Telling Millie’s story again

When I was told that Millie O’Shea had been diagnosed with cancer again I was devastated. I was the news editor of the Rossendale Free Press when I first learnt about Millie, she was only three then and had been diagnosed with a Wilm’s Tumour and I met the...

Welcome To My New Look Website

I am delighted to be back! I certainly never went away, but my website went a dormant while this fantastic new one was being created. A huge thank you to Les Dundas Web Design Services for all the work he has put into creating this site. I am pleased that now viewers...

Thank you for the business

A massive thank you to everyone who has employed me since January, this has been my busiest year to date. Without doubt the success I am most proud of is Fearns Chat, my flagship school newspaper, winning the national Shine Media Award for best newspaper in the...

Teenager comes to fall woman’s aid

This would have ordinarily been a Good Samaritan story however it developed into much more when, even though 15-year-old Millie was helping a pensioner, a man chose to criticise her school. Head Girl at Fearns Community Sports College had done what other passersby...

Wonderful Weir

This is a complete departure from my normal work blog, I took this photograph to illustrate the amazing work being carried out by volunteers in my home village. This was a voluntary piece of work to praise the dedicated members of Weir Pride, a community group set up...

Soup Social for M3 Project

Homeless charity M3 Project set up a fundraising idea to encourage people to host a Big Soup Social to get people together and raise money and awareness of the organisation. I have worked for M3 for several years to raise awareness of the charity and I specialise in...

UPDATED School Newspaper WINS National Media Final

Unashamedly proud. It is fair to say that pretty much sums up my feelings and this story. WE WON. In 2009, when I was the News Editor at the Rossendale Free Press I made a suggestion to the editor that the paper work with a high school to produce a newspaper. There...

Caring sister sheds locks after brother diagnosed

A teenager whose younger brother is currently being treated for leukaemia will be having her waist-length hair cut to make wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer. Bryony Booth is also raising money for the Ronald McDonald Charities because her family...

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. 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...

Hyperthyroidism and me – Blogs 1,2 and 3

This is a departure from my usual updates on my business, it is what journalists hate to do most of all, writing about themselves. I have chosen to write this blog because someone out there is going through exactly what I am; they have an undiagnosed overactive...

Big Issue features day in the life of GP

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...

National Recognition for School Paper

A state school newspaper produced in just one week was highly commended in the national Shine School Media Awards. Fearns Chat has been produced by since 2009, at first as an insert in the Rossendale Free Press when I was still news editor. After redundancy, it has...

Veteran’s Dutch Medal of Honour

Despatch Rider Lewis Banham spent the Second World War in Europe bravely delivering messages to troops on the front line. Now, more than 70 years later, he has been rewarded with the Dutch Liberation Medal for helping to free the Netherlands. The 94-year-old was also...

Blog 4 – Hyperthyroidism

Here is the latest instalment in my bizarre experience of being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. As I await my next appointment with the consultant, I have endured yet another blood fiasco. You really couldn’t make it up. Undeterred I succeeded in getting...

Raising Awareness of CRPS – Jack’s story

CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an often misunderstood condition leaving the patient in excruciating pain with symptoms no one can see. Having interviewed Jack and his younger brother Jayden in the past about their dancing, I had already formed a bond...

Deaf tutor’s plea to have language heard

While Scottish and Welsh Gaelic are accepted minority languages, British Sign Language is not. As a result, when a deaf person needs to have an interpreter they can find that their ‘voice’ is someone with nothing more that a GCSE qualification in their...

School Papers Take Off

When I first started Catherine Smyth Media in 2009, my USP was creating newspapers in schools. Since then I have developed the programme to produce papers in a day, over a week, to cover a term or half term. Now I have gone back to the future – by that I mean...

Blog 5 – Hyperthyroidism

Good news! I have waited quite a while to feel so upbeat and feel like I have been waiting years to be so positive. An optimist always looks on the bright side of life and yet I feel as though I have been stuck at the bottom of a very dark hole. Like the frog in the...

2016 – thank you for the business

This year has been a phenomenally successful one for my business with the highlight most definitely jointly winning the Sole Trader of the Year Award at Rossendale Business Awards in November. I am known for words, but I also take the odd photograph including two that...