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London Green Rush – Investment Boom From an Unlikely Source

Credit: Cxelf, Flickr

A London Green Rush could be lining the pockets of city investors very soon. In the big smoke, there is a different kind of smoke on their minds. With a cannabis industry booming across the pond in the US and Canada, investors are already looking overseas for their investment. However, there is speculation that a change in legislation in the UK could spark a huge market potentially worth £18billion in 10 years time.

There has been around £200million invested in medical marijuana companies overseas. It is worth noting that it is illegal for a UK investor to invest in a company that offers recreational cannabis. As Canada is due to legalise recreational marijuana on 17th October then this makes it tricky for UK investors to invest in Canadian marijuana companies with 100% positivity they won’t break the law. With Canada currently being the source of the biggest outflow of money into cannabis based companies, this could open up space.

Cannabis contains two main chemicals, THC and CBD. THC is what creates the psychoactive response, and CBD is now being introduced in products in the UK. CBD is legal in most forms and comes from hemp, which is a cannabis plant that is low THC and high CBD. Health stores such as Holland and Barrett now stock a range of CBD products.

GW Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, has already won special licenses for the manufacturing of medicinal marijuana. They specialise in research, and also in products for the US. Which obviously helps the UK as it is an export.

According to Euromonitor the global cannabis market could be worth up to $150billion in the next decade. To put that in perspective the global coffee market is worth $100billion. Any investor who sees that prediction would be licking their lips. Through CBD, and maybe a change in legislation, the UK could be part of this growing market.

There are those like the family of Alfie Dingley campaigning for change. Alfie Dingley is a six-year-old boy with a rare form of epilepsy, one that can cause up to 3,000 seizures every year. They went to the Netherlands, where cannabis laws are more relaxed, and found that medical cannabis oils dramatically helped with his seizures, and were he to be administered with this he could come down to only 20 seizures a year. They applied for a special exception for their son, which was initially rejected. However, they have now been granted a special licence for using the drug after handing a petition to the Prime Minister. This comes following a similar case for a boy called Billy Caldwell, had his mum campaigning for change.

The United Patients Alliance (UPA) is an organisation founded by Clark French which campaigns for the use of medicinal cannabis and advocates on behalf of patients who, in their words, are ‘being criminalised for trying to be well’. They believe cases like Dingley and Caldwell are certainly a step in the right direction, however, more needs to be done to define medicinal cannabis if it is to be available to a wider market rather than having to go through parliament on a case by case basis.

Written By: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Kew Gardens Want To Brighten Up Britain

Credit: Daniel Case

Grow Wild, in association with Kew Gardens, have funding applications open now for 2019. Grow Wild fund community projects that engage communities with the native wildflowers and fungi of the UK.

This is not for those living in the stunning countryside, but mostly for people from underprivileged urban areas, offering an opportunity to come together and brighten up their space.

It is known that there is a correlation between the amount of green space in an area and mental wellbeing. People are happier when they are around more nature. In built-up areas this may seem like an impossibility, but just a few plant pots or containers and people do start to feel better.

Being involved in a community project in a green space is socialising, is (hopefully) being in the sunshine, and being around a small section of nature which is undoubtedly good for you.

Grow Wild also focuses on youth, with projects for 12-25 year olds. These aren’t necessarily just giving kids some seeds to plant, they can involve art pieces, film, dance, anything really that celebrates the native botanicals of the UK.

If you have an idea for a green-fingered project then you can get in touch and apply for funding until 10th December 2018. The requirements are that it must have a focus on UK native wildflowers, plants or fungi. You need to have the potential to reach 300 people, and it should be something where people can connect, learn something new, and help each other and nature. Your project should also engage at least one of the following target audiences:

  • Young people aged 12-25
  • Communities living in urban areas
  • Communities experiencing some disadvantage or reduced access to services
  • Adults that are less engaged with their community and environmental activities

Application forms are on their website, go check it out.

Written by: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Friends of the Flyover

The friends of Flyover – That’s All Media speaks with individuals championing the hidden fight for free arts in forgotten spaces.

If you were to give the task of listing festival venues, it is most likely that this would bring the stereotypical Glastonbury setup to the mind of the average person. City festivals are a completely different kettle of fish and even more so is the likes of one particular all day event which takes place under Birmingham’s Hockley Flyover. This is a large but barren space, frequently used but not made use of. The festival challenges the flyover’s role by bringing in a large stage, food stalls and business stands, a catalyst for a diverse community of people to come together and enjoy quality entertainment in an unusual space for free.

That's All Media supporting Flyover Festival

Under the Hockley Flyover at Flyover VIII

This year’s festival (Flyover VIII) included a set from the soulful songstress Ayanna Witter-Johnson and all round involvement of Soweto Kinch, the festival’s main man. As an attendee, the most notable elements were the diversity in artists and festival-goers and the high quality of performances despite the absence of an entry fee. Musical styles ranged from jazz to hip-hop, grime to reggae, providing a listening palette for just about every taste, and even branched out into other art forms with street dance performances amongst the crowds.

Speaking to the Friends of Flyover

That's All Media supporting Flyover Festival

Ken McLean (Chronicles of a Rastaman) at Flyover VIII

The event even attracted vloggers such as Ken McLean, who documents his travels on his youtube channel ‘Chronicles of a Rastaman’. He returns every year because ‘it always feels like home’ and not only sees Flyover as an opportunity to create quality content but as a chance to support his local community. However, it seems that attendees that return every year don’t always come for familiarity. Natalie Rogers (insta: @87_winks)brings her friends for a different kind of day out. She listed a number of reasons Flyover appealed to her including community feel, ‘really good music’, the unusual venue and diversity of people.

That's All Media supporting Flyover Festival

Saffron, Kameya and Rihanna at Flyover VIII

This diversity also spans across the age ranges. Saffron (age 8), Kameya (age 9) an Rihanna (age 11) had come for the afternoon with their parents. They told me that the music even appeals to them as youngsters and they couldn’t believe they get to come to an event like this for free. In a day and age when concerts can be expensive for young people, especially those who can’t attend unsupervised, something like Flyover can be a unique opportunity for them to experience live music. The only thing they said they would change about the event would be to provide ‘even more music’.

Artists Who Care

That's All Media supporting Flyover Festival

Black Symbol performing at Flyover VIII

This demand seems to be echoed not only through the attendance of the show but from the musicians too. Handsworth based ‘Black Symbol’ described Flyover Show’s success as down to the diversity of the musical styles and that it was set to become ‘one of the biggest shows in Birmingham’. If the audience and artist enthusiasm is anything to go by it may be that is already the case. Musicians were not only on stage but also there to listen. Oneke Tebbs is London based but doesn’t see the travel to Birmingham as too much of an obstacle to enjoy ‘good music in an unusual venue’. We had a long chat about how valuable a free event with quality of music like this is in a time where live performances are becoming scarily more scarce.

That's All Media supporting Flyover Festival

Family time at Flyover VIII

The Value of Free Arts

This sentiment seemed to be one held by a lot of the musicians and festival-goers at Flyover, who were all keen to show support to something so valuable happening in a space which would ordinarily seem to have very little value itself. It means that a diverse range of people now have something in common, a need for good music and good company. As Flyover VIII has drawn to a close, it only brings optimism for what future events might bring to the table.

That’s All Media works with brands causes and people to raise awareness of important social issues.

To discover other campaigns and campaigners for social good, see this article.

At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk

Care Leavers – The Necessity of a Support Network

According to Catch22, less than 1% of children are in care, yet almost a quarter of the adult prison population and almost half of young men under 21-years-old in the criminal justice system have spent time in care. Also, 25% of homeless people have been in care.

These statistics are clearly very disproportionate, so now the question is why? Barnardo’s tells us that in England 21% of children leaving care are as young as 16, 16% leave care at 17, and 62% at 18. The UK average for young people leaving home is 26. If you cast your mind back to when you were 16, do you honestly think you would be well prepared to enter adult life?

Even when people this young move out from their parent’s house, a lot of the time they continue to receive love, support, and even financial assistance to help guide them through the difficulties. The lack of this can end up with them getting involved in crime and drugs, which consequentially leads to them not going through education and achieving good qualifications. Only 6% of care leavers go on to higher education, as opposed to the 49% of the UK population that participate in university or some other form of HE.

Aspire4U is supporting the Dudley Children In Care and Care Leavers Youth Council to deliver the Dudley Children in Care Awards 2018. This is an important event in the Dudley Council social action calendar. A team of young people are delivering this event to mark the positive achievements of young people in care. The awards will also have categories for employers that have supported and prioritised care leavers. That’s All Media will be helping to film the event and develop a promotional video for more awareness.

Charities like Catch22, Barnardo’s, Care Leavers Association, and a wealth of others are all interested in tackling this issue. Someone needs to speak up for care leavers and they would love your help. You can even join a Facebook page here if you are a care leaver yourself and want to be part of a network, or just someone wanting to give their support for this great cause

Written by: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Crowdfunder Set Up to Help Anti-Upskirting Activist

Gina Martin

In June 2017, Gina Martin was a victim of upskirting, which is when someone takes a photo up a woman’s skirt without them knowing. This act is still shockingly legal, and over one year on, Martin is still campaigning for that to change. Comedian Samantha Baines has now set up a crowdfunder in her honour, to help support her costs of fighting for meaningful change in the law.

In June of this year, the new legislation went through the House of Commons, but the bill was blocked by one vote. Gina hasn’t given up though, working tirelessly alongside a full-time job, and covering her own expenses, the bill is now ready to go through the House of Lords.

The crowdfunder is for people who believe in her mission, and to give her the help she needs. So many people have reached out to her, she knows she is not alone in this fight. We all hope this is one last push to make this violating act illegal.

Written by: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Female Genital Mutilation – How Can We Help

Credit: Jessica Lea/DFID

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been reported on for a while now, and is often seen as a foreign issue. In the UK, there are over 65,000 cases of FGM, and an estimated 137,000 women and girls affected by the issue. In the US, only half of the states have legislation which makes the practice illegal despite over 500,000 women being at risk of FGM or the consequences.

FGM has no known medical benefits, and can potentially cause multiple health conditions from difficulty giving birth, infertility, or even death in some cases. The practice is around 2000 years old, and it is often only to keep in with tradition. However, when a tradition is this harmful, then we can agree that something must be done.

28 Too Many is a charity dedicated to changing this. They are named after the 28 countries in Africa where it is most commonly practiced. For more info about their strategy visit their website.

Written by: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Google Joins JOMO Revolution

Scroll-free September is supported by That's All Media

Happy Scroll-Free September everyone! With FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) taking over our lives for the last few years, a new trend is on the way. JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) is looking to take over, and Google is on board.

Tech giants Google have published an article detailing the results of extensive research conducted over the last few years indicating that people want less screen time. With smartphones transforming the way we live our lives, there is a debate to be had about whether these devices are improving our reality.

Google’s research has determined that people want help spending less time on their phones.

They are prepared to do this in three key moves.

Firstly, the new Android software will include a Digital Wellbeing Dashboard, which works similarly to YouTube’s recently launched Time Watched facility, and will show you how much time you use on each app.

Secondly, App Timer is being included on the new Android update also which will notify you after a set time period on one app to help stop the endless scrolling.

Thirdly, they will have partial disconnection, which will shut down most apps leaving only crucial ones (such as phone, camera, clock, maps).

Is it time to unplug from the matrix, and give time back to ourselves?

Scroll-free September is happening all of September with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), and is encouraged by That’s All Media.

Written by Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Could a Pilot Shortage Help Social Mobility?

A pilot used to be a dream job, not any more. World leaders in aviation, CAE, have forecast that in the next 10 years the world will require 255,000 new pilots. Currently, around 20,000 new pilots are recruited per year, so the maths suggests it will not be enough unless something changes.

At the current rate there will be an obvious gap between pilots required and pilots available, so how can we fill that gap? Right now, around the world, only 5% of pilots are women, and 3% of pilots are people of colour. So this is a job market incredibly saturated by one demographic, so the opportunity is there to open up the field.

The older, less diverse, the baby boomer generation is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. So, as the years go by I would expect things to change in this industry as the young blood comes through.

There are other problems though, according to flightdeckfriend.com training to be a pilot means forking out £40,000 at the bare minimum, and can be up to a whopping £120,000 for the top courses. But compare that with the average salary of a pilot which is £79,000pa, and it suddenly doesn’t look as bad as my £50,000 student debt and the average salary of around £25,000 in my industry.

Roughly 50% of the required pilots for the next 10 years haven’t started their training yet, so if you’re not sitting in a cockpit reading this then don’t worry you can still go for it.

If you still want to live out your childhood dream of becoming a pilot then now is the best chance. The industry is going to be changing, and when change happens everyone is invited.

We’re supporting campaigners who see this situation as an opportunity for helping social mobility – with working class people getting opportunities to earn more and solve social problems. Even aviation schools like Herefordshire based Tiger Aviation are campaigning to bring this challenge to the fore. That’s All Media will be using our skills to help these campaigners to tell their stories.

Written by: Aiden Perrins

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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Superhero Prosthetics: The Way Forward

When thinking of an artificial limb, perhaps all you visualise is a basic flesh-coloured plastic or metal design. Something fairly nondescript and hidden away by the wearer. But prosthetic technology is continually advancing and moving away from the inanimate. A start-up company in Bristol has demonstrated just how awesome and exciting prosthetics can be. 

Open Bionics aspire in turning disabilities into superpowers! Their ethos is about turning science fiction into reality. Children with limb differences can play at being superheroes or bionic marvels.  “We wanted to make prosthetics a bit more inspirational rather than medical, skin-coloured, and frankly, not very attractive to look at”, declared the co-founder of the company, Joel Gibbard. The business is now also working with Disney to create hero ranges for franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel.

 

 

Picture credit: BBC News-Robotic Hand for Amputees wins Dyson Award

 

Many people may be hesitant because of the costs involved. It’s not surprising, really; According to the World Health Organization, 90% of those who need prosthetics do not have access to them, as they are neither affordable nor available. Even low-cost alternatives could be conceived as expensive, especially those in low and middle-income countries. The products Open Bionics are pioneering can hopefully quash financial reservations people may have with choosing prosthetics.  Joel Gibbard stated, “our mission is to create and democratise technology that enhances the human body”.

Engineers in the company have created the Hero Arm as their first innovative offering. Even the way it’s produced has some heroic element to it. It’s cheaper than regular manufacturing and more attainable for the general public, as it can be done in your own home. This more modest approach is known as 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing. The process involves a design being constructed on a computer. Layer by layer, some material is then added to it and the final result is printed out. The Hero Arm is the first 3d printed device to be medically certified.

Enhancing the Human

It’s described to have four motors inside for the purpose of multi-grip. Fine motor coordination is taken into account as each individual finger can be moved, as well as the thumb. So intricate tasks, such as picking up very small objects, shouldn’t pose an issue. One wearer even used his prosthetic to play the piano. It all works through signals. Sensors placed within the socket detect these signals from the user’s muscles. But the experience for the wearer is still governed by their own nervous system. Their movements determine its control; not some external switch or button.

The device is robotic-like and markedly different from the rest of the body. Despite this, the creators behind the Hero Arm fully embrace its difference and believe this is how prosthetics should be, instead of being made to simply blend in. Some old models, although flesh-coloured, appear stiffly lodged in place and therefore not altogether natural. A spokesperson for the company described his own experience of wearing old, false limbs as a stale one. “It didn’t do anything for me, it just made me stick out. I think I just got them because I thought it was the normal thing to do”.

With regular prosthetics, there’s the issue of children outgrowing them as they continually develop. It would only cost more money for parents, to keep buying replacements. The Hero Arm does have some adjustability at least. Within the socket area there’s plenty of space for ease of use and to accommodate development.

So you could say some older prosthetic models serve no other purpose than replacing what is lost. But these bionic creations inspire questions and conversations. You can even personalise them by choosing your own colours. They’re sleek, move in robotic fashion and have flashing lights-perfect for Star Wars fanatics. They bring fantasy to reality for many people.

 

 

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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New Technology Improves Relationships between Amputees and Prosthetics

 

Attitudes towards prosthetics can be pretty varied. When I think of an artificial limb, I usually just imagine flesh-coloured plastic and metal. It still allows for physical activity but it’s very basic in appearance. Former marine, Andy Grant, lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan. His relationship with his prosthetic couldn’t be more positive. “If someone offered me my leg back now I wouldn’t take it. I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I get to do amazing challenges”. He runs marathons and triathlons. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. According to a journal, online body image and psychosocial well-being are issues that come into play with amputees.

With new technology, could relationships become even better between amputees and prosthetics? Could improved technology make everyday activities easier?

One of these new technologies is 3D Printing. This is a modernised approach of producing artificial limbs. Having carried out some research on this topic, I’ve been looking at the various benefits. I’ve seen how it’s improved quality of life for amputees. It’s helped restore normality, it’s less time-consuming and more simplistic. Overall, I think it will help many individuals feel they have regained some control after the trauma of losing a limb.

 

 

                     Picture credit: Ottobock UK: Real life stories

                                                                                                                  

 

Many old-school prosthetics are basic in design, mainly comprised of metal rods and wires. Is this interesting for children? An alien object is attached to them and they feel they have to hide it. The basic limb has no personalisation to it. It would look and feel odd, not to mention it would deviate from the inclusivity amputee children should have. A dinosaur or monster arm would be much more appealing. It would feed imagination and kids can proudly show them to friends at school.

3D Printing

This is where 3D Printing, or Additive Manufacturing, can work. The process involves a design from a digital file being broken down into thousands of minuscule pieces. The machine then recreates it layer by layer from the bottom upwards. With this mode of production, there’s free reign for personalisation. Instead of having a limb made in a factory, it can be designed and amended any time in the comfort of your own home. The prosthetic will be entirely unique. The creation is your own from a computer, there for you to modify. If I wanted to make a prosthetic for my niece, for example, I could add spikes or scales to mimic a reptilian creature in her favourite colours. I could even get her involved. A man from Anglesey actually became a hero after utilising 3D Printing to help his son:

Ben Ryan’s son, Sol, was ten days old when he developed a severe blood clot in his arm. There was no choice but to amputate under the elbow. Being under a year old, the NHS was unable to offer a prosthetic for Sol until he was to reach that age. Ben decided to take matters into his own hands and created a bionic arm for his son. He used Xbox accessories and a 3D Printer to do this. The Xbox Kinnect scanner was plugged into the printer. Sol now has a hydraulic arm. The way this works is that rubber sacks filled with water are placed on pressure points over the body. This could be in the shoe for example. Sol can now operate his limb through this pressure. He has total control, he can operate the thumb by grasping because of the water bulb system. It’s now also a plaything for him with a cool, superhero-like appearance. It’s sturdy enough to lean on and survives tantrums.

After turning his creation into a successful business called Ambionics, Ben has explained the awesomeness of 3D Printing. He has stated “Each arm created is customised to the user from a 3D scan of their limb. When making comparisons between 3D Printing and commercialised production, parents can be confident they’re choosing the right method for their children. Ben states “The NHS takes eleven weeks to convert the plaster cast of an arm into a wearable prosthetic. Ambionics can produce one in less than five days.”

 

Ben Ryans 3D Printing Designs of Prosthetic Limbs

 Picture credit: Daily Post: Child’s prosthetic limb 

                                                                                                                     

In the future, 3D prosthetics will be made with multi-materials so natural sockets can better fit with the body. Lightweight titanium is one of them. This will make the limb sturdy and durable. So this would be a great option for any exercise enthusiasts. There could also be an introduction of ‘predictive movement’ with sensors doing the work for the individual.

With the traditional way of making prosthetics, there is the problem of children outgrowing them as they develop. This is costly for parents as they’ll need to keep paying manufacturing costs to keep up. With Ben’s approach, there is a solution to this. He keeps the scans on file ready for replacements, should they be needed. Anyone with access to the same equipment as Ben can also prepare for this issue. I now know that with my Xbox, I have the power to aid the making of a bionic limb. With great power comes great responsibility.

We know the advantages of Additive Manufacturing and why it makes sense. But, there is the cost to think of when owning a machine. You would have to repeatedly buy materials, and it would depend on what they are with some costing more than others. Materials such as carbon fibre mix or conductive filament are expensive. The latter can cost up to £70.00 for a 100g reel. If you’re just aiming for a plastic-producing 3D printer, then this will be irrelevant.

Making Prosthetics Possible

It’s still more inexpensive than a factory-made prosthetic. For the latter, you’d be paying between £5,000 and £50,000. This is not practical for a child amputee. They’ll continue to outgrow artificial limbs. So surely it would make sense to self-print. According to a BBC report, a plastic-producing 3D printer can be yours for a “few hundred pounds”. It’s more of a reality for families at this lower price range. We’re savvy enough with technology to handle this kind of contraption. Installing the facilities in the lounge shouldn’t be a problem. I think opinions on prosthetics can be improved if families know they’re more attainable. They can be in charge of constructing the object from beginning to end.

 

Picture credit: Solopress: Prosthetic handmade of parts printed from a MakerBot 3D printer

 

Referring back to my previous comment on basic prosthetics, I’ve observed designs are becoming increasingly mechanised. The Ottobock Clinic in Minworth, Birmingham creates their artificial limbs with the idea that vigorous exercise is still possible. Gemma is the perfect example of this:

At the age of fourteen, she was involved in a road accident. Her leg was injured as a result. The damage was so severe, she needed an amputation above the knee. She now has a ‘C-Leg’ from the clinic. More than ‘70,000 fittings’ of this type have been carried out. The limb contains sensors which detect insecure positions. Gemma can now use less energy standing up. She can relax with her knee slightly flexed, something that could be more difficult with a traditional, basic model. She can also put weight on it with no worry of discomfort. The object adapts for exercising as well. Gemma explains “My C-Leg enables me to do star jumps, squats and lunges. Plus, I am able to easily play with my son and can flexibly kneel down.”

Some people may argue technology isn’t always reliable. The sensors in the device could stop communicating for instance. If this was to happen the limb would be stripped of its bionic capability. It ceases to be robotic. It just becomes any other prosthetic, with technology dormant in the body. The device could also perceive multiple signals simultaneously and movements could be confused. This would be somewhat frustrating for an amputee.

With the quality of this particular limb, I think it would be very unlikely. The design is highly useful for someone like Gemma, a mother and exercise enthusiast. Her attitude towards it is positive because normality is still possible. She can still kneel down to tie her son’s shoelaces. Workouts can still be done and because of the sensors, can even be enhanced.

It’s clear Sol and Gemma both have good relationships with their prosthetics. They can continue as normal. They both have control and ease of use, which I think is important for any amputee. Sol can operate his limb with the slightest pressure. It’s a toy he can manipulate and a familiar part of his life. Gemma can perform any movement with hers, however strenuous. Technology has created inclusion with more affordable prosthetics. Sometimes we focus on the technology and forget the human impact. Understanding the stories behind the headlines is where enlightenment lies. I look forward to telling more stories of causes and people behind the causes.

Written by: Kate Dodwell

Need help communicating your social issue? At That’s All Media, we help brands, causes and people raise awareness of important social issues by producing high quality visual, written and voice (i.e. podcasts, voice-overs) content creation. We also enjoy social media management and long-term communications projects. For more on this contact jen@thatsallmedia.co.uk.

Want to write for us? Contact hello@thatsallmedia.co.uk and get in touch.

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