Karen Williams, founder of The Buddy Bag Foundation

Buddy Bag founder awarded OBE for helping child victims of domestic abuse

The founder of a Midland charity that helps children fleeing domestic violence at home has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list. Karen Williams, CEO of The Buddy Bag Foundation, was recognised by the Queen for her services to victims of domestic abuse. The foundation provides buddy bags – back packs filled with home comforts and essential items – to children living in emergency accommodation. That can be refuges, hotels or B&Bs. Since its launch in 2015, the foundation’s volunteers have packaged and delivered over 30,000 bags to children after raising more than £750,000. Karen, 59, who …

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Nurture Media News

Jean enjoys Christmas dinner again thanks to treatment

A Staffordshire pensioner who was left unable to speak or swallow after a stroke was able to enjoy her Christmas dinner this year thanks to an innovative treatment. Jean Dickinson could only watch last year as her family enjoyed their festive meal after a stroke left her having to be fed by tube. But this year, she was able to join in the festivities after undergoing VitalStim Therapy, which means she can now eat meals and can speak much more clearly. Daughter Andrea Piddock said she was delighted with the progress her mum had made and the success of the …

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Run for Joel - Smile for Joel

Smile for Joel donates Christmas gifts to bereaved families

Hundreds of people who have lost family members to murder or violence have been given a little extra support this Christmas thanks to the Smile for Joel charity. The charity launched its Santa Smiles campaign at the beginning of December, giving toys, vouchers and other gifts to families struggling to face the festive season in the aftermath of huge emotional trauma. The charity received 82 requests for help during the campaign, helping more than 250 family members affected by loss. The requests were all made through Victim Support and included a young boy who was living with his grandma after …

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Karen Williams, Buddy Bag Foundation CEO, with, from left, Howard Smith, Philip Hall and Rod Hinton from the Freemasons

Freemasons’ festive gift for children stuck in emergency accommodation

Hundreds of children stuck in emergency accommodation in Birmingham after fleeing violence at home will receive a little extra help this Christmas thanks to the Freemasons. The organisation has donated £7,500 to the Buddy Bag Foundation, which provides back packs filled with home comforts to children forced into hotels and B&Bs by domestic violence. The foundation recently issued a challenge to businesses across the Midlands to help pack 30 bags each after it emerged that hundreds of children had been stuck in temporary accommodation for months amid the coronavirus crisis. A rise in domestic violence meant that refuges were full …

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Staff at Orsborn House with their hamper

Hampers bring happiness to NHS heroes

A West Midlands mum who started a collection to thank NHS staff as they battled to cope during the coronavirus outbreak has now reached over 30,000 key workers – and she’s not done yet. Victoria Hanson’s Hampers for Heroes idea has grown from offering hand cream to nurses to delivering hundreds of care hampers to thousands of under-pressure staff. She now wants to expand the scheme nationally to make sure the heroes working behind the scenes are not forgotten again – even beyond the Covid crisis. “We want to help people we take for granted, even post-Covid, whenever that might …

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Barrie Davies and Brian Mandry delivering the bags to Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid

Plea to help children stuck in Birmingham B&Bs after fleeing violence

Birmingham businesses are being urged to help hundreds of children who have been stuck in temporary accommodation since the first coronavirus lockdown amid a rise in domestic violence. The Buddy Bag Foundation has launched a new challenge to get at least 300 back packs filled with home comforts to the children who have been left living in hotels or B&Bs for months. Karen Williams, the organisation’s founder, said: “If a family has been the victim of domestic violence and there is no room at a refuge, they have to be housed in a B&B or hotel. “It was brought to …

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Katie Cregeen

We’re about more than business – we’re like a family – business contacts make wishes come true for brave Katie

Business contacts have rallied round to help make wishes come true for a brave little girl who is battling cancer for the second time. Katie Cregeen, from Cannock, drew up a list of things she wanted to do and people she wanted to meet when she was first diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the beginning of the year. Family friend and BNI Century member Kelly Nation helped her compile the list as, having gone through breast cancer herself, she had an idea of what Katie was going through and wanted to ensure she had some positive memories to take away …

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Maxine and Chris

‘Help us fight back against cancer with our patented technology’ appeal by Burton on Trent couple

A bereaved Burton on Trent couple who have ploughed £1million into eight years of developing technology to fight against cancer are appealing for new backers to boost its progress. Chris and Maxine Wilson pledged to improve on treatment available after Chris’s dad, Andrew, died aged 85 in 2015. He had been treated for prostate cancer three years earlier and developed complications. They are now at the helm of a latest testing phase for a patented “Cryoneedle Cryotherapy” device for destroying cancerous tumours – and hail it as a world’s first that can cut down on the need for hospital admissions …

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Staffordshire hairdresser-turned-artist unveils stunning portraits of football stars

A Tamworth mum who gave up a career in hairdressing to follow her dream of becoming a professional artist has seen her latest tributes to her footballing heroes given the official seal of approval. Aston Villa fan Sue Verity has painted stunning portraits of John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish celebrating winning the 2019 play-off final with manager Dean Smith. The players have now all signed the portraits, giving them their full backing. Sue said: “I’m a huge Villa fan and it has been an honour to paint the players. It was a pleasure to meet them too, they …

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Marek

Covid-hit good causes set for boost with contactless donation giveaway

UK hospital, church and charity fundraisers hit hard by Covid-19 and a latest lockdown have the opportunity to scoop a contactless ‘donation station’ thanks to developers behind the technology. The Donation Station systems, which usually cost around £1,000 each, can be delivered in time to empower more Christmas donations this year and into 2021. Sheffield company Good With Devices (GWD) is making the giveaway possible through its website at https://gwd.team/competition. Donation Stations are touchscreen, contactless donation boxes. Before the pandemic hit, Bristol Museums reported a 50% rise in funds raised from visitors thanks to introducing Donation Stations. Up to five …

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