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The Association to Aid the Sexual and Personal Relationships of People with a Disability (SPOD), founded in 1972, works towards enabling people with disabilities to express their sexuality. SPOD's founders felt that the area of sexuality and personal relationships amongst the disabled was at best overlooked and at worst actively repressed. The association operates a telephone counselling line providing information and support to people with a disability, and/or their partners, who are having sexual problems; those who need further counselling are referred to a counsellor in their own area. SPOD also provides workshops to train and raise the awareness of professional carers.

SPOD, 286 Camden Road, London N7 OBJ, telephone 071-607 8851.

The Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Sheltered Workshop opened in 1982 to provide therapeutic and productive working conditions for people with a wide range of disabilities, many of whom are unable to cope with open employment. At the beginning there was part-time work for four people but now over 20 are employed in engraving, printing and sub-contract work, including the production of industrial electrical and plastic components. They make signs, badges, letterheads, business cards and leaflets for public and private organisations. Working under sheltered conditions, many participants have demonstrated that they can cope as well as many in open employment. The workshop has opened three charity shops in Birmingham and intends to open more: while these have helped put it on a sounder financial footing, the workshop still needs to raise funds from other sources.

The Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Sheltered Workshop, 14 Court Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham B11 4LX, telephone 021-771 0380.

The Independent welcomes details of appeals from readers. They should be sent in writing (no more than 100 words) to Gazette (Appeals), The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB (fax 071-956 9358). Please include a daytime telephone number.

Christmas card design, printed in black and white, by Bridget Riley (born 1931), commissioned by Card Aid, a charitable trading branch of the Charities Advisory Trust. The card, with others by Maggie Hambling, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Sir Hugh Casson and Elizabeth Blackadder, will be sold at Card Aid shops to raise funds for various charities involved with Aids. Most of the 30 temporary Card Aid shops, which will be opening during October and November, are based in London: others can be found in Oxford, Bristol, Reading and Birmingham.

Card Aid's work is divided into two areas. About 130 charities, both large and small, commission Card Aid to produce and sell cards for them: last year these charities received some 86 per cent of the retail price of each card. Shelter, Sane, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Trinity Hospice are some of the charities thus involved. Card Aid will also extend the print run of charities' orders at its own expense and sell the cards to raise a lump sum of money to be distributed the following year to different projects. Last year about pounds 150,000 was so raised in this way and over 200 projects helped.

For information about the Card Aid shops, which will be selling over 150 card designs, contact: 071-435 6523.

The Charities Advisory Trust (CAT), a charity, was formed 10 years ago to provide independent trading advice to charities; it also takes over the management of charity trading companies which are doing badly. CAT further runs the Museum Store, in Covent Garden, selling goods from museums around the world. For further information about CAT, contact: The Charities Advisory Trust, Radius Works, Back Lane, Hampstead, London NW3 IHL, telephone 071-794 9835.

(Photograph omitted)

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