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 with their mum Vicky Leigh.

When she wanted Jack’s story to be told, she asked me for help. As CRPS is a hidden condition with no obvious signs for the outside observer, often other children and adults do not understand. My remit was to get Jack’s story told, and who better to tell it than Jack himself.

I interviewed him at home with his parents and he explained clearly what he feels, the pain no one can see and how it has affected his young life.

My story made a full page in the Lancashire Telegraph and Rossendale Free Press and was also used by Burning Nights as a case study biog – the national charity for people with CRPS and their families.

Vicky’s testimonial is also printed here.


So September has been a busy month as I retained all my three high school contracts and so there has been plenty of news to report. I have also started my two after-school newspaper clubs at Britannia and Northern so it is all go on the news front, thank you to volunteer Tanita for her assistance.

At Haslingden High School Molly’s amazing skydive which raised a thousand pounds in memory of a former student dominated page 3 of the Lancashire Telegraph. Other stories included an update on actor Henry who will be back on stage in Goodnight Mr Tom, talented Bethan who has landed a place at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts Academy, dancer Charlie who has been selected for a national tap dancing group and swimmer Mia who is one of the faces of Weleda in a new promotion for the company filmed in Derbyshire.

Parents with pupils at Fearns Community Sports College defended their secondary school after it came in for criticism and the story was used in the Rossendale Free Press. The school also raised more than nine hundred pounds in a day for Macmillan Cancer Relief and stories about poet Leon having his work selected for a national anthology, the school celebrating European Day of Languages and a taster day for Year 6 pupils also made the press.

At Whitworth Community High School Year 11 footballers have been coaching Year 7s with great success. Here’s the story on Rochdale Online.

Veterans In Communities were so busy last month the newsletter ran to six pages. News stories for VIC included winning a top honour from The Royal British Legion, a story that made the Free Press and Lancashire Telegraph, the opening of the Sandbag Cafe in Heywood and the agm report.

The autumn JJO Journal has been printed and distributed and a story about two of the employees that walked Yorkshire’s three peaks for charity was published in the Rossendale Free Press.

As Rossendale Business Awards nears its conclusion – judging is currently taking place – more stories have been in the Rossendale Free Press, the media sponsor. The presentation night will be on Wednesday November 15, good luck to everyone who has been nominated this year.

On Saturday October 28 Light Up The Valley lantern procession will be held from Globe Studios in Stacksteads. I have been involved in promoting the making sessions and the procession through a series of articles online and in the press as well as Facebook promotion on the Stacksteads Countryside Park Group page.

I also competed an ad hoc story for the Friends of Bocholt about the 65th anniversary of Rossendale’s twinning with the German city.

To see cuttings like my Facebook page Catherine Smyth Media.

If you have a story to tell, give me a bell.