Patch Story #3: Chesterfield coffee shop to raise money for M3 ward

Made to be given in for a December 18 2009 deadline, this article refers to an event that has already taken place. I managed to go for the opening myself, and it was a lot of fun. I do recommend Froth as a cool coffee shop to hang out at if you’re ever in Hasland, Chesterfield.

Inspired by a 10-year-old girl’s fight against leukemia, a coffee-shop owner in Chesterfield is donating all profits from her fund-raising event to the M3 ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Joanna Nye, 35, owner of the newly opened coffee-shop ‘Froth’ in Hasland, heard about Emily Bell, who was diagnosed with leukemia exactly one month after participating in ‘Race for Life’ in Chesterfield.

“The reason for raising money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital M3 Ward is Emily Bell,” Ms. Nye said.

“I have been following her story over the past few months and have been astounded by how brave she is. Having a daughter the same age, it is unimaginable what they are all going through.”

Emily has described the time she was diagnosed. “They came down (after my tests) and I asked my mom and dad if I was going to die but they didn’t say anything.

“When the nurse came to my room, she told me that I was going to lose my hair but still no one said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when I asked if I was going to die.”

Emily has been through endless tests and hospital visits over the last three months. Right now, Andrea Bennett, 39, Emily’s mother, is extremely happy that her daughter will be home for Christmas.

Emily’s siblings have had to deal with the effects of the illness as well. Mrs. Bennett told her son, Codey, 4, that Emily had ‘naughty blood’ but she would get better soon.

Emily’s grandmother, Christine Bulmer, 70, from Brimington, Chesterfield, said that Emily has never complained about all the procedures she has been put through.

Mrs. Bennett agreed – and said it was true of all the children on the M3 ward.

She said: “I have never ever seen them crying or moaning. They always have a smile on their face.”

She also said that while Ms. Nye has never met their family, she is often astounded by the kindness of complete strangers. Mrs. Bennett and her family will be attending the opening event at Froth.

Also making an appearance at the event will be Peak FM’s morning show host, Becky Measures. A donation will be made to Becky’s charity, the National Hereditary Breast Cancer helpline.

Froth’s future was cast in doubt until its opening in November because of objections from local residents.

They collected 17 signatures on a petition saying that the opening of the coffee shop would cause parking difficulties and anti-social behaviour.

Ms. Nye responded by giving out flyers and collected 43 signatures on her own petition asking for Froth to be opened.

Objectors never attended the council meeting due to consider Ms. Nye’s application.

Froth is situated at 319 Hasland Road, Hasland, Chesterfield S41 0AA, and will be open from 9.30am-9.30pm with the official opening by Becky Measures taking place at 1.15pm on Thursday, December 17 2009.

Journalists and Ethics

This isn’t going to be a post about ethics and journalism per se, but an accurate report of a conversation I had with an immigration official (yes, that’s right).

I was going through immigration checks at Heathrow airport. Now, for those ignorant souls who have no clue about the trials and tribulations many international students have to face when entering the UK, let me say that at immigration, they ask you questions about the course, what you’re doing, ask small details about things that they think people would fudge up if they were coming in for unlawful purposes. Which, by the way, is their job and it’s good that they do it quite well. It’s just annoying for me to have to prove every single time I fly in that hey, I’m a student here and am contributing £20,000 into your economy so let me through!

Anyway, here’s a report of the conversation we had:

Official: Are you going on anywhere from Heathrow?

Me: Yes, I’m going to Manchester.

Official: Okay…where do you study?

Me: University of Sheffield

Official: What kind of course are you doing?

Me: MA in Magazine Journalism

Official *raises an eyebrow*: What’s so different between magazines and newspapers?

Me *mildly outraged*: Newspapers is mostly hard news. Magazine has more features alongside news as well and –

Official: Mmmhmm. What modules do you have?

Me: Well we’ve already done Law, Researching News – that’s for news writing, Ethics and –

Official: Ethics? I thought journalists don’t have any ethics.

Me: Erm…uh well that’s why they teach us. Besides, I have loads of ethics.

Official: Right. Goodbye.

*sigh* And that’s my first brush with people who think journalists are unethical.

Patch Story #2: Special needs charity hopes to raise £300,000

A charity that caters to children with disabilities needs to raise £300,000 in order to develop the empty land adjoining their new headquarters.

Fairplay was founded in 1992 and is currently situated in a small office on Chatsworth Road in Chesterfield. Come March 2010, they will move to Myplace Chesterfield on Alexandra Road West, the construction of which began in June 2009.

Built exclusively for Fairplay, the new building will house a sensory room and garden, activity rooms, a wet room for changing needs, a kitchen and offices for staff.

Fairplay received a £3.1 million grant late last year from the Big Lottery Fund for this. The grant also included funds for the refurbishment of the Donut Creative Art Studio next door. An arts centre for music, media and dance, it will be open to the public including children from Fairplay.

Fairplay’s Sustainability Development Officer, Francesca Redmore said that they would start fund-raising to develop the ‘huge derelict field’ adjoining their new building from January 2010.

“We’re funded – though not regularly – through individual projects and fund-raising activities” said Ms. Redmore.

“Not many of the children who come to Fairplay play in public parks because of various issues, so having the field developed would be ideal.”

Estimated to be about 50m2, Fairplay hopes to develop the field into a garden and informal camp-site for their children as well as the public from time to time.

Wanting to involve the community more and integrating children with special needs into the mainstream is another aim of developing the field.

Chesterfield resident, Angela Shepherd, 41, has a 9-year-old son, Joseph, who has been going for Fairplay activities since he was 3½ years old.

“I absolutely cannot wait for the new building to open as it will open up new avenues for my son” she said.

Ms. Shepherd said: “With Fairplay, you just know that your children are going to safe and have a great time.”

Patch Story #1: Closure of UFO hotline affects many

As part of the module “JNL6006 – Researching News”, we had to submit four news stories for a news portfolio for assessment. Students were given patches to get their stories from. Mine was Chesterfield, Derbyshire. This is one of the stories I submitted.

In my opinion, this one is the weakest of all my stories. It is meant to be my national story that was localized to my patch. I had another story before this about a union strike of a national store, but that fell through as the strike was resolved two weeks before my deadline.

Anyway, here it is:

The Ministry of Defence, after over 50 years, withdrew the UFO hotline and email address from December 1 2009, saying it was an ‘inappropriate use of defence resources’.

If anyone tried the hotline number, they would hear a female voice recording that says: “Please note it is no longer MoD policy to record, respond to, or investigate UFO sightings, therefore it is no longer possible to leave messages on this number.”

Bill Eyre, Treasurer and Investigations Officer of the Chesterfield Psychic Study Group (CPSG), which has been in existence since 1982, said that due to the closure of the MOD UFO hotline, people who do see UFO’s would probably contact relevant organizations such as ASSAP (The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) and BUFORA (British UFO Research Association).

He said that he has met people from time to time in Chesterfield who have claimed to spot UFO’s. He is one of them.

“It happened in 1995. I’d, oddly enough, just been to a séance a little outside Chesterfield. I left a little late that night from the séance at around 10pm. As I was leaving, I saw white lights overhead fairly low in the sky.”

“If it was a plane there would be some kind of noise, but here there wasn’t any, neither were there flashing red lights at the end of planes.”

“They were flying parallel to each other, from east to west across the sky.”

Websites such as ‘UK UFO Sightings’ are other ways people can report UFO sightings. Chesterfield has had quite a few reports of such sightings in the last year on their web site, with the most recent one on 28th October 2009.

Quite a few of the Chesterfield posters claim to have seen bright, orange lights moving rapidly across the sky.

The publicity officer of the CPSG, Colin Groves, said: “The closure of the MOD hotline is bad for people all over the country.”