12-hours on the front line

I was very fortunate to be offered the chance to join a paramedic on a 12-hour ambulance shift to discover just what pressures staff are working under.alt

Although it got off to a slow start, things quickly picked up and it ended up with a non-stop day after 11am. At one stage no sooner had we got back into the Rapid Response Vehicle than we were headed off with sirens wailing and blue lights flashing to another part of East Lancashire.

By the end of the shift paramedic Chris Fraser-Clarke had driven more than 150 miles and organised for six patients to be transferred by ambulance to hospital including a works accident.

My story and two photographs were used in a three-page freelance feature in the Big Issue North. My next venture will be a shift with a local GP.

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OTHER NEWS

There has been a lot of news this month for my contracted clients, especially for students at Haslingden High School.

Being 50, a school trip when I was younger was to London at best, nowadays they are incredible and I have recently written about Haslingden High School trips to New York, a footballing trip to Valencia, a skiing trip to Spain and a memorial trip to Auschwitz. All these opportunities. Young people are so fortunate these days. The school also held a fundraiser for Facial Palsy UK.

Stories I have written for Fearns Community Sports College have also appeared in print including pupils being Heartstart trained, a new school library and pupils visiting the University of Manchester as part of the Gateway Programme.

Members of Veterans In Communities were invited to a prestigious finalists' evening ahead of the awards evening for the prestigious Soldiering On accolades. This story made the press as did the sad story of how vandals have wrecked a play shed the veterans have installed in a school playground.

I have also carried out ad hoc work, including photographing and writing about World Book Day at St Mary's RC School, Bacup, and Rossendale Bespoke Timber's James Stroud meeting his hero on a school garden project.

My termly school newspapers for Britannia Primary School and Northern Primary School are nearing completion and I have a further Coal Clough News to be produced before the end of March. Human resources guru Alison Driver will also be recounting her true life story on BBC Radio Lancashire after I arranged for her to be interviewed by Sally Naden.

I am delighted to be having lunch with Sylvia Lancaster when I will be presenting her with a cheque for the foundation in her daughter's memory. This is a proportion of the profits the sale of Weirdo Mosher Freak and the new version of my book The Sophie Lancaster Story.

Next month I will hopefully be having an operation to remove my thyroid, watch this space for another Hyperthyroidism blog.

Thank you to everyone who has employed me.

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2017 News