Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
THE PEOPLE of Stratford-upon-Avon are being asked to raise £1 million over the next two years to help pay for extra comforts at the town’s new £22 million hospital.
Although the NHS are paying for the hospital, this extra money is being raised for “enhanced” features that don’t come as standard.
On the shopping list are specialised chemotherapy chairs with their own TVs and computers that cost £1,600, and aesthetic extras like artwork for the walls and gardens for outside.
Jenny Farrell from Wootton Wawen is one of the volunteers leading the fundraising effort.
“It is to get a little bit more of the comfortable things,” she explained. “And it is being able to buy better equipment.”
Four years ago Jenny helped raise £650,000 for the Aylesford cancer unit at Warwick Hospital. Six chemotherapy chairs were initially installed, now there are 12.
“I have met so many people since then who have said you’ve no idea the difference that it’s made,” she said.
“A lot of people having chemotherapy have to be in one position for several hours at a time.”
Work on Stratford’s new £22 million hospital, which is being built on the existing minor injuries unit site on Arden Street, is due to start in Autumn.
Announced in January, the project initially had a budget of £20m but that’s been increased.
The hospital is not going to have an A&E department, but will have a specialised cancer ward and eye unit.
The NHS are building it because the number of homes in Stratford is rapidly increasing.
A spokesperson said: “The £1million fundraising support pays for enhancements that we cannot use NHS money for but that we know make a real difference to patients.”
It is for equipment that is above ‘standard’.
“If someone is coming into the hospital to have perhaps eight hours of chemotherapy, it is important that the environment does not feel like a hospital and therefore things like the flooring and artwork really make a difference.
“For example we could buy a standard pump to deliver chemotherapy medication to patients, however the fundraising support enables us to buy dedicated chemotherapy pumps which are more comfortable for patients.”
Jenny found the public helpful when raising money for the Aylesford unit and she’s hoping the people of Stratford will get involved over the next two years.
“Everybody knows somebody who’s got cancer,” she said.
Glen Burley, Chief Executive of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have the capital funding in place to build the new hospital, so the fundraising campaign will hopefully allow us to fulfil our pledge to make it one of the best of its kind in the country, with the best possible facilities and creating an environment which the people of Stratford will be proud to call their hospital for years to come.”
Although the majority of the fundraisers are volunteers, the trust has recently employed ex-Shakespeare Hospice fundraiser Ali Gray as a Fundraising Manager.
She is not only raising money for this appeal, but also for the one at Leamington Spa Hospital and for other wards and teams across Warwickshire. Her salary is not coming out of the £1 million.