Blog 6 – Hyperthyroidism

My journey through Graves Disease continues as sadly I have not succeeded in conquering the dreaded illness yet. I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid gland in February and have been making regular trips to the consultant and doctor’s surgery for blood...

Winner of Sole Trader 2016 – ME!

I knew I had been shortlisted but nevertheless it still comes as a shock to be announced as the winner. Indeed I shared the honours with my friend Liz Hall from Liz Henson Photography, but that seemed to make a lot of sense. We do a lot of collaborative work as is...

Eco Home Built By Pensioners

Artist Chris Worswick and her husband Paul decided five years ago to build their own home and now, aged 70 and 71 they are settling in nicely. This rather unusual story was commissioned by Lancashire Life and provided another opportunity for me to work with Liz Henson...

Kindle Deal on Sophie Lancaster Book

Throughout the month of October, Amazon Kindle has selected my book The Sophie Lancaster Story to become one of its special deals to be promoted to UK readers. Since the book was relaunced on St George’s Day in April, it has been an incredible success and I am...

Blog 8 – Operation over!

So that’s it – all done. The butterfly shaped gland that caused me so much trouble has now been incinerated and I doubt I will ever know why I joined this merry-go-round. My thyroid has, I am guessing, been incinerated and with its removal from my body I...

Blog 9 – six months on and going strong

What a six months it has been since I was operated on and my thyroid disappeared into an incinerator.I have written this reflective piece because it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride but I hope an inspirational one too. The blog is printed below or click the...

Trike Appeal’s Astonishing Success

When Haslingden High School set about trying to get an all terrain mountain trike to aid a student’s mobility, more than 3,500 pounds was raised in just a few weeks after excellent publicity was achieved. Sam Ainsworth has Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, an...

Pupils Become Junior Journalists

Ten pupils, one week, 11,000 words and 16 pages; that in a nutshell is the latest edition of Fearns Chat. Every year since I started working for myself, I have spent a whole week at Fearns Community Sports College, Stacksteads, producing the school newspaper. The...

The Sophie Lancaster Story

A chance offer to rebrand, relaunch and update my book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster has had an incredible response. The original book was published in 2010 under the title Weirdo Mosher Freak, the new version The Sophie Lancaster Story, has been updated to bring...

Artist Leaves Her Mark On School

Artist Laura Doherty has so far painted five of her former classrooms with giganitic murals bringing history, English and music to life. The former Haslingden High School student painted her first classroom when she was 16 and, after finishing her A levels, she was...

Plucky Francesca Plans 10k

Deciding to take on a 10k can be an ordeal for most people, but when you are a wheelchair user it brings a host of other complications. But Francesca Dean doesn’t know the word can’t and will not let anything stop her from doing what she wants. I first met...

Off the wall photography plan

Actress Stacey Clegg has had a dream for many years to celebrate her brother’s short life by creating photographs to depict Michael Jackson songs. The story was an unusual one given the tragic circumstances of her brother’s death following a road accident...

Roy thanks his rescuers

When an elderly gentleman collapsed in Rawtenstall three teenagers were quick to come to his aid. The Haslingden High School students helped the pensioner, tended to his injuries and comforted him while help was sought. Their bravery was rewarded with a thank you...

Schools’ sporting success

At one of my contract schools – Fearns Community Sports College – the borough’s school sports organiser is based to encourage primary schools to participate in sporting competitions. Nathan Bibby also assists schools to apply for the prestigious...

The Broadway Buzz Here to Stay

A one-off newspaper produced in four weeks proved so popular the school has decided it should be produced every half-term. The first edition of The Broadway Buzz sold very well, so well the school in Haslingden had decided to continue the sessions each half-term to...

Five Generations at Same Dance School

From 87-year-old Elsie down to little two-year-old toddler Scarlett, five generations of the same family now dance at Dansworks Dance Academy in Bacup. I have been working for Dansworks on an ad hoc basis since 2011 and this was a charming story to write. Principal...

School Paper Gets National Recognition

This year’s Fearns Chat has just been completed – a hectic week with 13 Year 9 pupils writing, photographing and designing a 16-page newspaper to shout about the busy year that there has been at Fearns Community Sports College. Last year’s version...