Suzy Evans: How I learned to embrace the media

When Suzy Evans and her son Owen found themselves in the full glare of a worldwide media spotlight after three of their loved ones were killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia, inevitably they were unprepared for such intense, agonising attention. Six years on, they now say they’ve learned how the media can be a force for good. That’s because of their mission since – raising awareness of Smile For Joel, the charity they launched in memory of Joel, Patrick and Adrian to help other families torn apart by murder and violence. Here Suzy talks about that steep and emotional learning …

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Talesha Chisholm, Derek Hands and Beckie Wait, from Elevate FM. Picture by Carol Bailey

First birthday brings double delight for facilities management firm

A facilities management firm launched in lockdown is marking its first birthday by doubling its workforce. Elevate FM, based in George Street, Birmingham, was set up last June, offering property maintenance services for schools and businesses. Instead of having to find, vet and co-ordinate a host of different contractors, clients were able to contact Elevate FM and get the job sorted in one phone call. The firm started with two people and has now taken on Talesha Chisholm as office administrator and Derek Hands, an in-house maintenance engineer. Director Beckie Wait said a second maintenance worker was due to be taken …

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Frontline pandemic heroes offered fully-funded therapy under new partnership

Frontline key workers whose mental health has been affected by the pressure of working through the Covid-19 battle are receiving fully-funded therapy sessions thanks to a new partnership. Community interest company Hampers for Heroes has joined up with Take A Seat, an organisation giving people access to a network of therapists across the country.Under the partnership, lockdown heroes can be nominated to receive up to 10 sessions of fully-funded therapy. Hampers for Heroes founder Victoria Hanson said: “People have been through such a stressful and high-pressure time and their mental health has been adversely affected. Those issues need to be …

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Owen and Suzy with store manager Richard Kirk. Picture by Carol Bailey

Currys staff raise thousands for Smile For Joel

Staff at Currys in Wednesbury have raised £2,000 to help the Smile For Joel charity after a year in which donations plunged. The staff held various events, including cake and samosa sales and there were collection boxes at the tills. Suzy Evans, from Smile For Joel, said she was delighted with the donation, which was particularly welcome after fundraising was hit by the pandemic. She said: “We are overwhelmed with the support we have been given by Currys at Junction 9. They have not only been fundraising for us, they have also donated very generous raffle prizes. They are so …

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Victoria Hanson of Hampers for Heroes

How my lockdown venture changed my life

Victoria Hanson, a working mum-of-four, set up Hampers for Heroes during the first lockdown when her work diary emptied. She wanted to show her appreciation to the key workers who were doing so much to keep us safe and began delivering wellbeing hampers to say thanks. Here she talks about how Hampers for Heroes has grown to become a community interest company with an army of volunteers, reaching tens of thousands of key workers. She also tells how she has had to adapt to becoming the public face of the organisation, raising awareness through local, national and international media. Even …

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Appeal to send life-saving oxygen supplies to India

Wolverhampton-based volunteers are raising money to send vital oxygen supplies to India amid the growing Covid-19 crisis there. The SNJ Charitable Trust, based in the iconic building of Lakshmi Sweets & Restaurant on Dudley Road, Blakenhall, has already paid for 100 cylinders and regulators to be sent to struggling hospitals where staff are battling to save lives amid an oxygen shortage. Organisers have set an ambitious £150,000 fundraising target to pay for hundreds more and help as many people as they can in the stricken country. Neena Julka, founder and CEO of the trust, said: “We are urging people and …

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Dr Zia Din with Tracy Scriven

NHS trust gets new cyber security system to improve safety and save time

One of the largest hospitals in the West Midlands with one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country has signed up to an innovative new security system to improve patient safety. Bosses at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Stoke University Hospital, in Stoke-on-Trent, and the County Hospital, in Stafford, say the new security measures will improve safety and bring peace of mind for staff and patients, by reducing the impact of a cyber-attack. The Trust has linked up with M8 Solutions to have the Ordr Systems Control Engine implemented. It means that …

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Adrian Goldberg

Film calls for change in the law to stop child abuse in sport

Former BBC journalist Adrian Goldberg is calling for a change in the law to help tackle the scourge of child abuse in sport. Mr Goldberg has recently released a film exploring the historic child abuse scandal linked with Celtic Boys Club. In the film, The Celtic Boys Club Scandal, he interviews a survivor and family members of a victim, who claim that senior figures at the club and Celtic Football Club itself must have been aware of the rumours of abuse, but did nothing. While Celtic FC has expressed sympathy for those who suffered abuse, it has always insisted Celtic Boys …

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Owen facing fears with Jump For Joel

A Black Country man is preparing to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft in memory of his brother, uncle and grandad who were killed in the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia. Owen Richards is joining a group of other fundraisers to take part in Jump For Joel in July. The group will include members of other families who also lost their loved ones in Tunisia, who are coming from across the UK to take part. They are raising money for Smile For Joel, the charity set by Owen and his mum Suzy after the attack in Tunisia that saw 38 …

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Radio is not a job – it’s a way of life: Dicky Dodd shares his career highlights in podcast

Wolverhampton radio presenter Dicky Dodd has shared the highlights of his career in a new podcast for Nurture Media. Dicky discusses everything from finding himself struck dumb on stage at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre to being made redundant last year and embarking on a new career as a part-time bus driver.  He also talks about how lucky he feels to be able to give back to the community. “I am really proud of what I have done over the years and how I can use my role to help raise awareness and help charities. I can entertain people but I can …

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