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 to love the village.

But Weir Pride does much more than picking and planting. The group has brightened the whole park up with knitted bunting and animals after holding knit and natter sessions and working with children from the local primary school.

Not all jobs are paid, but ones like this are very satisfying – and the story was used on Page 3 of the Rossendale Free Press.


Since my last update I had a trip to London in July when the pupils of Fearns collected two awards for producing the best school newspaper in the country and the best front cover – WOW. I will return with pupils in September when three lucky would be journalists will have a fulll day NCTJ workshop as part of their prize and the school was also awarded one thousand pounds.

At the end of June I produced Fearns Chat Issue 10 with 10 students and this paper will be submitted for the national Shine School Media Awards next year.

I have written lots of school news as ever, and I have retained all three of my contracts with Haslingden High School, Fearns Community Sports College and Whitworth Community High School.

From Haslingden stories have included an ice dancer’s success, a mother getting the FA to change its plans that would have limited girls’ footballing chances and the school’s charity day.

At Fearns, I got the pupils a slot on Radio Lancashire before and after the London awards trip, and stories about a Battlefields trip, a school governor’s mammoth charity walkand the popular school literacy zoo trip.

Over in Whitworth students got to go to London witness the interment of Stephen Hawking‘s ashes at Westminster Abbey, took part in mock interviews and were inspired by a female engineer.

The Heights Free School invited me to produce a second school newspaper and both termly papers were completed at Britannia Primary School and Northern Primary School. I will be back at all three schools in the new academic year.

My two other contracted clients have had newsletters and Journals produced – Veterans In Communities and JJO. VIC has also made the press with work on the allotment in Helmshore, work at Only Foals and Horses and on restoring a First World War gravestone.

Ad hoc work has also been in abundance. Emerson and Renwick asked me to write about an award winning engineer who is showing the boys how it is done, Antony and Patricia opened a new children’s salon Noah’s Ark and Mohammed Miah asked me to help publicise his books. I will also be interviewing Denise Beddows at the end of August about her new book on a notorious Rawtenstall murder from 70 years ago.

On the creative side I was asked to produce artwork for posters and a leaflet for Bacup Flowerpot Festival and received a lovely review.

The first of three business awards that I cover has now been held – Hyndburn, Ribble Valley is mid-way through nominations, here’s one of my stories, and Rossendale Business Awards opens for nominations on August 15, here’s launch story.

I have also been commissioned by Rossendale Borough Council to produce case studies and a two-page paper with high school students on the employability fair Rossendale Works and more testimonials and case studies for M3 Project.

Apologies for the lateness of this update, but I have been a tad busy!