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.
A SEXUAL abuse charity based in South Warwickshire has said the impact of £92 million worth of budget cuts in Warwickshire County Council is starting to be felt across the charity sector in the county as demand for services is increasing but funding to support them is reducing.
Safeline, has been operating for 20 years in Warwickshire and helps people who have experienced sexual abuse and rape.
In the past year the number of reported sexual offences in Warwickshire has risen by eight per cent compared to a national average of just one per cent but many people don’t even report the abuse or sexual attacks.
Safeline’s chief executive Lindsey Lavender said her charity is having to deal with more people than ever partly because council services are facing cutbacks.
“When this happens there is always a ripple effect across charities like ours and we are struggling to both raise funds and cope with increasing demand,” she said.
Ms Lavender has headed Safeline for the past three years and the workload has risen dramatically.
“We’ve seen the number of people helped by Safeline rise by almost 25 per cent in the past year,” she said.
“We know that people dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse and rape desperately need our help but our funding has been reduced. It is harder than ever to fundraise and yet we are helping more people than ever before.”
Home Office statistics show that 85,000 women were raped in England and Wales last year, and 400,000 women were the victims of sexual abuse. These are just the reported cases.
It is thought that thousands more attacks go unreported and the victims often deal with the trauma alone.
In the past year, high profile cases like those surrounding Jimmy Savile have given people the confidence to come forward to seek help in coping with the after effects of this horrific abuse. Some also go on to report their sexual crimes to the police.
From its office in the centre of Warwick, Safeline helps people from all over Warwickshire to rebuild their lives.
Lydia Ward was one of the people helped by Safeline after she had been sexually abused as a child.
Now she campaigns for the charity: “The most important thing about Safeline and the work it does is that it’s independent and confidential. Many survivors like me wouldn’t think of going to the authorities to begin with.
“The thought of going to the police or social services seems just too big to deal with but I needed someone to talk to and Safeline was there to help me.
“Now I try to help others. It’s vital work which can mean the difference between dealing with the abuse and recreating your life or the terrible prospect of living always in the shadow of the abuse and never getting your own courage and confidence back again.”
Safeline provides a free phone helpline along with one-to-one counselling and psychological support.
“The charity also delivers a range of projects for schools and the community to highlight the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to seek preventative and early intervention help where needed.
Now the charity is launching a drive to raise £200,000 in its 20th anniversary year by establishing an SOS ‘Supporters of Safeline’ campaign.