Press release - Workers' Educational Association _WEA_ - Adult by hkksew3563rd


									Press release
24 September 2010: For immediate release

Disability is no obstacle for Jack’s special journey
from Anfield to Shanghai
Members of the Oakfield Day Service in Anfield, Liverpool are reeling with pleasure after a film
they produced and starred in has been chosen as one of the main attractions for ‘Liverpool Day’ at
the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on 16 October.

Jack’s Journey is an animated film produced by the Oakfield members, who are all disabled, as
part of a Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) course tutored by Tina Read. It shows how
disabled people use public transport, some of the issues that arise and how these can be tackled
positively between transport companies and transport users.

The film was originally premiered to local acclaim at Liverpool’s FACT (Foundation for Art and
Creative Technology) and to the delight of all the film makers, is now travelling to the big screen at
Shanghai’s Expo thanks to support from Liverpool Vision, Liverpool’s economic development

Denise Barr who stars as Amy, a blind woman will be travelling to Shanghai with Linda Owens,
deputy manager of Oakfield Day Service along with WEA tutor Tina Read who will be travelling
with the pair on their exciting journey from Liverpool to Shanghai.

As part of the planned visit the group will meet a group of Chinese locals who are also disabled,
and will compare notes on how they find Shanghai’s public transport systems.

The Expo’s moto of “Better Life, Better City” is an accurate reflection of Oakfield’s group’s
achievements, since in England the ‘Jack’s Journey‘ animation is used to train transport workers
on the issues facing disabled people using public transport. Through the training, bus drivers and
rail workers are learning how to ease some of the common problems experienced by disabled
people when using local transport.

Alex Whittle, WEA Project Manager who supported work on the film says:

“This is a fantastic journey in all senses, for both Jack and the group at Oakfield. The film is a
brilliant example of partnerships, originally between Oakfield, the WEA, Merseytravel and United
Response and now with Liverpool Vision and our colleagues in Shanghai”

“It’s an honour for the film to be represented at Shanghai and we know that Jack and Denise will
do Oakfield, Liverpool – and the Country – proud. The group deserve acclaim and will have a
fantastic time I’m sure.”

Denise and Linda are able to travel to Shanghai thanks to fundraising efforts by WEA staff and
family members of Denise and a matching contribution from Barclays Bank.

Jack’s Journey is available to view online at


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Notes to Editors:
The Jack’s Journey educational project has been supported by Merseytravel (with Beacon Award
Funding), Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) NW Region and the Oakfield Day Service
(United Response).

Workers' Educational Association (
The Workers' Educational Association (WEA) is the largest voluntary sector provider of adult
education in Britain and provides learning opportunities for over 95,000 people each year. It
operates in all nine English Regions and in Scotland and employs over three thousand part-time

The WEA creates and delivers around 12,000 courses each year in response to local need across
England and Scotland. The Association believes that education is life-long and should continue
beyond school, college and university in order to help people develop their full human potential in

WEA courses are created and delivered in response to local need, often in partnership with local
community groups and organisations, including trade unions.

Merseytravel co-ordinates public transport and acts in partnership with private bus and rail
operators to provide public transport in Merseyside. They are a combined Passenger Transport
Authority (PTA) and Executive (PTE) for Merseyside. Merseytravel covers the area of Merseyside
(the five districts of Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton) and co-ordinates public
transport in partnership with bus and rail operators. The organisation’s aim is to provide a single
integrated transport network, which is accessible to everyone.

Merseytravel is committed to providing the best possible services and value for money, seeking a
fully integrated and environmentally friendly public transport network, accessible to all. It is proud
to play a major role in the continued regeneration of Merseyside, economically, environmentally
and socially.

Local Innovation Awards Scheme (previously The Beacon Award Funding)
The Local Innovation Awards Scheme (LIA Scheme) recognises, celebrates and awards
partnerships that demonstrate innovative services, ideas and ways of doing things that bring real
benefits to citizens. The LIA Scheme works to raise standards through peer learning and
knowledge transfer. The platinum level Local Innovation Awards Scheme (LIA Scheme) has been
jointly established by Communities and Local Government (CLG), and the Local Government
Association (LGA).

United Response
United Response is a charity working across England and in Wales supporting people with
learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities. United Response was founded in
1973 and started as one service in West Sussex, set up as a residential service for people with
learning disabilities in the area. It was this success that led to the creation of more local community
based services across England and the growth of United Response. Split geographically, the
organisation has four Divisions: North East, North West, South East, South West. Within those
Divisions, Area Offices manage services in their region.

For further information about the project please contact Alex Whittle on 07825 318 404 or email

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