In The News

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Published April 6, 2014 by mandzmagee

One click can make a difference!

Different things matter to different people, share those issues that matter most to you and awareness raise to get other people interested and aware!!


#Autism – Leapfrog LeapReader Review

Published April 4, 2014 by mandzmagee

A child doesn’t have to be on the Autistic Spectrum to be difficult to buy for, however when they’re not able to verbalise what they’d like to have as a new present, or often not willing to accept new things into their lives or a change of activity into their routine without it turning into a melt down it makes it a massive challenge for everyone at times like Christmas and Birthdays.

As we seemed to hit gold with Theo this birthday I thought I’d share a review of his new found favourite educational toy and all the benefit’s we’ve found to go along with it!

Here I introduce to you the LeapReader made by LeapFrog,





  • Access to the internet is required!

The LeapReader is an audio pen that allows the child to interact with books, maps and activity sets to aid in developing skills such as listening, reading and writing.  Discovering through stories and games with favourite characters such as Disney, Cbeebies, Nickelodeon to name a few in area’s such as Mathematics, Social Studies, Science in a fun and hidden way!

To get started you charge the pen, you are provided with a USB connection lead, connect to an internet accessible computer, and follow the instructions to install LeapFrog Connect.  This tool gives you easy access to the application store where you can find the download resources for the books that you buy.  Connect also gives you a link to the Learning Path which gives you a history of your child’s usage of the LeapReader, details which books are most commonly read, activities most commonly used and suggest new material that your child may be interested in!

World Map

Theo's Collection

Learning Pack

Once you’ve downloaded the audio software for the products that you’ve purchased it’s all go!  Jump from book to book, page to page, map back to book, if it’s installed it’ll automatically recognise the item and take you on that learning adventure.  So the child can just pick it up and play!

The positives that we’ve found with Theo

  • Bigger interest in books
  • More word repetition (maybe doesn’t know how to use the word in sense but has increased his vocabulary!)
  • Improved fine motor skills
  • Improved concentration time on specific subjects
  • Introduced new topics of interest
  • Improved social sharing to include others to read with him

I admit that the books and accessories to go with the LeapReader can be quite expensive however I’ve found that on you can buy lots cheaper!  You just have to be very careful that you’re buying for the LeapReader and NOT the LeapTag system.

1 GIANT LEAP featuring Robbie Williams and Maxi Jazz, my culture

Published March 31, 2014 by mandzmagee

Daily Prompt: I Walk the Line

When I was working as a Youth Worker in Community Learning and Development for Dumfries and Galloway Council I had to give a presentation to both young people and other service providers to show what had inspired me into my post and what my beliefs were for healthy communities to work together without discrimination.

Growing up myself I faced a lot of issues and wasn’t able to find the support that I craved from the right people. When I found the support from the most unlikely place ever my goal for my career was to make sure that no young person ever thought that they were not “The kid who wouldn’t amount to much” and that by not listening to the abuse and discrimination they could be anything they wanted to be as there are other sources of support to empower them too. Yes … They could be “The one who landed the Rock Stars job”.

I detest discrimination, each off my children have faced it because of their different health issues. Never to be one for being backwards at coming forwards telling anyone of any age, status, background or social status … I advise them of their faults and direct them to “Never think that they’re all that special as not even Google has all the right answers” and that their air that they’re breathing costs exactly the same as everyone else’s.

Respect is an amazing thing when you’ve earned it. it’s the biggest punchline ever when people think that the world owes them it!!

Time for change Mr President? – #Connecticut School Massacre

Published December 14, 2012 by mandzmagee

March 1996 a little town called Dunblane in Scotland, 43 year old Thomas Hamilton entered into Dunblane Primary School armed with four hand guns and went on to massacre 16 children and their teacher. The gun law in Scotland was very quickly changed to make sure that private ownership of firearms was illegal and you needed to hold a license to be able to hold a gun.

Since that time there has been numerous public massacres in The United States of America where an abundant amount of innocent and vulnerable children and young people have either been injured or worse. Why does the government of that country not learn from experiences that have been forced upon others and help make the security of their Young People tighter and more reassuring for the parents. Far too many lives have been cut short, yet no changes have been made?

Today a suspected 20 year old gunman dressed in combat gear, went into a school in Connecticut 60 miles away from New York allegedly brandishing a 2.23 bush master riffle and two hand guns  going on to shoot dead twenty children and seven adults, it’s been reported that he took his life after the shootings however I’m not sure if his body is within that count.

I put to President Obama, isn’t it about time that you stood up to the minority of the country that wish to keep their freedom to hold a weapon?  Isn’t it time that a tougher procedure was being put into place for people to legally be able to own a weapon?  Isn’t it time that these victims that have had their lives cut short make a difference to change those laws for the future generations of children growing up in the United States of America are better protected by their own country people?

If the President see’s fit to send the countries military over to another country because of terrorism, why is he allowing his own country people to easily access arms, easily train how to use the weapons, easily gain access to ammunition for the weapons?  If you’re wanting to send your armed forces over to another country to try and stamp out people being trained to fight – shouldn’t you have the same idealism for your own country first?

President Obama – You were voted to stay as President, this is the time where you need to break the ease for these home grown killers and put blocks to help prevent so much more heart ache and loss for families, help prevent even more people leaving this earth far too soon!!

#LagansFoundation – #Health

Published December 12, 2012 by mandzmagee

I’ve came across a wonderful site that I wanted to share with you. There is a fantastic National Charity called Lagan’s Foundation that is providing support and care to families with children aged below 5 years old that have been diagnosed with acquired or Congenital Heart Defects or feeding difficulties.
They brought to my attention a video of a news article that shows the work that they’re committed too and I thought I’d share it with you’s!  Check it out here

Check out their website too and see if you can afford an invaluable donation towards their work!

Follow them on Twitter @LagansFoundatio

Like them on Facebook

David Cameron’s “Rehab Revolution” – #Politics

Published October 23, 2012 by mandzmagee

After sitting watching the news tonight I seen an article about how David Cameron wants high risk prisoners to be given support and education to help them turn their lives around.  He claims that this will be a “Tough but intelligent” approach to make the prison system work, help offenders stop re-offending.

It’s clear to everyone that the prison system is not working and something does need to be done to tackle our over populated prisons.  Is the answer not in the sentencing that is being administered instead of education I wonder though.

For the law abiding citizens of the United Kingdom who are living through this recession that the country is in very few can afford to go into education to better their job prospects.  For that matter there’s very few that can get a job to pay for further education at the same time.  In my opinion the education is being offered to the wrong area of the community entirely.

Mr Cameron went on to say “”We’ll never create a safer society unless we give people, especially young people, opportunities and chances away from crime.”.  Yes Mr Cameron this is entirely true – however taking away the front line youth work in the areas where these young people grow up isn’t exactly giving them the opportunities to be educated and kept away from crime before they’ve even considered committing any is it?

I feel that his targets need to be shifted firstly by making prison seem more of a threat, don’t sit these prisoners down to give them education, get them doing the jobs of maintaining the prison gaining work experience and references to say that they’re willing workers and get sentences to be recognised as something to be feared.

Secondly if the young people are who you want to be educating and helping in the communities, educate them before they’re given the chance to offend, get better youth work provisions put into place especially in areas of deprivation, this will get the young people off the streets where they can be tempted into crime for something to do and give empower them that they can commit themselves to something worthwhile in their life.

It’s important for young people to realise what they’re capable of and what they are able to achieve at a young age, instead of having a label that they get judged over after spending time in a prison in my opinion.

Jim’ll Fix It – But At What Cost?

Published October 13, 2012 by mandzmagee

I’ve started and restarted this blog a hundred times over the past week and I still don’t know what all I want to say – So here’s my ramblings on the subject!


Sir Jimmy Savile OBE KCSG born October 1926, once looked upon as a selfless fundraiser for charity, a brilliant DJ and Music TV presenter, a man who brought children’s dreams to life between 1975 and 1994 with his television program “Jim’ll Fix It”.  Over the years he’s also been affiliated with many hospitals across England in one way or another.  He died in October 2011.

This man (I use the term very loosely) as I said has been fundraising, awareness raising and supporting a number of different charities and awareness raising campaigns.  However behind all the hype infront of the screens a very different story was being played out away from the camera’s which the fool genuinely believed would never come to light.

For a man who claimed to state “I hate children”, I’ve never actually understood why he was put into the position of giving to children and young people the chance of actually carrying out the one thing they wanted to do in their dreams.  Wasn’t Terry Wogan or Noel Edmonds avaliable?

As far as I can make out there wasn’t any complaints raised about Savile’s conduct towards young people and vulnerable people until the early 00’s.  However these complaints dated back to the 70’s.  The news report that I watched last reported that there was at least 40 cases of sexual abuse being investigated.

It makes me wonder how the man has gotten away with so much over such a massive timespan.  Wasn’t there anything before the victims came forth that indicated that there was something strange about the man, the way the victims were acting around him, about the speak of his name around them?

The feelings, nightmares and lives that the people involved have had to endure from that date until now will still never ever leave them until their dying day.  I can’t help but hope they realise that because they’ve made a stand, came forwards named the monster and told their stories, Each and everyone one is a survivor of what they endured, and they’re no longer victims of something that’s been brushed over and hidden because of the person who has caused it!

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