Fancy a cuppa?

Students with learning difficulties are gaining work experience in their own cafe attached to their school


where they get the chance to serve members of the public.

I was asked to help promote for The Garage Cafe at Tor View Special School in Haslingden and a lovely story it turned out to be.

The Lancashire Telegraph used the story as a page lead as did the Rossendale Free Press..

Ahead of it appearing in the press, I posted the story on the Valley at Work news pages - and then I shared the story on my Facebook business page Catherine Smyth Media, Please 'like' my page if you wish. Imagine my shock when the post was seen by more than 5,500 people in less than a week.

The story was also sent to Autism Daily Newscast and the editor said,

"What an uplifting and empowering story."

Here is the link

If you are ever in Haslingden - pop in and have a brew.



Phew well the rest of September and early October proved to be a very hectic time for me!

I found myself writing a number of ad hoc articles for various businesses across East Lancashire.

When a dancer, who had been trained at a prestigious London school, returned to become a teacher as her 'old school' in Accrington I was asked to promote the news for The Performance Academy. The story caught the editor's eye and made page leads in the Lancashire Telegraph, Rossendale Free Press and Accrington Observer.

Another ad hoc story was for therapist Jan Joshi who has retrained after years working in local authorities and her business Simply Therapy is soon to have a partnership with the innovative Green Dreams Project. Here is the story. As well as appearing on the Valley at Work website it also appeared on the the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce Lancashire Telegraph site and in the Rossendale Free Press.

When soft furnishing guru Vicky Callan won an enterprise award she asked me to write a story to promote it - the Rossendale Free Press used it as a page lead and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce posted it on their Lancashire Telegraph site.

My contracts have also kept me busy. Of course I produced another monthly newsletter for Veterans In Communities and I also secured page leads in print for the veterans' new family support service and stunning walking sticks created by VIC member Dave Almond. Here is the link to Dave's story in the Accrington Observer.

At Fearns Community Sports College a positive progress report from Ofsted shows the school is moving in the right direction and here is the story in the Rossendale Free Press. When literacy co-ordinator Miss Roach was asked to write a piece for a Prince's Teaching Institute manual the story made a page lead in the Rossendale Free Press and Lancashire Telegraph.

Haslingden High School has also been making the headlines with nine future teachers now being trained at the school, the physics geeks club being invited to a major festival hosted by DJ Chris Evans and students being visiting Bocholt on an unusual exchange.

All of this and I also found time to meet Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce fame and write a news piece for Cheetham Church of England Community Academy, which appeared in the Manchester Evening News.

I also completed my first School News in a Day project working with the pupils of Cheetham Academy on their Aspirations Week.. They interviewed some of the school's special guests for their newspaper called Inspiring Times.

What will this month bring...