After spending a day with a GP Practice in Haslingden, my feature was used by the Big Issue North over three pages with four photographs.

I was very lucky to be invited to join the practice by my good friend Dr Abdul Mannan and the patients were most gracious in allowing me to sit in on their consultations.

The day was a fascinating one, not least because I now know just how many other things the doctor is doing in between appointments. They do not get a moment to themselves.

The response to the article has been just as incredible with people sharing their experience of the good doctor too. To read the article click here.


April was always going to be a topsy turvy month, not least because of the operation which saw me having two weeks away from all but administrative work.

Thanks to the support of everyone, I keep being told ‘how good I am looking’ and I do feel better than I did. The thyroid has gone and I just need to get used to waking up every day at approximately the same time to take thyroxine.

Business really started again at the end of April and since then it has been fairly non-stop. In May I accepted a work experience for the first ever time and I have to say it was a really worthwhile experience for me, and hopefully her too. Tanita was a very willing and helpful pupil from Fearns who wrote a lovely letter afterwards saying how much she enjoyed the experience.

So updates since the last CSM blog.

Haslingden High School – a further 14 stories have been written ranging from a student’s visit to Cambridge, school trips to Iceland and Switzerland, a sixth form student who volunteerd to work in Gambia and a triple football success.

Fearns Community Sports College hosted a dementia awareness course for pupils from Rossendale high schools, went on work experience to a variety of places including here, pupils had their short stories published in a book and raised hundreds for Comic Relief and many more

Whitworth Community High School has been in the press for a teacher running the London Marathon, a student winning a top Scouting trophy, students appearing in the Dansworks annual show, football success and a student winning a Blue Peter badge.

At JJO the company gained the prestigious ISO9001 accreditation, won bathroom supplier of the year title in a national ceremony and the Spring edition of the JJO Journal was printed with the summer edition mid-preparation.

My fifth contract is with Veterans In Communities where monthly newsletters have been written and produced, the May edition with the help of my work experience, and there have been stories in the press about the charity’s trip to London for the Soldiering On Awards and offer of a replacement shed after one the veterans provided to a school was vandalised.

On June 13 it will be the conclusion of a six-month project to publicise Hyndburn Business Awards. This is only the second year of the awards and more entries were made, more businesses nominated and judges faced an even harder decision to select finalists.

Ad hoc work has abounded from helping to promote the new room at Bacup Natural History Society Mrs Ibbitts 1917 Shop, to promoting a London Marathon competitor who was running in memory of his mum and went on to raise more than £10,000 for Headway. A lovely story about two 83-year-olds retiring from Rawtenstall Market made Page 3 and the photo featured on the front page of the Free Press and a beekeeping club in Bacup dominated the whole of page 4 of the Lancashire Telegraph.

The Surgery, which is where I was invited to shadow the GPs, also employed me to publicise their dementia champion Charlotte.

June is my busiest month with Hyndburn Business Awards, Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival of which I am chairman and my week-long Fearns Chat project, however this will start a day late this year because last year’s newspaper is a finalist in the national Shine Media Awards and we have been invited to London for the presentation.

Another Coal Clough News has been produced and two termly school newspapers are mid-way in production at Northern and Britannia primary schools and Tanita has volunteered to help produce them!

Finally I got another photo on BBC North West weather – the hailstones in Weir.