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.
STRATFORD-upon-Avon cyclist Richard Simpson flew to South Africa yesterday ahead of a 67-mile charity ride that will take him around the Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
It will be further than he has ever ridden before and he will be doing it on a bike he has never ridden before.
And if that wasn’t a tough enough task, the 22-year-old from Trinity Mead was diagnosed with complete kidney failure five years ago.
Richard will be tackling the Cape Argus Pick ’n’ Pay Momentum Cycle Tour—the largest timed cycling event in the world with more than 35,000 taking part—to raise money for the group that have been helping him come to terms with his illness.
“Until the last five or six months, the furthest I had ridden was to university and back,” the former Kineton High School pupil said. “I cycled 85km (about 50 miles) the other day but that’s the furthest I have been.
“Also, I can’t afford to take my own bike out to South Africa so I am hiring a bike when I get out there.
“I hope to raise £1,000 for the Oxford Kidney Unit Trust Fund which helps young patients like me come to terms with their condition. I also want to urge more people to sign up for the organ donation scheme.
“I have gained such a lot of confidence from talking to the people in that group and now I want to give something back. The money would help take some of the young people out on trips and help to inform those who are diagnosed— many won’t know what kidney failure will mean to them.
A handful of cyclists are flying to South Africa to raise funds for the Oxford-based charity but Richard is the only one still waiting for a kidney transplant.
That means he struggles to concentrate for long periods, is constantly cold and quickly becomes tired. He also has to be careful what he eats and drinks.
He spent four weeks in hospital when diagnosed as a teenager but has now used his condition to push his own limits.
“I can find daily living a real test but am determined to do this ride to prove that you can succeed,” Richard said.
“Something like this doesn’t have to hold you back and I’m determined not to let life pass me by. In some ways it has given me extra confidence to go out and do things.”
While Richard and his fellow cyclists are in Cape Town they will be helping to set up a youth clinic similar to their own in Oxford—a place that would offer advice and support and that would treat young patients.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Richard should head to www.justgiving.com/rich-simpson