviews and news and lots of interesting articles and links. 

Have Your Say!

We're really keen to have contributions from people with disabilities or additional needs and anyone with an interest in this area such as parents, siblings, associated organisations & professionals - we'd love our website to be a platform for sharing information, your views and raising awareness.

So if you have something you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you!

Parallel London

On Sunday 4th September, Andrew & Sally from Snap, headed down to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to check out Parallel London, the first fully inclusive fun push / run; open to all ages, abilities and as they said - no cut off times and no excuses! 

It was promoted as a celebration of inclusivity and diversity - it was that and so much more.

Spectators lined the various routes to cheer on the runners, walkers & pushers. The atmosphere was really quite special, everybody was rooting for all the participants - and genuinely marvelling at their dedication to get over that finishing line, in what ever style and fashion they could and their absolute joy when they did. 

Some children and adults stumbled, crumpled, even fell, but they got back up determined to finish; to say it humbling is an understatement. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone joining in and having the best time. As well as the run, push challenge, the day included a family festival there were lots of great activities to take part in. 

We were really pleased to have a chat with James Lee, Parallel London's Charity Organiser and give him our positive feedback, it was a real feat to organise such an event. Take a look at James' Twitter page for some great photos: @jamhanlee

We were delighted to hear this event will be running again next year and can't wait to get involved! Well done Parallel London, a truly inclusive event! 

Irwin Mitchell Don't Quit Just Do It Challenge, Lloyd from Mencap says hello to Sally from Snap after his race - and they're off! 
Irwin Mitchell Just Do It ChallengeLloyd from Mencap & Sally from SnapParallel London gets started!

More info: Parallel London 

Stop Segregating Disabled People!

 Stop Segregating Disabled People!

A video parody of ‘We’re the Superhumans’, Channel 4’s critically acclaimed trailer for the Paralympic Games, is kickstarting a campaign to force high street chains to think about disabled access.

Will Pike, 36, who uses a wheelchair after he suffered serious spinal injuries in the 2008 Taj Mahal hotel massacre, has released the video as part of campaign calling on big chains, including Caffé Nero and American Apparel, to stop segregating disabled people.
From a man who drums with his feet to a record-breaking wheelchair racer, the Channel 4 advert, which has been viewed online tens of millions of time, celebrates Britain’s Paralympians and their ability to overcome, all set to the jaunty swing soundtrack of the Sammy Davis Jr track ‘Yes I Can’.

Incredibly inspiring

In his parody video, directed by Errol Etienne and produced by Heydon Prowse, the team behind BBC Three’s Bafta-winning ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, Mr Pike tries – and fails – to visit a string of high street and cafes with poor disabled access.

The film, which was filmed on and around Tottenham Court Road in central London, is also set to Sammy Davis Jr’s track, and shows Mr Pike struggling to find disabled lavatories at Caffe Nero and being defeated by rampless shop entrances, including American Apparel.

Mr Pike said the Paralympics have been “incredibly inspiring” and is full of praise for Channel 4’s advert, which pays tribute to 140 people with disabilities, but said that “too many disabled people still struggle with everyday activities”.

“The idea came about when I was watching the Channel 4 advert. It’s fantastic and bold, but the tagline [Yes, I Can] misses the if. Yes, I can if there are ramps. And yes I can, if there are disabled toilets. All the confidence in the world doesn’t matter if you are stopped in your tracks by a step, and that chips everything away.”

He added that he hoped the new video would “leverage” the Channel 4 advert and “pass the issue forward like a relay race”.

Taking on big high-street names

Mr Pike has launched a petition to go with the video, calling on Caffe Nero and American Apparel to “install better disabled access” in their stores. “My idea was to be upbeat, not embittered. This isn’t about being negative. The video acts as evidence against these two establishment and other big names.”

He added: “These big names have taken over our high streets, but they need to be more considerate. We need to get their backs against the wall and get them worrying about protecting their brand.”

Mr Pike narrowly escaped with his life from the Taj Mahal hotel massacre after attempting to escape the burning building from a window. He suffered injuries that left him severely disabled. He is the co-founder of a gaming firm. 

You can see Will's video below in our You Tube clips and if you would like to sign his petition, please click here

Snap Welcomes Jim Brown to the Team!

Having previously worked with several of our Snap families, we are excited to now have Jim Brown join the Snap recruitment team!

Jim has been working with vulnerable people for most of his career, starting as a support worker for teenagers and adults from chaotic backgrounds. Since then he has worked as a Teaching Assistant, Key Worker, Music Teacher, and Support Worker for young people with physical disabilities and learning disabilities.

Jim joined the SNAP team this month as a Specialist Recruitment Consultant. 

Hi, my name is Ben Somers, I'm a Professional Musician

I’ve been based in London since I began my degree in jazz in 1999 at Middlesex University. I’ve played, recorded and toured with artists such as Seal, Dizzee Rascal, Taylor Swift, Dr John, Bruce Molsky and many more. I also lead several of my own creative projects of varying musical genres (Brass Hysteria - New Orleans inspired brass ensemble/ The Ben Somers String Band - new acoustic, bluegrass), in which I play saxophone (my first instrument), double bass and sing.

I was born with one of the many types of optical atrophy, inherited from my mother, before that no one knows where it came from, perhaps just a mutation. I’m only now beginning to research into my condition as growing up I never took that much interest in it. We had yearly check-ups with specialists at Adenbrooks Hospital in Cambridge, but really that just meant sitting in front of kaleidoscopic screens with electrodes stuck to my head, sometimes fun, sometimes terribly boring. As I got older and became interested in music (I began playing the sax at 16), I saw a visual aid specialist to see if there was anything on the market that might help overcome some of the things I struggled with as a young musician new to London, specifically reading music at distance. Frankly this is still an obstacle, but the liberation from the testy shackles of being a young, cocky man, surrounded by equally cocky peers has made it tolerable and even worked to some advantages. Eyes really are overated when it comes to music. For me, the beauty in music comes from hearing musicians communicate and converse - who needs to see for that? There are skills which I’ve had to work on to be able to progress in my career and I have had to think hard about what I, specifically have to offer.

I’ve worked very hard on my memory, I’m pretty good now at remembering pieces of music, their form, complex chord structures and melodies made up on the spot. Relative pitch is something I have also worked hard on, to those who don’t have a theoretical knowledge of music this is being able to identify pitch with limited reference points, for example if one finds themselves onstage in a foreign country and faced with a language barrier, one must rust their ear and be able to recognise what is going on in the music without being told. For me the most important skill that one should acknowledge is that of communication. I have worked very hard on being able to communicate within a group and to an audience. One does not need to see to involve a band member or speak (metaphorically) to an audience. It just takes some empathy and a good amount of aural observation, I feel that this kind of observation is one of the most important skills that we of low vision or blindness need to take seriously and constantly try to keep in check.

As I mentioned, my mother also has the same condition that I have, as does my younger brother. Not that my parents didn’t take it seriously (they’re fantastic and two of the most supportive people I could’ve hoped to be brought up by), but it was never considered an issue as I was growing up. I did everything that everyone else did, tennis was never really my game at school (they still made me play it, sigh!), but that is by the by. Not having a mountain made from this issue was very helpful I think in my development and I definitely don’t overlook that fact.

I began playing music just before my 16th birthday although I had been to a million of my Dad’s gigs growing up and was always very taken and interested by it. As I started to consider becoming a professional musician looking back, it would’ve been good to at least have some ideas of what was possible with my condition, I don’t really know anyone else with such low vision that plays music professionally, so I suppose no one could’ve told me. I would like to be able to offer experiential knowledge on the subject and help people to nurture what they have to offer within this medium which I am so utterly passionate about.

Ben's website is currently being updated, but if you would like to contact him, he's on Twitter and Facebook, where you'll also find details of his upcoming tour dates


Some of our favourite YouTube Clips

Tell Us About Your Favourite Clips!
Yes I Can, If...

Will Pyke's parody "Yes, I Can, If... "

Ben Somers' Brass Hysteria

Ben Somers' Brass Hysteria - all original brass music from London Town

Have something to share?

If you have a favourite video clip, app, website or book, why not send us the details so we can share with everyone through SNAP!News. We would also love to hear about new technology and equipment, activities and resources that you particularly like. 

Send your nuggets to or call Jackie on 020 7729 2200 

  the specialist recruitment agency placing high calibre professionals to support babies, children, teenagers, young adults and adults with disabilities & additional needs. Est. 2001.

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