Category Archives: Uncategorized

Muscular dystrophy drama ‘Don’t Take My Baby’ wins BAFTA

TV drama ‘Don’t Take My Baby’, about a young person with muscular dystrophy, has won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama at this year’s BAFTA Awards in London.

IMG_1340-270x200At the beginning of 2015, BBC Three made contact with Muscular Dystrophy UK – the charity for people living with muscle-wasting conditions – as they were making a drama featuring a lead character called Anna who had Minicore Myopathy Muscular Dystrophy (MMMD).

The drama would tell the story of a young disabled couple who have a baby together but are constantly and intensely supervised by social services, who are concerned the couple cannot look after the child due to their physical disabilities.

BBC Three wanted to find a young person who had MMMD who could tell actress Ruth Madeley about living with MMMD.

Laura Bizzey who has MMMD agreed to visit Ruth on set and said: “Ruth and I chatted for a long time about the role she was playing and I tried to give as much detail about how MMMD affects me on a day-to-day basis and told her about any other restrictions I have that could be portrayed in the character.”

Following on from the BAFTA win, Laura said: “I sat watching the BAFTAs with my fingers tightly crossed, hoping that ‘Don’t Take My Baby’ would win the BAFTA for best single drama. When it came to their category and DTMB was read out as the winner, I was elated!! So, so incredible and well deserved!!

“A truly great drama, created by an amazing team of people – I am so so proud that all their hard work has been acknowledged and that people have been able to see not only the quality of the acting and production, but also the raw truth of what disabled parents have to deal with when they have children.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK is delighted that big channels and programmes are recognising the need to put rare conditions at the forefront of stories, but more still needs to be done around diversity in the media. Jack Thorne, who wrote Don’t Take My Baby, highlighted the problems that exist in his acceptance speech.

“We’re having a wonderful debate about diversity at the moment and trying to sort out the problems in our industry, and the sector that seems to get missed out quite a lot of the time is disability. The cuts to access to work are making it very difficult for theatre, film and TV companies to employ disabled talent and that’s wrong and that’s got to change.”

To find out more about muscular dystrophy, visit

Shropshire villagers in bid to buy Cross Keys pub for the community

Residents in Kinnerley, a village near Oswestry in Shropshire, have set up a group with the aim of buying their local pub.

Cross Keys in Kinnerley, ShropshireThe Cross Keys, Kinnerley is a historic pub and has been part of the village for generations. Now the Cross Keys Community Society has been formed to raise the capital to buy the freehold of the pub and so save it for the community.

The society is looking for locals and others interested in saving the pub to become members of the society and to pledge an investment in the society so that it can purchase the building, refurbish it and reopen it as a community-owned pub.

The concept of communities owning their local pub is relatively new but is growing as more and more pubs close. Figures from Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, suggest around 30 pubs in the UK are closing each week, with many of them being the only pub within a community.

A meeting held recently heard that the Cross Keys Community Society has already received pledges of some £75,000 towards a target of over £200,000 for the purchase of the freehold of the property. The society has a deadline of only a few weeks to find out if it can secure enough pledges to raise the purchase price.

The pub will also require refurbishment and the society has identified a number of funding opportunities to secure cash for repairs, extensions and updating the property.

According to the society the plans for the Cross Keys in Kinnerley are for it to become a focal point for the community through the provision of enjoyable facilities and services including accommodation and a community room with a café.

The community has also suggested a number of other ideas for the future of the pub as a community hub.

The Cross Keys Community Society points out that any investment by individuals or local businesses in the society should primarily be seen as a social investment, although their aim is to run the pub at a profit, sufficient to give shareholders a return on their investment.

The minimum investment in the society is £50 per member and the society is also accepting donations to help buy the pub.

If you would like to find out how you can help support for the Cross Keys in Kinnerley, you can find out more on their Facebook page or by emailing

Running Santas wanted

A national charity is looking for volunteers who are not interested in training for the London Marathon to jingle their way through a 5k or 10k Santa Run. 

Santas running for Family ActionFamily Action  is hoping to see hundreds of running Santas. There is even a free Santa suit for everyone who signs up.

No previous experience is required and the distance should be within most people’s capabilities. The spirit of the event is ‘taking part’ not ‘winning’ so you can run, jog or walk – you decide!


When: Sunday 7th December

Where: Victoria Park, London at approx. 11:00

Registration fee: £22

Fundraising Target: £100

Deadline: 31st October 2014

The fundraising team at Family Action will be here every step of the way to help you with tips and ideas for raising money.

There is already a team of 20 signed up, so if you are interested in joining the Family Action team sign up quickly!

Reserve your place at:

Live in the Park concert

Arley Hall and Gardens near Northwich is the spectacular backdrop for a fundraising concert for The NeuroMuscular Centre in Winsford, Cheshire.

Rock StewartThe annual Live in the Park concert takes place in the beautiful grounds of this stunning stately home and this year features: Rock Stewart as Rod, winner of The National Tribute Awards 2013, Desperado ‘The Heart of the Eagles’, hailed as the most authentic sounding Eagles tribute band in the UK and The American Four Tops direct from the USA with all that sweet soul music and motown magic.

Concertgoers are free to bring their own picnics, chairs and rugs, though there will also be a variety of catering outlets available on site and a fully licensed bar. The grounds of the gorgeous estate will open at 5pm, and the concert will begin at 6.30pm with a performance from a special guest band.

Rock Stewart will take to the stage at 7.30pm, followed by Desperado at 8.45pm by which time everyone should be boogying the night away. The American Four Tops will close the party at 9.50pm along with a spectacular fireworks finale at 10.50pm.

Advance purchase tickets are £22.50 for adults, £17.50 for children and £70 for a family ticket.

Tickets on the day will be £24.50 for adults, £19.50 for children and a family ticket will cost £80.

Tickets can be booked online here or by calling Fundraising on 01606 861733.

There are also a number of sites, 3m x 3m, available for garden gazebos, which must be booked in advance – fee £50. Tel Arley Hall: 01565 777353.

Undernutrition major problem among people with dementia

A new report highlights that undernutrition is a major problem among people with dementia and goes on to stress the importance of recognising nutrition as a potential key factor in the wellbeing of people with dementia.

Image of report

Undernutrition is a major problem among people with dementia.

Research reviewed in the report finds that 20-45% of those with dementia in the community experience clinically significant weight loss over one year.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Compass Group commissioned a team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Prince from the King’s College London Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, to produce the report ‘Nutrition and dementia: a review of available research’.

The report reviews existing research on dietary factors across the life course that might increase or decrease the risk of developing dementia in later life. While obesity in mid-life may be a risk factor for developing dementia in late life, weight loss tends to become a more significant issue in the decade leading up to the clinical onset of the disease and accelerates thereafter.

The report also details actions that could improve the nutrition of people with dementia through diet and external factors such as modifying the mealtime environment, and supporting and training carers. Given the evidence for effective interventions, there is much untapped potential to improve the food intake and nutritional status of people with dementia.

Professor Prince, from King’s College London, says: “For older people, undernutrition is arguably a greater health concern than obesity, and it is particularly common among people with dementia. This is a neglected area of research with important implications for quality of life, health and functioning. While weight loss in dementia is very common and can be an intrinsic part of the disease, it could be avoided and we should be doing more to tackle the problem.”

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, ADI, says: “I am very pleased that ADI and Compass Group commissioned this report. We believe that a focus on diet, nutrition and wellbeing is a positive approach to supporting people with dementia and carers of this devastating disease. The report also shows we need more research into the potential role of nutrition in reducing the risk of developing dementia.”

The Report recommends that:

  • The adoption of nutritional standards of care for people with dementia should be considered throughout the health and social care sectors. These could include regular monitoring of weight, as well as assessments of diet and feeding behaviours, and the need for feeding assistance.
  • Family and professional carers should be trained and supported to understand and meet the challenges involved in maintaining adequate nutrition for people with dementia.
  • Evidence-based advice should be provided to inform consumer choices regarding the balance of risks and benefits associated with the use of nutritional supplements claimed to protect cognition in late life, before or after the onset of dementia.
  • More research should be conducted into the effective components of a diet that might prevent dementia and the progression of mild cognitive impairment.

CHICKS Open Information Evening

CHICKS logoCHICKS, a registered charity which provides free respite breaks for disadvantaged children, is holding an Open Information Evening on Tuesday 28 January in Tower Hamlets, for anyone interested in finding out more about the services it offers.

CHICKS provides 8 to 15 year olds with a chance for respite from their daily challenges, from being young carers, living in poverty or subject to abuse, to being in service families or suffering bullying or bereavement, The week-long breaks give children a chance to be children again and to get involved in new, exciting activities and positive experiences. Thanks to the charity’s fundraising, each break is offered completely free of charge to the child and their family.

The Open Information Evening takes place at Globe Primary School, Gawber Street, Tower Hamlets E2 0JH, on Tuesday 28 January 2014. A CHICKS presentation takes place from 4pm to 5.30pm, with networking afterwards.

To confirm a place, contact Emily Kirov, CHICKS Referral Agent Development Officer, at, or call 01822 811112. To find out more about CHICKS, visit

Teenager to climb Mt Kilimanjaro

A teenager is to follow in his father’s footsteps and scale the highest mountain in Africa to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

Jos Reeves, from Redhill in Surrey, will tackle the 5,895 meter climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The climb will see him trekking through farmland, rainforest and remote wilderness to reach the snow covered peak above the clouds. His father climbed the same mountain in 2005.

Jos, 15, will spend seven days trekking for up to 11 hours a day in temperatures below freezing point. The ascent concludes with a trek beginning at midnight and taking place throughout the dawn.

Jos who is now sitting his GCSEs, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was nine. He has been walking and running to train for the challenge and uses an insulin pump to control his blood sugar levels.

He said: “I see it as a perfect opportunity to prove that my condition can’t stop me doing what I want and to raise money for research into diabetes.”

Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK regional manager for the South East, said: “Climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the toughest fund raising challenges we offer at Diabetes UK. It truly is a once in a lifetime achievement, and we are really grateful for Jos’ effort because the money raised will help us to make life better for the 3.7 million people in the UK with diabetes and the 7 million people at high risk.”

Jos sets off for his Kilimanjaro challenge on July 1.

To sponsor Jos visit

Budget 2013: Tax relief to encourage investment in social enterprise

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced in the Budget that the Government will consult on a new tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprises.

This proposed new tax incentive is designed to make it easier for private investment in social enterprises, giving social enterprises greater access to growth capital.

Social enterprise leaders have welcomed the announcement. Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said: “We wholly welcome the Chancellor’s announcement in today’s Budget – growing the UK’s social investment market is crucial as traditional sources of finance continue to dwindle in the economic downturn. Capital needs to be raised in new ways to support social enterprises working to address the country’s social and green issues – levering in private investment is vital.

“We’re delighted that The Treasury has listened to the social enterprise sector which came together to campaign on this, and look forward to working with Government on the detail, in advance of the tax incentives being introduced. Access to finance is the biggest barrier for our members keen to grow their businesses and have a greater impact.”

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital, said: “The Chancellor has today given a very welcome commitment to make changes to the tax system that we believe can stimulate significant additional investment in social enterprises. The Government has shown a consistent commitment to developing a vibrant social investment market in the UK and this latest measure represents a considerable boost for social entrepreneurs and community organisations, up and down the country, that are looking to raise capital. The Chancellor is rightly addressing the anomaly that there are tax breaks for many areas of risk capital investment, and tax breaks for charitable donations, but no tax breaks for those who want to invest risk capital in businesses whose primary aim is to improve society.”

Businesses offered cancer awareness talk

The NHS has launched a new cancer awareness campaign across Greater Manchester and Cheshire targeting the over 50s.

Be clear on cancer logo

Be clear on cancer

The campaign, Be Clear on Cancer – Know 4sure, aims to raise public awareness of key signs of cancer and encourage those with any of the symptoms to see their doctor.

People are being encouraged to see their doctor if they notice any of these four signs:

1.    Unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury.
2.    An unexplained lump.
3.    Unexplained weight loss, which feels significant to you.
4.    Any type of unexplained pain that doesn’t go away.

Local businesses in Greater Manchester and Cheshire are being given the opportunity of a FREE cancer awareness talk with a ‘Cancer Champion’. Cancer Champions have been trained to deliver cancer awareness messages to groups of people and to encourage people with symptoms to report to their doctor.

The talks are designed to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of cancer amongst employees and their families, encouraging them to visit their GP if they notice any signs.

The talk usually takes about 30 minutes, and can take place at a convenient time.

If you would like more information, or would like to book a talk, please contact Mark Brown on 01942 483 089 or email

Prince Charles to open community store

Photo of village shop

Prince Charles will visit the Community-owned shop near Stroud

Residents in Gloucestershire who raised £50,000 to save their village shop are to be rewarded with a visit from the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles will meet villagers in Uley, near Stroud, who have used the funds to reopen their shop as a community enterprise.

The store became community-owned when former owners Joy and Dave Gaynton retired in July 2012. Villagers set up a committee to raise funds and their efforts raised £47,540 in community shares.

A further £2,080 was raised through donations to purchase the shop, which has been trading successfully ever since.

Uley Community Stores has received support from the Plunkett Foundation, which supports the development of community-owned village shops across the country. Figures released by the foundation show that there are now 303 community-owned shops in the UK.

Peter Randall, shop committee chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to formally open our village shop and celebrate its ongoing success.
“It has been a wonderful project which has brought together over 400 people, whether they are volunteers, shareholders, decorators, plumbers, electricians, lawyers; everyone from the village has worked together to make it a success.”