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Interabled couple from Worthing strive to help others through social media

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George Dowell, of Cote Street, High Salvington, was left unable to walk again after a car crash in April, 2010. He was 17 years old.

The promising teen footballer, who played for Worthing FC, used the compensation he received from the crash to buy the football club, which at the time was facing possible extinction.

His involvement saw the club have a brand-new, 3G pitch installed, The Rebels’ Tavern given a complete makeover to become The 7HQ Sports Bar and Café, and continuing general improvements at Woodside Road.

George Dowell and his girlfriend, Jessikah Lopez, have set up an Instagram page to show some of the challenges couples like them come across – and what they do to overcome them

Now 28, the successful business owner is also using his time to raise awareness of accessibility and disability with his girlfriend, Jessikah Lopez, also 28, and the couple hope to help others.

George said: “As we know, this can happen to anyone and we should all try our best to understand and make things as equal as is possible for all. Hopefully it’ll help others and I’m sure we will learn a lot from others along the way!”

George and Jessikah met through Facebook in November, 2019, after George appeared on Channel 4’s The Undateables. Their relationship blossomed quickly and the pair bubbled up when the pandemic hit.

“It’s been fun – we get on really well,” said George.

George Dowell with girlfriend Jessikah Lopez

“We had both been thinking about doing this for a long time. We wanted to give an insight into our relationship and the challenges we face.

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“Our goal is to help as many people as possible and answer as many questions as possible.”

Jessikah, who is originally from Rochester, recently handed in her notice to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to focus on the social media project with George full-time.

She said: “You have these challenges every single day, especially me who is new to dating someone in a wheelchair. It has been a big eye-opener and it is interesting.

George and Jessikah met through Facebook in November, 2019, after George appeared on Channel 4’s The Undateables

“We get lots of questions all the time, so we thought, why don’t we try and do our bit.”

Jessikah, who has a strong arts background, said when she met George, they really got on and had great conversations.

“That’s why I fell in love with him – the chair meant nothing, I looked past it. It is like a love I have never felt before and I love learning about it. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

The pair said they have already had a great response to their Instagram page – @thewheellife_.

George and Jessikah’s relationship blossomed quickly and the pair bubbled up when the pandemic hit

“The support has been incredible,” said George.

“I didn’t expect this many people to follow us and it’s not about that – even if it’s just 20 people, that’s still 20 people who are interested and that we are helping.”

Jessikah added: “The response has really solidified it for us and we are really looking forward to sharing our journey. And the more we share, the more we break down the stigma and show that people with a disability can date as well.”

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The couple also plan to start up a YouTube channel, where they will upload videos of ‘all the fun things they get up to as an interabled couple’.

They have already shared videos of them heading to restaurants in our town – showing their followers where it is accessible for wheelchair users.

They also plan to document trips away.

George and Jessikah also plan to start up a YouTube channel

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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