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Three-a-side ping pong proves a hit!

Who’s been making the news round your way this week?

21 April, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Focus on fun for T3 Foundation’s visit to St Anne’s care home in Finsbury Park on Good Friday, with Islington mayor Kat Fletcher, a T3 Foundation supporter

Three-a-side table tennis. Doesn’t sound as if it would work, does it? But a new Holloway not-for-profit organisation is showing that it does, and what’s more, it’s a real hit in Islington’s care homes. Digi Berry, the founder of the T3 Foundation, has adapted the game so it can be played by the elderly. The table is round, encouraging the fun, social aspect of the game and the bats are extra light. At first her plan was met with scepticism in the care home sector. “People thought there was no chance it would get people in wheelchairs playing,” she said. “People were being wheeled up to the table asleep. But two minutes later, they’ve picked up the bat and they’re hitting the ball, there’s joy, there’s laughter.” Part of her inspiration came from research which shows that table tennis is one of the best sports for improving brain power, especially amongst those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Digi’s aim is now to get the tables into as many UK care homes and special needs centres as possible.

Head makes marathon effort for charity

Debora Shepherd, headteacher of Courtyard School

A Holloway headteacher will be pushing herself to the limit this weekend as she takes on the London Marathon in aid of a vital local charity. Deborah Shepherd, headteacher of the Courtyard school, a special school for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder, will be running the furthest she’s ever run for disability charity Centre 404. Deborah, a mum of three children all under seven, said: “In my role as headteacher, a number of my pupils and their families have received support from Centre 404. I also know that more of my pupils and their families could benefit from clubs and holiday activities, if further funding was in place. My aim is to raise as much awareness and money as possible in the hope that Centre 404 can continue to carry out their essential support.” She has been training hard and last week did a 22 mile run around the capital. Details of how to support Deborah at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Deborah-Shepherd1. Centre 404, based in Camden Road, has been offering support to adults and children with learning disabilities and their families for more than 65 years.

How opposites attract awards

Podcasters Dan Hudson, left, and James Barr

Two men who previously thought they had nothing in common have forged an unlikely friendship with the help of technology. Archway’s Dan Hudson and James Barr had been in the same friendship group but the pair had never spent time alone together. When Dan’s girlfriend moved abroad for a while, Dan and James decided to test whether two men with “completely different lifestyles, tastes, friendship groups and sexual preferences” could be friends. Radio presenter Dan is more into Bruce Springsteen, while James prefers Britney Spears. Their mission has proved a success and a podcast documenting their journey – A Gay and A NonGay – has been nominated for Best Entertain­ment Podcast at the inaugural British Podcast Awards. “In the current political climate we feel it is vitally important to demonstrate the importance of two different people putting their differences aside and just talking to each other. It doesn’t happen enough,” the duo, both 28, say. The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, April 29, at the Platform Theatre in King’s Cross.

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