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It’s Breathe Easy Week as Council suggest ways to improve air quality

As part of Breathe Easy Week (17-21 June) West Sussex County Council is asking us to make positive changes to our lifestyles in order to improve air quality where we live and work.

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These include:

• Walking and cycling for short journeys;
• Gently braking and accelerating smoothly when driving;
• Considering switching to electric vehicles;
• Composting organic waste instead of burning it.

The county council is committed to improving air quality and is a long standing member of the Sussex-air Partnership, which offers a free airAlert service.

Sussex airAlert sends you messages – either by text, voice mail or email – when air pollution levels in your area increase to moderate levels or above. Find out more at www.airalert.info.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

“It is often difficult to appreciate the importance of air quality as it can’t be seen.

“Through the choices we make about how we travel and how we heat our homes, we can all make a positive difference to improving the air quality in our county.

“Walking and cycling on short journeys will cut pollution, and there is the added bonus of getting exercise which is good for your physical and mental health.

“Improving air quality is a priority for the County Council – but we can’t do it without the help of our residents.”

Breathe Easy Week is a national initiative and follows the launch of the county council’s major new ‘West Sussex Climate Pledge’ online campaign earlier this month.

The Climate Pledge campaign asks West Sussex residents to make small but positive changes to their everyday lives. Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/maketheclimatepledge to find out more and make your pledge.

Breathe Easy Week coincides with this year’s Clean Air Day on Thursday (June 20). For more information on Clean Air Day, visit www.cleanairday.org.uk.

Health & Wellbeing

Inspiring Crawley man crushed under dumper truck and left paraplegic fundraising for pioneering rehabilitation

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Twenty years ago Steve Collins had a horrific accident when he was crushed after a dumper truck tipped over on him.

Following initial rehabilitation, his condition, was described as incurable.

“There was nothing more the NHS could do for me,” says Steve.

“Since leaving hospital I have always managed to live independently in my own bungalow using my resourcefulness and ingenuity to live a full and active life, but my goal has always been to heal my body.”

For the last fifteen years Steve has been involved in pioneering work in the field of Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation. Known as ABR Therapy, this is the brain child of a Russian man called Leonid Blyum.

“I have been working under his guidance and we are proving that spinal injury is a treatable condition.” Steve Explains.

But there are no miracle cures and it is a long slow process and in all this time Leonid Blyum has been evolving and refining the techniques as the therapy has developed.

So far Steve has made enormous improvements and is now well on his way to walking again, but there is still a long way to go.

“In order to overcome a spinal injury, it is necessary to rebuild the catastrophic collapse of the primary core structure of the body. Unfortunately the medical establishment focuses solely on nerve damage and fails to see the vitally important bio-mechanical aspects. When we address the bio-mechanics and rebuild the structure we find that the nerve pathways re-establish of their own accord, despite the terrible damage I did to my spine.”

“Before this therapy my body was terribly depleted and everything was a struggle, including sitting. I could sit on the bus, but had to hold on for dear life. Now I can sit comfortably with my hands in my lap as the bus lurches round the corners. In the past when I went to sleep I woke up in exactly the same position, full of aches and pains. Now I have the strength in my body to toss and turn in my sleep like anyone else. I used to be paralysed from the waist down, now I have strength in my pelvis and control of my legs at the hips and knees. I live comfortably and move around with ease, can crawl on all fours and weight bear through my legs with a good hand hold.”

“I have every intention of walking again and need another five years to finish rebuilding my body. It is important that I continue this work, not only for my own future, but for the future of all who follow in my footsteps. I make it my mission to show what is possible.

Now Steve is fundraising to continue the vital work in Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation and to also help him walk again.

You can support Steve and his campaign by going to his GoFundMe page here.

For more information you can also see Steve’s website here www.spinalroots.net

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