Copyright Catherine Smyth Media

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 family wrote multiple stories.

I was pleased to be able to write about her beating it and she has had 11 years cancer free. How cruel that this illness returned and during her GCSE year at Whitworth Community High School, where I work on contract.

When I returned to the house to write follow up stories it was with a heavy heart, but I also know that publicity and positivity helps people even in the greyest of days and most desperate of situations. Although the planned operation to remove a tumour from one of her lungs had to be curtailed the family are still hoping medics will be able to help their daughter and sister.

Please wish her all the very best and keep everything crossed for Millie.


My schools have been keeping me exceptionally busy and I am heading towards my busiest month – June.Work wise I will be producing the third Fearns Chat newspaper, which involves me spending a whole week at the high school working with 10 rookie reporters.

I will also be covering Hyndburn Business Awards and in a voluntary capacity the centenary of Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival will be held on June 30, of which I am chairman. I have entered three school newspapers in the National Shine School Media Awards, have two primary school termly newspapers on the go and a further five papers in a day coming up.

I was delighted to be asked to work for Bacup Natural History Society once more to cover the unveiling of a memorial bench and silhouette soldier statue and have had other ad-hoc other jobs including promoting Nowt Poncy sauces being sold in Booths Supermarkets, Rossendale Heritage Festival holding workshops and a grandfather gaining employment thanks to a pioneering employment initiative.

All my business news is posted first on my Facebook business page – Catherine Smyth Media.

If you’ve a story to tell – give me a bell.