Cater's Choice

TV: A week of programmes on the Community Channel this week designed to raise awareness of disability.

On Saturday at 6.30pm, the always-impressive Bill Nighy makes a guest appearance in Coping Strategies, a film by the Moment by Moment Theatre Company of actors with and without learning disabilities. Coping Strategies is billed as a "surreal comedy" that explores what happens when one young man, fed up with the tag 'learning disabled', leaves his mother for love, life and freedom in an independent home.

On Sunday at 7pm, Helping Others can Help U follows Sophie Morgan, a finalist in Channel 4's Britain's Missing Top Model, as she visits charities to challenge preconceptions about volunteering and explores the role of volunteers who have personal experience of disability.

Among the charities whose work is highlighted are: the Back Up Trust, which works with people with spinal injuries; East Riddlesden Hall, part of the National Trust, where Mencap volunteers with learning disabilities pilot visitor activities to ensure they are safe and fun; the Manchester-based user-led mental health group Self Help Services; and Liverpool's Neurosupport, which uses volunteers with experience of neurological conditions, from epilepsy and Parkinson's disease to brain tumours and Alzheimer's.

On Monday the Community Channel is also launching Your Sport, a new show about grass-roots sport, clubs and participants and the role sport can play in communities. Among those making an appearance will be Olympic gold-medallist Kelly Holmes.

Five's autumn season of Extraordinary People continues on Thursdays with the usual parade of freak shows -stories about a very tall person, a very short person, a very disabled person and a man who says he can read the minds of babies. The last is called The Million Dollar Mind Reader and is a Visual Voodoo production.

- Contact Nick Cater at catercharity@yahoo.co.uk.

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